Frequently asked questions
Can I use my bank card in South Africa?
You'll be able to use your bank card in all urban areas in South Africa. You'll also find ATMs in built-up areas.
If you're planning to use your card in South Africa, look for any potential costs or transaction fees when using
your card abroad.
ATMs are harder to find in rural areas and shops in these areas are often cash-only. When venturing out of major cities,
think about bringing some travel money to pay for your expenses.
How expensive is South Africa?
The South African rand is weaker than the British pound (GBP). This makes South Africa a relatively affordable destination.
Larger cities will typically be more expensive than rural areas, and you can expect to pay more in Johannesburg, Pretoria,
and Cape Town. If you're going to South Africa on a budget, larger cities will be between 10% to 20% cheaper during
Check our currency converter to see the latest exchange
rates for South African rand.
Can you use other currencies in South Africa?
The only currency accepted in South Africa is the South African rand.
Do you need a visa to visit South Africa?
As a UK citizen, you'll be able to visit South Africa for up to 90 days without a visa.
You'll need to apply for a visa if you want to stay a little longer. You'll also need a work permit if you plan to earn some rands.
Other passport holders should check the entry requirements with your country's embassy.
You should always research the most up to date visa guidelines before planning a trip.
Should I tip in South Africa?
Waiting staff in South Africa earn a very basic living wage, so you should try and tip whenever you can. When dining out,
you should tip between 10% and 20% of the total bill.
If your meal costs ZAR200, you should leave your waiter a tip between ZAR20 and ZAR40.
Other workers will appreciate a tip between ZAR10 and ZAR15. These include:
- taxi drivers
- hotel cleaners
- hotel staff
- safari workers
- tour guides
What languages are spoken in South Africa?
In total, there are 12 official languages in South Africa. English is commonly spoken in urban areas, and it's the main language
used in South African media. English and Afrikaans are also part of the same language family. This means you may find yourself
being able to understand a few words in Afrikaans as you travel.
What is the latest government travel advice for South Africa?
What is the best time of year to visit South Africa?
A diverse climate means there's always an ideal time to visit South Africa. Whether you're looking for safaris, coastal getaways,
or beach holidays, South Africa has something all year-round.
The best time for a safari is from May to October, and you'll be able to view animals in famous reserves like Kruger and Madikwe.
This is the South African dry season, and less vegetation makes wildlife easier to spot.
The hot summer months from November to March are unbeatable for a Cape Town beach holiday. Most of South Africa's coast enjoys
year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, making it a great destination no matter when you go.