IMPORTANT NEW INFORMATION FOR VISITORS TO SOUTH AFRICA

Please take note of the new regulations regarding travelling to South Africa with children which have been announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs for implementation on 01 June 2015. These regulations apply to all travellers, foreign as well as South African, on departure as well as on arrival. Kindly read the regulations in full here – what follows is merely a short summary.

NEW REGULATIONS RELATING TO TRAVEL TO AND FROM SOUTH AFRICA WITH CHILDREN

– Both parents travelling with child(ren) under the age of 18 years must produce a full/unabridged birth certificate for the child, and both parents’ details must appear on the certificate. In the case of adopted children, an adoption certificate is required.

– One parent travelling with child(ren) must have an unabridged birth certificate reflecting details of the parents of the child, as well as consent from the other parent in the form of an affidavit or custody agreement confirming permission to travel with child(ren).

– One parent travelling with child(ren) when the other parent is deceased, must produce death certificate of the deceased parent.

– Legal guardians travelling with child(ren) to supply court order granting parental responsibilities.

– Persons travelling with child(ren) who are not their biological children must provide unabridged birth certificates, affidavits from parents giving permission for child(ren) to travel, copies of identity documents or passports and contact details of the parents or legal guardians of the child.

Failure to provide these documents can result in being denied entry.

NEW ENTRY, EXIT AND VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR SOUTH AFRICA

• Passport must be valid for at least 30 days after intended date of departure from South Africa.
• Passport must have two blank ‘visa’ pages (please note that blank ‘endorsement’ pages will not suffice).
• Visitors to South Africa for tourism, short business meetings or transit: no visa needed for up to 90 days. No extension available on tourism visas.
• All other travellers need visas. Apply in person in the country of your ordinary residence or citizenship.
• A change of visitor visa status is not possible while in South Africa, so visitors intending to work in South Africa must apply for work visas before arrival in South Africa.
• Overstaying a visa expiry date can result in being declared undesirable and being barred from entering South Africa for a specific period of time.

GENERAL INFORMATION

BANKING HOURS
08h30-15h30 Monday -Friday  |  08h00-11h00 Saturday
Closed Sunday

Automatic teller machines (ATM) are situated outside most banks in towns and cities and operate 24 hours a day

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
1 January New Year’s Day
21 March Human Rights Day
10 April Good Friday
13 April Family Day
27 April Freedom Day
1 May Workers Day
16 June Youth Day
9 August National Women’s Day
10 August Public Holiday
24 September Heritage Day
16 December Day of Reconciliation
25 December Christmas Day
26 December Day of Goodwill

BORDER POSTS
Motorists who wish to travel from South Africa to neighbouring countries should contact the Department of Home Affairs website (http://home-affairs.pwv.gov.za/) for details of the opening and closing times of the relevant border posts.

CLIMATE
The climate is generally sunny and pleasant. Winters are mild in certain areas, with snow falls on the mountain ranges of the Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Cold spells can be expected throughout the country. Since South Africa lies south of the equator, the seasons are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere. South Africa is sub-tropical warm and generally dry. January temperatures on the central plateau reach 20 – 25 degrees Celcius. In winter they fall to a 15 degrees Celsius or lower. Much of the area is dry. The plateau is semi-arid with meagre summer rains and the western coast is a cool desert with only patch and irregular rainfall.

CREDITS CARDS: Major international credit cards such as MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Visa are widely accepted.

LOCAL TIME: GMT +2

MEASUREMENTS: Metric System

CURRENCY: Rands = 100 cents

CUSTOM ALLOWANCES:
400 cigarettes, 250 grams of tobacco and 50 cigars, one litre of spirit, two litres of wine, 50 ml of perfume and 250 ml of toilet water. Also, gifts, souvenirs and all other goods to the value of R 500.00. No person under 18 is entitled to the alcohol or tobacco allowance. Duty is levied at 20% thereafter.

DRINKING WATER: Tap water is safe to drink in most areas

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUES: Valid at banks, hotels and restaurants and shops.

WHAT TO WEAR: In the South African summer, lightweight clothing is worn, and in winter a jacket, jersey or coat are needed, particularly in the evenings. Some establishments stipulate “smart casual”- a collard-shirt and slacks or a blouse and skirt. At game reserves, neutral colours, such as browns, beige’s and khakis are preferred on game drives. Bright colours or white may disturb the animals. Pack a warm jacket, scarf and hat for your safari, as the early morning and evening game drives are chilly. A sun hat is also required for the hot African sun, and use sunblock liberally. Take sensible shoes – closed shoes for walking, as well as sandals in the summer months.

WHAT TO TAKE: A camera or camcorder is essential. Batteries and film are generally available in main centres. Equip yourself with insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes when visiting the game reserves.

TELEPHONE CODES: The international code for South Africa is 27, which should be preceded by your international prefix. When dialling from outside South Africa the ‘0’ at the front of the local area code should be omitted, but should be used when dialling within the country. When dialling international numbers from within South Africa the international dialling code should be prefixed with ’09’.

SMOKING LAWS: Kindly note that in accordance with South African law, smoking is prohibited in public areas and buildings, unless they are specifically designated as smoking areas. Such designated smoking areas are provided at certain hotels.