South Africa FAQs
south africa faqs
Vaccinnes and safety:
As non-medical professionals, Justifi does not give specific medical advice and recommends that you follow the advice of a health care professional with regard to vaccinations. Therefore we suggest you go to your health care provider or local travel clinic to let them know you are going to South Africa and find out what vaccines they recommend for you, then make your own informed decision about what precautions you wish to take.For general guidelines, we recommend you follow the CDC.gov advisories, which can be found here: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/south-africa
For most countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and Israel, visitors are granted a 90-day visa upon arrival. This does not require advanced preparations, you are given a stamp in your passport. NOTE: Your purpose for travel is always “Tourism.” Other purposes for travel (Business, education, etc) require different visas obtained in advance. Everything we do in South Africa is covered by “Tourism.”
What time do I need to arrive?
Please refer to your trip itinerary for the trip start time, as well as all flight arrival and departure information.
Local Currency and Money:
South Africa's unit of currency is the rand, which is divided into 100 cents. Notes come in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200; and coins come in 5c,10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5. There are two R5 coins in circulation, both of which are legal currency. All transactions are rounded down to the nearest 5c. ATMs are everywhere if you wish to withdraw cash, or you can use your credit/debit card for purchases/*Notify your bank that you will be using your card abroad and ask about any international fees.
COMPUTERS, CELL PHONES AND TECHNOLOGY:
Consider leaving your technology behind and enjoying South Africa untethered. It's a welcome treat. That said, all places we stay will have WiFi internet. If you need to be in touch frequently then it IS best to bring your own WiFi enabled device. If you need occasional access to a computer, there are many internet cafes where you can get on a computer.
Cell phones are useful in South Africa and many participants opt to bring one/rent one. If you want a phone, you'll need local service, you can do this in 3 ways:
Bring an old phone, get it “unlocked” there so it will accept a local SIM card.
Rent a simple phone there (~$30).
Contact your cell phone provide and inquire how much you will be charged for international use and data. You can purchase a cheap, simple SIM card that will let you connect to South African cell service. You then “add credit” to your SIM card to make calls; this is done at a local specialty store. For long distance, consider setting up a Skype account (www.skype.com) to call or video chat with friends and family from abroad.
Crime in South Africa, like many other places in today's world, can be a problem, but all you need to do is take the usual sensible precautions and follow some basic safety rules. At some points in the program, we may travel with additional security, but this is not necessary in most parts of the country. Strictly NO drug use on the program. You could go to jail for use or possession, occasionally people are stopped and searched, don't risk it. Like in middle school, Just Say NO :) Be respectful. To elders, teachers, business owners, drivers, guides, everyone. We're guests in their country so be courteous, it goes a long way. Store your stuff safely. Theft is not common, but happens. Don't leave personal items unattended, keep purses or shoulder bags close to your person in public, and keep valuables out of sight in hotel rooms (or use the safe in the room or behind the front desk). Consider a luggage lock or lockable luggage if you're nervous.
US Embassy of South Africa:
1 888 407 4747 (Department of Overseas Citizens)