The local currency in South Africa is the South African Rand, denoted by the symbol “R”. Traveller’s cheques in all major currencies are accepted by all banks, most hotels, restaurants and major shops in South Africa. Credit cards such as American Express, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted. To obtain the current exchange rates and to convert the ZAR amounts into your own currency [Euros (€) GBP (£) USD ($), etc] consult the Universal Currency Converter. Although the shops take credit cards, it is advisable that you exchange foreign currency for South African Rands at the airport before you leave for Skukuza. There is a bank as well as an automatic teller machine in Skukuza.
Climate and Clothing
The climate is moderate and pleasant with sunny, warm and clear days with temperatures possibly rising to 30°C. At night temperatures can fall to 5°C. Informal dress is recommended for all the sessions and functions. Companions should wear comfortable shoes and clothing for the outings.
After collecting their luggage, all travellers must proceed to the Customs declaration channels with their personal luggage to make a Customs Declaration to the officers manning the channels. Persons who have nothing to declare, have goods that fall within their duty free allowances and do not carry any prohibited or restricted goods, commercial goods or goods carried on behalf of another person may proceed to the Green Channel. In all other instances or where traveller is not sure the Red Channel should be selected.
Please note that all fresh produce, fruit, vegetables, seeds, plants, bulbs, tubers, cut flowers, cuttings of plants, honey, eggs, milk, cheese and all meat products are restricted from importation into South Africa. Should any participant wish to import such, arrangements should be made with the South African Department of Agriculture.
The importation of medication is strictly controlled. You may import one month’s supply of medication for personal use, provided that you are in possession of a prescription issued by a registered physician. Habit-forming drugs, physiographic substances as well as counterfeit goods (goods which infringe intellectual property rights) are strictly prohibited for importation into South Africa.
Persons from the media, or exhibitors in possession of cameras as well as other equipment carried as accompanied passenger luggage are advised to import such under cover of an ATA Carnet in order to avoid unnecessary delays.
Payment of Customs Duties and VAT may be made in South African Rand or by means of credit card.
The electrical supply is 220/230 volts AC. Hotels are equipped to accept appliances fitted with a 15 Amp 3 point round pin plug. Most bathrooms are equipped for electrical shavers with 5 Amp 2 pin plugs. More information on the sockets and plugs can be found at kropla or escapeartist. Adapter plugs can be rented from the conference secretariat for a nominal amount.
It is important that visitors to South Africa take out comprehensive medical insurance. There is no national health coverage in South Africa and medical care is costly. Malaria poses a health risk in the Kruger National Park. However, during the dry months, June to September, the risk of contracting malaria is low and procedures to prevent mosquito bites should provide sufficient protection. The use of prophylactic medicine should only be required from October to May. Please consult a local medical practitioner for detailed advice. The shop at Skukuza should stock the appropriate anti-malaria drugs. If you are unable to purchase any before arrival and wish to take anti-malaria drugs, please purchase some at the shop.
For more information about Malaria, please consult this website: http://www.worldmedassist.com/a-world-travelers-guide-to-malaria/
The registration fees do not provide insurance for participants against personal accidents, sickness, theft or property damage. This applies to all events as well as travelling during the conference period, and participants are advised to obtain their own insurance before travelling to South Africa. The Conference and its organisers are not liable for loss, injury to person or property, however caused.
The official language of the conference will be English. No translation services will be available.
There are no WiFi facilities at Skukuza. Internet access is available through GPRS and you can use your own mobile phone as a modem with your notebook. Delegates from outside South Africa should have access to a South African mobile service provider, or purchase a mobile PC card/dongle before travelling to the Park.
The Organising Committee of INDABA 7 will be pleased to send a letter of invitation to any scientist upon request. It has to be stressed, though, that such an invitation is only to assist delegates in raising travel funds, or to obtain a visa, and is not a commitment on the part of the organisers to provide any financial support.
People with disabilities
Participation by all interested individuals is encouraged and every effort will be made to meet the requirements of people with disabilities. For people with a disability, advance notification of their needs for services and accommodation will ensure that the appropriate arrangements are made. Please contact the Conference Secretariat in this regard.
Tourists should remember that the same security precautions should be taken when visiting South Africa as in any other country in the world. It is advisable not to walk around in dark, deserted places at night and to be extremely careful of pickpockets; never to carry large amounts of money or jewellery; always let someone know where you are going and how long you will be gone when you leave home; be on the lookout for suspicious looking cars or people; when you are driving your car, make sure that all doors are locked. Try not to look too much like a tourist and move around in a group where possible. The venue has a well developed security system with the safety of its visitors being a high priority.
Throughout the year, Standard Time in South Africa is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, one hour ahead of Central European Winter Time and 7 hours in advance of Eastern Standard Winter Time in the USA.
The local public transport system is not very well developed. The following possibilities exist:
- Taxis: local taxis do not cruise; you have to call them from a rank — your hotel will be able to assist you with this. There are also several accredited Taxi operators at all of the International Airports in South Africa.
- Vehicle hire: all major international car hire companies are represented in South Africa. Recognised credit cards may be used for payment. It is advised that you hire a car through your local travel agent, since there are special packages available for tourists from foreign countries that cannot be obtained if you rent within South Africa.
- An excellent road network links the largest metropolitan areas with the smallest villages. It is advisable to invest in a good map, should you decide to travel by car. These are available from all bookshops and filling stations. Car rental companies will also rent out a GPS device upon request.
- Speed limit: 120 km/h on freeways, 100 km/h on rural roads and 60 km/h in built up areas.
- In South Africa you should drive on the left-hand side of the road.
- Wearing of seat belts is compulsory by law. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence (with a limit of 0.05% alcohol per vol.), and traffic laws are strictly enforced.
- Drivers should have a valid driver’s license: the license must be printed in English and contain a photograph of the owner, OR you need an International Driving Permit.
- Most petrol (gas) filling stations stay open 24 hours a day. Pump attendants will serve you.
- Third Party Insurance premium is built into the price of petrol (gas).
VAT (Value Added Tax)
VAT, currently at 14%, is included in the marked/quoted price of most goods and services. Foreign tourists may claim refunds of VAT paid on goods which they take out of South Africa. Information leaflets on the procedure to follow are available from VAT Refund Administration offices at the international airports in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Foreigners visiting South Africa require a passport. Delegates should check the South African regulations concerning visa requirements for their country when making travel arrangements.
For further information contact your local office of the diplomatic or consular representative of the South African Government. Tourists must satisfy immigration officers that they have the means to support themselves during their stay, and that they are in possession of return or onward air tickets. Possession of a visa may not automatically guarantee admission to the country.
Please visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website to obtain further information on Visa requirements (Documents — Migration Services — Visas). Please contact the Conference Secretariat for an invitation letter should you require one to support your visa application. Please note that such an invitation letter can only be issued once full payment of the conference registration and accommodation fees has been received.
If there is no representation in a particular country, delegates may apply directly to:
Department of Home Affairs,
PRIVATE BAG X114,
Republic of South Africa.
(Tel: +27 12 314-8911 Fax: +27 12 328-3908)