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Travel Information

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Entry Requiremnets

United States citizens must be in possession of a valid passport. Visas are not required for United States citizens. Two blank pages in your passport are required for entry into South Africa

Health Requirements

No inoculations are required if arriving direct from Europe or United States. Yellow Fever inoculation is required if arriving from an infected atea. Hepatitis "A" inoculation is recommended. Anti-malaria tablets are recommended if visiting game areas. Throughout South Africa, tap water is pure and safe to drink.

Currency

The currency unit in South Africa is the Rand - denoted by the symbol R, and R1 = 100 cents. Rates of exchange should be checked with your hotel or bank. Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and stores throughout the country.

Climate

South Africa is generally sunny and temperate throughout the year. Since the country lies south of the Equator, the seasons are the reverse of those in the northern himisphere. Winters (June/July) are usually mild although snow may occasionally fall on the highest mountain ranges of the Cape and Natal. Summer days (December/January) are warm with cool nights. Summer rain is the norm over most of the country, except for Cape Town which has a Mediterranean climate and gets its rain from May to August. 
September to March is the best time to enjoy a Mediteranean summer in Cape Town, while April to November is the ideal toime to visit the Kruger National Park and the neighbouring game reserves.

What to Wear

Dress for outdoor comfort during the day. Comfortable walking shoes, subdued-coloured safari outfits and sun hats are recommended for those visiting game parks. The dress code in some finer hotels and restaurants is semi-formal and men may be required to wear jackets and ties in occasional restaurants.

What to Buy

Native art work, such as Bantu wood carvings, pottery and beadwork is recommended, while gold and silver jewelry, leather or skin goods and clay figures are good buys. Cape Town is especially noted for its antiques and objects of historical interest. Department stores and shopping complexes are widespread throughout the country.

Santa Monica Collage - Cape of Good Hope

 

Shopping Hours

Most shops are open from 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday and on Saturdays until 1:00pm. Many of the majour shopping areas and moving toward longer weekend hours, including opening on Sundays. Check with your hotel concierge for details.

Language

There are 11 Official Languages of South Africa, although English is spoken widely.

Local Food and Wine

Most of the dishes served in restaurants are similar to those of Europe and America, but typical South African dishes include sosaties (a type of kebeb), bobotie (a curried dish), variouse bredies (meat and vegetable casseroles), crayfish (or rock lobster), and many other seafood dishes traditional to the Western Cape Province. The soil and Mediterranean-type climate of the Western Cape produces very fine wines, ranking among the world's best.

Tipping

If not included, it is customary to tip 10% to the following: taxi drivers, waitresses, waiters, stewards and delivery persons. Hotel, airport and railway porters are usually given $1.00 tip. On safari, approximately $5.00 per person per day, or more if service is above-average.

Taxes

There is a current general sales tax (VAT) of 14% levied on all goods and services manufactures or rendered within South africa. The International Departure Tax is R24 for domestic, R57 for passengers travelling to any other country.

Voltage

City and town power systems are 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second.

Last modified on Tuesday, 30 August 2011 05:31


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