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Practical information about South Africa

On this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions about South Africa. You can read more, for example, about weather, visa and currency. See also our selection of South Africa Holidays.

1 Weather and climate in South Africa

South Africa is a great travel destination all year round. South Africa encounters summer when we have our winter. However, the South African winter is never really that cold.  Summer and rain seasons run from November to February. During this period the weather fluctuates heavily from sun to rain and you may even encounter some tropical storm weather. However, you are mainly likely to enjoy sunny weather.

Average temp.
Night temp.
Statistics Average temp. Night temp.
JAN 29 19
FEB 29 19
MAR 28 18
APR 27 14
MAY 25 10
JUN 23 6
JUL 23 6
AUG 25 9
SEP 27 12
OCT 27 14
NOV 27 17
DEC 28 18

The above are average temperatures during summer months (Oct., Nov., Dec., Jan., Feb.) and you can expect extremely high temperatures and humidity.
Often, during the high summer (November, December, January), it will be 40 degrees (or above) almost every day. The humidity can reach up to 90%
and therefore, what we call the ‘real feel temperature’ is often a lot higher than a thermometer will display.

2 Terms & Conditions

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from africasafari.co.uk.  Click here to read our terms and conditions.

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

3 Travel insurance

We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.

In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.

4 Vaccinations

We advise you to contact a medical specialist or family doctor or even a licensed vaccination clinic.
You can read more information on vaccinations to South Africa here.

5 Visas

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 90 days from the date of exit from South Africa.
Read more about the rules and procedures at southafricahouseuk.com.

If planning a combination tour to Victoria Falls, you must have a visa for Zambia. You can apply for a visa here: zambiahc.org.uk. Alternatively you can purchase a visa at Livingstone airport for 50 USD / approximately £33. Remember to have cash ready for this.

Read more about the rules and procedures for obtaining visas at: zambiahc.org.uk.

South Africa – when travelling with children under the age of 18

As of 1 June 2015, new regulations have come into effect regarding entry into/transit in South Africa with children under the age of 18.

As a result, children (under the age of 18) now need to bring a copy of their birth certificate with them. This applies even though the child may be travelling with both parents. If the child is travelling with just one parent – or without either parent – then he/she must have written consent from his/her parent(s) in the form of official authorisation to travel, along with a copy of his/her birth certificate. This also applies regardless of any joint custody agreement.

If one of the parents is deceased, the other parent or the child must bring a copy of the relevant death certificate as well as a copy of the child’s birth certificate.

Please note that official authorisation to travel is only valid when authenticated by an official authority.

Additional information

For additional information about the new entry regulations, see: http://www.nwivisas.com/nwi-blog/south-africa/new-immigration-regulations-for-parents-travelling-with-kids/

We abide by the Foreign Ministry’s recommendations and refer you to their website for further information: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa/entry-requirements

For more information about your specific case, contact the South African Embassy. For details, see: http://southafricahouseuk.com/

Link to explanation of the Apostille stamp:

6 Receiving flight information

We will send you your travel itinerary as soon as the flights are booked. Here you can see exactly what your tour is going to look like. We use electronic tickets that you have to print out. Once tickets are issued, we will send you an email with the booking number and the information that you need to print out the tickets. Simultaneously, you will receive a letter with useful telephone numbers for the trip, including a phone number so you can always get in touch with one of us here at Africasafari.co.uk, also outside normal office hours.

7 Upgrading and extra leg room

Many airlines now offer an upgrade of reserved tickets for seats with extra space and comfort. We can not upgrade your reservation, but this can in most cases be done on the airline’s website.

Unfortunately, we cannot reserve seats with extra leg room, such as emergency exit seats on the plane. If you need additional space, we recommend that you check in at the airport as early as possible on the day of departure and ask for help there.

8 Suitcases and hand luggage

We use many different airlines to Tanzania, therefore it may vary how much baggage and hand luggage you can carry on the aircraft. Find more information about this on your ticket or contact us if you have any questions.

You and your travel companions should pack so that you can each get by with the contents from each other’s suitcases.

Make sure you have all the important items and information in your hand luggage: passport, visa, airfare, insurance, credit cards, money and prescriptions if necessary.  You should carry information about your specific health condition plus malaria pills, any lifesaving medication (diabetics), anything used to treat allergies or a sudden stomach upset (maybe Imodium) and analgesic aspirin should all be kept accessible to you. Any expensive electrical equipment, such as a camera or computer should be well looked after.

The air-conditioning on board the aircraft can be cold, so maybe take a jacket inside your hand luggage.

9 Transport in South Africa

You will be met on arrival in Johannesburg airport by our your driver/guide and will drive in a safari bus with air conditioning through the beautiful South African scenery, on to Bongani Mountain Lodge. The journey takes approximately 4 hours with a comfort stop along the way.

