before you go

What You Need to Know

In Southern and East Africa, both local currencies and US Dollars are widely accepted. The conversion rates for local currencies do however fluctuate quite regularly so if you plan on using local currencies in the countries you visit, please check the exchange rate before you depart on tour. An example of a website that you can use to check a currency against your own is www.xe.com.

The information below is subject to change however we do update it as frequently as possible so please feel free to send us feedback if you feel that the information is not as accurate as it could be.
Cash

US Dollar Bills

If you are carrying US dollars, always make sure that they have been printed after 2005 and if possible, request that your bank provides you with notes that are not torn or severely creased as you may find that the bills will not be accepted if they are not in a good condition.

Request that your bank provides you with a range of bills so that you can use the smaller ones for tipping and the larger ones for settling bills if required.

Carry your cash in a flat money belt on your body however always keep a small amount in a more easily accessible place so that you can access it easily if required.

Credit Cards

Most of the major Southern and East African cities do have credit card facilities available, however they may charge you a surcharge to use the facility. Visa and MasterCard are the two most widely accepted credit cards in Africa, while Diners and American Express may not always be accepted. Cards should have a chip and pin if you plan to use them to withdraw money from ATMs. Please be sure to advise your bank before you travel that you will be using your card in a different country as they may block access to your card if they do not know that you are travelling.

ATM / Debit Cards

ATM cards are a good way to withdraw local currency on arrival in a new country. This may not always be possible but it is an option in most cases. Cards should have a chip and pin. The amount that you withdraw depends on how long you will be in the country for and what you plan to spend your money on while you're there.

Street Vendors

You may encounter black market traders on arrival in countries who will offer to exchange your US$'s for a more favourable rate than the banks. Please don't be tempted to do this, it is not worth the risk or the hassle and it is not good practice to display your foreign currency.

South Africa

The South African Rand (ZAR) is the local currency that is used in this country. Credit Cards are widely accepted and ATMS are available in all cities and smaller towns. No other international currencies are readily accepted.

Lesotho

South African Rand (ZAR) is accepted in Lesotho, however you may receive change in the local Lesotho currency, Maloti (M). You will not be able to use Maloti once you are back in South Africa so try to use your Maloti while you are in Lesotho. No other international currencies are readily accepted.

Swaziland

South African Rand (ZAR) is accepted in Swaziland so there is no need to change local currency here but do have ZAR on hand. In most cases, credit cards will be accepted. No other international currencies are readily accepted.

Namibia

South African Rand (ZAR) is accepted in Namibia and is 1:1 to the Namibian dollar (N$). You are welcome to use both currencies. No other international currencies are readily accepted. Credit Cards are widely accepted in Namibia, however in remote areas they may struggle with connection. Maestro and Electron Debit cards are widely accepted too. No other international currencies are readily accepted.

Botswana

US$ and the local currency Pula (BWP) are accepted in Botswana. In most cases Credit Cards will be accepted, as well as Debit Cards, however it is best to always carry US$ with you in case technology fails.

Mozambique

Mozambique's local currency is the Metical and you can withdraw local currency in major towns which have ATMs. South African Rand (ZAR) is also widely accepted in parts of Mozambique. Visa Credit Cards are widely accepted however Master Cards may not always be accepted. You can exchange US$'s at most banks without paying commission.

Zimbabwe

The US$, Botswana Pula and South African Rand are accepted in Zimbabwe as they no longer have their own local currency. Recently, the Chinese Yuan, Indian Rupee, Japanese Yen and Australian Dollar have also been accepted as legal tender in Zimbabwe. ATMs in Victoria Falls dispense US$s but not all international cards are accepted. Visa Credit Cards and Barclays accounts are the most widely accepted.

Your luggage is limited to one backpack and one daypack weighing no more than 20kg. As a general rule, if you cannot lift your own luggage, you've got too much stuff! Most people make the mistake of bringing too many clothes on tour, less is more in this instance.

Please keep in mind that this is an adventure tour in an adventure truck and luggage should not include any Samsonite style suitcases. As the wheelie / trolley bags have a solid frame, they don't squeeze into spaces the same way a backpack or a duffel bag does, some of the lockers are as narrow as 38cms. If the frame does not fit these diameters, there aren't many other places to put your bag and it will inconvenience everyone else on tour. Also, by day two, the mud and stones will get into the little wheels on your wheelie bag and the novelty will be over and you'll be carrying your suitcase from A to B. They aren't as comfortable to carry as a duffel bag and as you think you don't have to carry it, you end up packing a lot more than you normally would.

A compact & flexible duffel bag is perfect for stashing into a locker or an overhead shelf.

