Southern & East Africa Travel Tips

 

Passports & Visas +

A full passport with at least six month validity from the date of departure is generally required for travel.
It is recommended that travellers contact the relevant Consulate/Embassy prior to travel for current visa requirements. 
South Africa | Swaziland | LesothoNamibiaBotswanaZambiaZimbabweMalawiMozambiqueMadagascarMauritiusAngola | The Republic of Congo
Kenya | Tanzania | Uganda | Rwanda | Ethiopia

Health & Medical Facilities +

*** All of the countries we represent are Ebola free ***

Ensure that you have adequate travel & health insurance cover. 
South Africa has excellent medical care and facilities compare favourably with international standards.  
Malaria Vaccinations & Yellow Fever Certificates may be required for certain countries. 
● Please consult your local doctor or travel clinic for advice prior to departure for appropriate medication.

Currency +

Credit & debit cards (MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Visa) are widely accepted in the cities.
● ATMs, banks and Bureau de Changes are found throughout major towns.
Cash is king, although it is advised that you limit the amount of money you carry on your person.
● Some African countries will accept USD, GBP or EUROs, but South Africa requires Rand (ZAR).

Tipping +

Tipping is optional and dependent on level of service. Although it is customary and considered an insult if you do not.
As a guideline 10 % should be added to restaurant bills.
For guides and/or drivers please calculate USD 5 - 9 per person per day (or equivalent).
For rangers and trackers when on safari please calculate USD 5 - 9 per person per day (or equivalent).
Porterage ranges between USD 1 - 2 per person per service (or equivalent).
● For helpful petrol attendants USD 1 (or equivalent) is perfectly acceptable.

Tax +

Value-added-tax (VAT) of 14% / 16% is charged on most items.
When visiting South Africa & Namibia, be sure to request a request a tax invoice for larger purchases as foreign visitors may claim back VAT paid on items taken out of the country when the total valued exceeds USD 21.50. It is advisable keep these purchases in your hand luggage as you will need to present the items at the VAT Refund Administration for inspection and endorsement of the tax invoices when departing the country.

Wildlife Photography +

Animals don't stop for selfies, so make sure you really know how your camera functions!
Experiment at home in the garden and with the cat or dog to learn how your camera works and perfect your technique.
For instance which is the anti-motion, or motion button? Does it have a landscape function? What sort of zoom range does it have? How do you set it on manual and change the aperture and shutter speed?
Observe the animals silently and with a minimum of disturbance - Loud talking on game drives can frighten the wildlife away.
Early morning and evening game drives offer exceptional lighting opportunities.
Don't be in a hurry to cover the most distance, stay in a well set up position for a while - you'll be amazed by what may enter your frame.
Most importantly, be sure to enjoy the whole view - not just the one from behind your lens. Stop and look around every once in a while!

Safety +

Most areas are as safe as any other destination in the world, however, basic common-sense precautions should be used:

Ask the concierge at your hotel which areas are safe to walk around in and when
Travel in groups or pairs and always choose well lit areas
Order taxis or transport ahead of time
Carry only as much cash as necessary
Don't leave your property unattended
Be aware of pick-pockets and petty criminals
Don’t draw attention to yourself by flaunting valuables around openly or counting your cash at the ATM
Carry a copy of your passport in a separate section of your luggage

What to Bring on Safari +

Clothing
Most lodges and safari camps offer laundry as part of their service, so you can afford to pack lightly.
2x khaki/brown cotton trousers
● 2x pairs khaki/brown shorts
● 3x long sleeved shirts/blouses
1x fleece/jersey
1x lightweight, waterproof jacket
1x Swimming costume
1x Walking or hiking boots
1x Sandals
4x short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts
5x underwear
5x socks
1x Hat with a brim 
1x Gloves (if you really feel the cold)
1x Sarong or kikoi type garment

The Basics
Sunscreen!
Toiletries
Insect repellent
Sunglasses
Camera (with extra memory card and batteries)
Binoculars 
Lip balm
Hand wipes
Wildlife checklist (or just paper) & a pen

Excursions +

In order to ensure that the services are of a suitable standard it is advisable to book any excursions and tours through a reputable operator such as Kuoni Private Safaris.