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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
currency
South African rand (R)

Money and costs

Currency
Rand (R)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated September 01, 2019 5:08AM 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

Getting to South Africa

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

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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