Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Meerkats

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding travel to South Africa. Do I need vaccinations? What are the voltage requirements? What should I pack? And many others.

Air Travel (4)

Kulula airplane on runway

Here is a guide to help you estimate the length of time it will take when driving or flying within South Africa. For driving (van transfers) the time will be the same when you reverse “To” and “From”. The reverse time may vary by 5 – 10 minutes when flying. This guide is preceded by the days and times that you can expect our shuttles to operate.

Please note that every travel itinerary is unique. Be sure to confirm your specific details with your travel agent.
 
STANDARD SHUTTLE SCHEDULE    
 
SAFARI
Shuttle Pickup Times from Johannesburg Airport – Arrivals
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday  (Flights arriving by 9:30 a.m.) – Shuttle departs around 11:00 a.m.
Monday, Tuesday (Flights arriving by 5:45 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 7 p.m.
 
Seasons Resort Shuttle time to Johannesburg Airport – Flights to Victoria Falls or other early a.m. flights)
Wednesday 7 a.m.
 
Seasons Resort Shuttle time to Johannesburg Airport – All Evening Departures
Wednesday 2 p.m.
Note: Clients may use Seasons Resort facilities between checkout and shuttle departure time.

 

CAPE TOWN
Shuttle Pickup times from Cape Town Airport – Arrivals
Wednesday (Flights arriving by 10 a.m.) – Shuttle departs around 12 p.m.
Wednesday (Flights arriving by 5 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 6 p.m.
 
Inverness Apartments Shuttle time to Cape Town Airport – Departures
Wednesday (Flights departing on or after 8:30 a.m.) – Shuttle departs around 6:30 a.m.
Wednesday (Flights departing on or after 1:30 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 11 a.m.
Wednesday (Flights departing on or after 6 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 4 p.m.
 
*Any arrival time outside of these flight times will require the purchase of a non-standard transfer.  
 

DRIVE TIMES*     

 

From Airport                    To Resort                                      Drive Time

Johannesburg                        Seasons Sport & Spa                        1 ½ hours
Johannesburg                        Dunkeld Country Estate                 3 hours
Cape Town                              Inverness Apartments                  45 minutes

From Resort                      To Resort                                     Drive Time

Seasons Sport & Spa             Dunkeld Country Estate                3 hours
Dunkeld Country Estate       Humala River Lodge                     3 hours
Humala River Lodge             Seasons Sport & Spa                      3 hours

 

DOMESTIC FLIGHT TIMES*  
 
From Airport                To Airport                              Airline          Flight Time

Johannesburg                     Cape Town                                Kulula              2 hours 10 minutes
Lanseria                               Cape Town                                Kulula              1 hour 55 minutes

Johannesburg                     Livingstone (Victoria Falls)   Kulua               1 hour 40 minutes
Johannesburg                     Livingstone (Victoria Falls)   SA Airways     1 hour 40 minutes
Johannesburg                     Livingstone (Victoria Falls)   British Air       1 hour 45 minutes

*Times may vary slightly due to weather conditions and other variables

 
 
 

Victoria Falls

Yes, you do need a visa to enter Victoria Falls. No need to arrange your visa in advance, you may purchase it upon flight arrival. The cost is $50 USD per person. Please be prepared to pay cash and in small denominations; exact change is preferred.

Stacks of Suitcases

Please note that baggage allowances vary with airlines, and airlines are free to revise luggage policies without notice. It is the responsibility of the guest to research and comply with luggage allowances for each airline on the flight itinerary.

Size and Weight Restrictions

International Flights
Carry-on bags must:
  • Not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height), or 115 cm.
  • Fit easily in our SizeCheck® unit (approximately 22″ x 14″ x 9″, or 56 x 36 x 23 cm).
  • Fit in an overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of you.
  • If your carry-on bag doesn’t meet these size restrictions it must be checked, and all checked baggage rules will apply.

To avoid extra charges for oversize or overweight baggage on international flights, your checked bag must:

  • Weigh 50 pounds (23 kg) or less.
  • Not exceed 62 inches (157 cm) when you total length + width + height
Special Items
Each special item you’re checking counts as one bag. When checking in online, you don’t have to tell us what the special item is—only that you have one. An agent will determine any possible charges for your special item when you bring it to the baggage drop. Special Items Include:
  • Overweight bags – bags over 50 lbs.
  • Oversize bags – bags over 62 inches(when you total the length + width + height)
  • Infant and children items – stroller, child restraint seats
  • Assistive devices – wheelchair
  • Sports equipment – bicycle, bowling, fishing or ski equipment, parachute, surfboard, windsurf board, scuba tank
  • Musical instruments
  • Fragile/bulky items – saddle, antlers, Hawaiian pineapples, military duffle bags
Domestic Flights
For flights within South Africa, the weight limit for your checked bag is 44 pounds (20 kg).
Any additional checked bags will require a fee.
You may carry on 1 personal item plus 1 bag weighing up to 15 pounds (6.8 kg)

 

Categories: Air Travel, Packing

 

Passport and World Map

Do I need a visa to travel to South Africa?

A visa may or may not be required depending upon your country of citizenship:

USA / CANADA / AUSTRALIA

A visa is not required for stays in South Africa less than 90 days. However, proof of identity and proper documentation is required for all travel. Without proper identification and documentation, an airline can deny boarding and you may not be permitted to depart. Furthermore, without proper identification and documentation, you may be denied entry.

United States of America, Canadian and Australian Citizens require a valid passport to enter South Africa when visiting less than a 90-day period and holding proof of an onward ticket. The passport must be valid for more than six months after the intended return date to the USA, Canada or Australia. More than a 90-day visit will require a visa.

Your United States, Canadian or Australian passport must have a minimum of two completely blank pages labeled “visa” for the visa issuance by immigration offices upon arrival in South Africa. These two blank pages must face each other so the entry stamp can be placed on one page and the exit stamp on the page it faces.

No advance visa is required for United States, Canadian or Australian passport holders when traveling to South Africa for tourist purposes. Please note that immigration officers hold the right to deny entry to any traveler.

For a complete list of visa-exempt countries, CLICK HERE.

INDONESIA

A South African Visitor Visa application must be submitted prior to traveling to South Africa. A Visitor Visa in South Africa allows a non-visa exempt foreign national to visit the country for tourism purposes and needs to be applied for prior to arrival in South Africa. The Visitor Visa for South Africa also covers many subsets such as the long stay Visitor Visa, the Visitor Visa with spouse and Visitor Visa with children.

For more information regarding the Visitor Visa, CLICK HERE.

THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS APPLY TO ALL TRAVELERS TO SOUTH AFRICA

If traveling with children under the age of 18, please note that in addition to their passport, immigration also requires the original unabridged birth certificate regardless of the relationship of the minor to the traveling companions. If the minor is traveling without both parents, a power of attorney is required. Please contact the consulate for all details prior to travel or visit the South African Department of Home Affairs.

Without proper documentation, entry will not be granted.

NOTE: If you are traveling to other countries in Southern Africa, additional blank pages are required.

For Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe or Zambia, you will require two more blank pages facing each other.

The visa fee for valid for entry into Zimbabwe and Zambia is US $50 per person, payable in cash upon arrival at immigration in Victoria Falls.

