A credit car is always good to have but not necessarily needed in South Africa. Money can be collected from the ATM with a basic maestro debit card. It is advisable to draw a larger amount to save banking fees, the available amount is different with the local banks and can range from 2000 ZAR to 4000 ZAR. If you travel South Africa it is helpful to have a credit card or a sufficient amount of cash, though.
Traveller Cheques are an option but need to be exchanged during bank opening times for a fee.
Due the large number of tourists in South Africa the requirements for driving are more strict. An international driver license as well as the home/european driver license is necessary.
The common tourist visa(visitors permit) counts for a maximum of 3 months or as stated on your return airline ticket. The possibility to extend your stay for second term of 3 months is normally granted with the presentation of a return airline ticket, a prove of finance, a copy of your passport, a completed form for extension of the visitors permit and the payment of a fee. Don't forget to copy all paperwork two times for office use! The extension of a visitors permit can be made with a local Home Affairs Office.
Any other informations for study or working permits can be inquired from your local embassy.
If you travel Cape Town and the Western Cape of South Africa you don't need any special vaccinations like yellow fever or malaria. A malaria prevention is only needed if you visit certain areas in the north-east or in Mozambique. You can get medical assistance and needed medications from any local medical doctor or pharmacy.
You can use your cell phone in South Africa with the most providers in roaming mode. More convenient is it to get a prepaid card with a local cell phone number and use it for local calls during your stay in South Africa. Prepaid cards can be charged at most stores and petrol stations. The local term for a prepaid voucher is "Airtime".
The quality of food is up to the standards and includes local and international products. Even the local street food is good, but should be taken with care by sensitive persons. South Africa and especially Cape town is also famous for its many star-graded restaurants and food culture.
Forget about all the scary story tales about South Africa. Cape Town and its surroundings are a safe place for a fantastic holiday, its a big difference to cities like Johannesburg where security could be an issue. If you have common sense and mind a few basic rules like: leave nothing in a parked car and don't stop for hitchhikers.
Little things to bring
If you feel like contributing, you are welcome to bring some old clothes or needful things. the local street kids and rural communities are always in need of essential and basic living goods.
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