NEED TO KNOW

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When to go

The best time to visit is Feb-March, when the notorious southeasterly winds ease and temps are blissful; but spring (Sep-Nov), and autumn (April-May) are also mild. Winter (Jun-Aug) tends to be overcast and drizzly, with the odd nice day.


Getting around

Public transport tends to be cramped and unreliable and taxi drivers tend to charge what they please – use Uber or hire a car.


Money matters

The currency is the South Africa Rand (ZAR), but it's more volatile than LiLo after her third marti. ATMS are widely available, and credit cards are accepted everywhere (except at road toll booths). Add 10-15% to your restaurant bill, and keep small coins and notes handy for car guards.


Ring, ring

International calling code for South Africa is +27. Cape Town landlines are prefixed with 021, and most mobiles 07 or 08.


Useful numbers

Police: 10111, Ambulance: 10177

From the airport

Cape Town International Airport to town = 25 mins / R180-R200 by Uber, except between 8-10am Mon-Fri when inbound traffic to the CBD literally crawls.


Opening Hours

Shops are generally open from 9am-5pm Mon-Fri, and 9am-1pm Sat, except for those in more popular parts of town which often stay open all week until 9pm.


Safety

Crime is, unfortunately rife: taking sensible precautions is the easiest way to eliminate risk. Avoid flashing your Rolex, hide valuables and avoid leaving bags unattended on the beach. Lock doors and windows when you go out, and don’t wander about alone at night. Townships should be avoided altogether after dark.


Languages

English, isiXhosa (Bantu) and Afrikaans.