[Home] [MSSA News] [About & History] [Membership] [Committee] [Meetings] [Newsletter] [Listserver] [Community Projects.] [Trust Fund] [Conferences] [Visiting SA] [Links]

    Visiting SA


For many people this may be there first visit to Africa never mind South Africa. 
On this page we will give you as much information as possible on SA, Visa requirements, travel hints, medical requirements and whatever else you may need to make your stay with us a pleasurable stay.

More weather forecast info ? Follow the link....

Map of South Africa

South African Tourism


Local Tourism Information Hotline: 083 123 2345

Tourism is the single largest civilian industry in the world. Currently, tourism in South Africa contributes 3,6 per cent of the GDP and one job in 25 is linked to tourism. Research shows that for every 30 tourists visiting South Africa and neighbouring countries, one job is created directly, with an additional two indirectly. With the country's international isolation having come to an end, forecasts indicate that the number of overseas visitors could double between 1995 and 2000. The implications for foreign exchange earnings and job creation are therefore considerable.

The fastest-growing segment of tourism in South Africa is ecological tourism (ecotourism). Ecotourism can be defined as purposeful travel to natural areas to understand the culture and natural history of the environment, taking care not to alter the integrity of the ecosystem, and producing economic opportunities that make the conservation of natural resources beneficial to local people.

The South African embassy in the United States has a very informative site that can assist travellers in experiencing the best of South Africa.

Facts for Tourists

Herewith some interesting facts from the SA embassy in the USA.
Visit their site at http://www.saembassy.org/ for all the latest news.

Access by Air and Flying Times

Several international airlines, including South African Airways, link the country with the rest of the world. Flying times between Johannesburg and some major cities are as follows:

Visa's for South Africa.

Currently, nationals of the Unites States of America, Canada and the European Union, do not require visas to visit South Africa for bona fide tourism, business or transit purposes.

We would recommend you checking this with your travel agent at the time of booking or with your closest South African Embassy.

http://www.traveldocs.com will also give you details on all travel documents you may require.


People arriving in South Africa from a yellow fever zone must have a valid international yellow fever inoculation certificate. Infants under the age of one year are exempt. Immunisation against cholera and small pox is not required.

Malaria risk exists throughout the year in rural low altitude areas (including game parks) of the Northern Province, Mpumalanga and coastal lowlands of KwaZulu-Natal north of the Tugela River ( 50Kms north of Durban). The period of highest risk is from October to May. Durban is not considered a risk area for malaria.

For more information visit  Travel Health online at http://www.tripprep.com/

Credit Cards and Money

The Currency in South Africa is the Rand. "R" or "ZAR" ( Zuid Afrika Rand). It fluctuates a lot so we suggest you visit http://www.xe.net/ucc/ to see how your currency is doing against the Rand.

 Major international credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and their affiliates are widely accepted all over South Africa.

An abundance of automatic teller machines (ATMs) are situated outside most banks in towns and cities, and operate 24 hours a day.

N.B. Ordinary credit cards may NOT be used for the purchase of petrol. You will need cash for this. Locally we all use something called a special petrol credit card.

Water supply

This is a fact that SA is very proud of. In the major cities and towns and most game reserves, tap water is purified and 100% safe to drink. However all the major brands of bottled water are also available.


City and town power systems are generally 220 / 230 volts, 50hz AC and is very reliable.
We do however have a unique mains plug. Please buy a converter at the airports for South Africa just in case.

SAPlug.JPG (186636 bytes)
15 Amp Mains Plug
55 mm x 45mm

Facilities for the Disabled

South African Airways provides passenger aid units at all major airports. Many hotels offer facilities for the disabled, as do most rest camps in the Kruger National Park. Wheel-chairs and other aids may be hired in most cities. The larger car hire companies can provide vehicles with hand controls. A Directory of Services for the Visually Handicapped is available from the SA National Council for the Blind. Tel: +27 12 346 1190.

Medical services

South Africa has no national health scheme. It is advisable to purchase travel insurance which covers medical expenses during the period of your stay. Hospitals and nursing care is up to world standards but mostly privately owned. 

Food, drink and Cigarettes.

Keep in mind that most alcohols and cigarettes are far cheaper in South Africa than most other countries. Also eating out at restaurants is very safe and cheap in relation to most other countries.
So bring extra suitcases to take back a few bottles of the South African wines and spirits !!

Safety and security.

It is sensible to take the same precautions in the major cities as you would in any of the world's metropolitan areas. Never leave luggage unattended in front of the hotel or in the lobby. Deposit your valuables in the hotel's safety deposit box. Do not stroll alone around the streets after dark. Always lock your car doors and keep the windows closed.

South Africa is very popular as a country of opportunity from the neighbouring countries. Hence we have an estimated illegal immigrant number of about 4 million. This results in a high crime rate as people cannot always be traced to a fixed address or passport number should they be suspected of committing a crime.


All used personal effects are admitted duty free. Adults are allowed one litre of spirits, two litres of wine, 400 cigarettes and 50 cigars free of duty. As South Africa is welcoming the new tourism trade, you will find custom clearance to be very easy and efficient. There is no corruption or bribery that may be associated with other African countries.

The only point on which they focus is the smuggling of drugs. Hence passengers from known drug areas are scrutinized more closely than other destinations.


South Africa currently has 11 official languages. English is spoken throughout the country. French, Italian and Germany are spoken by staff members in many of the larger hotels and shops.

A few words that are very common in SA and that you could start practicing :

Howzit - Hello: recognised by most people in SA as an initial greeting.
Sawubona - greeting a singular person of the Zulu tribe. As Durban is in the Kwa Zulu Natal area, a large majority of the locals are of the Zulu tribe.
Ngiyabonga- Zulu for thank you
Dankie - Afrikaans for thank you.
Hamba kahle - go well. A greeting to a Zulu who is leaving you.
Sala kahle - stay well. If you are leaving someone.
Stiffy disk - This is the 3,5 inch floppy disk used in computers.
Robots - traffic lights are called robots.
Just now - a very flexible period of time. For example; " I will bring you the menu just now." This means it could be in one second or in thirty minutes. Depends on how busy the waiter may be.

[Back to the Top]

Send mail to Luc@anaspec.co.za with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 04/25/10