WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO                   revised 7/14/2016

INSURANCE
 
It is essential adequate travel insurance be taken out prior to departure. This should cover any medical situation such as emergency evacuation*, hospitalization, as well as cancellation, curtailment of arrangements and baggage. *This guarantees emergency evacuation to the nearest hospital should you suffer either severe illness or injury. Please contact us for information in this regard.  Office Number: 305.651.3636
 
PASSPORTS


Passports are required by all foreign visitors and must be valid for 6 months after the intended length of stay.  Please ensure that there are two blank pages per country to be visited in Africa.

VISAS


Holders of valid USA passports DO NOT require a visa entering South Africa if intended stay is under 90 days.

  • Be sure to possess at least two completely blank pages ( marked “visas”)
  • Be sure that your passport’s expiration date is dated at least 6 months after your intended return date. In other words valid for a period beyond April 2018.

Inquiries can be directed to South African diplomatic representatives in the US. Guests who intend traveling to South Africa's neighboring countries and back into South Africa are advised to apply for multiple entry visas.
 
IMMIGRATION


Tourists must satisfy immigration officers that they have the means to support themselves during their stay, and that they are in possession of return or onward air tickets.


For those wishing to include Victoria Falls as an extension to the trip, you will require entry visa’s to enter Zimbabwe through Victoria Falls and these can be applied and paid for on arrival at Victoria Falls Airport.  Make sure you have USD currency cash ($5 and $10 notes are best) 
 
LANGUAGES

  There are 11 official languages, however English is widely spoken throughout Southern Africa

DIETARY
 
Most dietary requirements can be catered for. Please inform us in advance of any specific dietary requirements and these will be communicated to all properties. Should you require kosher meals (available in South Africa) these may incur additional costs as these meals are specially prepared and
transported in from kosher kitchens. Prior notice is required for kosher meals.
 
 
HEALTH REQUIREMENTS
 
Please consult your physician before you travel to South Africa for advice on precautions.  Anyone who has any special medication should take enough supplies to last the visit. (travel with Doctor’s prescription)


Immunizations
No international immunization is needed when entering South Africa.
 
(Entering from neighboring African Countries? The only inoculation requirement is a yellow fever vaccination certificate from travelers over one year of age entering South Africa within six days of leaving an infected country.  
Note: Unless you are planning to visit a neighboring country like Zambia immediately before the trip this certificate would not apply to you.)
The medical requirements may change based on government policy or real time outbreaks so best to research all travel needs prior to departure. Contact us to if you are unable to source this information.

 
Malaria Risk Areas
You WILL be traveling through risk area for Malaria (Limpopo Province) on your trip to South Africa. Please consult with your Doctor to discuss the best preventative prophylactics you may need.
 
If you are planning to do any pre- or post excursions into the following areas: Northern Province and Mpumalanga. Northern Kwazulu Natal and Zululand, standard precautions should be taken. Please contact us for any information.
 
ELECTRICITY
 
South Africa                        220/240 Volts AC, 50hz


They accept differently shaped plugs* than in the US. You will need a plug converter and may need a voltage converter for certain U.S. appliances. My experience with a Laptop (if you’re bringing one) and to charge your phone etc..you only require a universal adapter.  Note that the hotels supply hair dryers. 
   
CELL PHONE USE
 
Cell Phones – if you are bringing a cell
phone check that you’re on an international roaming plan and your network includes SA. Local phone rentals can be purchased as well. We can pre order these for you. 
Calling from South Africa – You must first dial 00, which is South Africa’s international access code. You then dial the US code, area code of the city and the number of the person you wish to call.
 

WEATHER FORECAST*


Here is accuweather.com forecasts for the duration of the stays in Cape Town and the Game Reserve area.
 
Cape Town
 
Limpopo Valley
 
  (*will update above closer to travel time)


WHAT TO PACK (for CAPE TOWN & ON SAFARI)
  
Cape Town is laid back so no formal wear required. For the hotel during high tea and in the bar area no shorts or t shirts but apart from that resort wear is fine. It can colder at night so bring a wrap just in case.


As a general guide, comfortable, casual wash and wear clothes are recommended. Please note that muted colors are recommended for
game-viewing. Game-drives are conducted in the early morning and late afternoon, which can be fairly cold.  


