Helpful Links: South Africa

General Information

Which time zone is South Africa in?

What holidays are observed?

What business hours are held?

What post office/mail/parcel services are available?

How do I address letters to South Africa?

What is the manner of dress in South Africa?

Are there any etiquette rules that I should be aware of?

Which electrical outlets are used?

University Life

Where can I find a list of South African universities?

What scholarships are available to me?

What is the average salary of a professor?


What is the weather like in South Africa?

What is the weather forecast for this week?

Moving Around

Is my driver’s license valid in South Africa?

How can I obtain a South African driver’s license?

How can I obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP)?

Which side of the road do I drive on?

Can I rent a car?

How can I travel around within South Africa?

Where can I find updated safety & travel alerts?

Visa Information

Can you give me an overview of the process to obtain a visa?

What type of visa do I need?

How long is my visa valid for?

  • Vary by visa type.

Can I get a visa extension?

Am I allowed to work with my visa?

Am I allowed to study on my visa?

Can I change my visa status while in South Africa?

What is the cost of a visa?

How long before departure should I apply for my visa?

What documents should I have prepared for my visa?

Can I bring my spouse/children with me?

Can I travel home/internationally while holding my visa?

What customs information do I need to know?

My passport has been lost or stolen, what should I do?

Contact your nearest US Embassy or Consulate.

How can I become permanent resident?


Can I bring my pet with me to South Africa?

Can I return home with my pet?

  • Yes, depending on the type and health of the pet.

Medical Issues

Will my medical insurance work in South Africa?

  • Check with your healthcare provider.

Can I bring my prescription medicine into South Africa?

  • One month’s worth is ok, anymore and you need a letter or certified prescription from you doctor.

Is my medicine available in South Africa?

My medication has run out, can I refill it with my doctor’s prescription?

  • No, you must find a South African doctor to write you a new prescription.

What medications am I not permitted to bring into South Africa?

  • All medications area allowed with appropriate paper work.

What vaccinations and immunizations do I need before traveling to South Africa?

Where can I go in case of a medical emergency?

Contact your nearest Embassy/Consulate

How do I find a doctor?

Contact your nearest Embassy/Consulate


What is the current exchange rate?

Where can I change my money?

What is required to open a South African bank account?

Will my debit/credit card work in South Africa?

Do I have to pay taxes?

What are the average costs of living?

How does tipping work?

How can I make international money transfers?


Which is the best phone service provider?

Will my current phone work in South Africa?

Where can I purchase a SIM card for my phone?

Can I rent a cell phone in South Africa?

What is the country code for South Africa?

  • 27

How can I call home?

Are there international calling cards available

What about calls/video chatting on the internet?


How do I become a citizen?

What if I get arrested/in trouble with police?

The nearest US Embassy/Consulate

Additional Questions

How do I contact the US Embassy/consulate?

How can I contact other expatriates?

Who do I contact in case of an emergency?

  • Police: 10111 or on 112 from a mobile phone

The nearest US Embassy/Consulate


Are my children eligible to attend public school in South Africa?

Language Resources

What languages are spoken in South Africa?

What language resources are available?

What are some South African idioms/phrases?

Where can I find a translation service?