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 neighboring 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. They must also have valid international health certificates.
No international immunization is needed when entering South Africa.
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. Visitors who travel through or disembark in these areas are advised to be inoculated against the disease before visiting South Africa.
This disease is to the larger extent under control in 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.
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.
220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Three pronged plugs are universal, so take an adapter. 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, 2c, & 1c. Currency exchange rates are available at banks and published daily in the press.
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%.
Most international traveler’s checks are accepted provided they are in an acceptable currency and may be cashed at most banks. Many hotels and shops also 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.
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.