Last updated: 3 Sep 2018

Bermuda

About

Bermuda consists of around 180 islands and islets, lying just off the coast of Cape Hatterras, North Carolina, in the Atlantic Ocean. Its many coastlines are characterised by small bays with beaches of fine pale pink coral sand and surrounding vivid blue-green waters. Inland is an abundance of subtropical plants and flowers, interspersed with quaint pastel cottages.

Bermuda was first discovered by Juan de Bermudez, a Spanish sailor, in 1505. It was claimed in England's name by Sir George Somers, in July 1609. After colonisation, the island prospered and has continued to do so almost continuously ever since. In 1968, the island was granted internal self-government (formally a British Dependent Territory) while the UK retained control of defence and foreign policy. The issue of independence continues to crop up. A referendum on independence was last held in 1995 but a low turnout produced a majority against independence.
Capital:  Hamilton (BDA)
Currency:  Bermudan Dollar (BMD). USD is widely accepted. 
Language:  English 
Dialling code from SA:  + 1441
Time Zones: UTC / GMT -4 (6 hours behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From second Sunday March to first Sunday November: UTC / GMT -3 (5 hours behind South Africa)
Public Holidays 2018: 

Jan 1; Mar 30; May 24; Jun 18; Aug 2, 3; Sep 3; Nov 11, 12; Dec 25, 26

Side of the Road: Left
Best time to go:  Year Round (August – October are the wettest months but chances of hurricanes and storms are low)
Best For: Beaches and Water sports, UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Plugs:  110 volts AC, 60Hz. American (flat) two-pin plugs are standard.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended.
Customs: Normal social courtesies. It is considered polite to greet people on the street. Swimwear should be reserved for the beach and poolside. Nude sunbathing is prohibited. Some restaurants and clubs may have a dress code. 
Local Offences / Laws: Drinking alcohol in public is prohibited. 
Travel Tips / Warnings: Bermuda Dollars cannot be exchanged outside the country.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Bermuda by persons over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 500g of tobacco
• 1L of spirits and 1L of wine
• Gifts up to a value of BD$30 (visitors) or BD$200 (residents)
You may carry prescribed drugs on arrival provided they are for your own personal use, prescribed by your own doctor and in the original pharmacy packaging, bearing the prescription label and containing supplies only sufficient for your length of stay.
Prohibited Imports: Illegal drugs, offensive weapons, self-defence sprays, stun guns, soil, and indecent or obscene materials. You must obtain a permit in advance to import firearms and ammunition, live animals and plants, endangered animals and plants, fruit, vegetable and plant products, certain meat and dairy products, and certain radio transmitters.

Visa Requirements

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Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio