Frequently Asked Questions

ACCOMMODATION

Is my accommodation included in my registration fee?
No, your accommodation is at your own extra cost and rates will vary depending on which hotel you choose. However, as part of the registration process, the AORTIC 2013 Conference Secretariat will be able to assist you with the accommodation reservation and payment process.

What happens if I want to stay in a B&B; and not at one of the official conference hotels?
You are very welcome to choose not to stay in one of the official conference hotels. Please note however that the AORTIC 2013 Conference Secretariat can only make bookings at the official conference hotels and cannot take responsibility for accommodation booked independently by delegates.

GENERAL CONFERENCE

What is the correct dress code for the Conference?
Smart casual dress for the conference sessions, the Welcome Reception and the Gala Dinner. Please remember to bring a hat for protection against the afternoon sun and a light jacket in case of a cool evening.

Where is AORTIC 2013 being held and how do I get there?
AORTIC 2013 is being held at the state-of-the-art International Convention Centre (ICC) Durban in South Africa. Centrally located and just half an hour from the airport, ICC Durban is also minutes from hotels and beaches. Palm trees form a welcoming avenue while at the entrance to the centre three baobabs, Africa's tree giants, bid a regal greeting.

Directions to the ICC Durban from King Shaka International Airport (Approximately 32 km (30 minutes))
- Head southwest - 450m
- Take the 1st left toward Mdloti St - 350m
- Turn left onto Mdloti St - 1.7km
- Continue onto M65 - 700m
- Keep right at the fork and merge onto N2 - 12km
- Take exit 182 for M41 toward Mount Edgecombe / Phoenix / Umhlange - 650m
- Turn left onto M41 - 2.7km
- Take the ramp onto M4 - 13.2km
- Turn right onto Bram Fischer, ICC is on the left at 45 Bram Fischer Road - 170m

Where should I park during the Conference?
Parking is available on a "pay on foot" basis in the ICC Durban. Any parking expenses are for delegates' own accounts and are not included in registration fees.

HEALTH

What are the medical facilities in Durban like?
Emergency care is excellent and widely available in Durban with world-class medical specialists, international prescription drugs, cutting-edge technological facilities and a safe blood supply. South Africa has no national health scheme, so it is advisable to purchase travel insurance that will cover medical expenses during the period of your stay.

Who do I call in an emergency?
You can dial 10111 for the Flying Squad (special police services) and 10177 for an ambulance.

Is the water safe to drink?
In the major cities and towns and at most game reserves, tap water is purified, tastes good and is 100% safe to drink.

What sort of precautionary measures do I need to take in regard to protection from the African sun?
The South African sun is strong, with a high ultraviolet rating. Sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 20 or higher is recommended at all times, as well as a hat.

PERSONAL SAFETY

What about safety and security?
Your safety and well-being are of utmost importance to South Africans, but, as always, travellers should take a few basic precautions to ensure a safe and pleasant visit:

Accommodation

  • Never leave your luggage unattended
  • Store valuables in your hotel's safety deposit box or room safe
  • Keep your room locked at all times
  • Hand in the room keys or cards whenever you leave your hotel

Transport

  • Always keep luggage where you can see it, at any transport hub

At the beach

  • Always swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard
  • Never swim alone
  • Don't dive into unfamiliar waters - what may seem deep could be very shallow. Feet first is safer
  • Protect your skin from overexposure to UVA and UVB rays by wearing waterproof sunscreen with a high protection factor of 20+. Avoid the sun between the hottest times of the day: 11h00 - 15h00
  • Always wear a hat to protect your face
  • Drink plenty of water regularly to avoid dehydration even if you don't feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool and to replace lost salts through sweating

Sightseeing and entertainment

  • Use registered, qualified tour guides
  • Don't leave handbags under tables, on the backs of chairs or on restroom hooks
  • Travel in groups, especially if you are visiting a nightclub, bar or shebeen you haven't been to before
  • Don't use train services after dark, if at all possible

In the street

  • Obtain a map, and plan your route before you set out on an excursion
  • Consult your hotel or nearest Visitor Information Centre for a reliable taxi service
  • When crossing the street, use pedestrian crossings where possible and be aware of oncoming motorists at all times. Look right, look left and look right again before crossing
  • Don't carry large sums of money, and avoid counting in the open
  • Explore in groups and stick to well-lit, busy streets, especially at night
  • Please don't give money to street children. If you wish to assist them in a meaningful way, contact any Visitor Information Centre to obtain a list of organisations who would be most grateful for the assistance

