Cape & Dunes Overland (Southbound)
Experience incredible desert scenery and cosmopolitan city streets as you discover the diverse riches of South Africa and Namibia on this two-week adventure. Beginning in Namibia and continuing down the western edge of South Africa, this tour is a nature and adventure lover’s dream. Explore some of the world’s highest sand dunes, visit Africa’s largest canyon, and explore Etosha National Park in search of the Big Five. Our expert CEOs will reveal the region’s hidden gems, taking the hassle out of travel so you can focus on breathtaking scenery and incredible wildlife. This is truly an African experience.
G Adventures for Good: Penduka Village Restaurant & Shop, Windhoek
G Adventures for Good: !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre, Swartwater. Etosha National Park entrance with wildlife safari drives. Entrance to Sossusvlei Dunes, Fish River Canyon, and Spitzkoppe. Damaraland Living Museum visit. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Search for the Big Five in Etosha National Park, get the adrenaline pumping with adventure activities in Swakopmund, tackle the world’s largest sand dunes, appreciate beauty in the Fish River Canyon, get cultured in Cape Town
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes
2. This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, countries, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience. We use a comfortable and safe customized safari truck for the long drives.
3. It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate if you are traveling to South Africa from a Yellow Fever endemic country. SOUTH Africa is to enforce new rules requiring proof of Yellow Fever vaccination for all travelers – even in airport transit – who have been in Zambia or other countries where the disease is endemic. The stricter guidelines, effective 01 Oct 2011, will see pax without an international Yellow Fever certificate refused entry.
As of January 26th 2011 the Director General of the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism declared a valid Yellow Fever Certificate is required at all points of entry into Zanzibar. This includes the airport, seaport and other points of entry. Failure to provide the correct certification may result in an on the spot vaccination or $50 fine. Please check with your health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area.
4. An essential part of your safari is participation. The group is usually divided into small groups and given different tasks which change on a day to day basis, from kitchen duty group (helping in prepare meals and clean up afterwards), the packing group (sets up all tables and chairs outside) and the cleaning group (which cleans the truck by emptying the rubbish bin and brooming). it is all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly. Your CEOs will do all the meal preparation, but we do ask the clients to help with the washing up. Team spirit is part of the fun! All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes only 5 minutes. All tents have built-in insect nets. Mattresses are also available, which are approximately 4cm thick, warm and comfortable.
5. Sleeping bags can not be rented on any of our Africa overland or safari
6. LUGGAGE COMPLICATIONS: It occasionally happens that luggage on international flights into Cape Town, Livingstone or Johannesburg does not arrive. Please be aware that this may happen, especially if you have a tight connection in either of these centres, are flying with different airlines with a connection, have a last minute flight change or re-route, or fly from or connect through another African centre. Please be prepared and keep all important documentation and valuables on your person. As well we recommend a change of clothes in your hand luggage. If unfortunately this does happen, and your luggage does not arrive, you should be entitled to a limited initial compensation from your airline. In Southern Africa, the arrival of lost luggage normally takes between 10 and 48 hours after the initial plane’s arrival. The airlines technically should be responsible to forward your luggage to you, to your hotel or elsewhere in Southern Africa. You may find that your tour will begin, and you still have not received your luggage. When reporting your missing bag at the airport please provide the airline with the emergency telephone number of our local office in South Africa (+27 71 470 6928). Please do not give out any address (starting point hotel) as on most trips we do not stay long enough for the bag to arrive, the airline should phone our local office to arrange the delivery address. It is recommended that you purchase locally a few needed items, begin your tour. Your CEO or local representative will be able to help you organize this, and once your luggage is retrieved, it should be able to be forwarded to you – depending where you are. Please note that any costs that you may incur for luggage retrieval or sending luggage are not the responsibility of G Adventures, though we will always strive to assist you in any way possible, Please make sure to hand in the reference number of the bag and your flight details to your CEO in order to help with the tracing of the bag. You should always keep all receipts and documentation, and contact your airline or insurance provider for reimbursement.