Please note: The charge card machines are not always operational. We recommend having the US $50 per person in cash prior to arrival.

Entry requirements can change without notice.

Please check with your local health clinic for any vaccinations required. No inoculations are required currently for entering South Africa from non-yellow fever countries. We recommend the malaria tablet while you are in the Kruger National Park; however, it is not mandatory. Please speak with a Doctor before taking any medication.

 

COVID-19 (1)

Latest Update May 1st, 2020

Go Touch Down is working with all our travelers.

  • Our future travelers can plan for travel anytime within 6 to 36 months.
  • Our current travelers not wanting to travel can contact us to discuss their options.

We know that many of you are concerned about the effects of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and how it may impact your travel to South Africa. All travelers that were scheduled to travel to South Africa over the past few months have moved their travel dates to 2021. Some clients also contacted their travel insurance company (if applicable) to consider terms and conditions closer to travel departure dates.  We continue to assist each request as they come in. If you are traveling in 2020 and are not sure what the travel restriction will be at that time of travel, you are welcome to contact us to discuss moving your dates to 2021. 

Please note the following important information and note that updates and travel restrictions may change daily. (Keep up to date on a daily basis):

1.  The South African government announced a travel ban at all the borders. The country is currently in “lock-down”. Everyone to stay at home. The country is currently on level 4 alert. See link for level updates: CLICK HERE

2. The US Travel State Advisory has changed the travel status to “Level 4”

  • Level 4: The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19 See link: CLICK HERE

3. The Canadian Government has issued the following Global Travel Advisory:

  • Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. See link: CLICK HERE

4. The Australian Government has issued the following notice:

  • A ban on all overseas travel. See link: CLICK HERE

We will be updating our FAQ on our website with regards to current status on COVID-19 and Travel Restriction’s as and when they change.

“Despite this, the tourism industry remains committed to responding proactively and Go Touch Down Travel and Tours will do everything it can to safeguard travelers and their investments during this uncertain time.” ~ Deon Barnard, Chief Operating Officer

Entry Requirements (3)

Victoria Falls

Yes, you do need a visa to enter Victoria Falls. No need to arrange your visa in advance, you may purchase it upon flight arrival. The cost is $50 USD per person. Please be prepared to pay cash and in small denominations; exact change is preferred.

Wide-eyed Baby Looking at Needle

Here is some general information to help you prepare for your visit to South Africa.

Please be sure to consult with your health practitioner prior to your departure for updated information and for treatment appropriate to your personal health and circumstances.

While not required, the malaria tablet is strongly recommended when visiting the Kruger Park area. Please check with your MD for your particular medicinal needs.

Currently, the only mandatory vaccine is Yellow Fever only for those travelers arriving from a country at risk for yellow fever or in transit for more than 12 hours at an airport in a country at risk for yellow fever.*

Malaria Advice for Travelers

The risk for malaria increases from September and September to May is considered the malaria season. Overall control initiatives have been very successful in the malaria transmission areas. Mostly falciparum malaria is seen. The risk remains low in KwaZulu-Natal and is confined to the very far northern KZN. There is no malaria in the Drakensberg, Hluhluwe and Umfolozi Game Parks and St Lucia areas. The risk of malaria in the Kruger National Park will increase and malaria chemoprophylaxis needs to be considered.

After periods of low rainfall, the risk of malaria at Kruger is low. In any case, it is always wise to take steps to avoid being bitten. The most vulnerable times are between dusk and dawn. People are advised to stay indoors during these periods or cover exposed skin with light clothing or insect repellents. Remember, mosquitoes find ankles quite savory.
Mozambique has year-round malaria and the risks in southern Zambia, Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls) will likewise increase. Measures to reduce mosquito bites (the malaria mosquitoes are most active from sunset to sunrise) are essential and include the application of DEET-containing insect repellents to exposed areas, wearing of long pants and socks and sleeping under a mosquito net.
Any person developing flu-like symptoms 7 to 20 days (or even longer) after being in malaria-risk areas should be tested immediately for malaria until the symptoms clear or an alternative diagnosis is made. It is important to advise medical practitioners that you have been in a malaria-risk area to avoid incorrect diagnosis.

*Should you be entering South Africa via any countries mentioned below, proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination would be required upon entry into South Africa:

  • Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Guinea-Bissau, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guyana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, and Zambia.

Rabies, typhoid, and meningococcal vaccines are not generally recommended for the average tourist. It is essential that travelers are up to date with the standard immunizations.

OTHER VACCINES

Tetanus – Ensure that boosters are up to date

Typhoid – Low risk – vaccine not recommended
Polio – No risk
Measles – Low risk in South African sporadic cases only. Outbreaks in UK and parts of Europe. Vaccine contra-indicated in transplant recipients and immuno-compromised travelers, pregnancy
Here is a link that is worth looking into:
Please be sure to consult with your health practitioner prior to your departure for updated information and for treatment appropriate to your personal health and circumstances.

 

Passport and World Map

Do I need a visa to travel to South Africa?

A visa may or may not be required depending upon your country of citizenship:

USA / CANADA / AUSTRALIA

A visa is not required for stays in South Africa less than 90 days. However, proof of identity and proper documentation is required for all travel. Without proper identification and documentation, an airline can deny boarding and you may not be permitted to depart. Furthermore, without proper identification and documentation, you may be denied entry.

United States of America, Canadian and Australian Citizens require a valid passport to enter South Africa when visiting less than a 90-day period and holding proof of an onward ticket. The passport must be valid for more than six months after the intended return date to the USA, Canada or Australia. More than a 90-day visit will require a visa.

Your United States, Canadian or Australian passport must have a minimum of two completely blank pages labeled “visa” for the visa issuance by immigration offices upon arrival in South Africa. These two blank pages must face each other so the entry stamp can be placed on one page and the exit stamp on the page it faces.

No advance visa is required for United States, Canadian or Australian passport holders when traveling to South Africa for tourist purposes. Please note that immigration officers hold the right to deny entry to any traveler.

For a complete list of visa-exempt countries, CLICK HERE.

INDONESIA

A South African Visitor Visa application must be submitted prior to traveling to South Africa. A Visitor Visa in South Africa allows a non-visa exempt foreign national to visit the country for tourism purposes and needs to be applied for prior to arrival in South Africa. The Visitor Visa for South Africa also covers many subsets such as the long stay Visitor Visa, the Visitor Visa with spouse and Visitor Visa with children.

For more information regarding the Visitor Visa, CLICK HERE.

THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS APPLY TO ALL TRAVELERS TO SOUTH AFRICA

If traveling with children under the age of 18, please note that in addition to their passport, immigration also requires the original unabridged birth certificate regardless of the relationship of the minor to the traveling companions. If the minor is traveling without both parents, a power of attorney is required. Please contact the consulate for all details prior to travel or visit the South African Department of Home Affairs.

Without proper documentation, entry will not be granted.

NOTE: If you are traveling to other countries in Southern Africa, additional blank pages are required.

For Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe or Zambia, you will require two more blank pages facing each other.

The visa fee for valid for entry into Zimbabwe and Zambia is US $50 per person, payable in cash upon arrival at immigration in Victoria Falls.

Please note: The charge card machines are not always operational. We recommend having the US $50 per person in cash prior to arrival.

