Planning your Safari
Don’t let the idea of planning your safari trip overwhelm you. In the following section, we have compiled a list of your essential safari needs, including a basic packing list, need-to-know information, and what to expect on your adventure.
Your Basic Safari Essentials
Important Travel Information
Recommended Packing List
- Long-sleeved shirts for protection from the sun and mosquitoes
- T-shirts or short-sleeved shirts for warmer days
- Shorts or a light skirt
- Jeans or trousers for evenings and cooler days
- Comfortable walking shoes / sneakers / sandals
- Lightweight, waterproof jacket
- Sun hat or cap
Please keep the baggage allowance in mind for your international and domestic flights. The general domestic flights baggage allowance in South Africa is one hand luggage of 8 kg (approximately 17 lbs), and checked baggage of 20 kg (approximately 44 lbs).
Labelling your Baggage
Make your bag distinguishable by tagging or labelling outside with a unique item and/or name tag. This will help identify your bag quicker - especially in the unfortunate event of it being lost or misplaced.
Include the following details on your tag:
- Contact Details
- E-mail address
- Destination address
Please do not pack the following valuables in your checked luggage, but rather keep it on your person or in your hand luggage:
- Legal Documents i.e. Passport
- Cash / Cards
The following list is merely a suggestion as each person's experiences and preferences differ:
- Aspirin for mild pain or headache
- Cold capsules and/or allergy capsules
- Diarrhea prophylactics
- Eye drops
- Prescription medication with prescriptive forms
- Feminine protection
As we may not dispense any medication, we recommend consulting your medical practitioner regarding necessary medications for your trip as pharmacies are not readily available during your safari.
Immunisations and Prophylactics
Please be aware that there is Malaria, Yellow Fever and other potential diseases when travelling to Africa and that necessary precautions are required in the prevention of these diseases, which are endemic to certain regions of Africa.
Currently there are no mandatory immunisations required to enter South Africa.
While most areas in South Africa are low risk and seasonal from September to May, Kruger National Park is a moderate risk area and therefore it is recommended to consult your medical practitioner or nearest travel clinic about Malaria prophylactics.
For more information on Malaria and preventatives you can visit the SaNTHNet website here.
A Yellow Fever Certificate is only required for travellers over the age of 1 year that is travelling from a Yellow Fever risk country, or has been in transit for more than 12 hours in an airport in a country with Yellow Fever risk.
Please consult your medical practitioner or nearest travel clinic to obtain the necessary medications, advice and precautions prior to departure.
Travelling with Minors
All minor children travelling through any South African port of entry must have an unabridged birth certificate or an equivalent document.
For the latest information regarding traveling with a minor, what exemptions there are and what equivalent documents are acceptable, please visit our Department of Home Affairs advisory here.
Frequently asked questions
The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins. Most accommodations have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances.
South Africa’s tap water is safe for consumption, except in rural and drought-struck areas. Filtered and bottled water will be provided each day for drinking and is included in your package.
South Africa has a tipping culture as most people in the service industry rely on gratuities as part of their income. The general rule of thumb is at least 10%, however, what you tip is up to you and the level of service that you received.
A general guideline would be:
- For full day private guides, we suggest a gratuity of at least $15 – $25 USD per person per day. Each family / group is assigned their own guide.
- Where a designated chef cooks and serves at a lodge, from $5 – $8 USD per person per day.
- Most lodges have a staff gratuity box that is divided between general staff (cleaners, gardeners, waiters, etc.) and a $ 5 – $ 10 USD per guest per day would be a suggested tip.
- Porters at the airport and your accommodations are generally tipped around $1.50 – $2 USD per bag. Please only use official porters at the airport and only pay the recommended amount.
It is preferable to tip in cash (USD) and advised to tip once at the end of your safari rather than daily, except for activities and accommodations where you will not be returning to.
As your packages are all-inclusive of accommodation, meals, drinks and activities, we do not recommend carrying large sums of money on you.
You will only need cash for small souvenirs, snacks, gratuities and other personal items where cards are not accepted, however, most places accept Visa and Mastercard as payment. There are also Foreign exchange bureaus and ATM’s available to exchange or withdraw money if necessary.
The following goods may be included in travellers’ baggage by residents or non-residents, up to the following limits:
- Wine: 2 litres per person
- Spirits and other alcoholic beverages: 1 litre per person
- Cigarettes: 200 cigarettes per person
- Cigars: 20 cigars per person
- Cigarette or pipe tobacco: 250g per person
- Perfume: 50ml per person
- Eau de toilette: 250ml per person
- Other new or used goods to a total value not exceeding R5 000 per person, excluding consumables.
- Allowances may not be pooled or transferred to other persons
In addition to personal effects and the above consumable allowances, travellers are allowed new or used goods in his/her accompanied baggage to the value of R5 000.
A traveller is entitled to these allowances once per person during a period of 30 days after an absence of 48 hours from South Africa.
The tobacco and alcohol allowance is not applicable to persons under the age of 18 years.
For more information, please visit the South African Revenue Services website here for more information for travelers entering South Africa.
Non-residents on a temporary visit to South Africa can claim a VAT refund for movable goods exported through a designated point of departure such as O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg within 90 days from the date of purchase. VAT refunds are not applicable to goods consumed or services rendered in South Africa.
- Only original Tax Invoices will be considered for refunds.
- The goods must be presented for inspection on departure.
- Goods must be exported within 90 days of the date of purchase and the claim lodged within 3 months from the date of export.
- An administration fee of 1.5% of the inclusive value of the claim will be deducted, subject to a minimum of R 10.00 and a maximum of R 250.00.
- Special provisions apply to antiques, 2nd hand goods and registerable goods.
The following information must reflect on the original tax invoice for it to be considered valid:
- Contains the words “Tax Invoice”, “VAT Invoice” or “Invoice”
- Name, address, and VAT registration number of the supplier
- Name, address and where the recipient is a vendor, the recipient’s VAT registration number
- Serial number and date of issue of invoice
- Accurate description of goods and /or services
- Quantity or volume of goods or services supplied
- Value of the supply, the amount of tax charged and the consideration of the supply (value and the tax)
For more information you can contact the VAT Refund Administrator (Pty) Ltd.
Telephone: +27 (0)11 394 1117