SeasonsHigh (Summer) from October to April
Low (Winter) from May to September
Credit cardsMost shops, restaurants and hotels will accept credit cards.
MedicalTravellers must have their own medical insurance in order before arriving in South Africa. Any medical service rendered will have to be paid directly to the medical practitioner or hospital. You can then claim on your insurance when you return home.
Public hospitals tend to be crowded, but the standard of treatment is relatively high.
TippingIn some restaurants service charges are included in the final bill however this is not always the case. Where service charges are not included, a 10% tip is the norm.
Hotel cleaning staff and porters would welcome gratuities for good service. A guideline is R2 to R3 per item of luggage for porters.
ElectricityThe standard power source is 200/230v.
It would be best to bring an international adaptor or transformer with you.
ClimateGenerally our summers are hot and dry; winters are never too cold.
The Cape has a traditional Mediterranean climate. Although Cape Town winters have days of rain and wind, they often produce perfect temperate days or even weeks.
Vat/TaxVAT is levied at 14% on goods and services. Foreign tourists visiting South Africa can have their sales tax paid at a port of exit i.e. airport, provided the value of the items purchased exceeds R250. Proof of payment for all items purchased during their stay must be available. To qualify for a refund, the visitors must be in possession of a valid passport, necessary forms and till slips. Items purchased will need to be produced at airport when claiming refunds.
Private HospitalsSouth Africa has a highly developed and specialised private healthcare system.
Private hospitals generally offer a lot more comfort and individual attention however are more expensive; still cheap by world standards.
TravellingIt is highly recommended for travellers to use registered metered taxis only or hire a car. Avoid using informal taxi’s.
South Africa has an excellent road network, generally well sign posted. Traffic on long distance journeys is minimal.
There is an extensive, reliable domestic flight network within South Africa.
SafetyAs in most countries, travellers are advised to take the necessary safety precautions:
- Do not walk alone in the city after dark.
- Lock all valuables in the hotel safety deposit box.
- Keep car doors locked.
- Use credit cards when shopping rather than carry large sums of cash.
- Don’t look too obviously like Tommy the Tourist i.e., don’t carry large camera around neck, flash large sums of money around, look at maps while walking around, etc.
CurrencyThe local currency is Rand; there are 100 cents to a Rand. For the latest international exchange rates, please click here.There are foreign exchange outlets, ATM’s and banks wherever you need them.
InsuranceIt is always advisable to take out the necessary insurance prior to your departure for South Africa.
MalariaThe regions affected are mainly the Northern Province and Mpumalanga, Northern Natal and Zululand. Standard precautions need to be taken, i.e. malaria tablets, good insect repellent particularly in the evening, long-sleeved shirts and mosquito coils.
There is no malaria in the Cape Province, Garden Route or Eastern Cape.
International diallingTo call South Africa from abroad, add the prefix +27 and then the local dialling code i.e. to call Cape Africa Tours in Cape Town, dial: +27 21 685 2150
To call the UK from Cape Town, dial: 0944 + area code + telephone number.