Entry requirements can change without notice.

Please check with your local health clinic for any vaccinations required. No inoculations are required currently for entering South Africa from non-yellow fever countries. We recommend the malaria tablet while you are in the Kruger National Park; however, it is not mandatory. Please speak with a Doctor before taking any medication.

 

Family Friendly (2)

Seniors in Cape Town

South Africa, with its excellent infrastructure and modern medical facilities, is an ideal holiday destination for senior travelers.

At Go Touch Down we make sure all our travelers’ needs are met as we provide private, intimate tours.

Airports, shopping centers, and tourist attractions are often geared to assisting senior citizens. For those who cannot walk long distances, wheelchairs or onsite transport can often be arranged.

Kids on Beach

South Africa is a perfect family-friendly holiday destination with much for the kids to see and do – from building sand castles on golden beaches, swimming in the ocean, taking a joy ride in a theme park, spotting wildlife on a game farm or enjoying adventure activities at one of South Africa’s many resorts.

Child-friendly facilities are found throughout South Africa.  Hotels offer inter-connecting rooms, triple bed arrangements, cots, babysitters, feeding chairs at meal times and children’s rates.  Self-catering properties are also a good option to consider, especially establishments that offer multi-roomed cottages and apartments.

During peak holiday time, when South African families take their annual breaks (April, July, and December), coastal resorts offer children’s entertainment programs, movie theatres screen the latest family-oriented movies and there are special stage shows like the annual pantomime at Jo’burg Theatre in Johannesburg.

Theme parks such as UShaka Marine World in Durban, Gold Reef City in Johannesburg and Ratanga Junction in Cape Town are great child-friendly facilities in South Africa, as is the Two Oceans Aquarium, also in the Mother City.  Sun City has restyled itself as a family-oriented resort with popular water rides at the Valley of the Waves, as well as animal attractions. Countrywide there are good zoos, bird parks, crocodile farms and reptile parks. Some of the private game lodges may not take children under a certain age, but the national parks are great for family-friendly holidays in South Africa.

If your South African sojourn includes a road trip, national routes are well supplied with ‘pit-stop’ conveniences incorporating gas stations, restaurant and restroom facilities. Family-style restaurants in South Africa are good about offering children’s menus and keeping the young ones busy with coloring books and crayons as they wait for their meals.  Baby food, milk, and nappies, are of course, plentiful in supermarkets. Children’s car seats are available from car rental companies and airlines will oblige with bassinets – both with advance notice.

Food and Drink (3)

Potjie

South Africa boasts excellent fresh produce, meat, fruit, fish, and seafood and is renowned for its award-winning wines. Types of dishes served include sosaties (a type of kebab), bobotie (curried mince), crayfish, biltong (seasoned dried meat), and potjiekos (a casserole cooked for hours in a three-legged iron pot). Also, try some traditional African and Afro-fusion dishes along with local beers, Cape wines, brandies, and liqueurs. The traditional beer – umqombothi – is a home-brewed sorghum beer sold in many African townships.

Category: Food and Drink

Glass of Tap Water

South Africa is one of 12 countries in the world where drinking tap water is perfectly safe!  It is also safe to eat fresh fruit, vegetables and salads, and to put ice in your drinks.

Meat on Grill

Meat: Lamb Chops, Steak, Pork Chops, Kebabs,

Chicken: Drumsticks, Wings, Breasts, Kebabs

Sausages: Pork, Chicken, Boerewors:  Coarsely minced beef – sometimes combined with minced pork, lamb or both – spiced with coriander seed, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and allspice

Typical Braai Platter

A typical braai platter in South Africa

It is important to note that venison (game meat) is seldom braaied (barbecued) in South Africa as it’s best to cook or stew to make it tender. South Africans will not surprise you by not announcing what meats are being braaied. Normally a selection and a spread is offered, allowing you a variety from which to choose.

Category: Food and Drink

Ground Travel (3)

Guides holding sign at airport

OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg)

International arrivals: After collection of your baggage you will proceed through Customs and enter the International Arrivals area through a large glass sliding door. As you enter this area proceed immediately to your right where you will see an airports information desk indicated by a yellow “i” in an italic typeface. Your guide will meet you here with a Go Touch Down sign. If your guide is not immediately visible please stay at the information desk.

Domestic arrivals: After collection of your baggage you will proceed to the domestic arrivals area through a glass sliding door. Your guide will meet you in this area with a Go Touch Down sign. If for any reason your guide is not immediately visible please proceed to the information desk located in the immediate area.

Cape Town International Airport

International arrivals: After collection of your baggage you will proceed through Customs and enter the International Arrivals area. You will notice a large boulder/rock with a penguin sign. Your guide will meet you here with a Go Touch Down sign. If your guide is not immediately visible please stay at the penguin sign.

Domestic arrivals: After collection of your baggage you will proceed to domestic arrivals. It is approximately 3 to 5-minute walk. On your way, you will pass a meeting desk for Go Touch Down Taxi service. This company is not part of Go Touch Down Travel and Tours, please proceed further and your guide will meet you in the domestic arrivals hall in front of the Vodacom Mobile Store.

Lanseria International Airport

Domestic arrivals: After collection of your baggage proceed to the arrivals area. Your guide will meet you here with a Go Touch Down sign. If your guide is not immediately visible proceed to the information desk to your right near the pay stations at the entrance to the terminal.

Category: Ground Travel

Kulula airplane on runway

Here is a guide to help you estimate the length of time it will take when driving or flying within South Africa. For driving (van transfers) the time will be the same when you reverse “To” and “From”. The reverse time may vary by 5 – 10 minutes when flying. This guide is preceded by the days and times that you can expect our shuttles to operate.

Please note that every travel itinerary is unique. Be sure to confirm your specific details with your travel agent.
 
STANDARD SHUTTLE SCHEDULE    
 
SAFARI
Shuttle Pickup Times from Johannesburg Airport – Arrivals
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday  (Flights arriving by 9:30 a.m.) – Shuttle departs around 11:00 a.m.
Monday, Tuesday (Flights arriving by 5:45 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 7 p.m.
 
Seasons Resort Shuttle time to Johannesburg Airport – Flights to Victoria Falls or other early a.m. flights)
Wednesday 7 a.m.
 
Seasons Resort Shuttle time to Johannesburg Airport – All Evening Departures
Wednesday 2 p.m.
Note: Clients may use Seasons Resort facilities between checkout and shuttle departure time.

 

CAPE TOWN
Shuttle Pickup times from Cape Town Airport – Arrivals
Wednesday (Flights arriving by 10 a.m.) – Shuttle departs around 12 p.m.
Wednesday (Flights arriving by 5 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 6 p.m.
 
Inverness Apartments Shuttle time to Cape Town Airport – Departures
Wednesday (Flights departing on or after 8:30 a.m.) – Shuttle departs around 6:30 a.m.
Wednesday (Flights departing on or after 1:30 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 11 a.m.
Wednesday (Flights departing on or after 6 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 4 p.m.
 
*Any arrival time outside of these flight times will require the purchase of a non-standard transfer.  
 

