Our time zone is GMT+2
The South Africa country code is +27 and the Cape Town city code is +21. For directory inquiries dial 1023. Our electrical system is 230V AC, 50Hz. 15A and uses two- or three-prong (round pin) plugs. South Africa has 11 official languages: English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, South Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, North Sotho, Swazi, Venda, Ndebele. In Cape Town the predominant languages are English, Afrikaans and Xhosa – but the vast majority of people speak English.
Cape Town is located at the southern point of the African continent, with the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Indian Ocean to the east. The landscape encompasses a wide variety of terrain – expect to find mountains, forests, beaches and semi-desert landscapes within this diverse region. The City's most prominent geographical landmark is Table Mountain, a 1067m high, 360-million year-old icon – and a handy point of reference if you ever need to navigate your way through the City.
Cape Town has a temperate, Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. The geography of the peninsula means we have several “micro climates”. We joke that we can experience all four seasons in one day.
The Summer Season lasts from November to March and is good for living the beach lifestyle, outdoor festivals and markets, and adventure experiences. The Winter Season is from June to August and is the best time for surfing and whale-watching.
Our currency is the South African Rand (ZAR). South Africa has a modern banking system. Most shops, restaurants and hotels accept major credit and debit cards. Cash withdrawals are possible from ATM machines located throughout the city, and at banks. There are a number of authorised Forex dealers in Cape Town to choose from.
South Africa has a value-added tax of 15% on purchases and services. Foreign visitors can reclaim VAT on collective purchases of greater than R250 at the VAT Refund office at Cape Town International Airport. Tips of 10%-15% are standard in restaurants.
There are a myriad of transport options for exploring the City. The MyCiti Bus service has routes around the Cape Town CBD. Metered taxi services from the airport can be booked at our Airport Visitor Information Centre. All major car-hire companies operate from the airport and city. Uber and Bolt are the primary ride-hailing apps. You can use a debit or credit card to pay, or there is a cash option.