IntroductionSouth Africa is a large country covering 1,221,000 square kilometres, twice the size of France. The last census in 2001 recorded a population of over 40 million people composed of 10 different ethnic groups. It offers a variety of landscapes, of climates, of cultures and of flora and fauna that few other places on this earth can rival and so choosing a filming location is not always an easy process. South Africa truly is "a world in one country."
- Business Visas
The application process for business travel changes from time to time. Please consult with a local production company for the latest updates.
Travel to and from neighbouring countries requires a multi-entry visa that is best arranged in advance.
Yes, you can drink the water here. Some parts of South Africa and particularly the countries bordering South Africa in the North East have malaria and visitors should consult their doctor or pharmacist about appropriate malaria prophylactics. Both Cape Town and Johannesburg are malaria free zones.
Travel health insurance is recommended. Local medical facilities are of an excellent standard. Private hospitals are recommended as the state hospitals are often overcrowded.
The abundant sunshine that makes for superb filmmaking calls for protection with adequate sunscreen. A factor of at least SPF 15 is recommended.
Accommodation ranges from the most exclusive 5 star hotels, resorts and luxury game lodges through to family-owned bed and breakfasts. With the surge in tourism over the last five years a number of new, large hotels and smaller accommodation units have been developed in Cape Town and Durban.
Johannesburg is the business capital of Africa and has seen a sustained growth in accommodation facilities in order to meet the needs of a huge travelling business population. There is ample, comfortable accommodation in all parts of the country and luxury, mobile tented camps for remote location shoots.
South Africa's VAT (sales tax) is set at 14% and is included in the marked price of most goods and services. For visitors, this VAT can be claimed at the airport on items taken out of South Africa on production of a sales receipt.
Production companies charge VAT on the few areas of a budget that they cannot claim back, or charge VAT on the entire production and then refund that amount to the client upon receipt of the repayment from the VAT office.
All major banks and foreign exchange bureaus provide foreign exchange services. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are welcome. Local currency is the South African Rand (R1 = 100 cents). The favourable exchange rate means that foreign currency goes a long, long way in South Africa. Click to view Exchange Rates
South African enjoys an extensive electronic banking network. Travellers cheques can be cashed at most banks and international credit cards are accepted at hotels, shops, restaurants etc. Petrol must be paid for in cash or with a local petrol card.
Vehicles are driven on the left hand side of the road in South Africa and the speed limits range from 60 km/h (37mph) in urban areas to 120 km/h (75mph) on freeways. Car rental companies service all cities and airlines and there are excellent roads between the airports and all major cities. Private-hire taxis need to be booked telephonically in South Africa as they don't cruise the streets like in many other parts of the world. Public taxi minibuses travel constantly along set routes through most large cities but are not flexible in their route.
A direct dial telephone service links most of the country and cellular phones can be hired on flexible agreements.
South Africa is bordered in the north by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans in the south, east and west. The neighbouring countries offer unique locations and are in increasing filmic demand. Johannesburg and Cape Town are the main sources of film crew for these regions.
South Africa is an ideal base for travel into any of the neighbouring countries and South African production companies and crew work regularly throughout Africa. Production companies travel as far as Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles and Commores to facilitate international productions - often meeting visiting filmmakers on location.
South Africa receives a lot of dramatic press abroad about the levels of crime in parts of the country. The city centres have surveillance cameras that have brought crime down markedly in major areas but some normal precautions are in order.
All visitors should take the precautions they would take in any major city in the world. Take advice on where to visit after dark and don't carry large sums of cash. Common sense will go a long way toward making your trip a safe and easy one.
The outdoor climate has lent itself to a burgeoning adventure tourism industry with visitors from around the globe enjoying hiking expeditions, hot-air ballooning, river rafting, surfing, dune boarding, shark diving and eco-adventures. It stands to reason that virtually any outdoor activity you can imagine is available to film. With our year-round sunshine, stunning landscape vistas and an exchange rate that favours foreign currency the question becomes why not visit us?
More than 60 international airlines, including South African Airways, link the country with the rest of the world. A
It is wise to book as far in advance as possible over the festive period of the year as Cape Town is one of the world's favourite destinations for long summer holidays.
Flying time from Johannesburg to Cape Town is two hours, as is the flight from Johannesburg/Cape Town to Windhoek, Namibia. Maputo, Mozambique is a one hour flight from Johannesburg. Johannesburg and Cape Town both have international airports.