1. Entry requirements or, for non-UK citizens, the Visa Info Tool on our apps dashboard
  2. Health
  3. Money
  4. Tourist Info Fact Box (bottom of page)


Travelchimps aims to provide ALL the information you need (see our Travel Dashboard). This page uses data from UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The usual caveat: we cannot guarantee import of this information was error free and therefore the accuracy of this page. Always use a number of sources to check important information

Advice current as at 4:00 am 22 May 2019.

Immigration rules regarding parents and adults travelling with children (under 18) to show the child’s full unabridged birth certificate have been partially relaxed. However, as South Africa reserves the right to request a copy of the child’s unabridged birth certificate at the discretion of individual immigration officers before granting entry, we recommend that you are prepared to present the unabridged birth certificate to border officials upon arrival, particularly where one parent’s surname differs from the child’s. There are additional requirements if the child is travelling with only the one parent, with neither biological parent, or unaccompanied. See Entry requirements

There is a very high level of crime including rape and murder in South Africa. The most violent crimes tend to occur in townships, remote and isolated areas and away from the normal tourist destinations. Most visits to South Africa are trouble-free, but you should take sensible precautions to protect your safety. Crime increases in areas where large crowds gather, so be particularly vigilant if you’re attending sporting or other events that attract large numbers. See Safety and security

As of July 2018, police are investigating a series of incendiary devices placed at different locations in the Durban area. Two of these devices were triggered, causing small fires. You should exercise usual caution if you encounter unexpected devices or packages. If in doubt, contact the police.

There are regular protest marches and strike related demonstrations across South Africa, which can turn violent. Such marches and demonstrations can occur anywhere in South Africa, sometimes at short notice. You should avoid areas where demonstrations and marches are taking place, especially universities and government buildings. Don’t attempt to cross protester roadblocks as this could provoke a violent reaction. You should monitor local and social media for updates.

From 26 May 2014, if you live in South Africa, you must have a valid residence permit when you enter and leave the country. Instead of fining those whose permits have expired, you may be blacklisted and prevented from applying for a visa to re-enter South Africa for a period from 12 months to 5 years. See Entry requirements

There have been incidents involving foreigners being followed from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to their destinations by car and then robbed, often at gunpoint. Be vigilant in and around the airport and when driving away.

The standard of driving is variable and there are many fatal accidents. See Road travel

Beach conditions and local safety provisions vary considerably throughout the South African coastline and every year several people drown due to the strong sea currents. See Water safety

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in South Africa. See Terrorism

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.


Quick Facts Tourist Information for:

South Africa
Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)
Exchange Rate: still loading ...
Dialling Code: 27
Drive on the: left
Visitors/Tourists: 8,339,000 in 2011
Languages Spoken:
English (official language) 30%
Zulu (official language) 24%
Xhosa (official language) 18%
Afrikaans (official language) 13%

Capital City(s):
Cape Town
Timezone: still loading ....
Time Now: still loading ....
Telephone Area Code: +27 21
Population: 5,789,999
Latitude: -33.9766666667 Longitude: 18.4244444444

Timezone: still loading ....
Time Now: still loading ....
Telephone Area Code: 12
Population: 2,345,908
Latitude: -25.7255555556 Longitude: 28.2438888889

Timezone: still loading ....
Time Now: still loading ....
Telephone Area Code: 51
Population: 369,568
Latitude: -29.1197777778 Longitude: 26.2248361111

Largest City: Johannesburg
Telephone Area Code: 11
Latitude: Longitude:

This tool is being re-developed. The exchange rate is today's; but until development is completed we are using data obtained from a variety of sources in 2013 for the rest of the info, and is not guaranteed to be free of errors - see disclaimer.
Skyscanner came out as first choice for flights in Travelchimp's review:

Compare prices from hundreds of booking sites and hotel chains, then book on their site. 1.5 Million reviews.

Search by hotel name | Browse by country

Sites searched include: