South Africa & Swazi Quest
About South Africa
The unvarnished grandeur of South Africa is on display in this comprehensive exploration of one of the continent’s most diverse and fascinating destinations. Africa’s incredible culture and wildlife are at a premium on this tour — from the coastal shores of Tsitsikamma to extensive wildlife safari drives in Addo Elephant National Park and the famed Kruger. You’ll also have the chance to visit a traditional Swazi village, explore modern Cape Town, and follow the glorious Garden Route. Add in knowledgeable Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) and some of the best camp meals you’ve ever tasted and you’ve got a recipe for adventure par excellence.
Park entrances to Addo Elephant NP & Kruger NP with wildlife safari drives in our vehicle. Traditional dinner and local dancing. Tsitsikamma National Park entrance. Traditional Durban dinner. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Search for the “big five” in national parks and reserves, explore the rugged Wild Coast, enjoy cosmopolitan Cape Town, take in South Africa’s dramatic coastal scenery, experience traditional local dancing.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, countries, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience. We use a comfortable and safe customized safari vehicles for the long drives.
2. South Africa requires all travellers journeying from yellow fever risk countries to show proof of Yellow Fever vaccination by means of a valid Yellow Fever certificate.
3. Your trip includes an element of participation camping. Your CEOs will do all the majority of the meal preparation, but we do ask the clients to help with the setting up of camp, some meal preparation, and washing up. It is all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly and the team spirit is part of the fun!
All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes only 5 minutes. All tents have built-in insect nets. Mattresses are also provided, which are approximately 4cm thick, warm and comfortable.
4. Sleeping bags cannot be rented on any of our Africa overland or safari tours.
5. VISAS. Please read the Visa section very carefully. Visas are your own responsibility. Always double check with the embassies what each countries requirement are.
6. Water-wise tips when visiting Cape Town:
Cape Town is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts it has seen in over 100 years, and while we want you to have the best time possible while there, here are some tips to help reduce your water usage:
- Bring a reusable water bottle, that you can fill with Cape Town’s tasty tap water.
- Reuse your towels in the hotel, for at least two days, before getting new ones.
- Keep your laundry until you have a full load to do, rather than just doing a handful of items.
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, or shaving.
- Keep your showers to two minutes or less, and don’t use the bath.
- Use hand sanitizer, instead of washing hands.
Group Leader Description
On this tour, you will be accompanied by two Chief Experience Officers (CEOs). The Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) will be the group manager and leader, cook and driver. They will provide information on the places where we are travelling, offer suggestions for things to do and see and introduce you to our local friends. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure.
All of our CEOs in southern Africa are experienced group leaders, with a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife. Most of our leaders in the region are from South Africa, though it may be possible that you’ll have a leader from another country in the southern African region.
All of our overland adventure vehicle (OAV) drivers are experienced in the routes travelled, and highly skilled in dealing with different terrains. All of our cooks will organize and lead the meal preparation, and have experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.
We also use local guides for some included activities where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.
Group Size Notes
Max 14, avg 12.
16 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 14 dinners
As mentioned above, most of the meals on this tour are included in the tour price. When a meal is not included, this is because there are often many options available – we would like to give you the opportunity to explore a bit and test the local cuisine yourself. In these cases, your CEO will be able to suggest some good local restaurants or options for you to choose from.
All included meals will be prepared from fresh local produce. The majority of the shopping for foodstuffs will be done before the trip departs, and fresh goods, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, will be bought en route during the trip from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Breakfasts will generally consist of breads and cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will be light meals such as sandwiches and/or salads. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes.
Our cook will organize the meal preparation and lead the way here, but will prepare a duty schedule for ensuring a fair, rotating participation from you and your group members in the meal preparation and dish washing duties.
Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival.
About our Transportation
For this tour we will use a 15-seat touring vehicle with a maximum of 14 people. With comfortable seats and sliding windows, this style of transportation is a great way to travel through the region and get a good view the surroundings. When necessary, a trailer will be used for your luggage, and the tour gear. Please note these vehicles are not air-conditioned.
This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Please take note of the travel times and distances in the above itinerary, and consider that this is often on poor quality, bumpy roads. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Simple hotel (1 nt), participation camping (13 nts), hostel (2 nts, multi-share).