Not a good idea to bring this kind of bag on tour!

A money belt is an excellent way to carry your important travel documents, cash and cards

Buy a small combination lock to put on your locker – this way there will be no keys that may get lost.

On our camping tours you will have to bring your own sleeping bag as we do not rent out sleeping bags. So it is very important that you don't forget to pack or buy a sleeping bag before you leave on one of our camping tours. Camping Adventures Africa does provide mattresses, which are 5 cm thick, so you have a comfortable sleep. Pillows are also not provided, so if you would like to use one, please make sure you bring one with.

Day Packs

Please check the itinerary for your specific tour as generally you will need to take along a smaller day pack for excursions. For example on our Cape Town to Vic Falls tour you will need a smaller bag, big enough to bring basic equipment (toiletries and clothes) for two nights. The daypack is for your Okavango Delta Excursion, where you cannot bring your entire luggage. Other tours also have overnight experiences where you will need to pack a daypack

Allowed

Food and Meals

Included are three hearty meals a day, (unless otherwise specified). Vegetarians can be catered for and we do our best to offer a varied menu. Our guides can produce miracles on a camp-stove but please remember that they are cooking for the whole group on two gas burners. Special dietary requirements can be catered for, but only by special request. In East Africa it is more difficult to cater to certain requirements.

Accommodation

On our camping tours you will be staying in two-man dome tents. We supply a mattress and you supply your own sleeping bag. The accommodated tours stay in traditional huts, permanent tented camps and hotel rooms, the majority of these are ensuite.

Health

All people who join an adventure tour need to be in good health. Medical facilities are not always available. If you have a specific medical condition it is compulsary for you to advise us before departure.

Malaria

Malaria is a real concern in many areas of Africa, especially during the rainy season. Our advice is simple, prevent getting bitten by using an insect repellent and use an effective prophylactic. Speak to your doctor before selecting your Malaria medication.

Vaccinations

Please ensure you have the relevant vaccinations. Proof of innoculation is required on certain tours.

Terms & Conditions

All travellers will be required to sign our indemnity form on departure. Any person refusing to do so will not be allowed on the tour.

Currency, Money and Banking

This is covered comprehensively in the Predeparture Information Booklet. South African Rand and Credit Cards work in most of Southern Africa. In East Africa (incl. Zimbabwe and Zambia) USD cash is best.

Age Restriction

Passengers under the age of 18 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian and are accepted on the tour on a request basis. Passengers over the age of 60 take responsibility that they are fit enough to travel and may be asked to leave the tour if they are hindering the progress of the tour.

What to Bring

A sense of fun and a flexible attitude! A full checklist of essential items is included in the pre-departure info document.

What to Leave Behind

Your watch, cellphone, laptop, work, stress, concept of time, pre-conceptions about anything and any attitude that is not pure adventure.

Changes to Routes / Schedules

Although we will do our best at all times to ensure that the tour remains on schedule we want to make it very clear that this is not always possible. There is always something unexpected on a tour, sometimes the truck gets stuck in mud, or sand, sometimes it rains… Anything can happen, but nothing that a good sense of humour cannot overcome.

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

YES! Make sure your insurance covers being airlifted in case of serious illness/injury as good hospital facilities are often a long way from where our tours travel. Free credit card insurance is often insufficient, so a seperate policy is recommended. As travel insurance is compulsory, you will be asked for the policy number before being allowed to board our vehicle.

How Many People are on Tour?

The average number of passengers on a tour is 14. On all tours except the Cape To Vic Falls Camping (and sections – 24 guests) the maximum number of guests is 18. Single Supplements are limited to 4 per tour on all tours.

Do I Have to Help with Camp Chores?

Of course not, but you will not make many friends! On our tours our guides do most of the work. On a camping tour your participation in camp chores is limited: taking turns to assist with washing-up duties, putting up and taking down your tent and loading your bags. On some of our accommodated tours we include a camp assistant.

Who is Responsible for my Visas?

You are responsible for your own visas. Please check the itinerary of your tour carefully and if you need a multiple entry visa be sure to get one. Your passport needs to be valid for 6 months after your departure date from Africa and you must have at least 3-4 blank pages available. Some countries will not allow you to enter without 2 blank pages in your passport.

What is Single Supplement?

All of our tours are priced on twin share accommodation. The single supplement is not compulsory on our camping tours but if you want your own tent you need to pay the single supplement. If you are booking one of our accommodated tours alone you have to pay the single supplement. There are a maximum of 4 single supplements available on all tours. If you have any other questions please complete the Contact form or If you need a faster answer please feel free to give us a call (phone is monitored during South African office hours).