Visa Requirements

Some nationalities are exempt from obtaining a visa for short-term stays in South Africa. These exemptions are subject to certain conditions and limitations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_South_Africa

  1. Visa Exemption for 90 Days: Citizens of these countries can enter South Africa without a visa for tourism or business purposes for a period of up to 90 days: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
  2. Visa Exemption for 30 Days: Citizens of the following African countries can enter South Africa without a visa for tourism or business purposes for a period of up to 30 days: Angola, Eswatini, Gabon, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Benin, Malaysia, Poland, etc.
  • eVisa for 90 Days: Algeria, Cameroon, China, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Uganda, etc. You can apply online at the South African government’s website here. 

Visa Application Process

  1. Determine the Type of Visa You Need:

You will need a visitors’ visas, which is for international travellers who wish to visit the country on a temporary basis for tourism or business purposes, including conferences for a period of 90 days or less. Make sure you visit your closest South African Embassy or Consulate to get all the information you need to ensure your visa application is a successful one.

2. Prepare documents required to apply for the visa.

  • A passport or travel document valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit
  • Your passport must have at least FOUR unused pages for entry/departure endorsements
  • A completed Form BI-84 (application for a visa)
  • Payment of the prescribed fee
  • A yellow-fever vaccination certificate
  • Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit
  • Two colour passport photographs
  • A return or onward ticket if you are travelling by air
  • Proof of financial means to pay for your living expenses while in South Africa in the form of:
  • Bank statements
  • Salary advances
  • Undertakings by the host(s) in South Africa
  • Bursary
  • Medical cover or
  • Cash available (including credit cards and travellers’ cheques)
  • Complete the Visa Application Form:

Fill out the appropriate visa application form, which can usually be downloaded from the South African Department of Home Affairs website. Ensure that you complete all sections accurately and honestly.

  • Click here for eVisa Application Form
  • Alternatively, you can obtain your respective application form from the nearest South African consulate or embassy in your country of citizenship
  1. Pay the Visa Fee:

Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, which varies depending on the type and duration of the visa.

  • The cost of the visa you apply for will be presented to you during capture and completion of your application form.
  • The fee is stated in South African Rands (ZAR). Please visit xe.com to obtain the spot price of your country’s equivalent.
  1. Schedule an Appointment:

Depending on your location and nationality, you may need to schedule an appointment with the nearest South African embassy or consulate.

  • Be prepared to attend an interview on the scheduled time and date if required.
  • Submit your visa application form, supporting documents, and proof of payment to the South African embassy or consulate during your appointment.
  • Make sure you have all required documents, as incomplete applications may be rejected.

N.B: Delegates are expected to consult South African embassies or consulates in their respective countries for any additional information/requirements that may be applicable. YALI Regional Office for Southern Africa and YALDA will provide support letters for you to submit to the embassy indicating your participation at the i-Boot Camp.

Traveling to Pretoria, South Africa

It’s important to note that Pretoria does not have its own international airport, so travellers typically fly into nearby airports and then make their way to Pretoria. Here are two primary airports you can use:

  1. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB): Located in Johannesburg, O.R. Tambo International Airport is the most convenient airport to fly into Pretoria. It is the largest and busiest airport in South Africa, located approximately 40 kilometres (31 miles) east of Pretoria. From O.R. Tambo International Airport, you can easily reach Pretoria by various transportation options, including Gautrain, airport shuttles, ride shares, taxis, or car rentals. The journey from the airport to Pretoria typically takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions.

We strongly advise that all delegates fly into O.R. Tambo International Airport and then take the Gautrain to HATFIELD station in Pretoria where we will have shuttles waiting to take you direct to the i-Boot Camp venue.

  1. Lanseria International Airport (HLA): Situated northwest of Johannesburg, Lanseria International Airport is a smaller airport that offers domestic and limited regional flights. It is located around 45 kilometres (28 miles) south-west of Pretoria, making it a convenient alternative for travellers who prefer a smaller, less crowded airport or have flights specifically connecting through Lanseria.
  2. Park Station Bus Terminal: Traveling from outside the country to Pretoria, South Africa using Park Station Bus Terminal is a convenient and efficient way to reach this vibrant city. Park Station, located in Johannesburg, serves as a major transportation hub connecting various cities in South Africa with international destinations. Bus services typically offer comfortable seating, onboard facilities, and efficient border crossing arrangements terminating at Park Station. Upon arriving at Park Station Bus Terminal, travellers have access to a range of reputable bus companies offering routes to Pretoria. These buses are equipped with comfortable seating and provide a safe and scenic journey through Gauteng Province. The route takes you through picturesque landscapes, giving you a taste of South Africa’s natural beauty.

