Facts

South African Currency (rand or ZAR)

The local currency is called the South African rand – named after the ridge upon which Johannesburg was built. Perhaps most interestingly, the faces on the notes are not of people but the Big Five animals.

South African Currency (rand or ZAR)

The local currency is called the South African rand – named after the ridge upon which Johannesburg was built. Perhaps most interestingly, the faces on the notes are not of people but the Big Five animals.

Our country

  • We have a population of 49 million beautiful, warm and friendly people.
  • We have 11 official languages –  Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.
  • South Africa is home to deserts, mountains, escarpments, plateaus, grasslands, bush, wetlands and subtropical forests.
  • South Africa was the first country outside Europe to gain Blue Flag status for its coastal management. http://www.blueflag.org/
  • Our hotels, game lodges and restaurants are frequent winner s of top global awards – including ‘Best Hotel in the World’ by Conde Nast and ‘Best Airline in Africa’ by Skytrax.
  • South Africa is the second largest exporter of fruit in the world, has the longest wine route, is the top ranked gold producer and has 80% of the world’s platinum reserves.

Time

·         South Africa is in the GMT +2 time zone (UTC+2), which is the same as Athens, Bucharest, Cairo, Istanbul, Jerusalem and Helsinki.

·         The country does not apply daylight saving, so it’s relative time remains constant

 

 

Staying healthy

·         Our tap water is safe to drink. In fact it’s rated the third best in the world!

·         Travellers from the West don’t need inoculation. If you’re involved in health care work you’ll need a hepatitis B vaccine.

·         South Africa is mostly malaria free. If you’re visiting northern KwaZulu Natal and the borders of the northern and north eastern areas of Mpumalanga, Limpopo, northern KwaZulu Natal and the borders of the Northwest and Northern Province, it’s best to get some  medical advice.

·         Our sun can be pretty fierce, so use sunscreen, a hat and good sunglasses.

·         Our hospitals are well equipped but waiting times can be long. Private hospitals are world-class but costs are higher, so comprehensive medical insurance is a good idea.

 

 

Getting behind the wheel

·         Australians and kiwis can drive with a current Australian driver license.

·         Driving is on the left and wearing of seatbelts is compulsory.