On things you need to know

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South Africa

Quick Facts:

Area: 471 443 sq miles
Capital City: Pretoria (Executive) Bloemfontein (Judicial) Cape Town (Legislative)
Government: Constitutional Democracy
President: Jacob Zuma
Languages: English (language of administration and widely spoken), Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.
Location: Southern Africa
Population size: 51, 770, 560, Population density: 109.8/sq mi
Telephone code: +27 plus city code and phone number
Time difference: GMT + 2 hours

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

Banks are open from 9:00am to 3:30pm, Monday through Friday and 8:30am to 11:00am on Saturdays. Major national banks are available in most large towns, as are automatic teller machines (ATM’s). International banks have branches in the major cities. Thomas Cook (represented by Rennies Travel) and American Express foreign exchange offices are available in the major cities.


Botswana

Quick Facts:

Area:  224 606 sq miles
Capital City:  Gaborone
Government:  Parliamentary Republic
President:  Ian Khama  
Languages:  English and Setswana
Location:  Botswana is landlocked, bordered to the south and east by South Africa, to the northeast by Zimbabwe and to the north and west by Namibia. It also touches Zambia just west of the Victoria Falls. 
Population size:  2,029,307  Population density:  8.9/sq mi
Telephone code:  +267 followed by the phone number
Time difference:  GMT + 2 hours

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

Banks open between 8:00am and 9:00am, Monday – Friday, closing between 16:15 and 17:15 on weekdays. Opening times are 10:45am to 12:00pm on Saturday.
Travellers cheques should only be exchanged at recognized banking institutions or bureaux de change.  There are limited facilities in the smaller villages; therefore it is advisable to exchange currency at the airport upon arrival.


Namibia

Quick Facts:

Area:  318,696 sq mi
Capital City:  Windhoek
Government:  Presidential Republic
President: Hifikepunye Pohamba  Prime Minister: Hage Geingob
Languages:  English, Ovambo, Damara, Kavango, Herero, German, Afrikaans
Location:  situated between the Namib and the Kalahari deserts in sub-Saharan Africa.
Population size: 2,100,000   Population density:  6.6/sq mi
Telephone code: +264
Time difference: Summer: First Sunday in September to first Sunday in April – 2 hours in advance Greenwich Mean Time, Winter: First Sunday in April to first Sunday in September – 1 hour in advance Greenwich Mean Time

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

In Windhoek, Swakopmund and Rundu banks are open from 09:00 to 15:00, Monday to Friday, and 08:30 to 11:00 on Saturdays. Bureaux de Change at Windhoek International Airport.
Major hotels have foreign exchange facilities and will accept traveller’s cheques.


Zambia 

Quick Facts:

Area:  290 587 sq miles
Capital City:  Lusaka
Government:  Republic
President:  Rupiah Banda
Prime Minister:  George Kunda
Languages:  English, Nyanja, Bemba, Lunda, Tonga, Nkoya, Lozi, Luvale, Kaonde
Location:  Zambia is landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west.
Population size:  11, 668, 000,  Population density:  40 sq miles
Telephone code:  +260 plus the city code and phone number
Time difference:  GMT + 2 hours

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

Banks are open 8:15am to 14:30pm Mondays to Fridays. Major national banks are available in most large towns. There are ATM’s outside Barclays Bank in Livingstone.
Visa and MasterCard are usually accepted throughout Zambia, but American Express and Diner’s Club are often not accepted.


Zimbabwe

Quick Facts

Area:  150 871 sq miles
Capital City:  Harare
Government:  Parliamentary Democracy 
President:  Robert Mugabe,  Prime Minister:  Morgan Tsvangirai
Languages:  English, Shona and isiNdebele
Location:  Southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east.
Population size:  12,619,600  Population density:  57/sq
Telephone code: +263 plus city code and phone number
Time difference:  GMT + 2 hours

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

Banks are open as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:00am – 3:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am – 12:30pm
Saturday 8:00am – 11:30pm

The bank agency at Harare Airport is open from 6:30am to 10:00pm daily.


