Cape Town International Airport is the second largest airport in South Africa with direct flights daily to Johannesburg, Durban and all other major South African cities, as well as the Namibian cities of Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay and several other African destinations, including Gaborone, Maun and Nairobi. Those traveling from Asia and Europe can find direct international flights to Cape Town from Dubai, Doha, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, London, and Singapore. Those arriving on direct flights from North America, Brazil, Mexico, and Australia must transit through OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg.
South Africa operates two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time throughout the year, making it the same time as Central European Summer Time and six hours in advance of US Eastern Daylight Time.
For all travellers to South Africa, please verify in advance of making travel plans:
1) that your passport or travel document is valid for at least 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit,
2) that your passport has at least two consecutive blank pages, which lie side by side when the passport is open (i.e. left and a right hand page).
Passengers travelling to South Africa with passports which do not comply with these requirements may be stopped from boarding the aircraft or risk deportation on arrival in South Africa. If your passport is almost full or near its expiration, you will need to renew your passport or have additional pages added.
Travelling with children and teenagers
If you will be travelling with a minor, please note that South Africa has introduced new regulations to reduce child trafficking. All minors require the consent of their parents when traveling into or out of the Republic of South Africa. Parents must provide an unabridged (long) birth certificate (or equivalent document) for all travelling children under 18, and both South Africans and foreign visitors to South Africa will have to provide details of the child’s father and mother. This requirement also applies to minors who are foreign nationals and who are visa exempt when travelling through a port of entry of the Republic. For more information please click here.
Please consult official South African websites listed below for updates on visa and travel requirements as these change frequently.
Many participants will not require a visa to travel to South Africa. A list of countries where the residents do not require a visa to enter South Africa or where visitors will be subject to specific conditions concerning the duration of their visit can be found here: http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries Citizens of other countries must obtain a visa prior to their trip.
Visitors’ visas are required from some international travelers permanently resident outside South Africa who wish to visit the country on a temporary basis for tourism or business purposes for a period of 90 days or less for a specific purpose.Please consult http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/apply-for-a-south-african-visa for application requirements.
Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country.
Participants requiring a visa for entry into South Africa are strongly advised to make their applications in their home countries without delay. There is a fee charged for issuing a visa, and you should check the cost as this is updated annually. The fee is payable in different currencies in different countries. For more information please contact your nearest embassy or South African Consulate or consult your travel agency. Delegates wishing to travel to South Africa’s neighbouring countries and back to South Africa are advised to apply for a multiple-entry visa.
New requirements for South African Visas
South Africa has introduced new regulations requiring travellers to the country who need to obtain a visa to submit in-person biometric data, at an approved South African visa centre in their country of origin, to support the application. Collection of processed applications will be from where the application was submitted. Original passport will be required as applicant’s proof of identity and handing over of the visa label or refusal letter to applicants. Representative must provide an original Photo ID, an Authority Letter as well as the applicant’s original passport if collecting the decision on behalf of the applicant/s. For more information: http://www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica/Biometric_Data_Collection.html
Please visit South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs at http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/apply-for-a-south-african-visa for more information on travel to South Africa and updates on visa application requirements.
The entry formalities and vaccination requirements for South Africa vary according to the country of origin of delegates. For specific information, please contact your local travel agent or the South African Consulate in your home country.
There are no compulsory vaccination requirements for persons entering South Africa. Travellers from yellow fever-affected countries require inoculations to enter South Africa, e.g. Brazil, certain of its neighbouring countries and central Africa.
Certain northern areas of South Africa, including the north-eastern part of KwaZulu-Natal, are malaria regions. In winter, these areas will be low risk, but if you anticipate travelling to a malaria area it is recommended that you take prophylactics before arrival and the necessary precautions while in the area (e.g. protective clothing, insect repellents). South African doctors and dentists are highly trained and hospitals are well equipped. It is strongly advised that delegates take appropriate health insurance prior to their departure.
Currency in South Africa is the Rand, denoted by the symbol R, with One Rand (R1) made up of 100 cents. Foreign currency can be exchanged at local banks and bureau de changes. All major credit cards such as American Express, Bank of America, Diners, Master Card, Visa and affiliates are accepted in most places in South Africa. Generally, credit cards are not accepted for the purchase of petrol. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) offer a complete 24-hour service. Machines displaying international credit and debit card logos can be used with the respective cards.
Useful Website: www.xe.com
Value Added Tax (VAT) at the rate of 14% is levied on most goods and services and is included in the display price of most goods. International visitors are encouraged to keep their slips as they can reclaim VAT on goods (not services) priced higher than R250.00 at the airport on departure, some harbours and at Customs Offices.