Cape Town is South Africa’s second biggest and second most visited city. Endowed with a natural beauty characterized by rocky mountains with unique shapes and a beautiful coastline, fantastic summers and blooming spring, Cape Town is no doubt in everybody’s bucket list.
Whether visiting for business or leisure, below are very important facts and tourist information about Cape Town South Africa, which may apply to other places in the country as well:
South African Rand (ZAR)
All regions in South Africa are supplied with a 220 – 240V AC. South Africa uses the two or three-prong round pin socket plugs.
South Africa has a modern banking system. Major cards like Visa and Mastercard are accepted in most shops, restaurants, tour companies, and hotels.
South Africa is well known for banking and card fraud therefore it’s important to remember the following:
- Be alert of the surrounding before conducting any banking transactions. Make sure the person behind you at the pay counter keeps reasonable distance. Don’t shy away from telling them to keep distance.
- Select PINs that are not easy to guess. More than 15 characters is good enough. I know this is a cliche’and it will until your card is compromised
- Keep a close eye on your credit/debit cards when using it to avoid any eagle eyes around you. If you think your card could be compromised, contact your bank immediately
- Never discuss your PIN with anyone who claims to be a bank officer or a policeman. Your bank will never ask for your PIN
In Cape Town South Africa, the most common languages are English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. Afrikaans is the most widely spoken home language by 40% of the Cape Town population.
Tourism information centres In Cape Town
Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town information centre are the official source of tourism information in Cape Town.
These two have booths and offices throughout the city where you can obtain credible information of places to visit and available service providers. One can book with Cape Town Tourism directly or choose to contact the service provider for booking. Charges remain the same.
Personally i prefer to book through Cape Town Tourism office as they contact the service provider and book for you as you wait which saves on telephone airtime.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
South Africa charges a 14% VAT on goods and services. Foreign visitors with cumulative purchase of over R250 can claim cash back at the VAT Refund office in Cape Town and Johannesburg International Airports.
10% Tip is standard in major restaurants
Cape Town is nicknamed a slice of Europe in Africa. Just like Europe and North America, Capetonians like talking about the weather. In Kenya you’d never hear anyone talk about the weather unless they work for the weather department or are reading weather forecast.
Cape Town weather is very unpredictable. There is a common joke that we can have four seasons in one day in Cape Town. It could be raining in one place and sun shining bright in another.
Summer begins in December through to February with temperatures ranging from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius. February is the hottest month. June to August is winter season with temperatures dropping to around 15. Spring starts from September through to November when the flowers bloom and paint the mountains with color and warmth.
My best time to visit is Spring and summer, of course. It tends to rain during Winter which when combined with the all year round wind doesn’t go too well for me.
- 112 from mobile and 107 from landline to report any safety incidence
- 10111 South African Police Service
- 0861 106 417 Table Mountain National Park (very important to have if you plan to hike Table Mountain /Lion’s Head/Cape of Good Hope
While in Cape Town, below places/activities are recommended:
Carolina | My Global Attitude