African Safaris, Ecotourism & Accommodation in
South and Southern Africa
 

Frequently asked questions

ACTIVITIES WHILST ON SAFARI ?
The range of activities included in your itinerary will depend on the venue and type of Safari.

Educational - specialist interpretations by our guides, fauna, flora, cultural, historical, archaeological, scientific.
Interactive activities - visiting interpretation centres, cultural villages.
Activities are accompanied by professional safari guides. The detailed activities are included in the cost with the option of additional excursions for your own account.
Additional excursions available at certain venues
Horseback Safaris - optional excursion
Elephant back safaris - optional excursion
Hot air ballooning - optional excursion
Light Aircraft flips - optional excursion

GAME DRIVES ?
Conducted in the tour vehicle, which are saloon cars or mini-busses and for larger groups Mercedes Sprinter, with open 4X4 safari vehicles, some with canvas canopy roof cover, used for the night drives and for the game drives at the various luxury private Lodge venues.

BOATING ?
Boating excursions may be in motorised boats and pontoons, as well as canoes, (in Botswana dug-out canoes are referred to as Mokoros) Destinations to wetland areas, rivers or the coast will generally include such an excertion.

WILDLIFE ?
Will we see the Big 5 ?
Should your viewing the Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo (the five most dangerous animals to hunt) be a priority, may I suggest that we include, in your itinerary, our preferred private Lodges, where these species are readily found. Here they are tracked, even off-road, to secure a sighting. Though more costly, this close-up viewing and excellent photographic opportunity is enormously rewarding.
If you are interested in a particular species of animal, or species diversity, we will gladly arrange an itinerary to optimise viewing the particular or wide variety of animals. Our specialist guides will add value to the experience.

GAME WALKS ?
These are offered as part of the itinerary at many wildlife venues, are optional, and limited to adults ony.

DAILY ACTIVITIES ?
On the overland Safaris we offer a full day game viewing, with possibly, and at your discretion, a time to relax over the heat of mid-day, this usually after lunch when the animals 'Siesta' too. We prefer to make the most of the two best times of day for gameviewing - early morning and late afternoon. Besides this being when the animals are most active, the colours (light) for photography is better too.
On the luxury private Lodge Safaris, your daily itinerary falls in line with the particular venue. Activities are usually two per day, which are included. An afternoon / into the evening drive, as also an early morning game activity. In addition, for the more energetic there is usually the option to go on a guided walk after breakfast. Should you wish to participate in any excursions not detailed as included in your itinerary, this will be for your own account.

GUIDES ON SAFARI ?
All activities, game drives, boating excursions and walks are accompanied by qualified professional guides.

NATIONAL PARK FEES
All entrance fees of venues as detailed, are included in the cost of your itinerary. We will advise any exclusions.

MEALS & DIETARY REQUIREMENTS ?
Meals at camps and lodges are either buffet or table d'hote. On the overland Safaris, lunches are usually at wayside facilities and may be limited to snacks only and are for your own account. Should you have any special dietary requirements, please advise at time of making your reservation.
Southern Africa is learning to facilitate vegetarian and vegan meals.

BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ?
On our overland Safaris there is no reasonable limit to luggage, please advise if you are on an extended tour with more than one item of luggage, besides your hand luggage. We will make the necessary arrangements to cater for you.

SCHEDULED AIRLINE SERVICES & BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ?
You may choose to fly into either Johannesburg or Cape Town. From either of these cities regular connecting flights are offered to the safari gateway airports. There being a variety, such as Durban, Hoedspruit and Nelspruit (KMIA) in South Africa, Maun and Kasane in Botswana, Windhoek and Walvis Bay in Namibia, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Livingstone in Zambia.
It is generally cheaper for you to book directly on line.. It is advised to book well in advance in order to benefit from lowest possible air fares. Airport and departure taxes are included in the cost of the air tickets.
Luggage allowance on scheduled services is 20 kg per person, with a further 5 kg cabin baggage allowance in soft bags. Note however, that although the luggage allowance is 20kg per person on scheduled services, the allowance on light aircraft for safari transfers is only 10kg. Please pack accordingly. There are storage facilities at Johannesburg and Cape Town airports.

CHECK IN TIMES – SCHEDULED AIRLINE SERVICES ?
Check in for domestic flights is 1 hour prior to departure. For regional and international flights, a minimum of  2 to 3 hours prior to departure is required. We endeavour to get you to the airports timeously.

CAR RENTAL ?
We recommend you contact one of the reputable car hire companies on line such as Hertz, Avis or Europcar. We will advise on the type of vehicle and the logistics of the route, depending on distance and road conditions. Seek advice from ourselves, as the travelling time is often in excess of what the distance may suggest.

SAFARI COSTS ?
The cost of your safari is quoted in South African Rand. Some private Lodges and neighbouring country prices are initially quoted in US$, this to be converted at the appropriate exchange rate at time of confirmation of the reservation. The price can also depend on the season of travel, the category of accommodation chosen, the duration of the safari as well as the fare secured on the scheduled airline at the time of booking. The seasonal rate policy may differ slightly from country to country, it is therefore important to advise us of the time of year you intend travelling. Thus, very few prices are reflected on our website.
HOW DO I PAY ?
We accept Payments via Direct transfer and by our secure Credit Card payment facility through Virtual Card Services (Pty) Ltd.
These options & links would be sent to you when payment is due.
Credit cards accepted are: MasterCard with SecureCode, Visa with Verified by VISA, Diners Club and American Express.


