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Above and below are some quick links. It is recommended however that you read all the FAQ's appearing on this  page as not all are covered in the quick links provided. Feel free to raise any other queries by contacting us direct.  Goto "Contact us" for details

Will we meet you at the Airport? 
Will we be swamped by hordes of other Tourists?  
Is it OK if I am a single traveler?
Will I see the BIG FIVE?
Do you cater for specialized interests, such as Bird life?
Are we safe from the animals?
Is the water safe to drink?
Are children welcome on tour?
Do I have to take Malaria tablets?
What about HIV/Aids?    
Can I drink the water?
What currency is used in South Africa? "The "Rand"
What about Banks?
Will I be able to understand my Tour Guide?
What plugs and power voltage do you use in South Africa?
Can I use my Cell/mobile phone in South Africa?
 Is there internet connectivity?
General Safety Tips
Tipping!
 Personal Safety                                              
 Game Viewing  
Creepy Crawlies

What do I need to bring on Safari?

You can experience very hot days and cold nights so we recommend that you take the following: Long trousers Fleece sweater / windbreaker shorts/skirts and t-shirts for during the day. Khaki, brown or beige colors are recommended to wear during a game drive/walk because white and bright increase your visibility to the animals. Sun block & lip balm sunglasses wide brimmed hat insect repellent comfortable walking shoes camera with a zoom/wide angle lens, spare film or  memory sticks for digital cameras and spare batteries for video cam. Binoculars - preferably light weight 8 x 40 / 10 x 40 for general viewing and "close focus" if birding

Do I have to take Malaria tablets?

The North Eastern parts of South Africa (see map below plus link) have varying prevalence levels of malarial mosquitoes and most countries in Africa are Malaria areas. Malaria is a potentially fatal disease but generally poses no threat in South African tourist destinations if precautions are strictly adhered to. In recent times the prevalence of malaria has been reduced by 78% in Mpumalanga Province,91% in Mozambique and 96% in Kwa Zulu-Natal Province.

 Please ensure that you have consulted your doctor as to what prophylactics you should take for the particular area being visited as there are many different strains of Malaria.

What inoculations do I need?

Please check with your doctor on what inoculations you require.

What if I have a Medical Condition?

Please consult with your doctor prior to leaving on your trip to ensure that you have sufficient amounts of your prescribed medication, as there may not be medical provisions available in certain parts. As many of our destinations are far from Doctors or Hospitals (largely because we focus on 4 X 4 accessible areas) we recommend that you be in reasonably good health when venturing on our tours.

What about HIV/Aids

As in other countries, always take precautions if engaging in casual sexual intercourse. South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world. For more information, see HIV/Aids in South Africa (Abstinence from sexual activity with locals is suggested during your stay)

Are there any other health issues to be concerned about?

Bilharzia can be a problem in some of the east-flowing rivers, but it is easily detected and treated if it is caught early. Perhaps it would be a good idea to have a routine test a month or two after you get home – just to reassure yourself.

Ticks generally come out in the early spring and may carry tick bite fever, which is easily treated. You should also be aware of hepatitis, for which you can be inoculated.

How strong is the sun?

We have a warm sunny climate and you should wear sunscreen and a hat whenever you are out of doors during the day, particularly between 10am and 4pm, regardless of whether there is cloud cover or not. Even if you have a dark complexion, you can still get sunburned if you are from a cooler climate and have not had much exposure to the sun. Sunglasses are also recommended wear, as the glare of the African sun can be strong.

Can I drink the water?

High-quality tap (faucet) water is available almost everywhere in South Africa, treated so as to be free of harmful micro-organisms, and can be safely drunk in any all areas other than informal or shack settlements. (Which we do not visit.) It is both palatable and safe to drink straight from the tap. In some areas, the water is mineral-rich, and you may experience mild gastric distress for a day or two until you get used to it. Bottled mineral water, both sparkling and still, is however readily available in most places. Drinking water straight from rivers and streams could put you at risk of waterborne diseases – especially downstream of human settlements. The water in high mountain streams, however, is generally  pure and wonderful to drink. In the Cape, particularly, the water contains humic acid, which stains it the color of streams to that of diluted Cola – this is absolutely harmless, and the water is wonderfully refreshing to drink. You may also find this coloring in tap water in some areas. It's fine – it just looks a bit weird in the bath.

Do I need Medical Insurance?

It is always advisable to take out medical insurance prior to any international travel.

What currency is used in South Africa? The "Rand"

How far will my money go? A long way. With a favorable exchange rate for many international currencies, you'll find South Africa a very inexpensive destination. For example: One US dollar will get you about two daily newspapers; or two cans of Cola. A liter of petrol (gasoline) - which is about 0.25 gallons - will cost you about $1.40. For one British pound you can buy about 4 daily newspapers; or one take-away hamburger; or three cans of Cola. Thirty pounds Sterling will get you bed and breakfast in a decent guesthouse, hotel, B&B or a bus ticket for a ride of a few hundred kilometers. One Euro will buy a good cup of coffee in a restaurant; or two loaves of bread. A music CD will cost about €15.

What about Banks?

You'll also find South Africa an easy destination for banking. From the moment you step off the plane you'll notice banks, bureaus de change and automatic teller machines (ATM's) conveniently positioned on tourist routes. Banks in South Africa are on a par with their European / US counterparts  and generally open from 9am to 3.30pm - Mondays through Fridays, and 8.30am to 11am on Saturdays, but those at the airports adjust their hours to accommodate international flights. The major banks have branches as well as automated teller machines (ATMs) in most large towns - and all over the cities. International banks have branches in the major cities. Thomas Cook (represented by Rennies Travel) and American Express foreign exchange offices are also available in the major cities.

Game Viewing

Your guide will always do a safety talk with you, whether your game viewing is to be done from a vehicle, or on foot. Wildlife is potentially dangerous, but as long as you adhere to whatever your guide advises you, there is very little for you to worry about. At viewpoints, hides and camps, wildlife is more familiar with people and less intimidated by your presence. Never tease or corner wild animals - this may cause an unpredictable response and a potentially dangerous reaction. Never feed any animals, as this can cause them to lose their fear of humans. Wild animals in our Game Reserves are used to vehicles and therefore generally show no fear, which may give the impression that they are tame! Please always bear in mind that the animals you encounter in our Game Reserves are all WILD ANIMALS - no matter how tame they look.

 

Creepy Crawlies

Although Africa is known to be home to a number of potentially dangerous species, especially snakes, scorpions, spiders, and insects, very few visitors are adversely affected. Snakes tend to be shy, and generally stay away from built-up areas. Lodges and camps generally have insect (especially mosquito) proofing in their rooms. If you go on a walk, it is always a good idea to comfortable, enclosed walking shoes, socks, and long trousers – just as a precaution.

Some beetles however do have right of way !!

 

 

 

 

 

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FAQ's

 

Frequently asked questions about Idyllic African Safaris and travel to South Africa in general.

Because IDYLLIC AFRICAN SAFARIS strives to ensure that you travel with confidence, we have compiled a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions, to put your mind at ease, while you prepare for your journey. On this page you will be able to read the most commonly asked questions that travelers have asked us when they are preparing to travel to Africa for a holiday. If your question is not answered here, please e-mail your query to us and we will assist you.

Is Idyllic African Safaris a registered tour operator?

Idyllic African Safaris is a facilitator of Safaris who also provide properly registered Tour Guides who are also drivers, each holding a professional driving permit. . IE We will plan your Safari (in conjunction with your requirements), arrange your hired vehicles and related insurance, make all accommodation and internal flight rarrangements and provide guiding services on a "one stop Safari" basis. Our fees cover guiding, driver as well as interpretation services.

Your local ground arrangement costs will be billed on a separate itemized billing statement. In this way we are able to reduce overhead costs and pass on the savings to you, our valued client.

 

Will we meet you at the Airport?

If requested to do so, your personal guide will meet you upon your arrival at either Durban, Johannesburg or Cape Town International Airports, or at a pre-arranged rendezvous point,

When is the best time of year to go?

All year round! It depends what you are looking for. One wants to avoid Cape Town in the Winter months when it generally experiences most of its rain, being a Mediterranean type climate. (June – Aug). However no matter what time of the year you go on Safari, you will always see wildlife. Northern KZN and the Kruger National Park are best visited in the Autumn/ Winter months (April - August) when the weather is cooler. Humidity in summer can be unbearable to travelers who are used to milder climes. Chalets and game drive vehicles are however air conditioned. The Okavango Swamps in Botswana are best visited in late June and July as this is when the flood waters reach their peak.

 

Will we be swamped by hordes of other Tourists?

Most definitely NOT. Our tours are personalized and consist of your group only unless by prior arrangement. We choose the types of accommodation based on your requests e.g. children friendly, resort, B&B, small luxury hotel etc.

Will we be with other guests on Safari?

While you will not be traveling with other groups, you will meet other guests at the various hotels, lodges and camps.

Is it OK if I am a single traveler?

Most definitely YES. We would be happy to cater to your needs .

Will I see the BIG FIVE?

There is every chance you will see Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Buffalo and Leopard in the Game Reserves where these occur. Each day on safari will produce something different, you will encounter a variety of Predators, Antelope, Hippo, Crocodiles, Reptiles, Primates as well as many of the over 400 different species of Birds that occur in the regions that we visit. All of which your guide has an in-depth knowledge of and can answer all your questions on.

Do you cater for specialized interests, such as Bird life

We pride ourselves in our wide knowledge of Birds, their habitat and calls. Both Collin and Robyn have each identified in excess of 420 local Birds. (Lifers in birding parlance)

Are we safe from the animals?

You will always be in the hands of an experienced and licensed Tour guide. If walking on pre arranged game trails you will always be in the safe hands of trained rangers and trackers. On all walking Safaris rangers are armed and your safety is their highest concern. (Dangerous wild animals don't roam our City streets!!)

What health precautions do we need?

Consult your medical doctor on this issue.

Is the water safe to drink?

The water in all the camps and lodges is perfectly safe to drink. It has been purified but there is always bottled water available.

Are children welcome on tour?

The age limit for children on walking safari's in Game Parks is 12 years, this is for safety reasons. There are a number of lodges that will accommodate children under the age of 12 and we have are quite happy to accommodate younger children. Family safaris  have always turned out to be the "Best Family Vacation" ever and a tremendous educational experience for the children.

What are the Visa Requirements for traveling in Africa?

You should check with the Embassy or Consulate of the Country(ies) in Africa that you will be visiting for the current information on visa requirements. If you are traveling on a US passport you generally do not require a visa. However your passport must be valid for 6 months after your return.

GENERAL : For all visitors to South Africa
Incoming visitors to South Africa must ensure that their passports meet the following 2 requirements:
» That it not be less than 6 months to the date of expiry.
» That you have at least 1 full, free page in your passport for stamping by officials. This also applies to children's passports.
If either or both these requirements are not met, you will not be let out of the airport building, and will be sent back to your country of origin.

What languages are spoken?

Although South Africa has 11 official languages English is the most common language. Other widely spoken languages include Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans. (Most people you will encounter will understand and be able to converse in English.)

Will I be able to understand my Tour Guide?

Your tour guide's home language is English and is spoken with a South African accent which is similar to Australian or New Zealand accents. You will have no difficulty in understanding our spoken English. Unfortunately we do not speak other Eastern or European languages

Your guides are also fluent in and Afrikaans and speak rudimentary Zulu - sufficient to be understood)

How much should I tip?

It is customary to tip between 10% + for a meal or in a hotel when ordering room service. It is also wise to tip for any other service that you may receive such as a taxi ride, a tourist guide, porters etc. Use your discretion but we recommend that you do not tip less than R10.

What plugs and power voltage do you use in South Africa?

South African power is 220 - 240 volts, 50Hz delivered through a three pin socket. The socket is unique to South Africa and an adaptor will be needed. Most hotels and airport shops will have adapters for foreign plugs, and have electrical Shaver points..

Can I use my Cell/mobile phone in South Africa?

South Africa has an advanced GSM network and all GSM enabled phones will work within the network. Be aware that cost of calling outside South Africa is higher than most countries and therefore it is advisable to get an international calling card.

Is there internet connectivity? 

Southern Africa has a good Internet infrastructure although you may find that it can be slow in certain parts where broadband connectivity is not available. There usually are Internet cafes in tourist areas and many hotels have Internet facilities. Most Banks have fully equipped Internet cubicles for use by clients for monetary transactions etc.

How accurate is the information on your sites?

Idyllic African Safaris prides itself in obtaining factually correct information about our destinations, we further strive to ensure that all our documentation and correspondence is accurate. Our site is regularly updated to ensure that the information given is no older than one month.

General Safety Tips

If you are on a guided safari, your chances of encountering problems are minimal.  At Idyllic African Safaris we make it our business to be fully acquainted with the areas we travel in thus reducing risk to travelers. However, it is sensible to take normal precautions on your African safari, particularly when traveling through urban areas. If you heed the safety tips and precautions given by your tour guide you will be at no additional risk than when touring in other popular destinations. Much of our crime relates to opportunistic crime incidents.

Travel Documents / Money

Always have a photocopy of your passport, and any visas on you. Also, have a list of traveler’s check numbers. These copies should be packed separately from the originals. It is never a good idea to carry large amounts of cash, and most urban centers (hotels, shops) do accept credit cards (Visa  MasterCard and Diners Club cards are most common), as well as Internationally accepted traveler’s cheques. You might need cash for purchases local markets – keep this in a travel wallet, or a zip pocket.

If you intend travelling to other local territories     (Swaziland, Mocambique, Botswana, Lesotho, please ensure you have the necessaryVisa's, if required.

Luggage

Never leave cameras and hand luggage unattended, whether in a vehicle, or even in a hotel foyer. Never pack valuables (this includes medication), in your check-in luggage.

Personal Safety

When traveling independently on your African safari, stay informed in terms of the local news. Ask at your hotel about any unsafe areas, and codes of dress and behavior. Don't openly carry valuables. If you must carry your passport and money, keep them in a buttoned-down pocket.

 

 

Carmine Bee-eater - (Merops nubicoides)