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South Africa FAQs

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1. What are the accommodations like?

In South Africa, we have selected a variety of charming accommodations ranging from cozy safari lodges to comfortable city hotels with all of the modern conveniences. In general, we use small, boutique style accommodations. In South Africa there is a wide range of lodging options, for more information, check out our South Africa Lodging page to view pictures of our standard hotels/ lodges.

2. Are meals included?

We have tried to balance flexibility and convenience regarding meal options. For this reason, we include all breakfasts and meals when there are limited options in the area. In the major cities, where there are a wide variety of restaurants, we generally do not include meals, to allow our travelers the flexibility of choosing their own food preferences. Your tour leader will always recommend some great restaurant options and will usually offer to join any group members who would like to go out to eat together. Your hotel will also provide a light continental breakfast on these days. Included meals are listed in parenthesis next to the tour itinerary on each tour page. An estimated meal budget can also be found under Personal Budgeting toward the bottom of the itinerary on the tour pages.

3. What are the tour leaders like?

All of our tour leaders are exceptional! They are fluent in English and local languages. They are from the local areas where they guide and are among the very best guides available in each region. Our tour leaders treat our travelers like friends, showing visitors both the major highlights and the local treasures.

4. Do I need a power converter or adapter for the electricity in South Africa?

South Africa uses 220/230 volts electricity and requires a type M plug. Travelers will need a voltage converter for 110 volt devices. It is best to travel with your own adapters.

5. What is the typical age range for these tours?

Expect a wide range of ages and ask your adventure coordinator if you are curious about the demographics for a particular departure.

6. Are these trips suitable for kids?

Safari options can be suitable for children as young as 6, but please note that this is really dependent on the child. There are long drives on Safari (sometimes lasting 6-8 hours) and the roads can be very rough. It is the responsibility of the parents to decide if a South Africa trip is suitable for their child. For younger children we recommend staying at larger lodges rather than intimate camps, some of which have minimum ages unless the entire camp is booked out. Speak with your trip planner to find the right match for your family.
As of November 2019, parents no longer need to bring the child's unabridged birth certificate, only a valid passport. Please contact the South African embassy or consulate for further details.

7. Are these trips a good choice for solo travelers?

Yes! A solo traveler is welcome to join any set departure date for the safaris. The nature of the programs creates an environment where travelers are coming and going from lodges, but there is always a group activity to participate in.

8. Do the rates include international flights?

Tour rates do not include international flights. We find that it is usually less expensive for travelers to book these separately and this also allows you the flexibility to choose the schedule and routing that is most convenient for you. You can purchase international flights on your own, or we can certainly help you arrange these flights with an airfare consolidator who specializes in international flights to Africa.

9. How do I get to the hotel from the airport when I arrive?

You will be met by a Safari representative once you clear customs and baggage claim. They will transfer you to the first lodge or hotel.

10. How much should I budget for tips?

Tips are not required on any of our tours. However, it is customary in Africa to offer a tip for exceptional service. Please remember that tipping is at your discretion and should be based on the service you receive. 

11. How far in advance should I book?

You can book your South Africa tour at any time and generally the earlier you book, the better. Booking early (10-12 months or more) is especially important for travelers who have very specific camp requests.
Further, we usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that we arrange your tour, the sooner that you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available.

12. Are tour dates flexible?

YES. Please contact us if you are not able to travel on the set departure dates listed on-line. Most tours can be arranged on alternative departure dates for a minimum of two travelers as long as lodges/ hotels are available.

13. Can I extend or change my stay?

Absolutely! Check out our Africa Extensions for ideas. Let us know how you would like to customize your trip and we will do our best to accommodate you.

14. What should I pack?

You will receive a detailed packing list specific to your tour after you book. On Safari, luggage should be limited to two items of baggage per person. If flying there is a strict 44 lb weight limit.

15. How safe is South Africa?

Generally speaking, South Africa is a safe country to travel in. Don't wear expensive accessories or watches, and don't carry large sums of cash. Take particular care with your passport. Travelers should take the same precautions that they would in any major city. Pay attention to the advice of your tour leader and hotel reception and take common-sense precautions such as not going into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night.
Guides will monitor your safety in cities and in the game areas. From time to time generalized travel statements are issued concerning travel conditions in the area. Check with the Department of State for any current travel announcements or alerts.

16. What time zone is South Africa?

South Africa is on South African Standard Time, GMT +2. South Africa does not recognize daylight saving time.

17. Do I need a converter/ adapter for the electricity?

South Africa uses 220/230 volts electricity and requires a type M plug. Travelers will need a voltage converter for 110 volt devices. It is best to travel with your own adapters.

18. Is the water safe to drink?

Tap water is generally safe in South Africa, especially in larger cities. However, that water tends to be very rich in minerals and may take some time to get used to. It's recommended that you drink bottled water which is widely available.

19. Can I use US dollars, or do I need local currency? What is the local currency, exchange rate, etc.?

The local currency in South Africa is the South African Rand, US dollars are not accepted. Check out a Currency Converter like, www.oanda.com/currency/converter/ for the latest exchange rates.

20. Should I bring cash or traveler's checks? Are ATMs available? Can I use credit cards?

ATMs are readily available in the larger towns and cities, but hard, if not impossible to find elsewhere. Traveler's checks are not recommend as they are hard to exchange, and fewer retailers are accepting them. Credit cards are widely accepted.

21. Can I use my cell phone?

Check with your cell phone provider. Each company is different and they can give you the most up-to-date information.

22. What immunizations are recommended/ required?

No immunizations are currently required for visiting South Africa. You should be up to date on our routine vaccinations, including Tetanus. The CDC is currently recommending the following vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Malaria, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever. Travelers must bring along their International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) as proof of vaccination.
You may also want to consider the following vaccinations: Hepatitis B and Rabies.
Please note that South Africa requires a yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a country with a risk of Yellow Fever. Please check with the Center for Disease Control for information for your onward travel from South Africa. For the most current information, please consult your doctor and/or check out the Center for Disease Control web-site.

23. Entry Requirements - do I need a visa/passport?

Currently, US, Canadian, or Australian citizens do not require a visa for travel in South Africa (up to 90 days)
Entry requirements change with surprising frequency. It is each traveler's responsibility to check with the consulate for the most up-to-date visa information.
Please contact the South African embassy or consulate for further details.

24. Is travel insurance recommended?

It is a condition of booking that all clients must have, and must demonstrate to Adventure Life prior to their departure, adequate insurance for the duration of the tour. Such insurance should fully cover personal injury; medical expenses; repatriation in the event of accident, illness or death; cancellation or curtailment of the tour by the company or client; and loss of, damage to, or theft of the clients' personal property. Activities with a greater inherent risk, such as mountaineering, animal tracking on foot and white-water rafting should be covered. Theft, personal injury or any disruption to arrangements should be reported immediately to the company and to the nearest police station.
We work with a travel insurance company that provides reasonably priced insurance for trip cancellation, medical expenses, medical evacuation, lost bags, etc. Check out more details at  www.adventure-life.com/insurance

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