Please be aware of the following important information regarding travel to South Africa
- Every person entering South Africa should be in possession of a valid passport. Passports should have longer than 6 months before their expiry date and at least one blank page in that passport.
- There are numerous countries that do not need a visa to travel to South Africa if they are visiting for less than 90 days for tourist or business purposes and some that do not need a visa if they are visiting for less than 30 days for tourist or business purposes. Please click here for a list of countries exempt from needing a visa for travel to South Africa.
- Click here to find out how to apply for a South African visa, should you need one.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU CHECK VISA REQUIREMENTS WITH YOUR TRAVEL AGENT AND SOUTH AFRICAN DIPLOMATIC MISSION WITHIN YOUR COUNTRY BEFORE YOU TRAVEL. VISAS ARE NOT ISSUED AT SOUTH AFRICAN PORTS OF ENTRY.
Please note that there are very strict border controls for children under the age of 18 years entering or exiting the country. All children need to have a valid passport and a copy of their full (unabridged) birth certificate. Click here to find out more about these requirements.
Yellow Fever Certificate
You will only need a Yellow fever certificate to enter South Africa if your journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America. Please check with your travel agent and/or local Travel Clinic before you travel.
Please click here for online booking of hotel accommodation and/or airport transfers.
Click here for more information on tourist attractions in and around Durban as well as some that are a few hours drive away.
General safety information
Like most big cities in the world, there is a crime problem in Durban and in towns and cities throughout South Africa. Although there is a very strong security presence on the Durban beachfront, it is best is to avoid walking alone, particularly at night, and do not walk or drive into areas without checking first with hotel or conference staff as to its safety. Always be alert when walking, keeping your belongings (handbags, backpacks, etc.) closed and close to your body.
Never accept any offered assistance from strangers at ATM’s (Automated Teller Machines). Try to stand as close as possible to the machine to avoid strangers seeing your pin number. It is safest to never let your CREDIT card out of your sight.
In case of property theft or a lost or stolen credit card, contact a member of the conference team immediately in order that they may assist you in reporting the theft as soon as possible at a police station.
Access by air and getting into the city
King Shaka International airport is located 35 km north of Durban. Taxis and rental cars are available from the airport and travel time to the city is approximately 22 minutes.
Many international airlines fly directly to South Africa and are most likely to land at O.R.Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. It is a 55 minute flight from Johannesburg to Durban.
These International Airlines fly directly to Durban with stopovers in selected cities
- Emirates Airlines
- Qatar Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
If you are keen to tour within South Africa, there are numerous flights every day from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport to both Johannesburg and Cape Town as well as to most other major cities in the country. Reasonably priced flights can be booked with the following domestic airlines:
Car hire & parking
It is possible to hire a car from numerous car rental companies situated at Durban’s King Shaka International Airport. You will need to arrange for secure parking for the car with your hotel.
The King Shaka International Airport website provides information on various car hire options. You will need to be in possession of an international driver’s licence if should you wish to hire a car. Please remember that in South Africa cars are driven on the left side of the road.
For locals using a car to travel to the conference, free parking is normally available along Marine Parade. Cars are watched over by local car guards.
South Africa currency & money issues
The official currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR).
Most major currencies enjoy a very favourable exchange rate against the South African Rand (ZAR). Most shops, cafes and restaurants accept credit cards, however not all accept AMEX or Diners cards. You can find ATM’s (Automated Teller Machines) all around city. Currency can also be exchanged at the banks.
Approximate Exchange rates
1 American dollar = 13,50 ZAR
1 Euro = 15 ZAR
1 British Pound = 17 ZAR
VAT (Value Added Tax) Refunds
The present VAT on most goods and services in South Africa is 14%. Tourists can receive a tax refund on all tangible goods bought in South Africa exceeding R250 per item. This refund is provided at the airport, on your way out of the country. It is advisable to plan an extra hour at the airport for tax refunds and have the goods with their receipts ready for the controlling officer.
The following provides you with some guidance on providing gratuities (tips) to various people for services rendered throughout your stay in South Africa. Gratuities are, however, at your own discretion.
Waitrons: Many waitrons are students who rely on gratuities to supplement their wages. We recommend a 10 – 15% gratuity on the total sum of your restaurant bill for waitrons. Be aware that some restaurants charge an automatic 10% gratuity on group bookings of 8 people or more. Double check this, prior to adding on an additional gratuity to the end bill.
Taxi Drivers: A 10% gratuity is recommended for taxi drivers on the total fare.
Car guards: Should you be hiring a car you might find people wanting to assist you with parking as well as offering to watch your car when you park. Please don’t see this as pestering, they are there to help prevent your car from being stolen while you are away! The best is to ask for their name, thank them and tip them approx. R2 per hour on your return. (Most car guards wear a reflective vest with writing which identifies them as car guards.)
Housekeeping attendants: A recommended R10 per night gratuity is suggested for hotel housekeeping attendants.
Porters: At most hotels there are hotel porters to assist with your luggage on check in and check out. Should you wish to give them a gratuity for their assistance, a recommended R5.00 per luggage item assisted with is recommended.
Durban has a sub-tropical climate and enjoys warm weather for most of the year. There is very little likelihood of rain at the time of the conference.
Average Durban temperatures in autumn/fall (March, April, May): 20° – 25° C (68° – 77° F)
Time zone in the whole country
South Africa 27
220/230 volts AC 50 HZ
Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins.