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Southern Africa over 3 weeks

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Book from € 1,499.-
GROUP SIZE: 6-20 | 21 DAYS

Southern Africa over 3 weeks

  1. Do I need to bring my own equipment for camping?
  2. How are the facilities at campsites in Botswana?
  3. How much money should i bring?
  4. Should I bring a mosquito net?
  5. What is the best time to visit Bostwana (South Africa)?

1. Do I need to bring my own equipment for camping?

Tents and sleeping mats are provided. You should however bring your own sleeping bag and/or sleeping bag liner.

2. How are the facilities at campsites in Botswana?

The facilities at the campsites in Botswana are generally of a good standard. The campsites are spacious and the toilet facilities are good. Some campsites even have a pool.

3. How much money should i bring?

During the tour 'Southern Africa over 3 weeks' you can pay with the South African Rand in all the countries you visit. It is best to withdraw money during the first few days in South Africa where there are many ATMs. After this, it will not always be possible. You should also bring U.S. Dollars in smaller denominations (10, 20 and 50 USD notes and printed after 2004), which you will need for the visa and the excursions you may want to make. To estimate how many dollars you should take, please visit our website at "excursions" to properly assess what is being offered.

4. Should I bring a mosquito net?

No, a mosquito net is not necessary.

5. What is the best time to visit Bostwana (South Africa)?

The best time to visit is between May and October. Please note that during our summer it can be very fresh in Southern Africa since it is their winter and vice versa. The summers in Africa (so our winter) are usually hot and humid. African winters are cold and dry.
  1. Do I have to take a sleeping mat/sleeping bag/mosquito net with me?
  2. How are the facilities in Namibia at the campsites?
  3. How much money should i bring?
  4. What is the best time to see wildlife in Namibia ?
  5. What is the best time to travel to Namibia?

1. Do I have to take a sleeping mat/sleeping bag/mosquito net with me?

Tents and sleeping mats will be provided for you, on the truck. You should bring your own sleeping bag and/or sleeping bag liner. A mosquito net is not necessary.

2. How are the facilities in Namibia at the campsites?

The facilities at the campsites in Namibia are generally of a good standard. The campsites are spacious and the toilet facilities are good. Some campsites even have a pool.

3. How much money should i bring?

During the tour 'Southern Africa over 3 weeks' you can pay with the South African Rand in all the countries you visit. It is best to withdraw money during the first few days in South Africa where there are many ATMs. After this, it will not always be possible. You should also bring U.S. Dollars in smaller denominations (10, 20 and 50 USD notes and printed after 2004), which you will need for the visa and the excursions you may want to make. To estimate how many dollars you should take, please visit our website at "excursions" to properly assess what is being offered.

4. What is the best time to see wildlife in Namibia ?

The winter (June / August) - offers the best chance of seeing wildlife as the vegetation in the parks is scarce. Wild animals will also gather around the waterholes during the dry season. In the summer months as well, most wild animals are born.

5. What is the best time to travel to Namibia?

The best time to travel to Namibia is between May and October. Throughout the year the climate lends itself to a visit. The hottest months are during our winter.
  1. Are there opportunities to snorkel or dive?
  2. Are there opportunities to swim?
  3. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?
  4. Do I need a sleeping mat or sleeping bag?
  5. Do I need a visa?
  6. Do I need to take a mosquito net?
  7. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?
  8. Do they cater for vegetarians in South Africa?
  9. How are communications in SA?
  10. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?
  11. Is South Africa dangerous?
  12. What about my passport?
  13. What are the best festivals and when do they take place?
  14. What is the accommodation like?
  15. What is the best time to see wildlife?
  16. What is the best time to travel?
  17. What is the recommended currency for South Africa?
  18. What is the situation with electricity in SA?
  19. What is the time difference?
  20. What kind of clothing and other stuff is practical to take?
  21. What kind of luggage should I take?
  22. What kind of transportation is used?
  23. What local customs do I need to bear in mind?
  24. What other activities and sports could I do?
  25. Which travel guides and maps?

1. Are there opportunities to snorkel or dive?

There are opportunities to snorkel or dive whilst on a trip to South Africa. This can be arranged locally through your guide.

2. Are there opportunities to swim?

There is the possibility to swim throughout South Africa as the majority of campsites and hostels will have swimming pool facilities, so don’t forget your swimming costume.

3. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?

Yes you can pre-book transfers (arrival only) and extra nights with Shoestring. You can add these to your booking form.

4. Do I need a sleeping mat or sleeping bag?

Yes we recommend you to take a sleeping bag with you.