DRIVE TIMES*     

 

From Airport                    To Resort                                      Drive Time

Johannesburg                        Seasons Sport & Spa                        1 ½ hours
Johannesburg                        Dunkeld Country Estate                 3 hours
Cape Town                              Inverness Apartments                  45 minutes

From Resort                      To Resort                                     Drive Time

Seasons Sport & Spa             Dunkeld Country Estate                3 hours
Dunkeld Country Estate       Humala River Lodge                     3 hours
Humala River Lodge             Seasons Sport & Spa                      3 hours

 

DOMESTIC FLIGHT TIMES*  
 
From Airport                To Airport                              Airline          Flight Time

Johannesburg                     Cape Town                                Kulula              2 hours 10 minutes
Lanseria                               Cape Town                                Kulula              1 hour 55 minutes

Johannesburg                     Livingstone (Victoria Falls)   Kulua               1 hour 40 minutes
Johannesburg                     Livingstone (Victoria Falls)   SA Airways     1 hour 40 minutes
Johannesburg                     Livingstone (Victoria Falls)   British Air       1 hour 45 minutes

*Times may vary slightly due to weather conditions and other variables

 
 
 

Go Touch Down Luxury Vans

Your guide will meet you upon your arrival at the airport and transfer you to your accommodations in our luxurious Go Touch Down Resort vans. These air-conditioned vehicles seat a maximum of 6 passengers plus your guide. Your guide will have a microphone so that all travelers can be informed, no matter where they are sitting.

You will travel in these luxury tour vans during most of your Cape Town Tour, as well as when transferring to and from your accommodations during your Safari Adventure.

Go Touch Down Safari Jeep at Sunrise

Safari vehicles are open-air with tiered seats, so no one’s view is ever blocked. Our safari vehicles accommodate up to 9 people plus driver and tracker.

Category: Ground Travel

Health and Safety (7)

Latest Update May 1st, 2020

Go Touch Down is working with all our travelers.

  • Our future travelers can plan for travel anytime within 6 to 36 months.
  • Our current travelers not wanting to travel can contact us to discuss their options.

We know that many of you are concerned about the effects of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and how it may impact your travel to South Africa. All travelers that were scheduled to travel to South Africa over the past few months have moved their travel dates to 2021. Some clients also contacted their travel insurance company (if applicable) to consider terms and conditions closer to travel departure dates.  We continue to assist each request as they come in. If you are traveling in 2020 and are not sure what the travel restriction will be at that time of travel, you are welcome to contact us to discuss moving your dates to 2021. 

Please note the following important information and note that updates and travel restrictions may change daily. (Keep up to date on a daily basis):

1.  The South African government announced a travel ban at all the borders. The country is currently in “lock-down”. Everyone to stay at home. The country is currently on level 4 alert. See link for level updates: CLICK HERE

2. The US Travel State Advisory has changed the travel status to “Level 4”

  • Level 4: The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19 See link: CLICK HERE

3. The Canadian Government has issued the following Global Travel Advisory:

  • Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. See link: CLICK HERE

4. The Australian Government has issued the following notice:

  • A ban on all overseas travel. See link: CLICK HERE

We will be updating our FAQ on our website with regards to current status on COVID-19 and Travel Restriction’s as and when they change.

“Despite this, the tourism industry remains committed to responding proactively and Go Touch Down Travel and Tours will do everything it can to safeguard travelers and their investments during this uncertain time.” ~ Deon Barnard, Chief Operating Officer

Emergency phone

If you’re in your hotel room, contact the emergency number provided or the front desk. If you’re out and about, dial 10111 from a landline for the police or 112 from a mobile phone for emergency assistance.

ER24 Emergency Services Vehicle

ER24 EMS is a private, national, emergency medical care service, committed to providing South Africans with efficient, effective emergency response and pre-hospital care. Call 084 124.

Netcare 911 (dial 082 911) offers 24-hour emergency medical assistance.

For ambulance services, dial 10177

Seniors in Cape Town

South Africa, with its excellent infrastructure and modern medical facilities, is an ideal holiday destination for senior travelers.

At Go Touch Down we make sure all our travelers’ needs are met as we provide private, intimate tours.

Airports, shopping centers, and tourist attractions are often geared to assisting senior citizens. For those who cannot walk long distances, wheelchairs or onsite transport can often be arranged.

Glass of Tap Water

South Africa is one of 12 countries in the world where drinking tap water is perfectly safe!  It is also safe to eat fresh fruit, vegetables and salads, and to put ice in your drinks.

Mosquito

The first rule of malaria prevention is that if you don’t get bitten, you will not get malaria. The Female Anopheles Mosquito (the exclusive carrier and culprit) can bite at any time of day but is usually most active at dawn and dusk.

The Kruger National Park is one of the two South African National Parks that are situated in malaria risk areas. The other park is Mapungubwe National Park. It is important to note that the risk of malaria in both of these parks is usually low.  The window identified by the SA Minister of Health for Malaria season is between September and May.

Malaria precautions include the use of prophylaxes and vaccinations in consultation with doctors, the use of repellents on the skin, wearing long-sleeved clothes when outside, keeping window gauzes and doors closed at all times, and ensuring that air-conditioners in the chalets are fully functional.

Please note: With Go Touch Down, only one of our Safari tours visits the Kruger National Park, and only for a one-day excursion between 9 a.m .and 3 p.m. During this excursion you will be in an air-conditioned bus/van for the majority of the time.

 

Wide-eyed Baby Looking at Needle

Here is some general information to help you prepare for your visit to South Africa.

Please be sure to consult with your health practitioner prior to your departure for updated information and for treatment appropriate to your personal health and circumstances.

While not required, the malaria tablet is strongly recommended when visiting the Kruger Park area. Please check with your MD for your particular medicinal needs.

Currently, the only mandatory vaccine is Yellow Fever only for those travelers arriving from a country at risk for yellow fever or in transit for more than 12 hours at an airport in a country at risk for yellow fever.*

Malaria Advice for Travelers

The risk for malaria increases from September and September to May is considered the malaria season. Overall control initiatives have been very successful in the malaria transmission areas. Mostly falciparum malaria is seen. The risk remains low in KwaZulu-Natal and is confined to the very far northern KZN. There is no malaria in the Drakensberg, Hluhluwe and Umfolozi Game Parks and St Lucia areas. The risk of malaria in the Kruger National Park will increase and malaria chemoprophylaxis needs to be considered.

After periods of low rainfall, the risk of malaria at Kruger is low. In any case, it is always wise to take steps to avoid being bitten. The most vulnerable times are between dusk and dawn. People are advised to stay indoors during these periods or cover exposed skin with light clothing or insect repellents. Remember, mosquitoes find ankles quite savory.
Mozambique has year-round malaria and the risks in southern Zambia, Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls) will likewise increase. Measures to reduce mosquito bites (the malaria mosquitoes are most active from sunset to sunrise) are essential and include the application of DEET-containing insect repellents to exposed areas, wearing of long pants and socks and sleeping under a mosquito net.
Any person developing flu-like symptoms 7 to 20 days (or even longer) after being in malaria-risk areas should be tested immediately for malaria until the symptoms clear or an alternative diagnosis is made. It is important to advise medical practitioners that you have been in a malaria-risk area to avoid incorrect diagnosis.

