PREPARE WITH PEACE OF MIND

We understand that an adventure & safari in Africa can be daunting, so we've compiled this list of FAQs that help you answer many of the questions you may have both before traveling, and during your travels

 

before travelling

Visas

Visas depend on your Nationality or type of passport, and then depends on which countries in Africa you will be visiting.

Generally visas are quite easy to obtain on tour at the various border posts, but some may need to be organised before you depart from your home country. It is important to check with the relevant country embassy(ies) or on the web to confirm this.

Flights

Flights to get to and from your starting and ending destinations are usually for your own expense. These can be booked personally, or may be included in a travel agent booking in a complete tour package. We can arrange your international travel arrangements on request.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is always recommended by us, as travel in Africa is full of adventure and uncertainties. Generally nothing serious happens, but it does not hurt to be prepared and to be insured for your travel. The type of travel insurance you decide to take is up to you, and we can recommend several sources. We have comprehensive insurance covering all aspects of our journeys, from traveling in our vehicles to activities in the bush.

What to pack for your journey

Take a look at the On Expedition (What to expect on tour) section for an idea of luggage sizes, type and amount of clothing to pack, electronics, medication, and more...

 

health

What vaccinations, medication, innoculations, and preventive medication (malaria, TB etc.) do I need?

This depends greatly on where you will be travelling on your expedition. Some vaccinations are compulsory when traveling to certain countries (such as a yellow fever vaccination when visiting the tropics). We have a brief list below of the common health challenges that may be encountered on tour.

If you are currently taking medication for anything at home, please make sure that you bring along the required amount of medication, with some spare in case of emergency.

Malaria

Malaria occurs in parts of Africa, and can be a very serious condition if contracted. With or without taking precautionary medication, we always recommend that prevention is better than cure. Mosquitoes carrying malaria are active from dusk until dawn, and especially active at both dusk and dawn. Preventative measures include wearing clothing that covers the whole body (i.e. long sleeve shirts, trousers etc.) and using a mosquito repellent on both the body and inside your rooms. 

Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever is possible to contract in a few countries in Africa, especially in the tropics (such as Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia etc). By law one has to have a Yellow Fever vaccination when travelling to these countries, and these vaccinations last for 10 years. One receives a small booklet, under the WHO, and this becomes a necessary addition to your travel documents.

HIV (AIDS)

HIV (AIDS) is relatively common throughout Africa, but it is important to remember that it can be easily prevented.

Being aware and educated about AIDS is very important. The use of condoms is very effective during sexual encounters.

Dietary requirements, allergies, health conditions

If you have any dietary requirements, please inform us before the starting date of your expedition. In addition please inform us of any allergies or health issues you may have, so that we are prepared and know about these for a safe and healthy trip!

 

money matters

Which currency do you use when travelling in Africa?

The currency one uses in Africa depends on the country, as most countries have their own currency with unique exchange rates. When travelling in South Africa, the Rand is used and can be used in two neighbouring countries (Lesotho and Swaziland).

In general, dollars are widely accepted throughout Africa, except throughout South Africa.

What form of money is the most convenient when travelling?

It is generally most economical to use cash when travelling around Africa. It is important to have safety in mind when doing this, and only having enough money that you will likely to be using for various own expenses (beverages, curios, tips, gifts etc.). There will be periodic opportunities to visit foreign exchange branches, banks or ATMs on the expeditions if need be to top up your cash reserves.

Credit cards are generally accepted throughout Africa, but mainly at formal locations like hotels, restaurants, airports etc. South Africa widely accepts both Visa & MasterCard, and sometimes American Express or Diners. Other countries around do not always have the facilities, and if they do, extra charges of up to 10% may be incurred.

Travellers' cheques are widely accepted and another safe way to carry your money.

What is included in the tour price and what should you cater for on your own expense?

When booking an expedition with us directly, we set a total tour price. Depending on how your specific tour is organised, in general these total tour prices include:

- All accommodation during the tour.

 

- All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are included, unless otherwise speicified. Sometimes we set aside a meal to be enjoyed at your own expense when visiting a great restaurant on tour.

 

- All activities that are set up in your itinerary are included (e.g. game drives, hikes, canoeing/boating trips, museum entrances, park fees, local tour fees etc.). Sometimes there are a range of activities at a certain location, and we allow time where you can decide whether to get involved in any of these activities or not, and which one to get involved in. These will be for your own expense and will be specified in your expedition itinerary.

When booking an expedition with us directly, we set a total tour price. Depending on how your specific tour is organised, in general these total tour prices DO NOT include:

- All beverages (alcohol, soft drinks etc.) are for your own expense for meals and during the days. We provide coffee and tea in the morning as well as bottled water daily, and have a fridge in our vehicle for your use.

