Health and Paper Work

Passports and Health

We're confident that you have chosen one of the best adventure tour companies in Africa and we will go out of our way to prove it. Camping Adventures Africa's tours have been enjoyed by hundreds of people from all over the world. A great attitude, an open mind and being well-prepared ensures that your adventure holiday is a trip of a lifetime.

Keep in mind that you are in Africa. Standards and services should not be compared with first world countries. You came here to get away from all that – to experience Africa as it really is. The unexpected is included in your tour – free of charge!

We will provide you with as much information about our tours as possible but please feel free to contact us directly if there is anything specific at all that you'd like more information on. For specific route information you should refer to your tour dossier which you will find under the "Overview" tab on each tour page on our website in a little box called "Download Dossier", we have also inserted these download links below to make this a little easier for you if you have already decided which tour you'd prefer.

Please download both your tour dossier and your predeparture information booklet one week prior to your tour departure date to ensure that you have the most up to date information. Please read through these documents before joining us on tour.

We make every effort to ensure that this document is up to date, but it should be noted that sudden changes in the operational conditions might result in changes to this information. To the best of our knowledge all of the information is as accurate as possible, however it must be accepted that various details are subject to change. All changes will be made in the best interest of you, our intrepid travellers!

Carrying Medication On Tour

On each truck we have an insulated cooler box which guests are welcome to use to keep their drinks cool throughout the day. As this box is situated in the truck with the guests, it is up to them to keep the box clean and purchase ice if they would like the box kept cool. If guests have medication that needs to be refrigerated, this is the best place for them to store the medication. It should be stored in a hard plastic, watertight container to ensure that it doesn't get wet or damaged as it will be in the box with the ice, water and drinks. We do have a freezer on board the trucks if the medication needs to be stored at a cooler temperature. There are instances when you will not be with the truck however (for example camping Okavango Delta experience, Mozambique Dhow Safari or Serengeti Experience) and during these times there may be limited facilities available for storing medication in a cool environment.
General Safety

The guide has authority on tour at all times and this includes decisions regarding the safety of our guests on tour.

It is important that you inform us of any medical conditions or prescription drugs that you are taking such as diabetes or asthma etc. as we are sometimes 300km or more from the nearest medical assistance. This is especially important if your medication has to be kept at a certain temperature, we must know about this beforehand.

Please report to your tour leader immediately if you are feeling even slightly ill as they may need to make plans for you to get to medical assistance promptly. Many travellers can feel sick within the first two weeks of travelling and this is very common and due to your body reacting to germs and bacteria it is unfamiliar with. Keep this in mind, but do not take it lightly, keep your guides up to date with how you're feeling.

AIDS is an enormous problem in Africa. HIV estimates range between 20% and 50% of the population and in some areas it is even higher than this. Please be careful and practical, condoms are cheap and freely available.

First Aid

There is a First Aid Kit on the truck which is available in case of an emergency. The guides will not use the kit as a dispensary and we strongly recommend that you take a personal medical kit. All of our guides are qualified in First Aid. Suggested contents of a personal First Aid Kit include:

  • Lip balm
  • Anti-histamine cream or tablets
  • Sunscreen and after sun balm
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Pain killers
  • Anti diarrhoea remedy
  • Moisturiser
  • Dehydration salts
  • Elastoplasts/band-aids
  • Insect repellent
  • Sterile dressings
  • Antiseptic cream

Personal hygiene is very important on tour as you are travelling together in the truck in warm to hot climates. Please be considerate and attentive to your personal cleanliness. Being ill on tour is not fun and the enjoyment of the group as a whole depends largely on everyone being healthy.

It is quite normal for some people in the group to have traveller's diarrhoea at some stage of the tour. This is generally not serious, usually being the reaction to the food, water and the anti-malarial tablets and it can sometimes be the result of a lack of attention to basic hygiene. If you suffer from this at any stage please inform your guide immediately.

Please pay attention when washing dishes and cutlery, as this is the quickest way for the whole group to fall ill. Make sure that your plates are thoroughly cleaned. We provide anti-bacterial washing up liquid so please use it liberally. We also supply an anti-bacterial soap for the washing of hands. Please ensure that you use it regularly, especially before meals. We use metal plate on tour as they are the most hygienic option.

All fresh foods we use are sanitized with a sterile solution.

Water

One of the most common ailments on tour is dehydration. You should be drinking a minimum of 2 to 3 litres of water per day, and even more during the hot summer months. The water on tour is not always drinkable so your guides will advise you when not to drink the local water. Bottled mineral water is available for sale at most camp sites, keep in mind that this can be expensive. In most places north of South Africa it is necessary for you to buy your own drinking water. Your guides will point out where drinking water can be purchased (i.e at local shops / supermarkets). There is a 200 litre water tank on the truck, but this is for emergency use only and generally doesn't taste very good.

