Useful information

The weather

Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate, with warm dry summers and moist winters except in the semi-desert Karoo region where the winters are dry and the summers have low rain fall.

Spring / Summer (September to February) Average temperature = 27 Degrees Celsius
Autumn/ Winter (May to August) Average temperature = 19 Degrees Celsius


South African has 11 official languages. English, Afrikaans and Xhosa are the most commonly spoken in the Western Cape.


Public telephones
Blue boxes: accept coins 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2, and R5 or
Green boxes: accept phone cards available at most shops in denominations of R15, R20, R50, R100, and R200. These are only valid in South Africa.

Cellular phones can be hired at the airport and from most cellular phone outlets.
Networks in South Africa: Vodacom, MTN and Cell C.

Internet cafes are found in most towns.

Post office

Operating hours are:
Weekdays: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wednesdays: 9am - 4:30 pm
Saturdays: 8am - 12pm


GMT +2
Central – European winter time +1
Eastern – Standard winter time +7


The Rand (R)
R1 = 100 cents
Coin denominations: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5
Banknote denominations: R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200

Foreign exchange

Foreign currency can be exchanged at airports, commercial banks, Rennies Travel or American Express. Some hotels provide exchange facilities for guests.


Branches of major banks are found in most towns.
Banking hours
Weekdays: 9am – 3:30pm
Saturdays: 8:30/ 9am -11am

Distance and temperature conversion

1 km =0.6214 miles
10°C = 50°F
20°C = 68°F
30°C = 86°F


Power: 220/230 volts AC
Plug points: 15 amp, round pin, 3 point (European plugs require additional adaptor plugs).
Many hotels have 100 – volt outlets for electric shavers.

Tax refunds

14% Value Added Tax (VAT) applies. Visitors qualify for a VAT refund if the total value exceeds R250. This can be claimed back at airports, harbours and customs offices. To claim back, take along the original tax invoice, a VAT refund control sheet, your foreign passport and the item purchased.