Whether it’s the roar of a lion or the roar of Victoria Falls, there are bound to be many memorable moments on this 27-day Southern African journey. Spot wildlife on a thrilling safari in Kruger National Park, marvel at Namibia’s undulating dunes in the world’s oldest desert, and explore Botswana’s Okavango Delta in a traditional dugout canoe. From spectacular South Africa to the wilds of Zimbabwe, an unforgettable adventure awaits.
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Carnivore Conservation Experience, Karongwe Private Game Reserve
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Mondesa Township Walk, Swakopmund
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Cheetah Conservation Experience, Windhoek
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Zimbabwean Family Dinner, Victoria Falls
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Painted Dog Conservation, Hwange National Park
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Okavango Wilderness Project Research Camp, Okavango Delta
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Botswana Storytelling and Traditional Dinner, Maun. Arrival transfer. Traditional braai (BBQ). Panorama Route scenic drive. Kruger National Park and private nature reserve wildlife safari drives in open vehicles. Sossusvlei desert excursion. Desert excursion with a local. View the Twyfelfontein ancient petroglyphs. Two open-vehicle wildlife safari drives in Etosha National Park. Tour of Victoria Falls. Open-vehicle wildlife safari drives in Hwange and Chobe National Parks. Chobe boat safari. Wildlife excursions by boat and foot in the Okavango Panhandle. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Enjoy a traditional South African braai (BBQ), embark on an incredible wildlife safari drive inside Kruger National Park, meet researchers from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Carnivore Conservation Programme, drive through Namib-Naukluft National Park, visit ancient petroglyphs, stroll through the cosmopolitan township of Mondesa, visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund, help prepare a traditional Zimbabwean meal with a family in their home, explore Zimbabwe’s largest national park in an open safari vehicle, cruise the waters of the Chobe River, visit the research camp of the Okavango Wilderness Project, spend a night in a bush camp in the Delta.
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. TRAVEL DAYS
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.
2. INTERNAL FLIGHT WEIGHT RESTRICTION
Planes used to fly into the Delta are small and weight restrictions are mandatory. For this reason luggage restrictions are 15kg per person for checked in luggage and 5kg for Hand luggage for a maximum of 20kg per person. As well, the airline requires the weight of each passenger, your CEO will collect this information from you privately, at the beginning of the trip.
3. COMBO TRIP
Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.
Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Extras! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, theme packs are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales CEO.
5. YELLOW FEVER
It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to South Africa and Botswana from a Yellow Fever endemic country.
Group Leader Description
On this tour, you will be accompanied by a group Chief Experience Officer (CEO). All of our leaders in Southern Africa are registered and licensed tourism guides, meaning they’ve studied to have a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife, and are legally certified to lead/guide tours in the regions visited.
As the group manager and leader, the aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places where are travelling, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure.
We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.
All safari guides are certified, and are of course very skilled and experienced drivers. With years of experience taking wildlife seekers into the various wildlife parks.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, Avg 12.
26 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 17 dinners
Eating is a big part of travelling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available in Southern Africa. On this tour, we provide only a few meals for you and your group members, so as to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility in your choices. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though – while in the larger centres, your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.
For the included meals, vegetarian meal requests and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival.
Air-conditioned touring vehicle, 4×4, open safari vehicle, walking, boat, mokoro, plane.
About our Transportation
The vehicle used will depend on the number of passengers. This style of transportation is a comfortable way to travel through the region, allowing the group to travel through the cities and parks with ease, with more opportunities to stop and either wander around or view the sites.
All internal flights are included in this trip.
We believe solo 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 solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Guest house (2 nts), comfortable safari camp (2 nt), comfortable tent or chalets (2 nts), hotels/lodges (19 nts), bush camp (1 nt).
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
Please remember that hotel/lodge/camp standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel.
-Please note that hot water shortages, low water pressure and power outages can occur in Southern Africa. We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
-Wifi is available in most places (extra charge may apply), but in remote areas there can be service interruptions.
-A/C is not generally available in the accommodations we use, really it isn’t needed as evenings tend to cool down. Floor or ceiling fans are usually available.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
An arrival transfer is included when you arrive on Day 1, or if you arrive up to three days prior provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through National Geographic Journeys in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
Our driver will be waiting for you with a National Geographic Journeys sign with your name on it, and they will be waiting for you outside the luggage hall. There most likely will be many signs, so please check carefully for your name.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned.
Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, they will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO 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.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you 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, 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. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning wildlife safari drives. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.
