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32 Day Journey to the Cape - Johannesburg to Cape Town (JC32)
Kruger National Park
Blyde River Canyon
Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Matobo National Park and surrounds
Chobe National Park - Botswana
Etosha National Park
Namib Naukluft Park
Fish River Canyon
This trip covers some of the best natural beauty, cultural heritage and wildlife encounters that southern Africa has to offer. The wildlife rich Kruger National Park and the stunning Blyde River Canyon set the scene for the wonders of Zimbabwe, where we visit the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and the Matobo National Park, before arriving at the majestic Victoria Falls. Then it’s the vast wilderness that is the Okavango Delta, the unique waterholes of Etosha National Park, the sweeping sand dunes of the Namib Naukluft National Park and the second largest canyon in the world, the Fish River Canyon. There’s plenty of adrenaline rushes on offer in Victoria Falls and Swakopmund, and the trip finishes in Cape Town in the shadow of Table Mountain.
This trip begins in Johannesburg, South Africa and travels north through South Africa and Zimbabwe, before heading south through Botswana and Namibia and ending in Cape Town, South Africa.
This trip departs from Johannesburg early on Wednesday morning. Should you wish to explore Johannesburg, an earlier arrival should be planned and accommodation booked through your agent SA Tours and Safaris.
Included Highlights: Kruger National Park, Blyde River Canyon, Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Gweru Antelope Park & Matobo national Park, Chobe Overnight Excursion, Chobe National Park, Etosha National Park, Cheetah Park, Spitzkoppe, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, Namib Nauklift National Park, Fish River Canyon, Orange River & Township Tour.
Details Trip Code: JC32 Pre Departure Meeting: Held at the Departure Point at 17h00 the day before your departure. Departure Point: Mufasa Backpackers, 21 Fourth Road, Cloverdene, Benoni, Johannesburg Check-In Time: 07h00 Departure Time: 07h30 Local Payment: US$900
Please Note: This itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road & weather conditions, political situations and group decisions. All prices & Local Payments are subject to change. Due to Tourism Laws in some of the countries we visit, there may be a truck and crew change during the trip. Your arrival transfer and pre-trip accommodation in a dorm bed is included in your trip price. Should you choose not to make use of these, or in the event that Africa Travel Co was not updated with your arrival details, no refund will be paid for services not used. Please ensure you’ve received a copy of our pre departure information document with information on what to expect on this overland safari.
The staff and management look forward to welcoming you aboard and trust that you will enjoy your trip with us.
DAY 1: Johannesburg to Nkambeni Camp (L / D) Leaving Johannesburg we head towards the Lowveld and our camp situated on the border of the famous Kruger National Park. On our way we pass through the southern section of the picturesque Panorama Route – famous for its breathtaking vistas. Our camp for the next two nights is a short drive from the Kruger Park and has some interesting local residents that include hippo, giraffe, zebra and impala .We spend a relaxing evening around the camp fire before our game drive tomorrow.
DAY 2: Nkambeni Camp (B / L / D) Today we explore the amazing Kruger National Park. Covering 21 497 km2 - 60 km wide and over 350 km long, this conservation area has more than 146 mammals, 500 bird, 114 reptile, 33 amphibian & 49 fish species. 23 000 different types of plants have been recorded. We spend the day driving around the park keeping an eye out for these. There is the option of doing a night drive looking for a few of the nocturnal inhabitants or upgrading to a small vehicle for the game drive at an additional cost. Included Activity: Game Drives in ATC vehicle, Kruger National Park (Nkambeni Camp within the park)
DAY 3: Nkambeni Camp to Polokwane (B / L / D) Today we leave the Lowveld and head on the long, scenic drive to Polokwane. Along the way we stop off at some of the best scenery in South Africa, including the ever striking Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window. The many viewpoints of the Canyon, afford us excellent photo opportunities. Polokwane, capital of Limpopo, is the largest metropolitan complex in the north and a major economic centre. Its proximity to the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, as well as its convenient distance from the Kruger National Park and Magoebaskloof, makes it a perfect gateway and good destination in itself. We set up our tents on the lush green grass of our campsite located outside of the city before enjoying a dip in the lovely swimming pool. Included Activity: Blyde River Canyon
DAY 4: Polokwane to Musina (B / L / D) After a quick replenishing of our stocks we begin our journey north toward Zimbabwe. We have a long, relaxing drive where we get to sit back and enjoy the ever changing scenery. Tonight we’ll camp near to one of the hottest towns in South Africa, Musina, at the hot water spring resort – Tshipise. Situated between the rolling hills, the resort is well known for its natural hot water springs. Once we’ve set up camp, you’re free to enjoy the pools, walking trails or various other activities on offer here.
DAY 5: Musina to Masvingo (Zimbabwe) (B / L / D) Today we enter Zimbabwe - a beautiful country rich in soul, culture and tradition. We make our way to the town of Masvingo - on the outskirts of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This was the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa, built by an ancient highly skilled civilization. The name Zimbabwe is derived from this ancient city and means “great stone houses” in Shona. The most notable artefacts found at the ruins were the 8 Statues of stone birds carved out of soapstone. Wander around these amazing ruins, before setting up camp at the foot of the hills. Included Activity: Great Zimbabwe Ruins
DAY 6 & 7: Masvingo to Gweru (B / L / D) Leaving Masvingo, we continue our journey north to Gweru, in Zimbabwe’s Midlands. Here we stop over at The Antelope Park. It is said “you have not been to Zimbabwe until you have visited the Victoria Falls… and the Antelope Park.” A wide variety of game viewing opportunities are available in this area inhabited by lion, elephant, giraffe and obviously numerous antelope! We have the unique option to walk with lions, ride or swim with elephants, view game from horse back or from the back of a vehicle. We guarantee Antelope Park is a place you’ll never forget! Included Activity: Antelope Park Visit Optional Activities vary
DAYS 8: Gweru to Bulawayo (B / L / D) Leaving Gweru, we head to Bulawayo - Zimbabwe’s second largest city. Bulawayo is noted for its exceptionally wide streets, which were originally designed to accommodate a full span ox wagon. The city also still retains much of its British Colonial character, evident by the many buildings maintained as heritage sites by the Bulawayo City Council. Interesting places to visit are the Natural History Museum, the National Arts Gallery and the Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre, which employs over 70 people.
DAY 9: Bulawayo (B / L / D) Today we visit Matobo National Park, one of the last strongholds of both the black and the white rhino. This park is also well known for its high concentration of the elusive leopard and majestic black eagle. Rock paintings are to be found too, providing evidence of the ancient San inhabitants of this area. Cecil John Rhodes (after whom Rhodesia was named) asked to be buried at the top of one of the sacred hills, (although there is some controversy over whether he will stay!) We spend the day exploring this unique geological, ecological and historic area. Included Activity: Visit to Matobo National Park
DAY 10: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (B / L) Leaving Bulawayo, we head to Victoria Falls. Named after the famous World Heritage site and Water Falls, the town of Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi River and surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park. Our campsite is conveniently situated in the centre of town, and within walking distance of the adventure booking agents, restaurants and shops. A 20 minute walk down the main road takes you to the entry point to view the falls, which are situated between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders), was named by David Livingstone on his explorations, and is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world's largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari! After our adventure activities briefing (see price guide at the end of this document for options), the afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite’s swimming pool, viewing the Victoria Falls, or exploring the many sights and delights of this town!
DAYS 11 & 12: Victoria Falls (B on both days) After breakfast, we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime! We suggest booking additional days after your trip to take advantage of the optional excursions available at Victoria Falls. Optional Activities: Elephant back safaris, horseback safaris, walking with lions, a visit to the crocodile ranch, boat cruises and golf at The Elephant Hills Resort. Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither activity is for the faint hearted! All year round, flights in fixed wing, micro light and ultra light aircraft or helicopters provide an aerial perspective over this magnificent World Heritage Site. White water rafting on the Zambezi is world class. Beside the excitement of the Grade 5 rapids, there are the "floats," where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and the occasional wildlife on the riverbanks.
DAY 13: Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park (Botswana) (B / L / D) After breakfast we cross the border into Botswana and head to Kasane where we have a chance to explore the town of Kasane. After lunch, once we are packed and prepared, we leave for our Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile excursion – an overnight experience in the wilds of the Chobe National park. Chobe is one of Botswana’s premier game parks, renowned for its large elephant herds. Spend the afternoon in search of wildlife while we game drive to our camp within the park where we spend the evening surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife. Look out for the rare Sable and Roan Antelope on your game drive, with their majestic backward slanting horns, or try keep a count of the Lilac Breasted Roller’s that swoop by! After our night in the bush, we head out early to continue our search for wildlife, before packing up the camp and heading back to Kasane. Included Activity: Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile excursion
DAY 14: Chobe National Park (B / L / D) Once returning to camp, we have a bit of free time to relax at leisure.