Money and travel documents

  • Travel with certified copies of your valuable documents, and keep originals in a safe place
  • Countersign no more than half your traveller's cheques
  • Separate your cash and credit cards and don't carry all your cash / traveller's cheques with you during the day. Rather store half of them in your hotel room safe
  • Don't allow strangers to assist you with ATM transactions. If your card gets stuck, immediately call that ATM's helpline number
  • Be alert, and never turn your back while your ATM card is in the machine
  • Report lost passports and visas, without delay to the South African Police Services (SAPS)

On the road

  • Familiarise yourself with local rules of the road. Remember, South Africa is a left-hand drive country
  • Plan your route and fuel consumption in advance. Fuel can only be purchased with cash. Credit cards are not accepted
  • Have phone numbers of your destination in hand, in case you get lost
  • Keep the car doors locked at all times, the car windows wound up and any valuables locked in the boot
  • Never pick up strangers or ask them for directions. Rather go to the nearest business or petrol station if you get lost
  • Pay special attention to speed limits, road signs and traffic markings
  • It is compulsory to carry a translation of your driver's license, if it is not in English

Who do I call in an emergency?
You can dial 10111 for the Flying Squad (special police services) and 10177 for an ambulance.

What procedures should I follow in case of an unfortunate incident?
Although incidents of crime against tourists happen rarely in South Africa, tourists should still be aware of the basic emergency procedures to follow should anything happen. It recommended that you:

  • Go to the nearest safe and public place
  • Call the Police Emergency Number (10111) which is free from a phone box or landline, and briefly explain what happened
  • If you are using a mobile phone, call 112 and your call will be transferred to the appropriate emergency service
  • If you have been injured, the call centre will dispatch an ambulance to take you to the nearest hospital. Alternatively, you can call the National Ambulance Service (10177)

PROGRAMME

Where do I find a timetable of the conference proceedings?
To find out more about the programme, click here.

REGISTRATION

What is included in my registration fee?
Registration fees include:

  • Opening Ceremony
  • Welcome Reception
  • Access to the free pre-conference workshops on Thursday
  • Access to all conference sessions Friday - Sunday
  • Tea breaks and lunches on all conference days
  • Access to the AORTIC 2013 exhibition
  • AORTIC 2013 documentation

Registration fees do not include:

  • Charged pre-conference workshops on Thursday
  • Gala Dinner
  • Accommodation costs
  • Travel costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Parking

However, you are able to reserve and pay for your accommodation at the official conference hotels through the AORTIC 2013 registration process.

SOCIAL EVENTS AND ACCOMPANYING PERSONS

Which AORTIC 2013 social events can I attend with my accompanying persons?
AORTIC 2013 promises an enjoyable social programme for delegates and their accompanying persons. In addition to 2 city tours, and the Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception, there are day tours and half-day tours can be organised by the AORTIC 2013 Conference Secretariat.

For more information, click here.

What kind of family activities does Durban have to offer?
Durban's natural beauty and warm climate is conducive to an active, outdoor lifestyle and typical family activities can include lazy afternoons on some of the world's most beautiful sandy beaches or quiet strolls through the national botanical garden, offering the chance to interact with indigenous wildlife and clean, fresh air. Durban also offers a rich variety of museums, restaurants and shopping centres - some within walking distance from the ICC Durban and the AORTIC 2013 conference hotels.

TRAVEL

What is the time zone in Durban and South Africa?
South Africa operates two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time throughout the year, making it an hour ahead of Central European Winter Time, seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Winter Time and seven hours behind Australian Central Time.

What is the currency used in South Africa?
The South African currency is the Rand
Click here to view an up-to-date currency converter
Foreign currency can be exchanged at most commercial banks and Bureaux de Change are widely available.

Typical banking hours:
Monday - Friday: 09h00 - 15h30
Saturdays: 08h30 - 11h00
ATMs are widely available.

Do I need to have any inoculations or vaccines before I travel?
The only inoculation requirement for visitors is a yellow fever vaccination certificate for those entering South Africa within six days of leaving a yellow fever zone. You cannot get an inoculation upon arrival and your inoculation certificate must be dated at least ten days prior to your arrival in South Africa. Babies of one year old or less are exempt. More information can be found on the website of the Western Cape Provincial Government here or the website of the US Department of State here. Malaria is endemic in some parts of Mpumalanga, Northern Province, and northern KwaZulu-Natal and it is essential to take precautions if you intend to visit these areas. The bilharzia parasite is present in streams, rivers, lakes and dams in some of the northern and eastern parts of the country, and visitors should avoid contact with the water in these regions. There is no immunisation against bilharzia. Please consult your local doctor / travel clinic for further advice.