The Southern Hemisphere essentially has the opposite weather to the Northern Hemisphere. The winter months of June, July and August, whilst clear and warm during the day (up to 25 degrees), can drop down to single figures and even below freezing at night. Between September and May it is considerably warmer with the time between October and March being the hottest, getting up to the high 30C and sometimes above. However it is always a dry heat and the temperature does drop at night. The wet season is between November and February, but this is not a bad time to go, as it generally does not rain for very long. We strongly recommend lots of layers to wear from the start of the day until the night. You might still need to wear a fleece jacket in the mornings, a t-shirt during the day and again the fleece jacket at sunset time. A woollen hat is also very much recommendable for the cold winter’s early morning wildlife safari drives.
• 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
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: Seasons in Southern Africa are quite extreme. Winters (May to October) can be really cold and summers will be really hot. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning wildlife safari drives.
Please note that you will be on the move a lot, and as such there will not be a lot of time for same-day laundry service. Please ask your guide/CEO to arrange if any laundry needs to be done, so that he / she can advise or make arrangements for you (at own expense).
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require travelers 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.
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.
Visas cannot be obtained on arrival.
FOREIGN NATIONALS EXEMPTED FROM VISA REQUIREMENTS WHEN TRAVELLING TO NAMIBIA
Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India (Diplomatic and Official Passport up to 3 Months), Ireland. Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Lienchtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Macau (SAR), Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation ( Including States of the former U.S.S.R), South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Other categories must obtain VISAs
Please enquire with your agent or closest embassy.
PLEASE READ THE ENTIRETY OF THE TEXT BELOW AS THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR ENTRY INTO ZIMBABWE***
Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Zimbabwe. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.
It is the responsibility of the traveller to check with their nearest Embassy and confirm the requirements for entry into Zimbabwe***
Please be sure to do your research to determine if your nationality requires a Visa, can purchase one upon arrival or must apply for one in advance.
A Visa to enter Zimbabwe is required by several nationalities, please read the full details listed below.
There are 3 categories:
Countries whose nationals do NOT require a Zimbabwe Visa.
Antigua & Barbuda, Angola, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Cayman Islands, Congo DRC, Cyprus, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Leeward Islands, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malawi, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Samoa Western, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Solomon Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turk & Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia
Countries whose nationals are granted a Zimbabwe Visa at port of entry on payment of requisite visa fees.
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Cape Verde Islands, China, Comoros Islands, Cook Islands, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominic Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France, French Polynesia, French West Indies, Gibraltar, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, Indonesia, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea (South), Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Marshall Island, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana, Norway, Palau Islands, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome, Serbia, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Virgin Islands
Canadian Passport holders can ONLY get a Single entry Zimbabwe Visa at the port of Entry.
Countries whose nationals are required to apply for and obtain a Zimbabwe visa prior to travelling (single entry Zimbabwe visa ONLY).
Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Congo Brazzaville, Costa Rica, Conakry, Cote de Voire, Djibouti Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Korea (DPRK), Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norfolk Islands, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen Republic, Yugoslavia
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have purchased a single entry visa upon arrival and then decide to leave Zimbabwe (even for a few hours) you will need to buy another visa to re-enter Zimbabwe. In this instance you should buy a double entry visa upon arrival as it works out cheaper. Multiple entry visas cannot be obtained at the port of entry into Zimbabwe. You may enter Zimbabwe on a single entry visa and then obtain a multiple entry visa from the town office – but this may take up to 7 working days to be issued. Alternatively, a multiple entry visa can be obtained from the Zimbabwe Embassy in your country prior to departure for Zimbabwe.
Information accurate as of July 1, 2016
Please note that starting June 1, 2017, Botswana will be implementing a $30 USD entry tax for visitors entering the country, except for residents and citizens of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states. This entry tax is payable at all points of entry into Botswana and will be valid for 30 days and includes multiple entry. For further information please visit the BTO website www.botswanatourism.co.bw/tourismlevy
Minors travelling through Botswana are required to produce an Unbridged Birth Certificate (birth certificate containing the particulars of the minor and those of his or her parents) in addition to the standard requirement of a valid passport and valid Visa (if required) at all ports of entry and exit.
In the event that one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be availed. However, an affidavit will not be required if the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate.
Visas cannot be obtained at the border.
