South Africa Basic Information

While the Australian Government still advises Aussies holidaying in South Africa to exercise a high degree of caution due to the high level of crime, being aware and responsible won’t hamper your enjoyment of this exciting country. Here’s some more travel tips for South Africa.

Visa Requirements

Australians travelling to South Africa on holiday are required to have a passport valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of your intended stay, and at least 2 completely blank pages for your entry permit to be endorsed. Be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local Embassy or Consulate of South Africa.


The currency of South Africa is the South African Rand. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and South African Rand fluctuates constantly, so it’s a good idea to monitor the rate before purchasing cash. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit card or debit card.


Expat South Africans may get misty-eyed over biltong and boerewors but there’s more to the local cuisine than dried meat and sausages. The diverse cultural influences include British, Dutch, German, Indian, Malay and Portuguese dishes, which have also been adapted to native African staples. Seafood is a speciality as are spicy curries. A South African braais or barbecue is a weekend tradition with huge amounts of meat roasted over an open fire accompanied by spicy tomato relish and pap – an African porridge made from cornmeal. South Africa is also renowned for its Cape Wineland region vinos.


The after-hours scene in the main cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town is plentiful and pumping. Certain streets in central locations in Cape Town and Johannesburg tend to be the main dining and entertainment destinations at night, while there are also satellite areas of nightlife in the suburbs around the beaches, affluent areas or student hangouts.  Options range from pubs and bars to cocktail lounges and multi-level clubs where live Cape jazz or kwaito (South African hip hop), R’n’B, dance music and alternative tunes are the most popular sounds around.