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Frequently Asked Questions

Travelling in Stellenbosch and South Africa

In which province is Stellenbosch?

Stellenbosch is located in the Western Cape Province in the southwestern part of South Africa. South Africa has 9 beautiful provinces. Cape Town is the provincial capital and also the legislative capital of South Africa

What languages are spoken in Stellenbosch?

South Africa has 11 official languages. English, Xhosa and Afrikaans are widely spoken in Stellenbosch.


Here some of the most common South African slang words to learn before your trip:

  • Eish: This is a Khoi San term and is used to express shock or surprise.
  • Haiybo: This is a Zulu word that means definitely not.
  • Howzit: A common greeting that’s used instead of hi, how are you.
  • Lekker: This is an Afrikaans word and means awesome, great, or good.
  • Now Now: This either means right now or as soon as possible.
  • Robot: South Africans call stoplights robots.
  • Shame: It’s not slang, but you’ll hear this word used when South Africans think something is really cute or if they are being sympathetic.
  • Zebra Crossing: A zebra crossing is the local term for pedestrian crossing.
Do I need a visa for South Africa?

Click here for everything you need to know about South Africa’s entry requirements. Please note that visa applications can take up to 3 months, depending on the local consulate/embassy in your region.

To locate your nearest embassy or consulate, please visit the Official Department of Home Affairs website:

Should you require a visa invitation letter for your visa application, please email the Conference Hub at Please note that invitation letters for visas can only be processed once registration fees are settled in full.

Can I rent a car in Cape Town or South Africa?

Most major car rental agencies are based at Cape Town International Airport, so you can book a vehicle as you arrive. It’s best to book your rental beforehand, especially if you’re travelling in the peak season to ensure your booking. Keep in mind that you will need a driver’s license that is valid in South Africa, or an international driver’s license.

Where do I find more information about travelling in South Africa, Cape Town and Stellenbosch?

Please visit the following websites for inspiration. Our conference team will gladly assist with travel recommendations. Please email them at


Is Stellenbosch safe?

Stellenbosch is a large university town in the cosmopolitan Western Cape. As such, we would advise travelers to exercise the same level of vigilance they would exercise when visiting any city in the world.

This includes ensuring you follow basic safety tips such as keeping emergency numbers on hand, avoiding carrying large sums of cash and keeping your valuables safe at all times. The overwhelming majority of visitors to Stellenbosch and the Western Cape, enjoyed a positive and memorable experience.

We want you to leave our beautiful region with nothing but with happy memories. To ensure a pleasurable trip, please keep in mind a few precautions that you can employ on all your travels across the world:

  • Avoid walking in deserted and dark places at night
  • Never allow strangers to assist you in any way at ATMs
  • At night, park in a secure and well-lit area with street guards. Keep photocopies and all valuable documents in a safe place
Can I use my mobile phone in South Africa?

South Africa has a well-developed communication infrastructure and offers national coverage for mobile calls and Wi-Fi coverage. Local sim cards can be purchased at the MTN stores, located at the Arrival Halls at Cape Town International Airport. Free Wi-Fi is available at some public spaces, hotels, shopping centres or restaurants.

What is the currency in South Africa?

The Rand is the official currency unit in South Africa.

Currrency convertor:

Can I use my credit card in South Africa?

Most major international credit cards are accepted in South AFrica, including Master and Visa. Although widely accepted, American Express and Diners Club sometimes may not be accepted. ATM’s are widespread and most will allow visitors to withdraw Rand directly from bank or credit cards.

Can I exchange foreign currency in South Africa?

Forex desks are situated at most airports to exchange foreign currency.

Although most people employed in the service industry will receive a base salary, tips generally form the bulk of what they take home each day. If you’ve experienced excellent service, show your appreciation with a tip.

Health related questions:

What are the Covid19 health protocols in South Africa?

South Africa is open and ready to welcome travellers from all over the world.

As we once again welcome all travellers to our beautiful country, your health and safety is our top priority! All South African airports are fully equipped to ensure the safety of all travellers entering and leaving the country, and strictly adhere to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. There are screening stations at all points of entry, visible sanitising stations, and agents offering passenger sanitisation. Travellers are encouraged to abide by all health and safety protocols, including sanitising of hands, wearing of masks and social distancing.


For more info on health protocols at airports click here:

What happens if I have a medical emergency or need medicine?

South Africa has a well-developed healthcare system and there are both public and private hospitals in South Africa. Be sure to top up your medical and travel insurance before leaving home.


Mediclinic Stellenbosch offers a 24hr emergency service:


Pharmacy in Stellenbosch:


If it’s an emergency, don’t waste time, call these numbers for urgent assistance:

  • For all emergency services from your mobile dial 112
  • For all emergencies from a landline, dial 107
  • To call the South African Police Service, dial 10111
Can I get medicine from a pharmacy?

There are pharmacies throughout South Africa, and many everyday medications, such as painkillers, are available over the counter. Some large chain stores also have in-store pharmacies that offer good value for money.

If you have a specific medical condition, it’s wise to carry the relevant doctor’s prescription with you. In the event of you losing your medication, a qualified pharmacist should be able to source a replacement, even if the trade name differs in South Africa.

Do I need a yellow fever vaccination?

South Africa requires all travellers journeying from or transiting through yellow fever risk countries to show proof of yellow fever vaccination by means of a valid yellow fever certificate

Is Stellenbosch malaria-free?

Stellenbosch and the Western Cape are malaria-free areas. Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease is prevalent throughout the year in the Kruger National Park and the low-lying areas of northern KwaZulu-Natal. If you’re heading to the above-mentioned areas then you should consult a healthcare professional about the ideal prophylactic. The type of prophylactic will be determined by your personal health, how long you are visiting the malarial area and the time of year.

Is tap water safe to drink?

Drinking water in South Africa is safe to drink and cook with when taken from taps in urban areas. This means you can save on plastic and just fill up your water bottle each day!

If you are visiting a rural area, you do need to be extra careful as the water may not be safe for consumption, so you may need to take extra precautions. Simply check with locals or a guide to know if the water is safe or not.

What is the recommended percentage to tip waiters, drivers, hotel staff, etc?

Although most people employed in the service industry will receive a base salary, tips generally form the bulk of what they take home each day. If you’ve experienced excellent service, show your appreciation with a tip.

The general minimum tipping rate in South Africa is 10%.


What is the electricity supply in South Africa?

The South African Electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50HZ. Loadshedding may occur during day or night times and a schedule will be available from your accommodation establishment. Most commonly, three-point plugs are used across South Africa. 

Can I bring my kids to the conference?

We would love you to bring the whole family to Stellenbosch! A nursing room will be available at the conference venue and our conference team will be able to connect you with child care providers in Stellenbosch. There are also plenty of child friendly activities in Stellenbosch and Cape Town. This is the one destination which they will forever remember!

How about duty free shopping?

All stores charge the Value Added Tax (VAT) of 15% levied on the purchase of most goods in South Africa. As a foreign visitor you may apply for a refund of the VAT you pay while in the country provided you apply before you depart.

Ensure that you receive your tax receipts for all purchases made. To claim your VAT refund, present all your tax receipts to the VAT administrator at your point of departure (airport).