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Things to Know Before You Go

This portion of the website is designed to give you all the important information before you journey throughout Southern Africa. Our hope is to insure you a fabulous and carefree holiday.

SAFETY:

African Sunrise Safaris can boast that during our time we have been in business not one of our guest has been harmed or had any safety issue. There is really never a time where you will be without the professional guides supervision. As we say “you can find places you should not be ANY where in the world” Rest assured your safety is our number one concern. Global Rescue is one of our valued partners. Please see the link to purchase a plan using our discount code.

 

CURRENCY & CREDIT CARDS:

For the sake of reference, currencies in the various countries mentioned in this paragraph are abbreviated as follows:

ZAR: South African Rand

BWP: Botswana Pula

ND: Namibian Dollar

ZK: Zambian Kwacha

USD: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

 

Visa and MasterCard credit cards are widely accepted in South Africa and Namibia and in most major centers in Botswana. About 80% of establishments in South Africa only will also accept American Express. Most safari lodges and hotels in Southern Africahave credit card facilities. In Zimbabwe and Zambia about 50% of establishments in tourist areas will accept your credit cards. We recommended bring two types of credit cards. Please notify all credit companies and banks with regards to your travel plans.

In addition to your credit cards, it is recommended that you bring along some cash for spending money, tips (see our separate tipping guideline) and so forth. Your currency can easily be converted to local currency at the airport in either Johannesburg or Cape Town. After clearing custom, look out for one of the exchange bureaus where this can be done. Exchange your cash in South Africa or in the country you’re traveling to rather than before leaving home, as local exchange rates are more favorable.

ATMs are readily available in Southern Africa. Most Visa and MasterCard credit cards / debit cards will work at these ATMs. Ensure that you have a PIN number for your credit card before leaving home. Making cash withdrawals at an ATM is the most cost-effective way of obtaining local currency.

In South Africa, Botswana and Namibia you will not be able to use foreign currency. In Namibia both ND and ZAR is accepted and both have the same value. The same arrangement (dual currency system) applies in Swaziland and Lesotho. The Namibian, Swaziland and Lesotho currencies are, however, not accepted in South Africa, so be mindful of leaving those countries with their currency.

In Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls), you’ll be able to use your local currency, &ZAR. Zambia (Livingstone) has now limited the use of foreign currency, although some informal markets might still accept it. Change in foreign currency will always be a problem, so bring enough small denomination notes (20’s, 10’s, 5’s and 1’s) where possible.

 

ELECTRICITY / ADPATORS:

Establishments in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland will make use various types of plugs.  Our highest recommendation is to purchase your foreign adaptors once you land in Southern Africa, the airport is the easiest to place to purchase.  Once you leave the airport is DIFFICULT TO FIND THEM. You do not need convertors only adaptors

 

FOOD & WATER:

While traveling throughout Southern Africa you will be exposed to a world class culinary treat. All the lodges and hotels we use have internationally trained chefs with the same caliber you might expect to find in Europe or the US. Preparing dishes both typically local as well as international dishes. It has been said that South Africa has some of the best quality meats in the world. Most of our beef and lamb is free range and not grain fed. Our seafood is sourced from various localities along our extensive coastline and surrounding deep ocean. You might be surprised to find that Southern Africa is becoming more organic and “farm to table” is becoming more the norm. Visitors to South Africa – excluding vegetarians. of course – should try at least our local favorite snack, ‘biltong’ (beef jerky) or ‘droëwors’ (dried sausage), at least once. Every butcher prepares these local delicacies to his or her own special recipe.Our aim to too please, everything from the most finicky palate to specific dietary needs. Bottled water meeting international quality standards is available everywhere in the country.

 

INTERNET & MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE:

All major centers in South Africa will have access to the Internet. Cell phone coverage in South Africa is better than average, but in certain remote areas it can be a bit dodgy. Every lodge we use will offer internet facilities, or WIFI, whether in your room or at the lobby. Some lodge charge a small for this. Most International airports offer WIFI hotspots such as Johannesburg and Cape Town. We recommend you call your phone company to see about various plans option while traveling. Video streaming of any kind isn’t supported in Southern Africa giving the bandwidth limitations.

MEDICAL CONSIDERATIONS:

African Sunrise Safaris does not offer medical advice. We have listed some of most talked about subject to answer some of your major questions. If you have any serious medical conditions, please consult your Dr.