5. Do I need a visa?

You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel. Please check the embassy if you need a visa for South Africa and check out this link for info about the current situation. Make sure you inquire at least a month before departure if you need a visa so you do not run into time problems. The current information is that UK/EU citizens do not require a visa for entry into South Africa.

6. Do I need to take a mosquito net?

No, this is not necessary in South Africa.

7. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?

Please click here for questions regarding vaccinations or malaria tablets for this country and then contact your local GP or a specialised health centre and make an appointment to get your injections and pills. Please make sure that you allow at least six weeks for a full program of injections. Two weeks should be enough for people who have already had a few injections. You are responsible for having the right protection when going on tour.

8. Do they cater for vegetarians in South Africa?

Vegetarians are well catered for in South Africa, there is an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables.

9. How are communications in SA?

The international access code for South Africa is +27. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code. As of 8 January 2007, South Africa has changed to 10-digit dialling (so city codes must be included, e.g. 021 for Cape Town) and international dialling has changed from 09 to 00. The country is served by three GSM mobile phone networks providing 900 and 1800 frequencies. Mobile service providers offer very cheap 'pay-as-you-go' Sim cards, which are a good option for visitors staying for some time. Internet cafes are widespread. Card and coin operated pay phones are also widespread.

10. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?

If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveller (same sex when possible) unless you have booked a single room. 

11. Is South Africa dangerous?

Visitors to South Africa should be aware of the country's high incidence of crime. Although this tends to be concentrated in pockets throughout the country, for example in the township areas, opportunistic crime is fairly widespread. Travellers should always be aware of these risks and exercise the necessary precautions. Doors should be locked when driving and one should not walk alone at night in city streets, isolated beaches or remote areas. Berea and Hillbrow in Johannesburg are high risk areas and visitors should be cautious in these areas. 

12. What about my passport?

You need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of your departure. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel.

13. What are the best festivals and when do they take place?

Apart from New Year’s Day, Easter and Christmas, the following national holidays are celebrated in South Africa: Human Rights Day (21st March), Constitution Day (27th April), Labour Day (1st May), Youth Day (16th June), National Women’s Day (9th August), Heritage Day (24th September) and Reconciliation Day (16th December).

14. What is the accommodation like?

In South Africa we use hostels and guesthouses with twin beds

15. What is the best time to see wildlife?

South Africa is a fantastic destination all year round for seeing wildlife. There are many game and nature reserves and an incredible variety of animals and birds. During the dry season (April-October) you’ll have the best chance to see game, because then the growth of bushes and grasses is less thick and the animals are more likely to gather near artificial drinking places.

16. What is the best time to travel?

Generally speaking, throughout the year there is a lovely warm climate during the day, with exceptions only in the deserts where temperatures can reach nearly forty degrees between November and February. These are the months when most of the rain falls, though these showers seldom last long. In June, July and August deserts can be quite chilly at night with occasional frost and temperatures up to 5 degrees.

The more southwards you travel in South Africa, the lesser the differences in temperature between day and night. In summer (November-February) the temperature will be 25-30ºC during the daytime and about 17ºC in winter (June-August). Two-thirds of South Africa receives less than 500 mm of rain. Most of it falls on the Cape peninsula, the garden route and the eastern provinces of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. In the north and east of South Africa there are some subtropical areas where the climate can be very hot and humid.

17. What is the recommended currency for South Africa?

South Africa's currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and the larger hotels. ATMs are widely available (there is a daily limit for cash withdrawals) and major international credit cards are widely accepted, except in petrol stations where cash is required. Visitors should take care and be vigilant when withdrawing cash from ATMs as there is a high incidence of credit card fraud involving the use of ATMs.

18. What is the situation with electricity in SA?

Please click here to check what voltage and plugs are in use in South Africa. You could also consider taking a universal electric adaptor.

19. What is the time difference?

Please check the world clock in order to find out the exact time difference.

20. What kind of clothing and other stuff is practical to take?

We recommend that you bring thin clothes and a high-necked long-sleeved T-shirt or a thin cotton roll-neck jersey for the nights to protect you against mosquitoes. Additionally, bring a jersey or a sweater and a raincoat. An umbrella is useful as protection against the rain as well as against the fierce sun. A pair of worn-in walking shoes with a good tread and strong soles is important. Acacia thorns can easily perforate soft soles. Sandals or flip flops are comfortable footwear on days we are not walking. Other important items to pack are sunglasses, suntan lotion, toiletries, basic medical travelling kit, sun hat or scarf, photo or film equipment and an adequate amount of film, spare batteries, torch, maybe a pocket knife (not in your hand luggage), alarm clock (wind-up or battery powered), stationery, books, passport, sufficient cheques and cash, copies of passport and travel insurance.