DAY 15: Chobe National Park to Maun (B / L / D) Heading out early, we cross the western end of the Chobe National Park area along the main route in a south-westerly direction to the southern reaches of the Okavango Delta and our destination, Maun. On our route, we have routine stops to at Botswana’s ‘meat’ borders – check points that were set up to protect its thriving beef export industry from the spread of disease. Maun is the starting point for travel into the Delta and it is from here that we set off to explore the Okavango Delta. Tonight we prepare our provisions and packs for our 2 night excursion. We suggest bringing along a smaller daypack on your trip which can be used to pack the supplies needed for this short excursion. Your trip leader will brief you fully on what is needed, and what to expect prior to your trip into the Delta.
DAY 16: Maun to Okavango Delta (OPTIONAL) (B / L / D) The Delta is a huge expanse of water, which has travelled from the Angolan highlands, spreading out to form the largest inland delta in the world. Studded with exotic islands, The Delta is renowned for its incredible variety of bird life and animals and is unique to Southern Africa.
Optional Activity: 3 Day / 2 Night Drive in Mokoro Excursion
Here we have the opportunity to take the optional 3 Day / 2 Night Drive in Mokoro Excursion into the Delta. After an early rise, we pack our expedition vehicle and from Maun we drive north for a couple of hours to reach the mokoro poler’s station. The Delta region is studded with many local villages where many families live in a traditional way. Some of the villages are very remote and can only be reached by the traditional mode of transport – the Mokoro. Mokoros are dugout canoes manoeuvred through the waterways by local guides who “pole” them through the reeds. At the Mokoro station, we meet our ‘polers’ and pack our supplies before heading out into the waterways. After a couple of hours along the waterways, our guides find us a place to camp, and later in the afternoon we set off on an afternoon game walk, allowing us to experience The Delta wilderness. The camp is situated in an open wilderness area with no ablution facilities.
For those who’d prefer not to explore The Delta, spend the next 2 days at the lovely campsite relaxing by the swimming pool or challenging each other to a game of volleyball. There is also a crocodile farm nearby that has it’s feeding times open to campsite visitors. The driver and cook remain behind in Maun during the excursion.
DAY 17: Okavango Delta (B / L / D) A day of rest, relaxation and Delta experiences await. Today we have the opportunity to partake in a number of activities including swimming, game walks, mokoro cruises and even a chance to try our hands at poling our own mokoro! There is also ample time to relax and rest during the hotter hours of the day, so challenge your new friends to a game of cards, or chat with your guides about their culture and lifestyle, or simply lie back and enjoy the sounds of the surrounding wilderness...
DAY 18: Okavango Delta to Maun (B / L / D) This morning affords us a final opportunity for a game walk before packing up and setting off back to Maun. After our Mokoro ride and vehicle transfer, we arrive back in the afternoon and have the chance to complete our picture of the Okavango Delta by taking an optional scenic flight over The Delta (dependent on weather conditions & availability).
DAY 19: Maun to Divundu (Namibia) (B / L / D) Following the Kavango River, we enter Northern Namibia. We stop at Rundu for supplies before heading to our spectacular campsite located on the banks of the Kavango River.
DAY 20: Divundu to Etosha National Park (B / L / D) From Rundu, we head to the Etosha National Park. Covering 20 000 km2, Etosha is Namibia’s premier nature and wildlife reserve. Situated around the Etosha Pan with a large variety of animal and bird life, the extensive network of gravel roads affords us the opportunity of accessing even the most remote areas of the park. After lunch, and once it has cooled off a bit, we spend the remainder of the day exploring the park’s northern area. Keep an eye out for the striking Oryx and Springbok as these are endemic to desert National Parks! After dinner why not head to the waterhole where you can sit and observe the animals may come to drink in the evenings. Optional Activity: Night game drives with Etosha National Park
DAY 21: Etosha National Park (B / L / D) Today we make our way 150 km across the park, keeping a look out for the many different mammals, reptiles, birds and insects in the various regions. As the vegetation types change, so does the animal and bird life that relies on it, and so different sections of the Park offer a variety of different game options. After a full day of game viewing, we exit the park through Anderson gate and head to our campsite just 10kms away; perhaps the chance for a quick dip in the pool before dinner, followed by a relaxing evening in this very interesting bar. Included Activity: Game drives through Etosha National Park in the ATC vehicle
DAY 22: Etosha National Park to Cheetah Park (B / L / D) After stopping briefly in Outjo to get stock up on supplies, today’s drive is to the Cheetah Park - a private farm dedicated to conserving Namibia’s cheetah population. While Cheetah are endangered in Africa, Namibia has a high population of wild, free roaming cheetah who cause immense damage to some of the local farms by hunting their livestock. As such, there are many local farmers who have offered a sanctuary to those that have been trapped, or injured. We get to meet the resident cheetahs, a photo opportunity not to be missed! Included Activity: Cheetah viewing Optional Activity: Viewing of predators
DAY 23: Cheetah Park to Spitzkoppe (B / L / D) Our departure from the Cheetah Park takes us south to the ‘Matterhorn of Namibia’ - Spitzkoppe. The 1728 m high rock formation, one of Namibia’s most recognised landmarks, is well known as an ancient San sacred site. The area we camp in is managed by the local community who offer local guides for guided walks to the San Rock Art at an additional cost. Explore the surrounding area and its San rock paintings or simply enjoy the magnificent views. Tonight we bush camp (no ablution facilities) under the African stars.
DAY 24: Spitzkoppe to Swakopmund (B) Today we head for Swakopmund. Founded by the Germans in 1892, their colonial influence is still evident today. Swakopmund has a selection of excellent coffee shops, restaurants & bars as well as many arts and crafts shops selling Namibian curios. There are fine beaches to walk along as well as a great museum, aquarium and galleries to visit. Alternatively, the lovely beach and promenade make for a great relaxing walk – though bathing in the ocean waters may be somewhat chilly! Accommodation will be in dormitories for the next 2 nights, upgrades into private rooms are possible, but depend on availability and can be booked with your trip leader.
DAYS 25: Swakopmund (B) The next day can be spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions. Some of our fellow passengers may leave us in Swakop, to be replaced by new passengers joining us for the final leg of our trip. OPTIONAL excursions include sky diving, quad biking, sand boarding, scenic desert flights, dolphin cruises, fishing trips, golf, horse riding and more. An activity briefing will be held on arrival in Swakopmund (see price guide at the end of this document). Optional Activities: Sky diving, quad biking, sand boarding, scenic desert flights, dolphin cruises, fishing trips, golf, horse riding and more. An activity briefing will be held on arrival in Swakopmund (see price guide at the end of this document).
DAY 26 - 27: Swakopmund to Sesriem (B / L / D) Leaving Swakopmund, we head south to the industrial Walvis Bay before turning inland and toward the desert. Continuing our journey, we enter the Namib-Naukluft Park in one of the oldest deserts in the world. We base ourselves at Sesriem, a great place to experience the Namib and its many moods. A short distance away is Sossusvlei, surrounded by a dramatic sea of sand dunes reputed to be the highest in the world. Magnificent views of the desert can be seen from the top of the dunes, some over 300 m high. We spend the afternoon exploring this amazing area. Included Activity: Climbing Dune 45 Optional Activity: Visit to Deadveli
DAY 28: Sesriem to Fish River Canyon (B / L / D) Heading out early, we see the sunrise over this beautiful area and we leave the serenity of the dunes to head south to the Fish River Canyon. At 161 km long, 27 km wide and about 550 m deep, it’s the second largest canyon in the world. The outer canyon was formed by tectonic activity, while the erosion of the Fish River formed the inner canyon. A road follows the eastern rim, giving us access to several viewing points from where we can take in the spectacular vistas. Included Activity: Visit to Fish River Canyon
DAY 29: Fish River Canyon to Gariep River (South Africa) (B / L / D) This morning we continue south, where, after a short drive, we reach the Gariep River - the natural land border between Namibia and South Africa. We camp at a beautiful campsite on the South African bank of the river. This afternoon we have the option of a half-day canoe trip on the beautiful Gariep River, affording us the opportunity of some bird watching or just a scenic and relaxing paddle. Tonight there’s a chance for some fun at the awesome camp bar overlooking the river! Optional Activity: Canoeing on the Gariep River
DAY 30: Gariep River to Cederberg (B / L / D) An early morning start see us travel south through the Richtersveld and the mining town of Springbok, before reaching the region known as Namaqualand, well known for its prolific display of Namaqua wildflowers that occur each spring. We spend tonight in a picturesque campsite surrounded by local wine farms and have the opportunity to sample some of the nectar of the gods or to explore the surrounding beautiful Cederberg Mountains. Tonight is our last night under the stars! Optional Activity: Wine tasting in Cederberg Area
DAY 31: Cederberg to Cape Town (B) We leave the scenic Cederberg area and travel south towards Cape Town. We travel through the rich fruit growing area of Citrusdal before crossing the Piketberg Pass to the Cape’s wine growing regions. Our first sighting of the Mother’s City Table Mountain across Table Bay means we’ve reached our final destination. Tonight’s accommodation is in dormitories in one of Cape Town’s best loved hostels. After we have checked in and got ourselves lunch, we will depart on a township tour in and around Cape Town. We will be dropped back at our hostel once we have finished the township tour. Included Activity: Township tour DAY 32: Cape Town (NM) This morning we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime! There are a wide range of activities available in Cape Town and the surrounding areas, including day trips, short tours and longer tours travelling up the picturesque coast of South Africa. We suggest you extend your stay by a few days to participate in some of the exciting activities available here. Post tour accommodation can be booked
Inclusions & Exclusions
What’s not included? - International flights - Airport departure taxes - Departure transfer - Visas - Meals unless otherwise stated - Travel Insurance - Laundry - Personal Items - Tips
Local Payment: US $ 900
Why pay local payment? Local payment is compulsory and is paid in cash to the trip leader at the start of your trip and is used to cover the daily US dollar expenses of running the trip and includes, amongst others, game park entrance fees, camping fees, tolls, entrances and food. We ask that you bring along your local payment contribution, if applicable, in US$ cash, as this is the easiest currency to exchange in Africa.