You can take the Gautrain from Park Station to HATFIELD station in Pretoria where we will have shuttles waiting to take you direct to the i-Boot Camp venue.

Travel By Air

You may wish to buy your plane ticket online or directly on the airline website.  Sometimes when flying around Africa buying directly from your airline website may be better in case you experience any challenges.

  1. R. Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg):
  2. Lanseria International Airport (A few miles closer to Pretoria):

Though we recommend you purchase your ticket directly with your preferred airline, you can also purchase your plane ticket using your trusted travel agent or online using some of the following websites:

Travel by Bus

Travelling on a bus to South Africa isn’t just budget-friendly; it’s an adventure waiting to happen! This is a viable option for most delegates as it presents a unique opportunity to explore the continent in a way few ever experience. Along the way, you’ll meet fellow delegates, share stories, and forge connections that will last a lifetime. It’s not just a journey; it’s a vibrant tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions woven together.
Yes, it might take longer and there might be bus transfers along the way, like in Lusaka, Zambia. But think of them as pit stops on your grand adventure, opportunities to stretch your legs, sample local cuisine, make memories and explore possible business opportunities as you seek to expand your business across borders. So, as you plan your bus journey to South Africa, remember, it’s not just a means of transportation; it’s a chapter in your African odyssey. Get ready to be awed, inspired, and invigorated as you traverse the continent on wheels. Trust us, the excitement is palpable!

Visit your country bus websites or international bus terminal to plan your bus journey itinerary. 

Transportation in Pretoria

South Africa has a well-developed transportation network, including domestic flights, buses, trains, and rental car services. Plan your transportation options based on your itinerary and consider factors such as distances, safety, and convenience.

  1. Car Rental: Renting a car is a popular choice if you want the flexibility to travel at your own pace. Make sure to have a valid driver’s license and familiarize yourself with local driving regulations. Consider booking a rental car in advance to secure the best rates. Car rentals are available at all airports and at Park Stations bus terminal.
  2. Ride-Hailing Services: Ride-hailing services like Uber are available in major cities like Pretoria, providing a convenient, safe and affordable means of transportation. Download the relevant app and set up your account before arriving in South Africa.
    Click on the links below to download the respective apps:
  3. Taxis: Metered taxis can be found in Pretoria though they tend to be quite pricey but they can be a convenient option for shorter trips. It is advisable to use authorized and reputable taxi services to ensure your safety. Visit this website for recommended private taxis, where you can find more information about their services, fleet, and contact details. http://www.pretoriataxis.co.za/.
  4. Minibus Taxis: Thought we do NOT recommend at all, but another option for travel are minibus taxis are a common mode of transportation in South Africa, particularly for short distances. They are typically cheaper than other options but may be crowded and not always reliable in terms of adhering to schedules. If you choose to use minibus taxis, make sure to confirm the route and fare before boarding.

Weather

When traveling to Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa in February, delegates should be prepared for warm and pleasant weather. February falls during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer season, making it the perfect time to enjoy the region’s sunshine and outdoor activities. Daytime temperatures typically range from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F), so lightweight clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses are essential. However, it’s a good idea to bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. Rainfall is relatively low during this month, but a brief afternoon shower is possible, so packing an umbrella might come in handy. Overall, February offers ideal weather for exploring these vibrant cities and their surroundings while attending the i-Boot Camp.

The following are some key things to consider:

  1. Sun Protection: Regardless of the season, South Africa’s UV rays can be strong. Make sure to pack and apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and use sunglasses and lip balm with SPF to protect yourself from the sun’s rays, especially during the midday hours.
  2. Footwear: It’s always a good idea to break in new shoes to ensure maximum comfort and avoid blisters. Pack footwear that is versatile, durable, and suitable for the specific activities you will encounter. It is also advisable to have a pair of dress shoes or smart casual footwear to add a touch of style and ensure you are appropriately dressed for formal or semi-formal occasions.
  3. Miscellaneous Items: Consider carrying insect repellent, an adaptor/convertor for your electrical outlets, prescription medications, basic first-aid kit, cash and credit or debit cards for small and large packages and as back up for emergencies.

Local Customs

South Africa is a country rich in cultural diversity, with a vibrant mix of ethnicities, languages, and traditions. Understanding local customs and culture is essential for anyone visiting or doing business in South Africa. Remember that South Africans are generally friendly and open to sharing their culture with visitors. Being respectful and open-minded will go a long way in fostering positive interactions and experiences in this diverse and culturally rich country.

