Is it safe to travel to Africa?
Care must obviously be taken wherever you travel – not only to Africa! We ensure that you are met on arrival and that you are transferred to your hotel. You are also collected from every point of departure and transferred to your next destination where you are again met and transferred to your new accommodation. We brief all our clients on matters of personal security. We also avoid any known trouble spots.
While the safety of clients is always a Destinations Africa priority and thus we take all possible measures to minimise risk of anything untoward happening to our clients, the reality is that accidents do happen and illness can befall us anywhere.
As you would expect, an African holiday is likely to take you to pretty remote and isolated locations, which is wonderful in terms of a vacation but less than ideal should illness or injury befall you as it may be hundreds of kilometres from the nearest hospital or even medical centre!
So to ensure that you get appropriate treatment as soon as possible you need to have comprehensive Travel Insurance which includes medical evacuation! Whether you purchase this insurance or are provided with it as a reward for use of a particular credit card you still need to make sure before you leave home that it is appropriate to your needs and travel plans!
Is travel to Africa expensive?
South Africa and Namibia give excellent value as they charge in Rand which is weak agains most other currencies. Other African countries operate on a US$ basis and this needs careful managing as some can be expensive. However we are able to meet most budgets by “mixing and matching” different types of accommodations.
Do I need special vaccinations?
Nothing unusual. Yellow Fever inoculations are required if you visit an East African country.
What about malaria?
You will often spend time in a mosquito area however malaria is easily kept at bay by taking prophylactics that can be prescribed by your doctor. Also all lodges etc usually have fully protected rooms with nets and gauze over the windows.
Can I self drive?
Yes but we do not recommend that you self drive in or around Johannesburg.
Can I take a child?
Yes. Some game lodges do not allow children under a certain age – typically 8 to 12 – but there are others that specially cater for children! We do not recommend that you take very small children on a safari for obvious reasons.
Is it safe to drink tap water?
We recommend that you always drink bottled water. This is simply a precaution but most hotels have perfectly safe drinking water. Game lodges will usually supply bottled water.
What and how much currency should I take?
South African banks auto tellers work fine but we recommend that you always take some money in local currencies and a fair amount in US$ if travelling anywhere except South Africa.
How do I manage tips and gratuities?
Gratuities are expected for good service but are not a requirement. We recommend that you tip waiters etc as you see fit – 5% to 10% maximum. Game guides, rangers and trackers are not well paid and rely on gratuities so we suggest anything from AUD$15.00 to AUD$30.00 per day per person. Play it as you see it – if you have had a great time then pay the higher amount.
Do I need visas?
Yes in some cases, but all the countries to which we send you allow for visas to be obtained at the immigration desk on arrival. Visas generally cost from US$30 to US$100. You must have at least six clear pages in your passport and the expiry date no earlier than six months after departure from Africa, as some countries will not allow you in otherwise.
How far ahead of travelling do I need to plan and book my trip?
We recommend at least six months or more if possible. Understandably the better and better value lodges often book well in advance, even up to a year ahead. The sooner you plan and book the better as payment does not have to be made in full until approximately three months before travel and the longer you have to look forward to your amazing trip!