*Should you be entering South Africa via any countries mentioned below, proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination would be required upon entry into South Africa:

  • Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Guinea-Bissau, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guyana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, and Zambia.

Rabies, typhoid, and meningococcal vaccines are not generally recommended for the average tourist. It is essential that travelers are up to date with the standard immunizations.

OTHER VACCINES

Tetanus – Ensure that boosters are up to date

Typhoid – Low risk – vaccine not recommended
Polio – No risk
Measles – Low risk in South African sporadic cases only. Outbreaks in UK and parts of Europe. Vaccine contra-indicated in transplant recipients and immuno-compromised travelers, pregnancy
Here is a link that is worth looking into:
Please be sure to consult with your health practitioner prior to your departure for updated information and for treatment appropriate to your personal health and circumstances.

Mobile Phones (3)

Emergency phone

If you’re in your hotel room, contact the emergency number provided or the front desk. If you’re out and about, dial 10111 from a landline for the police or 112 from a mobile phone for emergency assistance.

Woman holding cell phone

South Africa’s mobile phone operators utilize the GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) system. If your phone is GSM compatible, set up international roaming with your service provider before you leave home. Alternatively, you can rent a mobile phone at the airport on arrival in South Africa, and purchase pre-paid airtime at retail outlets during your stay for outgoing international calls.

Upon your arrival, you will receive your own personal cell phone for use in receiving international calls and for making local calls to your guides and fellow travelers.
Category: Mobile Phones

Couple holding their cell phones

Wi-Fi is available at all of our resorts. You might find internet speed in South Africa to be significantly slower than that to which you are accustomed, resulting in lengthy downloads and uploads of photos and emails.

On day one of your Exclusive Tour with us (Safari, Cape Town or Signature), you will receive a cell phone that can be used to make local calls in South Africa.  This gives you the ability to stay connected with your driver and guide as well as our operational team in South Africa.  The cell phone can also receive international calls, meaning you can give the number to family and friends in your home country and they will be able to contact you. The cell phone can also be used to send and receive international text messages. Please make sure that your South Africa cell phone is fully charged, on and carried with you at all times.

Please note that these phones are not available for pre- and post-nights, nor for Add-On Tours. If you were issued a cell phone during an Exclusive Tour, you are required to return it upon your departure and prior to any further travels within or outside of the country.

We do not recommend using data on your own phone while roaming in South Africa.  If you intend to do so, please contact your carrier to activate and for pricing. We do suggest that you arrange roaming for your phone prior to departing for South Africa.  This is for emergencies only and will generally not incur additional charges UNLESS you dial or receive international calls.  Confirm the charges and details with your carrier prior to departure. Doing this will allow you to contact our operational team in South Africa in case of an emergency upon your arrival in South Africa, prior to receiving your South African cell phone.  We suggest you load the following contact names and numbers for our operational team in South Africa on your own phone:

Jospeh Nkiwane (Airport pick-up and host) 01127-84-881-8708
James Tshabalala (Airport pick-up and host) 01127-83-313-2222
Anisa Laher (Operational Manager) 01127-71-677-8735
Rudolph Odendaal (Assistant Operational Manager) 01127-82-577-0978
Mandy Venter (Communications Liaison Manager) 01127-71-165-4067

Category: Mobile Phones

Money (4)

US dollars and South African rand

The currency of South Africa is the rand (ZAR). The exchange rate between the Rand and the US Dollar is at an all-time high, currently fluctuating from 12:1 to 17:1. This is great news for our North American travelers!

We recommend that you exchange your dollars for rand upon your arrival at the airport in Johannesburg. Should you need to exchange more during your trip, your guide will suggest the best place to do so.
Category: Money

 Game Drive with Lions

Tipping in South Africa is widely practiced. Here is some information on tipping in South Africa.

 Important Notes:
  • Please note that when you travel with Go Touch Down on our promotional tours, we include the tipping at restaurants. For restaurants and bars, 10% to 15% is the accepted tipping standard for any meals or drinks other than those included in our promotional tours.
  • However, tipping your driver and/or guide is not included and although not expected, it is appreciated should you decide to tip them at the end of your tour. The guideline is R100-120 ($10-12) per traveler per day. Either US dollars, Rand, or a combination of the two is acceptable. 

General Guidelines:

Parking attendants and security guards are common in parking lots and at roadside bays. They generally ask if they can watch your car while you are going about your business – if you agree, a tip of R2 and up should be offered, depending on the length of your stay. In South Africa, we still have the luxury of petrol attendants at gas stations to fill up our vehicle tanks, check oil, water, and tire pressure, and clean the windscreens.  How much to tip for this special South African service? From R2 up.

The going rate for porters at airports is between R5 and R10 per piece of luggage.

South Africa, you’ll soon see, has a tradition of roadside newspaper vendors.  It is customary to give the seller a few cents – rounding off the cost of your newspaper should be sufficient.

Hotel porters usually expect a tip of R10 to R20 per porter service.

Some of the other service providers you may want to tip are taxi drivers, tour guides, and assistants in hairdressers and beauty salons.  Should you need assistance in taking your purchases from supermarket to your vehicle, you may want to show your gratitude to your helper with a small monetary reward.

You’ll soon find your way around tipping etiquette in South Africa – it’s easy as it’s usually well-received.

Category: Money

Credit Cards

 

Yes. Credit (and debit/check) cards are widely accepted in at ATMs and by most retailers throughout the county. You will find plenty of ATMs at the airport, and, if you need to withdraw cash during your tour, your guide can take you to the nearest ATM.

If you have only an American Express, MasterCard, and/or Diners Club card, it’s worth opening a Visa account, as this is by far the most accepted choice in Southern Africa.

BE SURE TO NOTIFY YOUR BANK of your international travel dates and destinations before you leave home.

We recommend that you make a photocopy of the front and back of your ATM and credit cards to leave behind with someone at home, just in case your cards are lost or stolen.

Many banks assess a transaction fee of 1% -3% on all charges you incur abroad, and some additionally charge a percentage of the amount withdrawn. Some banks do offer favorable overseas rates and charges for travelers using debit cards specifically.

Categories: Money, Packing

American dollars

We recommend taking $300 – $500, which is approximately 4,200 – 7,000 rand (ZAR), the currency of South Africa.  The exchange rate between the rand and the US dollar is at an all-time high, currently fluctuating from 12:1 to 17:1. This is great news for our North American travelers!

We also recommend that you exchange your dollars for rand upon your arrival at the airport in Johannesburg. Should you need to exchange more during your trip, your guide will suggest the best place to do so.
ATMs are plentiful in South Africa, especially in Cape Town. Be sure to advise your bank of the dates of your international travel before you leave home. We recommend that you make a photocopy of the front and back of your ATM and credit cards to leave behind with someone at home, just in case your cards are lost or stolen.
 
Please note that when you travel with Go Touch Down Travel and Tours on our promotional tours, we include the tipping at restaurants. For restaurants and bars, 10% to 15% is the accepted tipping standard for any meals or drinks other than those included in our promotional tours. However, tipping your driver/guide is not included and although not expected, it is appreciated should you decide to tip them at the end of your tour. The guideline is R100-120 ($10-12) per person per day. (The guides at Kapama and Humala Game Reserves should be tipped separately).
Categories: Money, Packing

Packing (7)

Open suitcase packed with clothes

People often ask us what they should bring with them when traveling to South Africa. Through our own and previous guests experiences, we have compiled a list of those items we have found to be useful and necessary. Please note that these are just suggestions and depend on the month/season traveling. Warmer clothes are required for traveling in June, July, and August.