Here are some key aspects of South African culture and customs:

  1. Rainbow Nation: South Africa is often referred to as the “Rainbow Nation” due to its diverse population, which includes various ethnic groups such as Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaner, Indian, and more. This diversity is celebrated and has played a significant role in shaping the country’s culture.
  2. Languages: South Africa has 11 official languages, reflecting its diverse population. English is commonly spoken and used in business and government, but you’ll also hear Afrikaans, Zulu, Sotho, and others. Learning a few basic phrases in one of the local languages can be appreciated by locals.
  • Greetings: In South Africa most people greet each other and exchange pleasantries. Before talking to anyone you MUST always greet them with a smile. A common greeting in South Africa is a handshake if you are familiar with the person you are greeting. In more rural or traditional communities, people may greet each other with a nod or a bow. When addressing someone, it’s polite to use their title (Mr., Mrs., Dr.) and their last name until invited to use their first name.
  1. Respect for Elders: South African culture places a strong emphasis on respect for elders. It is customary to stand when an elder enters the room, and they are often addressed with honorifics like “Ma” or “Oom.”
  2. Hospitality: South Africans are known for their warm hospitality. Make an effort to respond to and return their warmth. Show respect and interest in what people have to say whenever they are talking. A South African may quickly disregard you as a disrespectful person if they feel you are not listening to them.
  3. Dress Code: South Africa has a diverse range of dress styles due to its multicultural makeup. In business settings, formal attire is common. However, the dress code can be more relaxed in creative industries.
  • Food: South African cuisine is diverse and flavorful. Traditional dishes include bobotie, a meat-based dish pronounced as ba-bo-tea, boerewors (sausage), pap, mogodu (tripe), and bunny chow, a deliciously tasty Street food made with aromatic spices, meat, chickpeas and potatoes served in hollow bread and more. You cannot leave South Africa without tasting the traditional braai (known in other parts of the world as nyama choma or barbeque) with deliciously braaied meats from steaks, chicken, boerwors served with pap, potato salad and famous spicy dish chakalaka and many more.
  • Time: South Africans generally have a more relaxed attitude toward time, especially in rural areas. White and Asian South Africans tend to value punctuality more highly than black and mixed- race South Africans, who are more likely to follow ‘African time’. South Africans often use the phrases ‘now-now’ or ‘just now’. Punctuality is essential for business meetings but may be more flexible in social settings.
  1. Apartheid History: South Africa has a complex history, including the apartheid era, which officially ended in 1994. Sensitivity to this history is essential when discussing political and social issues.

Safety Information

South Africa, while a land of breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural diversity, also holds a stark reality – a high crime rate that should not be underestimated. It is crucial for travelers to remain vigilant at all times. Violent crimes, including armed robberies, carjackings, and assaults, occur frequently, often taking place in broad daylight and in areas that tourists might consider safe. These attacks are often brutal and violent. Public transportation, particularly at night, can be risky, and petty theft, pickpocketing, and scams are prevalent in crowded tourist areas. We urge you to take safety precautions seriously, stay informed about local safety advisories, and exercise extreme caution, especially after dark. Your personal safety should be a top priority while visiting South Africa.

  • While South Africa has a comprehensive transportation system, it is essential to remain vigilant and take safety precautions. Avoid traveling alone at night, keep valuables secure, and use reputable transportation services to minimize any risks.
  • Always be mindful of your belongings. Keep your valuables, including passports, wallets, and electronic devices, secure and within sight. Use a money belt or a concealed pouch for important documents.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas. Avoid displaying expensive jewellery or carrying large amounts of cash. Keep a close eye on your belongings in public places and be cautious of pickpockets.
  • If traveling alone, inform someone about your whereabouts and plans. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar areas.
  • Trust your instincts and be cautious in unfamiliar or potentially risky situations. If something feels unsafe or uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation and seek assistance if necessary.
  • Take necessary health precautions such as drinking bottled or treated water and practicing good hygiene. Use insect repellent to protect against mosquito bites, especially in areas where malaria is a concern.
  • Save important contact numbers, including local authorities, your embassy or consulate, and your accommodation’s emergency contact information. Share your itinerary with someone you trust and keep them informed of any changes.

    The following are some important emergency contacts:
  1. Police (SAPS – South African Police Service): dial 10111 for crime-related emergencies.
  2. Ambulance/Emergency Medical Services (EMS): Dial 10177 for emergency medical assistance or an ambulance.
  3. Fire and Rescue Services: Dial 10177 in case of a fire or rescue emergency
  4. National Anti-Corruption Hotline: Dial 0800 701 701 to report corruption or any related misconduct.