Travelling in Pretoria, South Africa
When travelling to Pretoria, you have the option of landing at O.R. Tambo International Airport or Lanseria International Airport, which are situated approximately 30 – 40 minutes from the two conference hotels listed, i.e. Southern Sun Pretoria and Garden Court Hatfield. The easiest way to get to these selected conference hotels is to make use of the shuttle service, which can be booked when registering online.
Passport, visa and letter of invitation
Ensure you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity and your passport MUST contain no less than 2/ 3 blank pages (for entry and exit stamps by custom officials) before travelling to South Africa.
If you need to apply for a visa, we can supply you with a letter of invitation on completion of your registration and proof of payment is received. Should your visa application be unsuccessful you will receive a 100% refund of your registration fee. We’ll endeavour to refund the full accommodation amount but this will be at the discretion of the hotel. The letter is only to help participants to obtain a visa, and is not a commitment on our part to provide financial support. Due to visa processing requirements, we advise you to request a letter of invitation as soon as possible.
International immunisation is NOT needed when travelling to South Africa. The Yellow Fever vaccination CERTIFICATE is the only vaccination needed from travellers, who are over the age of one, entering South Africa within six days of leaving an infected country. Visitors who travel through or stay over in these areas, are advised to be vaccinated against the disease before travelling to South Africa.
Electricity 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Three pronged plugs are standard so it is best to take an adapter with you. Adapters can be bought at most retail stores. Most HOTEL ROOMS have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances.
VAT Refunds (Value Added Tax @ 14%)
All tangible goods bought in South Africa exceeding R250 per item, allow all tourists to receive a refund of the tax at the airport, on their way out. It is advisable to plan an extra hour at the airport for tax refunds and have the goods with their receipts ready for the controlling officer.
Waitrons: Many waitrons are students who rely on gratuities to supplement their wages. We recommend a 10 % gratuity on the total sum of your restaurant bill for waitrons. Be aware that some restaurants charge an automatic 10% gratuity on group bookings of 8 people or more. Double check this, prior to adding on additional gratuity to the end bill.
Taxi Drivers: A 10% gratuity is recommended for taxi drivers on the total fare.
Parking attendants: Should you be hiring a car and require to park, you might find people wanting to assist you with parking as well as watching your car. Please don’t see this as pestering. The best is to ask for their name, thank him or her and tip him at the end of the night with R1 or R2 per hour.
Housekeeping attendants: A recommended R10 per night gratuity is suggested for hotel housekeeping attendants.
Porters: At most hotels there are hotel porters to assist with your luggage on check in and check out. Should you wish to give them a gratuity for their assistance, a recommended R5.00 per luggage item assisted with is recommended.
PLEASE NOTE that the above is just a guideline and all gratuities are fully at your own discretion.
It is of vital importance that you are in possession of an international driver’s licence. The best is to have a photocopy of the driver’s licence on you, in case it gets lost or stolen.
Currency and Credit Cards
The official currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). Most shops, cafes and restaurants accept credit cards, however not all accept AMEX or Diners cards. You can find ATM’s (Automated Teller Machines) all around town. Currency can also be exchanged at the banks. Shops, restaurants, hotel and guesthouses only accept South African Rand.
General Safety Information
Crime in South Africa happens like everywhere in the world. Best is to avoid walking at night and driving into areas that are unknown to you. Never accept any help from strangers at ATM’s (Automated Teller Machines). Try to stand as close as possible to the machine to avoid strangers seeing your pin number. It is safest to never let your CREDIT card out of your sight. In case of a lost or stolen card, contact a member of the conference team immediately in order to assist you in reporting the theft as soon as possible at any police station.