Practical Information in Cape Town

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This Cape Town Practical Information guide will give you an idea of what to expect when vacationing in Cape Town, South Africa.

Visa Requirements

If you plan to visit Cape Town and you are a citizen of Australia, UK, Japan, US, Western European countries and Commonwealth countries then you won’t be required to get a visa. Instead you will be given a free-entry permit upon arrival that is valid for 90 days. However if you are not a citizen of the those countries you will be required to apply for a visa before entering Cape Town. You can apply for a visa from the South African Embassy in your country or from the nearest South African Embassy.  Your passport will need to be valid for 30 days after the expiration of the visa.

Time Zone and Climate

Cape Town belongs to the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +2, meaning this city is 7 hours ahead of the Eastern Standard Time (EST). Since Cape Town is part of Africa, the climate of this city is totally different from a country in the northern hemisphere. During the months of April to September Cape Town experiences winter, with temperatures as low as 13 degrees C. Summer is from October to March and the temperature is about 28 degrees C.

Tax and Refunds

If you purchased anything in Cape Town, chances are you’ve been charge with 14 percent VAT. However, if you are taking your purchases back to your country you can have the VAT refunded to you when leaving the country. Simply present a tax invoice or official receipt of your purchase to the custom officer in the airport. Your merchandise will be inspected and after that you can claim your refund.

Money Matters

The official currency of Cape Town is the South African Rand. It is advisable to change your currency into Rand at authorized money changers or at the banks. However if you have credit cards you can use them to purchase almost everything except gasoline, so it is still nice to carry around some cash.

Emergency and Phone Dialing

If you run into trouble or have an emergency you can dial these numbers for assistance:

Emergency - 107; Netcare - 911 Cape Town dialing code 021; Police - 10111; and Ambulance - 10177                                                                                        

The international country dialing code for SA is:  0027. Reach South Africa by dialing: SA +27 (area code) (telephone number).

Contributors
March 15, 2010 new by kwalker

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