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Practical Information

Know Before You Fly

Here is some general information about traveling to South Africa and Cape Town in particular:

Flying into Cape Town

Cape Town International Airport (CPT airport code) is the main airport servicing the city of Cape Town, it is the second busiest airport in South Africa and the third busiest in Africa. The airport is located approximately 20 kilometres from Century City Conference Centre. The airport has domestic and international flights. In general most airlines use Johannesburg as their hub airport and will require a connecting flight. A word of caution, when booking flights please allow time for clearing customs and immigration in Johannesburg, depending on the time of day and arrival of flights this can take quite a bit of time.

Immigration and Customs

How do I get a Visa?

Letters of Invitation to the Conference - A letter of invitation is issued solely for the purpose of assisting participants with visa applications and/or to obtain funding for their attendance at the conference. Such a letter does not imply any financial obligation on the part of the conference organizers. If you require a letter of invitation, please check off the box requesting a letter in the registrations form. Please note that your registration must be complete and paid in full before an invitation letter will be issued.   Please visit the Department of Home Affairs, Republic of South Africa website at to determine if you will require a visa to enter South Africa.  Please note that it can take up to 90 days for a visa to be processed.  Therefore, we will not be issuing Letters of Invitation after March 15th, 2017.  If you apply for a visa before March 15th, 2017 and your entry is denied, we will refund your full registration fee amount.  If you chose to apply for a visa after the March 15th, 2017 deadline and your entry is denied or your visa does not get processed in time, we will not refund your registration fee.

The following Customs channels must be followed, depending on your circumstances: 

If you have in your possession any prohibited/restricted goods and/or goods which fall outside your duty-free allowance, or if you are unsure whether any goods in your possession fall within these categories, please proceed to the Red Channel. 

Examples of prohibited goods: 
  • Narcotic and habit-forming drugs in any form 
  • Fully automatic, military and unnumbered weapons, explosives and fireworks 
  • Poison and other toxic substances 
  • Cigarettes with a mass of more than 2kg per 1000 
  • Goods to which a trade description or trademark is applied in contravention of any Act (for example, counterfeit goods – see below) 
  • Unlawful reproductions of any works subject to copyright 
  • Prison-made and penitentiary-made goods 
Examples of restricted goods: 
  • Currency: South African bank notes in excess of R25 000, gold coins, coin and stamp collections and unprocessed gold. 
  • Endangered plants and animals: Species of plants or animals that are listed as endangered, whether they are alive or dead. The restriction includes any parts of or articles made from them. 
  • Food, plants, animals and biological goods: All plants and plant products, such as seeds, flowers, fruit, honey, margarine and vegetable oils. All animals, birds, poultry and products thereof, for example, dairy products, butter and eggs. 
  • Medicines: Travellers are allowed to bring in no more than three months’ supply of pharmaceutical drugs and medicines for their personal use. All other pharmaceutical drugs and medicines have to be declared and have to be accompanied by a letter or certified prescription from a registered physician. 

If you have something to declare, your Traveller Card and passport are scanned and you make a verbal declaration, which is captured on the system by a Customs officer. This information forms the basis of a Traveller Declaration form (TRD1). The TRD1 will also be used as a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) and Temporary Export Permit (TXP). 

If the traveller is happy with the information on the TRD1, they are asked to sign on an electronic signature pad and their signature is captured on the system. The signed TRD1 is then printed and given to the traveller.

If the goods in your possession fall within your duty-free allowance, you do not have any prohibited or restricted goods in your possession, you are not in possession of any commercial goods (imported for trade purposes) and you are not in possession of gifts, carried on behalf of others, please proceed to the Green Channel, unless instructed otherwise by a Customs Official. 

You may be stopped, questioned or searched by a Customs Officer at any time in the Red or Green channel.

Duty-free allowances:

Goods falling within the following allowances may be brought in without the payment of customs duty and VAT as accompanied baggage: 

  • No more than 200 cigarettes and 20 cigars per person 
  • No more than 250g of cigarette or pipe tobacco per person 
  • No more than 50ml perfume and 250ml eau de toilette per person 
  • No more than 2 litres of wine per person 
  • No more than 1 litre in total of other alcoholic beverages per person 

In addition to personal effects and the above consumable allowances, travellers are allowed new or used goods in accompanied baggage to the value of R5 000. 

A traveller is entitled to these allowances once per person during a period of 30 days after an absence of 48 hours from South Africa. 

The tobacco and alcohol allowance is not applicable to persons under the age of 18 years. 

Can I bring personal medication under the duty-free allowance? 

Travellers may import their personal medicaments provided it is for not more than three (3) months’ use. This must be accompanied by a prescription issued by a medical doctor. 


Please note that when changing currency in South Africa with money changers, you are required to show your passport. Most commonly accepted forms of currency are as follows:

By far, the most accepted cards are VISA and MasterCard. American Express and Diners Club cards have global networks but acceptance can vary.

Time Zone



Cape Town is renowned for having all four seasons in one day. February is the hottest month in Cape Town with an average temperature of 23°C (73°F) and the coldest is June at 13°C (55°F). The wettest month is July with an average of 100mm of rain. Go to for full forecast of weather.

Area code

  • Cape Town Century City Conference Centre: 7446
  • Dialing code: 021

The mobile network code (leaving out the first zero), if you're calling a cellular/mobile network. So, for example, to phone South African Airways' call centre from abroad, you'd dial +27 11 978 5313 (Johannesburg's area code is 011, but if you're phoning from abroad, you drop the zero).

Health Medical Services, Emergency Number

  • Police: 10111
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Cape Town Medi Clinic
    Tel: +27 21 464 5500
    21 Hof Street, Oranjezicht


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