Coming to South Africa for 2010 (or any other time)? Then read this.

South Africa is a wonderful country to visit. It has many national parks, privately owned game farms, lots of sunshine and most importantly – very friendly people.

Quick guide to know what you can buy with the change in your pocket

What can you buy with a R2?

  • Let me know when you find something bigger than a lollipop for that price

What can you buy for under R5?

  • 1 soft drink (Coke Cola, Sprite, Creme Soda and Just Juice, etc) – but only if you buy at a supermarket
  • Packet of crisps or chips (25 – 30g)
  • Single bar of chocolate
  • Roll of Mentos or 2/3 Wilson Humbug rolls
  • A smile from a car guard or petrol attendant when you tip him/her

What can you buy for under R10?

  • Pie for 1 (and that is not from Woolworths as there they are R12.95)
  • Soft drink and a small packet of crisps
  • A big packet of crisps (150g)
  • Parking at Montecasino (casino, bird park, entertainment centre and restaurants)

What can you buy for R20?

  • Burger from a takeaway
  • Sandwich from Woolworths
  • 2 liter soft drink

What can you buy for R30?

  • Buy a regular McDonalds meal with a hamburger, soft drink and chips

What can you buy for R40?

  • If you work it out well, you can buy 2 hamburgers, chips and a soft drink at McDonalds
  • Or 2 (small) meals at KFC

R50 will buy a little more…

  • 6 pack of Black Label (or another brand) beers (with change to spare)
  • A Numetro movie ticket (except on half-price night)

Things you think you want to know, but don't necessarily want to ask

  • 99.99% of all shops in South Africa mark their prices with VAT (Value Added Tax) already included in the price you see. VAT is 14%.
  • How much does a taxi ride cost? I don’t know what a ride in a minibus taxi will cost, but a car taxi will cost about R10 per kilometer.
  • Chocolates in South Africa taste different from those found in the UK. Additional preservatives have been added to prevent melting (according to my taste buds).
  • The nightlife starts from around 9pm – the real party much later. Most clubs or cocktail bars have a dress code.
  • Cocktail prices start from about R30. If a drinks menu has Mampoer on it – order a shot. It is stronger than Tequila and as South African as a braai.
  • Curry dishes in Durban is hotter than anywhere else in the country – except if you buy from an authentic Indian restaurant owned by an Indian that assures you that his curry does not burn that much.
  • If you are fortunate enough to receive an invitation to a braai – go. Do not stop to think about it, just go. Only South Africans know how to do a proper braai. A braai is a BBQ – just better.
  • When you drive – keep left, pass right. Driving is on the left hand side of the road and the steering wheel of the car on the right – therefore the driver will be on the inside of the road. Wearing seat belts are compulsory. Keep within the speed limits. Traffic officers will be out to get you…
  • Schools in South Africa will be closed during the 2010 World Cup period.
  • A tip of 10 to 20% at restaurants is recommended.  Be patient with service staff – we have 11 official languages in South Africa and then you can add the permanent residents from other African countries’ languages too. English is not everyone’s first (or even second) language.
  • Visa and Mastercards are welcomed everywhere – except if you buy from informal “entrepreneurs” next to the road.
  • ATMs can be found at petrol (service) stations and shoppi.jpgng centers. Never carry around wads of cash to flash around.

Have something to say...