flag South Africa South Africa: In the Country

In this page: Accommodation | Eating Out | Getting Around | Time and Time Difference | Climate | Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems | Paying | Speaking | Emergency Numbers | Communications



Hotel reservation websites
The Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA)

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Eating Out

Rules For Eating Out
Some restaurants remain close on Sundays or Mondays. ‘Liquor stores' are open weekdays 0900-1800 and Sat 0900-1300. Supermarkets are permitted to sell wine but not beer or spirits. No alcohol can be sold from shops on a Sunday.

All restaurants and bars/cocktail lounges have waiter service and you pay your bill at the end.

It is customary to tip waiters; normally 10-15% of the bill amount, if service is not included. By law, hotel rates do not include a service charge.

Food Specialties
South Africans like to get take out. This has resulted in the development of a wide range of restaurants that only offer take out services. Cape Malay cuisine, which is often fruity and sweet, can be found in Cape Town, whereas the cuisine on the KwaZulu-Natal coast has Indian influences. Mozambique peri peri spicy chicken and shrimp are popular all over the country. Braais (barbeques) are also hugely popular. Meat is a well-loved staple in South Africa, although most restaurants, even in small towns, offer a couple of vegetarian dishes.
The legal drinking age is 18. Some of the most common drinks in South Africa are:

• Umqombothi: a home-brewed sorghum beer.

• Excellent local red and white wines (including Chardonnay), sherries and brandies.

• Rooibos: a red-leafed tea grown in the Western Cape.

• Amarula Cream: a sweet creamy liqueur made from the fruit of the Marula tree.

Table Manners
South Africa is a diverse country, so table manners depend on who you are dining with. however, here are some of the general etiquette tips:

- do not cut bread rolls. Instead, break them into small bite-sized pieces on a side plate.

- don't leave food on your plate when you're done eating.

- cross your knife and fork on your plate to indicate that you are still eating.

- place your knife and fork closely together next to your plate to indicate that you are done eating.

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Getting Around

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Urban transport services
Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa
Golden Arrow Bus Services in Cape Town

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Cape Town (CPT) 22km / 15.5 miles ZAR 200 / 20-40 min - - Available
Durban Intl (DUR) 60km / 37.3 miles North of Durban ZAR 400 / 25 min - - Available
Johannesburg Intl (JNB) 21 km / 13 miles ZAR 273-363 / 30 min ZAR 109 / 45 min - Available
Pretoria - Wonderboom National Airport (PRY) 11 km / 7 miles N of Pretoria city centre and 64 km / 40 miles NNE of Johannesburg. ZAR 200 Available to Pretoria: StarLine Bus #162 - Available
Lanseria Intl (HLA) 30 km / 19 Miles NNW of Johannesburg, 35 km / 22 miles SW of Pretoria. Available - - Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Train reservation services
Railroad association of South Africa

Major airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
South African Airlines Major Yes Yes
Airlink Major Yes Yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


Travelling By Yourself

Car rental agencies
Budget Car Rental South Africa
Real-time traffic conditions
Automobile Association of South Africa

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Time and Time Difference

Current Local Time
It is %T:%M %A In Pretoria
Summer Time

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

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Type of Climate
South Africa experiences pleasant and sunny summers, mild winters, with occasional snow fall in the mountain ranges of the Cape and Natal and in lower-lying areas. There are heavy rains along the southern coast from June to September.
Hotel reservation websites
South African Weather Service

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems

System of Measurement Used
Metric system
Unit of Measurement of Temperature

Use our service Measurement Converter.

  • Voltage
220/230V, 250V in Grahamstad, Port Elizabeth and King Williams
  • Frequency
50 Hz
Type of Electric Socket
M, Types C & G can also be found in some areas
Type of Telephone Socket
South African, US RJ-11
DVD Zoning
Zone 2

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Domestic Currency
South African Rand
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
It is possible to exchange foreign currency at banks, hotels, shops and restaurants. ATMs are readily available. Traveller’s cheques are also widely accepted. Travellers should preferably carry cheques in Pounds Sterling or U.S. Dollars.
Possible Means of Payment
MasterCard and Visa are preferred. American Express and Diners Club are also widely accepted. ATMs are readily available in towns and cities, including in shopping malls and petrol stations, and accept all international debit and credit cards.

To Find a Cash Machine Where You Need, Use the ATM locator


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Official Language
Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu.
Other Languages Spoken
Fanagalo, Hindi, Sotho, Tsotsitaal, Venda.
Business Language
English and Afrikaans.

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Emergency Numbers

Police 10111
Fire Department 10111
Ambulance 10177

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Telephone Codes
To Make a Call From South Africa, Dial 00
To Make a Call to in South Africa, Dial +27
Mobile Telephone Standards
National Mobile Phone Operators
Vodacom, MTN (Mobile Telephone Network) and Cell C.

Availability of Internet

Internet Suffix
National Internet Access Providers
There are many ISPs operating in the country. For details, visit: Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) of South Africa.

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Latest Update: April 2024