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SOUTH AFRICA CALLING GUIDE |

Calling To/From South Africa Long Distance

Calling to South Africa

Making Calls while in South Africa

Making Calls while in South Africa

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Information About South Africa Telephone System

South Africa has the best-developed and most modern telecommunications system in Africa.  Telkom currently has a government-granted monopoly on landlines, while three GSM networks provide mobile service.  South Africa currently operates over 4.8 million land lines and over 33.3 million cellular lines.

Important Phone Numbers To Know if Traveling to South Africa

The U.S. Embassy is located in Pretoria at 877 Pretorius St., Arcadia (tel. 27/12/431-4000).  Other offices are in Johannesburg (tel. 27/11/644-8000); Cape Town (tel. 27/21/421-4280); and Durban (tel. 27/31/305-7600).   

Other Important Information to Know About South Africa

Time Zone:

GMT + 2.00. Current time in Cape Town.

Currency:

One U.S. dollar is worth roughly 6.89 South African rand.  One British pound is worth 13.7 rand.  Current exchange rate for South African rand.

Population:

47,432,000 (79.5% Black African, 9.2% White, 8.9% Coloured, 2.5 % Asian)

Holidays:

Among the public holidays in South Africa are: New Year’s Day, Human Rights Day (March 21st), Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday, Founders/Freedom Day (April 27th), Workers Day (May 1st), Soweto/Youth Day (June 16th), Women’s Day (August 9th), Heritage Day (September 24th), Day of Reconciliation (December 16th), Christmas Day, and Boxing Day (December 26th).

Language:

South Africa has 11 official languages, but English dominates.  Be patient though; it is a second language for many South Africans.

Climate:

South Africa is a large country with a diverse climate.  During summer months (November to February), temperatures are warm.  KwaZulu-Natal can get very humid, and gale-force winds are common n Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.  Temperatures fluctuate wildly during winter (June to September), so be prepared to layer.  Cape Town tends to experience rain from May through August, while the Garden Route and Karoo are consistently sunny.

Fun Facts About South Africa

  • Organized tours can help you save money, especially if you are traveling with a companion.
  • Tipping is the norms in South Africa. Always add 10% to 20% to your restaurant bill and 10% to your taxi.
  • The St. Lucia Wetland Park is Africa’s biggest estuary and is home to large populations of crocodiles and hippos.
  • Pretoria, the country’s administrative capital, is currently in the process of being renamed Tshwane.
  • Internal flights are widely available but can be expensive.  Try to find deals or consider using the country’s budget rail and bus systems.
  • South Africa has a well-respected and active wine industry.  Visit some of the Winelands’ many vineyards.
  • Many South Africans enjoy braai, or barbecue, which includes meat, especially spicy sausages.
  • The coastal town of Hermanus, about 70 miles from Cape Town, is considered the “whale-watching capital of the world.”
  • Durban is famous for its Indian curies, while the coastline offers fabulous seafood options.
  • The Blue Train is a posh train that runs between Pretoria/Johannesburg and Cape Town.
  • Be sure to make time to go on a safari. The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers luxurious game lodges.
  • Popular restaurant chains in South Africa include Spur, Dulce Café, Nando’s, and Steers.
  • Soccer, rugby, and cricket are among the most popular sports in South Africa.
  • Tap water is safe to drink in most of South Africa.  Be sure to ask about water safety before taking a drink in game reserves.
  • Cape Town is framed by a gorgeous coastline and the huge Table Mountain.  The city is truly global.  Take time to explore the area and eat the multicultural cuisine.
  • Biltong, a dried meat made from beef or game, is a popular snack food that is often consumed while watching sports.
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