About South African Safari, Wine Country & Cape Town
There are few better places to view wildlife on the planet, this trip will change you forever! STI journey is first class all the way, you’ve never felt more like a king (of the jungle!)
South African Safari, Cape Town, Wine Country and even an optional dive with the Great White Shark! (Choice of Sharks or Robben Island on our free day)
South Africa is one of the most diverse and beautiful countries in the world. Aptly nicknamed the “Rainbow Nation”, its spectacular and varied terrain with its friendly people never fail to captivate those who travel in South Africa. And it has certainly captivated the team at STI with over 5 tours with our members. People come to South Africa for its natural beauty, wildlife, and sunshine, and few leave disappointed. And who can resist the spectacular and breathtaking creatures on safari?
Join Singles Travel International for an in-depth and off road experience in Africa!
WE ARE UNABLE TO ACCEPT MORE THAN 16 RESERVATIONS FOR THIS VERY SPECIAL PROGRAM
- 10 Nights Accommodations in 4 and 5-Star Hotels, Lodges and Camps
- ALL INTERNAL FLIGHTS
- Visits with Tours to Highlights in the Following Cities:
- 1 Overnight Stay at the5-Star, D’Oreal Emperor’s Palace near Johannesburg Airport before our drive to MARATABA SAFARI LODGE
- Orientation Welcome Drinks & Canapés
- Breakfast at Emperor’s Palace
- 3 Nights at the 5-Star, Marataba Safari Lodge in a Malaria Free zone
- 3 Exciting Days of Wildlife Game Viewing with an Excellent Opportunity to see the Big Five: Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo and Elephant
- Boma Dinner with Friends from Singles Travel International! (weather permitting) and other Surprises as VIPs of STI
- Open Vehicle with Two-way Long-Range High Frequency Radio Communication
- Services of an English-speaking Driver-guide and ranger
- 2 Nights at the luxurious, 300 year old private working wine estate in the Jonkershoek Valley The Lanzerac Hotel & Wine Estate.
- Thanksgiving Dinner with Wine
- Tour/Travel of Cape Winelands including Stellenbosch & Franschhoek Valley with 2 Tastings and Lunch with Wine.
- Visit to the Cheetah Breeding Project to Play with the Cheetahs
- 4 Nights at the 4-Star, The Commodore Hotel on the V&A (Victoria and Albert) Waterfront
- Half Day Tour of Cape Town Featuring the Cape Malay Quarter, Greenmarket Square, the Castle, Grand Parade and the District 6 Museum, plus a Cable Car Ride to the Top of Table Mountain (weather permitting)
- Cape Peninsula Tour including Cape of Good Hope (where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet), Cape Peninsula National Park and Good Hope Nature Reserve. Our tour includes a stop at Boulders Beach to play amongst the Jackass Penguins and stop at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
- Day at Leisure for Optional Tours in Cape Town such as Robben Island Boat Ride or dive with the Great White Sharks! Our STI Concierge is onhand to assist with your choices.
- All Government Taxes and Fees
- Optional Tours – Refer to the Itinerary Tab for Details
- 3 Nights Safari Including 6 Game Drives Plus Walking Safari (subject to conditions/weather)
- All Meet and Greet Services at the Airports in Johannesburg and Capetown
- All Arrival and Departure Transfers in Johannesburg and Capetown
- All Meals as Indicated in our Itinerary (B,L,D) – 10 Breakfasts (daily) , 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners (3 Dinners at premium restaurants in Stellenbosch, Cape Town and 3 Dinners at Marataba including a Boma Experience)
- Fresh, bottled water on all tour vehicles
- All Porterage (baggage handling gratuities) in and out of hotels and lodges on our Itinerary
- Special Attention from our Experienced, Professional Singles Travel Concierge*
- Private and Secure Chat Reserved Exclusively for Members on Your Vacation
MARATABA SAFARI LODGE
CAPE WINE COUNTRY
*There is no minimum required for this tour. Our local, expert Concierge Chris, will lead the program.
