South Africa Travel Tips
If you travel from a country where it is a requirement to apply for a visa to South Africa, make sure you arrange this on time and have at least one empty page in your passport, if not you may be turned away.
Visas are not issued at South Africa’s ports of entry and if you arrive without a visa, the immigration officials will refuse you entry into the country. If you will be travelling from or through the yellow belt of Africa or South America, please ensure that you also have your yellow fever certificate/s.
Passport holders from certain countries and regions are not required to submit a visa for their stay in South Africa of LESS THAN 90 days. For a full list of these countries, click here.
South Africa is a relatively dry country with warm weather. While the Western Cape receives rainfall during winter, the rest of the provinces have rainfall in the summer.
The summer season is from mid-October to mid-February over much of South Africa, and if you will be outdoors or tanning on the beach, make sure you use sun protection (block/lotion) and that you reapply after swimming or if you will be exposed to sunlight throughout the day.
- Make a copy of your passport and keep that with you in case it goes missing.
- Obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.
- Keep your personal belongings such as money, watches, rings, laptops/ipads etc, in the hotel’s safe when you’re not in the room.
- Request a map of the city from the hotel staff.
- Save the contact number of a next-of-kin as ICE (In Case of Emergency) on your cell phone. The nationwide emergency number is 10111 and in Cape Town you can dial 107 for an emergency or 021 480 7700 from a cell phone.
- If you’re travelling outside the city or just travelling alone, inform at least one person of your plans and whereabouts.
- Keep your cell phone with you at all times and ensure it is fully charged.
- Keep your camera in a camera case when it’s not in use.
- Stay hydrated and drink enough water.
- Make sure you have the driving directions to your hotel from the airport before you land.
- If you will be driving in a rental vehicle and the car has no built-in GPS, hire one with your rental car.
- Cars drive on the left and pass on the right.
- Ask the hotel staff about meter taxis and the best means of transport or ask them to arrange it for you.
- In terms of the Road Traffic Act the speed limit is 60km/h on public roads in an urban area; 100km/h on public roads outside an urban area; and 120km/h on the freeway (highway). Please note that speed limits may vary for public roads in the rest of the Western Cape.
- Don’t drink and drive, rather call your hotel to arrange for a taxi.
- Weather-appropriate clothing.
- Suncreen and walking shoes.
- Prescribed pharmaceutical drugs.
- Important documents (passport).
- Region-specific adapter, spectacles and contact lenses
- Camera and mobile phone