Requirements for entering South Africa can be found on the South African Department of Home Affairs website dha.gov.za.
Passports MUST be valid for a minimum of six months from your return home date. There must be a minimum of TWO BLANK VISA pages in the passport (not endorsement pages). Guests have been refused entry due to not having sufficient visa pages in their passports. It is better to have THREE OR FOUR BLANK Pages if you are visiting more than one African country.
*Children under the age of 18* – MUST HAVE AN ORIGINAL OR UNABRIDGED BIRTH CERTIFICATE, even if the minor is travelling with both parents. If your child is travelling with only one parent, or with an adult who is not their parent or legal guardian, you MUST ALSO provide an affidavit providing permission from the other parent for children to travel, signed within 3 months of the travel date.
- Proof of payment
- Full Name (as in the Passport)
- Passport Number
- Date of Issue
- Date of Expiry
- Travel Dates
Taxis and Public Transport
• Taxis: Sedan-type taxicabs. These do not cruise for fares and should be booked by phone (or one can go to a taxi rank). Most have meters; if there is no meter be sure to negotiate the fare in advance. It is best to consult the hotel reception for reliable taxi services, and there may be a taxi rank just outside the hotel.
• Minibus-type taxis cruise for fares along main roads, and are cheap and popular with the locals. However, they are definitely not recommended as many are poorly maintained (regulation is weak) and equally poorly driven.
• Buses are safe but infrequent and do not cover all routes.
• Hire cars are a convenient option when travelling out of the city and offer maximum flexibility – major rental companies operate out of airport and city centre depots
• Uber is usually efficient and affordable.
• Bicycles: Cape Town has become a very bike-friendly city, with dedicated bike lanes in most areas and some of the world’s biggest cycle races hosted here.
• The Cape Town City Sightseeing Bus is an awesome way to see the city at your own pace as you jump on and off at your leisure. The MyCiti bus is another quick and easy way to get around the city and surrounds.
Cape Town International Airport
Cape Town International Airport (CPT) is located 20 km (12 miles) east of Cape Town City Center and is linked to Cape Town via the N2 Freeway. Allow plenty of time for travel to the airport for your departing flights to allow for severe traffic, particularly during peak business hours.
As in most countries, common sense should be used. Visitors should avoid walking alone in deserted areas, particularly at night, and use hotel safe-deposit facilities for valuables. Be on the alert for petty thieves in busy streets and markets and avoid wearing ostentatious jewelry in these places. Items such as cameras and backpacks/rucksacks should be secured with a strap and not carelessly dangled by the hand. When walking or riding a bicycle it is advised to look both ways at street crossings, as cars drive on the opposite side of the road. When drawing money, avoid using ATMs at night and try to find ATMs inside of a bank whenever possible.
Unfortunately, there have been incidents of theft of personal belongings from checked-in luggage at Johannesburg airport in the past. Although authorities are addressing this, it is best to be cautious and we advise guests not to pack do not put anything of high value (personal or financial) in checked-in baggage.
The unit of currency is the South African Rand (ZAR). Cape Town International Airport has a 24-hour foreign exchange service, as well as various cash machines. There is an abundance of cash machines and foreign exchange outlets throughout Cape Town and the vast majority of retail outlets and service providers in the city offer credit card facilities.
Coins: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2, R5. Notes: R10, R20, R50, R100 (R200 bills printed on or before 2005 are not legal tender)
Visitors are advised to be cautious when drawing cash from machines that are on the streets and not within banks or secure buildings, particularly after dark.
VAT (Value Added Tax)
South Africa is the country with the second highest number of officially recognized languages – 11 in total, which include Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English, Northern Sotho, Tswana, Sotho, Tsonga, Swati, Venda and Ndebele. English is widely spoken throughout the region.
Average summer temperatures: 24 degrees C / 75 degrees F
• Cape Town is a malaria-free area, though malaria is present in some regions of South Africa.
• Yellow Fever vaccination certificates are required for entry to South Africa if coming from a Yellow Fever infected country.
• Emergency Medical Cover & Comprehensive Travel Insurance – We highly recommend comprehensive travel and emergency medical insurance. Medical services in recognized medical centers and hospitals are good but costly.
South Africa is home to a large variety of mobile network providers with the most popular being: Cell C, Vodacom, Virgin Mobile, MTN South Africa and Telkom. Both Pay As You Go SIM cards and contract deals are available. To sign up for a mobile phone contract in South Africa, you will need to be a resident. If you are visiting South Africa short term, most major international phones work in the country.
Cape Town offers the V & A Waterfront – an area with over 450 retail outlets. Cape Town is also prime area for market shopping; it is home to the Greenmarket Square, which is one of the most well-known fixed markets in Cape Town. Retail stores generally close between 5-6pm while shops along the V&A Waterfront tend to stay open a bit later into the evening.
Restaurants in the Cape Town are representative of the diverse cultures present in South Africa. In a single neighborhood, visitors can find several varieties of Pan-African, Chinese cookery, Japanese, Moroccan, French, Portuguese, Malay and Indian food. Not far away are Congolese restaurants, Greek, even Brazilian and Korean establishments.
• Biltong: Dried, salted meat
• Bobotie: South Africa’s version of Shepherd’s pie
• Boerewors: Hand-made farm sausages, grilled on an open flame
• Braai: Roasted meat, similar to American “barbecue” in American
• Sosatie: Traditional Cape Malay dish of meat (usually lamb or mutton) cooked on skewers
While South Africa has no legislation regarding tipping, if a service charge is not charged, tipping @ 10% of the total restaurant or bar bill is customary and appreciated. If you are including a safari in your travel to South Africa, contact us for detailed tipping recommendations.