Please contact us via live chat at the bottom right of your screen.
If "leave a message" is shown this means no travel consultant is currently online. Leave your details and we will contact you as soon as possible.

General Questions

Q: Is the extra driver required to be present when picking-up the car and / or (4x4) motorhome?

A: In most cases it is sufficient if only the first driver (the name of the person on the car booking) is present in retrieving the vehicle. This person must have in their possession a copy of the (international) driving license or the second (or possibly more) driver(s). If you are an additional driver and you cannot be present when retrieving the vehicle, we recommend that you first contact. We can then inquire about the opportunities for you.

Q: Is included a GPS?

A: A GPS is an extra item. You can book a GPS via us via the car or motorhome company and / or rental satellite phone. In some cases, a GPS is built into the vehicle. If this is the case, this is shown on our website under the information of the particular car. Via the car companies a GPS is around R80 to R90 per day. The camper companies charges around R40 to R50 per day. If you already own a GPS, you can also order maps of South Africa via the website of the GPS supplier. Especially on longer trips it is often a more advantageous option.

Q: Is it possible locally to purchase a SIM card?

A: You can buy a SIM card and airtime in South Africa for your own phone. Your phone has to be Simlock free. You can do this in the United Kingdom at your own phone shop. At the airport and in many existing phone stores, among others MTN, Vodafone, Cell C and Telkom you can buy a SIM card and credit. Calling credit (referred to in South Africa as airtime), you can buy almost in every supermarket. When buying a SIM card you must show your passport. In South Africa each phone number must be registered and RICA'ed. This rule has been introduced by the government to prevent crime and abuse.

Q: Do you have to purchase a new SIM card for each country?

A: If you visit more than one country during your travel, we suggest that you purchase a new SIM card in each country. It costs in most cases only a few cents and a lot cheaper than calling with your UK or South African SIM card. The costs can then go very high. If you, for example have a (4x4) motorhome to the South Africa and neighbouring countries then it might be an idea to rent a satellite phone. The satellite phone comes with a SIM card where you can choose a prepaid package with 30, 50, 100 and 200 call minutes. The rent is about € 11 a day (it depends on the prepaid package you choose). If you wish to use this service please send us an email. 

Q: What to do in case of a delay?

A: If during your travel your flight is delayed and your flight details have changed, the transfer / accommodation / car rental will also need to be updated of the changes. If you already know before leaving that there is a delay, you can reach us during office hours. We can see in this case how we can assist. Should you be delayed after office hours we recommend you to fix this first at the airport, or through the airline. You can also inform the supplier directly of your delay. In your travel documents you will find the telephone numbers of the suppliers. In extremely urgent cases, you can phone us on a South African emergency number. Should your flight details or arrival time, for whatever reason, have changed then we'd like to know. We can change the transfers and report any changes to your accommodation.

Q: What if my driver / transfer is not ready upon arrival?

A: When a transfer is booked by us, we have passed your flight information to the appropriate person / supplier. They're aware of your arrival. Normally the transfer / driver waits for you in the arrivals hall with your name on a sign. In some cases it may be that your transfer or chauffeur is not yet ready for you on arrival. This may be due to traffic on the road, or the search for a suitable parking space. In this case, do not hesitate to directly contact the person / supplier. The contact number can be found on your vouchers in the travel documents.

Q: What clothes do I take with to South Africa?

A: South Africa is a very large country and different weather conditions in different parts of the country. More information on the climate can be found here. We encourage you to bring several layers of clothing. During the day it can be very nice and warm weather, but in the evenings, brisk and cool. A warm jacket or vest is therefore advisable. Some suggestions regarding clothing are: good hiking boots, wind resistant jacket, sunglasses, hat, warm sweater or jacket, flip flops, (cotton) clothing, long pants (in the evenings), shorts, t-shirts and swimwear. For women a cotton and warm wrap.

Q: Is there a road map in the car?

A: Normally, there is a road map provided in your car and / or (4x4) motorhome. Check it before you go and if not present you ask for one. In your (4x4) camper there is a directory normally fitted with descriptions and information about campsites. If there is not, you can ask for it from the (4x4) motorhome supplier.

Q: When does it make sense to purchase a SANParks Wildcard?

A: If you plan to visit several parks and / or reserves it may be advantageous to purchase a wildcard. Experience has shown that if you will be visiting a park more than 6 times, that a wildcard is interesting. We are working on a basis of two people. It may already be interesting for several people. More information can be found on our website. We encourage you to buy the Wildcard at the entrance of one of the SANParks. Online purchase gives delivery issues.

Q: Do you have Wi-Fi present?

A: In South Africa there are Internet cafes everywhere. You can also use Wi-Fi in some restaurants. Here you need to ask for a password. Many accommodations also have Internet. However, this is not always free. Ask at reception about the possibilities.

Q: Is it possible to draw money in South Africa?

A: You can draw money just about anywhere. You will see ATM cash machines everywhere. You can draw money at an ATM machine with your UK bank card. The costs are calculated for this and are almost the same at each bank. The usual credit cards for example Visa and MasterCard are almost always accepted in the larger cities. Banks in the UK block almost all withdrawals outside the UK to prevent skimmers and fraud. Customers traveling outside of their home country must indicate this at the bank before travel that they might use their card in another country. Please check with your local bank. Just as in the UK you must be aware of any skimmers. We recommend that never draw money alone at the ATM machine and do it only during the day when the banks are open. During the day most banks have security present.

Q: Can I drink water from the tap?

A: The tap water in South Africa is basically drinkable everywhere, unless stated otherwise. It may have a different flavour than usual, but in general South African water is much better than water out of the tap in the UK. If you still doubt it, you can buy bottled water almost anywhere.

Q: What about the food?

A: In South Africa you can buy all kinds of food, from vegetarian to kosher, from European to Asian, from simple to very luxurious. Generally, you can eat well in South Africa. Especially the Western Cape is known for its excellent cuisine. If you need a special diet and you have booked a holiday, please inform us in advance by allowing taking this into account. Preferably, do not eat things that are sold along the roadside. Our Western stomachs are often not resistant to it. Wash fruits and vegetables before you eat it. For information, please click on one of the following topics: general information restaurants, the South African cuisine and Top 10 best restaurants in South Africa. You will also find in the left menu under General Information Restaurants in a variety of dining options sorted by town.

Q: Is South Africa safe?

A: This is due to many negative stories that go around as some people think South Africa is a dangerous country. This is not the case; however, you should stick to the basic rules for safe travel. You must ensure for example that you arrive at your accommodation before dark. Do not wear excessive expensive jewellery out in the open. In short be careful and keep to the normal safety rules everyone does on a trip out of their own country. Click here to learn more on safety.

Q: Can I cycle in South Africa?

A: In South Africa cycling is primarily a sport: cycling and mountain biking are popular. Ordinary bicycles are less common. There are no bike paths and South Africans are not used to cycling in traffic. If you like cycling then of course you can. Especially if you are a true nature lover, then rent a mountain bike. We recommend then to avoid the highways as much as possible.

Q: Must I book my day trips/excursions in advance?

A: On our website you can find various daytime activities, under excursions and activities. To avoid disappointment, we recommend booking it in advance. If you want to take part in organized game drives during your stay, then we can arrange this for you. This also applies to activities within the SANParks.

Q: What are frequently used African "South African words?

A: Below is a list of commonly used words:
Thank you - Baie dankie
It is a pleasure - Dit is 'n plesier
Good morning - Goeie more
Good afternoon - Goeie middag
Good evening - Goeienaand
Sleep well - Lekker slaap
It was fun - Dit was lekker gewees
Food - Kos
Barbecue - Braai
A barbecue and drinks - Tjop en dop.
Nice - Lekker (it is used for very many positive things)
Please - Asseblief

Q: What medical facilities are in South Africa?

A: In general, the South African medical suppliers are of high quality, especially in urban areas where you will find several large government hospitals and private clinics. Tourists are advised to take comprehensive health insurance that one can use at private hospitals, of which there are around 80. These medical centres maintain high standards and offer specialist treatments, but are often much more expensive. Without a prescription South African pharmacists cannot provide drugs. Tourists using continuous medication during their stay in South should have a prescription.

Q: Is there a time difference?

A: During UK summertime there is an hour difference. During the UK winter South Africa is two hours later.

Q: Is needed to pay a tip?

A: In South Africa are the salaries are generally lower, making it customary to give operators a fee. A Tipping is of course not mandatory, but if you're satisfied with the service in a restaurant then 10% minimum of the total amount is usually the norm unless the service was very poor. In parking lots there are often traffic wardens and guards. They often ask you to look after your car, these are actually park-free spots and you're under no obligation to give something. Often they are very helpful with loading your groceries, etc. Then you can provide them with about R5. In South Africa, you have the luxury of an attendant. They will refuel your car, check the oil level, and check water and tire pressure and clean the windows. So for this special service, (again not necessarily) you can give them R3 to R5. If you have a beautiful game drive and had an excellent ranger you can also give him/her a fee/tip. It can depend on how many people there were on the trip and how the ranger did it, both in spotting wildlife and the attitude. Between R50 and R100 per person per game drive is considered normal / generous, depending on circumstances and the luxury of your accommodation / trip. Some other services that you might want to give a fee are: taxi drivers, guides, hotel porters, and domestic staff and tour leaders.

Q: What kind of Holiday Budget should one work on?

A: Since the South African currency, the Rand, with a favourable exchange rate against the Pound, you can surprise yourself with a lot to do with your holiday. The costs below are dependent on the exchange rate and can thereby change slightly (below costs are based on prices in October 2014 in Euro):

Food & Drink
An average lunch (global indication) is about € 5 to € 10, dinner is around € 10 to € 15 per person. A nice steak cost about € 10. A bottle of wine in an average restaurant: between € 8 and € 15. A beer (0.5 litres) is around € 1.50. Other drinks such as coffee, tea and soft drinks are between € 1 and € 1.20. Other: One litre of gasoline or diesel: approximately € 1. The prices in the supermarket are also lower, although they are not much different from the prices that you're used to in the UK.

Q: Do I need a visa to travel in South Africa?

A visa for UK citizens available free of charge at the border and are valid for stays shorter than 90 days (tourist visa). You get a stamp on your passport at customs at the airport; this is about a half-page size. Please be advised that you should have enough space. The passport should have at least about two blank pages and must be valid at least 30 days until you get back to your own country. You must also be in possession of a ticket with a confirmed return or fly-through.

From June 2015 children under the age of 18 must also present a birth certificate on entry into South Africa. More information regarding a visa for the neighbouring countries, visit our website. The requirements can change depending on your origin and travel history. The best you can do is to report this to the embassies and check updated information.

Q: What's a braai?

A: This is a barbecue in South African. A braai is not only eating meat, but more about the whole experience around it. It is seen as a social issue. Also characteristic is making the fire. To create a fire and burning wood to coal and putting the large pieces of meat on the grill. With the hiring of a (4x4) motorhome you normally receive a barbecue grill, which you can use on the campgrounds. Here you can often find braai areas where you can use the grill.

Safety General

Is it safe to travel in South Africa?

This is a frequently asked question. The answer is, yes, South Africa is safe to travel, as long as you follow the basic rules for safe travel. A group or organized trip gives the most protection. If you are traveling by car, motorcycle or motor home, plan your route and book your accommodation in advance so you do not have to search and possibly end up in less secure areas.

We as South Africa Specialist know the country and the roads well. We travel a lot in all areas of Southern Africa seeking unknown areas and accommodations. We live and work in South Africa and will plan your itinerary and accommodations carefully.

Some basic information is like driving especially in the larger cities that your car doors are always locked. Do not leave valuables lying on the back seat or on the passenger seat in sight.
Try to limit driving at night to a minimum. Rather take no hitchhikers if you are not 100% sure of your decision, but this is in general not recommended. In short, use your common sense!

Traveling with an RV (campervan) it is doing quite good concerning safety in South Africa and make use of the camping sites for your RV and parking lots where other cars park.

It is a fact that South Africa has a high crime rate. However, this is caused by prevalent crime in the townships. In "normal" areas and regions, the crime rate is higher than in any other country. The crime thus occurs mainly in the townships and underprivileged neighbourhoods in large cities, where the townships are nearby. People, who live in the townships especially, despite the fact that it is much better after the abolition of apartheid, still form the bulk of the poor population and many people from neighbouring countries fled to the big cities into the townships for economic reasons. There is too much work, too much poverty, too much drugs and alcohol abuse, causing crime.

In big cities you should always be extra careful in certain areas, such as around the world. In the smaller places in particular you will find that the South Africans are welcoming and friendly and they will welcome you warmly.

We have fortunately never had to deal with vacationers where something happened. It is the population who are victims more often. Tourists' robberies are usually connected to people who do a township tour on their own or hanging out late in the cities in the evening. Walk around with showy valuables during the day is not wise. That's asking for trouble.

Take a look at the reactions of customers on our website.

Your holiday begins at South Africa Specialist.

Corruption

Corruption, unfortunately, is in South Africa. As a tourist you may not notice it, but there are cases in which the police have checks and hand out fines asking for cash. Of course they try this with tourists. But never do it! It is illegal - whatever they tell you - to pay a fine in cash is illegal.

Most corruption takes place at government level and in tenders. We are working hard to combat corruption in South Africa.

South African traffic regulations

We want to give you some tips on driving in South Africa.

In South Africa, they drive on the left. The important thing is that you do not forget it. An automatic car is often more expensive (like buying an automatic car is more expensive than a manual car). Especially in motorhome rental there is very limited availability of automatic cars. So let us know immediately if you would like an automatic car.

A special traffic regulation is the stop intersection. A road - that looks like a priority road - with the written word STOP. There is always a sign STOP but these signs are not always obvious. If there is a STOP this means you must actually stop (fines from R 500 and in the Western Cape especially up to R1500 which is a lot for ZA) if you do not stop properly. The one that stops first at such a STOP crossing gets to drive first. This also means that oncoming traffic has priority to drive first if they stopped first.

Another special use: The yellow line. In South Africa, this line can be used to pass traffic. Out of courtesy a slow moving vehicle will move slightly into the yellow line and thus faster moving traffic can pass by easily. As a thank you, once you have passed, you flash your hazard/emergency lights and they will usually acknowledge the thank you with flashing their headlights. It is a kind intended use, but be careful. Usually pedestrians run on this stretch of the road and there are cyclists. Even on the highway, you can see cyclists or walkers! If you drive slower - as it often happens with tourists - it is expected that you also deflect and therefore drive over the yellow line. However, do this only if you have good control over the yellow line and it's totally free and not when driving up-hill.

Pedestrian Priority will be given to cross roads and crowds often voluntarily allow you to go, but before you cross a road as a pedestrian, check if there are cars coming before you cross. The South Africans often drive in higher vehicles (bakkies). We encourage you; if possible, to choose a high car to have the best possible overview. Anyway never choose a car too small. There are mountainous and rugged areas, hills and un-tarmacked tracks. It's fine if you then have sufficient power and visibility. Only in the city, a smaller car can also be sufficient. Traffic violations are punishable in South Africa. Regularly clients get a fine cashed by the rental company via the credit card after the trip. Many car hire companies also calculate additional administration costs of collecting your credit card. After all, the rental agency will pay the South Africa traffic service and this is additional work.

