Good to Know
Time difference: South African time is GMT+2 throughout the year. Therefore, South Africa is one hour ahead of France in winter. In summer, however, the time in Paris is the same as in South Africa.
Practices and Dress code: There is no need to dress up like a professional ranger to visit the reserves, but the browns or beiges of traditional safari outfits have their advantages. Subdued colours are less disturbing to the animals. When in the open vehicles used by the private parks, wear a hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunblock. At night, long sleeves, long pants and socks will help protect you from mosquitoes.
Telephone: The code for South Africa is 0027. To phone a South African number from abroad, replace the 0 at the beginning of the number with 0027.
Example: to call 081 260 3148, dial 0027 81 260 3148.
Once in South Africa you can simply dial the number with the original zero.Example: 081 260 3148.
To call a foreign number from within South Africa dial 00 (or + on a cell phone), indicating an international call, followed by the code of the country to which you are calling (e.g. 32 for Belgium, 33 for France, or 41 for Switzerland), and then the number you wish to call, simply omitting the zero in front of the original number.
Example: to call 01 10 20 30 40 in France, dial 00 33 1 10 20 30 40.
Currency: The currency used in South Africa is the South African Rand, the international symbol being ZAR (1ZAR = 100cents). The Rand is printed in bills of 200, 100, 50, 20, and 10.
Cash: Do not keep too much cash on your person. You can easily draw money as you need it from ATM's, which are found everywhere. (If you struggle to find an ATM you will find one at the nearest petrol station.) You will be able to draw between R2000 and R3000 at a time. The ATM's operate 24/7.
Rules of the Road
In South Africa we drive on the left-hand side of the road, and our cars – rental cars included – are right-hand drive vehicles.
Keep to the left and pass right
All distances, speed limits (and speedometers) are in kilometers.
There are strict drinking and driving laws - with a maximum allowable alcohol blood content of 0.05%. Translated that means about one glass of wine for the average woman and perhaps 1.5 or two for the average or large man.
Four-way-stops are commonly found at the quieter intersections – the first vehicle to arrive has priority. On roundabouts, give way to the right, although this is often overlooked and it is wise to proceed with caution.
Wearing of seat belts is compulsory. All occupants of a vehicle are required to wear seatbelts whilst traveling, if you are caught without you will be subject to a fine.
Using hand-held phones while driving is against the law – use a vehicle phone attachment or hands-free kit, if you want to speak on your mobile phone.
The general speed limit on national highways, urban freeways and other major routes is 120km/h (75mph).
On secondary (rural) roads it is 100km/h (60mph).
In built-up areas it is usually 60km/h (35mph) unless otherwise indicated.
Malaria is a parasitic infection of the red blood cells. It can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
In South Africa malaria is found in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the north-eastern part of KwaZulu-Natal. The peak period is between September and May.
If you travel to a malaria risk area you must:
• prevent mosquito bites throughout the year
• take prevention drugs from September to May.
Avoid mosquito bites:
• stay indoors between dusk and dawn
• wear long sleeves, long trousers and socks
• apply insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin
• close doors and windows or protect them with screens
• switch on fans or air conditioners
• use a mosquito-proof bed net
• spray the inside of the house with an aerosol insecticide
• use mosquito mats or coils during the night
• treat clothes with an insecticide registered for this purpose.
Consult with a doctor to prescribe the correct medication.
For further info see:
Pregnant women and children under five should not travel to malaria risk areas.
TEMPERATURES CAPE TOWN
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As of 29 April 2019 children travelling into, through and out of SA are required to produce an unabridged birth certificate.
The updated TIMATIC advisory reads as follows: TIMATIC-3 / 29APR19 / 0801 UTC VISA FULL TEXT FOR: SOUTH AFRICA (ZA) Minors:
• Minors younger than 18 Years, to/from South Africa:
1. With both parents, if the minor’s surname is not the same as both parents, must hold an original or a copy of a birth certificate or a passport containing the details of the parents?
2. With 1 parent, must hold an original or a copy of a birth certificate and a parental consent letter from the absent parent or legal guardian containing a copy of his/her passport or identity document and his/her contact details. Alternatively, the following will be required:
• A letter of special circumstances
• A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or full legal guardianship to the present parent.
• In case the other parent is deceased, then a death certificate will be required.
• In case the name of 1 parent only (Mother or Father) is on the birth certificate, then the parent must hold an original or a copy of a birth certificate containing information about the parent only.
1. With an adult other than a parent, must hold an original or a copy of a birth certificate and parental consent letters, copies of identification documents and his/her contact details or a letter of special circumstances, a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or full legal guardianship to the present parent. In case the other parent is deceased, a death certificate. In case the name of 1 parent only (mother or father) is on the birth certificate, the adult must hold an original or a copy of a birth certificate containing information about the parent only. Documents of parents/legal guardians will include the contact details of parents/legal guardians and contact details of the person in whose care the minor will be.
2. When travelling as a primary or secondary school tour with a teacher or a trainer, a letter of consent from the school principal is required, confirming that consent letters from all parents are held by the school, together with an ID/passport copy of the accompanying teacher or trainer.
3. Unaccompanied minors must hold an original or a copy of a birth certificate and a parental consent letter containing a copy of his/her/their passport/s or identity document/s and his/her/their contact details (or consent from one parent together with a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship or death certificate) A letter from the person receiving the minor in South Africa will also be required, containing address and contact details as well as a copy of the identification document of the person receiving the minor, including visa/residence permit (if required).
Passengers arriving without the required birth certificate will be granted a period of 24 hours to obtain it. All documents must be in English, except for the birth certificate. The parental consent letter must be issued within 6 months prior to the date of travel. Adopted children who do not have a birth certificate containing the information of the adoptive parents must hold an adoption order. This does not apply to South African minors travelling to South Africa:
• This does not apply to holders of a valid visa
• This does not apply to holders of a temporary residence permit issued by South Africa
• This does not apply to minors in transit in South Africa
Safety / Protection against Criminals
When driving anywhere in South Africa, try to apply the following safety precautions:
Always drive with your doors locked and windows wound up, especially when stopped at traffic lights.
Don't ever stop to pick up hitchhikers, however innocent, lost or appealing they look. If you are worried about someone's plight, stop at the next town and report it to someone there.
Do not leave anything valuable on show in your car when you leave it unattended, and always lock your car when you leave it, even if you are only going to be gone for a few minutes.
Try to always park in a busy, well-lit area.
Take advice from your hosts where you are staying, and ask if there are any areas that tourists should avoid driving through
Do not confront aggressive or abusive road users.
If possible avoid traveling at night or in remote areas.
Thieves have been known to employ various methods to make a vehicle stop, enabling them to rob the occupants. One such method is the placing of large stones in the middle of the road. In the circumstances it is prudent to carefully drive around the stones or obstacle, rather than stop the vehicle.
General tourism and road safety tips for driving in South Africa
If you need directions it is best to stop at a petrol station and ask the attendants.
Always respect the warnings on road signs – be aware that the roads in many rural areas are not fenced, so you could find dogs, chickens, sheep and even horses or cows on the road, so it may be dangerous to drive at night.
Large antelope crossing the road can also be a hazard in certain areas – watch out for the road signs depicting a leaping antelope, and take it slowly, especially towards evening.
In Case of Emergency
When you need assistance, kindly call the following numbers
ER24 - 084 124
Arrive Alive Call Centre 0861 400 800
Netcare 911 082 911
If you are calling from a mobile you can also get emergency services by dialling 112.
More information / Contact Us