The most practical items to pack for safari are:

  • Khaki, green, beige and neutral colors. (camouflage not recommended)       
  • Shirts with long sleeves (even in summer, as protection from the sun)       
  • T shirts       
  • Shorts or a light skirt 
  • Jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days     
  • A jacket/windbreaker or sweater are recommended for early morning and evening game drives·        
  • Lightweight water-proof jacket        
  • Swimwear for relaxing around  the pool at the game Lodge
  •  Comfortable walking shoes   
  • Sun block, sunglasses, hat, insect repellent, moisturizer and lip-salve are all essentials      
  • camera equipment
     

LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE (LOCAL FLIGHT TO GAME RESERVE)
 
As you will be traveling on aircraft within South Africa a different set of weight restrictions apply as follows:
 
Cape Town to Hoedspruit Flight (within South Africa): One piece
checked baggage maximum of 44lbs plus one small item of hand luggage, per person. Soft sided baggage  recommended (no hard shell)

HOTEL CHECK IN TIMES
 
In accordance with global practice most hotel and lodge check-in/out times are as follows:
Check-in:   14h00 / Check-out: 11h00
 
FIRST AID
 
Although most hotels and lodges are equipped with a First Aid kit, we suggest that you bring a small airtight container with a few well-chosen articles, such as: band aid, travel sickness tablets, antiseptic cream, antihistamine cream, pain relieving tablets for headaches, indigestion tablets, sunscreen, eye drops, insect repellent, medication for upset stomachs and after-sun moisturizer.  We remind travelers who have any allergies i.e. insect stings, or an asthma condition, to pack the required medication.
 
TIME CHANGE
 
South African standard Time is six (6) hours in advance of United States eastern standard time. There are no time zone differences within the country.
 
SAFETY AND SECURITY
 
There is a always safety in numbers so as a group traveling together we have that benefit. Hopefully we won’t get mobbed by JB’s fans !! Aside from that here are a few basics precautions to take: As South Africa is a developing country, crime does exist, so we would advise you to lock away all valuables, passports, cameras, in the safe of your hotel. Valuables should be carried discreetly when walking in cities. Gold and other expensive items offered for sale by street vendors are likely to be fakes or stolen property. Do not participate in pavement games as they are operated by well organized gangs and money can be stolen while you are distracted.


For full State Advisory visit the US State Advisory website for updated information.    www.travel.state.gov/travel/
 
VAT REFUNDS


As a visitor to South Africa, you can spend as little as R250.00 on goods intended for export, and claim a VAT refund. The user-friendly procedure allows you to claim your money before you even leave South African territory.

BEGGING


Beggars – the world is full of professional beggars and they can spot a tourist coming. Some of them even use their children and can put up quite a sob story – it also gives them a chance to see your wallet. The more successful they are the more the industry proliferates – we do not ascribe to this form of donations. If you really feel sorry for him rather buy a loaf of bread and give it to him/her.
 
SECURING YOUR LUGGAGE
 
Where possible we recommend you plastic wrap your remaining suitcases at the airport.  This helps protect your case from damage such as scratches, scuffing etc and most importantly deters criminals from opening it. Remember suitcases with a Zipper system to close are totally insecure, even when padlocked.  We can procure a TSA approved luggage glove that is designed to protect your checked luggage. Please contact us for details.

 
MONEY 

South African currency is the South African Rand (R.) which is divided into 100 cents.  At the time of print the exchange rate was USD$1=R13.5.

  • Airport Exchange counters, local banks and hotels rates may differ
  • Banks and foreign exchange bureau are available at all international airports and in all main towns.
  • Most hotels and lodges accept Visa and MasterCard. 
  • Exchange some cash into Rands on or prior to arrival to pay for small item purchases and tips etc….

   
SOUTH AFRICA
Banking Hours:
Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 15h30. Saturday from 09h00 to 11h00.
Auto banks (ATM’s, automated teller machines) are found in most towns and operate on a 24 hour basis. (Take all necessary precautions when using ATM’s as you would normally)

GRATUITY GUIDELINE
It is customary to tip 10% -15% of the bill at all restaurants. Usually in South African rand.
 
Tour Guide and Drivers
Tourist guides and coach drivers are tipped at the end of the day. On coach tours you will have a driver and a guide. Recommended tip is usually
R15.00 per person. The money is split between the tourist guide and the  driver.
 
Hotels Porters
At hotels it is customary to tip the porter R3.00 per bag or a R5 coin will put a smile on the hotel porter’s face after carrying your bags to your room.


While on Safari

All tips are normally given at the end of your stay. Envelopes for tips can normally be found either in your suite's stationery set or in the camp lounge.


The general staff tip box can usually be found near the bar. Including a personal thank-you note for your ranger and tracker along with the tip is a wonderful way to thank them for the key contribution they make to your safari experience and is always deeply appreciated!  Suggested minimum tips

indicated in US$


  • Rangers: $10 per guest per day in a shared vehicle .
  • General staff fund (for cleaners, cooks, waiters, etc): $5 per guest per day