 

- Additional expenses are all for your own expense and at your own discretion. Curios/gifts and tips for example as we encounter sites along the way. There will be opportunities on tour to visit markets, local curio shops etc. where you can spend time browsing and decide if/what you would like to buy.

 

What is the process of payment for your expedition?

We offer several methods of payment, that are all safe and secure. These include paying by major credit card (although a percentage of up to 6% may be charged for this, depending on the country of origin, we offer a service whereby one can pay in their own currency (the value of the tour) cutting down on exchange rates, commissions, and fees. Finally it is possible to do a direct internet funds transfer to our South African bank account.

Due to the nature of these expeditions, a few points to note on our payment policy are listed below:

- We require a 30% deposit on the full value of an expedition at least 60 days before the starting date of your safari. This will confirm and book your dates and tour with us.

 

- The full value of the expedition must be payed at least 30 days before the starting date of your safari.

- Your deposit is refundable, if you choose to decline an expedition, up until 60 days before the starting date of your safari. This action should be taken in writing at the appropriate date. From 60 days until the starting date of your safari, the deposit is NOT refundable. Trips cancelled within 30 days of the starting date are subject to a 90% cancellation fee.

 

Private tours (i.e. tours reserved for ONLY you, and preventing others from joining the expedition) will increase the cost. A surcharge will be levied, where clients wish to reserve a tour for their exclusive use. It is highly personal though, with your own guide, so the extra costs are to compensate for this freedom and flexibility on your trip of a lifetime.

 

what to expect on tour

These expeditions are an adventure where the most important factor is to have a great experience and to enjoy! Naturally, travel in Africa can bring its challenges, but what it lacks in convenience and infrastructure, it more than makes up for with spectacular sunsets, majestic landscapes, great photo opportunities, great food, friendly and homely people, and more importantly, memories that will stay with you for life.

What to expect on a day to day basis?

As the ancient motto in Africa goes, 'always something new!' so expect the unexpected. Each day will be unique in terms of the places we visit, accommodation we stay in, and activities we take part in. On a day to day basis we can expect the basics to be similar, and most days will revolve around meal times (breakfast, lunch, dinner) with various activities or traveling in between. The most flexible meal is lunch, where we might spend the day out and take a picnic lunch, or stop én route whilst traveling a long distance to a remote place.

If you have any dietary requirements, please inform us before the starting date of your expedition. In addition please inform us of any allergies or health issues you may have,  so that we are prepared and know about these for a safe and healthy trip!

What to expect in general on expedition?

Due to the nature and length of trips, we travel relatively large distances, but we try to keep the long travelling days to as few as possible, and try to spend at least two or more nights at a location (unless its a stop-over night) to get really involved in each special place and activity. We will be using all types of travel modes (from walking, to canoeing & boating, to specialised vehicles). We have a 'base' vehicle where we keep luggage and all our equipment, and which will comfortably take us around Africa between the different locations.

Group tours or Private tours?

Because our trips are customisable, generally they would consist of a group of people who know each other and who have similar interests or ideas. We specialise in these more private tours; from solo travelers, to couples, to families, to groups.

Private tours (i.e. tours reserved for ONLY you, and preventing others from joining the expedition) will increase the cost. A surcharge will be levied, where clients wish to reserve a tour for their exclusive use. It is highly personal though, with your own guide, so the extra costs are to compensate for this.

 

Generally, the more people on tour, the lower the cost per person.

What do I bring on expedition?

Here is a basic list of requirements which one should bring with them on a tour. Space will be limited, so it is important to pack smartly.

- One large suitcase/backpack as your main luggage (usually 20kg in weight according to the airlines and especially when flying)

- One or two small pieces of hand-luggage (a backpack will be useful when a day trip is needed)

- Clothes for the trip (the nature of which will depend on the time of year, countries visiting, and nature of the expedition). There will be opportunity on tour to do a laundry day or two, so there is no need to over pack.

- Cameras, binoculars, and other travel equipment to maximise and record your experience.

- A torch/flashlight for emergencies and some evenings out in the bush when there is no electricity.

- Sun gear (hats, sunscreen, sunglasses etc.) for the harsh sun over Africa.

- Toiletries (including shampoos & shaving equipment). Soap is generally found on location

- Please bring the required amount of necessary personal medication, with some extra in case of emergencies.

- Passport with the necessary visas and other travel documents that are compulsory.

- Extra batteries for your electronic devices. Charging will be available at most accommodation (even if you are camping) and within the vehicle at all times.

 
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SATSA The Voice of Inbound Tourism

Last updated 14 October 2019

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