The unit of currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR) and is indicated with a capital R so that, for example, three Rand and fifty cents would be written R3.50. South Africa has a decimal currency system with one Rand equalling 100 cents. Denomination of Rand notes are R200, R100, R50, R20, and R10 and of the coins are R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c and 10c.
The following exchange rates were applicable as of 10 March 2023:
1 United States Dollar = ZAR 18.48 1 Euro = ZAR 19.58
Facilities for cashing traveller’s cheques are available at banks (operating hours are Monday to Friday 09h00 – 15h30, Saturdays 08h30 – 11h00) and at most hotels. Banks are closed on Sundays. Foreign exchange agencies are open during the week and on Saturdays. Automatic teller machines (ATM) are open 24 hours and are located at most banks as well as at the conference Venue. International credit cards (Visa, Diners Club, MasterCard, and American Express) are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shops.
The electricity supply in South Africa is 220 – 240 volts, 50 Hz. The connection for appliances is a round three-pin plug. Most hotels provide dual-voltage two-pin razor sockets (100-120 volts and 220-240 volts).
There are no compulsory vaccination requirements for persons entering South Africa although a certificate for yellow fever may be required if you are entering from certain South American or sub-Saharan African countries. Certain parts of the country have been designated as malaria risk areas. If you intend travelling to one of these areas, it is essential that you take prophylaxis before arrival and whilst in the area. Protective clothing and insect repellents should also be used.
Cape Town is a malaria risk free area. South African doctors and dentists are highly trained professionals and hospitals are well equipped. Participants are requested to make their own arrangements with respect to health insurance prior to departure and consult their local general practitioner for personal expert advice. The South African National Travel Health Network (SaNTHNet) has been established to provide travellers with essential information related to health risks both locally and across borders. The website has regular updates on health risks, as well as providing general information related to vaccination requirements for various destinations.
For more information, please visit: https://www.santhnet.co.za/
It is safe to drink tap water throughout South Africa. However, for those who prefer bottled mineral water, this is readily available in various stores. Smoking is prohibited by law in most public buildings in South Africa (airports, shopping centres, restaurants etc.), except in designated smoking areas.
There are currently no Covid-19 restrictions applicable for entry into South Africa.
The 39th World Veterinary Association Congress (WVAC 2024) accepts no liability for any personal injury, loss, or damage of property belonging to or additional expenses incurred by conference participants either during the conference or as result of delays, strikes or any other circumstances. Participants are requested to make their own arrangements with respect of health, travel, and cancellation insurance.
The official congress language will be English.
Every visitor to South Africa must have a valid passport.
- Passengers travelling to South Africa must be in possession of a passport with two unused pages required for endorsements. The two unused pages when presented for purposes of endorsing a port of entry visa, visa, permanent residence permit, or entry of departure stamp.
- The passport must be machine readable however, the foreigner may be admitted into or depart from South Africa with a non-machine-readable passport provided that:
- He or she is from a foreign country that is issuing machine readable passports and has not completely phased out the non-machine-readable passports; and
- Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after your intended date of departure.
Passport holders from more than 80 countries, including USA, Canada, UK, Japan, and the EU can visit South Africa without a visa. A list of countries that currently do not require a visa can be found at the SA Government website: http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries
Information regarding visas can be obtained from your travel agent or the South African diplomatic or consular representative in your area. Delegates requiring visas, and who intend taking tours to neighbouring Southern African countries, are advised to secure a multiple entry visa. Tourists must satisfy immigration officers that they have the means of support for the duration of their stay in the country and return /onward tickets. Visas cannot be obtained on arrival.
If required, upon request, the Congress Secretariat is willing to send you a letter of invitation. It should be understood, that this letter will be sent only to help participants to raise travel funds or to obtain a visa. A letter of invitation is not a commitment on the part of the organisers to provide any financial support. Please note that only registered delegates who have paid their Congress registration fees will be issued with a letter of invitation.
For those participants who have not previously visited South Africa, or Cape Town, and are concerned about personal safety, we wish to assure all visitors that Cape Town is like any other major city with good and bad areas. Common sense will ensure a trouble free and enjoyable conference and vacation. The area around the Cape Town International Convention Centre and adjacent hotels is safe, and well monitored, but we advise that you do not walk alone after dark in unpopulated streets. Ostentatious displays of wealth should be avoided all the time. During the Conference, the information desk at the venue and your hotel’s concierge will be able to assist you with information on places to visit and the appropriate means of transport.
Most shops in the city centre and suburbs open between 08h00 and 17h00 to 17h30. Shops in major shopping malls open at 09h00 and close at 21h00 or later (especially at the V&A Waterfront), even on Sundays and most public holidays. Government agencies keep to traditional weekday only hours. Most banks close at 15h30 and have limited Saturday morning opening times. Muslim-owned businesses close at noon on Fridays and re-open at 14h00.
International direct dialling, internet, and e-mail facilities are easily accessible in Cape Town. Most of the mobile telephone systems used around the globe operates in Cape Town. Local SIM Cards can be purchased at convenience stores or at the Airport on Arrival.
Gratuities are not obligatory but are expected in South Africa. A guideline for visitors is the following: Airport porters ZAR 20 per item, taxis 10%, waiters, and waitresses in restaurants 10%.
VAT of 15% is levied on nearly all goods and services. Foreign tourists may claim back VAT paid on goods or products (not services) that will be taken out of the country. Original tax invoices, foreign passport, plus all the items on which a refund is claimed, must be presented at the VAT Refund Administration Office or an appointed RSA Customs and Excise Official on departure, and the total VAT on these items will be refunded.