Includes: Meals, activities and accommodation as per itinerary Meal Key: B-Breakfast L-Lunch D-Dinner
INSURANCE Personal travel insurance is compulsory to join all of our trips. All clients require adequate Travel Insurance. Medical Insurance is not sufficient. This should include, at least, comprehensive medical cover including the cost of airlifting you to a specialist hospital. Make sure that you will be covered when participating in Adventure Activities, like white water rafting. We recommend you make sure your possessions are covered for both theft and damage. We also recommend you cover yourself for Cancellation and Curtailment Fees if you are unable to travel due to sudden illness, airline strikes, etc. NB: A copy of your Insurance Policy must be handed to your Trip Leader at the start of your trip. Activity providers can refuse participation of activities, if the correct valid Travel Insurance is not provided. Travel insurance can be purchased via SA Tours and Safaris. Please enquire with our consultants for further information.
1. GENERAL Thank you for choosing Africa Travel Co. for your African adventure. The following information is provided to assist you in preparing for your trip.
All of our trips are camping trips. They are designed with people who have an adventurous spirit in mind, who‟d like to visit East, Central and Southern Africa, but only have a limited time frame. The nature of overland travel is such that it is generally better suited to the young (and young at heart), but we do not impose an upper age limit. We provide all cooking and camping equipment, with the exception of your sleeping bag & mat on all of our trips.
Transport is on specially converted Mercedes or MAN trucks that are completely self-sufficient - carrying all the necessary equipment, passenger's luggage, fuel, fresh water and food stocks. In addition, all Africa Travel Co. vehicles carry a range of spare parts and the driver is well versed at fixing common faults. Before each truck begins a trip it will have been thoroughly serviced and overhauled, but it is comforting to know that in the unlikely event of a breakdown the necessary spares and experience are available.
Accommodation on our trips is in two person dome tents with mosquito nets over the door and window areas, a sewn in ground sheet and a separate flysheet. The only exceptions to the above are our NN7 Kilimanjaro Climb and our VV10 Best of Botswana that are operated by local suppliers. The accommodation & transport for these is specified in the relevant trip information.
Passengers are expected to participate in all aspects of the trip. This means pitching and dismantling your own tent and, on a roster basis, helping with the daily chores such as cooking, washing up and truck cleaning. On all of our trips we have a Safari Cook, although we do ask you to assist in the food preparation and shopping. Bargaining in the local markets and helping produce a meal for between 10 and 30 people, can be great fun. The advantages of group travel are achieved when the group works as one. Sharing the responsibility for the roster duties, as well as the packing and security of the vehicle, equipment and belongings will help to make the groups collective experience an enjoyable one.
2. BEFORE YOUR TRIP PRE-DEPARTURE MEETINGS AND DEPARTURES The Pre-Departure Meetings usually last for approximately one hour and are a great opportunity for you to meet your fellow travellers. The meetings cover a range of topics and important information that should make you feel a lot more comfortable with how your trip will operate as well as ways for you to maximise your experience. Please make every effort to attend this meeting or advise your travel agent or Africa Travel Co. directly, if you know you will be unable to attend.
