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Park Travel

Lufthansa City Center Business Travel

Telephone: +27 12 / 343 4923
Fax:
+27 12 / 343 1599
Email:
customerservices@parktravel.co.za

812 Park Street, Arcadia, Gauteng,
P O Box 9, Pretoria, 0001
South Africa
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Things to know

Geography

South Africa is situated at the southern tip of Africa and has a landmass of 1 233 404 km2 edged on 3 sides by a nearly 3 000 km coastline lapped on the western coast by the cold Atlantic Ocean and the eastern side by the warm Indian Ocean.

Capitals

South Africa has 3 capitals, namely Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Administrative) and Bloemfontein (Judicial).


Political System

Since 1994 South Africa has had a democratic government and the constitution is regarded as an example to the world which protects a wide range of human rights protected by an independent judiciary.

Tourism

Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in South Africa. The industry is well-established and offers a wide variety of accommodation, leisure and business travel, adventure sport, nature and wildlife travel, etc.

Climate

Fondly referred to as “Sunny South Africa” we are renowned for our long sunny days with summer temperatures reaching an average high of 28 degrees Celcius in the day and dropping to around 8 degrees Celcius at night. Winter temperatures range from 1 degree Celcius at night to around 18 degrees Celcius in the day.

Most provinces have a summer rainfall except the Western Cape which has winter rainfall.

Seasons

Our 4 seasons are:

Summer       Mid-October to Mid-February

Autumn        February to April

Winter          May to July

Spring          August to October

Economy

South Africa, regarded as an emerging market, has a well-developed financial sector and active stock exchange. The country’s central bank is the South African Reserve Bank.

Currency

South Africa’s currency is the rand with denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 as well as coins ranging from 10 cents to 100 cents.

Time

South Africa does not adjust watches/clocks during the year and there are no regional variations within the country. South African Standard Time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), one hour ahead of Central European Winter Time and seven hours ahead Eastern Standard Winter Time.

Population

South Africa has a diverse nation of more than 58 million.

Language

There are 11 official languages which makes South Africa a multi-lingual country – namely English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, IsiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda and Xitonga.

Provinces

South Africa is divided into 9 provinces – Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape.

National symbols

The South African flag is a much-loved symbol of the ‘new’ South Africa. It embraces a geometric pattern of green, white, black, yellow, red and blue.

Other national South African symbols include:

Bird         Blue Crane

Animal     Springbok

Fish         Galjoen

Flower     Giant or King Protea

Tree        Yellowwood

Entry requirements

Please contact your nearest South African diplomatic mission to establish visa requirements.

Health

South Africa is well-known for world-class private hospitals and medical centres around the country, especially in the urban areas, while many state hospitals also offer excellent care, among them Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.

Malaria

Most of South Africa is malaria-free, but if you are visiting the Kruger National Park or low-lying parts of northern KwaZulu-Natal, be aware that you are entering malarial areas and should take precautionary medication in the form of prophylactics.

Security

Use common sense and take basic safety precautions. Keep valuables locked away and don’t wear expensive watches or jewellery, flash expensive cameras, or walk in deserted areas. Keep car doors and windows locked at all times. If in doubt, ask a staff member at your accommodation for safety guidelines.

Public Holidays

In all the major cities most stores, cinemas and restaurants are open on most public holidays. The exceptions are 25 December and 01 January.

Public holidays in South Africa are as follows:

01 January         Human Rights Day

27 April               Freedom Day

01 May               Workers Day

16 June              Youth Day

09 August           National Women’s Day

24 September     Heritage Day

16 December      Day of Reconciliation

25 December      Christmas Day

26 December      Day of Goodwill

Please note that if a public holiday falls on a Sunday then the Monday becomes the public holiday.

Good Friday and Easter Monday are also public holidays but the dates on which they fall are determined by the ecclesiastical moon and vary each year - usually Easter generally falls between late March and late April.

Tipping

Tipping is common practice in South Africa and the accepted standard amount is around 10% of the bill. If there is a large party the gratuity will automatically be included so remember to check your bill carefully. This is acceptable for restaurants and barmen.

Petrol attendants can be tipped between R5 and R10 for filling your car up with petrol, checking air pressure, water, oil and cleaning windscreens.

Hotel porters can be tipped around R20 and it is also appropriate to tip taxi drivers and tour guides.

If you park your car in a populated area such as shopping centres there are often informal car guards who keep an eye on your car and when you return should be paid a small fee – anything from R5 and upwards. These guards can be identified by the green reflective safety vests they wear.

Hairdryer, electric razor etc?

Electricity in South Africa is generally 220/230 volts and is supplied through a 15 amp three-pronged or 15 amp two-pronged plug (round pins). Visitors can either bring a travelling adaptor or buy one here.

Smoking laws

South African law prohibits smoking in public places which includes airports and train stations. Designated smoking areas are marked.

Nobody under the age of 18 may buy cigarettes or enter a designated smoking area.

Both the venue owner and the smoker can face penalties if these laws are disobeyed.