Every person who wishes to enter South Africa must possess a valid passport for travelling to South Africa. Depending on the passport, you might need a visa. Enquiries can be directed to South African embassies or consulates abroad, or the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria. If you intend traveling to South Africa’s neighbouring countries and back into South Africa, you should apply for a multiple entry visa. Tourists need to prove to immigration officers that they are able support themselves during their stay, and that they are in possession of return or onward air tickets. They must also have valid international health certificates.
Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months from your date of arrival.
No international immunisation is needed when entering South Africa.
The only inoculation 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.
Cape Town as well as the entire Western Cape is a malaria-free region. The only South African areas that are affected by malaria are Limpopo, 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.)
If you wish to make a call overseas from a landline, you must first dial 00, 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 00 61 2 456 1234. Many of our guests prefer to use Skype.
220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. South Africa uses a unique three pronged plug but adapters are available at airports and in most supermarkets.
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 published daily in the press.
Open Mon – Fri 08h00 – 16h30 & Sat 08h00 – 12h00. Postage stamps are widely available at Post Offices, the Post Office in the Waterfront and at some cafes and branches of CNA.
Tipping is expected in South Africa. A guideline for visitors is the following: Porters R5 per item, parking attendants R5, taxis 10%, waiters & waitresses in restaurants 10 – 15%.
Most international traveller’s cheques are accepted provided they are in an acceptable currency and may be cashed at most banks. Many hotels and shops also provide this service.
VAT Refunds: 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 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 on departure, and the total VAT on these items will be refunded. Visitors will be requested to fill in a VAT Refund Control Sheet (VAT 255). A visitor needn’t 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.
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.