Monday, May 24, 2010

South Africa: Currency

The world’s strongest currency is the South African Rand. The name derives from “Witwatersrand” the ridge upon which the Johannesburg is built and most of South Africa’s gold deposits are found. Rand is available in bank notes of 10,20,50,100 and 200, and there are 9 coins- 1,2,5,10,20,50,1R,2R,5R. There are currency conversion charts available, and a number of international banks operate branches in South Africa; Citibank, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC to name a few.

So is travel to SA going to cost an arm and a leg? If you will be driving when you arrive to SA, the most expensive toll gate in South Africa is the Machado plaza on the N4 between Pretoria and Nelspruit and the cost is R49 for a normal car. In total, road tolls between Pretoria and Nelspruit or between Johannesburg and Cape Town will cost you just under R100.

You can buy three McDonald's burgers (a hamburger, cheese burger and chicken burger) for around R18 or a sit down lunch in an average restaurant will cost you between R80 and R140 per person. Prices in shops are fixed, but prices in open markets or from street vendors are open to barter. Tipping is the norm in restaurants and at gas-stations (which are all full-service).

Remember to be discreet when handling cash and valuables, the best place to carry your cash is inside a money belt that you can wear under your clothes!


  1. i loved the currency & kept meaning to take pictures of it, but we never had all 5 notes in our wallet - great pictures of the big 5 (which we're posting about now!)

    also, we found the mcdonalds there to be less expensive than the ones in north america

  2. Thanks Mina! Those leopard photos ( you posted today are great. What an amazing and beautiful animal. As always, thanks for your comments!


  3. Congrates!

    Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly.

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  4. 1 South African rand = 0.143316 U.S. dollars

    So, above
    1.43316 U.S. dollars
    2.86632 U.S. dollars
    7.16590 U.S. dollars
    14.3316 U.S. dollars
    28.6632 U.S. dollars

    You drop here

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