South Africa is the southernmost country of the African continent and the landscapes you will find there are unique! If you are travelling to the country soon, these are recommendations that you have to consider when going to South Africa!
Tips for travelling to South Africa
When it comes to travelling, regardless of the destination country, you have to take into account different aspects, such as things related with health, currency, safety or the time zone – we are going to give you some tips for travelling to South Africa!
1. Necessary documentation for travelling to South Africa
The most important thing when we are travelling is to have our documents in order. The first thing you have to do is to check that your passport is up-to-date and also, to see that it will be valid for at least 30 days from the date on which you have scheduled your return. In the case of South Africa, you can be in the country without a visa for up to 90 days. As soon as you go over their border – you need two blank pages in this document – and it will show therein the date when you have to leave the territory. If by any chance you have not scheduled the return date, keep this in mind.
2. Vaccines in South Africa
Depending on your departure country, you will need different vaccines. A lot of people try to find out which vaccines are needed for South Africa; well, in the case of Spain, no certificate of vaccination is needed and it shall be required only in the case of coming from a country where yellow fever exists. For further help, you just have to go onto the Ministry of Health website from your country or the appropriate governmental agency to see which vaccines you need and have your immunisation records up to date. To clear up any doubts, consult your doctor.
3. Health insurance
Regarding health recommendations to travel to South Africa, it is advisable to get health insurance. Healthcare in the country is very good, but it is also very expensive.
4. Other health recommendations to consider
Regarding HIV, the number of people with HIV in South Africa is very high, so preventive measures should be taken. Regarding malaria, it is found in limited areas of South Africa so, whether you travel there or not, it is better to take the medication. However, ask your GP.
5. The currency of South Africa
The currency of South Africa is the rand (ZAR) and when changing your currency for local currency, the best option is to go to a bank. However, if you want to avoid the trip to the bank then use your credit card directly at any local ATM. We advise you to get enough cash so that you do not have to go back and therefore save on the commission. Of course, be careful when getting money out and keep it in a safe place where you are staying.
6. Giving Tips
When you are about to pay, keep in mind that tips are taken for granted and they are usually 10% of the bill. Don’t forget.
7. Time Zone
The Time Zone in South Africa is GMT+2, that means, South Africa’s time is one hour later than Madrid (Spain), five more than Santiago de Chile (Chile), or five more than Buenos Aires (Argentina). This is important when taking a flight, or taking on other services.
8. Weather in South Africa
As we have already said, South Africa is the southernmost country of the African continent, therefore, it is in the Southern hemisphere. Christmas is celebrated in short sleeves and on the beach! So, what type of clothes should you take for your trip? It all depends on what time of the year you visit South Africa. If you come from November to February, summer clothing; if you come from June to September, winter clothing. The rest of the months are spring and autumn, come with all-weather clothing.
9. Tips for travelling to South Africa related to safety
Regarding safety, the precautions that you need to take depend on the area you are going to be in. Johannesburg is not a really dangerous city, but Cape Town is not the same. Cape Town is the 15th city in the 2017 ranking of the most dangerous cities in the world, but this does not mean that something will happen to you. The authorities recommend you never walk alone (day or night), that you carry photocopies of identification documents instead of originals, not carry a lot of cash or brag about carrying valuables and talking with local people to find out about the areas that are best to avoid. Beyond that, everything will be fine.
10. How to get around in South Africa?
When you are moving around, renting a car is the most advisable option for safety reasons. Once you have your car, remember to lock it and do not leave anything inside the vehicle. Moreover, renting a car in South Africa will allow you to move whenever and wherever you want. It is important to keep in mind that in South Africa they drive on the left, so you have to be very careful to avoid accidents. To be able to drive you need the international driving license.
11. Internet use
Finally, the use of the Internet and/or mobile. You can buy a local SIM card, but it is actually not necessary. If you are going to be in South Africa for a couple of days it will be enough to have your normal SIM card and then disconnect data on arrival as Wi-Fi is almost everywhere, so you will be able to get on Internet whenever you want.
Well, there is only one thing left to do – pack your suitcases! If you follow our recommendations on travelling to South Africa, everything will be alright! You’ll see how much you enjoy the country!