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room/Tent” option for this tour, you will receive your own single room/tent for all nights, except for the below.
My Own Room Exceptions
Day 8, 16
Camping in Africa is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. While camping, we stay at designated campsites in national parks and outside towns. Campsite facilities in southern Africa are generally good, but can be basic in certain places. There are generally small restaurants and/or bars, washing facilities and occasionally telephones available.
The camps have flush toilets, and showers at some camps are outdoors, having simple reed enclosures for privacy. Additionally, warm water is available at most sites, but it is not guaranteed to always be warm when you take your shower; the warm water may be used up others who also use the camp. We usually set-up camp within close proximity to the toilet facilities, though occasionally to reach them you may to walk a short distance.
All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied, including camp mattresses, which are warm and comfortable. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes only 5 minutes. They are good quality, durable, industry-standard 2-person safari canvas tents. Please note that most adults will not be able to fully stand up inside the tents, though most travellers find these more than adequate, as they have a base area of approximately 4 square meters. These tents are regularly treated with a waterproofing agent, but under certain rainy conditions, the tent fabric may become saturated to the point where seepage or leakage may occur. All tents have built-in mesh insect netting on the windows and doors.
We travel with our own portable camp chairs with a comfortable back-rest, and we utilize our own cooking equipment to provide the group good quality camp meals.
In camping within the national parks and conservation areas, some camp sites are enclosed for keeping the resident wildlife out. Other camps are open to the natural environment – care must be taken, especially at night, when a torch/flashlight is recommended when walking around the camp area.
Despite the challenge that a few days “roughing it” may pose to some, the experience of being that close to nature, camping under the African stars, and seeing incredible wildlife at your tent door-step is not just gratifying but ultimately an experience of a lifetime.
In Durban, we stay in backpacker’s (hostels) or small guest houses, which will give us a break from camping and to be better located than the campgrounds in the area. Here, the accommodation is based on several people sharing dormitory-style rooms, with possibly 6 to 8 people sharing a room. Although we will try, we cannot guarantee to be able to divide the group into different dormitories based on gender lines. As such, males and females may have to share the same sleeping quarters for these nights. The bathrooms and showers are private, but may also be shared between both males and females.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Please note that the Airport Game Lodge offers a complimentary airport pickup. This will likely be a shared transfer and you may have to wait between 20 minutes and 1.5 hours to either be picked up or for others that are also taking the transfer. In order to get this transfer you need to call the hotel directly upon your arrival in Johannesburg. They will arrange the pick-up.
The difference between the pre-arranged transfer (paid transfer) through us and the “free” airport transfer through the Airport Game Lodge is that you cannot pre-arrange the free shuttle. You will have to phone the lodge upon arrival at the airport in Johannesburg and they will arrange a pick up point just outside the arrival building whereas our pre-arranged “meet&greet pick up” will have an assistant waiting for you with a board and your name on it upon walking out the luggage arrival hall.
Taxis are readily available at Johannesburg International Airport (JNB).
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
The tour departs Johannesburg on Day 2 at 06:30 am.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please call the local emergency contact numbers listed below for more information.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (South Africa)
From outside South Africa: +27 713823286
From within South Africa: 071 3823286
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labeled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase (please avoid a hard cover suitcase), or sports bag, maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags.
For our camping style tours you will need to provide your own sleeping bag, small pillow and sleeping sheet (if you would like). We provide the tent and the sleeping pads.
Please note that the seasons in Africa is quite extreme. Winters (especially South Africa) can be really cold and summers will be really hot.
If you travel during winter months please ensure that you bring warm clothing and a suitable sleeping bag.
A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.
• Sleeping bag and liner (Seasonally appropriate)
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: Seasons in Southern Africa are quite extreme. Winters can be really cold and summers will be really hot. If you travel during winter months (May to October) please ensure that you bring warm clothing and a suitable sleeping bag.
Some campsites but most backpackers offer a laundry service, or have self service washing mashines that operate with coins.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity), and you are required to acquire the entry visas for each of the countries visited.
Please double check with your agent and/or visa agent what the visa requirements is for each country that you will be traveling to. Some countries do require that you get your visa before arrival. If you show up at a border and should you not have the required visa you will be denied entry to the country and be send back to the closest embassy/high commission to get the visa. All arrangements and expenses for that will be at your own cost. The CEO will assist you with travel arrangements but will not be able to accompany you. You will also have to catch up with the group at their next destination at own cost.
We have been experiencing a lot of problems with people that need visas for Namibia and Malawi. Namibian and Malawian visas is not available at the border, so please make very sure if you do need a visa before arrival.
The information provided here is to be used as a guide only. Please consult with the relevant embassy or your travel agency before you travel. We cannot take any responsibility whatsoever for the use of this information.
Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country.
If you are a passport holder of the following countries/areas you do not need a visa for stays of LESS THAN 90 days:
African Union / Unity Laissez Passes, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States of America, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica
If you are a passport holder of the following countries/areas you do not need a visa for stays of LESS THAN 30 days:
Antigua and Barbuda,Barbados,Belize,Benin,Bolivia,Hong Kong,Hungary,Jordan,Lesotho,Malaysia Cape Verde,Costa Rica,Cyprus,Gabon,Guyana,Peru,Poland,Seychelles,Slovak Republic ,South Korea,Swaziland,Thailand,Turkey,Zambia
The visa fee is different for every nationality, so please check this with your agent or closest embassy.
**Please note for those traveling with minors: Effective June 01, 2015, anyone under the age of 18 will not be allowed entry without an unabridged birth certificate. If they are not traveling with both parents or adults who are not the child’s parents, further documentation is required. Please check with your South African embassy or consulate for the most current list of document requirements.
Most nationalities can obtain their visas at the border, but please check with your agent and/or closest embassy.
A valid passport is required from everyone who enters the Kingdom of Swaziland .
For nationals of the countries listed below, an entry visa is required:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Antarctica, Armenia, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belorussia, Benin, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Georgia, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea – Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Indonesia, india, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Iribati, Kuwait, Krygyzstan, Laisser, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Macao, Macedonia, Mali, Marshall Islands, Martinque, Mauritania, Mexico,Micronesia, Maldova, Mongolia, Morroco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Phillipines, Pitcairn, Poland,Puerto Rico, Republic of Korea, Reunion, Rwanda, Romania, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts, Saint Pierre, Saint Vincent Grenadines and Miquelon, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Turkemenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Virgin Islands, Western Sahara, Yemen.
List of country immigrants requiring visas to enter the kingdom of Swaziland
Afghanistan ,Albania ,Algeria , American samoa, Ntarctica, Armenia , Aruba , Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belorussia, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Central african republic, Chad, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’ivoire, Costa rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican republic, Drc, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial guinea, Eritrea, Fiji, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Georgia, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Hong kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mali, Marshall islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama , Paraguay, Peoples republic of china, Peru, Philippines, Puerto rico, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Saint kitts and nevis, Saint vincent grenadines. Sao tome and principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Angola, Somalia, South korea, Sri lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet nam, Virgin islands, Western sahara, Yemen, Ethiopia
Price different for nationalities. Please enquire with your local agent and/or embassy.
This information is accurate at the time of writing, and please contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements and costs, regarding these, and the other countries visited, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
Detailed Trip Notes
Southern Africa is renowned for its excellent outdoor living climate. The winter months are from May to September and are characterized by cold nights and pleasant days. Summer is from October to April and starts off with increasing dry heat and dust. Rains generally only start from mid to late December and last until March; this period is hot and humid. For the winter months, we recommend a sleeping bag rating of 3 seasons.
The official unit of currency in South Africa is the Rand and in Swaziland the currency is Emalangeni. The South African Rand is accepted throughout Swaziland. But please note that you will not be able to change Emalangenis back to Rand in South Africa.
220-240V, 50 HZ, Most electrical plugs are 15 amp 3-prong with round pins. International adaptor are called for, they can be purchased locally (approx 2 U$).
English is one of the 11 official languages of South Africa. There are also numerous dialects spoken throughout different parts of the country.
