Forget traveler´s checks, cash, or personal checks when visiting Cape Town. All you really need is a valid ATM and credit card. Charge your gay accommodation in Cape Town and your gay tour and gay travel expenses to your credit card, thus ensuring the best exchange rate at all times and only take out cash from an ATM machine as needed and make the most of your vacation. All major credit cards are accepted everywhere. Keep enough cash to get you to from Cape Town back to the airport at the end of your journey. (Just remember your fare on the way from the airport into Cape Town and keep that much for the return)

The South African Rand (ZAR) 1 Rand = 100 cents
Notes: 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Rand
Coins: 10, 20, 50 cents; 1, 2, and 5 Rand
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You´ll find that Cape Town is an easy destination when it comes to finance and banking. From the moment you step off the plane to start your holiday, you'll see that there are banks, bureaux de change and automatic tellers almost everywhere.

Generally speaking, banks in Cape Town are open from 9am to 3.30pm. Mondays through Fridays, and 8.30am to 11am on Saturdays, but those at the airports adjust their hours of opening to accommodate all international flights. Banks are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Automated Teller Machines (ATMS)

Major national banks have branches as well as automated teller machines (ATMs) in Cape Town and most large towns in the Cape. International banks have branches in the major cities. Thomas Cook (represented by Rennies Travel) and American Express foreign exchange offices are available in the Cape Town and at various gay friendly travel and tour operators.

Tipping and Bargaining

Tipping is expected for many services in Cape Town, including things that perhaps you would take for granted at home.

  • Bars and restaurants: 10% - 15% depending on the quality of the service
  • Almost all petrol/gas stations in South Africa use attendants who expect around ZAR 2 – 3
  • Tipping taxi drivers and petrol attendants is also a common practice at about 10% or ZAR 2 – 3
  • “Car guards” normally get a few rand for their services.
  • Hotel porters expect about ZAR 3, and hotel maids about ZAR 20 or so per week.
  • Bar tenders should be tipped around 10%, this applies also to hairdressers, taxi drivers and gay tour guides off course.
Bargaining is not a South African habit but it is worth asking about special deals and any discounts that may apply.