What currency is used in South Africa?

The official currency and legal tender of South Africa is the South African rand

If you're planning a trip to South Africa, you'll want to take their official currency which is the South African rand.

Up until 1961 the local currency in South Africa was the South African Pound, but when the country became an independent republic it then launched a new currency called the South Africa Rand which is now the main currency for the country.

South Africa is like most western countries where you can easily find a bank or cash machines to withdraw or exchange currency whilst you are in the country on holiday or for business travel. Although, as always we recommend exchanging travel money in advance before travelling as buying at high street banks, exchanging at airport outlets or withdrawing money from cash machines will always cost you more in expensive banking fees once overseas.

If you plan on travelling to some of the neighbouring countries of South Africa then you will find that the South African Rand is also used in Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland as the local currency. The South Africa Rand is supplied in dominations of R10, R20, R50, R100, R200 bank notes and coins are available in dominations of R1, R2 and R5.

The South African Rand is a widely available currency in the UK which is supplied by the majority of well known travel money companies and you will find that you will get extremely good value for your money when exchanging from GBP to ZAR.

If you plan on taking several money options to South Africa then you might like to note that credit cards will be difficult to use in rural areas and that carrying suitable amounts of cash is recommended; although always be vigilant when taking out your wallet in public and make sure that you lock away valuables when you are in your hotel or accommodation.

When using your credit cards or debit cards abroad in hotels or restaurants we always recommend letting your banking suppliers know that you are travelling overseas for a holiday or for business travel as this will prevent your card being blocked for unrecognisable or large card transactions.

If for any reason you come back from your holiday with left over South African Rand currency you can always use our currency buy back service which compares all the buy-back suppliers in the UK which enables you to get the best deal possible on left over travel money. Going to South Africa for a holiday or business travel? Why not compare the best exchange rates and suppliers for the South African Rand!

Adam Silveston

Adam is a writer for Compare Holiday Money.

Published on 11 February 2014
South Africa, Zar, South African Rand

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