Full country name: Republic of South Africa
Area: 1,221,037km2 (447,443mi2)
Population: 47,432,000 (July 2005 estimate), 44,819,278 (Census 2001)
Capital cities: Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Admistrative) and Bloemfontein (Judicial)
People: Zulu, Afrikaners, Xhosa, Basotho (South Sotho), English South Africans, Bapedi (North Sotho), Indian/Asian, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi, Ndebele, others
Language: Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda
Religion: Zion Christian 11%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8%, Catholic 7%, Methodist 7%, Dutch Reformed 7%, Anglican 4%, other Christian 36%, Islam 2%, none 15%
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Major industries: mining (world’s largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metal working, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, food stuff, commercial ship repair.
Major trading partners: U.S., UK, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, China, France, Saudi Arabia, Iran (2004).
Currency: Rand (ZAR), consisting of 100 cents
Full country name: Kingdom of Swaziland
Capital city: Mbabane (50,500)
People: Swazi, Zulu, Shangaan-Tsonga and European
Language: English, Swati
Religion: Christian (60%), indigenous beliefs (40%)
Government: Monarchy beliefs (40%)
Major industries: Sugar, mining (coal and asbestos), wood pulp, agriculture, soft drink concentrates
Major trading partners: South Africa, Japan, UK, USA
Currency: lilangeni (plural emalangeni, denoted by the symbol E, 1R=1E)
The smallest country in the Southern Hemisphere. Swaziland – independent since 1968 – is one of only three monarchies left in Africa. Swaziland is a little, landlocked kingdom, bounded on all sides by South Africa except for roughly 100km (60mi) of border with Mozambique in the east.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR).
The currency in Swaziland is the Lilangeni (SZL). The plural of Lilangeni is the Emalangeni. It is also advisable to use Rand as it is widely accepted in Swaziland.
(E1 = 1 Rand), but take note that Coins are not accepted.
Each of the countries visited on this tour has their own currency, and all can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need for each country.
The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa.
Large note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate.
If you plan to rely on cash, please bring foreign currency (Euro, Pound, USD) with you, as it is often expensive to buy these currencies locally. And in more rural areas, it is often not likely.
If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD.
Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques toAfrica. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.
Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels.
While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.
Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these.
Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of your tour program. The gesture serves as an expression of appreciation for exceptional service, and amounts given are up to your discretion.
Tipping is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal ‘thank you’, and the action should in no way be awkward.
The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).
You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per person format:
CEO: $5-8 USD (per day, per person)
Local guides: $2-3 USD (per day)
Safari Guide/Driver: $2-3 USD (per day)
Restaurant Staff: 10-15% of cost of bill
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.
We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travellers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes on their travels. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise your tour leader of any medical condition that may affect you while travelling with the group. Your tour leader will be able to inform you of local health advisories (e.g. drinking water quality). Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor.
Yellow Fever Certificate Note: (Updated: May 2017)
It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to the following G Adventures-visited countries from a Yellow Fever endemic country:
- South Africa
For some of these countries, proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is also required for passengers who have travelled more than 12 hours through the airport of an endemic country. If other countries not endemic to Yellow Fever have been visited after visiting an endemic country, then a Yellow Fever certificate may still be required on entry. Please check country-specific regulations before your departure.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that is present in some regions in Africa. Risk of malaria can increase during periods of heavy rain, during the rainy seasons, and in densely populated areas of Southern & East Africa. To prevent malaria, we recommend speaking to your doctor about taking preventative medication (prophylaxis), combined with regular use of insect repellent spray/cream. Please check updated travel health advisories specific to malaria before your departure.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
Travelers must exercise common sense and caution at all times. Tourists should stick to set travel arrangements and avoid unknown areas. Always keep a photocopy of your passport, airline tickets and a record of your travelers’ checks and credit card numbers separate from where you keep the originals. South Africa, like any many countries, has its problems but your guide knows the country intimately and will endeavour to show you the best parts while looking after you. Be aware, but not paranoid, and you will have a great trip. We also recommend that you wear minimal jewelry and that you keep valuable items safely stored.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
2 Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) throughout as head guide/cook and driver, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: DASQ, ID: 23169
Day 1 Johannesburg
Arrive in Johannesburg at any time and make your way to the joining point hotel.
Please make sure you have all of the necessary visas for this tour by the time of the welcome meeting. It is very important to read the visa section in our trip details to make sure which visas you will need, if any. Please note that not all nationalities are able to obtain a visa on arrival at the border.
Our starting hotel is located outside of the city of Johannesburg, but take some time to enjoy an excursion to Soweto or to the famous Apartheid Museum.
