Important information

Weather

November is in the beginning of the summer and rainy season in South Africa. Temperatures typically range between 15 °C and 25 °C, although mid-day temperatures may reach up to 30 °C, and night-time temperatures may drop to 10 °C. Afternoon thundershowers are a possibility.

Health

The area is malaria-free and tap-water is potable. Basic immunization against hepatitis, polio and tetanus is advisable. For walks in the bush consider carrying an insect repellant to avoid tick bites that can lead to tick-bite fever.

Getting there and around

The conference venue is situated close to the centre of the Vredefort impact structure, on the banks of the Vaal River, on the outskirts of Parys, ca. 120 km from Johannesburg. Parys is ca. 140 km from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and is accessible by an excellent road network (travel time from OR Tambo airport is approximately 90 minutes). A shuttle service will be made available on Sunday 10 November to transport delegates from Johannesburg (city, airport) and the conference venue (at extra cost). Taxis are widely available and Uber has a strong presence in South Africa.

Visa / letter of invitation

Many passport holders (see www.dha.gov.za) are exempt from visas for entering South Africa for 90 days. If you require a letter of invitation, please register and pay for the conference. Once the payment has been received, the conference office (email: astrobio2020@uj.ac.za) will be able to assist. Please note that only electronic letters can be provided. A letter of invitation is issued solely for the purpose of assisting participants with visa applications and/or to obtain funding for their attendance at the conference.

Safety

Crime is a problem in South African cities. Avoid to walk around at night, and do not carry valuable items while walking. The area around Parys is rural farmland and generally quite safe.

Miscellaneous

  • No child care facilities are available at SunWa or Stonehenge
  • The electricity supply is 230V, 50 Hz. Specific three pin sockets are common and require an adapter that are widely available for sale.
  • Banks and cash machines are available in Parys but you may want to get some cash at the airport. Credit cards are widely accepted except in small shops, taxis etc.
  • Emergency numbers: police (10111), ambulance/fire (10177), general (112)