21. What kind of luggage should I take?

Luggage should be packed in an overnight bag or a backpack. Hard suitcases cannot be taken into the safari truck.
Additionally, a small rucksack or shoulder bag is handy for carrying everyday hand luggage. To keep valuable papers safe, you are best off purchasing a slim cotton money belt that you can wear under your clothes. Be sure to have a change of clothes in your hand luggage in case of delays to your luggage. Keep essentials like the pill, malaria pills, essential medicine, cheques, camera and your toothbrush in your hand luggage. Make sure your luggage is not too heavy. You will not need the maximum weight allowed on the airplane of 20 kg. During your trip, you will certainly buy a number of souvenirs, which means you will soon have too much to carry. Shoestring advises you to bring a maximum of 13 kg of luggage.

22. What kind of transportation is used?

In South Africa we use overland trucks as transportation . If there is a small group these can sometimes be substituted with a small bus or mini-van.

23. What local customs do I need to bear in mind?

Try to read something about the local way of life before departure. That way you will not be too surprised about the primitive circumstances in which people sometimes live. It increases the chance that you will enjoy your trip. Intend to look at everything that is there rather than wondering too long about the things that may be lacking.

In general, South Africa has European standards. However, if you want to have a truly open conversation about serious topics like Mugabe or Aids, be aware of racial sensitivities following white minority rule.

In the big cities, beggars will definitely approach you. They will ask you for money, soap or pens. Sometimes they want sweets. Some beggars immediately mention the sum required of you. By giving them money, you will by no means solve their problems. More likely, it will make them more dependent on this type of income.
 

24. What other activities and sports could I do?

There are an immense number of activities and sports that can be done here. You can go snorkelling, deep sea fishing or searching for whales. You can do many walking trails or go mountain climbing or abseiling. The possibilities are endless .

25. Which travel guides and maps?

If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet.

  1. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?
  2. Do I need a sleeping mat or sleeping bag?
  3. Do I need a visa?
  4. Do I need to take a mosquito net?
  5. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?
  6. Do they cater for vegetarians in Zimbabwe?
  7. How are communications in Zimbabwe?
  8. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?
  9. In what kind of accommodation do we sleep?
  10. Is Zimbabwe dangerous?
  11. What about my passport?
  12. What are activities and sports I could do?
  13. What are the best festivals and when do they take place?
  14. What can I expect for camping facilities?
  15. What is the best time to see wild life?
  16. What is the best time to travel?
  17. What is the electricity situation?
  18. What is the recommended currency for Zimbabwe?
  19. What is the time difference?
  20. What kind of clothing and other stuff is practical to take?
  21. What kind of luggage should I take?
  22. What kind of transportation is used?
  23. What local customs do I need to keep in mind?
  24. Which travel guides and maps?

1. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?

Yes, you have the option to pre-book airport transfers (arrival only) and secondly the option to pre-book pre and post tour nights.These extra services should be added to your booking.

2. Do I need a sleeping mat or sleeping bag?

You need to bring a sleeping bag, with or without sheet bag. For the 'South Africa and Namibia, Botswana and Beyond!' tour you will not need a sleeping bag. However, we do recommend that you bring a towel as these are not provided by the lodges and hotels.

3. Do I need a visa?

UK/EU citizens need a visa for Zimbabwe, but these things can change. So please click here and check out the current situation. You can also check on that website for any other nationality if a visa is required. Make sure you inquire at least a month before departure if you need a visa so you do not run out of time.

If you need a visa, please contact the embassy unless you choose to use a visa service. Shoestring does not organize your visa. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel. You can also obtain the visa through a specialized visa agency like www.travcour.com.

4. Do I need to take a mosquito net?

It could be useful to bring your own mosquito net, especially if you choose a tour that involves mostly camping.

5. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?

Please click here for questions regarding vaccinations or malaria tablets for this country and contact after your local practitioner or a specialized health centre and make an appointment to get your shots and pills. Please make sure that you allow at least six weeks for a full program. People who already have had a few shots might do with two weeks. You are responsible for having the right protection when going on tour.

6. Do they cater for vegetarians in Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe hasn’t any famous dishes, what they have is a mix of the traditional and English food. Though food supplies in Zimbabwean supermarkets can be limited, the local market will provide some fruits and vegetables.

7. How are communications in Zimbabwe?

The international dialling code for Zimbabwe is +263. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 00 27 for South Africa). International Direct Dialling is available. City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)4 for Harare. Telecel, Econet and Net*One operators provide GSM 900 network mobile phone coverage in most cities, towns and tourist areas throughout the country. Internet and Email facilities are available in Harare, where there are about 30 Internet cafes which are generally always crowded.

8. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?