 

MALARIA:

If you are traveling to the northeastern part of South Africa, including the parts of the Kruger National Park area, or to any destination in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique or Zambia, it is prudent to discuss anti-malaria prophylactics with your doctor.  We want you to be aware of the plenty of exceptional safari areas in South Africa which are located in malaria-free areas.  Namibia and the southern part of South Africa, including Cape Town and the Garden Route, are malaria-free areas. Remember most of itinerary are during the Southern Africa winter and its likely you won’t see bugs. Insect repellant during these times is really all you will need.

 

YELLOW FEVER:

As of January 2015, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is no longer required to return to South Africa from Zambia.

 

ALLERGIES:

As whenever and where you travel dust and pollen are encountered in the various areas. The safari lodges can be dusty and may aggravate any allergies you might have. As a precaution to those highly allergic please consult Dr. Remember to communicate any food allergies so that we can inform the relevant lodges or hotels.

 

PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION:

As with any travel please pack your medicine in your carry-on luggage. Take in to consideration how much you will need for the duration of your holiday.

 

MEDICAL EVACUATION PLAN AND INSURANCE:

Info coming soon.

This is a guideline to help with most questions asked for passport and visa. Please remember it is virtually impossible to cover visa requirements to Southern Africa for every nation worldwide. It is therefore your responsibility, and imperative that you ensure that you have the necessary visas for every country that you’re visiting while on safari. Please ask if you are the least bit unsure about something. If a pre-arranged visa is required, do so through the nearest embassy or consulate for that country. Do not leave your visa arrangements to the last minute. We cannot be held responsible if you arrive without the necessary visas and are refused entry to a particular country.

Visas fall into two broad categories: pre-arranged visas and visas issued upon arrival. If you hold a US, Canadian, British, European, Australian or New Zealand passport, you’ll be able to enter South Africa without a visa and no pre-arrangements are necessary.  US passport holders do not need to pre-arrange a visa to enter Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana or Namibia.

Every Southern African country – South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Mozambique – is an independent state and has different visa requirements. Do not automatically assume that entry into South Africa entitles you to enter one or more of these countries on the same visa.

Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your intended departure date and should have at least two full blank pages available where visas – if required – can be affixed.

BOTSWANA, ZAMBIA & ZIMBABWE

If you’re traveling to either of these countries, you’ll be expected to purchase your visa at port of entry (if a pre-arranged visa is not required) in hard cash in US Dollar currency only. No other currency is accepted, nor are ATM, credit or any other bank cards. Currently visas to these countries cost between $50 and $100 per person. We strongly recommend having at least $200 on hand as the cost of the visa often changes without notice. For convenience ensure that you have an adequate supply of small denomination notes on hand (1’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 20’s) as change in US Dollar currency is always a problem.

ZAMBIA DEPARTURE TAX:

Please note that a departure tax is due when departing from Zambia. The tax is payable in cash only in Zambia Kwacha or USD. Currently the cost is ZK 90,000 (about $25) per-person.

 

NEW IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS WHEN TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN to South Africa:

If a child is traveling with both biological parents, parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate.  The birth certificate does not need to be original, but must certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths or the equivalent.

 

If a child is traveling with one biological parent, the parent must produce an unabridged birth certificate – either an original or certified copy as well as one of the following:

  • Consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate allowing the child to enter and depart South Africa with the traveling parent
  • A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child
  • Where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate.

 

If a child is not traveling with either biological parents, the child must produce all of the following

  • an unabridged birth certificate – either an original or certified copy
  • an affidavit from both parents or legal guardians of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child
  • certified copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardians of the child AND
  • the contact details of the parents or legal guardians of the child

 

If a child is traveling unaccompanied, the child must produce all of the following

  • an unabridged birth certificate – either an original or certified copy
  • proof of consent from one or both parents or legal guardians in the form of a certified letter of affidavit for the child to travel to and from South Africa.  If one parent has full custody of the child, they must provide a certified copy of the court order issued to them proving they have full parental responsibilities
  • a certified letter from the person which is to receive the child in South Africa, containing his or her residential address and contact details of where the child will be staying
  • a certified copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa/permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child AND
  • the contact details of the parents or legal guardians of the child.

 

Special notes:

  • all documents issued in a language other than English should be accompanied by a sworn translation
  • all affidavits must be no older than 3 months dating from the time of travel

 

For more information, please contact your local South African Embassy or go here.

Use our checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your trip and what you can leave at home.