experience cape town:

GENERAL INFORMATION


Typical South African food you should try
“Melktert”, “Koeksisters”, “Biltong”, “Droewors”, “Boerewors”, “Bobotie”, “Sosaties”, “Beskuit”/ Rusks, “Braaivleis”, “Potjiekos”


Typical South African phrases you may want to use

English

Afrikaans

Xhosa

“How are you”:

“Hoe gaan dit?”

“Kunjani?”

“Good Morning”:

“Goeie Môre”

“Molweni Ngalentsa”

“Good Evening”:

“Goeienaand”

“Molweni Ebusuku”

“Where is…”:

“Waar is…”

“Iphi…”

“How much does it cost?”:

“Hoeveel kos dit?”

Lithini Ixabiso?”

“Goodbye”:

“Totsiens”

“Ndizakunibona”

“Please”:

“Asseblief”

“Nceda”

“Thank you”:

“Dankie”

“Nkosi”


transport


Public transport in and around Cape Town is limited and should not be relied upon. For safety reasons, public minibus taxis (16 seaters) should not be used. If you wish to use any taxi's during your stay here, please only use the conventional four seater taxi services using the names and numbers listed below for some safe and reliable services. Also bear in mind that Cape Town's taxi service is completely different from the systems in the UK or Europe. Generally speaking you cannot and should not hail a taxi from the side of the road. You should call a reliable service in advance.

Recommended Taxi Services are;

Uber Cape Town - www.uber.com/cities/cape-town
Excite Taxis – 021 418 4444 / bookings@excitetaxis.co.za / www.excitetaxis.co.za
Rikkis Taxis – 0861 745547 / bookings@rikkis.co.za / www.rikkis.co.za
Marine Taxis - 021 434 0434 / bookings@marinetaxis.co.za / www.marinetaxis.co.za

Banks / Forex


currency

The local currency is the “Rand” or “R”. To check latest exchange rate www.xe.com. It goes without saying that visitors from abroad can expect value for money!

banking

Electronic banking is the norm, and automated teller machines (ATM's) are located throughout Cape Town and their surrounds. All major credit cards are accepted including Visa Card, Master Card, Diners Club and American Express. Most banks open from 09.00 to 15.30 Monday to Friday, and on Saturdays from 08.30 to 11.00.

VAT (Value Added Tax)

Value-added Tax (VAT) at the standard rate of 14% is charged on most goods and services, however, foreign visitors can reclaim all VAT paid by them on purchases together totalling in excess of R250.00. Please ensure that you keep all receipts and that you submit your claims at the VAT claims desk at the international departure hall of the CTIA or the Oliver Tambo International Airport.

tipping

If their service is satisfactory, it is customary to tip caddies, taxi drivers, hotel and railway porters, chambermaids, stewards, waiters and tour guides. The accepted average is 10-15%.

General


Post & Internet Services:

Do not rely on the SA postal service. Instead make use of commercial Postnet agencies which are located in most shopping centres throughout Cape Town.

medical services

You are advised to obtain medical/ travel insurance before you leave home. Most hospitals have emergency and casualty wards, and out-patient treatment is available at a reduced fee through state and provincial hospitals. Undoubtedly, the best medical care is offered at private hospitals and medi-clinics which are located throughout SA.

trading hours

Most shops and offices are open from 09.00 to 17.00 on weekdays and 08.30 to 13.00 on Saturdays - unless located in larger shopping cetres in which case most shops are open until 21.00.

electricity

(Plug Type M - 3 round pins)
220/230 volts 50 Hz

standard time

During the European Winter, South Africa is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 1 hour ahead of Central European Winter Time. During the European Summer, SA is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and the same time as Central European Time.

climate


Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate with dry warm summers and mild winters. The area within 40 km of the airport is covered by oceans and seas (40%), grasslands (33%), croplands (17%), built-up areas (6%), and forests (5%). March offers average daily highs of around 26°C but temperatures have been known to exceed 31°C and at times have dropped below 21°C – however the latter is limited to one day in ten!

Cape Town (known as the town of all seasons) can be very unpredictable weather-wise. The days are often very warm, but the evenings can become slightly cooler. Perhaps one or two jumpers/wraps will be useful, but certainly NO thick coats will be necessary. A light jacket will be useful for the evenings.

Safety and Security


Travel in South African and particularly Cape Town is generally incident free. Like all large cities anywhere in the world, there are of course elements of crime and one should always be alert. The risk of violent crime to visitors travelling to the main tourist destinations is generally low. The South African authorities give high priority to protecting tourists and tourism police are deployed in several large towns. Most cases of violent crime occur in the townships. Consult a reliable tour guide if you visit a township.

Furthermore general ‘big city’ rules apply:

  • Keep to main roads and park in well lit areas.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.
  • Keep all valuables in your carry-on luggage.
  • Keep large amounts of money, expensive jewellery, cameras and phones out of sight. Don’t change or withdraw large sums of money in busy public areas including foreign exchange facilities or ATMs. Thieves operate at international airports, and bus and railway stations. Keep your valuables safe and baggage with you at all times.
  • Don’t give personal or financial account information details to anyone. There are international fraud rings operating in South Africa, who may target visitors and charities.
  • Avoid isolated beaches and picnic spots. Don’t walk alone, especially in remote areas. Hikers should stick to popular trails.
  • Call the police (on 10111 or on 112 from a mobile phone) at the first sign of danger.
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good in major towns and cities but can be intermittent in more remote spots.
  • You can drive using a UK Driving Licence for up to 12 months.
  • The standard of driving in South Africa can vary greatly. Road standards are mostly very good. Drive cautiously, obey speed limits and avoid unfamiliar rural areas at night. Park in well-lit areas. Don’t pick up strangers or stop to help apparently distressed motorists. It’s better to report any incident to the police.