SAFARI SEASONS ?
NOTE THE SECRET SEASON – MARCH to OCTOBER. The best time of the year to visit the game parks in my opinion, when game viewing and weather is at its best. At some of the luxury private Lodges, there is a 'WINTER LOW SEASON' where you could take advantage of reduced tariffs. National and Provincial Parks do not have seasonal rates. The annual tariffs normally  increase annually as of 1 November.

CHILDREN ON SAFARI ?
Children are welcome on our overland Safaris.
However parents will have to be totally responsible for the care of their children, child minders are available at many venues. Safaris are often to remote wilderness areas where Lodges do not always have child minding facilities. Please advise us of the ages of your children in order for us to suggest most appropriate accommodation. Only some of the private lodges accept children under 12 years. Discounted rates on accommodation and air fares are sometimes applicable. Generally from 12 years, children will be charged full adult rates. This will be determined on the various venues chosen. Please advise if special dietary requirements are necessary for them. Children are not allowed to participate on walks into the wildlife areas - the exclusion age varies, with generally under 16 year-olds not being allowed to participate.

PASSPORT & VISA REQUIREMENTS ?
Your passport should in most cases be valid for a further 6 months from your date of entry into a country and all passports should have sufficient blank pages for visas (2 blank pages for South Africa) and for any entry requirements. Neigboring countries would also require blank pages should a visit to any of these be on your itinerary. Although we do not obtain visas on your behalf, we could possibly advise on the specific visa requirements and cost for each country on your itinerary. Please advise your nationality when making your arrangements.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS ?
Bring sufficient specialist medication with you. If you are obliged to take prescribed medicines, bring a copy of your medical practitioners script. Precaution against malaria is advisable when you visit Southern Africa and neighboring countries. Please consult with your local health clinic regarding the applicable prophylactic and or precautions.. See our Medical pages for further information.

SMOKING ?
Smoking is prohibited in most enclosed public places, bedrooms and vehicles. We will have "comfort stops" regularly on the overland tours.

CANCELLATION & INSURANCE ?
We abide by the normal cancellation, deposit and full pre-payment policies of all our principals. Cancellation policy on our website. We suggest you have a fully comprehensive travel insurance policy.

TIPPING ?
There is no obligation to tip for services rendered on our overland guided Safaris. Our guide will take care of the general gratuities which are included in our price. You are welcome to supplement this should you feel especially cared for. Your guide's gratuity is not included in our price
On self-drive and the private Lodge type Safaris, it is customary to tip your safari guides, porters, chamber maids and waiters. We could advise the expected tipping procedure, this is up to yourselves though, with no obligation. Should you visit a restaurant - these generally do not include a 'service charge', may I recommend that a 10%-15% service fee is added to the meal costs.

CLOTHING AND PERSONAL ITEMS ?
Our suggestions are :

 

Khaki coloured clothing recommended with no white items on game walks, darker clothing preferred.
General game viewing - wear what suits yourself
It is not necessary to dress for dinner with smart casual being adequate at most of the Luxury Lodge venues

 

Winter - warm windbreaker, long pants and long sleeved shirts for the open vehicle early morning and night drives
Summer - light clothing, shorts and sandals - remember the 'wind chill' factor on an open vehicle at night

 

Comfortable walking shoes, socks and sandals

 

Swimsuits, most venues have swimming pools
Wide brimmed hats and sunglasses

 

Sunblock, body lotions, insect repellents (although most of the private lodges do provide repellents)

 

All personal toiletries and medicaton

 

Camera, binoculars, extra film (film not available at all safari lodges)

COMMUNICATION ?
Within South Africa, most overnight venues have telephones. On the guided overland tours our guide will have a mobile phone. The network coverage is good. We will furnish this number to you prior to your arrival to facilitate your being contacted if necessary.
At lodges located in remote areas, the only form of communication is often only by radio. Mobile telephones cannot be used there as they are not within signal range. Should you need to contact home, the lodge will radio their nearest office, who will either contact us, or will forward the message on your behalf. Should you need to be contacted, those needing to, should contact us directly and we will make the necessary arrangements to communicate with you.

CURRENCY ?
Within South Africa and on our guided overland Safaris, limited cash is required. The local currency will be required for purchases from roadside curio vendors. Most formal shops and restaurants, including those inside the provincial and national parks will take credit cards. This is my recomended method of payment. If you travel using Travellers Cheques then may I suggest that you endeavour to purchase "Rand Travellers cheques" as these are exchanged at face value and not subject to exchange rate fluctuations or premiums.
In neighboring countries, our principals there, quote in US Dollars. Once you are on Safari in these countries, you may settle any additional charges, eg. bar bills, purchase of curios etc. in US$. It is not necessary to settle these bills in local currencies which, for example will not be accepted in Zimbabwe. We will provide detailed advice. All major credit cards are generally accepted.

SOUTHERN AFRICAN CLIMATE ?
There is a wide range of temperature and climate types. We will advise depending on your itinerary and time of year you travel.

 

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