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Southern Africa over 3 weeks

go rock the cradle of civilisation! - Trip for singles

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

Southern Africa over 3 weeks

This epic journey embraces the best of Southern Africa, from the grandeur of Victoria Falls to the world's highest sand dunes on Namibia’s wild coastline. You’ll go on safari in the famous Chobe and Etosha game parks, stroll along the impressive gorges of the Fish River Canyon, tour the beautiful city of Cape Town, climb Table Mountain, soak up Dutch history and visit a colony of jackass penguins.

Travel documents

Passport:

It is your own responsibility to ensure you have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond your date of return.

Visas:

It is your own responsibility to ensure you have any necessary visas for travel. At the time of writing, for many nationalities, a visa is only required for Zimbabwe. This is purchased at the border. It currently costs $30 for a single entry visa. If you want to see the Victoria Falls from the Zambian side, then you must buy a double entry visa upon entering Zimbabwe. This currently costs $50 and then an additional visa for Zambia from $50.

We recommend taking the correct cash in US Dollars with you. Costs and visa regulations are subject to change and can differ depending upon your own nationality so please check them again before you travel through a site such as this one.

If you do require a visa, please contact your nearest respective embassies or a visa agency such as CIBT

Additional costs and pocket money

Joint kitty
During the trip, two crew members will travel with you: a driver and an English-speaking tour leader. Together they are responsible for preparing meals. Everything you need to cook with, will be in the truck. 

In most places you eat together by the truck. The tour leader will collect a joint kitty from participants to fund the food/auxiliary costs. Participants are expected to take turns assisting in preparing the meal, the washing and shopping. All purchases made a recorded in a log and if there is money left over at the end it will be returned to participants. The tour leader will usually also collect for common gratuities to be paid, to avoid participants having to do so each time. Again this will be made transparent.

The recommended cash for the kitty is about €150 per person. This of course depends on the group size. In smaller groups, it is possible that this amount is higher. 

Accommodation and transport

Transport
During the tour you'll travel with a good quality truck just for your group, which you also use to go on safari. The truck has lockers available in which to store your luggage (approx dimensions 35x35x79cm). These lockers are NOT suitable for suitcases with a hard exterior, e.g. A Samsonite suitcase. It is advisable to bring an overnight bag or suitcase with soft exterior. Your airport transfers are not included.

Travel Distances:
Cape Town - Orange River: 700 km, 9-10 hours
Orange River - Fish River Canyon: 250 km, 4 hours
Fish River Canyon - Sesriem: 550 km, 8 hours
Sesriem - Swakopmund: 400 km, 6 hours
Swakopmund - Kamanjab: 580 km, 9 hours
Kamanjab - Etosha N.P: 280 km, 4 hours
Etosha N.P - Bagani: 560 km, 8-9 hours
Bagani - Okavango Delta: 140 km, 5.5 hours
Okavango Delta - Katima Mulilo: 500km, 10-11 hours
Katima Mulilo - Kasane: 200 km, 3-4 hours
Kasane - Vic Falls: 100 km, 2 hours
Vic Falls - Bulawayo: 500 km, 8 hours
Bulawayo - Tshipise: 400 km, 7 hours
Tshipise - Pretoria:: 480 km, 8.5 hours
Pretoria - Johannesburg: 50 km, 1 hour
Note: The above journey times are approximate.

Accommodation
During most of the tour you'll stay overnight in good campsites, sometimes with swimming pool. The rest of the time you stay in Cape Town, Pretoria and Swakopmund where you sleep in basic hostels and usually in rooms for 6-8 persons with shared bathroom (same sex). They are almost without exception with good sanitation. It is not possible to reserve a single room/tent on this tour. Camping equipment is provided as standard on the truck. The only thing that you should bring yourself is a sleeping bag, liner and a towel.

Use of the tent:
The first night you will camp in the countryside you will perhaps feel insecure in the new environment. We can however assure you that virtually all animals (except kleptomaniac monkeys) are afraid of, or are not interested in people and rarely approach. Everyone decides at the beginning of the journey with whom he/she wants to share the tent. During the entire trip you are responsible for your own tent. The tent must be put up yourself, taken down yourself and kept clean yourself. It is not necessary for this trip to take your own mattress and mosquito net with you. The tent flaps are fitted with mosquito netting, the tents secure well and mattresses of about 4 cm. wide are supplied. In practice both are adequate.

Here are some tips for setting up and dismantling of the tent:
* When setting up the tent you should keep in mind that you have a flat piece of ground and that you don't position at the bottom of a valley/slope in case of rain. Remove sharp stones and thorns, etc. to avoid damage to the groundsheet and inner tent.
* Place the tent as little as possible under the trees, some trees spill resin and this is bad for the canvas.
* It is best to sleep with your head at the entrance, this will prevent your feet from breaking the zip.
* Make sure you close the zip at night (and during the day) to protect against vermin.

Take care of the tents and the other camping equipment, because others will use it after you do.

