The South African Rand (ZAR) is the currency in use in South Africa. For the present exchange rate to your own currency, see XE.com.
There are numerous automated teller machines (ATMs) of various financial institutions in Stellenbosch. You will be able to draw cash with your own bank card and personal identification number (PIN). Furthermore, all major credit cards are accepted in almost all shops and outlets.
The voltage in use in South Africa is 220V. A three-pinned plug with round pins is used (see http://electricaloutlet.org/type-m), and you will need an adaptor to connect electrical appliances. These adaptors can be bought easily at airport shops.
For the current weather in Stellenbosch, as well as for long-term forecasts, see YR.no’s forecasts for Stellenbosch.
Clothing and climate
The IOSOT congress will take place at the beginning of the spring months in Stellenbosch. It can still be cold and wet during this time of the year, and you will have to bring some warm clothing and an umbrella, or preferably a waterproof wind jacket.
Spring in Stellenbosch is quite moderate compared to some Northern Hemisphere conditions. During September the average lowest temperature is around +9°C and the average highest temperature around +18°C. Consult the following site for average temperatures and precipitation: http://www.
In general, a more informal (smart-casual) style of clothing is used in academic environments compared to some contexts in the Northern Hemisphere, although more formal or traditional dress is also customary at evening functions.
Although South Africa has the reputation of being an unsafe destination, Stellenbosch is fairly safe. When walking around town during daytime, just make sure that you carry handbags, cameras and purses close to your body and that you attend to those around you. Although not often, pickpocketing may occur.
During night time you should preferably not walk alone – particularly female participants. Make sure that you keep in a group of at least three or four people.
VERY IMPORTANT: Do not accept assistance from anybody when drawing money at an automated banking machine. It is well known that some syndicates are operating in town in order to get hold of tourists’ banking/credit cards.
Card payments and gratuity/tips
At restaurants it is customary that the waiter/waitress will bring a card machine to your table should you want to pay with a banking/credit card. Do not let your card be taken out of your sight. The same applies at fuel stations where attendants will bring a card machine to your car for payment with a card.
It is customary to give a tip of about 10-15% at restaurants. A tip of around R5-R10 is in order for taxi drivers and assistants at fuel stations.
Although there are not many beggars on the streets of Stellenbosch, one should not give any money to them. If you are near a grocery store, you can rather go and buy something to eat for such a person.