Mozambique 

Quick Facts

Area:  309,475 sq mi (801,537 km2)
Capital City:  Maputo
Government:   Dominant-party system, Presidential system, Republic
President: Armando Guebuza
Languages:  English and Portuguese
Location:  a country in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest.
Population size: 23,929,708  Population density:  
Telephone code: +258 plus city code and phone number
Time difference:  GMT + 2 hours

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

Mozambique’s local currency is the Metical, however the US Dollar and the Rand are widely accepted.
It is advisable to carry cash or Travellers cheques as credit cards are not widely accepted beyond commercial centres.
Banks are open from Monday to Friday between 08h00 and 15h00.


Mauritius

Quick Facts:

Area:  787 sq miles
Capital City:  Port Louis
Government:  Parliamentary Republic  
President: Kailash Purryag  Prime Minister:  Navin Ramgoolam
Languages:  English is the official language, French and Creole are used by the local people in every day life. 
Location:  Off the east coast of Africa, due south east of Madagascar
Population size:   1,291,456  Population density:  1,636.5/sq mi
Telephone code:  +230 followed by the phone number
Time difference:  GMT + 4 hours

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

The local currency is the Mauritian Rupee (Rs). Traveller’s cheques may be exchanged at cashier’s desks at the hotels.  However, most hotels are close to commercial banks where you may receive a better rate of exchange.  Cash points are available at most banks where you may withdraw up to Mrps10 000 per week on your credit card.  There are Bureau de Change in both the Arrivals and Departure Halls.


Seychelles 

Quick Facts

Area: 174 sq mi
Capital City: Victoria
Government: Unitary representative presidential republic
President: James Michel Prime Minister: Danny Faure
Languages: French, English, Seychellois Creole
Location: An island nation, Seychelles is located to the northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600 km (994 mi) east of Kenya.
Population size: 84,000 Population density: 482.7/sq mi
Telephone code: +248
Time difference: GMT + 4 hours (Seychelles is four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and three hours ahead of Central European time in winter and two hours in summer).

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

Banking hours are: Monday to Friday 08h00 – 14h00 and Saturday 08h00 – 11h00.

All banks handle travellers’ cheques and foreign exchange transactions. Passports are required for all transactions and nominal commissions may be charged.  Barclays Bank and Banque Francaise Commerciale also have branch offices on Praslin and La Digue. The banks at the airport open only for flight arrivals and departures.


Tanzania

Quick Facts

Area:  364,898 sq mi
Capital City:  Dodoma
Government: Unitary presidential constitutional republic  
President: Jakaya Kikwete  Prime Minister:  Mizengo Pinda
Languages:  Swahili and English
Location:  Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of, respectively, Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika, to the southwest lies Lake Nyasa
Population size: 44,929,002 
Population density:  
119.9/sq mi
Telephone code:  +255
Time difference: GMT + 3 hours

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

Banks are open 08h30 to 12h30 Monday through Friday and 08h30 to 11h30 on Saturdays.  A few branches in the major towns are open until 16h00.  Banks and forex bureaux are available at the airport and in all main towns.


Kenya 

Quick Facts

Area:  224 080 sq miles
Capital City:  Nairobi
Government:  Semi-Presidential Republic  
President:  Mwai Kibaki
Prime Minister:  Raila Odinga
Languages:  English and Swahili
Location:  East Africa. Kenya is bordered by Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the northeast, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, and Sudan to the northwest, with the Indian Ocean running along the southeast border. 
Population size:  43,500,000
Population density:  
174.1/sq mi
Telephone code:  +254 plus city code and phone number
Time difference:  GMT + 3 hours

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

Mon to Fri 9:00am –14:00pm (16:30 in the major cities), Sat 9:00 – 11:00am. The airport banks are opened until midnight every day. Almost every bank now has an ATM, and they are increasingly being installed at petrol stations in cities and large towns.

Currency can be exchanged at the major banks, bureaux de change or authorised hotels. The banks at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Moi International Airport have 24-hour exchange services. The easiest currencies to exchange are US Dollars, Pounds Sterling and Euros.

Traveller’s cheques can be changed at banks, and are widely accepted. To avoid additional charges, travellers are advised to take traveller’s cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling. Banks in Mombasa and the coastal areas open and close half an hour earlier than the above times. Banks at the international airports are open 24 hours every day. Bureaux de Change are also available and are open beyond banking hours, as well as on Sundays.

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