The unit of currency is the Rand, which is divided into 100 cents. There are many commercial banks in South Africa and most are easily accessible. Bank hours are Mondays to Fridays 09h00 – 15h30 and on Saturdays 08h30 – 11h00. Major hotels have foreign currency facilities. Most shops, lodges and travel agencies will accept travellers cheques. Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club credit cards are accepted almost everywhere except garages. Fuel payments must be made in cash. As you are not allowed to leave South Africa with more than R500.00 in cash, you must therefore carry the balance of your spending money in traveller’s cheques.
There is currently a departure tax of R25.00 per internal sector per person and R80.00 for international departures. These are usually included in your itinerary.
Gratuities of 10% are normal for hotels and restaurant staff, porters and taxi drivers.
Required by all except for holders of United Nations Convention Travel documents. Please ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after the date of your holiday. If you are travelling with guest children under 12 you must travel with an original birth certificate and written authorization from the parent or guardian.
VISAS – ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Citizens of the following countries do NOT require visas: UK, Ireland, Switzerland, West Germany, Liechtenstein and America. Citizens of countries not mentioned must apply for visas. Please check with your local immigration office if in any doubt as the situation changes frequently.
Visitors are strongly advised to take precautions against Malaria especially if travelling to Mpumalanga, Northern KwazuluNatal and Limpopo Provinces. Always consult your GP prior to departure regarding recommended inoculations. There are no mandatory inoculation for entry in to South Africa but you will need a Yellow Fever Certificate if you have been to or touched down en route a country that is registered with Yellow Fever, such as Zambia/Tanzania/Kenya.
Universal time +2
ELECTRICITY 230 V AC 50 Hz. You should bring an international plug converter.
WHAT TO WEAR
In summer (October to March) lightweight clothes are essential, with a light sweater sometimes for the evenings. Take a raincoat and an umbrella for the short showers. In the winter (May to September) temperatures can drop to zero. Always take precautions against the sun (even in winter). Sun lotion, sunglasses and sun hat are essential items as are insect repellent and comfortable footwear. If you are travelling on the Blue Train/Rovos Rail or staying at five star hotels, a jacket and tie is required in the evenings.
A valid international drivers licence or (valid British EU/USA drivers licences are accepted). You must have bot sections of the licence and generally be over 21 and less than 80 years of age. The speed limit is 120km on motorways and 100km on minor roads. The standard of driving generally leaves a lot to be desired but road conditions are generally good. Nearly all the dirt roads are passable, well maintained and accessible by saloon car. It is customary to pull over to the left on to the hard shoulder before being overtaken. Please be particularly wary of taxis/minibuses, which can act irrationally. Petrol and diesel are readily available and garages on main routes have a 24hr service.
The choice of the correct camera equipment will determine the quality of your photos on your trip. For good photography of birds and animals, a telephoto lens is best.
“Land Mammals of South Africa – A Field Guide” – Smithers. “A Brush with the Wild” – Paul Augustinus. “Birds of Prey of Southern Africa” – Peter Steyn “Birds of Southern Africa” – Ken Newman “Discovering South Africa” – T.V. Bulpin. “Field Guide to the Natal Drakensberg” – Dave and Par Irwin. “African Wildlife Safari” – Camerapix. “Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa” – Readers Digest 4th Edition. “Journey through South Africa” – Gerald Cubitt & Peter Joyce. “South Africa the Beautiful” – Struik Publishers.