7. Your CEO aims to provide you with the best service possible during your tour. They will be joining you in the back of the truck for a maximum of approximately 50% during driving, to answer questions and provide more information about the areas that you visit. They will spend the remainder of the driving time in front with the driver to enable them to make bookings, do planning and to fulfil other organizational requirements of the tour. During wildlife safari drives, your CEO will ensure to accompany you in the passenger area of the truck. This is of course because they have a lot of knowledge to share with you during these exciting wildlife safari drives. Please do not hesitate to ask your CEO any questions.
8. Please note that on all our Overland adventure vehicle (OAV) safaris there is a maximum of 22 people per vehicle.
9. VISAS. Please read the Visa section very carefully. Visas are your own responsibility. Always double check with the embassies what each countries requirement are.
10. Water-wise tips when visiting Cape Town:
Cape Town is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts it has seen in over 100 years, and while we want you to have the best time possible while there, here are some tips to help reduce your water usage:
- Bring a reusable water bottle, that you can fill with Cape Town’s tasty tap water.
- Reuse your towels in the hotel, for at least two days, before getting new ones.
- Keep your laundry until you have a full load to do, rather than just doing a handful of items.
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, or shaving.
- Keep your showers to two minutes or less, and don’t use the bath.
- Use hand sanitizer, instead of washing hands.
Group Leader Description
On this tour, you will be accompanied by two Chief Experience Officers (CEOs). The Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) will be the group manager and leader, cook and driver. They will provide information on the places where we are travelling, offer suggestions for things to do and see and introduce you to our local friends. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure.
All of our CEOs in southern Africa are experienced group leaders, with a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife. Most of our leaders in the region are from South Africa, though it may be possible that you’ll have a leader from another country in the southern African region.
All of our overland adventure vehicle (OAV) drivers are experienced in the routes travelled, and highly skilled in dealing with different terrains. All of our cooks will organize and lead the meal preparation, and have experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.
We also use local guides for some included activities where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.
Group Size Notes
Max 22, Avg 18
12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 9 dinners
As mentioned above, most of the meals on this tour are included in the tour price. When a meal is not included, this is because there are often many options available – we would like to give you the opportunity to explore a bit and test the local cuisine yourself. In these cases, your CEO will be able to suggest some good local restaurants or options for you to choose from.
All included meals will be prepared from fresh local produce. The majority of the shopping for foodstuffs will be done before the trip departs, and fresh goods, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, will be bought en route during the trip from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Breakfasts will generally consist of breads and cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will be light meals such as sandwiches and/or salads. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes.
Our cook will organize the meal preparation and lead the way here, but will prepare a duty schedule for ensuring a fair, rotating participation from you and your group members in the meal preparation and dish washing duties.
Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival.
Overland adventure vehicle (OAV), walking.
About our Transportation
We use our new custom built 24 seat overland adventure vehicle (OAV) named the Lando, to criss-cross through Southern Africa. The Lando allows the entire group, including your CEO, to travel together, and because of its height, is great for wildlife viewing and for enjoying the scenic landscape.
Road conditions can run the full gamut from new to being in very poor condition. This style of travel is by no means luxury but it allows us the flexibility of making stops when needed, and reaching some out-of-the way parts in Africa where the traditional safari crowd would not dare to go.
Here’s a quick look at the unique features of the well-equipped G Adventures overland adventure vehicle (OAV):
- Storage for your main luggage is accessible from inside the vehicle
- Day packs can be stored at your feet or on the luggage shelf above
- Onboard safety box for valuables
- Front viewing windows and large sliding windows, both great for wildlife viewing
- Reclining seats
- Fully equipped mobile kitchen
- Access to a 250L tank of drinking water
- Inverter for battery charging (South African plug – 220-240V)
- USB charging ports for every traveller at their seat
- Wifi in selected countries, depending on the network reception
Please note that our Landos do not have on-board bathrooms.
This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Please take note of the travel times and distances in the above itinerary, and consider that this is often on poor quality, bumpy roads. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Participation camping (8 nts), permanent tented camp (1 nt), guesthouse (2 nts, multi-share), bush camping (1 nt), hostel (1 nt, multi-share).
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room/Tent” option for this tour, you will receive your own single room/tent for all nights, except for the below.
My Own Room Exceptions
Day 6, 7, 13
Camping in Africa is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. While camping, we stay at designated campsites in national parks and outside towns. Campsite facilities in southern Africa are generally good, but can be basic in certain places. There are generally small restaurants and/or bars, washing facilities and occasionally telephones available.
The camps have flush toilets, and showers at some camps are outdoors, having simple reed enclosures for privacy. Additionally, warm water is available at most sites, but it is not guaranteed to always be warm when you take your shower; the warm water may be used up others who also use the camp. We usually set-up camp within close proximity to the toilet facilities, though occasionally to reach them you may to walk a short distance.
All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied, including camp mattresses, which are warm and comfortable. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes only 5 minutes. They are good quality, durable, industry-standard 2-person safari canvas tents. Please note that most adults will not be able to fully stand up inside the tents, though most travellers find these more than adequate, as they have a base area of approximately 4 square meters. These tents are regularly treated with a waterproofing agent, but under certain rainy conditions, the tent fabric may become saturated to the point where seepage or leakage may occur. All tents have built-in mesh insect netting on the windows and doors.
We travel with our own portable camp chairs with a comfortable back-rest, and we utilize our own cooking equipment to provide the group good quality camp meals.
In camping within the national parks and conservation areas, some camp sites are enclosed for keeping the resident wildlife out. Other camps are open to the natural environment – care must be taken, especially at night, when a torch/flashlight is recommended when walking around the camp area.
Despite the challenge that a few days “roughing it” may pose to some, the experience of being that close to nature, camping under the African stars, and seeing incredible wildlife at your tent door-step is not just gratifying but ultimately an experience of a lifetime.
In Swakopmund we stay in backpacker’s (hostels) or small guest houses, which will give us a break from camping and to be better located than the campgrounds in the area. Here, the accommodation is based on several people sharing dormitory-style rooms, with possibly 6 to 8 people sharing a room. Although we will try, we cannot guarantee to be able to divide the group into different dormitories based on gender lines. As such, males and females may have to share the same sleeping quarters for these nights. The bathrooms and showers are private, but may also be shared between both males and females.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Upon arrival in Windhoek, arrival transfers are not included. Please make your way to the joining hotel. Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport is about 40 km from downtown. There are a variety of ways to get into the city.
Taxi: When arriving at the international terminal, walk straight ahead and out the doors and just to your left you will see sedan vehicles which are the taxis. The amount should be $250N but agree the price before getting into the vehicle.
Shuttle: When arriving at the international terminal, walk straight ahead and out the doors and just to your left you will see a mini-van. This is the shuttle service to Windhoek/Windhoek hotels/guesthouses and departs when the vehicle is reasonably full (Cost is $120N payble in South African Rand 1ZAR=$1N).
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please call the local emergency contact numbers listed below for more information.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (South Africa)
From outside South Africa: +27 713823286
From within South Africa: 071 3823286
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase (please avoid a hard-top case), or sports bag, maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags.
For our camping style tours you will need to provide your own sleeping bag, small pillow and sleeping sheet (if you would like). We provide the tent and the sleeping pads.
Please note that the seasons in Africa is quite extreme. Winters (especially South Africa, Namibia and Botswana) can be really cold and summers will be really hot.
If you travel during winter months(May to October) please ensure that you bring warm clothing and a suitable sleeping bag.
A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.
• Sleeping bag and liner (Seasonally appropriate)
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: Seasons in Southern Africa are quite extreme. Winters can be really cold and summers will be really hot. If you travel during winter months (May to October) please ensure that you bring warm clothing and a suitable sleeping bag.
Laundry can be done at least once a week on this route. Swakopmund lodge does laundry for the clients. At some of the camp sites further on the route washing can be done by hand by some of the local women, and the price can be negotiated. The cost is usually bewteen ZAr30-ZAr50 per load. It is recommended to bring some washing powder or liquid with you for smaller items.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
The information provided here is to be used as a guide only. Please consult with the relevant embassy or your travel agency before you travel. We cannot take any responsibility whatsoever for the use of this information.
This information is based on the following assumptions:
• Is for non-South African passport holders only
• The requirements are based on tourist and not business applications
• You have the necessary funds/ tickets/ paperwork
The applicant’s passport should remain valid for a period of 6 months after the applicant’s departure from South Africa.
Visa requirements for entering South Africa
You will need the following:
• A valid visa, if required.
• Sufficient funds.
• A return or onward ticket.
Yellow fever certificates are required if the journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.
Foreigners who do not need a visa
For stays up to 90 days
If you are a passport holder of the following countries/areas you do not need a visa for stays of LESS THAN 90 days:
African Union / Unity Laissez Passes, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States of America, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica
For stays up to 30 days
If you are a passport holder of the following countries/areas you do not need a visa for stays of LESS THAN 30 days:
Antigua and Barbuda,Barbados,Belize,Benin,Bolivia,Hong Kong,Hungary,Jordan,Lesotho,Malaysia Cape Verde,Costa Rica,Cyprus,Gabon,Guyana,Peru,Poland,Seychelles,Slovak Republic ,South Korea,Swaziland,Thailand,Turkey,Zambia
Visas cannot be obtained on arrival.
Visas cannot be obtained on arrival.
FOREIGN NATIONALS EXEMPTED FROM VISA REQUIREMENTS WHEN TRAVELLING TO NAMIBIA
Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India (Diplomatic and Official Passport up to 3 Months), Ireland. Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Lienchtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Macau (SAR), Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation ( Including States of the former U.S.S.R), South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Other categories must obtain VISAs
Please enquire with your agent or closest embassy.
Detailed Trip Notes
American Dollars that are series 1996 or earlier are not accepted and very difficult to change in Southern and Eastern Africa, as there are a lot of forgeries.
Southern Africa is renowned for its excellent outdoor living climate. The winter months are from May to September and are characterized by cold nights and pleasant days. Summer is from October to April and starts off with increasing dry heat and dust. Rains generally only start from mid to late December and last until March; this period is hot and humid. Large parts of Namibia are desert environment, so you will have to come prepared with a three-season sleeping bag and appropriate clothing for the winter season (nights only).
50 HZ, Most electrical plugs are 15 amp 3-prong with round pins. International adaptor are called for, they can be purchased locally (approx 2 U$).
Full country name: Republic of Namibia
Area: 824,292 sq km (318,259 sq mi)
Population: 2,032,000 (July 2005 est) 1.820,916 (Census 2002)
Capital city: Windhoek (pop 161,000)
People: 86% African (50% Owambo, 9% Kavango, 7% Herero, 7% Damara, 5% Nama, 4% Caprivian, 3% San, 2% Baster, 0.5% Tswana), 7.4% mixed, 6.6% white Languages: English, Afrikaans, German, Oshivambo, Herero, Nama
Religion: Christian, Lutheran, native religions
President: Sam Nujoma
Major industries: Meat packing, fish processing, dairy products, mining (diamond, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper), millet, sorghum, peanuts, livestock, fish, tourism.
Major trading partners: UK, South Africa, Spain, Japan, Germany, USA
Formally known as South West Africa. The whole territory became German protectorate in 1884, except for the British/Cape Colony enclave of Walvis Bay. After the First World War the territory was administered by South Africa until independence on 21 March 1990. The capital is Windhoek and the second largest town is Walvis Bay, Namibia’s only port. Swakopmund is a coastal town with a German influence and revolves mainly around tourism. Namibia’s economy relies on diamond mining in the south, cattle farming in the north, fishing along the coast and tourism. Most of the country is desert or semi desert. There is a population of around 1.8 million. This, around 1, 5 people per sq. km is one of the lowest in the world. The official language is English although there are many different cultures including Herero, San, Koikoi, Owambo, Afrikaans and German. Namibia was at one stage a German colony therefore having German-speaking people. About 75% of the locals are Christian and the others have traditional beliefs. Namibia is a land of contrasts. Being largely semi-desert and desert, midsummer temperatures may rise to 40°C, while winter night temperatures can drop to freezing. Along the coast it is cool, with regular morning fogs. Namibia’s rain falls in summer, from October to April, and the land averages 300 days of sunshine annually.
Full country name: Republic of South Africa
Area: 1,221,037km2 (447,443mi2)
Population: 47,432,000 (July 2005 estimate), 44,819,278 (Census 2001)
Capital cities: Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Admistrative) and Bloemfontein (Judicial)
People: Zulu, Afrikaners, Xhosa, Basotho (South Sotho), English South Africans, Bapedi (North Sotho), Indian/Asian, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi, Ndebele, others
Language: Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda
Religion: Zion Christian 11%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8%, Catholic 7%, Methodist 7%, Dutch Reformed 7%, Anglican 4%, other Christian 36%, Islam 2%, none 15%
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Major industries: mining (world’s largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metal working, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, food stuff, commercial ship repair.
Major trading partners: U.S., UK, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, China, France, Saudi Arabia, Iran (2004).
Currency: Rand (ZAR), consisting of 100 cents
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). The South African rand is also an accepted form of payment in Namibia.
The Namibian currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), which is equivalent to the South African Rand.
The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). The South African rand is also an accepted form of payment in Namibia.
The Namibian currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), which is equivalent to the South African Rand.
In Botswana, you pay with Pula (BWP) and the official currency of Zambia is the Zambian Kwacha, denoted by ZMK.
It is advisable to pay in US$ in Zambia, as it is not that easy to get a good exchange rate, however, change will then be in Kwacha.
Malawi uses the Kwacha (MWK) and Tanzania and Kenya use the Shilling, denoted by TZS and KES.
Each of the countries visited on this tour has their own currency, and all can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need for each country.
The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa.
Large note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate.
If you plan to rely on cash, please bring foreign currency (Euro, Pound, USD) with you, as it is often expensive to buy these currencies locally. And in more rural areas, it is often not likely.
If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD.
Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques to Africa. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.
Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels.
While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.
Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these.
Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
USD20, may be included in the international air ticket
Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of your tour program. The gesture serves as an expression of appreciation for exceptional service, and amounts given are up to your discretion.
Tipping is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal ‘thank you’, and the action should in no way be awkward.
The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).
You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per person format:
CEO: $5-8 USD (per day, per person)
Local guides: $2-3 USD (per day)
Safari Guide/Driver: $2-3 USD (per day)
Restaurant Staff: 10-15% of cost of bill
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.
We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travellers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes on their travels. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise your tour leader of any medical condition that may affect you while travelling with the group. Your tour leader will be able to inform you of local health advisories (e.g. drinking water quality). Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor.
Yellow Fever Certificate Note: (Updated: May 2017)
It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to the following G Adventures-visited countries from a Yellow Fever endemic country:
- South Africa
For some of these countries, proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is also required for passengers who have travelled more than 12 hours through the airport of an endemic country. If other countries not endemic to Yellow Fever have been visited after visiting an endemic country, then a Yellow Fever certificate may still be required on entry. Please check country-specific regulations before your departure.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that is present in some regions in Africa. Risk of malaria can increase during periods of heavy rain, during the rainy seasons, and in densely populated areas of Southern & East Africa. To prevent malaria, we recommend speaking to your doctor about taking preventative medication (prophylaxis), combined with regular use of insect repellent spray/cream. Please check updated travel health advisories specific to malaria before your departure.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
Some precautions you should take while in major cities are:
*Always leave your passport (It’s better to carry a photocopy of it instead), traveller’s cheques, flight tickets and money that you won’t be using in the safe deposit at the hotel reception. This is free of charge to G Adventures clients.
*Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewellery, cameras etc.
*Please don’t wander through the city to unknown areas especially at night. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organised from reception. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.
*People are generally friendly, but don’t let people take advantage of you, especially the sales people!
- Beware of people approaching you on the street with an apparent interest of where you are from, and want to sit down and have a chat with you. These people are con men and will ask you for money.
- People on the street who ask you if you want a safari and have a brochure are often conmen, best to avoid these folk. Besides, you’re already on safari.
Please do not take photo’s of Police stations or at Cross borders Airports, army barracks and personnel or any Government building. It is against the law and will result in the minimum of your film and camera being confiscated.In rural areas it is generally much safer, but you should always take your cue from your CEO, who will advise when to be extra vigilant and when to relax.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
2 Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) throughout as head guide/cook and driver, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: DNDO, ID: 23679
Day 1 Windhoek
Arrive at any time.
Please make sure you have all of the necessary visas for this tour by the time of the welcome meeting. It is very important to read the visa section in our trip details to make sure you know which visas you will need, if any. Please note that not all nationalities are able to obtain a visa on arrival at the border.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Windhoek/Etosha National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
Visit the G Adventures supported Penduka Village Restaurant & Shop, just outside of Windhoek, to pick up a tasty packed lunch, then continue up to Etosha National Park. Enjoy a wildlife safari drive in the overland vehicle, then opt to take an open vehicle wildlife safari night drive.
Penduka Village Restaurant & Shop
Etosha National Park Wildlife Safari Drive (Lando)
Lando (6.00 hour(s), 280km)
Day 3 Etosha National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy a full-day wildlife safari drive in Etosha National Park.
Etosha National Park Wildlife Safari Drive (Lando)
Day 4 Etosha National Park/Damaraland (1B, 1L, 1D)
Morning wildlife safari drive in the overland vehicle. Travel to Damaraland through beautiful desert landscapes.
Etosha National Park Wildlife Safari Drive (Lando)
Lando (8.00 hour(s), 380km)
Day 5 Damaraland/Spitzkoppe (1B, 1L, 1D)
Explore on your own by foot, and be sure to check out the night sky—it’s great for star-gazing!
Our basic bush camp will have long-drop toilets and no running water.
Damaraland Living Museum
Lando (8.00 hour(s), 300km)
Day 6 Spitzkoppe/Swakopmund (1B, 1L)
We will spend two nights in Swakopmund, here you can explore this historical town or try some of the numerous activities available.
Lando (7.50 hour(s), 425km)
Day 7 Swakopmund
Fill free time with sandboarding, skydiving, or a living desert tour.
Day 8 Swakopmund/Namib Desert (1B, 1L, 1D)
Arrive in the area in the afternoon where we will be camping on the edge of the Namib Desert. Opt to walk with a local expert who will explain the desert and its mysteries.
Lando (7.00 hour(s), 300km)
Day 9 Namib Desert (1B, 1L, 1D)
We will leave early morning towards Sossuvlei campsite, where the towering red sand dunes of Sossusvlei form the gateway into the Namib Desert. Here you will really feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere.
The afternoon is spent exploring the natural wonders of this bizarre environment. Visit Sossusvlei – a clay pan, enclosed by the world’s largest sand dunes, up to 300m (984 ft) high. Here, opt to take a guided walk in the sands dunes, or enjoy some free time to explore on your own.
Sesriem Canyon Visit
Dune 45 Visit
Distance excludes drive to Sossuvlei.
Lando (5.00 hour(s))
Day 10 Namib Desert/Fish River Canyon (1B, 1L, 1D)
Journey to Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa, and arguably the second largest in the world. Spend some time here taking in the majestic beauty of the canyon, watch as a spectacular sunset slips over the canyon’s rim.
Fish River Canyon Visit at Sunset
Duration includes canyon visit, excludes dune 45 sunrise.
Lando (9.00-10.00 hours, 560km)
Day 11 Fish River Canyon/Orange River (1B, 1L, 1D)
Set up camp on the banks of Orange River for the night. After, enjoy a late afternoon of swimming, relaxing, or possibly even canoeing on the river.
Border Crossing (Namibia – South Africa)
Lando (5.00 hour(s), 180km)
Day 12 Orange River/Cederberg (1B, 1L, 1D)
Head south through the Western Cape to the area of the Cederberg Mountains, where we spend the evening camping on a local farm. Explore the area, sip local wine, and sit back and enjoy the dramatic scenery.
Lando (6.50 hour(s), 390km)
Day 13 Cederberg/Cape Town (1B, 1L)
For our final travel day, journey to the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town.
Please note that we arrive in Cape Town in the early afternoon, you might not have time to participate in lengthy activities or see many sights. If you would like to see or do anything, we recommend booking an extra night or two before your return flight home.
!Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre
Lando (5.00 hour(s), 300km)
Day 14 Cape Town (1B)
We highly recommend booking an extra night in Cape Town to explore all that this area has to offer.