Everywhere there are control speed cameras, (also on the distant long and quiet roads where everyone is driving too fast. There are regular "road" checks. Speed ​​checks are also held. Do not underestimate this and adhere to the rules. There is a lot of work on the roads, and this often leads to long delays. In connection with your safety we advise you to always arrive at your destination before dark, so you do not have to search in the dark or get lost. As mentioned previously, sometimes people walk on the main roads in the evening that are hard to see because of the lack of lighting. An accident happens quickly.

Finally, when crossing a road on foot: first look right, then left and right again.

In England you might be used to parking on either side of the road, but in South Africa you have to ensure that your vehicle faces the correct way. So if you drive on the left, you can only park on the left. They might give you a ticket for parking the wrong way round, so see how the other people park and use that as an indication.

Enjoy this beautiful country and drive carefully.

GPS / Telephone

GPS
You can contact us in connection with your car or campervan hire for a GPS and / or satellite phone rentals at attractive rates.

Our car rental costs for a SATELLITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM: is about R75 to R80, - per day. (Deposit: R 1000).

If you already own a GPS, you can also order tickets from South Africa via the website of your GPS supplier, especially for the longer trips. Additional maps for Southern Africa, for example, Tom Tom is about € 100.

There are also companies in South Africa which program a GPS for your route. This is not cheap and our experience was not positive, therefore we have not chosen to offer this service.

A very good GPS and GPS maps provider for Africa is Tracks. If this is appealing to you, please visit the website Tracks of Africa

Garmin GPSMAP62 including Tracks4Africa software
The Garmin GPSMAP62 is a small navigation system when you are off the beaten track in Southern Africa. It is a very versatile GPS with mapping display. It is equipped with the highly sensitive SiRF GPS receiver allowing reception almost always. The price: € 5, per day (Deposit € 150) you can order it yourself or we can do this for you.

Tracks4Africa Overland Navigator
We would like to introduce the Tracks4Africa Overland Navigator app (or planner) to you to make your RV travel as efficiently as possible!

The app is suitable for IPad / IPhone (However, the iPad must have a GPS module) and includes coverage for southern and eastern Africa. The app is what we call an offline app, which means that once it is installed on your device, you do not need internet connection to use the app or its content cards. Internet while traveling is not necessary!

Trip planning is useful when you want to find out how long it will take to get from place A to B to drive, if you would like to obtain additional information or pre-plan your day trips from certain accommodations.

The Tracks4Africa GPS maps have been used by many travellers in Africa the last 10 years. The GPS maps are made by real people, and include only controlled roads and nominate worthy sights. The cards answer the most important questions for every traveller, including: where to sleep, where we find fuel, where we eat or buy things, what can we see or do here, where we go in case of an emergency, and where we should be aware of.

The app gives detailed information about roads, attractions, accommodations, camping's, gas stations, auto services, restaurants, shops, banks, currency, border control etc. Many sites have additional information such as contact details and descriptions.

It also has a Tracks4Africa planner with the largest campsite database for Africa, most campgrounds description, prices, contact information and what facilities they offer. Quite a few also feature photographs that were submitted by travellers. Along the way you have the opportunity to find accommodation and to calculate distances between locations. The app then displays a map with the route and voice instructions as you are used to from the GPS.

The app can be purchased in iTunes under Tracks4Afrika Overland Navigator. The current price is approximately USD 99 (prices may vary in different countries) and it is a one-time purchase. Once installed, you can use the app at all times.

Please contact us for more information regarding this App.

Please note: In South Africa, it is customary to first call the number, and then the street name. Occasionally there is no street name. Sometimes place names instead of English to Afrikaans or Xhosa indicated, this can lead to confusion. When you book accommodation through us you will receive directions as provided by the accommodation, this can help you could the GPS give problems.

Phone
In South Africa, almost everyone has a cell phone and everywhere asked to enter your mobile phone number. Sometimes you have at the entrance to the area where the lodge is located, call the front desk, and they open the gate for you. Very handy to then have a mobile phone at your disposal, but even if you get an unexpected breakdown and / or need help.

You can call The United Kingdom from any payphone. First 00 and 44, then the telephone number without the 0, depending on your provider for your cell phone in South Africa. However, the costs are quite high. You pay the cost to and from the United Kingdom. Depending on your phone provider, this can amount to approximately € 2 per minute.

You can also buy in South Africa itself a SIM card and credit and put it in your phone. At the airport and in the many existing phone stores, inter alia, MTN, Vodafone, Cell-C and Telkom you can buy a SIM card and credit. Credit (in South Africa called airtime) you can buy at the Pick & Pay supermarket and PEP stores. The range of mobile phones is not equally good.

You can also rent a mobile phone at the airport at the Vodacom store or buy a cheap (about R 200) phone at one of the many phone shops. This can be advantageous if you want to keep calling many in South Africa and also want your Dutch telephone within reach.

For example, if you take a motor home to South Africa's neighbouring countries, then a rental satellite phone is an option.

We are an agent for a satellite phone rental company.
The rental is approximately € 11 per day.

The satellite phone comes with a SIM card where you can choose from a prepaid package with 30, 50,100 and 200 minutes. You make a choice for the number of call minutes you require in advance. Failure to use these calling minutes will unfortunately not be refunded. If you use more voice minutes than your package allows then these additional costs will be calculated at the return of the phone (at the same rate per minute). Receiving a call is completely free of charge.

Send us an email if you want to use this service.

Your holiday begins at South Africa Specialist.

Wild Card Program

In South Africa to purchase a wildcard is sometimes attractive. Click the following link for more information about the Wild Card. You can buy this card online or buy at a number of parks at the entrance gate.

For international visitors, there is one card application (International All Parks Cluster). Make sure that you have your wild card and passport at hand at the entrance of the park.

If you want to buy a wildcard do it before you travel. The Wildcard is valid for SANParks, some KZN Wildlife parks and also the Big Game Parks in Swaziland. For an overview of the parks that do or do not belong to the Wildcard program, click here: affiliated parks.

Note that the wildcard is only valid when you visit a park with your car and when you stay in the park (so own transport to accommodation in the park). For example, when taking a game drive with a safari vehicle you should indeed pay a normal conservation fee outside the park (with many of our excursions it is included, see each specific activity). When you stay in the park and there is a game drive with a safari vehicle, you do not have to pay a conservation fee when you have a wildcard.

Wild Card membership gives you unlimited access to most of Southern Africa's premier conservation areas, depending on the type of cluster you choose. Membership is valid from the date of purchase for 365 days and is available for an individual, couple or family (family: any two adults and up to five children under the age of 18 years). International Wild Card Membership is also for our international guests. Click here for all information and to order the Wild Card Online.

Should you have any queries, please kindly contact them at +27 (0)12 428 9111 / 0861 GO WILD (46 9453), or +27 (0)861 46 9453, or e-mail them on wildcard@sanparks.org

Wild Card Program Membership is linked to a primary member, and where applicable to his / her spouse and or dependent. Membership may not be transferred and partner or dependents details may only be altered at the time or annual membership renewal. Access to the Parks will only be granted if a valid identification (ID / Passport) is presented with your new Wild Card or valid proof of membership. Valid proof would include a receipt, voucher, or Application Completion Confirmation Letter Request, issued no more than 45 days prior to arrival.

Click here for more information

Your holiday begins at South Africa Specialist.

Clusters (until 31 October 2018)

Categories:
Individual (1 pax) - R2430
Couple (2 pax) - R3800
Family (Up to 7 pax - max 2 adults) - R4545

International All Parks Cluster
Access to more than 80 Parks and Reserves around Southern Africa.

Includes access to all Parks and Reserves, which are included in the SANParks, Msinsi, EKZNWildlife, Cape Nature and Swazi Clusters

All images/information on this page: © SANParks.org 2004-2016