Malaria

Malaria is a serious problem in Africa however it does not have to be a problem for you as long as you are vigilant about using your mosquito repellent and you take your malaria tablets. Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes and is more prevalent where there are high concentrations of people and water. The main points to keep in mind about malaria:

Prevent getting bitten by wearing clothes that cover your bare skin. Long shirts, socks, shoes and long pants after dark – most mosquito bites occur below the knee.
keep your mosquito net closed and be vigilant at sunset as this is when the mosquitoes are most prolific.
Use an effective prophylactic and speak to your doctor about options for antimalarial tablets.
Insect repellent is the single most important line of defence. Make sure you bring enough of an effective (preferably stick or lotion) repellent and that you use it liberally and frequently! You need to look for the active ingredient (DEET) on the bottle.

Malaria prophylactics do not prevent Malaria, but do treat it if you come down with the disease. They also prevent you from getting seriously ill. It is not true that Malaria cannot be cured.

You have 2 broad malaria prophylaxis choices:

Daily tablets: Doxycycline or Chloroquine & Paludrine combination pills
Weekly tablets: Larium, Mefliam, Mefloquine, Malarine

Please note that the Chloriquine & Paludrine combination pills are virtually ineffective in East Africa due to their widespread usage there in the past. We do not recommend that you take this type of prophylaxis unless you are unable to take any of the others. You may have heard negative reports about Larium and its side effects however, it is 95% effective, while the daily tablets are only about 30% effective. Please consult your doctor before selecting your prophylaxis.

It is very important to begin taking your tablets one week before entering a malaria area, and for four weeks after leaving, as this is the incubation period. For more information on Malaria, visit www.travelclinic.co.za

Vaccinations

We recommend that you have the following vaccinations for Africa: Hepatitis A (Havrax), Cholera, Yellow Fever, Tetanus Booster Shot, Rabies. Please note this guide is for information only – you should consult your doctor or travel clinic for the latest requirements. If you have entered a Yellow Fever infected area, you will be required to have a vaccination before entering into other countries.

If travelling further north of Vic Falls, then you will definitely require proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination. Travel Clinics provide vaccinations and Malaria tablets, as well as free consultations.

At Camping Adventures Africa we do not run booze-cruise tours. We want you to enjoy yourselves and it is great to sit around the fire exchanging stories enjoying your favourite tipple, but the attitude of drinking from early morning until late at night makes for unpleasantness and you dehydrate even quicker when you are consuming alcohol. Most camp sites have bar facilities, we simply ask that drinking is kept to a reasonable level for your enjoyment.

We have a firm policy about drugs on tour. We do not tolerate them! Police regularly inspect our trucks and camp sites and we make numerous border crossings. If you are caught in possession of illegal substances we cannot help you. You do not want to add a stay in a local jail to your on tour experiences!

Local Laws and Customs

Passengers are required to obey all laws of the countries through which we pass. This particularly applies to the smuggling of contraband and possession of narcotic drugs and firearms. Any passenger found contravening such laws or putting other passengers at risk may be required to leave the tour immediately with no refund. Please remember that we are guests in each of the countries we visit, it is good manners to comply with their customs.

Security

Travelling in any country has its potential dangers and in African countries you will find that it is no different. Due to massive levels of poverty, petty theft is rampant.

Basic rules apply:

  • Do not bring unnecessary valuables along with you such as jewellery or expensive watches.
  • Do not leave your personal possessions unattended
  • Do not be reckless in your behaviour. Be careful
  • Always walk together as a group, especially at night

It is also suggested that you photocopy and photograph all your travel documents and belongings and store them separately to the originals. Security of the vehicle is part of the reality of tour life and you will be expected to assist when necessary.

Although all care and attention will be exercised, Camping Adventures Africa nor its agents and employees can accept responsibility for anything left on or inside the vehicle.

Travel insurance for personal belongings is also advisable, as you are not covered by Camping Adventures Africa for personal items such as clothes, cameras etc. You are responsible for your possessions at all times.

As visa requirements vary considerably depending on your nationality, please contact the various embassies or a visa service agencies to re-check visa requirements at least four weeks prior to departing for your tour. Please note that visas are the responsibility of the traveller and that Camping Adventures Africa will not be held responsible for clients being denied entry should they not be in the possession of the relevant visas.

All travellers must be in possession of a valid onward/return air ticket or proof of other means of transport enabling the traveller to leave the country in which your adventure tour terminates. Alternatively you must have proof of sufficient funds (e.g. credit card) enabling you to purchase an air ticket to leave the country. Should the adventure tour you are joining be re-entering a country, be sure to have a multiple entry visa that enables you to re-enter the country.

In doubt whether you require a visa or just need assistance?

