South Africa Travel Tips
Helpful Visitors Tips and Information when travelling your way around South Africa.
Health / Medical:
Passports / Visa:
Passports must be valid for six months after date of departure from South Africa. Visas are generally required. Visitors must have a return ticket.
Note: Holders of Visitors visas are not allowed to take up employment in South Africa. Unaccompanied children must hold written consent from their parents when travelling alone.
click here for a list of foreign consulates and embassies in South Africa.
South Africa is known to have a high incidence of crime, however, if visitors adhere to certain rules that are the same as for any big city in the world, they will be safe and have an enjoyable journey. Click here to view our safety information.
Shops are generally open from 08h00 – 18h00 on weekdays and 08:h30 – 14h00 on weekends. Most malls in the major city centres are open until 21h00 during weekdays and on weekends.
South Africa became one of the first countries in the world to ban smoking in public places in 2000. It prohibits smoking in restaurants, pubs, shopping centres and offices where there is no separate, enclosed smoking room. There are however designated smoking areas to be found around most establishments. Children under the age of 18 are also prohibited from entering designated smoking areas and purchasing cigarettes.
Taxis / Public Transport:
It is best to call for a taxi or shuttle service from the restaurant or accommodation establishment. Alternatively, ask the establishment to refer to a reputable shuttle / charter service in the area. Uber is only available in major city centres such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. A small tip is expected. Some centres have a good public bus system such as Cape Town with their MyCityBus. The Gautrain is a world-class transport system operating within and between Johannesburg, Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport.
Emergency Contact Nrs:
Police : 10111
Crimestop : 08600 10 111 – report criminal activity anonymously
Ambulance : 10177 (public ambulance service)
ER24 : 084 124 (private paramedic service)
Netcare : 082 911 (private paramedic service)
Fire Brigade : 998/999
Life Line : 086 132 2322
Mobile phone emergency number : 112
South African Tourism helpline : 083 123 6789
Arrive Alive Call Centre : 0861 400 800