Credit Cards. Shops, hotels and restaurants accept all major credit cards. You are likely to have no trouble using your Diners, American Express, Visa or Mastercard.
Banking. The South African banking system is reliable and advanced. Banking hours are 09h00 - 15h30 Monday to Friday, and 08h30 - 11h00 on Saturdays. Banks are closed on Sundays. Automatic Teller Machines (ATM's) are easily accessible. They are in service at all hours. All major airports provide commercial banking facilities.
Travellers Cheques. Banks and Bureaux de Change cash travellers cheques. Hotels exchange travellers cheques, but at a premium.
Currency. South Africa has a decimal currency system: 100 cents = R1.00 (One Rand ZAR). The exchange rate between US$ and ZAR fluctuates and is currently about R7.50 to the dollar. Coin denominations are 1c, 2c, 5c (copper), 10c, 20c, 50c (brass), R1, R2 and R5 (nickel). Note denominations are R10 (green), R20 (brown), R50 (red), R100 (blue) and R200 (orange).
Cigarettes : 400
Cigars : 50
Pipe Tobacco : 250g
Wine : 2 litres
Spirits : 1 litre
Perfume : 50ml
Eau de Toilette : 250ml
Electricity. The electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC at 50 Hertz. You will need a transformer for US-made appliances. Plugs conform to the old British-style, large, round, three pin and two pin sockets. You are likely to need plug adaptors if you bring along your own appliances.
Language. South Africa has eleven official languages, but you are certain to have no trouble communicating in English.
Trading Hours. Shops are normally open from 08h30 - 17h00, Monday to Friday, and 08h30 - 12h00 on Saturdays. Most large chain stores and shopping malls are open throughout the day on Saturdays and Sundays.
Time. South Africa is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Security. We do not want to deny that crime is a problem all over South Africa at the moment. Our feeling, however, is that it is blown out of proportion by the media. Inside the Kruger Park there is NO problem. Even on the highway to the Kruger Park, it is very safe. It is, however, not advisable to venture into the downtown area of major cities and some other areas at night unless you are accompanied by a local person who knows where not to go.
Malaria. One of the main reasons why this conference will take place in winter is because of the danger of malaria in summer. Normally we do not have any malaria problems in winter. However, if you are still in doubt, the official Kruger Park Statement on Malaria can be found here.
Climate. July is winter in South Africa. During this time the daily maximum temperature is typically around 26 degrees Celsius (about 80 degrees Fahrenheit), and the daily minimum is around 7 degrees Celsius (about 45 degrees Fahrenheit). Winter days are generally sunny, warm and dry. Rain is very unlikely in the northern part of the country.
Pre- and Post Conference
The company Holidays for Africa has been appointed as official tour operators for the conference. They organise a number of pre- and post conference tours and will also provide airport transfers from Johannesburg International Airport for people that arrive early or that depart late. Contact Rita Fitzgerald for more information.
Further useful inforation can be found at the following South African Tourism Pages: