African Travel Information

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Africa – The land where time began….

Where humankind is said to have begun its evolution… Where the lions’ roar punctuates the night and only the stars, thousands of stars, illuminate the sky

  • Watch the baby elephant, with its unruly trunk, practice its charge
  • See the majestic giraffe bow to drink at the watering hole
  • Drink in the raw untamed beauty of Victoria Falls and let the spray of the smoke that thunders rinse your face and refresh you.

Listen as the guides share some of their knowledge of the animal kingdom which allows them to steer you through untamed territory in perfect safety. Let the yawn of the hippo remind you that it is time for your sundowner as you watch the setting sun descend in a blaze of glory in a clear African sky. Then return from the bush to the luxury of your lodge for an indulgent bath followed by a sumptuous meal designed to appeal to all palates.

Witness the contrasts Africa can offer as you soak in the dramatic beauty of Cape Town, the rolling green hills of the Franschhoek Valley and the mountainous waves of the Cape of Good Hope. Savour the fine fare at the Cape wine estates.

Feel your spirits soar on the wings of the myriad birds as your makoro slips silently through the mantle of water-lillies in the Okavango delta. Witness for your self this natural wonder as the river stretches out its life-giving fingers at the end of its journey into an immense inland delta in the Kalahari desert.

Join us and let the magic and the mystery that is Africa touch your soul and claim part of your heart.

  • Keep your valuables in the hotel safe. Don’t tempt thieves! Put valuables out of sight and keep a careful eye on your camera and video equipment.
  • It is advisable to avoid walking alone after dark.
  • Be aware of traffic in towns as in some cases the rules of the road are not always adhered to, and some of the narrowest streets are in fact public roads.
  • International drivers licences are required in most African countries before you will be able to rent a car or motorbike. Rental agencies will be able to assist you in processing the paperwork – keep the paper work with you at all times as random road checks are conducted.
  • Only exchange money at a bank or recognised Bureau de Change.
  • All firearms should be declared on arrival in a country.
  • Possession and use of drugs is not tolerated in most countries and strict legal penalties are imposed.
  • Malaria is prevalent in Africa. The best preventative is to avoid being bitten. Cover up at sunset and use insect repellents, sleep under mosquito nets. Get a malaria test for any fevers appearing a week after being bitten. See your doctor for advice on prophylactics.
  • Take your unused medicines with you – don’t throw them away as they may be recovered from the garbage and misused. If you feel so inclined make a donation to the local hospital of any medicine and medical equipment that you do not wish to take home with you.
  • HIV/AIDS is a world wide epidemic and Africa is one of the worst affected. Exercise the same caution you would anywhere regarding sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Waste disposal systems in many countries are not equipped to deal with the increased pressures that tourism brings. A few simple measures can make an enormous difference. Remove the wrappings and boxes from soaps and shampoos etc. before travelling and where possible substitute paper for plastic.
  • Use environmentally friendly shampoos, sun creams, lotions and detergents for washing and use as little as possible. This will help keep water supplies, rivers, streams and the sea free from pollution.
  • 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 Safari 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!
  • Yellow Fever. Travellers to the following countries must produce a certificate confirming Yellow Fever Vaccination (at least 10 days prior to travel): Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda and Zambia. (Even if you are just transiting through the country concerned).
  • Each visitor must be in possession of a valid, signed passport that will remain valid for at least six months beyond his/her scheduled departure date. You should have at least six blank pages available for visas, entry/departure stamps etc.
  • It is imperative that every traveller arrives in the country of his or her destination with the appropriate documentation.
  • The purchase of ‘national treasures’ for export from any country is strictly illegal and the onus rests entirely on the buyer. In addition Canadian Customs and the US prohibit the importation of any products made from endangered species of wildlife.
  • Under no circumstances should sheath knives or small arms be taken on safari.
  • If you are taking foreign-made possessions on your trip, consider registering them with the Custom Office before you leave your country of residence. This includes cameras and other items that may readily be identified by serial numbers or other markings. If you fail to do this, the article may be subject to duty each time you re-enter your country of residence. Alternatively, you may carry copies of documents such as bills of sale, insurance policies, or receipts for purchase/repair as proof of prior possession.

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  • Take time to learn about the country and places you are visiting. Learn a few words or phrases of the local language – if only ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. You will receive a generous response and a little knowledge of the culture and natural history will enhance your Africa holiday experience.
  • Always ask permission before taking photographs of the local people. Do not take photos of sensitive buildings such as government buildings, military installations, people in uniform, customs and border posts and airports. If you are uncertain ask.
  • Do not encourage children and vagrants to beg – refrain from giving sweets, money or other trinkets.
  • Alcohol should not be consumed in public unless it is at a recognised establishment – many religions and countries prohibit the use of alcohol in public.
  • Public displays of affection and rowdiness are often considered offensive – be aware of the local views on such issues.
  • Make yourself aware of religious places in the country you are visiting. Mosques, sacred burial sites etc. are generally out of bounds to tourists and no photographs may be taken. Even if a place is open for visitation be aware and show respect for the area you are entering.
  • Also make note of religious holidays in the country you are visiting e.g. if you visit Zanzibar during Ramadan, the Holy month in the Islamic religion, you may find it difficult to find food and drink outside of tourist facilities during the daylight hours as the Muslims will be fasting from sunrise to sunset. It is also preferable not to be seen eating, drinking or smoking in public during the daylight hours.
  • Respect local customs and cultures – be sensitive to dress codes and behaviour. Remember you are a guest. More often than not local people are too polite and will refrain from making any comment on inappropriate attire, but your respect for their customs will be noticed and greatly appreciated.
  • Beach clothing should be kept to the beach, don’t stray into villages and towns in skimpy, tight fitting or see-through clothing. In strictly religious countries such as Zanzibar clothing should reach down to the knees and arms and shoulders should be covered in public places. Men should not be seen in sleeveless shirts or bare-chested in town.
  • Ensure that you are au fait with the bathing regulations e.g. nude and topless bathing is absolutely forbidden in Zanzibar.
  • Agree to prices with boatmen, taxi drivers etc. before setting off and pay only on arriving at your destination.
  • Tips are paid only at your discretion. Ask to see the identification and licence of anyone who offers tourist services. Caution and common sense are watchwords when dealing with unlicensed peddlers.
  • Bartering with the locals is common except in hotels, restaurants and tour operations.
  • Don’t be tempted to bring back living material or products made from coral or animal remains. Some species are protected and there may be a heavy fine or jail sentence if you are caught buying products made from protected animals or the animal itself. There may also be laws prohibiting the importation of animal products to your home country.
  • Please resist buying shells and other coral as it is harvested from the reefs while it is still living – this is having detrimental effects on the reefs and marine eco-systems.
  • Support local skills – many are being lost because of lack of demand. There are many locally produced arts and crafts, which are attractive and good value for money – they are also unique, rather than the mass-produced imported souvenirs.
  • In urban areas tap water is usually considered safe to drink. Outside urban areas, it is recommended that you only drink boiled or bottled water.
  • If eating outside your hotel/camp/lodge, avoid possibly contaminated food, particularly seafood, unwashed vegetables and fruits that are already peeled when they are served.
  • In warm tropical settings also exercise caution in eating foods that can spoil from lack of refrigeration (such as salads containing mayonnaise and dairy products).
  • If you bring along electrical appliances, include an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs.