In case you didn’t know, as a South African passport holder, you need a visa in order to visit the United States of America. The US Embassy recommends that South African residents should apply at least 3 months before the date of travel, due to the increased volume of applicants. With the scarcity of visa application interview slots around US Consulates in South Africa this has meant that many potential visitors to the USA are flocking to Cape Town to complete their visa application process.
Wondering where to start? Save this handy guide for everything you need to know about visiting Cape Town and the American Consulate to apply for your US visa.
The Muize Bed and Breakfast is a beautifully restored beach house in Muizenberg conveniently located within a 15 minute drive to the U.S Consulate in Westlake, just 8km away. It is the accommodation of choice for many leisure and business travellers, located just across the beach and mountains of Muizenberg, as we help our guests with all aspects of their visit, from airport transfers to day trips and tours.
Here’s what you need to consider when traveling down to Cape Town for your US Visa application.
1. Planning your trip:
The U.S visa application appointment can be a stressful thing for a lot of people, so we recommend giving yourself plenty of time. Many of our guests prefer to plan a 2 night stay in Cape Town before their embassy appointment, which gives them a free day before the appointment to make sure they have everything in order. Giving yourself time to tackle last minute paperwork printing, re-doing I.D. photos that you may have lost, or just figuring out where the embassy is will put your mind at ease. Best of all you get a day in Cape Town to explore one of the world’s most beautiful cities. If you need help with planning a day off in Cape Town, let us know, we are more than happy to help. One of the Cape’s best wine farms is directly opposite the US Consulate, it would be a waste not to take time to enjoy Steenberg Wine Farm and the exceptional wines there.
2. Getting to Cape Town:
Many of our guests fly to Cape Town International Airport, and find it most convenient to catch one of the later flights, that typically land around 9:30pm. Be wary of this, as most Guest Houses close their check-in early, and do not permit late check-ins, so be sure the establishment knows what time you are arriving. At the Muize we make special allowances to receive late check-in guests for the American Consulate.
For those driving to Cape Town, be aware of the traffic. Traffic peak times in the Muizenberg area are from 4:00pm – 6:00pm in the evenings and 6:30am – 8:30am in the mornings, so plan around these peak times to avoid frustration. Traffic can mount up quickly and we have had guests who have added an hour to their travel times as a result. Once you’re settled at your accommodation in Muizenberg, don’t be too concerned about travel time to the Consulate in the morning; at the worst, it will take you 30 minutes in a taxi or by car to get there.
3. Where to Stay:
Obviously we want you to stay with us, but there are a few options that we can recommend in the area too. Whale Watchers Self Catering Holidays offers self-catering apartments in the area, and require a minimum of 2 nights stay; perfect to enjoy a day to relax. The team there will also help with any paperwork printing if needed. Contact them on 0217882829 or visit www.whalewatchers.co.za.
Muizenberg Guestique in the heart of the village is another local favourite and offers large suites for travelling families. You can book with them directly through www.guestique.com. Bella Ev Guest Houseis an Ottoman inspired experience and is also perfectly located within Muizenberg (www.bellaev.co.za), and they also require a minimum of 2 nights booking.
4. Getting Around:
Most of our guests prefer to hire a car when they come to Cape Town, and pick the car up from the airport. This gives you maximum flexibility and freedom during your stay. Be sure to choose accommodation with secure off-street parking, exactly like what we offer at the Muize. We recommend local website, Just Car Hire, and you can book directly here: https://www.justcarhire.co.za/?link_aUID=MuizTravel. This provides the most up-to-date price comparison of all the major car hire companies with easy collection and drop-off at the airport.
Alternatively, some guests prefer to book an Airport Transfer. The Muize B&B provides this convenient service through our sister company Muizenberg Tours and Travel. If you require an airport transfer, just let us know during your booking, and we will arrange everything for you. Prices start from R450 per trip.
If you’d like someone else to take care of your travel, book a package deal with us. This includes your airport collection, return transfer to the U.S. Consulate, and return trip to the Airport. This round trip starts from R900, and you have a dedicated driver for your trips, who is also a qualified tour guide. Bonus!
You can also use services like UBER or BOLT to get around.
5. Getting to the Embassy:
Address: 2 Reddam Avenue, Westlake, 7945
Telephone: 021 702 7300
Business Hours: Monday to Friday, 08:00 – 16:45
Google map link to the Consulate: https://goo.gl/maps/87mJQUGnofxBuXTe8
We recommend allowing 30 minutes to get to the American Consulate in the morning so that you arrive relaxed and in time. If you are travelling at peak times (7am to 8am) then give yourself an extra 10 minutes, just to be safe. You can self-drive or you can use one of the transfer services available.
Very important to know, you cannot park at the Embassy! It is a requirement of the American Consulate that you park at the Steenberg Village Shopping Centre. It’s a short walk to the Embassy from here (500m) and there is plenty of parking available. There are also some great little shops to explore if you have time before or after.
Take a look at this Google Map link to get familiar with the area:
6. Be prepared:
Most people who have had issues with their interviews have been a result of paperwork not being in order. Be sure to have absolutely everything in order. Double and triple check!
Security: the embassy has very tight security measures and everyone goes through the security screening process, this is relatively quick, and does not impact on your appointment time. However, we recommend not having excess luggage with you (for those planning to head to the airport afterwards). Rather leave these at your guest house, or with your driver or in your car if you have one.
Relax: the interview is about you, and your reason for travelling to the states. You should have nothing to fear if your paperwork is in order, and your reasons for travel are legitimate. It is not an interrogation!
Car Hire: https://www.justcarhire.co.za/?link_aUID=MuizTravel
Tours and Travel options in Cape Town: visit www.muizenbergtours.co.za
Use this link to get from The Muize B&B to the American Consulate:
Use this link to get from Cape Town International Airport to The Muize Bed and Breakfast
Good luck! And get in touch if you’d like any assistance planning your visit. firstname.lastname@example.org