 Safari
  • 1-2 pairs of smart-casual trousers
  • 2-3 pairs of shorts
  • 4 Shirts and/or T-shirts (any combination)
  • 1 light cotton sundress for the ladies
  • 1 pair of walking/hiking/running shoes (i.e., must be a closed shoe for the bushveld)
  • 1 pair of sandals, crocks, or similar (do NOT wear in the bushveld)
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Mosquito repellent (With DEET if possible). Otherwise, you can purchase at the resort.
  • Light jacket/cardigan for the evenings (depending on the season of travel)

Our warmer months are from the end of September to April with the hottest period from November to February.  One should expect rain storms or drizzle on any of these days.  It hardly ever rains continually and the rainstorms generally last for only an hour or so.  We provide rainproof ponchos for guests to use on the vehicles during game drives and there are sufficient umbrellas at the lodges for guests to use.

Our winter is from June to August with the coldest period being towards the end of June and July. We provide fleece blankets for guests to use on the vehicles during game drives.

Additional Packing Guidelines
• It may at times be very cold during the early morning and during the evening safari.  A warm fleece jacket, a fleece scarf, and a warm hat will be needed.  A warm pair of gloves may also be an added advantage. You may also want to bring a warm tracksuit to wear instead of a dress or light trousers.

• Try to keep the colors of your clothing as neutral as possible in order to blend in with the environment.  ABSOLUTELY NO FLUORESCENT COLORS ON SAFARI. Khaki colors and browns or greens are generally the best. Darker colors and colors that are very bright tend to attract unwanted insects such as mosquitoes and other bug type visitors.

• You should bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes for bush walks.

• Meal times are generally informal, so it is not necessary to dress up for dinner.

• If you wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses it may be a good idea to bring a spare pair in case yours get mislaid or broken.  Also, ensure that you have sufficient lens cleaning solution as the dusty outdoor environment might necessitate frequent cleaning.

• Our electricity works on a 220-volt alternating current system. Wall plug units take a round pin 15 Amp plug.  It is advisable to bring the necessary converter or adapter from your country should you want to charge or use your own electrical appliances.

• You should also bring a video or digital camera, a good pair of binoculars, enough memory cards for your camera (or film for those who still prefer to use film) and your plug and charger for the camera equipment.

• Should you want to send emails or photos home to friends or family you should bring your laptop or mobile device.

• Cellular phones work most places in the country. Upon your arrival in South Africa, we will provide you with a local cell phone whilst you are on tour with us. It is important to know that data in South Africa is expensive, and you should turn off the data setting on the cell phone you brought from home.

• All our rooms are supplied with basic amenities such as soap, shampoo, and body lotions.  You may, however, want to bring your own favorite items with you as well.

• Not all lodges have laundry service available.

• Just a reminder, not all curios purchased in South Africa may be imported to North America. For example, wood, animal products, shells, etc. often need clearance documentation.

• Please travel with minimal luggage.  We suggest using only ONE suitcase if possible, as domestic airlines baggage restrictions are greater than those on international flights.

• Remember to bring your malaria prophylaxis medication with you if you are traveling to the Kruger National Park region.

Please note we strongly suggest you take malaria medication
Please speak with your local travel clinic for all updated information

Category: Packing

Adapter

Voltage: 220/240 V; Plug M.

You will need a power adapter to use your appliances and mobile devices. You may not need a voltage converter as nearly all modern electronics are now dual-voltage. You can verify yours by finding the raised-letter specs on the charger (sometimes printed on a label); it’ll say something like Input: 110v-240v.
You can purchase your power adapter at the airport, or ahead of time at many hardware stores, travel shops or online retailers. Amazon.com has a reasonably priced selection from $7.99.
Voltage Map
South African Plug and Outlet
If you additionally need a voltage converter, we recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. They cost between $12 and $30 dollars and can also be found in many hardware stores, travel shops and online retailers. Virtually all laptop computers and some electric razors take universal voltages. Always be sure to check with the manufacturer of the appliance for proper use and conversion.

Stacks of Suitcases

Please note that baggage allowances vary with airlines, and airlines are free to revise luggage policies without notice. It is the responsibility of the guest to research and comply with luggage allowances for each airline on the flight itinerary.

Size and Weight Restrictions

International Flights
Carry-on bags must:
  • Not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height), or 115 cm.
  • Fit easily in our SizeCheck® unit (approximately 22″ x 14″ x 9″, or 56 x 36 x 23 cm).
  • Fit in an overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of you.
  • If your carry-on bag doesn’t meet these size restrictions it must be checked, and all checked baggage rules will apply.

To avoid extra charges for oversize or overweight baggage on international flights, your checked bag must:

  • Weigh 50 pounds (23 kg) or less.
  • Not exceed 62 inches (157 cm) when you total length + width + height
Special Items
Each special item you’re checking counts as one bag. When checking in online, you don’t have to tell us what the special item is—only that you have one. An agent will determine any possible charges for your special item when you bring it to the baggage drop. Special Items Include:
  • Overweight bags – bags over 50 lbs.
  • Oversize bags – bags over 62 inches(when you total the length + width + height)
  • Infant and children items – stroller, child restraint seats
  • Assistive devices – wheelchair
  • Sports equipment – bicycle, bowling, fishing or ski equipment, parachute, surfboard, windsurf board, scuba tank
  • Musical instruments
  • Fragile/bulky items – saddle, antlers, Hawaiian pineapples, military duffle bags
Domestic Flights
For flights within South Africa, the weight limit for your checked bag is 44 pounds (20 kg).
Any additional checked bags will require a fee.
You may carry on 1 personal item plus 1 bag weighing up to 15 pounds (6.8 kg)

 

Categories: Air Travel, Packing

Credit Cards

 

Yes. Credit (and debit/check) cards are widely accepted in at ATMs and by most retailers throughout the county. You will find plenty of ATMs at the airport, and, if you need to withdraw cash during your tour, your guide can take you to the nearest ATM.

If you have only an American Express, MasterCard, and/or Diners Club card, it’s worth opening a Visa account, as this is by far the most accepted choice in Southern Africa.

BE SURE TO NOTIFY YOUR BANK of your international travel dates and destinations before you leave home.

We recommend that you make a photocopy of the front and back of your ATM and credit cards to leave behind with someone at home, just in case your cards are lost or stolen.

Many banks assess a transaction fee of 1% -3% on all charges you incur abroad, and some additionally charge a percentage of the amount withdrawn. Some banks do offer favorable overseas rates and charges for travelers using debit cards specifically.

Categories: Money, Packing

American dollars

We recommend taking $300 – $500, which is approximately 4,200 – 7,000 rand (ZAR), the currency of South Africa.  The exchange rate between the rand and the US dollar is at an all-time high, currently fluctuating from 12:1 to 17:1. This is great news for our North American travelers!

