Travel Info

Adventure is about discovery. Discovering places and facts you never knew before. Discovering abilities and strengths you never knew you had. If you return from an adventure unchanged, it was not an adventure!

SAFETY

Safety is of utmost concern to us. We believe that you should enjoy your stay rather than have to worry about safety matters – but keeping these tips in mind will help:

  • Only keep small amounts of cash on you. Part with large amounts as soon as possible, like paying for your tour or excursions up front. Make it someone else’s problem. Do not show or flash large sums of money around.
  • Never allow strange people to assist you while making a cash withdrawal at an ATM. Ask for assistance from personnel within the bank or from your tour leader.
  • Do not show your glamorous jewelry, rather leave it at home. If you have to wear your favorite charm or religious jewelry, transfer it to a pretty cord or leather thong and add a few beads.
  • Get into the habit of looping your legs through the straps of your bag – in bars, restaurants and airports.
  • If you are driving at night and your car breaks down in a deserted place, don’t hang around and wait for some one to assist you. Rather take the most valuable items out and find a safe place some distance from the car and go to sleep. Deal with the car in the morning. It is a good idea to hire a mobile phone and when you do have a break down you can call for assistance, but still leave the car and wait some distance away till your emergency assistance has arrived.
  • Rather travel with us as your host. We have all the necessary assistance, we drive you around, you do not miss out on the view, excursions and information that you would have otherwise missed out on. Don’t travel alone. Tours are designed to minimize the risks. We have backup, should something go wrong.
  • Keep your personal items close to your body
  • Lock your valuables in the hotel safe.
  • Keep your hotel room locked.
  • Keep your “DO NOT DISTURB” sign showing at all times should you wish not to have any one enter your room. Even when you are out. This will create the impression that someone is in the room.
  • Travel in a group or with your guide – never alone.
  • At night walk and travel in well lit areas. Keep your travel at night to a minimum
  • Adhere to your guides and there advise.
  • Public transport is not considered safe, city trains and buses.

COMFORT

  • Wear good walking shoes
  • Shavers and blow driers work on 220 volts. We supply adapters to our guests on request (on loan) for their personal electric equipment.
  • Sleep as much as possible, minimize the intake of alcohol and drink lots of fluids on your flight, this will assist in minimizing jet lag.
  • Normally tour operators want to get started as soon as possible, insist on a time period to recover from jet lag.
  • Keep a good supply of beverages and snacks on the tour bus with you. For your convenience we will keep a fridge full of cold drinks, beers and snacks on board for you should you choose to travel with us as your host.
  • Travel in air conditioned vehicles with comfortable seating.
  • Get a list from your operator of things you need to pack before leaving home.
  • Make sure the accommodation is to standard

GAME PARKS

This is Africa and we have a lot of game parks – you are most likely going to end up in one or more of them. Keep the following in mind. Game parks have rules to protect you and the animals. There are speed limits, rules against littering, getting out of vehicles and making fires.

  • Carry a litter bag in your vehicle.
  • Get out of your vehicle only at designated areas.
  • Do not feed any animals!
  • Accidental fires can be devastating, killing animals and destroying their grazing. Cigarette butts and unattended cooking fires can ignite the surrounding dry grass. Do not throw cigarette butts from your vehicle or leave fires unattended.
  • Keep your cameras, binoculars and note pads ready
  • Know what you are looking for.
  • Use your time wisely. Best time for game viewing is when it is cooler. Early morning and late afternoon are the most rewarding particularly in the summer. In the heat of the day – look in the shaded areas.
  • Drive slowly and quietly. Treat all water holes, riverbeds, sandy road loops and any visible creature as an exciting opportunity. Sudden movement or noise can totally spoil a wonderful experience for you.
  • Watch for movement – camouflaged animals are hard to find, but the flick of an ear or a twitch of a tail can lead to the sighting of the day.

WILD ANIMALS

  • Most rivers in the northern part harbor huge crocodiles in their murky depths, so be careful where you swim
  • Hippos look cute, fat and clumsy. Don’t be fooled, they are extremely fast, powerful and unpredictable. They are dangerous and responsible for more human deaths than any other animal in Africa. Never get between a hippo and deep water.  Incidentally Hippos do not yawn because they are tired, it is an aggressive display. It means “Get out of my space” – you are advised to heed to this!
  • Elephants sometimes do a mock charge, spreading their ears and advancing at half pace (still very fast). Do not ignore this, it also means you must get out of his space.
  • Don’t ever get between an animal and its young or corner it in any way.
  • When walking in the bush, don’t go peering down interesting looking holes, as warthog are most likely inhibiting it. Warthogs are known to rush blindly through anyone or anything in their way.

DANGEROUS SITUATIONS

If you are confronted by a potentially dangerous animal – don’t panic (easier said than done!)

  • If you are charged by a large predator (lion, cheetah, leopard etc.) Don’t Run!!!! If you run you will be behaving like a prey species. Try not to challenge the animal, so don’t look directly into its eyes. Move slowly out of its way and try to stay calm. (Yeah right) Keep the animal in view at all times. If it should show aggression, show it you are not frightened (ha ha) by behaving aggressively in return. If it moves towards you, shout in a authoritive voice (yeah sure), wave your arms and even move towards it. If you run you are lunch!
  • If you are charged by elephant, buffalo or hippo, climb in the nearest and biggest tree. If no trees then jump out of the way at the last moment. (Shouting olé is optional!)
  • Rhinoceros have poor eye sight, you can hide behind the tiniest bush and it won’t see you if you remain completely quiet. (Rhinos have impeccable hearing and your heart beat will probably give you away.)
  • Hippos cannot jump so jumping over a log will make the animal stop to reroute, giving you time to get away.
  • If attacked by an ostrich, lie down and play dead – do not run! Try to stay clear from Ostriches as they are extremely dangerous!
  • If a hippo is attacking you while you are in the water, try to out-swim it. (I guess prayer would be your best option.)

CLIMATE

South Africa is one of the few countries in the world that has approximately 330 out of the 356 day in a year SUNSHINE. Also known to have the world’s best climate.

  • Always wear a hat, sunscreen and protective clothing.
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Summer (December to March) is the hottest season at temperatures of about 25˚C to 34˚C. Evenings are a comfortable 18 to 22 ˚C. Wear light cool clothing, but keep a pullover handy.
  • Winter (June to August) is around 5 to 18 ˚C, during the day and at night it drops to 0˚C. Dress warm and keep a jacket readily handy.
  • We will give you advice on what to bring along for the time of the year and for what region you are to visit.

INSURANCE

  • If you become seriously ill and you may need to be evacuated to a hospital and are not insured, you could end up with a hefty medical bill.
  • Your travel agent could assist you in obtaining the required travel insurance. The same could be said for your personal items.
  • Check that you will be covered for the excursions you will be taking part in. Water rafting, sky diving, mountaineering etc
  • Take some multi vitamins to counter the effect of irregular meals
  • Make sure you pack your chronic medicine if you are taking such medicine
  • Advise the tour operator of any of illnesses you may have so they may take precautions
  • If you are going to be visiting a malaria infested area, you should take precautions in advance before leaving home. Consult with your doctor. Your tour operator must advise you about the areas you will be visiting.
  • Symptoms of malaria are much like flu or getting a cold. Be aware of this especially in the summer
  • Fever, chills, headaches, diarrhea and dizziness.
  • Use mosquito repellant
  • Always sleep with a mosquito net or a mosquito proof room.
  • Wear protective clothing, like long sleeve shirts and long trousers between dusk and dawn.

MONEY-MATTERS

South Africa’s currency is fairly weak compared to Europe, USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and many more. You can get a good holiday at a relatively cheap price. Presently the exchange rate is in your favor.

  • Sometimes paying a little more you will get a lot more as the exchange rate will give you that benefit and for the tour operator it gives the opportunity to forward a better deal with his suppliers.
  • tipping of waiters is normally 10%
  • Tipping of drivers and guides is at your own discretion. Depending on how you were treated and assisted by the driver and guide.
  • Airport and hotel porters are tipped 10 Rand and for much baggage 20 Rand maximum

TOUR OPERATORS

  • Build a relationship with your proposed operator, e-mail them a few times, and ask questions. Soon you will establish if the operator is reputable.
  • Work on references, check out their website and photo’s. Photos tell a story of what the operator is capable of presenting to you.
  • Normally an operator will have photos of his vehicles giving an indication of his interests and what you can expect to travel in.
  • This way you can cut out the fly-by-nights. Remember it is your holiday, your tour, your money and your safety.


HAVE FUN!!!

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