Hopefully, the information on our site has already answered all of your questions. Here’s just a little bit more information that you may find useful before you travel to South Africa. Of course, if you have any further questions, just give us a call or drop us an email.
During the summer, you’ll be comfortable in lightweight clothes but you should still pack a jacket and closed shoes to be safe. Cape Town and all of the Western Cape are particularly known for their four-seasons-in-a-day weather. Johannesburg and the Kruger Park can experience heavy summer rains. Do make sure that you pack sunscreen. The African sun is extremely sun and it’s very easy to get sunburnt.
If you plan to visit South Africa in the winter, pack a few warmer layers, a coat and a pair of boots. Whilst you’re unlikely to see any snow, it can get surprisingly chilly, especially from June to August.
If you plan to go on safari whilst you’re in South Africa, remember to pack practical, lightweight clothing in neutral colours with a warm fleece or jacket for early morning game drives.
Wherever you plan to stay in South Africa and whatever time of year you plan to visit, be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes/boots. From pounding the city streets to hiking mountains, there is so much to see and do on foot.
Current weather: you can check the weather forecast for your planned dates here long and short range weather forecasts.
South Africa’s national currency is the South African Rand. Foreign currency can be readily exchanged at banks and bureaux de change but most travellers simply draw cash at ATMs (cash machines) which you’ll find throughout South Africa’s towns and cities. Not only is this far more convenient but ATMs also tend to offer a better rate of exchange.
We’d advise against carrying large quantities of cash, however, so for big purchases rather use your credit card. Most major credit cards (excluding Amex and Diners Club International) are widely accepted in shops, restaurants and hotels but are not always accepted at many petrol stations. You may want to consider getting a pre-paid MasterCard before you travel as with this form of card, there are no charges for using the Chip and Pin facility.
You can claim back the VAT on products you purchased in South Africa and are taking out the country (provided the total value of purchases exceeds R250) so be sure to keep your tax invoices and claim your cash back at the airport when you leave.
Exchange rates: check the current value of your currency against the South African Rand (ZAR) exchange rates
Tipping is customary in South Africa, although entirely at your discretion. At restaurants, the general guideline is 10 to 15% for good to excellent service; and if you’re driving around towns you’ll often find a yellow-bibbed ‘car guard’ who’ll keep an eye on your vehicle while it’s parked on the street in exchange for a couple of rand on your return. Similarly, the petrol stations in South Africa are not self-service. A member of staff will serve you at the pump and will often wash your front and back windscreens. It’s customary to give this staff member a tip of a couple of rand.