Alma Rd, Sandton, Johannesburg+ 27 (0) 11 808

Banks and foreign exchange in SA

With a favourable exchange rate for many international currencies, you’ll find South Africa an inexpensive destination. And an easy one – our financial institutions are world-class, with no shortage of banks, bureaux de change and automatic tellers.

Phoning to, from, and in South Africa

outh Africa has extremely well-developed communications infrastructure, with extensive fixed-line phone networks and six mobile phone service providers – two of them virtual mobile providers – with widespread coverage.

You can rent mobile phones – we call them cellphones – from the airport on arrival.

Telkom and Neotel provide fixed-line services, with Neotel focusing more on commercial services.

Telkom public telephones use coins, phonecards or Worldcall. Phonecards and Worldcall can be purchased at most retail stores, petrol stations, post offices and airports.

Health tips for travellers

There’s not much that can spoil a holiday more than feeling off-colour, and very little that can dull the pleasure of your holiday memories more than being ill far from home. If you are visiting South Africa, there are a number of health issues you should be aware of, particularly if you’re from the northern hemisphere.

However, while there are risks anywhere you travel, South Africa has a relatively salubrious climate and our levels of hygiene, health care, and water treatment make it a pretty safe destination.

What facilities are open on public holidays?

In the major cities most stores, cinemas and restaurants are open on most public holidays. The exceptions are Christmas Day, 25 December, and New Year’s Day, 1 January.

The calendar of South African public holidays for 2012 is:

  • 1 January – New Year’s Day
  • 2 January* – Public holiday
  • 21 March – Human Rights Day
  • 6 April – Good Friday (the Friday before Easter Sunday)
  • 9 April – Family Day (the Monday after Easter Sunday)
  • 27 April – Freedom Day
  • 1 May – Workers’ Day
  • 16 June – Youth Day
  • 9 August – National Women’s Day
  • 24 September – Heritage Day
  • 16 December – Day of Reconciliation
  • 17 December* – Public holiday
  • 25 December – Christmas Day
  • 26 December – Day of Goodwill

* If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following becomes a public holiday.

Don’t leave home without …

The best way to travel is plan ahead. Your trip will be easier, safer and more enjoyable.First, get the tiresome but important admin bits out of the way. Check your passport isn’t about to expire and whether you’ll need visas. Organise travellers’ cheques well in advance as well as travel and medical insurance.

Check and double-check your travel details and don’t forget to confirm your flights – including onward connections and returns. Put in your order for special meals on flights, or children’s meals, if necessary.