Africa Travel Tips and General Info
Most important is a pair of well broken in ankle length boots or hiking shoes as well as socks to go with hiking shoes. Bring a broad rim hat to protect your neck and ears against the sun. Bring something warm for the evenings and early mornings, especially during our winter (June, July and August). It gets cold at night!
To protect yourself against scratches we suggest that you bring lightweight, comfortable long pants and long sleeved shirts for safari hikes and outings. Most of our bushes and trees have thorns! Make sure you pack no bright colors - (khaki and/or faded blue, green) or any white or dark colored clothing... lighter, earth toned colors will be best for wild game viewing. Above all, travel light! We have daily laundry services in all of our lodges and camps, which means yesterday's clothes will be available tomorrow.
Winter months (May - August) are generally the drier months which range from 35ºF to 75ºF, with the exception of Cape Town and the Garden Route, which has colder and wetter winter rain fall.
Summer months (Nov - March) tend to be the rain fall season in the form of thunderstorms, the further north you travel the more frequent the thunder storms become, temperatures range from 60ºF to 95ºF.
The US dollar is accepted in all of the destination countries and can be exchanged at local banks and airports, at which point it can be exchanged for domestic currency. Visa and Mastercard are accepted in most lodges, hotels and at larger shops, travelers checks are not recommended but can also be exchanged at most banks.
Even though there are numerous languages, English is widely spoken and understood in all destinations across southern, central, and eastern Africa.
Tipping (10-15%) is customary in all African countries and is up to the discretion of the client.
- Portage fee generally is $1.00 per piece of luggage, but consult with your tour guide whether it has already been included in the tour price. Only use porters with official identification cards or badges. They can be easily spotted, just look for airport company uniforms
- If not already included.....10% -15% of bill total at bars, restaurants and coffee shops, etc.
- Tour Guide Gratuity...... 10% of your tour cost without accommodation.
Stores are generally open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm and Saturday from 8:30am to 1pm. Some of the larger shopping malls & centers do open on Sunday mornings and also have longer hours of operation.
Visas are not required for entry to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, but are required for entry into Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya. One can obtain such an entry visa upon arrival at any airport or border crossing. You will only need your current passport with a suficient number of blank pages and valid for specific length of time (this time differs from country to country)... check with your travel coordinator for specifics. Additional fees to be paid in person USD) apply for some entry Visas.
Inoculations are not required but are recommended in certain areas, please check with your Go Africa Adventures travel coordinator. As a precaution, make sure that your tetanus shots are up to date. If you are currently under prescription or should require special medication, bring that with you.
PHONES & INTERNET
Cell phones....it is recommended that you add international roaming to your cell phone service plan before departing your home country. Most destinations have fairly good cell phone service, unless you are going to travel to extremely remote areas. All lodges & accommodations have telephones for public use. Public phones are very common and available everywhere. Phone cards for international calling can be purchased at most gas stations, cafés, supermarkets, and post offices.
Take note that all electricity is 220 volt. Make sure all electronics have an option of 220/120 volt, if not an inverter would be required. Most lodges do have them. It is advisable to bring electronics that require batteries, as they are available in all the stores. Where cameras are concerned, a dust proof bag and film containers is a must. If SD cards are used, bring plenty of them!
To ensure that you do not have any surprise expenses on your trip, our tour prices are ALL INCLUSIVE. Note: Personal preference items, such as alcohol and gratuities would be at your own discretion and cost.
We do not require you to have travel insurance, but we highly recommend it for any unforeseen problems. Better to be safe than sorry! Ask a member of our team to find out which insurance plan will work best for your needs. Go Africa Adventures is a licensed travel insurance agent for both TravelSafe and Travel Guard Insurance. Why get travel insurance?.... read more
Camping gear checklist - Tent, sleeping bag, extra blankets and jackets (in winter), axe, shovel, cooker, water bottles, pots, non-breakable dishes and cups, flashlights (torches), matches, can-opener, knife, batteries, bulbs for torches (a good supply), candles, gas lamp (gives lots of light), folding tables and chairs, a large cold-box, masking tape, cello tape, safety-pins, sewing kit, penknife, first-aid kit, buckets and basins, Thermos flask, mosquito coil and insect repellent, toilet paper, and basic tools. Keep your maps, bird and animal identification books, flashlights, toilet paper, binoculars, and camera within easy reach. All necessary food for your camping trip can be acquired from major towns and villages. Make sure that you bring more than you think you will use.
NATIONAL PARKS & RESERVES
- On entering a National Park.... make sure to ask for a list of all the facilities that are available to visitors and familiarize yourself with the layout.
- Take note of the visitors "Regulations" and follow them. It is for your own safety and that of the wildlife in these parks. They can be found at the entrance gates and on the flyers handed out upon arrival.
- On entering.... also familiarize yourself with opening and closing times for your rest camp and that of the park's main gates.
Africa Travel Safety Tips
Africa is no more unsafe to travel in than most other continents around the globe and even though one might never encounter any problems, it is better to be on the safe side whenever you travel to a new destination.
Here are some helpful tips...
- Do not leave your luggage unattended and keep it within sight.
- Try and avoid counting money in public.
- Southern Africa has well conditioned roads in most areas, but keep to the road signs and try not to take short cuts or lengthy detours.
- Plan your route for each day's travel the night before and leave an itinerary of such travel with someone at your hotel or lodge. Check back in with that person upon returning or when you arrive at your next destination.
- At night....stay within well lit areas and avoid following someone whom you don't know, anywhere, for any reason.
- Wallets & Cell phones should be carried on person and preferrably not in a bag.
- Try and avoid wearing excessive jewelry in public and not carrying too many cameras & electronics around.
- Be aware of where you leave purses or bags.... Do not hang them from the back of chairs, under tables, on hooks in restrooms .
- In South Africa - most of the National Roads (Interstates) are clearly marked on maps with a capitol "N" and in some cases are also Toll Roads, which are considered to be safer to travel by. Try to do all your driving in the daytime and spend evenings at your lodge, hotel or in well lit public places.
Emergency Phone Numbers
Click here for a full list of all emergency phone numbers. Print and take it with you (on person) wherever you go on your trip.
If you have any other concerns or questions, please do not hesitate contacting your Go Africa Adventures travel coordinator.
Go Africa Adventures
24-Hour Customer Care
Toll Free...1 888 3GO AFRICA (346 2374)
Office... 503-344 6311 or 503-342 6761
Make sure you bring all of the following:
- 4 Khaki, Tan, Olive Colored Long Sleeved Shirts (Cotton)
- 3 Pairs of Comfortable Long Pants & Belt
- 2-3 Pairs of Shorts
- 1 Hat, Cap and/or Bandana
- 3 Pairs of Hiking Socks
- 1 Pair of Sneakers
- Flip Flops or Sandals (Optional)
- 1 Pair of Worn-in Hiking Boots
- 1 Light Jacket or Fleece
- 1 Warm Jacket
- Comfortable Casual Clothing
(jeans & T-shirts)
- Swim Suit / Shorts
- Cotton Socks, Underwear & Pajamas
- Toiletries and Medicine
- Sun Protection (high factor)
- Chap Stick
- Insect Repellant
- Binoculars (IMPORTANT)
- Camera & Video Camera
- Plenty of Film or memory cards & Batteries
- Good Quality Flashlight & Batteries
- International Power Adapters Note: Electrical Appliances should be set at 220 volts AC.