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5 Tips For Visiting South Africa + 5 International Travel Tips
Free Tips For Visting South Africa

5 Tips For Visting South Africa

Preparing for a vacation is exciting and can be a rush. Often, little things can make a big difference to having a successful trip.

You can wing it and end up like me being stranded with no bus just after the Laos border and 800 km to your next stop, wake up covered in bed bugs, be ripped of with donation scams, or you can sidestep these experiences by following the advice from people that learned the hard way.

Below are five important tips taken from my book, South Africa: 50 Facts You Should Know When Visiting South Africa.

1:South Africa drives on the left. Driver’s licenses (permits) that have your photo, signature, date of birth and vehicle class on and are in English, are accepted in South Africa. However, some car hire companies my require you to have an International driver’s license, do confirm with the rental company.

2:On all international airports are money exchange services, giving the current exchange rate. However, do know you will be charged a 14% vat (tax) on the money you exchange. It is better to draw money at local ATMs. ATM machines can be found in all cities, suburbs, most gas stations, shopping centers, and most rest stops along major roads. ATM machines dispense local Rand currency only. A local fee of around R30 to R100 is charged per withdrawal transaction. An additional $3 to $5 may be charged by your bank. Most ATMs can only dispense a maximum of R5000 per transaction. Absa seems to charge the least expensive, being R30 at most ATMs. Draw directly at an ATM outside a bank, as they tend to charge less.

3:Tipping is widely practiced in South Africa. Normal rates are 10% to 15% in bars and restaurants. Parking attendants and security guards in malls as well as gasoline (petrol) attendants are normally SAR2 to R5. Porters at airports and hotels are SAR5 to R10 per piece of luggage.

4:When purchasing items (especially from large chain stores and expensive items in sealed boxes), always insist that the box be opened at the till and the items inspected. Make sure all the items are in the box and that it is not broken. Theft is a problem in South Africa, and items are stolen out of boxes or replaced with broken ones, sometimes even by the staff working in the shop.

5:South Africa is an amazing county, but it is not for sissies, nor for the ignorant. Crime is a real problem, and tourists should be aware of this. Although there are no lions or leopards walking down the main streets of Johannesburg, there are opportunists waiting for you to do stupid stuff. The South African Tourism runs a call center dedicated to assisting tourists, which is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can give information on accommodation, transport, emergency contact numbers, events, and more. Assistance in English is available at any time, while assistance in European languages is available from 9 am to 7 pm, local time. Call 083 123 6789 or 083 123 2345 from any South African landline or cellphone or email From outside South Africa, call +2783 123 6789 or +2783 123 2345.

Get even more tips for visiting South Africa by getting the full book today.

This book contains 69 important facts and tips that will help you save money, avoid common tourist scams, stay safe and maximize your South African adventure. Items covered includes:

  • Visas requirements, visa renewal and visa problems
  • Common tourist scams
  • Getting 3G internet connection cheaply
  • Health considerations in South Africa
  • Tips on saving money
  • Staying safe
  • And more

South Africa is an action packed country full of beauty, charm, and also danger. Make sure you remember it as an amazing adventure by being prepared and informed.


Expand your South African adventure and include towns and places such as Pretoria and Johannesburg, Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park, Union Buildings, Cradle Of Humankind.



5 International Travel Tips

Advice for travel can be found all over the Internet, from friends and travel agencies, government websites, as well as airlines.

The problem is not a shortage of information, but an overload of information. Wasting time sifting through numerous tips that in most cases have no relevance to you, often leaves you frustrated while at the same time possibly causing you to forget the actual advice you do need.

Below are five important tips taken from my book 100 International Travel Tips.

1:Make a PDF scan copy of every page of your passport, or take a picture with your cell phone. You can also make hard copies of your passport, and keep it in your carry-on bag. In case your passport is lost or stolen, you will have proof of who you are. Also do the following: take a picture of the entry-stamp page of a country as soon as you pass through customs, as well as any visa that you receive at a customs' border post. People have been allowed to fly home with only scans and pictures of their passport’s pages. If you make hard copies have them certified as original copies. Leave additional copies of your passport, itinerary with hotel bookings, contact details, and flights with family or friends – in case you run into trouble.

2:Do check that your passport was, in fact, stamped when you pass a customs checkpoint. In addition, check the date of the entry stamp, as well as the expiry date of your visa. Scams occur in countries where a passport is incorrectly stamped, or not at all, on entry. You will be fined heavily when you try to exit the country. Most tourist visas are valid for 90 days, in blocks of 30 days. Do check the expiry date of your visa, as you will be fined for overstaying a visa. You may also be banned for a time if you overstayed for too long. An overstay can easily be $10 a day or more.

3:Inform your bank of the dates and places you will be traveling to and from. Banks may decline foreign charges, and even stop your cards, if they are not notified to expect foreign charges. Keep your bank details with you in case you need to contact your bank to have a purchase approved or a stopped-card reactivated.

4:Get a Skype account for free. Load your account with $30 of credit to allow you to call landlines and cell phones, should your wallet and cell phone get stolen. Most hotels and Internet shops will allow you to call, or you can ask a fellow traveler who has a smart phone or tablet to allow you to call using your account.

5:Put a piece of paper in each luggage with your contact details and possibly home address, as well as your itinerary with connecting flights and final destination. One of the main reasons bags are lost, is that tags get miss printed or ripped off, and no one has any idea where the bag should go or who the owner is. Other common causes of lost and delayed bags are late check-ins and tight connections (less than three hours between connecting flights, min 90 minutes suggested).

Get even more travel tips by getting the full book today.

This book focusses on tips that will make your flight smoother, help you to not be a victim of baggage theft or become another statistic of lost luggage, help you clear customs easier, stay out of trouble and jail for things you may not think you can get jailed for, as well as help you not to fall victim to crime on your travels.

If only one tip helps to save you from being robbed, your bank account emptied, your passport stolen, you jailed for life or executed, or help to make your travels go smoother, then the purchase of the book was a bargain.

Begin your adventure today!


Get Free books for South Africa
Free: Freedom Park

Additionally recommended books, Pretoria: 20 Must See Attractions and Johannesburg: 20 Must See Attractions



Wishing you safe travels and an amazing vacation.