Practical Information in Johannesburg

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If you wish to go to South Africa and visit its largest city, you might want to equip yourself first of the essential Johannesburg Practical Information. As a destination made up of the largest economy in all of the metropolitan areas, Johannesburg is also popular for its wealth in the mining industry and its huge population. Here is some handy information for you.

Geography, Climate and Time Zone

Johannesburg is located in the eastern part of South Africa, situated in the plateau known as Highveld. Its terrain is mostly composed of hills in the north and west and a flatter landscape in the east. Johannesburg exhibits a subtropical climate with a rather mild temperature caused by the city’s high altitude level. Winter is characterized as the sunniest time of the year but temperatures sometimes drop to zero. This cold season starts around May and June. Meanwhile, summer is from October to April, with an average temperature of 29 degrees C. In addition, the city follows the Central African Time which is GMT +2.

Visa and Passport

Have your visa and passport ready for your trip to Johannesburg. Your passport must be valid for 90 days so better check first if it is. If you are from UK, USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, there is no need to apply for a visa prior to arrival in Johannesburg. However, a return ticket must be present. Visas require a passport with 2 consecutive pages available.


Regulations are set by the government over visitors, just like in any other country. A tourist may bring in duty-free items that are worth up to R3000, anything exceeding that amount will be charged a 20 percent tax rate. Moreover, you are also allowed to bring in wine, perfume and cigarettes but only to a specified limit. With regards to etiquette, be polite and use handshakes for introductions.


The currency in Johannesburg is the Rand. The rate of exchange is $1 USD= R7.48. This value varies, though, almost every day. It is best to check first before planning your budget for the trip. You can change you money at the money changers in the Johannesburg Airport.

Local Transportation

You can make use of the buses and mini-buses in the city. However, companies like Greyhound offer comfortable inter-city and inter-state transport. The main bus terminal is situated at the Gandhi Square and route maps are available there. However, if you really want to make the most out of your tour, drive a private car and move through well-maintained roads and highways. Be sure to bring your driver’s license and your credit card. Also, ensure safety when driving or parking your car.

March 25, 2010 change by kwalker

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