PASSPORTS AND VISAS It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the correct documentation to complete your trip. The Trip Leader cannot stop or alter a trip because you don‟t have the correct paper work. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your trip. You should have at least one blank page for each country to be visited. TIP: We advise you to bring a photocopy of the first 4 pages of your passport, which you store away from the original, just in case you lose it. Most visas, for most nationalities, are obtainable on arrival at each border. However, you must check with each consular office of each county we visit prior to your departure as to what the visa requirements are. Make sure you check this, way in advance of your departure, so that, if required, you have enough time to get them. This is completely your responsibility. For more information please see: http://www.projectvisa.com/. LUGGAGE AND WHAT TO BRING As a guide, we recommend you keep to your airline's restriction – no more than 20 kg. The truck has limited luggage space, so we recommend you bring along a backpack (preferably with built-in frame) and a day bag. We do not recommend large suitcases. Most people make the mistake of bringing too much. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry, but avoid nylon and other synthetics as they can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Please remember that Africa can be much colder than you might expect, particular at night and in the early morning, so pack accordingly.
Suggested list of what to pack: -PASSPORT & photocopy -VACCINATION CERTIFICATE & photocopy -TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICY & photocopy -MONEY & AIRLINE TICKETS -underwear & socks -personal toiletries -2 long sleeved shirts or blouses -spare contact lenses & solution / spare glasses -3 – 4 short sleeved shirts or t-shirts -sleeping bag & mat -2 pairs trousers or 1 pair & 1 skirt -water bottle -1 – 2 pairs shorts -pen knife -tracksuit pants -torch & spare batteries -light sweater -small sewing kit -heavy sweater -washing soap for clothes -water/wind proof jacket -clothes line & pegs -comfortable walking boots or trainers -small scrubbing brush -sandals or flip-flips -sealable plastic bags -1 set of smart clothes & shoes -camera & spare batteries/charger -Hat -extra memory card/film -Swimsuit -binoculars -Towel -universal plug adapter -watch (inexpensive) -reading material -sunglasses (inexpensive) -music (our vehicles are equipped with stereos)
ITINERARY FLEXIBILITY This information and the itinerary we‟ve given you, are intended to serve as guidelines only. Each trip must be flexible to allow for all variables that are beyond our control - such as adverse road conditions, complications caused by the weather, unstable political situations, etc. Our trips generally run as planned, and you‟ll, more than likely, get see everything listed, if not more.
Please Note that any trip travelling via Nairobi or Victoria Falls and any trip where we‟ve added another truck to a departure date because of passenger demand, may have a Truck and/or Crew change. ONWARD TRAVEL As already mentioned, conditions in Africa are constantly changing and we can therefore not be held responsible for disruptions and delays that may cause you to miss your connections. We recommend that you allow 1 to 3 days after the completion date of your trip before flying out. 3. HEALTH & WELFARE MEDICAL / HEALTH All of our vehicles carry a basic first aid kit that is used in emergencies. Passengers will be asked to replace any item they use. We would therefore strongly advise you to bring your own medical kit, which you‟ll be able to get at any reputable medical store.
Suggested contents include: -pain killers -anti-malarial, medication -plasters / sterile dressings -eye drops -insect repellent -anti-histamine tablets / cream -antiseptic cream -sterile wipes -water purification tablets -anti diarrhoea remedy -re-hydration salts -lip balm -sun screen / after sun lotion -moisturiser / body lotion MALARIA Malaria is endemic in most parts of Africa. It is your responsibility to take precautions against catching it. First and foremost, don‟t get bitten!!! Wear long sleeved shirts and trousers when mosquitoes are most active - early in the morning and evening! Use plenty of insect repellent with a high level of DEET on any exposed areas – neck, wrist and ankles!!! Consult your doctor prior to leaving for Africa so that they can prescribe suitable anti-malarial medication. For further information see http://www.alib.co.za/aftrip/malaria.html. VACCINATIONS Please consult your doctor / immunisation centre for the relevant vaccination requirements for the countries through which you will be travelling. Most countries you visit will require a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate if you‟ve been into an area that‟s infected. Your home country will also probably need the Vaccination Certificate if you‟ve been into an infected area. Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, Meningococcal meningitis, Diphtheria and Tetanus are all prevalent in much of Africa and while it is not compulsory to be vaccinated against these, all precautions should be taken to prevent them. TIP: We advise you to bring a copy of your yellow fever vaccination certificate, which you store away from the original, just in case you lose it. All travellers wishing to partake in the gorilla trek excursion will be required to present their yellow fever vaccination certificate to the park‟s officials prior to their trek. 4. WHILST ON YOUR OVERLAND TRIP OUR OVERLAND SAFARI VEHICLE’S All of our trucks are either Mercedes Benz or MAN trucks that have been designed, modified and built to ensure your safety and comfort. All our vehicles carry full cooking and camping equipment, cassette players, exterior and interior lighting, long-range fuel tanks and 300 to 400 litre water tanks. (Bring along an adapter to connect your CD / MP3 players to the cassette player.) They have either all forward facing seats or a combination of forward and backward facing seats with little tables between. A few of our trucks have a few side facing seats right in the front of the truck, but the rest of the truck has forward facing seats. Keep in mind, bench seating often faces inwards, so while you can communicate with your fellow travellers, it‟s not advantageous for game viewing and photography. Our trucks have soft cushioned seats. Our fleet of overland trucks have fitted windows that slide to open. SECURITY We cannot stress enough, the need for you to be alert whilst travelling in Africa, as petty theft is common. Don't bring any unnecessary, expensive jewellery with you. Keep an eye on your belongings, at all times. There is a safe on each truck where we suggest you store your travel documents and money. We recommend you photocopy all of your travel documents, which you keep separately from the originals.
Vehicle security is a part of trip life and is one of your roster duties. The vehicle should never be left unattended, except when we are staying in a guarded campsite. Although every precaution will be taken, neither Africa Travel Co, nor its agents and employees can accept any responsibility for anything deposited in the safe or left on the vehicle. SPENDING MONEY Only you know to what extent your spending habits will tax you! Africa is not as cheap as a lot of the travel books would have you believe and as such we would recommend that you allow for between U$30.00 to U$35.00 per day for things like bottled water, snacks, drinks and curios. This obviously depends on how much of curio shopper and drinker you are!!! You will also have to budget for any Optional Excursions you‟d like to do. We advise you to bring your spending money in both cash preferably in US dollars. Credit Cards are not widely accepted. If you‟re travelling in East Africa, U$ notes should be clean, un-torn and printed after 2001. Larger denomination notes attract a better exchange rate, but we suggest you bring along a mix of both small and large denomination notes. You may need to change only a small amount to tide you over in a country and you should try to get rid of each country‟s currency before you leave that country as you won‟t be able to change it anywhere else! Your trip leader will advise you on when & where to change to local currencies. OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS Please budget accordingly for any of the optional excursions listed for your trip. While we do list a guideline to the prices for these, they may increase without notice by the local operators. Gorilla Trek: Please familiarise yourself with our document on trekking procedures and costs for the excursion. TIPPING We are often asked about gratuities. These are always at your discretion, of course, and then only for, at least, satisfactory service. If you found the service to be unsatisfactory, you are obviously not obligated to leave a tip.
However, we would ask that you let us know (on our Client Feedback Form) in what way the service was unsatisfactory so that we can rectify the problem for future clients. The tips below are a guideline only. Scale your tips according to your satisfaction – average service should equate to an average tip. Local guides (like the rangers when gorilla trekking and the polers when in the Okavango Delta), between U$5.00 and U$7.00 per day. Assistants to the guides, (like bushwhackers when gorilla trekking and camp assistants when in the Okavango Delta) between U$4.00 and U$5.00 per day. Others who have provided a service (like housekeeping staff when staying in lodges for a few days), about U$2.00 per day. When eating out, satisfactory service usually warrants a tip of about 10% of the total bill. For the Kilimanjaro Climb – please refer to the tipping guide provided on your trip dossier. CREW ATC camping trips have 3 crew members - your Driver, Trip Leader and Safari Cook. Your Driver & Cook are generally Kenyan, Zimbabwean, Namibian or South African. They have a wealth of experience and are more than happy to share it with you. Your Trip Leader is generally African, European or Australasian. They have travelled through Africa, either independently or as a passenger. Most of our crew have been on the road for a number of years and have vast experience in running successful trips throughout the route we travel. NB: Your Trip Leader is not a “Tour Guide” in the normal sense. They are not experts in all aspects of the culture, history and wildlife of each area. They are employed to ensure the smooth running of your trip. That said, all of our crew have a passion for Africa and have acquired much knowledge of each area, which they‟ll happily share. For more in-depth information there are usually books on board the truck for your use, but if you have a specific interest like bird watching for example, consider buying one of the guides listed at the end of this document.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, like impassable roads or group safety, it may be necessary to make alterations to the planned itinerary. If this is necessary, the Trip Leader will discuss the issue with the group and alter the itinerary accordingly. The Trip Leader will obviously consider the wishes of the group, but there may be occasions where they have to make an unpopular decision. In ALL matters relating to the trip’s running, the Trip Leader’s decision will be final. WHILST ON SAFARI On the Kenya to Cape route (or vice versa), it is possible to stay in a secure campsite every night and there are few nights when a shower or a beer are not available - whether they be hot or cold, respectively, is another matter! Sometimes conditions can be challenging and if it‟s raining you‟ve still got to put up your tent. Africa is a vast continent so some of the drives can be long and there are a few patches of bumpy roads. There maybe a few hiccups in the itinerary when a bridge is washed away or there‟s a mechanical emergency. But, none of these will spoil your trip if you approach them with the right attitude and a sense of humour. "TAKE ONLY PHOTOS, LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS". Africa is a diverse and unique continent with both a very beautiful and a very ugly side to her. Wherever possible, we try to let you experience Africa first hand so that you may get a better understanding of what makes her so unique.
