Travel Essentials

Before you go…

You are responsible for having the right travel documents for entry into South Africa as well as any neighbouring countries that your holiday itinerary may take you to (Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana). Please be sure that you make sure that your passport is up to date as whilst we will do our best to assist you, we cannot be responsible for ‘non entry’ due to any incorrect travel documents.

Below are a few important points to take note of for all passport holders – visa requirements do vary according to the origin of your passport so do check this. The airline will refuse boarding should your passport not meet the criteria below – it has happened so do not try to risk this please.

  1. A valid passport – the expiry date must be a minimum of 6 months away from your departure date from South Africa.
  2. At least two blank pages in your passport.
  3. A valid visa (single or multiple) if required.
  4. Onward or return ticket.
  5. Proof of sufficient funds.
  6. Yellow Fever Certificate if travelling to / from the yellow fever belt of Africa (Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania etc) or South America.
  7. Some areas may be malaria areas and as we are not allowed to recommend any prophylactics, it is suggested that you contact the local travel clinic for their advice.
  8. Make 2 copies of all your important documents (passports, itinerary and emergency contact information) – take 1 with you packed in a different bag to the originals and leave a copy at home with an easily contactable person. This way you will at least have easy access to copies of important documents should the need arise.
  9. If you are using any pharmaceutical drugs or medication you will need to have a prescription. Custom regulations allow you to bring in one month’s supply for your personal use. It’s a good idea to get a letter from your doctor, confirming your medication. Drugstores are known as “pharmacies” here.
  10. Valid driver’s license if you are hiring a car.  South Africa does accept UK driver’s license, but if yours is in a different language then you will need an international drivers license.

When you are there…

  1. South Africa is only 1 hours (ahead) time difference to the UK, but do keep in mind that when the UK clocks change that this translates to a 2 hour time difference.
  2. International dialling: 0044 or +44 for a UK number and 0027 or +27 for a South African number.
  3. We do recommend that you get a local South African sim card which is available at most shops and the airport. The only hassle is that you will need your passport and itinerary with you as they need to ‘Rica’ this which is a quick procedure to log the number on the mobile network. Vodacom offers a better mobile connection for most areas.
  4. Do not fall victim to ‘entrepreneurial’ traffic officers who may stop you along the road for speeding and offer you pay a reduced spot cash fine. It is illegal to pay cash to a traffic officer and all you need to do is say that you will prefer to pay at the police station and ask for their badge number – this will usually stop them from following through.
  5. South African Rand can be purchased before you holiday or you can easily draw cash at any of the bank machines or exchange funds at a forex outlet – there is at the airport and also in all major towns.
  6. Major credit cards (Master/Visa) are accepted country wide, however when travelling to smaller remote areas do have some cash available as the chances are less likely for there to be a credit card facility.
  7. Petrol stations are slowly starting to accept credit and debit cards as payment for fuel, however it is recommended to always ask before filling up and to have some cash on hand.
  8. Some of the highways are tolled and frustratingly they only accept SA cards as payment so you will need to have cash with you to pay for these. Fees vary from R5 – R50 depending which road.