South Africa Business Travel Guide

South Africa Flag

The South Africa Business Travel Guide contains a number of valuable travel resources to assist business travellers. The travel guide contains useful information when travelling to the country such as visa information, facts on the South Africa, business customs, useful tips and other resources. An understanding of other cultures, languages, customs and traditions can be of great importance to business travellers and give a real advantage to ensuring a successful business trip.

South Africa has been referred to as the rainbow nation in reference to its diversity, the country is multicultural, multiracial and home to a number of ethnic groups. The country has the second largest economy in Africa and offers a number of business opportunities. The country is home to the famous Krugar National Park one of the largest game reserves in Africa, home to the big 5 game. For visitors there is a wonderful coastline with golden sandy beaches in Durban with stunning scenery at Table Mountain and surround areas in Cape Town.

South Africa Guide

Quick Facts on South Africa
South Africa Travel Advice
Visa Requirements
Business Customs and Etiquette
Travel Advice and Tips
Public Holidays
South Africa Map
South Africa Weather & Climate

Quick Facts on South Africa

Country: South Africa

Capital: Pretoria

Currency: Rand (1 Rand = 100 cents)

Population: 50.7 Million (UN, 2012)

Area total: 476,200 sq km

Languages: English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsongo, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu (11 Official languages).

Time Zone: GMT +2

Electricity: 220/230V 50Hz

Dialling Code: 27

GDP: USD 350.6bn (Word Ban, 2012)

Religion: Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and traditional religions.

Political System: Republic

Internet Domain: .za

South Africa Travel Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers travellers useful advice when travelling to South Africa. You can find more information on entry requirements for South Africa, advice on local laws and customs, health considerations, tips on safety and security and the address and contact details of the British High Commission in South Africa. The information is updated on a regular basis making it a useful resource to check when looking for the latest travel advice and information on South Africa for both business and leisure travellers. For more information please see: South Africa Travel Advice

Visa Requirements

No visa requirement for national of EU member states for visits less than either 30 or 90 days depending on which EU country. No visa need for US and Canadian nationals for visits less than three months. Visa requirements are subject to change with changes in requirements and rules for further information please see: South Africa High Commission UK

Business Customs and Etiquette

Business dress for first meetings a suit is the conservative choice, many do dress in more casual clothing but it is best to check for each individual company. Punctuality is important for meetings and greetings for business usually consist of a handshake, business cards are usually exchanged. Early meetings are an established part of business; personal space is deemed as important in the UK over friendly actions should be avoided. Having business lunches are an accepted way of doing business. Relationship building, trust with business partners and having long term business relationships are sought after.

It is wise to address people with their titles until requested to use first names. Although South Africa has 11 official languages, English is widely spoken by business people. Business can progress at a slower pace than is the norm for Europe and North America and a degree of patience may be required.

Travel Advice and Tips

Most trips to South Africa for both business visitors and tourists are more likely to go without incident is sensible safety precautions are followed. Pick pocketing, robbery and car jacking are problems in certain areas and it is wise to stay within known areas and seek local advice on areas to stay away from. Valuables should not be shown in public at any time, you should always be careful and vigilant of your surrounds and environment.

Travel Checklist: See our Travellers Checklist containing useful tips and reminders to ensure you have everything you will need on your trip.

Travel Vaccinations: It is recommended you check with your GP for the latest advice on any travel vaccinations you may need up to eight weeks before you travel. For more information and advice on travel vaccinations please see the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Tipping: If service charge is not included usually around 10%

Hours of Business:

For Businesses:
08.00 to 16.30 Monday to Friday

For Shops:
08.00 to 18.00 Monday to Friday
09.00 to 17.00 Saturday & sometimes Sunday in tourist areas.

NOTE: In larger shopping developments the hours may be extended to open until 19.00.

Public Holidays

Public Holidays (2015):

January 1: New Year’s Day
March 21: Human Rights Day
April 3: Good Friday
April 6: Easter Monday / Family Day
April 27: Freedom Day
May 1: Workers’ Day
June 16: Youth Day
August 9: National Women’s Day
September 24: Heritage Day
December 16: Day of Reconciliation
December 25: Christmas Day
December 26: Day of Goodwill

South Africa Map

Johannesburg Map, South Africa

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Related Resources

South Africa Weather & Climate

South Africa's weather is temperate overall and being in the south hemisphere the seasons are reversed to those in the UK & Europe. There are approx seven months of sunshine during the year with the hottest months in summer from November to March. It is still pleasantly warm to travel in spring and autumn, with winter the coldest time of year from June to August; even in winter there is a wild frost and snow is rarely seen. Christmas and New Year is in the summer and a busy time to year to travel with larger crowds at national parks and tourist attractions. For less crowds and more pleasant temperatures travelling in spring and autumn is a good option. The average temperate in Johannesburg is 21.9°C.

For summer lightweight cotton and linen clothing is required, with raincoats useful especially in Cape Town. For winter, layers and a fleece or jumper are useful especially in the mornings and evenings. For safari trips ensure long sleeve tops and trousers are worn helping to protect against mosquitoes, bushes and thorns.

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Disclaimer: The information given in on this website is given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge. If there are any discrepancies in no way do we intend to mislead. Important travel details and arrangements should be confirmed and verified with the relevant authorities.
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