Sandton is located 20 miles from OR Tambo International Airport. The fastest and easiest way to get to Sandton from the airport is to use the Gautrain Rail system. The cost of this is around 105 ZAR and it usually takes about 30 minutes.
A taxi from the airport costs around 550 ZAR and takes approximately 45 minutes.
Further information and advice for travellers is available from South African Tourism.
To find out if you need a visa to visit South Africa, visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website which provides detailed information on South Africa's visa requirements. This provides information about which nationals require visas and which are exempt. Enquiries regarding South Africa visa information can also be obtained from South African missions in your home country, or the one nearest to you.
- For nationals of countries requiring visas, application of the visa must be made ahead of your departure as visas are not issued on arrival. The visas must be affixed in your passport and shown to immigration officials on landing. Applications must be made through South African diplomatic or consular representatives.
- To apply for a visa you'll be required to provide particular documentation to meet South Africa's visa requirements. These include:
- A passport valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of the intended visit, and at least 1 unused page for entry/departure endorsements (sometimes referred to as the visa page).
- Payment of the prescribed fee, if applicable.
- A vaccination certificate, if required (travel through the yellow fever belts of Africa and South America requires inoculation)
- Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit.
- Two identity photographs (guidelines on website).
- Proof of financial means in the form of bank statements; salary advices; undertakings by your hosts in South Africa; bursaries; medical cover; or cash available, including credit cards or travelers' cheques.
- If travelling by air, a return or onward ticket; or proof of sufficient funds; or a cash deposit of equivalent value to an air ticket must be lodged.
Take care to request the correct duration of stay and type of visa. Also check on processing time so that there is no last-minute panic.
Visitors should also take care to check out Yellow Fever entry requirements.
South African safety precautions are not unlike those recommended when travelling to other countries and major cities. More common sense than hard and fast measures, safety precautions in South Africa mostly require vigilance on behalf of the traveller and sound travel preparation.
Important South African safety advice includes avoiding deserted areas at night; securing valuables such as photographic equipment and wallets on your person; and leaving expensive, flashy jewelery in your hotel safe while out and about.
Other safety precautions you may want to consider include:
- Locking valuables and luggage away in the car boot while travelling (never leave handbags or cameras on car seats)
- Being vigilant of your luggage and other belongings (never leave them unattended).
- Storing valuables in your hotel safe.
- Limit the amount of money you carry on your person. Also, don't accept offers of assistance at ATMs and keep your pin numbers secure.
- When using a credit card in restaurants, ask the waiter to bring a portable credit card machine to your table. Report stolen or lost cards immediately.
- Carry a current road map with you. If you're in any doubt about a place you wish to visit or how to get there, have a word with your hotel concierge first or contact the National Tourism Information and Safety Line on 083 123 2345 for assistance.
- Only use reputable tour operators and travel and transport services. If you're not sure, ask your hotel to recommend a service provider for you.
- In rural areas, watch out for wild or farm animals - road signs will warn you when you need to take care.
- If you intend travelling to malaria areas, take the necessary prophylaxis before you leave home.
Who do I contact in case of an emergency?
If you're in your hotel room, contact the emergency number provided or the front desk. If you're out and about, dial 10111 from a landline for the police or 112 from a mobile phone for emergency assistance.
Is organic food available in South Africa?
South Africa's larger supermarkets and food stores stock organic produce, including fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy products and meat. Look out for specific labels that say the food is certified organic. You can also pick up fresh organic produce at any of the country's organic markets. There are some restaurants that offer entirely organic menus and others that offer a combination of regular and organic foods, where certain items, such as eggs, are also free-range. Some health shops also sell organic foods.
What are the penalties for smoking outside designated smoking areas?
The fine for the owner of a restaurant, pub, bar or office that breaks the smoking law is a maximum of R50 000. Individual smokers are fined R500.
Which safety precautions should I take when travelling through South Africa?
Don't carry a camera or video openly in cities; don't carry large sums of money on you; don't put your wallet in your back trouser pocket; don't leave your valuables unattended and never leave anything worth stealing in view.
How can I access medical services quickly in an emergency?
ER24 EMS is a private, national, emergency medical care service, committed to providing South Africans with efficient, effective emergency response and pre-hospital care. Call 084 124. Netcare 911 (dial 082 911) offers 24-hour emergency medical assistance. For ambulance services, dial 10177.