To find out if you need a visa to visit South Africa, visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website which provides detailed information about which countries require visas and which are exempt. Enquiries regarding South Africa visa information can also be obtained from South African missions in your country of origin. Should you require a visa, application must be made ahead of your departure as visas are not issued on arrival.
To apply for a visa you'll be required to provide particular documentation to meet South Africa's visa requirements, which include:
Take care to request the correct duration of stay and type of visa. Also check on processing time so that there is no last minute panic.
South African safety precautions are not unlike those recommended when travelling to other countries and major cities. More common sense than hard and fast measures, safety precautions in South Africa mostly require vigilance on behalf of the traveller.
Other safety precautions you may want to consider include:
A subtropical location and a high interior plateau are responsible for South Africa's temperate conditions so appreciated by visitors. South African temperatures, which are measured in centigrade, average at highs of 28°C to average lows of 8°C in the summer months while winter temperatures range from 1°C at night to around 18°C in the day.
Average annual rainfall is on the low side at under 500 mm a year, making the country somewhat dry. Much of the rain falls in the Western Cape in the winter, differing from the rest of the country, which experiences summer rainfall.
Thunder and lighting storms are common in provinces like Gauteng, North West and KwaZulu-
South Africa's climatic conditions generally range from Mediterranean in the south-
A small region in the north-
Drinking water in South Africa is safe to drink and cook with when taken from taps in urban areas. Not all tap water in rural areas is safe for consumption, so take precautions if necessary.
The responsibility to provide clean water rests with locally-
Tap water undergoes treatment which ensures it is free of harmful micro-
Should you find yourself in the unlikely position of not having clean water on hand, contaminated water can be disinfected by boiling for 10 minutes, or adding a teaspoon of bleach per 25 l or a teaspoon of chlorine granules per 200 l. In both the latter cases, allow the water to stand for 2 hours. Another method is to expose water to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours in a transparent container with a small airspace, shaking after filling and every hour after that.
Some tap and natural water may have a slight brown tinge from humic acid, which is harmless and does not affect drinking water quality in South Africa.The market for bottled water is growing, and supermarket shelves hold numerous brands, some of them well-
With the South African unit of currency, the Rand (ZAR), offering favourable exchange ratesagainst the world's hard currencies, your money and budget when in South Africa will go surprisingly far. You'll find your purchasing power with your pounds, dollars and euros, and those items you thought twice about back home will seem inexpensive here.
Check out the ‘Big Mac index’ when planning your holiday budget for South Africa. Budget 10% of total cost for tipping; anything from R100 to R500 for individual curios; R50-
The Rand is divided into 100 cents with coins in denominations of 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5. Notes come in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200
Travellers cheques take incredibly long to exchanged in a bank, bureau de change or hotels. Speak to your bank about a Travellex Card instead. Money can be withdrawn from ATM’s, of which there are many countrywide.
South Africa's main banks are ABSA Bank, First National Bank, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Capitec. Banking hours are generally 09h00-
All major credit cards are accepted in the country, particularly MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Most retail purchases carry a VAT levy of 15%, which is refunded to foreign tourists at departure points, subject to stipulated amounts spent, completion of the necessary forms, and presentation of original tax invoices.
For more information on VAT refunds, duty and duty-
Tipping in South Africa is widely practiced.
Here is some information on tipping in South Africa.
You'll soon find your way around tipping etiquette in South Africa -
South Africa -
1.2 mil km2
Pretoria, Cape Town & Bloemfontein
South African Rand (ZAR)
220/230 Volts AC 50 Hz
3 pin round (old UK format)
11 official, English understood everywhere
Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu & Buddhism
Johannesburg, Cape Town & Durban
On the LEFT