Tourist visa & currency South Africa

Do you need to arrange tourist visa before travelling to South Africa? And what is you visit a combination of countries like South Africa and Mozambique. You'll find all necessary information about visa on this page. Also information on money matters for your luxury South Africa holiday is provided.

Visum South Africa

south africa lesotho border

When travelling on a UK passport you won't need to arrange a visa in advance (given you are staying less than 90 days). At the immigration entry point you'll receive a sticker for your passport (quite sizeable, about half a page so please make sure you have at least two empty pages available). Your passport must be valid for at least another 30 days after you return to the UK. You also need to be able to present a flight ticket that confirms your flight back. The South African Embassy in South Africa: South Africa House, Trafalgar, London WC2N 5DP. Telephone: 020 7451 7283. The South African visa department: 15 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DD. Telephone: 020 7925 8900. Do you have another nationality? Please conatct the embassy to check which requirements to need to meet before travelling to South Africa.


VisA Mozambique, Zambia (Victoria Falls), Botswana & Zimbabwe

Mozambique: UK citizens need a tourist visum when travelling to Mozambique. Currently, the possibilities for acquiring a visa at Mozambique's ports of entry are rather uncertain. We recently travelled to Vilanculos and bought our visa at the airport without any trouble. However, we do advise UK citizens to obtain a visa before travelling to Mozambique. For more information you can contact the Mozambique High Commission in London (020 7383 3800). Your passport needs to be valid at least another six months after your flight back to the UK. A Mozambique visa costs about US$ 90 per passport.

As per 1 September 2007 Mozambique border officals may check whether you have been vaccinated against yellow fever. As for now this applies for all travellers that enter the country from high risk areas (Tanzania, Kenya, Angola, DR Congo). When arriving from South Africa or Europe it is unclear whether a yellow fever vaccine is compulsory. If you are unable proof of vaccination when travelling from one of the high risk countries, entry into Mozambique may be refused.

Zambia: UK travellers need to obtain a visa when entering Zambia and can be bought at the port of entry. As ingle entry visa costs about £ 35 per passport.

Botswana: You'll receive a free visa upon entry of Botswana valid for thirty days. You can extend this visa with three months when necessary.

Zimbabwe: Visa can be bought at the border for approximately £ 30 per passport. Visas are valid for three months.


Currency South Africa

In South Africa you pay with South Africa Rands (ZAR). A hundred South African Rands is about £ 9 (March 2011). South African Rands are widely available in the UK before travelling to South Africa. We strongly advise only bringing a small amount as ATMs are readily available in South Africa. The exchange rate may vary quite substantially, so we do advise checking the most actual rate before leaving on the Oanda website.


Money matters South Africa

ATMs: You can use your debet card at all branches of major South African banks (ABSA bank, First National Bank, Nedbank) found in pretty much every city and village. Upon arrival in Johannesburg and Cape Town you can use the ATM in the arrivals hall.

Creditcard: You can safely use a creditcard (Visa of Matercard) in larger hotels and lodges. Also bigger stores in cities accept creditcards. We recommend to be cautious when using your creditcard. Quite a few occurrences of credit card fraud ("skimming") have been reported.

Food & drinks: Where indicated meals and beverages are included in the rates of our travel modules and itineraries. Normally this is the case when staying in one of the private lodges in or around Kruger National Park. When lunch en dinner are not included you can expect to pay the following: lunch costs about 50 to 75 South African Rand per per person, a beverage sets you back between 6 and 10 ZAR, eating out can be done for ZAR 100 per person (up to about ZAR 250 for a very high quality restaurant), a bottle of wine from about ZAR 50 per bottle and a beer costs about 10 South African Rand.

Petrol: Petrol is not incuded in your rental car rates. Petrol is a lot cheaper in South Africa, a litre costs about ZAR 8.


Tipping

It is common in restaurants, when food and service are satisfactory, to add about 10% on top of your bill. If you are very satisfied you can make this 15%. It is good to realise that many off the staff are dependend on your tips. When you encounter a good guide during an activity in a game reserve, you may also decide to leave a tip. When staying more than one day in a lodge there usually is a box for tips available at the reception.


Bargaining

Bargaining is not common practice in South Africa. Prices in shops and restaurants are fixed. You can bargain at local markets or roadside stalls. Please always respect the seller. Raising your voice or walking away can be condideren very offensive. A good guideline for bargaining is pretty non existent. We always keep in mind the price we would like to pay and try reaching an angreement that is satisfactory for both parties.


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Gold Krugerrands

kruger rand

The gold "Krugerrand" was first minted in 1967 for the purposes of promoting South African gold. Although the coins are legal tender in South Africa, they are not being used as such. Gold Kruggerands are mainly used as private investments in gold. The coin its name is derived from the image of former president Paul Kruger on the front side. The backside shows an image of a springbok.

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