Nature and environment:
To protect the environment and yourself please heed the following:
* The campsites where you stay (in the game parks) are fenced.
* Do not sleep with the tent open.
* Do not just leave toilet paper, take it and throw it in the garbage bin. Store paper in plastic bags until you can dispose of it.
* Be careful with the gathering of wood; sometimes scorpions live in dead wood. A prick of a scorpion for an adult is generally no problem, but can be painful. So first just kick against the wood.
* Parks are primarily for the protection of nature. Never disturb animals, for example because you desire a better photo. Be quiet and do not shout on the contrary, so the animals get more confidence in man.
* Observe your fellow travelers as we are observing animals. Participants with a video camera with microphone will appreciate the sounds of animals that they can absorb.
* Oddly enough, the animals don't experience the sound of a quiet engine running as annoying. A human sound is more disturbing to them.
* Musical instruments and radios are prohibited in the wildlife parks. Listen in contrast to the sounds of the wilderness: the yapping of zebras, the howling of hyenas and the mighty roar of the lion.
* Some participants ask us to find snakes. Be happy when you see one because they are very shy and are rarely seen.
* If you have a game drive (a tour through the wildlife park) you should NEVER get out. If you do, it must always be authorized by the tour leader or guide.
* Do not throw waste paper or cigarette butts from the truck.
* Do not feed the birds, monkeys or other animals.

Tour leader

Our tours are led by trained, local English speaking tour leaders. We know that our travellers appreciate being accompanied by these local tour leaders who, compared to their counterparts (living outside of the destination) have more detailed knowledge of their country. He/she knows the area well, can provide background information and ensure that the trip goes smoothly. He/she knows what to do if something were to go wrong, but is not a "walking encyclopedia". Therefore we would like to refer you to study a good travel guide (book) in advance of travel.

Your tour leader understandably expects a tip at the end, if she/he has completed the job well. Shoestring pay the tour guides a wage which is higher than that of most adventurous travel companies. Our guideline for tipping is between € 1, - and € 2, - per passenger per day (the equivalent thereof).

Trip rating

This journey is classified as Category C

The difficulty of our trips varies greatly. Added to this is the fact that travel difficulty is a very personal perception. To give an impression of the difficulty of a particular journey, we have developed a classification system.

Category A: Light travel for everyone to do. Short distances, good hotels, travel at a slow pace.
Category B: For everyone to do as well. Sometimes long distances. Good hotels and camping facilities, sometimes an adventurous overnight experience, travel at a normal pace.
Category C: Good to do for anyone who prepares themself well and is flexible. There are tougher parts of the journey, such as longer distances or walking tours. Several nights can be spent in basic accommodation.
Category D: A relatively difficult journey, travelling long distances, often primitive accommodation or tents, and challenging walking tours.

The Southern Africa tour falls into Category C. Any reasonably fit person can make this journey. There are some days which will have long hours of travelling, sometimes on bad roads. Keep in mind the journeys are going through developing countries, with a much lower standard of living than you are used to at home. It is possible that the weather or a lack of proper road maintenance causes a road to be inaccessible and we will have to take an alternative route. This makes a flexible and positive attitude more important than physical fitness.

Nature of the trip
A journey of superlatives; from the immense waterfalls of the Victoria Falls to the world's highest sand dunes at the rough coast of Namibia. You will visit famous game parks like Chobe with its tens of thousands of elephants and Etosha with its enormous diversity in big and small game. You will stroll along the most impressive gorges of the Fish River Canyon. Naturally, you will also tour the world’s most beautifully situated city: Cape Town. Here you can climb Table Mountain, see old Dutch history and visit a colony of Jackass penguins. In short, an adventure you must experience once in a lifetime!

Sustainability

We know that travelling to remote corners of this planet has its effects. At Shoestring we really try to make an effort to keep our impact to a minimum. We try to avoid the use of plastic water bottles on our treks through Nepal and we do not dump our litter during our trips through Africa. All of our staff have been trained to take special care to ensure we make as little impact on the environment as possible. 

Furthermore we support a lot of local projects which are mostly related to clean drinking water or making sure that children get vaccinated against illnesses such as tuberculosis. On most tours you will be able to visit some of the projects we support through our local agents. Find out more about the different projects Shoestring are involved with, how you can make a difference and our environmental policies here

Insurance

Travel insurance, including medical repatriation insurance, is mandatory. It is not included with our packages and it is your responsibility to purchase suitable travel insurance. Make sure that it covers all the activities that you are likely to undertake, such as rafting and trekking. Many ‘free’ insurances that come with banking packages, credit cards etc, are quite often inadequate to cover you on our tours, so make sure you check the policy before you travel. You should enter your travel insurance details via your my.shoestring account and you are required to give a copy of your insurance policy to your tour leader upon arrival. Without proper insurance like this, you will not be allowed to join the tour as we will not be able to respond adequately in case of an emergency if you do not have the right insurance.

Address

Shoestring International
Entrada 223
1114 AA Amsterdam-Duivendrecht, The Netherlands.
www.shoestring.com                    

You can call us on number +31 20 6850203 or +44 (0)1306 744797 and email us at info@shoestring.com           

Opening hours Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM (Local times in Netherlands).

Country information

More country information about BOTSWANA

More country information about NAMIBIE

More country information about ZUID-AFRIKA

More country information about ZIMBABWE

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about BOTSWANA

Frequently asked questions about NAMIBIE

Frequently asked questions about ZUID-AFRIKA

Frequently asked questions about ZIMBABWE

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