Plan your journey to the Western Cape and the Cradle of Human Culture.
Population: 6 116 324 (Statistics South Africa)
Size: 129 462 square kilometers
Languages: South Africa has 11 official languages, but English, Afrikaans and Xhosa are the most commonly spoken in the Western Cape.
Local chit-chat: English: Afrikaans, Xhosa:
- Good morning: goeiemore, molo
- Hello: hallo, bhota
- Goodbye: totsiens, hamba kakuhle (go well) or sala kakuhle (stay well)
- Thank you: dankie, enkosi
- Help!: help!, nceda!
- Please: asseblief, ncela
- Excuse me: verskoon my, uxolo
- How much does this cost: hoeveel kos dit?, yimalini?
- Yes: ja, ewe
- No: nee, hayi
The rand (ZAR): R1 = 100 cents
Coin denominations: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5
Banknote denominations: R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200
Foreign exchange: It’s important to remember that you can only pay in rands in restaurants and stores in our province. Your currency can be exchanged at airports, commercial banks (Standard Bank, Absa, FNB, Nedbank), Rennies Travel or American Express. Branches can be found in most shopping centres, as well as in most suburbs of the Western Cape. You’ll also find exchange facilities in many hotels.
The exchange rate and commission vary, so check the daily newspaper for an updated standard rate.
Banking: You’ll find branches and ATMs of all major national banks in most towns, suburbs and shopping malls in the Western Cape. Most ATM machines accept:
- International bank cards
- VISA Electron and Maestro debit cards (mainly), and Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express credit cards
You will be charged a service fee. To find out more, please visit one of the banking branches.
Driving: Right-hand drive; international driver’s licence is required.
Time zone: GMT + 2 hours
What to pack: With a moderate Mediterranean climate, the Western Cape is an ideal destination all year round – so pack for warm, dry summers and mild, moist winters (except in the semi-desert Karoo region, which has dry winters and low summer rainfall).
Visas: Visitors’ visas are required for international travellers (citizens of other countries) who have permanent residence outside South Africa and who wish to visit the country on a temporary basis for tourism or business purposes for 90 days or shorter.
- Avoid walking in deserted and dark places at night
- Never allow strangers to assist you in any way at ATMs
- At night, park in secure and well-lit areas with street guards
- Keep photocopies and all valuable documents in a safe place