One of the first steps to planning your trip is to secure a passport. Your passport must be valid until at least six months after your arrival date and must have at least two empty pages available.
- South Africa law requires that travelers have at least two (2) consecutive completely blank (unstamped) pages in their passport which lie side by side when the passport is open (i.e. – a left and right-hand page.) This provision is strictly enforced by the immigration authorities at the airport in Johannesburg.
- Individuals without a minimum of two (2) clear pages and an expiration date beyond six (6) months may be refused entry into South Africa, fined and returned to their point of origin at their personal expense. In addition, any trip to a neighboring country during your trip would necessitate additional blank pages upon re-entry.
- If you have not already obtained a passport, you should do so immediately by contacting the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) at 877-4USA-PPT (877-487-2778).
- Obtaining a passport through the routine method takes approximately four to six weeks from the time of the application. The passport fee is $100 for adults and $85 for minors.
- Expedited service can be offered through the U.S. State Department, allowing a passport to obtained in roughly two weeks. There is an additional $60 fee for expedited service.
- If you are travelling internationally and need a passport within 14 days, you can schedule an appointment with a Regional Passport Agency by calling 1-877-487-2778.
- A parent traveling with children, without the other parent, must provide a letter of consent authorizing travel of the child or children with the accompanying parent.
Citizens of the following countries do NOT require a visa to enter South Africa on vacation: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United States of America, Venezuela
For more information and further details on visas, visit http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/visas.asp.
Part of the preparation for travel is essential to have all of your vaccinations up to date prior to your departure to South Africa. It is advisable to discuss your vaccination history with your family physician or local clinic prior to your trip. If you are entering the country from the United States, you are not required to have vaccinations prior to entering South Africa. If you are entering South Africa from a country where yellow fever is found, you will need a certificate to prove you have been inoculated against the virus.
Here are some web sites that can assist with your trip in regards to vaccinations:
Many of the main tourist areas are malaria-free. However, it is recommended that travelers use mosquito repellent, wear long pants, closed shoes, and light long-sleeved shirts at night.
It may also be beneficial to consult your doctor or a specialist travel clinic for the latest advice concerning malaria prophylaxis.
Travel & Evacuation Insurance
It is recommended that U.S. travelers review current individual health insurance policies and consider obtaining Travel & Evacuation insurance if your policy does not include this currently.
Be sure to leave a copy of your itinerary with family in case they need to contact you during an emergency. It is also recommended that you register your visit with the U.S. State Department travel registration website. Registration can be done through the State Department website.
Time Standard: (GMT + 2 hours)
- The entire country of South Africa belongs to the same time zone
- South Africa is six hours ahead of New York, seven hours ahead of Chicago, and nine hours ahead of Los Angeles
- Example: 6 p.m. in Johannesburg converts to: 12 p.m. in New York, 11 a.m. in Chicago, and 9 a.m. in Los Angeles
- As a southern hemisphere country, June in South Africa is wintertime and it is best to expect cold temperatures in the 30’s in the morning and at night; but can warm up to high 50’s and low 60’s in the afternoon.
- The winter months in South Africa are generally dry, sunny and crisp during the day and cold at night. It is a good idea to bring warm clothes.
- It will be dark by 6:15 pm to 6:30 pm each day.
- Johannesburg is at altitude: 5,700 feet (Denver is at 5,280).
- South Africa’s winter months are June and July, with temperatures being moderate. The winter months in South Africa are generally dry, sunny and crisp during the day and cold at night. It is a good idea to bring warm clothes.
Travelers are urged to secure accommodation reservations before arriving in South Africa. MATCH Hospitality is FIFA's worldwide exclusive rights holder of the Official Hospitality Program for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. MATCH Hospitality has three sanctioned tour operators in the United States. They are: Cartan Tours, Great Atlantic Travel and Destination Southern Africa.
The official currency of South Africa is the Rand (ZAR). Rand notes come in denominations of 200,100, 50, 20 and 10. South African coins come in three types: bronze-colored pieces in denomination of 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, nickel-silver pieces in denomination of 1 and 2 Rand coins, and a silver-edged, bronze-centered 5 Rand coin.
You can exchange U.S. dollars, travelers checks and other major currencies at banks, some travel agencies, and at bureaus de change, which are at many major tourist destinations. Larger hotels will also change checks and banknotes.
As of April 2010, the South African exchange rate is $1 = 7.3 Rand (ZAR). It is recommended to continue to observe the exchange rate as the tournament approaches.
South African Exchange Control
Be sure to keep receipts from all foreign exchange transactions, as passengers have been more recently selected and asked to provide proof of purchase of the foreign exchange they are carrying. This refers more particularly to traveler's checks and foreign exchange. If the traveler has lost the proof of purchase or cannot find it, they must go back to where the foreign exchange was purchased and obtain a duplicate receipt.
The major banks in South Africa are Standard, First National, Nedbank and ABSA, all of which have ATM’s throughout the country. ATM’s can be found at all airports, shopping malls, on many city streets and even in small rural towns. You should be able to draw local currency from most ATM’s via the bank cards you use at home; however, some U.S. banks charge fees for withdrawing money outside the U.S. It is recommended you confirm with your bank before departing.
A convertor and adaptor may be required (depending upon location) in order to use any American electronic equipment.
- An adaptor is necessary for plugging your appliances into the 220V electrical socket. It will allow you to plug an American two-prong plug into the local two-prong electrical sockets.
- A convertor will adjust the level of electricity flowing into your appliance. Without a convertor, your appliance could short-circuit.
Learn About South Africa Before You Arrive
- http://www.southafrica.net/sat/content/en/us/home - A comprehensive source of information on travel to South Africa.
- http://www.south-africa-tours.com/ - Tours, accommodation, regional information and travel tips for South Africa.
- http://www.drakensberg-tourism.com/ - A source of information about accommodation, tours and adventure in the Drakensberg, Natal Midlands and KwaZulu Natal regions of South Africa.
- http://www.environment.gov.za/ - The vision of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in South Africa is to lead environmental management and tourism in the interests of sustainable development.
- http://www.southafrica.com/ - A search engine with links to travel, business, society and news for South Africa.
- http://www.gov.za/ - The South African Government online.
- http://www.sa2010.state.gov - U.S. Embassy 2010 FIFA World Cup Specific website