Thank you for choosing Africa Travel Co for your African adventure.

Know Before You Go. Africa Travel Co provides you with expert travel advice to assist you in preparing for your trip.

Pre Departure Information

Pre Departure Information

Our overland safaris are adventure trips and are designed with people who have an adventurous spirit in mind. Travelling through both southern and east Africa, trips vary in length so offer options for those who have a limited time frame. The nature of overland travel is such that it is generally better suited to the young (and young at heart), but we do not impose an upper age limit.
We provide all cooking, camping equipment and sleeping mat, with the exception of your sleeping bag, on all of our camping trips. Transport is on custom converted trucks that are completely self-sufficient - carrying all the necessary equipment, passenger's luggage, fuel, and fresh water and food stocks. (The only exceptions to the above are our NN7 & NN8 Kilimanjaro Climb and our VV10 Best of Botswana that are operated by local suppliers. The accommodation, crew & transport for these is specified in the relevant trip information.) In addition, all Africa Travel Co. vehicles carry a range of vehicle spares and at least one crew member is an experienced mechanic. Before each truck begins a trip it will have been thoroughly serviced, but it is comforting to know that in the unlikely event of a breakdown the necessary spares and experience are available.
Accommodation on our camping trips is in two person dome tents with mosquito nets over the door and window areas, a sewn in ground sheet and a separate flysheet (rain cover).
Passengers are expected to participate in all aspects of the trip. This means pitching and dismantling your own tent and, on a roster basis, helping with the daily chores such as cooking, washing up and truck cleaning. On all of our ATC camping trips we have a Safari Cook, although we do ask you to assist in the food preparation and shopping. Bargaining in the local markets and helping produce a meal for between 10 and 30 people, can be great fun. The advantages of group travel are achieved when the group works as one. Sharing the responsibility for the roster duties, as well as the packing and security of the vehicle, equipment and belongings will help to make the groups collective experience an enjoyable one.

Local Payment

Where applicable, all passengers contribute to the Local Payment for each of our trips equally. It is payable directly to your Trip Leader at the start of your trip in US dollars cash. Please check our brochure/website for the highlights that are included in your trip and for optional excursions that are for your own expense.
We have calculated the Local Payment amount from our experience in running trips in and around Africa. However, we often have to publish Local Payment amounts a year or two prior to the time your particular trip enters a country, and it is impossible to anticipate exactly how exchange rates, local inflation and price rises may change, so far in advance. It very rarely happens that extra contributions have to be made, but if it does prove necessary, it is usually by only a few dollars. The local payment amount is compulsory and is used to cover on trip expenses that are in US$ (park fees, camping fees, food, tolls, activities etc) and forms part of your overall trip price.

Pre-Departure Meetings and Departures

The Pre-Departure Meetings usually last for approximately one hour and are a great opportunity for you to meet your fellow travellers. The meetings cover a range of topics and important information that should make you feel a lot more comfortable with how your trip will operate as well as ways for you to maximise your experience. Please make every effort to attend this meeting or advise your travel agent or Africa Travel Co. directly, if you know you will be unable to attend.

Kenya - Nairobi

For all trips departing from Nairobi, we have a Pre-Departure Meeting at 17h00 on the day prior to your trip's departure at the Departure Point.
On the day of departure, check- in is at 08h45 for departure at 09h30.
Departure / Check-In Point: Wildebeest Eco Camp, Pre-Departure Camp, 151 Mokoyeti Road West, Langata, Nairobi

Tanzania - Dar Es Salaam

For all trips departing from Dar Es Salaam, we have a Pre-Departure Meeting at 17h00 on the day prior to your trip's departure at the Departure Point.
On the day of departure, check- in is at 07h30 for departure at 08h00, or as confirmed by your Trip Leader at the Pre-Departure Meeting.
Departure / Check-In Point: Kipepeo Beach Camp, Plot 4, Mjimwema, Kigamboni, Dar Es Salaam

