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FLYING TO CAPE TOWN
Although Johannesburg is the main international airport there are an increasing number of flights to Cape Town International Airport. The airport is approximately 34km (20 minutes) away from the city centre.
Approximate Flight Times:
GETTING FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE CITY
Taxis are available at the airport but if you would like our agent to arrange transfers please see the accommodation booking form. The time to and from the airport is approximately 20 minutes.
Traffic in the morning from 7:30 am to 8:30 am, and in the afternoon from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, means a 30-minute delay to and from the airport.
Buses and trains, Cape Town's older fashioned forms of public transport, have reduced their services over the past decades, but still offer good value and convenience if you plan your trip. Trains travel as far as Simonstown.
Tourists can use several special bus services. A double-decker, open, London-style tourist bus runs guided two hour city tours at 10h00, 12h00 noon and 14h00 for R150. In summer, the "City hopper" offers day rates and runs buses between major tourist attractions such as Kirstenbosch, the Cablecar Station, Signal Hill, and the Waterfront. As the name suggests, you can hop on and off as often as you like.
Minibus taxis and private cars have to a large extent taken the place of buses and trains. Hundreds of thousands of Capetonians take minibus taxis every day and they offer convenient and sometimes hair-raisingly fast transport along major routes, typically the Main Road from Sea Point right around to Wynberg in the Southern suburbs. As aggrieved local motorists trailing behind a taxi will tell you, boarding points are whenever and wherever you can get the driver to stop - usually with no warning. If you're not feeling that adventurous, you may want to take a conventional private taxi, (Do ask about fares beforehand and check your driver's familiarity with the area you're heading for). And, of course, there are lots of companies running small or large group guided tours, with a variety of angles and emphases.
Most passport holders need visas to get into South Africa. Check with your local travel agent to determine if you need one. Upon arrival, you must be able to prove that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay. You must also have a valid return ticket. Visa inquiries can be directed to the department of home affairs: +27 12 314 8911
Comprehensive information on visas can be found at www.southafrica.info/travel/documents/visas.htm
The local currency is the South African Rand, which in April 2016 was exchanging at about R14.4 to the US Dollar and R20 to the British Pound. Foreign exchange facilities can be found at the airport and in many banks, while Automatic Teller Machines will accept many international bank and credit cards. Check the current exchange rate here »
BANKS & CREDIT CARDS
South Africa has a modern and sophisticated banking and commercial system. Banks are located throughout the city & suburbs and are open from Mon to Fri 09h00 - 15h30, Sat 08h30 - 11h00. Commercial banking services are available at Cape Town International Airport to coincide with international arrivals and departures. Most shops and hotels will accept credit cards, although petrol at some garages cannot be purchased on a credit card.
South Africa has adopted a Value Added Tax system of 14% on purchases and services. If you are a foreign visitor to South Africa, you can reclaim your VAT on purchases if you've spent more than R250 at the VAT office at the Airport before checking in on departure. Leave yourself some time to do this - you'll need your original tax invoices and your passport, and will need to fill in a form and have the goods you bought available for inspection.
Many waiters and waitresses are university students who rely on tips to pay their wages. A 10% tip is still acceptable although up to 15% may be given if service is outstanding. Tables of over eight usually have an automatic 10% service charge added to their bill. A tip of R2 per piece of luggage is acceptable to porters in hotels and at airports.
South African time is set at GMT +2. There are no time zone differences in South Africa and South Africa has not adopted a daylight time saving system in summer.
Do not walk alone after dark in unpopulated streets or draw attention to money or jewellery. A tourist police assistance unit is located in Tulbagh Square (021 - 4182852/3) which is open 7 days a week from 11 am until 11 pm (Sunday 9am - 9pm). The main charge office in Cape Town is open 24 hours (021 - 4678000). The emergency police number is 10111.
220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Three pronged plugs are universal, so take an adapter. Most hotel rooms have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances.
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