We ask that you leave her as you find her. Respect the locals. Ask before taking a photo. You probably wouldn‟t enjoy suddenly being accosted by a group of tourists taking pictures of you! Some people believe that you take away their spirit when you photograph them, so ensure you show them the same courtesy you would appreciate, and ask for permission. Bargaining for curios is the norm. It is a great way to interact with the locals, but bear in mind they‟re trying to make a living, so don‟t bargain just for the sake of it. Be prepared to pay what you think the item is worth.
You will see some of the absolute poverty that grips much of the continent, but will amazed at how people with seemingly so little are able to triumph over their circumstances to come out on the other side with such a generous spirit. In many of the places you visit, you will experience begging in some form or another. Whether or not to give has caused many a heated debate. The answer is entirely personal, but consider the long term consequence of your decision. If you‟d like to distribute goodies, why not ask for permission to take a photo, a smile or a song from the kids and as payment you could let them have a goodie. Please bear in mind that while the kids in your hometown may find sweets a real treat, their moms and dads haul them off to the dentist regularly to get their cavities filled. Many of the areas you visit will not have access to dentists, so instead of sweets, why not bring along some fruit or pens/balls/old clothes/etc. which will be happily received by the kids but won‟t leave them toothless. LOCAL LAWS All passengers are required to obey the laws of the countries we travel through. Any passenger found in possession of contraband, non-prescribed narcotic drugs or firearms will be asked to leave the trip immediately, with no refund of the Trip Price. PHOTOGRAPHY Africa is a photographer‟s paradise. There will be a few opportunities to download your photos, but these will only be in the bigger centres. We therefore suggest you invest in an extra memory card with a high storage capacity so that you won‟t have to delete your precious memories. If your camera still uses film, bring along a good stock, as film can be scarce (and, when available, expensive). Consider bringing along a re-sealable polythene bag to protect your camera from the dust.
If you are visiting the gorillas, make sure you familiarise yourself with your camera settings as flash photography is not permitted. If you‟re planning on videoing your trip, make sure you bring along an extra battery as it isn‟t always possible to re-charge you batteries every day. WARNING - Under no circumstances should you attempt to photograph government buildings (including borders), police, military personnel or any government official. It is not unknown for people to have cameras confiscated if officials even suspect a photo has been taken. If in doubt, ask. CHARGING OF BATTERIES Most of the camp sites have electrical points, so you should be able to charge your batteries every 3 to 4 days, provided they have electricity, which is not always guaranteed. We recommend you bring along 2 sets of rechargeable batteries as well as 2 sets of normal batteries, so you can be guaranteed of having working batteries.
Optional Excursions Horse Riding 3 hours Microlight over the Falls 15 mins Helicopter over the Falls 15 mins Entry to Vic Falls National Park Rafting on the Zambezi full day Full Day Adrenaline (min 10) Rafting & Boarding Combo Bungee Jumping (111m) Elephant Back Safari Walk with the Lions - Victoria Falls Walk with the Lions- Gweru Swim with the Elephants- Gweru Game Drive (min 6) - Gweru Chobe NP Game Drive Okavango delta 3 day mokoro excursion Scenic Flight over the Okavango (5 per plane) Sandboarding Quadbiking Sky Diving Township Tour Gariep River Canoeing Wine Tasting - Cederberg Abseiling Table Mountain Shark Cage Diving from Cape Point - day trip Winelands - day trip Whale Viewing (seasonal) Township Tour - Cape Town half day Kruger Park night drive Kruger Park open vehicle game drive Soweto Tour - Joburg/ Pretoria from Lion Park - Joburg