Countries that do not require a visa for Botswana
Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil,Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Holy See, Hong Kong, Hungary,Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liechtenstien, Latvia, Lithuania, Luzembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia,Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway & Colonies*, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Samoa, San Marico, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea (Republic Of), Spain, St. Kitts And Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Gurenadines, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States Of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Countries that do require a visa for Botswana
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola,Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Columbia, Comoros, Congo (Republic Of), Congo (Democratic Republic Of), Cote D’ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equitorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea (Dem. Peoples Rep), Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan (Kirghizia), Laos (Peoples Dem. Rep), Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morroco, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Phillippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sumatra, Suriname, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Vietnam, Yemen
Please enquire from your agent and/or embassy
For a daily visa update visit, please have a look at www.the-gsa.co.za.
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.
South African Rand is the best currency to use in South Africa.
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa.
Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares, SANParks – Kruger National Park is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.
FAUNA AND FLORA
Approximately 145 mammal species occur in the park. It is possible to see all the classical African wildlife, including elephant, black and white rhino, hippopotamus, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, warthog and many antelope species.
Large carnivores include lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyena.
There are also many smaller mammals.
Kruger has a list of almost 500 species of birds, some of which are not to be found elsewhere in South Africa.
Hornbills, Starlings, Vultures, Rollers, Bee-eaters and Shrikes are found here birdwatchers can look forward to pursuing the big 6 (Saddle-billed Stork, Kori Bustard, Martial Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Ground Hornbill).
The far north of the park (Pafuri and Punda Maria regions) is regarded as one of the birding Mecca’s of the country (with many regional rarities to be found), yet birding throughout the entire park is excellent.
Eagles are common: Bateleur, Martial, Black-breasted Snake, Brown Snake, African Hawk, African Fish and Tawny are all regularly seen, and in summer: Wahlberg’s, Steppe, Lesser Spotted.
The Park’s numerous water points make for excellent bird watching, while the rest camps and picnic sites are exceptionally rewarding for birders.
With Kruger being so vast it naturally has a tremendous botanic diversity. Simplistically the park can be divided into 16 macro ecozones.
The northern half of the park, north of the Olifants River is predominantly mopane veld, while south of the Olifants the ecozones are thornveld. There are 336 tree species in the park.
Full country name: Republic of Namibia
Area: 824,292 sq km (318,259 sq mi)
Population: 2,032,000 (July 2005 est) 1.820,916 (Census 2002)
Capital city: Windhoek (pop 161,000)
People: 86% African (50% Owambo, 9% Kavango, 7% Herero, 7% Damara, 5% Nama, 4% Caprivian, 3% San, 2% Baster, 0.5% Tswana), 7.4% mixed, 6.6% white Languages: English, Afrikaans, German, Oshivambo, Herero, Nama
Religion: Christian, Lutheran, native religions
President: Hifikepunye Pohamba
Major industries: Meat packing, fish processing, dairy products, mining (diamond, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper), millet, sorghum, peanuts, livestock, fish, tourism.
Major trading partners: UK, South Africa, Spain, Japan, Germany, USA
Formally known as South West Africa. The whole territory became German protectorate in 1884, except for the British/Cape Colony enclave of Walvis Bay. After the First World War the territory was administered by South Africa until independence on 21 March 1990. The capital is Windhoek and the second largest town is Walvis Bay, Namibia’s only port. Swakopmund is a coastal town with a German influence and revolves mainly around tourism. Namibia’s economy relies on diamond mining in the south, cattle farming in the north, fishing along the coast and tourism. Most of the country is desert or semi desert. There is a population of around 1.8 million. This, around 1, 5 people per sq. km is one of the lowest in the world. The official language is English although there are many different cultures including Herero, San, Koikoi, Owambo, Afrikaans and German. Namibia was at one stage a German colony therefore having German-speaking people. About 75% of the locals are Christian and the others have traditional beliefs. Namibia is a land of contrasts. Being largely semi-desert and desert, midsummer temperatures may rise to 40°C, while winter night temperatures can drop to freezing. Along the coast it is cool, with regular morning fogs. Namibia’s rain falls in summer, from October to April, and the land averages 300 days of sunshine annually.
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 Namibian currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), which is equivalent to the South African Rand (ZAR). In Botswana, you pay with Pula (BWP). In Zimbabwe you can pay with either the South African Rand (ZAR), or USD.
Rand 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.
Each currency 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.
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 to Africa. 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: $7-10 USD (per day)
Driver: $5-8 USD (per day)
Local guides: $2-3 USD (per day)
Safari Guide/Driver: $2-3 USD (per day)
Restaurant Staff: 10-15% of cost of bill
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.
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 jewelery 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 group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (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 and 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 judgement 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.
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. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
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 group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
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 leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. 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 email@example.com 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.
You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
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.
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