If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveller (same sex when possible) unless you have booked a single room. In case we go camping, you could decide to take a small tent if you want to sleep alone. In case this involves extra camping fees (never very much), your tour leader will tell you and collect the extra fees.

9. In what kind of accommodation do we sleep?

Depending on the tour you choose, our accommodation will be mostly in twin shared tents on campsites and sometimes bungalows or in hotels and lodges.

10. Is Zimbabwe dangerous?

In the big cities, like Bulawayo, there is a lot of street robbery at night. Do not walk the streets after sunset. In the daytime, some care should be taken: do not show large amounts of money, be sure to hide your camera when it is not being used and do not wear conspicuous jewellery. Remember that in the eyes of most Africans we are immeasurably wealthy. For example, a camera represents the value of five annual salaries. That is why you should never leave anything in your hotel room and always keep an eye on your bag and money belt.
If you are interested what the Foreign Office has to say, please click here.

11. What about my passport?

You need a passport that is valid at least 6 months at the date of departure. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel.

12. What are activities and sports I could do?

In Victoria Falls you can choose between so many activities that it’s difficult to list all of them. You can take part in exciting rafting and bungee jumping, canoeing, biking and jungle walking.

13. What are the best festivals and when do they take place?

The main national holidays in Zimbabwe are: Independence Day (18th of April), Africa Days (25th and 26th of May), and Heroes Days (11th and 12th of August). The Bulawayo Music Festival (mid-June) proposes one week of typical local music, so can be very interesting. The music tradition is very important in country life.

14. What can I expect for camping facilities?

We provide all camping equipment: twin shared dorm tents, mattresses, cooking equipment, etc.

15. What is the best time to see wild life?

Winter is the best time to spot wildlife because it’s dry and animals tend to concentrate around a few waterholes.

16. What is the best time to travel?

Zimbabwe is good to visit all year round but the cooler and dryer months are from May to October. During the other months, however, the rain tends to concentrate just in the afternoon.

17. What is the electricity situation?

What voltage and plugs are in use in Zimbabwe? Please click here to check what voltage and plugs are in use in this country. You could consider taking a universal electric plug.

18. What is the recommended currency for Zimbabwe?

The official currency is the Zimbabwe dollar (ZWN), which is divided into 100 cents. Foreign currency, especially US dollars, is hard to come by, but widely accepted and often preferred, and many prices are given in US dollars. Hard currency is required to pay for entry to Victoria Falls and many national parks. Major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. ATM facilities are available in the cities.

19. What is the time difference?

Please check the world clock in order to find out the exact time difference with your own country.

20. What kind of clothing and other stuff is practical to take?

We recommend you bring thin clothes and a high-necked long-sleeved T-shirt or a thin cotton roll-neck jersey for the nights to protect you against mosquitoes. Also, bring a jersey or a sweater and a raincoat. An umbrella is useful. A pair of worn-in walking shoes with a good tread and strong soles is important. Sandals or slippers are comfortable footwear on days we are not walking. Other important items are: sunglasses, suntan lotion, toiletries, basic medical travelling kit, sun hat or scarf, photo or film equipment and an adequate amount of film, spare batteries, torch, maybe a pocket knife (not in your hand luggage), alarm clock (wind up or battery-powered), stationery, books, passport, sufficient cheques and cash, copies of passport and travel insurance, a list of cheque numbers and the receipt, your travel insurance card with the emergency number, important addresses and a good travel guide. Plus, a sleeping bag, with or without sheet bag, a towel and, if possible, a battery-powe

21. What kind of luggage should I take?

We recommend you take your luggage in an overnight bag or a backpack.
Hard suitcases cannot be taken into the safari truck. Additionally, a small rucksack or shoulder bag is handy for carrying everyday hand luggage. To keep valuable papers safe, you are best off purchasing a slim cotton money belt to wear under your clothes. Be sure to have a change of clothes in your hand luggage and to be able to survive 48 hours without the rest of your luggage in case it is carried to Zimbabwe indirectly. Keep essentials like the pill, malaria pills, essential medicine, cheques, camera and your toothbrush in your hand luggage. Make sure your luggage is not too heavy. You will not need the maximum weight allowed on the airplane at all: 20 kg. During your trip, you will certainly buy a number of souvenirs, which means you will soon have too much to carry. We advise you to bring a maximum of 13 kg of luggage.

22. What kind of transportation is used?

We will use a well maintained overland truck.

23. What local customs do I need to keep in mind?

There are enormous differences between European culture and local tribes’ culture, but usually it will not lead to miscommunication. A number of black tribes will bow their heads in respect to older people when they address them. This can strike us as avoidance, but it is intended to show respect!

24. Which travel guides and maps?

If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet.

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