2014 World Cup Tournament: General information to South Africans travelling to Brazil
Registration of South Africans Abroad (ROSA)
South Africans travelling abroad are encouraged to register their trips online via Registration of South Africans Abroad (ROSA)
ROSA allows the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to locate you and offer consular assistance in case of emergencies.
ROSA link: www.dirco.gov.za/consular/index.html
South African passport holders are not required to obtain a visa before travelling to Brazil. Visa free entry into Brazil is valid for 90 days. It may be required that tourists satisfy immigration officers by proving that they have the means to support themselves during their stay and that they are in possession of return flight tickets. Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months with enough blank pages. To carry additional passport photographs is useful should you need a temporary passport or emergency travel certificate.
Yellow Fever Certificate
Visitors from the yellow-fever belt in the Americas and other countries as well as those, who travel through or disembark in these areas, have to be inoculated against the disease. It is recommended that you have the required inoculation at least 10 days before you travel .You will need to prove your inoculation status when you arrive back in South Africa by presenting a certificate.
It is strongly recommended that you take out travel insurance before travelling abroad. Travel insurance should cover hospitalisation and related medical costs as well as a possible emergency evacuation.
Portuguese is the official language of Brazil and is spoken by more than 99% of the population. Knowing a couple of words in Portuguese will be beneficial. Learn at least a few key phrases. A modest command of the local language will go a long way. English is also spoken by some Brazilians.
Transportation in Brazil
Brazil is a huge country covering a total area of 8,514,215 km2. FIFA matches will be played in 12 cities which are very far from each other. South African Airways (SAA) flights land in São Paulo's, Guarulhos (GRU) International Airport. Other airliners from Europe land at the international airports such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Recife or Salvador, where there are connecting flights to most other major Brazilian cities. Should you plan to watch games in different cities you are strongly advised to book domestic flights carefully in advance due to long distances in between the cities. As for local ground transportation, major airports such as in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have bus services and taxis which can be used to transfer to the city centre. A bus is relatively cost effective and it may be better than hiring a car and driving yourself. Taxis are also reliable, well regulated and fairly priced.
You are advised to confirm your hotel stay way in advance before the trip is undertaken as there will be high demand for accommodation during the period of the FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil.
South African diplomatic missions are not responsible for making accommodation bookings for travelers abroad. Hotel bookings can also be made via FIFA Official Hospitality Programme, Match.
The operation of a foreign mobile phone number in Brazil depends on the technology used and on compatibility with Brazilian operators. Service tariffs vary depending on the operator. Before travelling please check with your South African service provider the conditions for using a mobile phone in Brazil. The following mobile service providers are available in Brazil: TIM (41), Claro (21), Oi (31), Vivo (15) and Nextel.
Phoning out of Brazil to South Africa
To make an international call to South Africa, the mobile number must be preceded by an international access code depending on the mobile operator followed by 27, South Africa’s international country code. For example in case of Tim mobile operator, the number is 00 41 (operator code) then 27 followed by the relevant phone number excluding the zero.
Currency and Exchange
The Brazilian currency is the Real (R$). There are bills of R$2, R$5, R$10, R$20, R$50 and R$100. Dollars and travelers checks can be exchanged at the airports, banks, travel agencies and authorized hotels. All major credit cards can be used. Brazilian banks have developed an efficient Information Technology infrastructure, holders of major credit cards can use Brazilian ATMs to access their accounts and withdraw cash (other transactions are limited). Pin-based debit cards are accepted too and please remember to notify your bank in advance that you will be travelling abroad.
The electricity supply in South Africa is 220/230 volts AC 50Hz. Voltage in Brazil varies between 110V and 220V 60Hz, depending on the region. Adapters are obtainable locally. Voltage distribution varies in Brazil. Both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo use 110V although some hotels might have plugs catering for 220v appliances.
There are regional variations in Brazil in terms of time. During the period of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the South African Standard time will be five hours ahead of the Brasília time in the majority of the hosting cities except for Manaus and Cuiabá (6 hours ahead).
It will not be a bad idea to travel around with certified photocopies of your valuable documents, keeping the originals in a safe place in a hotel. If you lose your passport, report the loss as soon as possible to the local police station. Take a copy of the police report to the Embassy/ Consulate to apply for a temporary passport/emergency travel document.
We are exposed to crime everywhere in the world and basic precautionary measures will contribute to ensuring your safety.
- Do not accept or carry parcels, baggage or any items that you have not packed personally.
- Do not offer to collect parcels on behalf of other persons.
- Never leave your luggage and other possessions unattended.
- Possessing or smuggling drugs is a criminal offence in almost all countries.
- In case of prescribed medication, carry a copy of the doctor’s prescription.
- Obtain information from the hotel in which you are staying on security related precautions in the area.
- Remember to store valuables in the safety deposit box and keep your room locked at all times.
In case of any security related emergencies please contact: Colonel F. H. S. Labuschagne: South African Police Representative in Brazil on mobile no: 0055 11 (98417- 8889)
Preparation and knowledge are key to a successful trip abroad. When travelling abroad the laws of the foreign country apply to everybody. South Africans are not exempt from local foreign legislation and will not receive special treatment.
South Africans are encouraged to learn about the financial, customs, political, cultural and economic environment of Brazil to have a most enjoyable stay.
The above information serves as a guide only.
Consular Contact information:
Consular Hours: 09h00-12h00 (Monday to Friday)
Av. Paulista, 1754 - 12th floor - Zip code: 01310-920 - São Paulo - SP.
Tel: (11) 3265-0449 Fax: (11) 3285-1185
Cel: (11) 98691-1638