Printed from ChabadSouthAfrica.org

Travel Tips

Travel Tips

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Welcome to Sandton, South Africa! 

Sandton Orientation 

Arriving by Air 
 

Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport serves the Gauteng Province. There are several smaller airports as well, including Lanseria and Rand airports. 

 Travellers can board the Gautrain at OR Tambo Intl Airport and within 14 minutes arrive in Sandton at Gautrain's Sandton Central station which is directly opposite Chabad's Goodness & Kindness Centre - Shul in Sandton Central. Upon exiting the station, just walk across West Street into Stella Street and we are the second building on the left - 8 Stella Street (nextdoor to Meril Lynch-Bank of America).

Transportation

There are many Car Rental companies located in our area, near Chabad's Goodness & Kindness Centre. Johannesburg has good road and rail links to other major South African cities. Travellers new to South Africa should check before travelling whether the bus or train they are about to board is a direct one. When you arrive in Sandton (via Gautrain) there are many taxis waiting outisde (dozens of them are parked right outside our Shul). You also have the less expensive option of riding a TukTuk within Sandton for R25 locally. 

Getting Around Sandton 

There are two types of taxi in Sandton/Johannesburg: ordinary and informal. Ordinary taxis are metered and you can hail them from the street. You will do better if you go to a taxi rank. Informal minivan taxis in general follow major bus routes and pick up and set down at bus stops. Buses are somewhat cheaper but also considerably slower. Sandton Central is quite small and you can get around perfectly well on foot. It is hard to get lost since you should always be able to see Sandton City from which to take your bearings. There are also Security Guards on nearly every street corner who can help you with directions.

Climate 
 

South Africa enjoys a moderate climate all year round. Our seasons are exactly the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere. In winter make sure you have a coat handy, as it does tend to get quite cold some days. The Cape experiences rain in the winter months, Johannesburg and surrounds in the summer. 


Time Difference 
 
South Africa is 2 hours ahead of GMT and 7 hours ahead of EST (winter) or 7 hours behind Australian Central Time. 

 Finance, Business Hours and Banking 

Local currency is the Rand (ZAR). Foreign currency may be exchanged at the many Bureaux de Changes. Sandton City, the area's largest shopping mall (opposite the Shul) has multiple Foreign Exchange shops. Most international credit cards are widely accepted. Normal business hours in South Africa are 08:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday, although most offices will close at around 15:00 on Fridays. Banks operate a slightly shorter working day.

 Tipping Advice 

Tipping is expected for many services in South Africa, things that perhaps you would take for granted at home. Almost all gas stations in South Africa use attendants who expect around 2 ZAR or 3 ZAR. In restaurants, waiters usually receive about 10% - 15% according to the quality of the service, unless a gratuity is included in your bill. Bar tenders should be tipped around 10%, this applies also to hairdressers, taxi drivers and tour guides. Hotel porters expect about 3 ZAR, and maids about 20 ZAR or so per week.


 City Facts 

Region: Gauteng

Country: South Africa

Continent: Africa

National Status: Republic

National Population: 46,257,000 (2000 estimate, Source: United Nations Population Division, 1996)

National Capital: Pretoria

Local Time Zone: 2 hours from GMT, 7 hours from Eastern Standard Time and 10 hours from Pacific Standard Time.

Official Language: English,Afrikaans and assorted African languages.

Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)

Religion: Mainly Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim minorities.

 

Visas

Travellers from certain countries require visas, while others do not. For a comprehensive information on visa and passport requirements, visit  http://home-affairs.pwv.gov.za

If you are coming to South Africa with your children, you will need to bring documentation to prove that they are your children. Please visit the  Department of Home Affairs website for more details. 

Tax

VAT (Value Added Tax) is charged at 14% on most items. Tourists may claim this VAT back (on purchases exceeding ZAR250) at the airport prior to departure.

 

Health

Sandton's water is tasty and safe to drink. You can generally drink the water in South Africa. Private hospital networks offer high-quality medical care throughout the country. Public hospitals are available for those who cannot afford private care. 
In Johannesburg, Hatzolah is the Jewish medical emergency response service. In case of EMERGENCY call 083-222-1818

Safety 

Sandton is a very secure area. 
If you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation call CSO, our Community Security Organisation which services all of Johannesburg's Shuls and neighborhoods 086-18-000-18 or Police at 10-111 

Most tourist destinations in South Africa can be safely visited. One should take common-sense precautions like not carrying valuables or cash in a visible fashion and not walking alone at night.

The National Tourism Authority Safety Line can be used to clarify the safety of a particular area or destination. +2783 123 2345.

 

Visiting Safaris 

The Kruger National Park is a Malaria risk area. Consult your medical practitioner for details of the necessary precautionary measures. Vaccinations are not generally required before visiting South Africa.

 

Electricity

South Africa's electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50Hz. Most plugs have three (thick) pins. You can purchase these at the multiple shopping locations near our centre.

Shopping

There many kosher shops nearby. Kosher World is open until 10:00pm daily. 
Kosher food with the BD symbol is available almost everywhere in the country. 

TOURIST SPOTS

Sandton 
Chabad's Goodness & Kindness Centre 

Nelson Mandela Square

Sandton City

Johannesburg 
Apartheid Museum 
Constitution Hill 
Gold Reef City 
Maboneng 
Soweto

Around S.A. 
Cape Town 
Durban/ Umhlanga 
Kruger National Park

 

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