Contact the embassy in your home country or contact:

Visa Solutions (South Africa)
Corner of Riebeeck and Long Streets, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Telephone +27 21 425 5896 – E-mail: visasolution@mweb.co.za
Onward Travel Arrangements

Please ensure that your onward travel arrangements are made before you depart on tour as these cannot be made while on tour. We offer a good value for money transit from Vic-Falls to Johannesburg which you can add to your tour. Please ask our reservations department about the options of onward travel with your tour and for names of low cost airlines if you want to fly to your next destination. Please do not book your onward travel on the day the tour ends, if we arrive late you will have a problem – remember, expect the unexpected. We are more than happy to book pre and post tour accommodation and transfers for you so please let us know if you would like us to do this for you.

Your passport must have enough pages for all visas, at least 2 pages free for every country that you'll be visiting. Please ensure that you take your passport out from your hotel / backpackers safe the night before departure. It is absolutely necessary that you make a copy of your passport and give it to your guides; we strongly recommend that you also leave a copy at home or with some friends. Another good idea would be to take a photo of your passport, and the contents, and email it to yourself. Please note that South Africa insists having 2 clear pages available when you enter the country. Keep this in mind if you are going to fly home from South Africa after completing a tour to multiple African countries.

Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your date of departure from Africa.

You are personally responsible for ensuring that passports, visas, vaccination certificates and other travel documents are in order and for all costs relating thereto.

Please note that it is not advisable to use more than one passport (to avoid visa payments) when travelling. When entering (for example) Namibia, the immigration official needs to see the exit stamp for South Africa and it must be in the same passport in order to allow entry.

Medical and Travel Insurance

Please note that it is a condition of booking on any Camping Adventures Africa tour that you have adequate medical insurance. We require the details of your insurance policy for our records before you will be permitted to depart on tour so please keep these with you at departure. The medical insurance is so important in the case of an emergency in a remote area (which is most areas we travel to) you will have to be airlifted.

Please double check the small print of any 'free' credit-card insurance. Your insurance must cover you in the instance that you need to be airlifted to a hospital. As many public hospitals in Africa are below western standards you might have to be airlifted to South Africa for a simple problem. Many insurance policies do not cover adrenaline sports i.e. bungee jumping and skydiving – please check this before you book the activity.

Medical insurance is usually relatively inexpensive and we recommend that you buy a separate policy in your country of origin. If you purchase insurance in Africa please note that it will not cover you to be returned to your own country in the event of an emergency, it will only return you to the country in which you purchased the policy.

Please ensure that your travel insurance also covers cancellation.

Travel Insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 140 countries and is designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

With travel insurance from World Nomads you can:

  • Buy online while travelling or away from home
  • Extend and claim online
  • Cover your adventure, including a range of sports and adventure activities
  • Buy worldwide cover from specialist travel insurers, built for independent travellers from over 140 countries
  • Give a little back to a local community
  • Stay informed and safe when you travel

7 things you should know about World Nomads travel insurance

Here are a few things to consider when choosing your Travel Insurance plan to make sure that you've got the cover you want for your adventure:

Cancellation: It's no fun if you're seriously ill before you leave and can't go on your trip. All travel insurance plans are different and some have specific terms of cover for cancellation, so please read the policy wording relevant to you carefully.


Lost or Stolen Gear: While loss of your personal belongings is often the main reason most people buy travel insurance, it is arguably the least important: your things can be replaced but your health often can't. World Nomads expects you to take 'reasonable care' of your belongings which means a claim may be denied if you leave your camera in a shared room in a hostel or in your car overnight (unsupervised in a public place) and it's stolen. If you are taking your laptop, camera and other valuables with you, some of our travel insurance plans allow you to specify these items to cover their higher value. Check your policy benefits and description of coverage (policy wording) carefully for the limits on this cover and exclusions, particularly for cash, high value items and sporting equipment.


Medical expenses over and above evacuation: Check that your cover includes emergency treatment while away and transport to bring you home – remembering that in more serious circumstances, insurance providers will usually insist on getting you home for medical treatment if you’re fit enough to travel.
Adventurous Activities: Look carefully at what your policy covers as each plan is different and may only cover specific sports and activities. Check that you’re covered to do all of the adventurous activities that you are planning while you're away.


Personal Liability: Accidents happen. If it's found to be your fault and someone decides to sue you, you want to be covered. Read the full description of coverage in the policy wording and talk to the insurer first before you admit it was your fault. Also keep in mind travel insurance doesn't typically cover liability while you’re driving (be it cars, motorbikes, scooters, boats, anything with a motor, really) so make sure you've got appropriate cover elsewhere if you need it.


Is it safe to go there? Make sure you check your Government's Travel Warnings and keep up to date with the latest travel safety advice on the road. You may not be covered if you choose to go to a place affected by war, terrorism, civil unrest or environmental disasters (like volcanoes, earthquakes, floods) and other major events where you may be at risk.


Flexibility when you need it most: Had a change of plans? You can extend your policy or claim online while you are still away. You can even buy a World Nomads policy if you're already travelling.

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