General Travel Information
Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, moderately wet winters and dry, warm summers. During summer (November to February) the temperature on the coast generally ranges between 15°C and 35°C (while inland it increases by approximately 3-5°C).
The summer sun is no laughing matter, however, so make sure that you slap on plenty of strong sunscreen. The south-easterly wind known as the Cape Doctor also makes its appearance in summer, wreaking havoc on hairstyles and beach parties, but performing a vital service to the city by clearing it of smog.
Average temperatures and monthly rainfall in Cape Town - Dec 15-25˚C / 59-77˚F – 17mm / 0.7in
Credit cards, shopping
The South African Rand (ZAR) is the local currency. All major credit cards are accepted throughout South Africa. Various automatic teller machines are located within walking distance of the official hotels and the CTICC.
Currency and exchange
The South African Rand (ZAR) is the local currency. Foreign exchange can be done in any of the hotels. Notes come in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200; and coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5. There are two R5 coins in circulation, both of which are legal currency. All transactions are rounded down to the nearest 5c. Rand (ZAR). 100 cents equals one rand. A passport will be required for ALL transactions.
Foreign exchange can be done at most hotels and at the CTICC.
There are many banks and foreign exchange facilities in Cape Town city centre, within walking distance of the CTICC. A passport will be required for ALL transactions. Foreigners can claim sales tax refunds and should ask salesmen to fill out a tax refund form when purchasing any goods.
Read more: South African Currency.
The voltage throughout South Africa is 220V/50hz. Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, in both cases with round pins. If you're bringing anything electrical, bring an adapter. Most hotels have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and appliances. Adaptors can be bought at the airport on your arrival, and may be available at your hotel.
Liability and insurance
Registration for the Congress implies that delegates agree that neither the Local Organizing Committee nor the Professional Conference Organizer assume any liability or responsibility for any losses, accidents or damage to person's private property. Delegates are requested to make their own arrangements for medical, travel and personal insurance.
Malaria risk in South Africa is confined to the northeastern parts of the country (the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo and on the Maputaland coast of KwaZulu-Natal). The time of the congress coincides with the dry season in that region, therefore the risk of malaria is low. Antimalarial chemoprophylaxis is not recommended during the dry season, but measures to prevent mosquito bites should be taken.
The cheapest, safest and most effective measures against malaria are physical barriers such as a mosquito net, and the use of a good insect repellent.
South Africa Malaria Risk Map (Click on the image to view larger map)
South Africa does not have a national health scheme. The patient is individually responsible for settling all accounts. Travel insurance covering accidents, illness or hospitalization during your stay is strongly recommended.
Access to medical care for Conference participants will be available should there be a need.
Read more: Health Tips for Travellers
South Africa has 11 official languages but at the Congress only ENGLISH will be spoken. No simultaneous translation will be provided.
As with most languages, there are local/colloquial expressions visitors might wish to familiarize themselves with by consulting the following link:
Read more: South African-isms
Places of worship
Freedom of religion is enshrined in the South African constitution, and places of worship span all the world's major religions and some lesser ones too.
Smoking is prohibited in public spaces and is restricted to specific areas.
South African telecommunications include four mobile service providers that ensure countrywide coverage and generally good reception in urban areas. Mobile phones can be rented at all international airports and prepaid airtime can be purchased at most retail outlets.
For outgoing international calls, dial 00 plus the country and area codes of the destination concerned. Refer to telephone directories for international dialling codes, or obtain 24-hour assistance by calling 10903.
For incoming international calls, the code for South Africa is +27 followed by the city code or cell phone code, dropping the first 0. Cape Town's city code is 021.
As regards internet, most international hotels offer wireless connections in guestrooms, business centres or restaurants. However, most hotels and public areas will charge for WiFi internet access.
Read more: Phoning to, from, and in South Africa.
Central European Time (GMT+2 hours)
Tipping for a range of services is common in South Africa. In restaurants the accepted standard is 10% to 15% of the total, although a gratuity will sometimes be included. Hotel porters are tipped around R20. It is also appropriate to tip taxi drivers, tour guides and hairdressers.
Visitors entering South Africa from a yellow fever zone must have a valid international yellow fever inoculation certificate. Immunization against cholera and small pox are not required, nor are other vaccinations required when visiting South Africa.
For the majority of foreign nationals who travel to South Africa, entry is straightforward and hassle-free. All visitors must be in possession of a valid passport in order to enter the country and in some cases, a visa. To determine whether you require a visa to enter South Africa, visit the comprehensive South African Home Affairs Department.
Tap water is drinkable in all parts of South Africa. Bottled mineral water, both sparkling and still, is readily available at all official hotels and the CTICC.