Useful Travel Information

American Express
Main local offices are in the city centre at Thibault Square and at the Waterfront. City centre hours are from 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday, and from 9am to noon Saturday. Waterfront hours are from 9am to 7pm Monday through Friday, and from 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday.

Area Code
The area code for Cape Town and surrounding Winelands is 021. Dialing code for South Africa is +27

Bookstores
For books on Cape Town and South Africa, head for Exclusive Books (tel. 021/419-0905) in Victoria Wharf, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 10:30pm, Sunday from 10am to 9pm. Traveller’s Bookshop (tel. 021/425-6880), also in Victoria Wharf, is also recommended.

Currency Converter
Click here to see how many Rands you will get for your money.

Doctors & Dentists
Call tel. 021/671-3634 or 021/671-2924 for a 24-hour referral service. SAA Netcare Travel Clinic is located in the Fountain Medical Centre, Adderley Street (tel. 021/419-3172). MTI Medi-Travel International is in the Clock tower, Waterfront (tel. 021/419-1888).

Embassies & Consulates
U.S.: 4th floor, Broadway Centre, Heerengracht Street (tel. 021/421-4280); Canada: 19th floor, Reserve Bank Building, corner St Georges Mall & Hout Street (tel. 021/405-2400); U.K.: 15th floor, Southern Life Centre, 8 Riebeeck St. (tel. 021/425-3670).

Emergencies
For an ambulance, call tel. 10177; for police call tel. 10111; in case of fire, call tel. 021/535-1100; for a sea rescue, call tel. 021/449-3500.

Hospitals
Groote Schuur (tel. 021/404-9111) in Observatory is the Cape’s largest hospital; Somerset Hospital (tel. 021/402-6911) at the Waterfront may be more conveniently located; however, for immediate attention in more salubrious surrounds you’re best off heading for a private clinic (this is why medical insurance is so advisable). The Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital (tel. 021/480-6111) is in the centre of town, at 181 Longmarket St. Claremont Hospital (tel. 021/674-4050) is closest to Constantia. Contact Mediclinic (tel. 021/883-8571) if you’re in Stellenbosch in the Winelands.

Internet Access
There are numerous Internet cafes all over the city, but the Cape Metropolitan Tourism is probably the most convenient place to surf, given the volume of hard-copy information at your disposal. Alternatively, ask your host for the nearest Internet access.

Mobile-Phone Rental
You can rent a phone in the International Arrivals terminal at the airport from MTN Rentals (tel. 021/934-3261) or from Cellucity, Kiosk 5, Victoria Wharf Centre, Waterfront (tel. 021/418-1306) for about R15 ($1.95) a day.

Newspapers & Magazines
The morning paper, Cape Times, and the more sensationalist afternoon and evening paper, Argus, are sold at most street corners. You’ll find international titles at the Waterfront.

Pharmacy 
Lite-Kem (tel. 021/461-8040), at 24 Darling St., opposite the city post office, is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30am to 11pm and Sunday from 9am to 11pm. Sunset Pharmacy (tel. 021/434-3333) in Sea Point Medical Centre, Kloof Road, is open daily from 8:30am to 9pm.

Post Office
The central branch is located on the corner of Parliament and Darling streets (tel. 021/464-1700), on the second floor. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm (Wed from 8:30am), and Saturday from 8am to 12pm.

Restrooms
The city’s large population of homeless people means that the hygiene of public restrooms can be of varying and dubious quality. You’re best off going to a coffee shop or restaurant, or visiting a gas station.

Safety
Under the banner BUSINESS AGAINST CRIME, the city has installed closed-circuit cameras in town, put a dedicated police force on the streets, and created 24-hour care centres for Cape Town’s street children. As a result, crime in the city centre has been drastically reduced. This is no reason to let down your guard, however. Muggings can be avoided by taking the same precautions you would in any large city. Be aware of street children, many of whom beg at large intersections. Visitors are requested to give them food or to make a donation to one of the childcare centres rather than provide them with cash, which is more often than not used to purchase drugs. It is inadvisable to pull over and stop on the N2 (the airport highway), and it’s worth travelling with a cell phone in case your car breaks down. For detailed advice, pick up a brochure on safety from any tourism office.

Spa/salon treatments
There are numerous wellness centres and hotel spas, but if you’re in the city and just want a 1- or 2-hour pampering session, the most convenient option, with a wide range of therapies, is the highly-rated S.K.I.N. on the Waterfront (tel. 021/425-3551).

Weather
Call tel. 082-231-1640 or visit website.