Q. Is a visa required when travelling in southern Africa?
- Consult your Embassy, however, for people who possess a UK or US passport this is not required. It is also important to note that your passport has to be valid for at least 6 months after you return to your country of origin and that you have a minimum of two blank pages for visa entries to be stamped into your passport.
Q. Is there internet connectivity?
- There are good internet connections in SA although the download is sometimes slower than Europe. Most hotels and cafes have these facilities and wireless access is becoming more and more common, especially if you have a cell phone connected to 3G.
Q. Do I need to have medical insurance?
- This is a ‘must’.
Q. Do I have to take Malaria tablets?
- Malaria areas are found in most reserves of Southern Africa and a doctor should be consulted before arriving on the continent unless you know in advance that the game reserve being visited is malaria free.
Q. What about HIV/Aids?
- Southern Africa has the highest rate of HIV in the world. For more information, click onto www.avert.org/aidssouthafrica.htm
Q. Which are the best months to visit southern Africa?
- Pretty much every month! Game viewing is great all year round and can get extremely hot in January / February although winter is still warm in the daytime but with colder nights. July / August are the months to potentially avoid if you are considering spending much of your time in the Western Cape and around Cape Town.
Q. Do we need any vaccinations?
- You do not need any vaccinations unless you travel from other African countries in which case you will need a Yellow Fever vaccination.
Q. How safe are the Game Reserves?
- All reserves and Game Lodges are run by highly experienced rangers whose job is to make sure you have the safest of environment in any given situation.
Q. Is the African sun a danger?
- If you don’t use protection, then yes it is! Southern Africa is generally a very hot climate and even winter days in the Cape are often 18 degrees C. Sun lotion or block should be worn every day, especially on the face, arms and neck. It is also advisable to pack a cap and a wide brimmed hat. It also advisable to carry your sun-glasses everywhere you go as even on partly cloudy days the light can be very bright.
Q. What is the usual restaurant tip?
- It is customary to tip between 10% and 15% in restaurants. It is also good practice to tip porters ZAR 5.00, petrol pump attendants and car parking monitors ZAR 2.00 and guides a tip that you believe reflects their competence and care.
Q. Are the Banks reliable?
- Banks are generally open from 9am to 3.30pm Mondays through Fridays, and 8.30am to 11am on Saturdays. All major banks have a facility to take major international credit cards at their ATM or cash point machines. Most major credit cards are also accepted at shops, hotels and restaurants.
Q. What plugs and power voltage is used in southern Africa?
- The power voltage is 220-240 volts, 50Hz, and accessed via a three-pin plug socket. There is a smaller two-pin plug which can also be found in many areas of accommodation. These two plug sockets are only found in southern Africa and therefore an adapter will be needed. You can find such an adaptor at most duty free shops.
Q. Is there a language barrier?
- South Africa has 11 official languages such as Zulu, Xhosa, Venda, Soto etc. However, the most commonly spoken official languages are English and Afrikaans.