Welcome to South Africa

South Africa is an incredible destination in so many ways – it is the kind of destination that will touch all of your senses in a myriad of ways, and once all is said and done you probably won’t be the same again. Our incredible diversity is a key attraction – from the deserts of the Kgalagadi to the lush green forests of Tsitsikamma to the unspoilt beaches of the Wild Coast to the vibrant nightlife of Cape Town – we really do have it all.

South Africa is mercurial in nature, one moment you’ll be exploring the origins of ancient man, the next you’re cage-diving with Great White Sharks and the next you’re drinking traditional beer in a lively township shebeen. South Africa really is a destination where you can experience it all, more.

As a people, we are known for our humanity – we may have come from a past filled with separation and struggle but our future is one of unity and possibility. In true African spirit, we understand the value of a warm South African welcome, and we can’t wait to welcome you to our Rainbow Nation – in 11 official languages.

There are nine spectacular provinces for you to explore – nine incredible diverse parts of the country that will open up your sense of possibility in ways you never thought possible. Oh, and by the way – we do have a sensational climate (with over 300 days of sunshine per year in some parts). We are also extremely proud of our superb infrastructure – excellent roads, a great variety of accommodation options and world-class service.

South Africa truly is a ground-breaking destination for explorers and adventurers who want to experience life in all its fullness. We’re a destination that allows you to scratch below the surface and experience endless possibilities, and to walk away the richer for having been here. 

Source: www.southafrica.net (SA Tourism)

Welcome to Cape Town

Perched between the ocean and the mountain, with a national park as its heart, there is nowhere like Cape Town. The “Mother City” is the oldest city in South Africa and has a cultural heritage spanning more than 300 years.

Visitors can expect beautiful Cape Dutch homesteads, traditional dancers with painted faces performing in the streets, the smell of spicy Malay cooking and the taste of a well-made wine when delving into this exciting city.

It has the top five national attractions in South Africa, all of which should appear on every visitor’s itinerary all year round. These include: V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Robben Island, Table Mountain and Cape point.

Beyond the City

The Western Cape is home to the world’s longest wine route, found along Route 62, a scenic tourist route that runs from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, 850 kilometres up the eastern coast. If you don’t have time to complete the whole route, consider visiting the wine-growing areas of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek, Ceres, Worcester, Bonnievale and Robertson. The Garden Route, from Cape Town to Knysna, is gorgeous, passing through many a quirky town, complete with welcoming locals and fresh produce stalls. Stop in at Swellendam, a town where the jailer once doubled as the postmaster, to experience Cape Dutch architecture at its best.

Getting to Cape Town

Domestic flights to Cape Town:

You can fly to Cape Town from Johannesburg, Durban and other South African cities, with the following airlines: South African Airways, Flysafair, British Airways, Mango Airlines and Kulula. Depending where you wish to fly from, various charter flights are also available.

Direct international flights to Cape Town:

International Flights Route Map and Airline Contacts

United Airlines’ brand new non-stop route between New York and Cape Town is running from 16 December 2019 until 27 March 2020, with the possibility to extend.

Airport Transfers

Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) is Africa’s most award-winning airport. As Africa’s 3rd largest airport it processes over 8 million passengers annually with over 50 % of the country’s air passengers passing through the airport. It is the primary airport serving the city of Cape Town.

Located approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the city centre, the airport has domestic and international terminals, linked by a common central terminal.

The airport offers direct flights from South Africa’s other two main urban areas, Johannesburg and Durban, as well as flights to smaller centres in South Africa. Internationally, it offers direct flights to several destinations in Africa, Asia and Europe and many more via Johannesburg.

To book your transfers directly click here. Delegates can pre-book arrival and/or departure transfers.  Departure transfers can also be booked during the congress at the W12 Travel desk at the CTICC.

Hotels in Cape Town

Cape Town and the Western Cape are Africa’s most sought-after holiday travel destination, while Cape Town is the number one business events destination. 

As a popular global holiday destination, Cape Town offers a wide variety of accommodation options and has about 20 000 formal three-, four- and five-star hotel bedrooms. Most of these hotels are located within the City Bowl, Waterfront and Atlantic Seaboard areas, all in close proximity to the Cape Town International Convention Centre. There are also many deluxe boutique hotels, serviced apartments and B&Bs.

Cape Town offers a large number of outstanding and rated guesthouse and B&B alternatives, and these are a popular choice for visitors. Various student and budget accommodation options are available ate two-star hotel options, short-term holiday apartment rentals, guesthouses, and also university residences during holiday periods.

Cape Town Tours

Grosvenor Tours has been appointed as the only official mandated tours agent for W12 and has negotiated special deals and discounted rates for W12 delegates through Grosvenor’s dedicated online overland tours platform, Explorersafari.com

Their collection of African safari packages features abundant wildlife, awe-inspiring landscapes, colorful cultures and life-changing opportunities. From showstopper safari destinations such as the Kruger National Park and the Okavango Delta, and famous landmarks like the dunes of Sossusvlei and the magnificent Victoria Falls; to once-in-a-lifetime African adventures such as meeting the Maasai in Kenya or witnessing the Great Migration… we invite you to go all-in. To live and breathe Africa, authentically.

To view a selection of tours offered by Grosvenor Tours and to book your tours directly, click here explorersafari.com

Visa Information

It is essential to contact the nearest South African Government representative to confirm that you have the necessary documentation to enter South Africa. Please ensure that you have at least 2 blank pages in your passport when arriving in our country. The passport also needs to be valid for the duration of the stay and six months after departure.

It is important to check on the current status of visa requirements as there have been a number of recent changes – especially the introduction of new laws pertaining to travelling with children. For detailed visa info, visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website: http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/civic-services/travel-documents

Delegates can contact the organisers to request an invitation letter to accompany your visa application. Please supply the organizers with your passport number, date of birth, birth name on the passport and physical address that we may include this on the invitation letter. Please note that only fully paid up delegates will be eligible to receive a letter of invitation.

Please contact Vanessa Canon at vanessa@soscpt.org if you require an invitation letter for your visa application. 

It is the delegate’s responsibility to investigate the visa requirements for South Africa and apply for a visa, if necessary.

Click here for the list of nationalities which do not require a visa for a stay of up to 90 days.

If your nationality does not benefit from a visa exemption, click here to find the South African Visa requirements. Requirements for visitor’s visas differ from country to country, and the requirements are subject to change.

While processing time depends from country to country, delegates are advised to apply for their visa as soon as possible, if required, to ensure adequate processing time.

While registering for our conference, you will be able to request an invitation letter stating that you will be traveling to South Africa in order to attend the conference.  This letter will help facilitate the visa process. Please note that letters of invitation are only issued to registered and paid/approved delegates.

For assistance with visa letters or general enquiries related to visas, please contact Vanessa Cannon at vanessa@soscpt.org

Getting around in Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the most well-connected cities in South Africa when it comes to transport options.

While travellers often choose to walk around the Downtown or Central Business District area because distances are short, you have the option to use Uber, Taxify, metered taxis and the MyCiti bus system, which can also connect you to points within the central district of Cape Town and surrounding tourism must-sees like Camps Bay, Sea Point and Hout Bay.

The MyCiti bus also connects you directly to Cape Town International Airport through a direct shuttle. There is also a City Sightseeing hop-on-hop-off red bus service with a variety of tourist routes on offer.

Uber – we have an agreement with Uber and they will be issuing a booking code to all delegates that would like to use their services over the next coming weeks.

Travel Tips

Cape Town is a major, modern cosmopolitan South African city. As such, we would advise travellers to exercise the same level of vigilance they would exercise when visiting any major city in the world. This includes ensuring you follow basic safety tips such as keeping emergency numbers on hand, avoiding carrying large sums of cash and keeping your valuables safe at all times.

The destination is frequently cited as among the world’s best holiday destinations and has a high return visitor rate, proving that those who visit our destination once, fall in love with it, and want to discover it again.

Cape Town and the Western Cape is a popular solo-travel destination, with a variety of activities and experiences on offer for the solo adventurer. Solo travellers are encouraged to exercise the same vigilance and safety measures to ensure they are not soft targets as they would anywhere else in the world.

Cape Town is one of the most well-connected cities in South Africa when it comes to transport options. While travellers often choose to walk around the Downtown or Central Business District area because distances are short, you have the option to use Uber, Taxify, metered taxis and the MyCiti bus system, which can also connect you to points within the central district of Cape Town and surrounding tourism must-sees like Camps Bay, Sea Point and Hout Bay. The MyCiti bus also connects you directly to Cape Town International Airport through a direct shuttle. There is also a City Sightseeing hop-on-hop-off red bus service with a variety of tourist routes on offer. Safe travels and see you in Cape Town. There is truly nowhere better!

Here are our top tips for keeping safe in the city.

  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash, don’t carry cameras in plain sight and do not leave belongings unattended.
  • Heed the advice of your hosts, Cape Town Tourism Visitor Centre staff, or locals on where to go after dusk. Avoid walking in deserted and dark places at night. Park in a secure, well-lit area with street guards.
  • Never allow strangers to assist you in any way at ATMs or cash points.
  • Street children and beggars may approach you for a handout. If you wish to help, consider giving food, donating to a registered charity or contact Cape Town Tourism for advice.
  • Keep copies of all valuable documents in a safe place.
  • When exploring Table Mountain National Park, take a map, comfortable walking shoes, a few friends and a charged mobile phone.
  • When hiking, be prepared for weather that can change rapidly, even in summer. Bring along enough water and sunblock, as well as something warm to wear. Start heading back well before dark and don’t venture away from the demarcated paths. Tell a friend or your host where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Load the Table Mountain National Park emergency number +27(0)861 106 417 into your mobile phone before departing on a hike. Cape Town Tourism and Protection and Emergency Services run a Visitor Support Programme to assist you, should you be involved in any incident during your stay.

Emergency numbers:

  • Emergencies from a mobile: 112
  • Emergencies from a landline: 107
  • South African Police Service: 10111
  • Medical & Fire Emergencies: 021 535 1100
  • Table Mountain NP Emergencies: 021 480 7700
  • Sea & Mountain Rescue: 021 948 9900
  • National Sea Rescue Institute: 082 911
  • Baboon Monitors: 071 588 6540
  • Shark Spotters: 078 174 4244
  • Ambulance: 10177

High-quality tap (faucet) water is available across the city and it is both palatable and safe to drink straight from the tap. The quality of the food is excellent, and Cape Town has some of the top restaurants in the world. 

We have a warm sunny climate and you should wear sunscreen and a hat whenever you are out of doors during the day, particularly between 10am and 4pm.

Medical facilities in Cape Town are world-class. There is an excellent network of both state and private hospitals.

If you’re an adult, you won’t need any inoculations unless you’re travelling from a yellow-fever endemic area (the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America), in which case you will need certification to prove your inoculation status when you arrive in the country. However, travellers going to or coming from Zambia, Tanzania, Eritrea, Somalia, Sao Tome and Principe as well as Rwanda will no longer be required to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate when in South Africa as these countries have been included on the World Health Organization list of countries with low potential for exposure to yellow fever virus. 

Hepatitis B inoculations are recommended for children up to the age of 12 who have not completed the series of injections as infants. Cape Town is a malaria-free area.

Coronavirus Updates

On 30 January the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 (or Novel Coronavirus) outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. 

When facing uncertainty or crisis, identifying reliable and timely sources of information is critical to making responsible decisions. We have put together this status update to help you find reliable information about the COVID-19 outbreak and to share. 

We as organizers for this global event, will follow the global situation closely and update this information on a regular basis.

“This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumors. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma. We are all in this together.”

–  Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization 

For more information:

World Health Organization
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CTICC official information on the Corona Virus (COVID-19)

Official Covid-19 virus Statement

With W12 Congress due to take place in the middle of May (still 11 weeks away), the W12 team continues to plan confidently for the Congress.

We currently have no plans to postpone or cancel our Congress despite some major events cancelling across the globe in the past few days.

This unprecedented situation is changing daily so we remain watchful but also focused on delivering what is an extremely important event for the global business events community.

We are in daily contact with our partners around the world and in Africa. We’re also in regular communication with our partners in South Africa (the South African Convention Bureau, CTICC and the South African Tourist Office), as well as the appropriate authorities, including travel and health advisory bodies nationally and globally.

Mindful of our duty of care we are carefully considering and consulting with experts on what the appropriate sanitary, health and other measures should be and can assure our industry that all appropriate measures will be in place at the Congress.

Collective responsibility

COVID-19 is presenting the business events and travel industries with an unprecedented global challenge. The W12 team are passionate believers in, and advocates for, the substantial social and economic power of meetings and events. We know that the negative long-term impact of speculation, hype and over-reaction will be damaging not just to our industry, but also to your local communities and business as a whole.

We feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility to focus on the facts and to act with common sense and sound judgement, taking the advice of the relevant authorities and scientists. In the words of Gloria Guevara, President and CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), “containing the spread of unnecessary panic is as important as stopping the virus itself.” 

Separating fact from fiction

We’re aware that there’s a lot of speculation and hype surrounding the impact of Covid-19 globally and that it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction.

On our website we’re sharing some of the sources we believe to be the most reliable, independent and credible. Above all, we believe it’s important not to overreact but to keep this global health issue in context.

We agree with our friends at ICCA: “In general, it is good practice in situations like these to stay calm, communicate responsibly and follow official health and travel advice.”

Yours Sincerely,

Shelley Humphreys-Webb

W12 Congress Director

Useful Links

South Africa Tourism

www.southafrica.net

Airports in South Africa

www.airports.co.za

Weather

www.weathersa.co.za

Cape Town Tourism

www.capetown.travel

Western Cape Travel and Tourism

www.wesgro.co.za

Eat Out Guide

www.eatout.co.za