FAQ - Things To Know Before You Go

By Julian 15 October 2015

So you've booked your safari, you're very excited, you’re looking forward to the adventure of a lifetime… however, you have some questions! We've compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions plus answers, so you can feel as prepared as possible for your trip. Here are the things you need to know - before you go!

What vaccinations do I need?

It is important to ensure you have the right vaccinations for travel to Africa before you set off on your trip. It is important that you speak to your doctor about the most up to date vaccination advice. The vaccinations normally recommended for every country are: hepatitis A + B, typhoid and diphtheria.

If you are spending time in Kenya, whether for your whole holiday or for just one night, it is very important that you are also vaccinated against Yellow Fever – as this will be required for entering any other African countries.

Additionally, malaria is endemic throughout all the areas we operate safaris, so we strongly advise you to take malaria prophylactics. The only exception to this rule is parts of South Africa. These include Madikwe and the game lodges around Port Elizabeth. Travel clinics can sometimes have long waiting lists, so make sure you get your vaccinations booked up in advance!

Can I get my visa on arrival?

Where and when you get your visa depends on a number of factors, such as where you're from and where you're travelling to. For a more detailed description of the visa and entry requirements, check out this blog; however, below we've provided a brief, but it is important to note that this applies to US and UK citizens only. We cannot be held responsible for the visa requirements of any destinations, so please contact the relevant authorities to get the most up-to-date visa information.

  • Botswana
    A visa is not needed for a stay of less than 90 days.
  • Kenya
    A visa is necessary and obtainable on arrival for $50pp.
  • Mauritius and the Seychelles
    A visa is not needed for a stay of less than 90 days.
  • Mozambique
    A visa must be obtained prior to travel.
  • Namibia
    A visa is not needed for a stay of less than 90 days.
  • Rwanda
    A visa is necessary and obtainable on arrival for $50pp.
  • South Africa
    A visa is not needed for a stay of less than 90 days.
  • South Africa if travelling with children
    If you are travelling with children aged under 18 years, you will be asked to show each child's original unabridged birth certificate. Where only one parent is accompanying or no parents are present, parental or legal consent for each child to travel is also required, plus a photocopy of the passport of the parent not travelling.
  • Tanzania
    A visa is necessary and obtainable on arrival for $50pp (UK) or $100pp (US).
  • Uganda
    A visa must be obtained prior to travel.
  • Zambia
    A visa is necessary and obtainable on arrival for $50pp.*
  • Zimbabwe
    A visa is necessary and obtainable on arrival for $30pp.*

* If your trip includes both Zambia and Zimbabwe, you can purchase a UniVisa on arrival at either country for $50pp – this covers entry to both countries (UK and US).

Can I charge electronic devices?

The mains electricity supply in virtually all lodges is 240 volts, 50 cycles, with UK-style plugs (except South Africa where sockets are 2-prong or 3-prong with round pins). All camps will be able to recharge your camera batteries.

What are the luggage restrictions?

This depends on where you go. For a list of luggage restrictions based on destination, check out this detailed blog.

For Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique, internal scheduled and charter aircraft flights have a baggage limit of 15kg per person, including hand luggage. Please take your luggage in soft bags rather than rigid suitcases. The maximum dimensions of the soft bags must be 36cm (14.5 inches) x 68cm (27 inches).

For Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, internal scheduled and charter aircraft flights have a baggage limit of 20kg per person, including hand luggage (the exception to this is South Africa, which is 20kg pp plus 5kg pp hand luggage). Please take your luggage in soft bags rather than rigid suitcases. The maximum dimensions of the soft bags must be 25cm (10 inches) wide x 30cm (12 inches) high and 62cm (24 inches) long.

Where can I get the currency?

We advise you to take all your money in US dollars except if you are travelling to South Africa, where the currency is the South African Rand. You can get your money exchanged for both of these currencies before you travel. Please be advised that US dollar notes dated before 2004 are not usually accepted because of the risk of counterfeiting. Credit cards are accepted in many locations, but there is often a large surcharge on card payments. There is no need to exchange your money into local currency, with the exception of South Africa.

What clothes do I wear on safari?

Informal and casual dress is appropriate for the majority of lodges. However, smart casual clothes are recommended for evenings in Africa's top lodges. On safari, neutral colours like khaki are ideal for tops, shorts and trousers. A fleece is useful for the early morning, when there can be quite a chill in the open vehicles. The evenings can also be cold, so we suggest you take along a light cardigan or sweater. For more details, you can head over to this blog, where we suggest packing essentials.

How much should I tip?

We recommend a tip of US$15 (ZAR 170 if South Africa) per person per day to your specific guide. We also recommend a $15 total tip (ZAR 170 if South Africa) per day for the communal tip box – this covers all the people behind the scenes. Tipping is always done at the end of a stay, not during. For more information, we've compiled a breakdown of how much to tip during a safari here.

Are there any threats to my safety I should be concerned about?

No. If there were any issues in any of the countries where we operate our trips, we would not propose them as potential destinations. Furthermore, we receive regular updates from the Foreign Office on countries where we operate, so if any issues were to arise, we would make you aware of them before your date of travel.

Is my food and drink all inclusive?

The majority of safari lodges are all inclusive. However, some operate on a full board basis, where all food is included but guests pay for drinks. City and beach lodges tend to operate on a half board or bed and breakfast basis. All lodges are different, though, so do speak to your safari specialist before you embark on your trip!

Can I drink the local water?

Whilst in some areas people do drink the local water, we would always advise our guests to drink bottled water throughout their stay in Africa. If you have any queries about this on your trip, just speak to your camp/lodge managers.