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South Africa

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Currency information

Code ZAR
Symbol Rs
R1, R2, R5, 5c, 10c, 20c
R10, R20, R50, R100, R200

Welcome to South Africa!

Howzit! Where else in the world can you wake up and look out your hotel window to see zebras contently grazing? A world filled with exotic native wildlife, breathtaking scenery and adrenaline-filled outdoor activities, the Rainbow Nation is guaranteed to be a unique destination, quite unlike anything else you’ve experienced. And let us not forget: SA brought us the great Nelson Mandela.

ATM access

4.5/5 stars  You shouldn’t have any problem finding ATMs in major cities and even in rural towns. But come with cash packed and hidden from public view. You know, just in case.


10-15% is the customary tipping rate

Phone and Internet access

Great in the main cities, might have to forgo it in rural areas

Daily cost

With prices like these, you can afford  to extend your stay for as long as you’d like. (Maybe.)

Coffee:  AU$2.05 (regular cappuccino)
Water:  AU$0.90 (330mL bottle)
Beer:  AU$2.05 (local bottle)
Food:  AU$11 (ostrich burger)
Taxi:  AU$23 (O.R. Tambo – Johannesburg)
Big Mac:  AU$2.75 (far cheaper than at home!)

Daily budget

Budget:  Around AU$80/day (2x cheap meals, supermarket   snacks, and entry to Cango Caves Adventure Tour)
Moderate:  Around AU$150/day (2x cheap meals, supermarket   snacks, train ticket and sea kayaking in Cape Town)
Luxury:  Around AU$200/day (2x restaurant meals,   supermarket snacks and a Safari adventure)

Safety rating

3/5 stars - Don’t be scared off by the lions; anyone who has actually been to South Africa will tell you it’s a safe place to travel for any smart, savvy tourist. Just don’t go wandering alone at night.

Travel Money Trivia

Rand struck gold
The rand currency is named after a spot near Johannesburg called Rand, known for its gold mines.
Mascot madness  
To introduce the new currency of rand to the public, a mascot named Decimal Dan (“the randcent man”) was created. 
Punny money 
Banknotes featuring Nelson Mandela’s face were called “randela”.
Bangfor your buck
It’s much cheaper to travel across South Africa than it is the US or Western Europe.

Let's talk money

There’s so much to do and see in South Africa, so to make your trip really grand, you’ll need a decent amount of rand. The cost of living isn’t high, so luxury hotels and resorts come much more affordable than they would in other countries. It’s a good idea to bring cash, but consider storing it in a hidden money belt or pouch.

  • Remember to tip your tour guide
  • Take taxis instead of public transport
  • Travel in low season for cheaper flights
  • Wine costs the same  as soft drink
  • Check out the beautiful (free) scenery
  • The local market jewellery is amazing
  • Any Aussie will want to join in on a braai: the South African equivalent of a good ol’ BBQ

Must do

Big five safari tour 
No trip to South Africa would be complete without catching an up-close glimpse of the native animals in their  natural habitat.
The big swing  
In Graskop, Mpumalanga you’ll find one of the world’s highest Cable Gorge Swings. Adrenaline junkies only.
Table Mountain  
Take the cableway up to the top for incredible views without breaking a sweat.
Whale watching in Hermanus 
From June to November, get close to these beautiful creatures by boat trip or  from land.
The Cango Caves  
Crawl, climb and squeeze your way through the huge, intricate caves. Choose from the adventure tour or walking tour for something a little more relaxed.

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Travel Money Oz has sought to ensure that the information is true and correct at the time of publication. Prices, details and services are subject to change without notice, and Travel Money Oz accepts no responsibility or liability for any such changes, including any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on any information provided. Daily Cost: All prices are approximations. Your costs may differ depending on where you go, where you shop, and their individual factors. Daily Budget: Costs are estimated per person and do not include accommodation.