10 Driving Distances on safari

  • From Johannesburg to Bongani Mountain Lodge: 380km, approximately 4 hours
  • Bush Walk: After breakfast and lasts for around 1.5 hours.
  • Full day in Kruger National Park: Approximately 150-200km during a full day 0600-1600hrs.
  • Full day tour to the Drakensberg Mountains: 200 km drive to the first view point. Total of approximately 10 hours on the excursion, which is approximately 480km for the day.
  • Bongani Game drive is approximately 3-4 hours and approximately 12-20km.

Remember all distances and times are approximate, being subject to changes in weather.

11 Food and Beverage

There is half board at Bongani Mountain Lodge and drinks you pay for yourself.

12 Currency

The South African currency is the Rand. You can use your international credit card to withdraw money from ATMs. This can be done at the airport. You can withdraw a maximum of 2,000 Rand per day.
We recommend that you have some EURO on you during your connecting flights.

13 Tipping

Tipping is important in a country such as South Africa, where the wages of people employed in the service sector are often so low that they cannot live off what they earn.

Tipping is of course voluntary and it is of course entirely up to you how much you want to give as a tip; we are simply informing you of the normal practice.

The following are customary:

Guide/driver: ZAR 100–150 for a whole day for two people travelling together. Guide/driver who take you around Kruger National Park have had extensive training and are making a huge effort to ensure the best possible experience.

Waiters: ZAR 10–30 or 10% of the bill.

Cleaning staff: ZAR 10–20 per day.

In restaurants/bars, you can add the tip to your bill.

14 Tourist tax

When staying at Bongani Lodge, there is a conservation levy of R150 per person per stay  payable upon checkout. This fee is not included in our package prices and will be required to be paid upon checkout from the lodge. We accept no liability for any tax/fee changes.

When staying at Pestana Kruger Lodge, there is a tourist tax fee payable upon checkout. This fee is not included in our package prices. Approximately 35-70 ZAR per person (depending on room type) will be required to be paid upon checkout from the lodge. We accept no liability for any tax/fee changes.

15 Time difference

During the summer time South Africa is one hour ahead of the UK. During the winter months South Africa are 2 hours ahead of us.

16 Optional tours

In our tour you get a free day, depending on your tour option, which allows you to choose different activities.

The trips are paid for no later than 24 hours before starting and using South African Rand (ZAR). There is also the option to pay by credit card.

Read more about the possible optional tours on our website.

17 Safari Tours

Our tours are adapted to the current weather conditions and other circumstances. The tours in principle may not be exchanged for anything or refunded. Safari trips out among the wild animals are conducted in open vehicles. All other transportation takes place in air-conditioned minibuses.

You will have an English speaking guide.

18 Mosquito Net

Mosquitoes appear when the sun goes down and the temperature drops. It is in the evenings, when most people get bitten, so it would be wise to wear long pants and maybe a long-sleeved shirt. It would also be wise to make sure any exposed parts of the body are protected with spray.

In Bongani Mounation Lodge there is mosquito nets over the bed. Therefore, it is not necessary to buy any such item.

19 Children on safari in South Africa

Children must be over 6 years old to participate in the game drives. Children younger than 6 years will be able to take part in a separate game drive which takes around an hour, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Children must be 12 years or over to take part in the bush walks. There is a maximum of 4 guests per ranger during the walk.

Families travelling with children under the age of 6 years are most welcome; however, you may need to utilise the babysitting facilities on offer or plan to have an adult accompany a child/children on a separate game drive.

20 Luggage which is important to bring

  • Bright summer clothes for safari trips (Strong colours can attract unwanted attention from flies found in certain areas of the parks). It is cheap to get clothes washed, so do not bring much with you
  • Nicer clothes for evenings at the hotel and lodge, such as long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect you against mosquitoes after sunset and, if necessary, against the sun
  • A good jacket, as it can be cool in the morning and evening
  • Summer Footwear (e.g. sports shoes and cotton socks). Avoid bare feet and legs at night due to mosquitoes
  • Power adaptor with 3-4 sockets – this enables a shaver, trimmer, electric toothbrush and any batteries to be charged via a single adapter
  • Small flashlight and extra batteries
  • Hat that shields against the sun
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • A mosquito repellent for example
  • Nail clippers and file

21 Important items to have in your hand luggage

  • Passports, money, tickets
  • An adapter with three thick, round pins
  • Sunglasses
  • Medication you use at home (always in your hand luggage, just in case you lose your suitcase!)
  • Hand Medicine: analgesic, allergy pills, remedy for diarrhea (maybe Imodium), malaria pills, plasters and disinfectant wipes
  • Binoculars (so you get to see the leopard way out there in the tree!)
  • Camera and memory cards more than you expect to use, including battery charger and a plastic bag to protect the camera from Africa’s fine, red dust
  • Shoulder bag with sturdy strap and zip.  A money belt or good inside pockets that
    can be zipped up
  • A few photocopies of all personal documents such as passports, visas, flights, travel insurance, vaccination card, international debit cards, (Master Card, Visa credit cards etc.) driving license
  • Telephone list for immediate blocking of lost debit card and insurance
  • Mail addresses of those you wish to send postcards or send messages too.
  • Notebook and pens
  • A good book or something to keep you entertained on the flight