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George

Travel Guide Africa South Africa Western Cape George

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Introduction

George is a city of about 200,000 inhabitants along the Garden Route, located in the east of the Western Cape. Although it is not a very attractive city, it has a few sights and might be a convenient place to spend the night and do daytrips from there to for example Oudtshoorn.

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Sights and Activities

  • George Museum
  • George Transport Museum
  • Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe steam train

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Getting There

By Plane

George Airport (GRJ) has flights to Johannesburg with 1time, Comair, Kulula and South African Airlink. The latter flies to Durban and Cape Town as well.

By Train

The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe steam train goes daily to Mossel Bay in the morning, returning in the afternoon.

By Car

George is located at the crossroads of the N2, east to Port Elizabeth and west to Cape Town, and the N12 going north via Oudtshoorn to Beaufort West where it meets the N1 (main road Cape Town - Johannesburg).
Distances to George are:

  • Cape Town - 438 kilometres
  • Durban - 1319 kilometres
  • Johannesburg - 1171 kilometres
  • Bloemfontein - 773 kilometres
  • Pretoria - 1229 kilometres
  • Port Elizabeth - 335 kilometres

By Bus

Greyhound South Africa, Intercape and Translux all serve George. Connections include Cape Town (7 hours, twice daily), Johannesburg (15 hours, daily), Port Elizabeth (5 hours, twice daily), Bloemfontein (10 hours, daily) and more frequent connections to Knysna (1,5 hours) and Plettenberg Bay (2 hours).
The Baz Bus stops in town as well, with shuttle to hostels in Oudtshoorn if you call ahead.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Afrovibe Lodge32 Camphersdrift roadGuesthouse-
Outeniqua Backpackers115 Merriman Street Garden RouteHostel-
Protea Hotel King GeorgeKing George Drive King George Park George 6530Hotel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Big cities and most of the popular places in the country usually have an internet café though they are not as abundant as in, for example, Asia or South America. It's also relatively expensive, usually 20-30 rand an hour, sometimes even more. Many of the accommodation options have internet access available, either wireless with your own laptop or by their own computer(s). Wireless access is also available throughout the country in more and more cafes and eateries, sometimes free and sometimes for a small fee. Note that you usually have to login anyway and agree with the terms and conditions. It is cheapest to buy a prepaid cell phone starter pack (less than R10) and access the Internet with GPRS or 3G. Generally R2 per MB for out of bundle data from most providers (50c for Virgin Mobile), but it becomes a lot cheaper if you buy a data bundle. In general coverage is good except the more rural parts of the northern and northwestern parts of the country (especially Northern Cape).

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

South Africa's country code is 27. Telephone numbers in South Africa are 10 digits, including the local area code. There are also some prefixes like 0800 (toll free), 0860 (charged as local call) and 0861 (flat-rate calls). The general emergency number is 10111, ambulance is 10177 and police is 1011.

South Africa has very good phone facilities, which are also becoming more and more competitively priced, now that more operators are active on the market. The main ones are Neotel and Telkom South Africa. Local phone calls are cheap (about one Rand an hour), domestic long-distance calls are about twice as expensive. International calls start at around 6 Rand an hour but can be (much) higher to less usual countries. Note that public phones are about twice as cheap as new private phone centres. Phone calls tend to be the cheapest during the weekend and during business hours (8:00am to 5:00pm) on weekdays and more expensive during the evening and nights at weekdays.

There are also good mobile-phone facilities, with GSM and 3G networks. There are five cell phone providers in South Africa: Vodacom, MTN, Cell-C, Virgin Mobile and 8ta. SIM card prepaid starter kits are available from R10. You will need a passport and a proof of residential address and it has to be registered before you can call or receive calls. You can buy credit for prepaid phones just about everywhere, remembering you will usually need cash to do so from service stations.

Post

The SAPO (South African Post Office) is the nation's postal service. They have a track & trace system for parcels as well. Post offices are open from 8:30am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Domestic and international deliveries are reliable but can sometimes take up to several weeks. If you want to send something oversees of any value, try using one of the private mail services, like Postnet. Also international courier companies like TNT, UPS and DHL tend to be fast, very reliable and competitively priced.

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This is version 4. Last edited at 6:27 on Oct 16, 13 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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