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South Africa

South Africa South Africa

Population: 55.653.654 people
Region: Southern Africa (Search on Google maps)
Capital: Pretoria
Country Code: ZA

Money in South Africa

Currencie(s): South African rand

  • 1 South African rand = 0.05 €
  • 1 South African rand = 0.06 $
  • 1 South African rand = 0.05 £

Should I exchange money before I travel? Although this depends on many factors, including which currencies you want to convert and which country you are travelling from, generally speaking exchanging your money AFTER you travel will provide you with a more favourable exchange rate.

The rule is simple: the more common the currency is, the cheaper it will be. So, for example, if you are travelling from the UK to South Africa and want to buy some South African rand here, you will pay less for it in South Africa, as this is the currency that you will find everywhere. At the same time your GBP will become rare and valuable, which means that you will get more money for them.

Looking for advice about exchanging South African rand? Discover our tips in our article about currency exchange.

Corruption: South Africa has a corruption score of 57/100.
If your itinerary runs through South Africa, watch out for muggers and beware of corrupt police officers. According to Transparency International, South Africa scores average on the list of corrupt nations around the world.

South Africa is concidered to be a relatively dangerous country, with a Global Peace Index of 2.4 out of 4.
This report is the only one of its kind that measures how dangerous or safe a nation is based on 23 different indicators, including political terror, deaths from internal conflict, murder rate, and ease of access to small arms and light weapons.

Language in South Africa

Language(s): Afrikaans, English, Southern Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Swati, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa & Zulu

Food & Drinks in South Africa

Experiencing the local culture is a huge part of travelling and trying traditional food is largely connected with that cultural experience. Visitors to the UK always want to eat fish and chips, Vietnamese pho is the big pull for travellers in Vietnam, and here in Belgium it’s all about fries. Supporting the local community is a really important aspect of travel. So please make sure you taste the national dish: Bobotie

Tap Water: Do not drink. According the the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - USA, Source), you might want to drink bottled water because travellers' diarrhoea, hepatitis A, typhoid and cholera are among the illnesses that can be transmitted with bad water.

It's not just what you drink:

  • Check that natural bodies of water are safe before you swim
  • Be picky with the water you use to brush your teeth
  • Wash your dentures or ice your drinks
  • Keep your mouth closed in the shower, and always use soap!

Drinking age: The minimum age for drinking in South Africa is 18.

Religion in South Africa

South Africa is a religious country. According to the Gallup Poll in 2009 research, 85% of the population thinks religion is important in their daily life. More info about this study can be found here. The religous adherents are Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, other Christian 36%, Islam 1.5%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)

From beautiful cathedrals in Italy to majestic temples in India, the world is filled with holy places that are important to the religions of the world. Maybe you are not religious yourself, or maybe you are visiting places where people celebrate different religions. Learning to look without gawking, see without ogling can be the difference between being accepted as a visitor, and being resented as an intruder. That's why we've written an article about the impact of religion on your travel plans.

This article also mentions how tattoo's, some style of clothing and other religous simbols can be extremely taboo.

Sex & Relationships in South Africa

Age of Consent: 16 years.
At the age of 16, an individual is considered mature enough in South Africa to consent to sex. Sexual relations with someone under the Age of Consent are considered statutory rape.

Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is legalized in South Africa since 2006.

South Africa scores a 6/10 on the 'Gay Travel Index'.
Please note: Certain cities, tourist areas and resorts can sometimes be ANTI-LGBTQ+ even when the laws in South Africa are LGBTQ+ friendly. In all cases, do your research, check official government data for up-to-date news and if you feel apprehensive consider travelling to a more LGBTQ+ friendly country.

National Sports in South Africa

While travelling through South Africa you'll be experiencing a foreign culture, rather than looking in from the outside as a temporary visitor. You'll discover new places, come in contact with new religions, explore intriguing destinations and experience culinary delights. You'll be immersed in a totally new culture .. and one aspect we shouldn't forget about is sports!

A lot of countries and cultures have an obsession with sports, almost reaching religious proportions. In this case, Taekwondo is South Africa their national sport.

Other practical tips for South Africa

Timezone: UTC+02:00
TIP: Think about the time difference before planning your trip. Imagine you’re finally in South Africa – but all you want to do is sleep! Travelling into a different time zone can be a real burden. The only way to truly adjust in 24 hours or less is to prepare before you go, so check out our tips that outline how to quickly adjust to a new time zone.

Driving: Left-hand traffic.

WARNING: You might want to rent a car, but remember: this is a left-hand driving country. This might be the opposite side of the road than you’re used to, so it will require more concentration to keep from turning their car directly into oncoming traffic.

Remember: this country uses the metric system. Depending where you're from - distances, speed, and liquid quantities might be differend from the system you're used to. Find out how you should convert this unit system.

Power adapters and converters: 230 V (50 Hz), Plug C / M / N (still rare)
When travelling to South Africa, electronic devices might be necessary to document the incredible sights or to stay in contact with friends and family members back home. Most electronics like Phones, laptop computers and hair tools do not come cheap, so it's incredibly important to make sure your device is compatible with this type of outlets - 230 V (50 Hz), Plug C / M / N (still rare). You can read our guide about travel adapters and converters to determine which types you need for your next trip!

Weather: Currently broken clouds, with a temperature between 17 and 21.7°C (62.6 and 71°F)

Pollution (PM2.5 fine dust particles): 25.1 µg/m3
PM2.5 Fine dust particulates can be carried deep into the lungs where they can cause inflammation and a worsening of the condition of people with heart and lung diseases. The smaller the particles the deeper they travel into the lungs, with more potential for harm. Note that the World Health Organisation's guideline value is 20 µg/m3. So be carefull when travelling to South Africa. Make sure you are prepared by reading our article about effective strategies for a healthier trip.

Fly to South Africa

Planning a trip to South Africa? We have a list of 91 airports you can fly to. You can find the closest one to your destination by clicking on a city below!

List of cities in South Africa