South Africa operates two hours ahead of Greenwich. Meantime, throughout the year, it is an hour ahead of Central European Winter time, seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Winter time and seven hours behind Australian Central Time.
For the majority of foreign nationals who travel to South Africa for vacation, entry is straightforward and hassle-free. All visitors to South Africa must be in possession of a valid passport in order to enter the country. In some cases, a visa is required. Travelers from certain regions for the world (Scandinavia, Japan, USA, & most Western European & Commonwealth countries) do not need to formally apply for a visa. Upon arrival in South Africa, countries falling into this category will automatically be given a free entry permit sticker that outlines how long they may remain in the country. This automatic time period is according to the airline tickets held. Foreign nationals from some other countries are offered this service but only for a maximum of 30 days. If visitors want to stay for a longer period, they will have to formally apply for a visa, as opposed to relying to the automatic entry permit. However, it is important to note that under South Africa’s immigration Act of 2002, (Act.13 of 2002) in force since 7 Apr 2003, the passport shall contain at least ONE unused page when presenting the passport for endorsements. This requirement reflects the requirements of many of the world’s top travel destinations, in line with the majority of global destinations’ requirements and failure to have a clear page can result in refused entry.
To determine whether you require a visa to enter South Africa, visit the comprehensive South African Home Affairs Department website at: http://home-affairs.pwv.gov.za or http://www.dfa.gov.za/foreign/sa_abroad/index.htm
Your passport or travel documents must have at least 6 months validity.
BANKS & MONEY
The currency unit is the Rand, denoted by the symbol R, with 100 cents making up R1 (one Rand). Foreign currency can be exchanged at local banks and Bureau de Changes. Most major international credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and their affiliates are widely accepted.
It is the passengers responsibility to obtain all required travel documents, visas and permits, and for complying with the laws, regulations, orders, demands and other travel requirements of countries of origin, destination or transit.
We strongly recommend that you go to the IATA Travel Centre website http://www.iatatravelcentre.com for more information.
Most restaurants do not add a service charge to bills – thus it is customary to leave a 10-15% tip. Parking and petrol station attendants should be given whatever small change you have available. This is always appreciated, even though it may seem a small amount.
Value added tax (VAT) is charged on most items. Foreign tourists to South Africa can have their 14% VAT refunded provided that the value of the items purchased exceeds R250. VAT is refunded at the point of departure provided receipts are produced.
The seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are directly opposite to those of the Northern Hemisphere. For summer months, lightweight (Cottons and linens), short-sleeved clothes are best, although a light jersey/ jumper might be needed for the cooler evenings. Umbrellas and raincoats are essential for the summer and Western Cape winters. Warmer clothes are needed for the winter months.
South Africa’s electricity supply is 220/ 230 V, AC 50 Hz Exceptions: Pretoria (230 V) & Port Elizabeth (200/ 250V).
Most plugs have three round pins but some plugs with two smaller pins are also found on appliances. Adaptors can be purchased but may be in short supply. US-made appliances may need a transformer.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Many foreigners are unaware that South Africa has a well-developed infrastructure. High standards of water treatment and medical facilities equal to the best in the world. In many great medical disciplines, South Africa is a global leader. South African trained doctors are sought after all over the world, so this should give an indication of the standard of medical care available. There are large network of public and private hospitals countrywide, offering excellent service. However, clients must have adequate health insurance to cover the fees for hospitals charge.
For tourists, South Africa is as safe as any other destination in the world. South Africa boasts a vast array of cultures, communities, sites and attractions. Most parts of the country can be safely visited by tourists provided they take basic common-sense precautions (for example, not walking alone in deserted areas at night and being circumspect about how much photographic equipment or flashy jewelry you carry. Most of the crime that takes place in South Africa is between people who know each other and random acts of violence are the minority of cases. Most major cities run organized crime prevention programs. Basic Safety Tip Guidelines will be available at hotels and tourism information offices. If you are in doubt as to the safety of a particular area or attraction, contact the National Tourist Information & Safety Hotline on 083 123 2345. This number may also be used for practical assistance in replacing lost documents or reporting incidents.
Visitors who are entering South Africa from a yellow fever zone must have a valid international yellow fever inoculation certificate. Only infants under the age of one year are exempt. Immunization against cholera & small pox are not required and no other vaccinations are required when visiting South Africa.
Note: If you are departing from Hongkong – please consult the TRAVEL MEDICAL CENTRE either in Wanchai or Kowloon
For consultation and have the vaccination.
Malaria is found only in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo on the Maputaland cost of KwaZulu-Natal. Malaria is not much of a risk in winter months. Although the incidence of malaria is rare, it would be best to take adequate precautions if you choose to visit these areas.
The government has embarked on an extensive anti-malaria program (in co-operation with Swaziland & Mozambique) and the incidence of malaria is decreasing. One reassuring thing about malaria is that there is absolutely no way at all that you can contract it unless an infected mosquito has bitten you. With modern, insect repellants and common sense, one can reduce the chances of being bitten to close to zero. The cheapest, safest and most effective measures against malaria are physical barriers such as a mosquito net and the good use of insect repellants. If you decide to take malaria prophylaxis, it is essential that they take the drugs according to the directions on the package insert. You will need to start a week or two before entering a malaria-endemic area and should continue taking the drugs for four weeks after leaving the malaria risk area. It is advisable to consult a medical professional before embarking on a course of malaria prophylaxis. Note that expectant mothers should avoid malaria medications.
FOOD & WATER
Tap water in South Africa is safe to drink as it is treated and is free of harmful microorganisms. In hotels, restaurants and night pots, the standards of hygiene and food preparation are top notch. It is safe to eat fresh fruit and salads and to put as much ice as you like in your drinks – a good thing, too, after a day on the beach or in the bush.
The Transport infrastructure is excellent and the roads are in good condition. However, the distances between towns are significant. So if you’re planning to self-drive, it is a good idea to plan your itinerary to ensure that you don’t drive long distances at a time, as fatigue is the major cause of road accidents. Also, avoid long car journeys that necessitate driving at night. In some remote areas, the roads are not fenced so there may be stray animals on the road – this is very dangerous at night.
Tipping is considered as part of your guide’s income and depending on how satisfied you are with their service. Suggested US$ 3 per person per day traveling with a group and US$6 per person per day tipping for driver and the local guide(s) by traveling in a private tour.
YOUR TOUR ARRANGEMENTS
All land arrangements within South Africa are solely at the discretion of our land operators who control the final scheduling of sightseeing programs based on current situation of the day or period like weather, traffic condition etc…….
Those situations are not under our control and cannot be held responsible for sudden changes.
Terms & Conditions are based on our website : www.f56.com/Terms&Conditions.pdf
It’s absolutely essential to have adequate travel insurance covered, especially for the purposes of flight cancellation, delay or any other incidental cases occurred during the trip and to enjoy the journey with a peaceful mind.
Take the travel insurance that meets your needs and understand its coverage
HEALTH INFORMATION FOR TRAVELING ( FOR TRAVELLERS FROM HONGKONG )
OUTBOUND TRAVEL ALERT ( FOR TRAVELLERS FROM HONGKONG )
If you are traveling from Hongkong and would like to know more about the outbound
Travel alert please explore the website: http://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/ota/
If you are a Hongkong Resident holding a valid HKID card and have register a MyGovHK account,
you can use the ROTI which is free of charge. Or explore the website to register. http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/immigration/outsidehk/roti.htm
For more information about South Africa, please visit www.southafrica.net or www.safrica.info