Inclusive features are subject to revision at the discretion of STI. Ages listed are not meant as a restriction, but are simply used as a guideline. Singles Travel International does not guarantee the number of guests, ages or ratios.
Depart North America: November 21, 2015
Tour Begins in Johannesburg: November 22, 2015
Tour Ends in Cape Town: December 2, 2015
Arrive North America: December 3, 2015
Saturday, November 21:
USA / Europe / Johannesburg – Overnight flights from North America to Johannesburg. Most are via Europe, but alternatives exist. If you would like assistance with your air purchase, contact Robin at x 704. All other flights are included in your package. All you need is the International portion into Johannesburg and departing from Cape Town.
Sunday, November 22 (B, Happy Hour):
Breakfast Onboard Your Flight
Overnight stay at the 5-Star D’Oreal Emperor’s Palace
On arrival, our STI CONCIERGE CHRIS MEETS YOU AT THE AIRPLANE DOOR. He will assist with clearing customs and immigration procedures of South Africa. Once out in the arrivals hall, Chris will take you to the 5-Star, D’Oreal Emperor’s Palace, near Johannesburg Airport. Most flights arrive in the late afternoon or evening so we have not scheduled any activities for today. However, our resort is packed with things to do and places to eat. It even has a full scale casino! Before you go, we’ll publish everyone’s flight schedule so you may meet up tonight. Enjoy complimentary canapés and a cocktails with Chris and your adventurous traveling companions!
Monday, November 23 (B, L, D):
Johannesburg/Marataba Safari Lodge
Breakfast & Orientation at our hotel
Overnight stay at the luxurious, 5-Star, Marataba Safari Lodge
Depart this morning for Marataba Safari Lodge, located in the spectacular Marukele Game Reserve. This is a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive North of Johannesburg
We arrive at the lodge in time for lunch and orientation before heading into the bush for our first safari drive.
Marataba is a malaria-free 23000 hectare private concession within the Marakele National Park (Limpopo, South Africa). Just four hours from Johannesburg, this is a sanctuary where people can find themselves again by connecting with nature. This beautiful piece of Waterberg wilderness combines some of the most dramatic scenery in South Africa with a plethoric wildlife experience.
The Marakele National Park holds a truly immense variety of mammals that are readily seen. Home to the second largest Cape Vulture colony (numbering between 600 and 800 pairs), the mountains are also a safe haven to a number of interesting and unique plant, mammal and bird species.
Overnight at the Marataba Safari Lodge on a full board basis, including transfers.
Days 4 & 5
Tuesday & Wednesday, November 24-25 (B, L, D):
On Safari at Marataba Safari Lodge
Overnight stay at Marataba Safari Lodge
2 safaris a day (one early morning, and one late afternoon, into the evening) are each approximately 3-4 hours long, and include a scenic coffee and sundowner break to purely appreciate just being in the moment In the company of your Field Ranger, you will learn more about the Big Five and the many unique animal species found on the Marakele National Park.
A day at Marataba in November consists of
- 05h00 Wake up call
- 05h30 Tea/Coffee and game drive departs
- 09h00 Game drive returns, then breakfast / brunch is served
- midday Bush walk or activities of personal preference
- 16h00 High tea
- 16h30 Game drive departs
- 19h30 Game drive returns and dinner follows
Enjoy a second day on safari at Marataba.
Depending on the weather and physical fitness of our members, the lodge rangers may offer a bush walk for our group, or smaller groups split over 2 days.
The bush takes on a completely different perspective when you are on foot. Each of your senses will be on full alert as you feel the grass and stones beneath your feet; touch the leathery leaves of trees you walk beneath; smell the musky scent of wild animals in the vicinity; taste the sweet grass of the veld; and hear the crack of a branch indicating you are not alone.
Walks generally take place after breakfast and last approximately 1½ to 2 hours, depending on the fitness level of guests. In summer, due to the heat, walks may be incorporated into the morning game drive before heading back to the lodge for breakfast.
Thursday, November 26 (B, D):
Marataba Safari Lodge/Cape Town/Stellenbosch
Overnight Stay at a 300 year old private working wine estate in the Jonkershoek Valley The Lanzerac Hotel & Wine Estate.
Depart Marataba after the morning safari and breakfast and drive to Johannesburg Airport.
Lunch – own arrangements at the airport. Many options available before we fly from Johannesburg to Cape Town (Depart 3pm – Arrive 5pm). Our group will be met at the airport and driven to Stellenbosch, the historic Winelands town just 30 minutes from the airport.
Tonight, we feast on a Thanksgiving dinner (African Style) including table wine at the Lanzerac Hotel .
Overnight: The Lanzerac Hotel – including breakfast.
Friday, November 27 (B, L):
Cape Wine Country
Breakfast at the hotel
Overnight stay at The Lanzerac Hotel & Wine Estate.
After breakfast at our estate, we explore the surrounding Cape Wine Country, visiting some of its many historic wine estates, museums and cultural interest points. Highlights include a Cellar tour, Wine Tasting (at least 2 wineries), Stellenbosch, town of oaks, Boschendal historic manor house, Franschhoek Valley and lunch with table wine on another wine estate!
Tonight may be the perfect respite before we hit Cape Town tomorrow. Chris, our STI Concierge will be right on hand to assist with the most delicious dinner suggestions for those choosing to fine out. Dinner: Own arrangements.
Saturday, November 28 (B, D):
Breakfast at the hotel
Overnight at the 4-Star, Premium, Waterfront Commodore Hotel.
After breakfast, our morning may be spent exploring Stellenbosch, shopping or relaxing at our lovely hotel. We depart at 11am, heading to Somerset West to visit the Cheetah Outreach Project
A private tour and cheetah encounter is included as part of our experience.
We’ll arrive in Cape Town by 3pm where we’ll check into the hotel. Our Concierge Chris will prepare us for the evening in his hometown! There are lots of choices from our prime location at the cosmopolitan V&A (Victoria & Alfred) Waterfront. But first, we dine! Later, we’re free to explore on our own or together with new friends. It’s Saturday night in Cape Town!
Dinner tonight is at GOLD, a recommendation from STI members on our last trip to Cape Town.
From the moment you enter, you will feel the heartbeat of a unique African restaurant in Cape Town. GOLD Restaurant will take you on a taste safari from Cape Malay to African cuisine – from Cape Town to Timbuktu with its set 14 course menu served at your table.
Start your evening with an interactive Djembe drumming session which will get you in tune with our African rhythms and songs for the rest of the night. 30 minutes of vibrant playing of the drums will ensure an energized start to your evening. A soothing hand washing ceremony will complete your interactive drumming experience.
Sit down at your table in one of our beautiful dining areas, where you will be surrounded by stunning African artifacts. A set 14 course menu consisting of Cape Malay cuisine and African cuisine will be served to you by one of our beautifully adorned member of staff who will explain each dish to you and from which country the dish originates.
Be captivated during dinner by our tall, graceful Mali Puppets as they dance around your table with the drummers and singers. Our live entertainment is unique to South Africa and their performances will embrace you and take you into the heart of Africa.
Overnight: The Commodore Hotel – including breakfast.
Sunday, November 29 (B, L):
Breakfast at the hotel
Overnight stay at the Commodore Hotel
After breakfast, we depart the city for the Lower Cableway Station to board the revolving cable car for a 5-minute ride to the top of Table Mountain, 3,399 feet above sea level. Enjoy bird’s-eye views of both the city and Peninsula from observation areas as you walk its summit (weather permitting). Return to the city via the old Cape Malay Quarter, for a walk through the Company Gardens, the fresh produce gardens for ships and locals from the mid-17th Century and today, home to the SA Museum, Cultural History Museum, Houses of Parliament, National Gallery and St George’s Cathedral. Stroll through the city to Greenmarket Square to browse African mementos at its bustling market stalls.
Next, we’re off to the Castle, the oldest building in South Africa with its collection of Old Cape paintings and take in the Grand Parade where Nelson Mandela addressed the nation on his release in 1990. Move on to the District Six Museum to view a moving collection of stories, pictures and memorabilia highlighting the colorful life of this suburb which now stands empty, thanks to the destruction of homes and forced removal of residents during the height of the Apartheid era.
Dinner: Own account
Overnight: The Commodore Hotel – including breakfast.
Monday, November 30 (B):
Breakfast at the hotel
Overnight stay at the Commodore Hotel
Breakfast is served at our hotel and then we’re off for our Cape Peninsula Tour. We depart the city along the spectacular Atlantic Seaboard, en route to the fishing village of Hout Bay to explore the harbor, visiting its fish markets and shops. Continue over the nearly 2,000 foot heights of Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the world’s most breath-taking passes and past the Cape’s longest beach, with a chance to spot Southern Right Whales just offshore from June to November.
Enter the Cape of Good Hope National Park for a walk (or optional funicular ride) up to the Cape Point Lighthouse, to take in magical ocean vistas at this, the south westernmost point of Africa. Head along the False Bay coast to Boulders Beach near Simonstown to see a colony of African Penguins and then continue past the seaside resorts of False Bay, towards the city. The last stop of the day is Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, for a walk through one of the largest collections of indigenous plants in the world.
Tour Highlights include: Hout Bay Harbour * Chapman’s Peak Drive * Cape of Good Hope National Park and Cape Point * Visit to Penguins at Boulders Beach * Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Dinner this evening is on our own, time to get out there and meet the locals!
Tuesday, December 1 (B, D):
Breakfast at the hotel
Overnight stay at the Commodore Hotel
This morning, breakfast is served at our hotel and the balance of your day in Cape Town is at leisure. Add private experiences such as Robben Island, a Cultural experience, kick it up a few notches and dive with the white sharks or just relax on one of Cape Town’s amazing beaches. Chris is on hand to help you make the most of your day.
Cape Town history: The Dutch settlement at Table Bay, under the leadership of Jan van Riebeeck, was established in 1652, with the purpose of supplying fresh produce and meat to the fleets of the Dutch East India Company. Before long, from a huddle of huts, South Africa’s oldest city came into being. In the early days, the settlement was known among sailors from around the world as “The Tavern of the Seas”, and to this day Cape Town has maintained a reputation for friendly hospitality. Now known as the “Mother City,” Cape Town is the country’s legislative capital. Boasting magnificent beaches and the majestic Table Mountain as its backdrop, Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Great White Shark Diving – Gansbaai
Shark cage diving takes place out at Dyer Island which is situated off the coast from Gansbaai. 2 hrs from Cape Town.
The Great White Shark is a surface feeder and thus all the activity takes place on or very close to the surface, due to this, the surface viewing from the boat is excellent.
-You do not need any diving certification to do the cage dive.
-We limit the number of passengers per trip to ensure each diver receives maximum cage time.
-The ride to the dive sight takes 15 – 20 minutes where we anchor for about three and a half to four hours.
-For the first dive you are in the cage for about thirty minutes. Divers then have subsequent dives.
-We use a 5 person shark cage and so there is plenty of time to cage dive.
Robben Island Experience
The tour takes 3.5-5 hours including the ferry trip to and from the Island will disembark at Murray’s Bay Harbour situated on the east coast of the Island and take a short walk to buses that will transport you to all the historical sites around the Island. On the way to the buses, you will pass buildings and a high wall built by prisoners during the 1960s.The buildings were used for family and lawyer visits to prisoners.
You will meet your Tour Guide when you have boarded the busses. The Tour Guides are former political prisoners from the Island. They are fully conversant and knowledgeable about the Island’s multi-layered 500 year old history. The tour route includes the graveyard of people who died from leprosy, the Lime Quarry, Robert Sobukwe’s house, the Bluestone quarry, the army and navy bunkers and the Maximum Security Prison where thousands of South Africa’s freedom fighters were incarcerated for years. The tour culminates with a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell.
Wow, what a life changing journey this has been! Our farewell dinner with wine is at Beluga, a hip, well established, fine dining restaurant, perfect for our last night in South Africa!
Tuesday, December 2 (B):
Breakfast at the hotel
This morning after breakfast we transfer to the airport for our journey home.
Flights may arrive back in North America & Europe on December 3.
What incredible memories having gone from the tip of Africa to the top of one of the wonders of the world, with the Big Five, Whales, Wine & the Great White in between. Wow! Be sure to share your images with us when you get back.
*Note: Itinerary and activities are subject to change at the discretion of the local operators, venues and municipalities to preserve the overall quality of the program. Singles Travel International is not responsible for the consequences of any changes and no compensation will be paid for any such changes.
Once you make your online reservation, an STI reservation specialist will contact you to review and recommend additional services. Depend on them for assistance with airfare, proper protection, pre and post tour services. Once that step is complete, you will receive a final invoice from us confirming your reservation details.
READ your invoice and the FAQ page very carefully and advise if any changes need to be made.
Next, say hello to your fellow travelers on the chat!
Click Here! for your “Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information” including transportation and how to meet up with the group. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the southernmost tip of the continent of Africa, flanked on either side by the chilly Atlantic Ocean to the west and the balmy Indian Ocean to the east. The Kalahari Desert lies to its north and the next stop south after Cape Town is Antarctica.
The geographical diversity of South Africa offers travelers countless opportunities for anything from wine tasting to wildlife tracking, surfing to climbing. And if you’re looking for a more cosmopolitan African experience, Cape Town offers a host of great hotels, restaurants and nightlife.
South Africa’s wilderness areas are famous worldwide. South Africa represents far more than you would ever expect, protecting and showcasing a broad range of habitats and species. Some of the many animals that you may see may include the fabled “Big Five”: Elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino. Just a few other examples include: zebra, wildebeest, cheetah, giraffe, hippo, crocodile, monkey, impala and over 350 species of magical bird life.
South Africa is a year-round destination with arguably the most hospitable climate of any country in the world – never too hot and never too cold to enjoy the best of what the country has to offer. For the purposes of this trip, note that you will be traveling in their winter. In Cape Town that means its their rainy season, but, the worst it will ever be is chilly, damp and windy. You could just as easily arrive in Cape Town to find sunny days. The nights will always be chilly in winter, however. Conversely, winter in Madikwe is the dry season with chilly nights and mornings, but, sunny warm afternoons where one may expect to wear shorts and short sleaves – which is why August is a fantastic time for sightseeing in Cape Town and animal viewing in the bush.
South Africa is no different from any other place in the world. Common sense is all that is required. Avoid displaying expensive possessions, not walking through unlit urban areas at night, and following the guide’s instructions in the bush. It is also recommended that you leave valuables and airline tickets in the hotels safe.
_Important phone numbers in South Africa:_
US Consulate, Cape Town
2 Reddam Ave
Tel: (27 21) 702-7300
Fax: (27 21) 702-7493
US Consulate, Johannesburg
PO Box 1762, Houghton 2041
1 River St, Killarney (opposite Killarney Mall)
Tel: (27 11) 644-8000
Fax: (27 11) 646-6916
The tour begins in Johannesburg on the November 22, and ends in Capetown on December 2, 2013. Therefore the tour is 10 nights/11 days. Your flight will likely be overnight in both directions, making your total vacation 12 nights/13 days.
Yes. All cancellations must be made in writing to Singles Travel International and are subject to per person penalties as follows:
After deposit and up to August 21, 2015 – $300 penalty applies.
After August 21, 2015 – 100% penalty applies per person.
Our tour price has been calculated on the current exchange rate of the Rand to the US Dollar. Rates fluctuate and may be subject to change should there be more than a 3% increase prior to your final payment.
Note that if you elect to take a roommate and he/she cancels after our cut off date, we will do everything to find a new match. However, if no match is found, the difference in cost for a single cabin/room is the responsibility of the guest who cancels. No refund will be given to the guest who cancels, regardless of cruise or tour company policy as stated above. Singles Travel International is not responsible for costs related to cancellations after our cut off date.
In order to accommodate singles from all over the world, our tours and cruises are priced as land/cruise only. Therefore, airfare is additional. Singles Travel International is a licensed ticketing agency and has access to great fares. We will gladly assist you with your booking for a $150 international ticketing fee.
Airfare internally from Johannesburg to Capetown is included in our tour.
We’ve taken care of all your flights except the international portion! International Flights from North America must depart on November 21, in order to arrive in Johannesburg (JNB) on November 22. Your international, return flight from Cape Town (CPT) should be scheduled on December 2 to arrive in North America the next day, December 3.
Flights are subject to schedule change without notice and may be purchased on your own or with STI. Check with your favorite carrier, you may be able to use frequent flier miles to get your international flights to South Africa.
Expect 12 hours minimum with the best connection times.
Please contact your preferred carrier directly to make your reservation.
You will be met at the door of the aircraft on arrival by our VIP service. They will assist you through immigration and customs, delivering you to the hotel driver. The hotel is just 5 minutes from the airport. How’s that for service!?
We have also included your return transportation in Cape Town in the cost of your tour.
Our tour begins at The D’Oreal Emperor’s Palace on the evening of November 22, 2015. Instructions will be included in your Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information email. We plan for all guests to gather for our welcome happy hour at approximately 7 p.m.
Singles Travel International is a vacation event company that plans singles events and markets our events at our expense to create a “singles only” experience. We do not allow guests to join the group unless the reservation has been made by STI. Our policy is firm for tours and cruises, as well as pre and post trip hotel stays. Members and friends that “show up” will not be allowed to participate without paying an equivalent fee to the rest of the group that made the reservation with STI. Your credit card on file will automatically be charged.
Our tour does not include international airfare, air taxes and meals not listed in our itinerary. You are responsible for alcoholic beverages, incidentals such as laundry and phone calls, plus gratuities to our STI Concierge ($10-$15 per day), local guides, game rangers and trackers. Note that on safari, tips are considered part of the pay. A tip of $15 per person per day is appropriate at the safari lodge for all the staff to split between rangers, trackers and lodge staff. In summary, service gratuities will average $150-200 for the entire tour.
During group included meals, the meal tip is included in the tour price. A gratuity of 10% is customary at restaurants and bars where a service charge is not included or you purchase drinks additional to those included.
Porters at airports, hotels or lodges may be tipped a $1.00 per piece of baggage..
Absolutely. Our site is so popular that we guarantee to find a roommate for you or the single room is on us! In order to take advantage of our offer, you must be paid in full by August 21, 2015.
Roommate matches are based on the same sex, general age range and smoking preference whenever possible, but not guaranteed. STI reserves the right to make any match up until day of departure, including roommate changes once on tour for members who select the Share & Save option.
We highly recommend that our guests contact their roommates in advance. Booked members have access to our private online chat. Meet your roommate as well as the other members on your vacation. Singles Travel International makes every effort to accommodate requests, but does not guarantee the satisfaction or success of a roommate match. It’s the responsibility of the guest to contact his/her roommate and ask the appropriate questions.
Optional pre and post cruise/tour stays are not eligible for the guarantee. Chances are excellent that we’ll find you a match, but if no match found by 30 days prior to departure, member pays the single supplement.
Read more about Roommate Matching on our Frequently Asked Questions found at the Help Center.
You will explore some of the most unusual and beautiful cities and wildlife reserves, without ever compromising your comfort. All of our hotels are premium, luxury, 4 and 5-Star properties. See the Itinerary tab for links to the lodge/hotel websites.
Of course not. You will be pleased to find out that nearly 90% of our guests on every trip sign up and have never met anyone before joining the group. In 20 years, we have perfected the singles vacation experience. It is paramount that our guests meet each other right away and have opportunities to mingle every day. From the moment you join our tour, our STI Concierge is waiting to meet you. Our first day begins with an orientation and the camaraderie builds as we go along. The nature of the trip is trying something new, challenging yourself and motivating those around you. The bonds that develop on our adventure tours are by far the strongest and longest lasting.
As a travel club, matchmaking is not our focus. We offer an opportunity for single travelers to see the world in the company of other singles and do not guarantee ratios or ages. Our “All Ages” vacations cater to 35+ and our average age range is 38 to 62. We generally have a ratio of 60/40, women to men. Ages listed on our page are not restricted. They are simply used as a guideline.
We recommend that you meet the members of the STI Community online where you may view and interact with members via “Who’s Going” on every trip page. This is the best way to find out exactly who will be on your vacation.
South Africa’s summers (November to March) are generally warm with average temperatures around 77 Fahrenheit (25 C). It also happens that we are visiting in the height of whale watching season!
A subtropical location, moderated by ocean on three sides of the country and the altitude of the interior plateau, account for the warm temperate conditions so typical of South Africa – and so popular with its foreign visitors.
South Africa is famous for its sunshine. It’s a relatively dry country, with an average annual rainfall of about 464mm (compared to a world average of about 860mm). While the Western Cape gets most of its rainfall in winter, the rest of the country is generally a summer-rainfall region.
Although most international airlines will allow you to check one bag, weighing 40-50 pounds, there are limitations for this tour.
For our program, due to restrictions on internal flights within South Africa, the limit is 1 suitcase per person that is a soft duffel bag that does not exceed 20 kilograms (approx. 44 pounds) In addition, we recommend a day pack/back pack for day-to-day and as a carry on instead of a purse. There are inexpensive laundry facilities available at each lodge. Suitcases and bags should be able to withstand plenty of handling. We recommend bringing a soft duffel bag, with wheels.
We do strongly recommend, since you are purchasing your air separately via a combination of airlines, that you check each website directly, just before you depart, to get the most up-to-date information.
Temperatures may fluctuate widely in South Africa from place to place. In fact, Capetonians sometimes experience four seasons in one day! Therefore, travelers should pack lightweight clothes that may be worn in layers, as well as a sweater and a jacket for evenings and as a safeguard. The style of dress is mostly smart casual, but dinner at some of the more expensive restaurants may be a little more formal.
The secret for successful packing on safari is MULTIPLE LIGHT LAYERS. The first layer should be a t-shirt or golf shirt with short sleeves. The second layer may be a fleece or a sweatshirt. The third layer should be a water repellent jacket with a hood. For the chillier days, a turtleneck might also be useful. All of those should be able to be worn on top of each other for the worst days you might face in BOTH Cape Town and on safari. Zip-off safari pants are ideal, on safari, but, if you don’t have them, any trousers will do – from lightweight khakis to jeans. But, suffice to say, everything you need is, surprisingly, already in your closet. If you are nearing the end of a pair of sneakers, don’t throw them out. They are the perfect companion on safari. More on this subject as we near the date of travel.
The most practical items to pack are:
– Shoes: Merrell with a vibram sole is the “fit for all purpose” shoe for the tour.
– Extra batteries, plenty of film, flashlight
– Khaki, brown, white and beige colors
– Light cotton tops and cotton trousers/shorts
– Safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
– Swimwear, sun lotion
– A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
– Plastic sandals, to protect feet against injury from sharp coral or stone fish
– Comfortable walking shoes
– Camera film and batteries
– Binoculars for game viewing
Yes, a valid passport is required to enter South Africa. Passports must have 2 unused pages for endorsements abroad, and they must also be valid for at least six months past the projected stay in South Africa.
If you do not have one or need a new one, U.S. guests may contact the State Department Passport Office in their area immediately or visit http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html.
We recommend that you also make copies of your passport, driver’s license,
photo identification card and/or birth certificate in case of loss, and
carry them with you on your trip separate from your passport.
Us and Canadian citizens are not required to obtain a visa to visit South Africa.
Many of the main tourist areas are malaria-free, so you need not worry at all. Consult your doctor or a specialist travel clinic for the latest advice concerning malaria prophylaxis, as it changes regularly.
Whether you take oral prophylaxis or not, always use mosquito repellent, wear long pants, closed shoes and light long-sleeved shirts at night, and sleep under a mosquito net in endemic areas (the anopheles mosquito, which carries malaria, operates almost exclusively after dark). It is advisable to avoid malarial areas if you are pregnant.
The only other health concern is the hot, strong African sun. You should not underestimate the effects of the sun; it is quite common for visitors to lose a day of holiday to sunstroke through overindulgence. Plenty of sun cream, a good sun hat and gradual adjustment are recommended.
Two excellent websites outlining the major precautions are: CDC, click here or call toll-free 24-hours at 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) and http://www.who.int/ which are the official sites for the centers of disease control prevention and the World health organization respectively.
CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends updating all routine booster shots for travel almost anywhere. In addition, we suggest that you have a physical check-up before your trip, and discuss the type of trip in which you are participating with your physician.
Always choose food that has been freshly and thoroughly cooked, and is served hot. Raw fruits and vegetables tend to be very difficult to sterilize: don’t eat them unless they have been carefully and thoroughly washed in clean water, or are easy to cut open or peel without contaminating the flesh. In the tropics, the easiest and safest fruits are bananas and papayas. Do not be afraid to reject food you consider unsafe.
High-quality tap (faucet) water is available almost everywhere in South Africa, treated so as to be free of harmful micro-organisms, and in any area other than informal or shack settlements, is both palatable and safe to drink straight from the tap. In some areas, the water is mineral-rich, and you may experience a bit of gastric distress for a day or two until you get used to it. Bottled mineral water, both sparkling and still, is readily available in most places.
Drinking water straight from rivers and streams could put you at risk of waterborne diseases – especially downstream of human settlements. The water in mountain streams, however, is usually pure and wonderful. In the Cape, particularly, the water contains humic acid, which stains it the color of diluted Coca-Cola – this is absolutely harmless, and the water is wonderful. You may also find this coloring in tap water in some areas. It’s fine – it just looks a bit weird in the bath.
The electricity supply in South Africa and Zambia is 220/230 volts AC, 50 HZ. Plugs are 3 point square. If you are planning to bring a video camera charger or any other electrical device, please bring voltage and plug adaptors where appropriate. Major hotels usually provide hair dryers, irons and other electrical amenities upon request. Click here to view the plug adaptor.
South Africa is on GMT +1:00. For example, add 6 hours to Eastern Standard Time.
The official currency is the South African Rand. Visitors to South Africa can change foreign currency at banks or authorized hotels. The U.S. Dollar is one of the easiest currencies to exchange in South Africa Travelers checks are widely accepted, and many hotels, travel agencies, safari companies and restaurants accept credit cards. Most Banks in South Africa are equipped to advance cash on credit cards. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought into South Africa.
English has been both a highly influential language in South Africa, and a language influenced, in turn, by adaptation in the country’s different communities. Estimates suggest that some 45% of the population have a speaking knowledge of English. It is widely spoken in hotels, restaurants and visitor establishments.
Travel Insurance is available through Travel Guard and in addition to direct access immediately upon completing your purchase, you will receive a quote from Travel Guard regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation. If you have any questions, Travel Guard professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us, if you have not received your quote within 3 days.
Your Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information document will be posted to the FAQ tab for this trip 14 days prior to departure and will include phone contact numbers for each hotel listed in your daily itinerary, as well as how to contact the ship. We suggest you leave a copy of this with your family.
Our office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In an emergency after hours, please contact Tammy Weiler at 815-715-6998.
All countries you will visit have laws against the purchase and export of certain items, including antiquities, national cultural property and certain animal products, especially endangered species (ivory, rhino horn, tortoise shell, coral, feathers, etc.). Additionally, the United States has laws prohibiting the import of certain items, which include many of the same things. You face having your purchase confiscated and/or heavy fines for exporting or importing prohibited items.
On return to the U.S., your baggage is subject to search by U.S. Customs. Currently, you are permitted to bring back $800 of goods duty free. Persons aged 21 or over may also bring in one liter of liquor and one carton of cigarettes. If you plan to purchase a lot of souvenirs or expensive items, it is important to retain all purchase receipts. However, please note that U.S. Customs may not accept a receipt as true cost if it seems unusually low for the estimated value of the item. You may access the regulations and restrictions governing US Customs on their official website, click here to learn more.