We also recommend that you exchange your dollars for rand upon your arrival at the airport in Johannesburg. Should you need to exchange more during your trip, your guide will suggest the best place to do so.
ATMs are plentiful in South Africa, especially in Cape Town. Be sure to advise your bank of the dates of your international travel before you leave home. We recommend that you make a photocopy of the front and back of your ATM and credit cards to leave behind with someone at home, just in case your cards are lost or stolen.
 
Please note that when you travel with Go Touch Down Travel and Tours on our promotional tours, we include the tipping at restaurants. For restaurants and bars, 10% to 15% is the accepted tipping standard for any meals or drinks other than those included in our promotional tours. However, tipping your driver/guide is not included and although not expected, it is appreciated should you decide to tip them at the end of your tour. The guideline is R100-120 ($10-12) per person per day. (The guides at Kapama and Humala Game Reserves should be tipped separately).
Categories: Money, Packing

Clean, folded laundry in a basket

While on safari, at Seasons and Dunkeld you may send out laundry to be cleaned for a small fee. There are laundry facilities in Cape Town, but please check with your agent ahead of time for possible water restrictions.

Hair Dryer

Hair dryers are available at all properties either in-room or by request from Housekeeping.

Prize Winners Terms and Conditions (1)

Prize Winners

If you have entered or are considering entering our Discover South Africa Giveaway and you are looking for information or the Terms and Conditions, you are in the right place.

Discover South Africa Giveaway:

  • Twice a year we hold a drawing for two lucky travelers to select either an 8-day Cape Town Tour or 8-day Adventure and Safari Tour.
  • All entrants over the age of 21 received are eligible.
  • The drawing is held month-end in June and December.
  • Throughout the year additional draws may take place. These draws are based on specific promotions and may include other sponsors or partner programs.
  • When an entry form is drawn the travelers will be contacted directly and once they have been notified, we will announce the winners on social media.
  • The selection is made via random.org and all entries received from completed ballot forms (online and in-person) are entered into this fair random draw method.
  • Your name will remain in all our future Discover South African giveaways.
  • The information from each entry form is loaded into our database and is secure and is never shared with third parties.

Safari and Cape Town Tours:

  • Should your name be selected in our bi-annual giveaway you will have a choice of the 8-day Cape Town Tour or 8-day Adventure and Safari Tour.
  • The tours are valued at approx. $4,000 USD per person.
  • The tours include 3 meals per day, your daily excursions according to our standard exclusive tour itinerary, all ground standard transfers from Days 1 through 8, and 7 nights’ accommodation at Touch Down Group resorts.
  • Round-trip international economy flights are included.
  • In addition to our Cape Town and Adventure and Safari Tours, we may offer a 10-Day Combo tour in our giveaways. (The giveaway entry form will specify the tour we are giving away.)
  • The value of the 10-Day Combo tour is approx. $5,000 USD per person.

Terms and Conditions:

  • No purchase is necessary.
  • This is not a contest.
  • Everyone has the exact same chance of being drawn in our giveaways.
  • One entry per person (or email address) only.
  • Your information will not be sold or shared with a third party.
  • The prize winner must travel within 24 months.
  • The prize may not be exchanged for cash, nor may it be transferred to a third party.
  • The Sponsors may contact entrants regarding promotional giveaways and/or related products and services.
  • The entrants may be contacted via email or phone call.
  • The entrants may opt out at any time if they receive promotional advertising from the sponsor.
  • If a winner’s name is drawn and we cannot reach them within 7 days via email or phone, we will redraw.
  • The completion or entry form is not valid in States or Countries where the laws prohibit giveaway entries received via ballots and random draws.

Resort Amenities (4)

Kids on Beach

South Africa is a perfect family-friendly holiday destination with much for the kids to see and do – from building sand castles on golden beaches, swimming in the ocean, taking a joy ride in a theme park, spotting wildlife on a game farm or enjoying adventure activities at one of South Africa’s many resorts.

Child-friendly facilities are found throughout South Africa.  Hotels offer inter-connecting rooms, triple bed arrangements, cots, babysitters, feeding chairs at meal times and children’s rates.  Self-catering properties are also a good option to consider, especially establishments that offer multi-roomed cottages and apartments.

During peak holiday time, when South African families take their annual breaks (April, July, and December), coastal resorts offer children’s entertainment programs, movie theatres screen the latest family-oriented movies and there are special stage shows like the annual pantomime at Jo’burg Theatre in Johannesburg.

Theme parks such as UShaka Marine World in Durban, Gold Reef City in Johannesburg and Ratanga Junction in Cape Town are great child-friendly facilities in South Africa, as is the Two Oceans Aquarium, also in the Mother City.  Sun City has restyled itself as a family-oriented resort with popular water rides at the Valley of the Waves, as well as animal attractions. Countrywide there are good zoos, bird parks, crocodile farms and reptile parks. Some of the private game lodges may not take children under a certain age, but the national parks are great for family-friendly holidays in South Africa.

If your South African sojourn includes a road trip, national routes are well supplied with ‘pit-stop’ conveniences incorporating gas stations, restaurant and restroom facilities. Family-style restaurants in South Africa are good about offering children’s menus and keeping the young ones busy with coloring books and crayons as they wait for their meals.  Baby food, milk, and nappies, are of course, plentiful in supermarkets. Children’s car seats are available from car rental companies and airlines will oblige with bassinets – both with advance notice.

Humala Deck
No matter which resorts you call home during your stay with us, you will enjoy comfort and convenience at each. All of our properties have their own personality and style.
Click on each resort name for details:

Clean, folded laundry in a basket

While on safari, at Seasons and Dunkeld you may send out laundry to be cleaned for a small fee. There are laundry facilities in Cape Town, but please check with your agent ahead of time for possible water restrictions.

Hair Dryer

Hair dryers are available at all properties either in-room or by request from Housekeeping.

Time and Space (2)

Tape Measure

South Africa adheres to the metric system. Road distances are measured in kilometers, petrol in liters and solid food in grams.

Category: Time and Space

Cape Town Clock Tower

South Africa is in the Central Africa Time Zone (CAT). In fall and winter it is 7 hours ahead of the Eastern Standard Time and spring and Summer 6 hours ahead. Hence in October departing from New York or Atlanta the EST is – 6 hours behind South Africa.

Category: Time and Space

Travel Coupons Terms and Conditions (1)

If you have been awarded a Travel Coupon in our Discover South Africa Giveaway and you are looking for information or the Terms and Conditions, you are in the right place.  Please CLICK HERE to visit our secure Travel Coupon page.

Voltage Requirements (1)

Adapter

Voltage: 220/240 V; Plug M.

You will need a power adapter to use your appliances and mobile devices. You may not need a voltage converter as nearly all modern electronics are now dual-voltage. You can verify yours by finding the raised-letter specs on the charger (sometimes printed on a label); it’ll say something like Input: 110v-240v.
You can purchase your power adapter at the airport, or ahead of time at many hardware stores, travel shops or online retailers. Amazon.com has a reasonably priced selection from $7.99.
Voltage Map
South African Plug and Outlet
If you additionally need a voltage converter, we recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. They cost between $12 and $30 dollars and can also be found in many hardware stores, travel shops and online retailers. Virtually all laptop computers and some electric razors take universal voltages. Always be sure to check with the manufacturer of the appliance for proper use and conversion.

