The monetary unit in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR – R). Bank notes are R10, R20, R50, R100 & R200. USD, Euro and Pound Sterling is accepted or changeable at all recognized financial institutions. Clients should avoid changing money except at recognized financial institutions.
South African banks
All international transactions can be performed at South African banks. These are well distributed throughout the country.
Banking operating hours:
Monday – Friday: 09h00 – 15h30
Saturday: 08h30 – 11h00
Automatic teller machines (ATM’s) are located in most town & cities & offer 24 hour service. Exchange rates are almost always better at banks & bureaux-de-change.
Africans tend to dress casually for most occasions. Smart-casual is suitable for theatres & restaurants & warm clothes for game drives & cool evenings.
There is a wonderful variety of food in South Africa. Almost all international cuisines are found throughout the country. Restaurants include French, Italian, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Eastern Europe, seafood & traditional South African braai. In many restaurants Halaal & Kosher foods are available on request.
Tipping is standard practice in South Africa. A good guideline is a 10% gratuity depending on service & satisfaction.
To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip to South Africa it is advised that tourists are to keep their personal belongings close to them at all times. Unfortunately unemployment is high in South Africa, tourists are advised to be aware of the potential threat posed by beggars, street children, etc. particularly in downtown areas after normal working hours.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
The current VAT is at 14%. South African VAT can be claimed back at the airport. Purchase value should be higher than R250 per spend.
Remember to bring your passport, the original tax invoice & the item purchased as well as an extra few hours, before your flight, to stand in the refunds queue at the airport.
The standard power source in South Africa is 200/230 volts AC. There are exceptions & it is advisable to purchase an adaptor or transformer for foreign appliances. These can be found at the airport and at most luggage and hardware stores.