Click on the following links to find out more information.
VAT / Tax Refunds | Immunisation | Embassy | International Calls | Languages | Safety / Security |
Visa Requirements | Diplomatic Rep |
Standard Time is:
* 2 hours forward of Greenwich Mean Time
* 1 hour forward of central European winter time
* 7 hours forward of United States eastern standard time
throughout the year.
Weather / Climate
The weather in South Africa varies in the different regions.To obtain information on the latest weather conditions in the different regions, call the numbers listed below. (These numbers are toll-free)
||082 234 3334
||082 234 3338
||082 234 3335
||082 234 3331
||082 234 3333
||082 234 3337
||082 234 3336
||082 234 3332
||082 234 3339
||082 234 3330
The plugs used in South Africa are three pronged plugs. Or three pin sockets with a rounded end. The electricity rate is 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Be sure to bring an adapter with you. If you are staying in a hotel, most of them are equipped with 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances.
There are 11 official languages in South Africa and that is a mouthful to learn! If you are heading to Cape Town, English, Afrikaans and Xhosa are the most common spoken languages there.
The eleven languages!
One Rand (R) = 100 cents.
South African notes issued are : R200, R100, R50, R20, R10
South African coins issued are : R5, R2, R1, 50c 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, 1c
Currency exchange rates are available at banks and money changers.
You can click here to view the current exchange rates.
Your international traveler's cheques will be accepted by banks in South Africa provided that they are in an acceptable currency and legit. Don't forget to bring your identification documents along when cashing your cheques. Most hotels and money changers should also provide this service.
You will find automated teller machines scattered around in most towns. These machines operate on a 24 hour basis.
VAT / Tax Refunds
If you are a foreign tourists visiting South Africa, be sure to collect your value-added tax (VAT) refund before you head on home! You are eligible for VAT refund if the value of the items purchased exceeds R250. VAT is refunded on departure at the airport.
What is VAT? A tax of 14% is levied on almost all goods and services in
South Africa. Foreign tourists may claim back VAT paid on items that will be taken
out of the country. To get your VAT refund, you must have with you:
* All original tax invoices or receipts of the product
* Your foreign passport
* The items on which a refund is claimed
Just present these at the:
* VAT refund administration office
* Any appointed RSA customs at the airport
and you should have your refund back! You will also be asked to fill in a VAT Refund Control Sheet (VAT 255).
No international immunisation is needed when entering South Africa. If you are unsure, you can speak to your local travel agencies and they will be able to advise you. Alternatively, visit your country's travel clinic and ask for advise. The only inoculation requirement is a yellow fever vaccination certificate from Travelers over one year of age entering South Africa within six days of leaving an infected country. If you have visited or passed through any infected areas, it would be best to inoculate yourself against the disease before visiting South Africa.
MALARIA disease is predominantly under control in South Africa. However, there are still regions that are affected. These are the Northern Province and Mpumalanga, northern Natal and Zululand. To reduce the risk of contracting the disease, you should take standard precautions against malaria infected mosquitos.
Forms of precaution:
* Malaria tablets
* Effective insect repellent / mosquito coils (particularly in the evening)
* Long-sleeved shirts
Johannesburg is one of the biggest cities in South Africa and the majority of consulates are located there. However, you'll also find consulates in Cape Town and other cities.
These are links supplied by The South African Department of Foreign Affairs:
Many tourist get confused when tying to call overseas from South Africa.
To make an overseas call, do the following:
* Dial +27 (South Africa's international access code).
* Dial the country code, area code of the city or region.
* Followed by the number of the person you are calling.
For example, if you call someone in South Africa with the number (755 2658), the number you dial will be: + (your International code) 27 (country code) 21 (area code - i.e. Cape Town, 51 for Gariep Dam) 755 2658, where 27 is South African dialing code and 21 the area code.
Safety / Security
Crime exists in every country and South Africa is no exception. It is strongly advised that you take the basic precautions to ensure that you and your valuables remain safe. Try to keep your passport with you at all times. Any valuables like jewellery and expensive items should be stored in the hotel safe or similar alternatives. Try not to flaunt your valuables as it might attract unwanted attention to yourself. Store your valuables discreetly especially when walking in busy streets and the city. Be aware of fake or imitation goods that vendors might try to sell to you at extravagant prices. Some original items sold along the streets might be stolen items. Be alert at all times of pickpockets and cheats.
Public transport in the city, like taxis, buses and trains are available. This is not so in rural areas or small towns. It is recommended that you rent your own transport or join a tour from a valid tour agency. It is unsafe to hitch-hike and accept rides from strangers. If you need assistance, speak to local residents and they will most probably advise you on safe transport. Similarly, if driving, do not pick up any hitch-hikers. Always ensure that your car doors are locked at all times. The South African Police are easily recognised in their blue uniforms and white & blue patrol vehicles.
To enter South Africa, you must have a valid passport and, where necessary, a visa. If you are unsure if you require a visa, you can contact the South African diplomatic representatives abroad or the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria. If you plan on traveling to South Africa's neighbouring countries and back into South Africa, it would be wise to ensure you have multiple entry visas.
Passport holders of certain countries are exempt from visa requirements when traveling to South Africa. In most cases, you must show immigration officers that you have the means to support yourself during your stay. You are also required to possess a return or onward air ticket. Where required, you must show valid international health certificates.
Diplomatic Representative Abroad