Visitor Information

We’ve prepared some useful information to help you plan your journey to Cape Town & the Western Cape.

Population: 6,116,324 (Stats SA)

Size: 129,462 square kilometers

Languages:  Our country has 11 official languages but English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa are the most commonly heard in our province.

Local Chit-Chat: English, Afrikaans, Xhosa

- Good Morning: Goeiemore, Molo

- Hello: Hallo, Bhota

- Good – Bye: Totsiens, Hamba Kakuhle (go well) or Sala kakuhle (stay well)

- Thank you: Dankie, Enkosi

- Help!: Hulp, Nceda

- Please: Asseblief, Ncela

-  Excuse me: verskoon my, Uxolo

- How much does this cost: Hoeveel kos dit?, Yimalini?

- Yes: Ja, Ewe

- No: Nee, Hayi 

Money Matters:

 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 retail in our province. Your currency can be exchanged at airports, commercial banks (Standard Bank, Absa, FNB, Nedbank), Rennies Travel or American Express. These 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.


You’ll find branches and ATMs of all major national banks in most towns, suburbs and shopping malls in our province. Most ATM machines accept:

- International bank cards. 

- Mainly VISA Electron and Maestro debit cards, and Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express credit cards.

- You will be charged a service fee - to find out more please go to one of the banking branches. 

Driving: Right-hand drive, international driver’s licence is a must.

Time Zone: GMT + 2hrs

What to pack in your suitcase:

With a moderate Mediterranean climate, we are 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). We have magical activities and many events happening in the winter months like museum tours in the city, indoor markets for ‘foodies’, whale watching in Hermanus, snow in Ceres and a magnificent display of wild flowers on the West Coast.


Visitors’ visas are 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 a period of 90 days or less.

Travelling with a minor? You'll find all the info you need here.

Not sure if you need a visa? Please visit Home Affairs SA Visa for more.

Safety tips:

- Avoid walking in deserted and dark places at night

- Never allow strangers to assist you in anyway at ATMs

-  At night, park in secure and well-lit area with street guards

- Keep photocopies and all valuable documents in a safe place