What is the climate like in Durban and South Africa in November?
November is the start of summer in Durban, and the climate can be hot, humid and very sunny. Temperatures frequently rise above 30°c / 86°F. Tropical thunderstorms strike on a more or less daily basis, generally during the afternoon. However, they do not usually have a great impact on what are generally lovely sunny days.

South African climatic conditions generally range from Mediterranean in the south-western corner of the country to temperate in the interior plateau, and subtropical in the northeast. A small area in the northwest has a desert climate. Most of the country has warm, sunny days and cool nights.

What are the distance and temperature conversions?
Distances throughout South Africa are given in kilometres.
1 mile = 1.62 kilometres
Temperature is given in degrees Celsius.

What electricity outlets are used in most hotels and do I need to buy a special adapter?
The electricity supply is 220-240 volts, 50 Hz. The connection for appliances is a round three-pin plug. The wall plugs are not compatible with Europe, the USA or the East; special adapters are available in most airport duty free shops.

What is the correct etiquette across South Africa?
The dress code across South Africa is mainly casual and smart casual, except in some restaurants and clubs that require more formal attire. Smoking is banned in public buildings and on planes, buses and trains.

What are the disabled facilities like for visitors?
South African Airways provides passenger aid units at all major airports. Many hotels offer facilities for the disabled, as do most rest camps in the Kruger National Park. Wheelchairs and other aides are available for hire in most cities. The larger rental car agencies can provide vehicles with hand controls.

What is the official language of South Africa?
South Africa has 11 official languages and English is spoken throughout the country. French, German and Italian are also spoken at many larger hotels and popular tourist destinations around Durban.

What sort of paperwork (passports and visas) do I need to enter South Africa?
All visitors to South Africa require a valid passport with at least two fully blank visa pages upon arrival in South Africa. Travellers without the requisite blank visa pages in their passports may be refused entry into South Africa, fined, and returned to their point of origin at their own expense.

Many visitors to South Africa require a visa in order to enter the country. You cannot apply for a visa upon arrival. If you will require a visa to visit South Africa, be sure to allow plenty of time for the application process before your departure date.

Details on how to apply for a South African visa can be found on the website of the South African Department of Home Affairs here.

If you need to visit a South African consulate in your home country in order to apply for a visa, a list of consulates around the world can be found on the website of the South African Department of Foreign Affairs here.

What are the road facilities like and what are the South African rules of the road?
An excellent road network links the largest metropolitan areas with even the smallest villages. South Africa drives on the LEFT. The speed limit in urban areas is usually 60 km per hour; on rural roads 100 km per hour and on freeways 120 km per hour unless otherwise indicated. Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory; driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence; and traffic laws are strictly enforced.

Public transport such as trains and buses are often not reliable and it is better to rent a vehicle from a reputable car-hire company if you wish to travel long distances. The AORTIC 2013 Conference Secretariat will also be arranging pre-booked day tours so that you can experience the beauty of Durban without worrying about securing a vehicle.

Valid driver's licenses from visitors' home countries are acceptable provided that they are in English and include the driver's photograph. If your driver's license does not comply with these requirements, you should obtain an International Driving Permit before your departure to South Africa.

What are the shopping facilities like in Durban and South Africa?
Local manufacturers set a high premium on workmanship, and with a favourable exchange rate, visitors can afford to indulge. Shopping hours in the bigger cities are generally 08h00 to 17h00 on weekdays, 08h00 to 13h00 on Saturdays, and some shops outside of malls are still closed on Sundays. Malls are generally open until 17h00 on Saturday and Sunday.

How do I make phone calls in and out of South Africa?
Durban telephone dialing codes:
International: +27-31-
National: 031-
National Directory Enquiries: 1023
To call internationally out of South Africa, dial 00 and then the country code. Cell phones are widely available for hire, as are 'starter packs' if your personal handset is compatible with the South African system.

What are the gratuity measures when it comes to tipping?
It is customary to tip waiters, wine stewards, taxi drivers, porters, caddies and other service providers. Depending on the service, the amount should be around 10%-15% of the bill, R5 per suitcase or R20 per golf bag.

Can I claim back VAT (Value Added Tax)?
Currently set at 14%, VAT is included in the marked/quoted price of most goods and services. Foreign visitors may claim back VAT paid on items to be taken out of the country when the total value exceeds ZAR 250.00. Information leaflets on the procedure to follow are available from VAT Refund Administration offices at the Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban International Airports.

Key Dates

Abstract submission deadline:
Closed
Bursary application deadline:
Closed
AORTIC 2013 Pre Conference Workshops:
Wednesday 20 – Thursday 21 November 2013
AORTIC 2013:
Thursday 21 - Sunday 24 November 2013