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Essential information

At a glance

‘Hello’ in:
‘sawubona’
(sah-woo-bo-nah)
Zulu
‘molo’
(moh-loh)
Xhosa
‘hallo’
(ha-low)
Afrikaans
‘hello’
English
Plug combo cm
Electricity
230V/50hz
More on electricity
Feb-Mar
Best time to go
Summer

Money and costs

Currency
Rand (R)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated October 16, 2018 3:29PM UTC
Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
R1000
  • Hostel dorm bed: from R160
  • Budget main dish (cheaper areas): less than R75
  • Two-week hop-on, hop-off Baz Bus pass: R4100
  • Free entry to some museums
Midrange
R1000–2500
  • Double room: R700-4000
  • Midrange main dish: R75-200
  • Jo'burg–Cape Town tourist-class train: R690
  • Single-room supplements common, usually 30–40%
Top end (more than)
R2500
  • Double room (more expensive areas): over R4000
  • Top-end main dish (more expensive areas): over R200
  • Pretoria–Cape Town Blue Train: R20,280
  • Cape Town–Jo'burg flight: from R1000
  • Wildlife drive: from R500

Visas

Travellers from most Commonwealth countries (excluding New Zealand), most Western European nations, Japan and the USA receive a free, 90-day visitor's permit on arrival.

Get the latest visa advice for South Africa from our community.

When to go and weather

°C°F
mmin
ZAF
Maseru
Go Jan–Dec
Mar – May
21116951
Jun – Aug
1043928
Sep – Nov
15104838
Dec – Feb
17125142
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
Low Season
Shoulder Season
High Season
Johannesburg
Go Nov–Mar
Mar – May
772323
0.47
0.02
Jun – Aug
1154031
0.0
0.0
Sep – Nov
26137855
1.47
0.06
Dec – Feb
852519
1.83
0.07
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
Low Season
Shoulder Season
High Season
Durban
Go Jan–Dec
Mar – May
962722
0.03
0.0
Jun – Aug
842417
0.03
0.0
Sep – Nov
852420
0.3
0.01
Dec – Feb
962622
0.0
0.0
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
Low Season
Shoulder Season
High Season
Cape Town
Go Feb–Mar
Mar – May
23137455
0.13
0.0
Jun – Aug
1776346
0.5
0.02
Sep – Nov
20116952
0.17
0.01
Dec – Feb
26167861
0.03
0.0
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
Low Season
Shoulder Season
High Season

Getting to South Africa

Flights, cars and tours can be booked online at www.lonelyplanet.com/bookings.

Flights to South Africa

The best price found from United States to South Africa is on December 9th, 2018, travelling with Virgin Atlantic. See more options, compare prices and book: search flights.

IAD
Washington Dulles
from $562.00
JNB
Johannesburg O.R. Tambo

Getting around South Africa

Car A great option, with affordable rental rates, a good road network and the car-based South African lifestyle; the drawback is dangerous drivers.

Baz Bus The backpacker shuttle is a convenient and social option between Cape Town, Durban and Jo'burg/Pretoria.

Mzansi Experience Offers a similar experience to the Baz Bus.

Train Tourist class is an underused secret (with sleeper coaches and dining car), linking Jo'burg to Cape Town and the coast.

Air An affordable way to cover long distances.

Bus Lines including Greyhound, Intercape and Translux are useful, covering the country in comfortable vehicles at reasonable rates.

Shared Taxi These are OK for short journeys but less practical over long distances as there are various safety and security issues.

Health and safety

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Advice for travellers

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