Day 2 Johannesburg to Greater Kruger Area (1B, 1L, 1D)
Drive through scenic mountains, and experience a traditional dinner and local dancing in the evening.
Traditional Dinner and Local Dancing
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s))
Day 3 Kruger National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy a wildlife safari drive in Kruger and watch wildlife from the comfort of the touring vehicle.
Kruger Wildlife Safari Drive
Day 4 Kruger National Park/Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary (1B, 1L, 1D)
Cross the border from South Africa to Swaziland. Visit the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
Border Crossing (South Africa – Swaziland)
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary Visit
Private Vehicle (3.30 hour(s), 200km)
Day 5 Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary (1B, 1L, 1D)
Explore Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, which is situated in the Swaziland’s “Valley of Heaven”, the Ezulwini Valley. Take advantage of free time to go horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, or wildlife viewing.
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary Visit
Day 6 Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary/Saint Lucia (1B, 1L, 1D)
Stay in the St Lucia area near the coast. Here, take an optional boat trip on the estuary or go for a horse ride on the beach. The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park stands as a beacon to the efforts for conservation in South Africa.
Border Crossing (Swaziland – South Africa)
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 277km)
Day 7 Saint Lucia (1B, 1L, 1D)
Get out and explore. Opt to visit the Hluhluwe – iMfolozi Park, which is a safe haven for both the white and black rhino. Lions, buffalo, elephants, and leopards also call this reserve home.
Day 8 Saint Lucia/Durban (1B, 1L, 1D)
Spend most of the day travelling the coast to Durban. Explore the beach and dive into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean just out the front door of our guest house.
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 275km)
Day 9 Durban/Chintsa (1B, 1L, 1D)
South of Durban, travel to the Eastern Cape province, into the heartland of the Xhosa people, and on to Chintsa.
Private Vehicle (10.00-11.00 hours, 690km)
Day 10 Chintsa (1B, 1L, 1D)
There is lots to do around Chintsa. Learn how to surf, take a horseback ride, hike, or enjoy the beautiful 15km (9.3 mi) beach. Opt to join a guided wildlife safari drive, enjoy an elephant encounter, or quad bike through the 4000 hectare wildlife reserve. Embrace your adventurous side and cycle or jump on the bus to Mama Tofu’s Xhosa village for an inspiring cultural experience. Visit the local craft brewery Emerald Vale to taste real home-brewed ale.
Day 11 Chintsa/Addo Elephant National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
Today, cross many unique valleys and continue on to the Addo Elephant National Park, a unique wildlife area. Enjoy a wildlife safari drive in our touring vehicle. Listen to the wild sounds of Africa while enjoying a sundowner (cheers!) and sitting around the campfire at night.
Addo Elephant National Park Wildlife Safari Drive
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 280km)
Day 12 Addo Elephant National Park/Tsitsikamma (1B, 1L, 1D)
Spend the next two nights camping in the Tsitsikamma area. Optional activities include hiking a portion of the Otter Trail or other short hiking trails along the coastline.
Tsitsikamma National Park Visit
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 235km)
Day 13 Tsitsikamma National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
Spend the day at Tsitsikamma National Park. Opt to hike, snorkel, canoe, whale watch, or bungee jump.
Tsitsikamma National Park Visit
Day 14 Tsitsikamma/Knysna (1B, 1L, 1D)
Travel further west to the town of Knysna, famous for the Knysna Lagoon and the “Heads” (sea cliffs). Opt to visit a cheetah sanctuary or a monkey park en route to Knysna.
Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s), 100km)
Day 15 Knysna/Oudtshoorn (1B, 1L, 1D)
From Knysna, take a scenic drive to travel over the Outeniqua Mountains into the area known as Klein Karoo (“Little Karoo”), and make the quiet town of Oudtshoorn our base. Opt to explore the Cango caves or visit an ostrich farm.
Knysna Heads Visit
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 220km)
Day 16 Oudtshoorn/Cape Town (1B, 1L)
Travel to beautiful Cape Town. Enjoy amazing views of Table Mountain, and explore the vibrant, cosmopolitan city at night.
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 450km)
Day 17 Cape Town (1B)
We highly recommend booking an extra night in Cape Town to explore all that this area has to offer.