9 Things to Know Before Traveling To South Africa
Here are some of the basics, see our full South Africa FAQ here
Do I need a visa to travel to South Africa?
For visits of 90 days or less, US citizens are only required to have a passport with 30 days of validity, but a visa is not required.
Is tipping customary in South Africa?
Tipping between 10-15 percent in most service industries (restaurants, hotels, drivers, guides, etc) is appreciated throughout most of South Africa.
What is internet access like in South Africa?
Of our Africa tours and expeditions, the time spent in South Africa is likely your best opportunity to connect to the internet, especially in cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, which are very developed metropolitan centers. However, once you are in the more rural and remote areas, do not expect to connect to the internet.
Can I use my cell phone while in South Africa?
In the major cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, you can purchase a SIM chip that will work with the local cell towers. However, once you leave these cities, you will be out of range of the cell towers as you plunge deeper onto your African safari.
Do I need power adapters?
South Africa's 220-240v power uses the South Africa BS-546 outlets, with three round prongs (not the same as Italian or European style!). US devices will require both a step down converter and a plug adapter.
What are the toilets like in South Africa?
Whether you're staying in a safari camp or a luxurious hotel or anything in between, you can count on western style flush toilets and comfortable facilities during your stay in South Africa. Although it is worth mentioning that it is possible that you'll run into squat toilets in certain remote areas on various expeditions.
Can I drink the water in South Africa?
The water in South Africa is not safe to drink. Stick with the bottled water or filtered water given to you free of charge by your tour operator.
Are credit cards accepted in South Africa? Will I be able to find ATMs?
There are more businesses that accept credit cards and ATMs in South Africa than most of the rest of the countries in Africa, but it's still not something you should count on. When you do find an ATM, especially at the airport, take advantage of it to take out some cash that you can use for tips and souvenirs.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
Definitely! Purchasing travel insurance should come right after purchasing the ticket, just in case. So check out our Once You're Booked
page for more information and promotions.