Weather (2)

Elephant baby with flowers

With our year-round temperate climate, your decision about the best time to visit South Africa will not so much be based on the weather but more about the experiences and adventures you wish to have.

For example, South Africa’s winter months (June, July, August) – which have the least rainfall, except for the Western Cape with its Mediterranean climate – is a peak time for game viewing as a shortage of water means animals gather at watering holes. Foliage is also less, which makes game spotting easier. But depending on the experiences you seek, there may be another time that’s more suitable to visit South Africa’s game parks. For example, if you want to see newborn animals, then September/October is the best time to visit.

Holiday makers flock to Cape Town and the Western Cape in the summer months to take advantage of the lovely weather, beautiful beaches, and many outdoor adventures.  Nonetheless, winter – even though the rainy season – also has its charm. Visiting the Cape Winelands during winter is a special treat. Autumn, winter, and spring are also ideal times to visit the Northern Cape’s wonderful national parks with their black-mane lions. It is also a good time to enjoy animal tracking adventures with the Kalahari Bushmen because during summer months the temperature can get unbearably hot.

For a South African winter beach holiday, Durban in KwaZulu-Natal is the place to go. With its year-round T-shirt weather and warm Indian Ocean, it is a superb venue for great water-based adventures.

Hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains is also great all year round. Do be aware that in winter night temperatures can drop below freezing and snow can sometimes be found in the higher reaches. During the summer months, afternoon thunderstorms are a frequent occurrence.

There are some adventures in South Africa that can only be experienced at specific times of the year. For example, if you want to see the world-famous Namaqualand daisies, then September (our spring) is the time to visit. The famous Sardine Run – a unique phenomenon when millions of sardines travel up the east coast of South Africa causing a feeding frenzy that attracts thousands of sharks, dolphins, whales, birds and other ocean predators – occurs between May and July.

If you love hiking, spring and autumn are the ideal times to hike as temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold. Spring and autumn are also the best times to visit for fly-fishing in South Africa.

For those seeking to explore South Africa’s rich heritage, cultures, and political past, you can visit any time of year, unless your interest is a specific event like the Zulu Reed Dance, which takes place annually in September.
Category: Weather

Weather Chart

Average day temperatures in summer range from a minimum of 17°C / 62°F to a maximum of 34°C / 94°F although temperatures can get as high as 36°C / 97°F in some areas. In winter, early morning temperatures can drop below 9°C / 48°F and well below zero at night in some places. Maximum average daytime temperatures in winter are a respectable 19°C / 68°F  to 26°C / 80°, perfect for a day at the beach. A subtropical location and a high interior plateau are responsible for South Africa’s temperate conditions so appreciated by visitors.

Average annual rainfall is on the low side at less than 500mm (20″) a year, making the country somewhat dry.  Much of the rain falls in the Western Cape in the winter, differing from the rest of the country, which experiences summer rainfall. Thunder and lightning storms are common in provinces like Gauteng, North West, and KwaZulu-Natal. On the plus side, the South African climate boasts more than its fair share of sunshine, recording an average of 8.5 hours a day.

South Africa’s climatic conditions generally range from Mediterranean in the southwestern corner of the country to temperate in the interior plateau, and subtropical in the northeast. A small region in the northwest has a desert climate.

Our relatively mild and short winters do not justify the expense of central heating in many buildings and homes, which may lead visitors to think the winter is colder than it actually is.  The answer to this is dressing in layers.

For weather conditions specifically on safari, please refer to the following excerpt from an interview with Wessel Roodt, Humala’s GM, posted on our blog:

Q: When are the best weather conditions at Songimvelo Game Reserve?

Wessel: This is a tough question since South Africa has good weather throughout the year. That being said, summer months are October to March, which are normally the rainy months and humidity is higher than normal (but nothing extreme), while May to August is cold, although the temperature hardly drops below zero degrees (32 degrees Fahrenheit) – it’s mainly the wind chill factor that makes it cold. Daytime, the African sun will heat up the day. With this information, if I can recommend a time to visit Humala based on weather, it will be March to May (rain season ends and day temperatures start to drop, the grass is green and game is mainly on the plains) whilst November is our flower season with the start of the rainy period.

Q: What are the best months for game viewing at Songimvelo Game Reserve?

Wessel: Game is dependent on grazing, and their movement cycles are dictated by the availability of food – mainly grass. At the end of the dry months (also the cold months) – August to the end of September, the plains are overgrazed and all possible food (grass) had disappeared.  This is also the period when most of the animals migrated to the mountains to find food – more grass available during this period. As soon as the rain starts – normally October / November the veld turns green and the animals start to move down from the mountains (you still have animals on the open plains but the numbers are smaller). What is important to remember is that animal movements are dictated by weather patterns and the availability of food. During the period of February through May the food is in abundance (peak of the rainy season, thus rain is a regular occurrence on game drives), therefore the possibility is better to see bigger herds of animals on the plains.

Category: Weather

World Heritage Sites (1)

Cape Floral Region

There are 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Africa:

  1. iSimangaliso Wetland Park (KwaZulu-Natal: cultural heritage)
  2. Robben Island (Western Cape: cultural heritage)
  3. Cradle of Humankind (Gauteng: cultural heritage)
  4. uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park (KwaZulu-Natal: mixed heritage)
  5. Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (Limpopo: cultural heritage)
  6. Cape Floral Region (Western and Eastern Cape: natural heritage)
  7. Vredefort Dome (Free State: natural heritage)
  8. Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape (Northern Cape: cultural heritage)

Worship (1)

Dutch Reformed Church

With freedom of religion enshrined in our constitution, places of worship in South Africa span the entire world’s major religions and some lesser ones too.

Christianity is represented by most of the Western mainstream denominational families – Catholicism, Anglicanism and Protestantism, along with their affiliated groups such as Methodist, Congregationalist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Adventist and Dutch Reformed or Nederlandse Gereformeerde.

Some more recent charismatic and Pentecostal additions, such as the high-profile Rhema Church, the Apostolic Faith Mission and the Assemblies of God, are also found in the country.   Smaller groups of Eastern Orthodox branches, such as the Greek Orthodox Church, also offer places of worship around South Africa.

By far the vast majority of South Africans belong to African Independent Churches, which combine traditional ancestor belief with Christianity. The Zion Christian Church is the largest of them.  Over weekends you may see groups of African Independent Church worshippers in green, blue or white robes holding prayer meetings at riversides or in open fields, as their places of worship are connected to natural areas.

Some South African places of worship are also revered for their historical significance. This includes Soweto’s Regina Mundi Catholic Church, which sheltered anti-apartheid activists during the freedom struggle, and the Anglican Church of Christ the King in Sophia town, where Archbishop Trevor Huddleston took a stand against oppression.

Other places still are renowned for their spectacular architecture, such as St George’s Cathedral with its awesome stained glass windows in Cape Town, and the Mormon Temple in Park Town, Johannesburg, with its six spires that light up the night sky.

Places of worship in South Africa also include several Islamic mosques, Hindu temples, Jewish synagogues, and facilities accommodating the Baha’i and Hare Krishna faiths. Bronkhorstspruit, near Pretoria, houses the Nan Hua Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Africa.

Category: Worship

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