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10 Things Travelers Need when Visiting Cape Town


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Cape Town has long been a popular holiday destination, with its warm climate, interesting beaches and world-class amenities, but during 2010 the city will see millions of visitors traveling to Cape Town for the FIFA Soccer World Cup. 

Travel, recreation and leisure community

Cape Town is a beautiful city with rich cultural events and breathtaking scenery. When you visit Cape Town, you will need to make sure you are prepared, so your trip will be more enjoyable. The more preparation you do before you leave, the less you have to worry about once you get here. Then you will be free to relax and enjoy your visit.

1. Sun Protection
The sun in South Africa can be harsh, so you''ll need to wear sun protective lotion, as well as protective clothing like hats or visors to keep the sun out of your eyes and face.

2. Copies of Passport and Travel Documents
You always want to make sure you have more than one copy of your passport and travel documents, just in case you lose them or have them stolen. These are the only means by which you can return to your country, so protect them well.

3. Proper Clothing
Cape Town gets its yearly rainfall in its winter, i.e. June - August, so be sure to pack lots of warm clothing, an umbrella, waterproof shoes and a warm jacket or coat. Remember that the winter in Cape Town might not be as cold as you are used to: Pack some lighter clothes too.

4. Good Accommodation
Visitors can choose from many different types of accommodation, ranging from budget-friendly hostels and guest houses in Cape Town Central to world-class, five-star hotels on the water's edge. When looking for accommodation, take into account what you will be doing in the city while you visit as this will largely determine where you choose to stay.

5. Money for Tipping
South African currency is the Rand (R), and similar to the US Dollar, Euro and Pound, the Rand is split into 100 cents. You will need to carry money with you to tip people for service such as waiters, taxi drivers, hotel staff, etc. 10% is a fair tip in Cape Town. Remember that tips are merit-based to keep the quality of staff at a high level.

6. Safety Precautions
Never walk unpopulated streets of South Africa alone. Do not wear excessive jewelry or watches and keep the amount of cash you carry to a minimum. If you are in danger or need assistance, you can phone 107 from any Telkom phone (including payphones) or 021 480 7700 from your cellphone. This service connects you to the police, ambulance or fire departments.

7. Local Driving Rules
In Cape Town everyone drives on the left side of the road. Many of the National roadways have tolls so always bring money with you if you are planning on traveling by car. Seat belts are required and if you have a young child with you, you should reserve a car set in advance.

8. Local Prices
You should have some understanding of the local prices, so you don''t get surprised or taken advantage of while on holiday in Cape Town. The average McDonalds meal is R30.00, bottled water is R8.00, a ticket to the movies is R50.00 and dinner out is about R100.00 per person.

10. Travel Insurance
Medical services are available at private hospitals and doctors in private practice. You should have some form of travel insurance that covers medical expenses. Again, it's better to be safe than sorry, in case something does happen during the trip away.

Date Posted: 2010-03-04
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