South Africa is a diverse country at the tip of Africa – the world’s second largest and most populous continent. Bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, and with a population of around 48 million, South Africa is truly part of the African continent, and eleven official languages are recognised in our Constitution.
With a long coastline that stretches more than 2,500 kilometres across two oceans, and a climate that ranges from desert to subtropical, South Africa is truly a unique place to visit.
The country has emerged from a turbulent past, and since the first democratic elections in 1994, unity is sought through diversity in a place where all people are now equal.
Oliver Tambo International Airport previously known as Johannesburg International Airport
Cape Town International Airport
Durban International Airport
Emergency from a landline – 107. From a mobile – 112
Fire department ( Cape Town ) 021 535 1100
Table Mountain National Park – Emergencies – 0861 106417
Visitor safety and support programme – 021 487 6552
Cape Town Tourism – 021 487 6800
21st March: Human Rights Day
10th April: Good Friday
13th April: Easter Monday
27th April: Freedom Day
1st May: Workers Day
16th June: Youth Day
9th August: National Women’s Day
24th September: Heritage Day
16th December: Day of Reconciliation
25th December: Christmas Day
26th December: Day of Goodwill
Malaria is found only in some parts of the Lowveld of Mpumalanga (including the Kruger National Park) and on the Maputaland coast of KwaZulu-Natal. It is advisable to take prophylactics before visiting these areas.
- When in the car, keep all doors locked and windows up at all times.
- When using an ATM be alert at all time. If you see something suspicious stop your transaction and leave.
- To avoid being mugged ensure that you carry your bag around your neck and diagonally across your body. Do not carry it hanging over one shoulder. Do not carry large amounts of cash on your person.
- When sightseeing, use only registered and qualified tour guides. Registered tour guides can be identified by a certificate that they carry.
It is also generally accepted to tip petrol pump attendants a small fee when filling up your car and likewise with ‘car guards’ who can generally be found in public areas / wherever there are parking spaces available. Between R2 – R5 is the norm.
The rand comes in a range of coins and note denominations of: R10, R50, R100 and R200.
Banking hours from Monday to Friday are generally 09h00 to 15h30. Some banks close at 16h00.
ATM’s are found almost everywhere. Visa and Mastercards can be used to withdraw money from ATMs, but check with your bank first.
Banks and Bureau de Change at major airports remain open until the last flight departs.
Please ensure that your driving licence is valid in South Africa. Should you have any doubts in this respect an International Drivers Licence should be acquired prior to arrival.
- Two litres of wine per person
- One litre of spirits and other alcoholic beverages
- 200 cigarettes per person
- 20 cigars per person
- 250g pipe tobacco per person
- 50ml perfume per person
- 250ml eau de toilette per person
- New or used goods not exceeding a total value of R 3000
- Allowances may not be pooled or transferred to another person