Every person seeking to enter South Africa must be in possession of a valid passport for travel to South Africa and, where necessary, a visa. Enquiries can be directed to South African diplomatic representatives abroad or the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria . Visitors who intend traveling to South Africa ‘s neighbouring countries and back into South Africa are advised to apply for multiple entry visas. In terms of existing arrangements, passport holders of certain countries are exempt from visa requirements. Tourists must satisfy immigration officers that they have the means to support themselves during their stay, and that they are in possession of return or onward air tickets.
Passports must be valid for at least 6 months and 1 month beyond the intended stay. An onward or return ticket is required, as well as sufficient funds and documents needed for further travel. Note that visitors to South Africa must have two consecutive blank pages in your passports for endorsements. South African holders of dual passports must use their South African passport to enter or leave the country.
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No international immunization is needed when entering South Africa.
The only innoculation requirement is a yellow fever vaccination certificate from travellers over one year of age entering South Africa within six days of leaving an infected country. Visitors who travel through or disembark in these areas are advised to be inoculated against the disease before visiting South Africa.
Regions that are affected are the Northern Province and Mpumalanga , northern Natal and Zululand . The risk of contracting the disease is negligible provided that you take the standard precautions. Malaria tablets, a good insect repellent particularly in the evening, long-sleeved shirts and mosquito coils are advisable precautions. Please consult a pharmacy or doctor for advice.
If you wish to make a call overseas, you must first dial 09, which is South Africa ‘s international access code. You then dial the country code, area code of the city or region and the number of the person you wish to call. For example, if you make a call to Sydney , Australia , telephone number 456 1234 you must dial 09 61 2 456 1234.
You can buy prepaid telephone cards to use from public telephones which are cheaper than using the direct calling facilities offered by the hotel.
Please note that it is advisable to book your car in advance if you plan to travel to Cape Town during December and January. You will need a credit card in order to be able to hire a car. All major car hire firms have depots at the airport such as AVIS, Imperial, Budget car hire.
You will need to apply for International coverage through your service provider or you will need to buy a conversion kit at a supermarket as well as pay as you go air time.
220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Three pronged plugs are used in South Africa , take an adapter along with you, or buy one at a supermarket in Cape Town . Most hotel rooms have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances.
One Rand (R) = 100 cents (c). Notes issued R200, R100, R50, R20, R10; coins R5, R2, R1, 50c 20c, 10c, 5c. Currency exchange rates are available at banks and are published daily in the press.
You can cash travellers cheques and foreign currency at the airport when you arrive. Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s) are available at the airport and cash can easily be drawn this way on arrival. Otherwise ATM’s are found all over Cape Town . Please be careful at ATM’s as this is a common way to trick the unsuspecting out of their money. Decline any offers of “help”.
Credit Cards Master, Visa, Diners and American Express are accepted almost everywhere.
Banks open from 9h00 to 15h30 from Monday to Friday. On Saturday they open from 8h30 to 11h00.
South Africa is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 6 hours ahead of the USA Eastern Standard time.Safety:
It is advisable not to walk about at night in Cape Town.
There are many reputable taxi firms whom you can phone to fetch you and drop you off again.
Don’t walk around showing expensive cameras, jewelry or laptops when in town.
Don’t carry large amounts of money with you.
Open Mon – Fri 08h00 – 16h30 & Sat 08h00 – 12h00. Mail may be addressed to you Post Restante. The main post offices have special counters for this purpose. Postage stamps are widely available (e.g. at some cafes and branches of the Central News Agency – CNA).
Tipping is expected in South Africa . A guideline for visitors is the following: Porters R2 per item, taxis 10%, waiters & waitresses in restaurants 10 – 15% of the bill. Petrol attendants R3- R5. An informal “car guard” tip R3.00 for watching your car.
Most international traveller’s cheques are accepted provided they are in an acceptable currency and may be cashed at most banks. Many hotels provide this service.
Foreign tourists visiting South Africa can have their value-added tax (VAT) refunded provided the value of the items purchased exceeds R250. VAT is refunded on departure at the point of departure.
VAT of 14% is levied on nearly all goods and services. Foreign tourists may claim back VAT paid on items that will be taken out of the country. Original tax invoices, foreign passport, plus all the items on which a refund is claimed, must be presented at the VAT refund administration office or an appointed RSA customs and excise official on departure, and the total VAT on these items will be refunded. Visitors will be requested to fill out a VAT Refund Control Sheet (VAT 255). Where a visitor does not export all the goods specified on a particular tax invoice, only the value of the goods and the tax paid on such goods exported must be declared on this form. VAT is not refundable for services or accommodation.
Drive on the left and give way to traffic approaching from the right. The general speed limit is 120km/h on open roads and 60km/h in urban areas.