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Exploring South Africa Tours

Travel Essentials

Before you go…

You are responsible for having the right travel documents for entry into South Africa as well as any neighbouring countries that your holiday itinerary may take you to (Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana). Please be sure that you make sure that your passport is up to date as whilst we will do our best to assist you, we cannot be responsible for ‘non entry’ due to any incorrect travel documents.

Below are a few important points to take note of for all passport holders – visa requirements do vary according to the origin of your passport so do check this. The airline will refuse boarding should your passport not meet the criteria below – it has happened so do not try to risk this please.

  1. A valid passport – the expiry date must be a minimum of 6 months away from your departure date from South Africa.
  2. At least two blank pages in your passport.
  3. A valid visa (single or multiple) if required.
  4. Onward or return ticket.
  5. Proof of sufficient funds.
  6. Yellow Fever Certificate if travelling to / from the yellow fever belt of Africa (Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania etc) or South America.
  7. Some areas may be malaria areas and as we are not allowed to recommend any prophylactics, it is suggested that you contact the local travel clinic for their advice.
  8. Make 2 copies of all your important documents (passports, itinerary and emergency contact information) – take 1 with you packed in a different bag to the originals and leave a copy at home with an easily contactable person. This way you will at least have easy access to copies of important documents should the need arise.
  9. If you are using any pharmaceutical drugs or medication you will need to have a prescription. Custom regulations allow you to bring in one month’s supply for your personal use. It’s a good idea to get a letter from your doctor, confirming your medication. Drugstores are known as “pharmacies” here.
  10. Valid driver’s license if you are hiring a car.  South Africa does accept UK driver’s license, but if yours is in a different language then you will need an international drivers license.

When you are there…

  1. South Africa is only 1 hours (ahead) time difference to the UK, but do keep in mind that when the UK clocks change that this translates to a 2 hour time difference.
  2. International dialling: 0044 or +44 for a UK number and 0027 or +27 for a South African number.
  3. We do recommend that you get a local South African sim card which is available at most shops and the airport. The only hassle is that you will need your passport and itinerary with you as they need to ‘Rica’ this which is a quick procedure to log the number on the mobile network. Vodacom offers a better mobile connection for most areas.
  4. Do not fall victim to ‘entrepreneurial’ traffic officers who may stop you along the road for speeding and offer you pay a reduced spot cash fine. It is illegal to pay cash to a traffic officer and all you need to do is say that you will prefer to pay at the police station and ask for their badge number – this will usually stop them from following through.
  5. South African Rand can be purchased before you holiday or you can easily draw cash at any of the bank machines or exchange funds at a forex outlet – there is at the airport and also in all major towns.
  6. Major credit cards (Master/Visa) are accepted country wide, however when travelling to smaller remote areas do have some cash available as the chances are less likely for there to be a credit card facility.
  7. Petrol stations are slowly starting to accept credit and debit cards as payment for fuel, however it is recommended to always ask before filling up and to have some cash on hand.
  8. Some of the highways are tolled and frustratingly they only accept SA cards as payment so you will need to have cash with you to pay for these. Fees vary from R5 – R50 depending which road.
Cape Town
Cape Town is as much about the surrounding areas as the city itself. Recommended visit time is 5 days to be able to comfortably fit in all the main sights from Cape Point, Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront and Robben Island. More More
Winelands
Only a 'hop and skip' from Cape Town, the Winelands offers an excellent combination of indulgence, history and visual pleasure! Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are the popular towns, each offering its own unique charm and you are spoilt for choice of excellent restaurants and wine farms to visit. More
Hermanus
Only 2½ hours from Cape Town you will find the 'whale capital' of Hermanus that offers some of South Africa's best 'land based' whale watching. The town offers some super Blue Flag swimming beaches and a beautiful mountain setting. More
Garden Route
Stretching from Swellendam to Tsitsikamma, the Garden Route offers visitors a diverse experience ranging from rolling landscapes, semi-desert arid region of Oudtshoorn to the lush forests of the Knysna and Plettenberg Bay areas. Lovely white beaches in the Mossel Bay, Wilderness and Plettenberg Bay completes this destination as an excellent choice for all ages. More
Eastern Cape Safaris
Situated in the eastern part of South Africa, the Eastern Cape is fast becoming South Africa's hottest holiday destination. The region is malaria free, offers a host of top class "Big Five" game destinations, with the added advantage that travelling closer to the coast, you can also enjoy the "Big Six", namely whales, the silent giants of the sea. More
Durban
Durban is the gateway to the warm beaches of Natal as well as the Drakensberg and game regions of Hluhluwe. There is an international airport with numerous daily flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg. More
Hluhluwe & Battlefields
This area offers such a diversity - from the excellent big five game viewing of the Hluhluwe area with a good selection of big five reserves, heading inland you reach the Battlefields where raconteurs take you back to a by-gone era of the Zulu Wars. Nearby you have access to kilometres of isolated beaches and warm Indian Ocean waters. More
Drakensberg
The vast expanse of the Drakensberg is a must for any person who enjoys tranquil surroundings and hiking. Easily accessible from both Johannesburg and Durban and complimentary to any longer holiday in South Africa. Excellent hiking for all fitness levels. More
Kruger
The Kruger area offers a diversity of experiences from some of South Africa's best big five game viewing to the spectacular Panorama Route. This is a must visit destination in its own right. More
Mozambique
Becoming one of Africa's hottest destinations with its tropical beaches, warm waters and palm trees. Most connections between lodges within Mozambique are achieved by scheduled and charter flights as well as boat transfers, as road networks are not as developed. A great way to end off any African holiday by spending a few days relaxing on the beach and indulging in tropical spoils.
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Madikwe & Waterberg
The ‘big five’ game regions of Madikwe Game Reserve and the Waterberg Game Reserve are increasing in popularity and giving Kruger some healthy competition. These areas are malaria free, located within a 3–4 hour drive from Johannesburg and also offer a great safari experience. More

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