Travel Tips

Cultures

You are arriving in a country with many different cultures, some are very “Western” whilst others appear very strange, rather than judge, observe and remember that different does not mean wrong.

Money Matters

Local currency is the South African Rand.Most banks provide foreign exchange facilities. There are at least 5 bureau de changes in the Fish Hoek CBD, i.e. within easy walking distance of the Villa.

Driving in South Africa - Tips for Tourists

  • Driving in Cape Town is not as daunting as in other large cities, Taxis tend to drive more recklessly than other road users, be aware they do pull over or stop suddenly, from our experiences and feedback from guests make us believe that this is a worldwide phenomena.
  • Drive on the left hand side of road
  • 4 Way Stop. At these intersections the first vehicle to arrive has right of way. Please bear in mind that the motor vehicle must come to a complete stop.
  • Traffic Lights are called robots in South Africa
  • Traffic circles, give way to vehicles on the right, travel around the circle in a clockwise direction.
  • Seat Belts – It is compulsory to wear seat belts.
  • Speed limits – Urban areas 60km/h, freeways 120km/hFuel – You may not purchase fuel with a credit card. Cash or South African Petrol cards.

 

Electricity

220/230 volts, AC50Hz, International adaptors are available from most curio shops, Should you need one whilst at the Villa, please asks your hosts

Local Expressions

  • Bakkie - a utility vehicle
  • Lekker - nice
  • Braai - Barbeque
  • Biltong – Spiced dried meat
  • Takkies – Sneakers or sports shoes

Mobile Phones

May not be used whilst driving unless you have a hands free set.

Bring your mobile with you and buy a SIM card (cost less than R20) in SA so that you make and receive calls at local rates.

Most accommodation establishments are doing away with phones in rooms because of the proliferation of mobile phones.

Taxi and airport transfers

  • We are able to arrange airport transfers on your behalf
  • Taxis are generally expensive because of the longer distances between suburbs. We do have an agreement with a local service that charge according to an area being visited and at a predetermined scale so that you know before the time what the cost will be. This cost is also cheaper than if you had to pay per kilometre.

Tipping

  • Hotel and Airport Porters, R10 to R15 per piece of luggage, at the Villa assisting you with you luggage is part of the service, Anita says its part of Jeremy’s daily exercise routine. Please just warn him if the luggage contains the “kitchen sink”.
  • Restaurants – 10 to 15% is generally left for your waiter, gratuities are generally not included in the bill. Waiters generally earn most of their money through tips, if their service is bad tell them.
  • Taxi drivers, 10%
  • Car guards in public car parks – R2 to R5 during the day depending on the length of time the car is parked. You could double these amounts for evenings. Car guards usually wear “BIBS” or uniforms indicating that they car guards. Avoid interacting with them other than exchanging greetings, do not let them wash you car as they could damage it

Safety

It is safe to walk in the streets of Fish Hoek, our children ride bicycles to school and we walk to restaurants in the evening, as a tourist you need to be aware of the following:

  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash.
  • Do not leave your belongings unattended.
  • Street children and beggars may approach you for a handout, Many social workers counsel against giving money to children as it usually gets handed over to an older figure or used to sniff glue. If you wish to help, rather give food.

Water

There are only 12 countries in the world that supply tap water that is fit to drink, and South Africa is one of them. Our tap water quality is about third best overall in the world. Source: SA Tourism