LANGUAGE / IDIOMA / LANGUE
 
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TOURS & SAFARIS
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ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES
GENERAL INFORMATION
 
   
     

 

PRE TOUR INFORMATION

Types of accommodation
Infrastructure
Telephone and internet
Entrance Formalities
VAT
Electricity
Gratuities
Cuisine
Driving
Health
Weather
Currencies
Shopping
What to bring

TYPES OF ACCOMMODATION

South Africa offers a wide variety of accommodation ranging from five star luxury hotels to thatched huts (rondavels) in the game reserves. Different accommodation possibilities include hotels, rest camps in the parks and reserves, camping, caravanning and other accommodation categories such as guest houses, self catering bungalows and bed and breakfasts. The choice of accommodation depends on the budget and personal preferences of the traveller.

Guest Houses and Bed and Breakfasts
The National Classification and Grading System regulates this category of establishment. A Bed and Breakfast has fewer rooms and offer hospitality, comfort and value for money. A Guest House exudes an elegant and often romantic atmosphere.
Average price, based on a double room with breakfast
Bed and Breakfast / Guest House : R 500/R1200 per person per night

Hotels
A hotel is awarded a 1 to 5 star grading according to the services and facilities it offers. A 5 star hotel offers the ultimate in luxury whilst 3 or 4 stars indicate comfortable elegance.
Average price, based on a double room with breakfast
3 star hotels from R600; 4 star hotels from R800 and 5 star hotels from R1300 per person per night.

National and Regional Parks and Reserves
Accommodation is in thatched chalets or huts, called rondavels. These are well equipped and usually have private bathroom and some have a kitchen.
Average price, based on a double room/hut
National Parks : from R 500 per person per night excluding conservation fee

Private Game Reserve
South Africa has many exclusive and luxurious Private Game Reserves. The accommodation in the lodges offers excellent service, delicious, sometimes gourmet cuisine and stunning interior décor. The price includes all meals, two safaris per day in an open 4x4 vehicle, and a bushwalk. In the private reserves, the vehicles are permitted to leave the tracks in order to follow and animal through the bush.
Average price, based on a double room with full board and two game drives
Private Game Reserves : R3000 to R 12000 per person per night


INFRASTRUCTURE
South Africa has an excellent road system with more than 9 000 kilometres of tarred and well maintained highways, including over 2 000 kilometres of dual carriageway. Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban all have international airports and it is possible to connect to most of the smaller towns. The national railway has some 30 000 kilometres of rail track and luxury train trips are offered by the world-renowned Blue Train and Rovos Rail.

TELEPHONE AND INTERNET
South Africa has the most developed telecommunications network in Africa. The cell networks are based on the GSM 900 & 1800 Band. Cellular phones can be rented at the airports or sim cards can be purchased on a pay-as-you go system from any of the service providers. GSM, GPRS/EDGE and 3G/HSDPA (1.8 Mb/s internet) is available. Internet cafes are found throughout the country and many accommodation establishments offer internet access.

ENTRANCE FORMALITIES
Contact your nearest South African embassy for entry requirements into South Africa. In all cases a valid passport is required. Some countries may need visas.

VAT
14% VAT will be charged on all purchases and services in South Africa. Foreign tourists can claim a refund on certain articles on departure from the country. A pamphlet explaining this procedure can be collected from the VAT Refund Administration offices on arrival at the international airport. Keep receipts of all purchases during your stay if you wish to claim back VAT.

ELECTRICITY
220 Volts – the plug points are unique to South Africa comprising 3 round prongs. If you cannot find an international adaptor in your country of origin they can be purchased in South Africa.

GRATUITIES
Tips are not included in Southern Africa. If you were satisfied with your service and wish to show your appreciation, a basic guideline follows:
Waiters : 10% to 15% of the bill
Airport and hotel porters : R5 per suitcase.
Guides : Per person: R50 per day, R25 per half day or R10 per transfer
Lodge and Hotel Staff : Ask the manager for recommendations as it varies depending on the region and establishment.

CUISINE
South Africa is a paradise for the food lover. Excellent wines, gourmet cuisine and fresh seafood are all plentiful at a very reasonable cost. Sample some of the local dishes such as bobotie, bredies, braais and potjies.

DRIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA

  • Always carry your driver’s licence.
  • Drive on the left
  • Speed limits are normally 60km/h in urbana reas, 100km/h on the national roads and 120 km/h on the highways.
  • In the National Parks and Nature Reserves, the speed limit is usually 40 to 50km/h and must be strictly adhered to.
  • It is obligatory to wear a seat belt.
  • The road signs are generally good and are written in English, Afrikáans or both.
  • Foreign Credit Cards are sometimes not accepted as payment for fuel which costs about R14 per litre.
  • It is a serious offence to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Valid drivers licences are accepted as long as the photo forms an integral part of the document which must be printed in English.
  • Otherwise, you need to obtain an international driver’s licence in your country of origin.

HEALTH
It is advisable to take out travel insurance as this will cover you in the event of an accident, illness or should you need to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances. South Africa has a very high standard of medical care in the many private hospitals and clinics, so good in fact that medical tourism is becoming popular, medical, dental or eye surgery is combined with a visit of the country.

The water is potable in most areas. Consult your guide or hotel manager for confirmation. Should you prefer, bottled water is readily available. It is safe to eat fruit and vegetables from supermarkets and restaurants.

If you are visiting any malaria areas in Southern Africa it is recommended that you consult your physician for the appropriate preventative measures. Should you experience flu-like symptoms within 14 days of leaving a malaria area, consult a physician immediately and let them know where you were. The sooner treatment is received, the quicker your recovery. In malaria areas, simple precautions such as the use of insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and trousers in the evenings to avoid being bitten are the best prevention. Since the malaria parasite requires a human host to propagate, the likelihood of contracting malaria in remote areas is slim

If you take prescription medication, we recommend carrying it with you in your hand luggage. If you suffer from any medical conditions, bring a copy of your medical history.

The sun in South Africa is very strong, we advise the use of sun blockout.

WEATHER
Southern Africa covers a large area and the weather varies between regions which experience very little autumn and spring. It is a dry region, the average rainfall for the whole country is less than 500mm per year compared to the worldwide average of 900mm. The weather is generally sunny and the average hours of sunlight per day is amongst the highest in the world. The country can be visited year round.

Summer (October to April)
Cape Town: The weather in Cape Town differs to the rest of the region with less rainfall during the summer months
Daily Maximum Temperatures range between 21C and 26C
Daily Minimum Temperatures range between 11C and 16C

Other regions: Coastal areas and the interior sometimes receive afternoon summer showers.
Daily maximum temperatures range between 23C and 33C.
Daily maximum temperatures range between 12C and 17C

Winter (May to September)
Cape Town: Cape Town receives most of its rainfall in winter
Daily Maximum Temperatures range between 17C and 20C
Daily Minimum Temperatures range between 7C and 10C

Other regions: Coastal areas and the interior sometimes receive afternoon summer showers.
Daily maximum temperatures range between 17C and 25C.
Daily maximum temperatures range between 5C and 17C

CURRENCY AND BANKING
South Africa's unit of currency is the rand, which is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5, and notes in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200. With the favourable exchange rate, most international travelers will find South Africa to be a relatively inexpensive destination.

Follow this link to obtain the latest rates of exchange.
The Universal Currency Converter Services

All our rates are quoted in rands. The exchange rate on the day of receiving payment will apply.

South Africa has a highly sophisticated banking system. Banks and bureaux de change are located in all international airports and towns and will exchange most major foreign currencies and travelers cheques. Money can also be drawn using your credit card either in the banks or 24 hours a day from an ATM. Banks are generally open Monday to Friday from 9.00am until 15.30pm and Saturday mornings from 9.00am to 11.00am.

Master and Visacard are accepted by most accommodation establishments, airlines, car rental companies, restaurants and shops. Some vendors are reluctant to accept Diners Club and American Express cards so bring an alternative. NB Fuel can only be paid cash.

SHOPPING
Shops are generally open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 17.00 and Saturday mornings. Most shopping malls are open later in the evening as well as all day Saturday and Sunday

South Africa is a shoppers’ paradise. Each major town has a shopping mall with restaurants, cinemas and retails stores selling excellent quality clothing and other goods at reasonable prices.
Jewellery: South Africa is one of the world’s major producers of diamonds, gold, semi precious stones and platinum. Jewellery is exquisite and well priced.
Skins and leather goods: Bags, wallets, purses, hats and much more in crocodile, ostrich, buffalo skin.
Art: Paintings and sculptures from local artists.
Arte: pinturas y esculturas de artistas locales.
Crafts: Masks, Word and stone sculptures, baskets, fabrics and much more from local South African tribes as well as the rest of Africa.
Drinks: Local liquor such as Amarula and a wide variety of fine South African wines, winners of many international awards.

WHAT TO BRING
We will supply a comprehensive list according to your itinerary and baggage allowance