Travel Information on South Africa
Tourism Useful Contacts
Tourism Office - +27 (0) 11 895 3000
Kruger Lowveld Tourism +27 (0) 13 755 1988
Police - 10111
Fire Brigade - 1022
Ambulance - 10222
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 15h30 and Saturdays from 09h00 to 11h00. Banks are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Always pack layers of clothes. Whilst the summers in the Lowveld are very hot in the high 40's, and winter very low in the 5 - 9 degrees, the weather can change within hours either way, especially of more recent years. Layers give you the option of warming up or cooling down. Always have a warm jacket and a beanie for the autumn, winter, and spring seasons. South Africa, the properties are built for the warmth and open living. Insulated buildings, central heating systems, etc, is not as standardised here as in other western countries.
Country Entry Requirements
Requirements may vary from time-to-time, subject to the South African and other Country requirements. It is best to make contact directly with both to ascertain country entry requirements.
For example, for some countries, such as citizens from the United Kingdom, entry permits are currently issued on arrival from many British Commonwealth countries and are usually valid for anything up to a maximum of 90 days from arrival (at the time of writing, and always subject to change at any time).
The Rand is South Africa's currency and is denoted by the R or ZAR (The South African Rand). 100 (cents) make up R1 (One Rand). Most outlets accept MasterCard and Visa Credit or Debit Card and most mainstream cards. The use of ATM's throughout South Africa is widely accepted. Cash is mainly only used for tips and not major transactions. Not all outlets accept American Express or Diners Card. Travellers Cheques are rarely used any more.
Foreign currency can be exchanged at most banks and Bureaux de Change, but charges usually apply.
There is a wide network of hospitals, both public and private, throughout the country offering excellent services. International visitors should make sure they have travel insurance with adequate health insurance cover to assist in paying for private hospital fees. If you are entering a Malaria area, medical precautions should be taken. Tap water is safe and clean to drink in most areas, but most tourists tend to prefer to take bottled water.
There are 11 official languages in South Africa. English is spoken throughout South Africa and most businesses and banks communicate in English.
Cases of malaria is known within the Lowveld. It is always best to prevent bites than to treat them. Seek advice from your resident country Travel Clinic or your local Doctor well in advance of your travelling. Check with them the best malaria care, its side effects, etc. The responsibility remains with the traveller to obtain all necessary health checks and precautions for travelling.
Taxes and Refunds
All goods and services are priced to include value added tax of 14%. Visitors to South Africa may reclaim VAT at their point of departure provided receipts are produced. This is for all goods purchased in South Africa. Note, you may be asked to provide sight of the goods, but the onus is that you must be able to produce the receipt for the goods you intent to reclaim tax on. Total value of purchases must be over R250.00 to reclaim VAT.
Standard of living and the level of poverty and deprivation in rural and high density settlements remains very low. Unemployment and low minimum wage remains an issue. It is highly encouraged to tip generously. Bring small notes such as R10 and R20 rand for your airport luggage handlers, car guards, etc. Restaurants usually minimum of 10% to 20% if you are very happy with the cuisine and the service. Hospitality also generous tipping is appreciated.