Uganda - Kampala

For all trips departing from Kampala, we have a Pre-Departure Meeting in the late afternoon on the day prior to your trip's departure at the Departure Point.
On the day of departure we depart at 05h00.
Departure / Check-In Point: Red Chilli Hideaway, Plot 82, Sunderland Avenue, Mbuya, Kampala

Zimbabwe - Victoria Falls

For all trips departing from Victoria Falls, we have a Pre-Departure Meeting at 17h00 on the day prior to your trip's departure at the Departure Point.
On the day of departure, we remain in Victoria Falls, giving you time to enjoy the numerous activities on offer. We depart on the Monday morning.
Departure / Check-In Point: Victoria Falls, Rest Camp & Lodge, Parkway Drive, Victoria Falls

Nambia - Swakopmund

For all trips departing from Swakopmund, we have a Pre-Departure Meeting at 17h00 on the day prior to your trip's departure at the Departure Point.
We depart on the Monday morning.
Departure / Check in Point: Adventure Hotel Swakopmund, Pre-Departure Lodge, Nathaniel Maxuilili Street, Swakopmund, Swakopmund

South Africa - Cape Town

For all trips departing from Cape Town, we have a Pre-Departure Meeting at 17h00 on the day prior to your trip's departure at the Departure Point.
On the day of departure, check-in is at 08h45am for departure at 09h30.
Departure / Check-In Point: Ashanti Lodge & Travel Centre, 11 Hof Street, Gardens, Cape Town

South Africa - Johannesburg

For all trips departing from Johannesburg, we have a Pre-Departure Meeting at 17h00 on the day prior to your trip's departure at the Departure Point.
On the day of departure, check-in is at 07h00am for departure at 07h30.
Departure / Check-In Point: Mufasa Backpackers, 21 4th Road, Cloverdene, Benoni, Johannesburg

Camping

What to bring

As a guide, we recommend you keep to your airline's restriction - no more than 20 kg. The truck has limited luggage space, so we recommend you bring along a backpack and a day bag/daypack. We do not recommend large suitcases. Most people make the mistake of bringing too much. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry, but avoid nylon and other synthetics as they can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Please remember that Africa can be much colder than you might expect, particular at night and in the early morning, so pack accordingly.
  • Passport & photocopy
  • Vaccination Certificate & photocopy
  • Travel Insurance Policy & photocopy
  • Money
  • Airline Tickets
The following is a suggested list:
  • Underwear & Socks
  • 2 Long Sleeved Shirts or Blouses
  • 3 - 4 Short Sleeved Shirts or T-Shirts
  • 2 Pairs Trousers or 1 Pair & 1 Skirt
  • 1 - 2 Pairs Shorts
  • Tracksuit Pants
  • Light Sweater
  • Heavy Sweater
  • Water/Wind Proof Jacket
  • Comfortable Walking Boots or Trainers
  • Sandals or Flip-Flips
  • 1 Set of Smart Clothes & Shoes
  • Hat
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Watch (Inexpensive)
  • Sunglasses (Inexpensive)
  • Personal Toiletries
  • Spare Contact Lenses & Solution / Spare Glasses
  • Water Bottle
  • Pen Knife
  • Torch & Spare Batteries
  • Small Sewing Kit
  • Washing Soap for Clothes
  • Clothes Line & Pegs
  • Small Scrubbing Brush
  • Sealable Plastic Bags
  • Camera & Spare Batteries / Charger
  • Extra Memory Card / Film
  • Binoculars
  • Universal Plug Adapter
  • Reading Material
  • Music (Ipod's, MP3 Players)
For trips that visit the gorillas, we recommend bringing clothes to keep you dry as well as a pair of gloves to protect your hands from stinging nettles. If you plan to sleep out on warm nights, you will need to bring a mosquito net and ground sheet.
Laundry washing facilities are available en-route, we recommend bringing a bio degradable washing powder/liquid for this use. Almost all campsites have a wash basin for hand washing articles, and some have local staff who will offer to do this for you at a small fee (US$3-10 dependant on the quantity of laundry).

Passports & Visas

Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your trip. You should have at least one blank page for each country to be visited. TIP: We advise you to bring a photocopy of the first 4 pages of your passport, which you store away from the original, just in case you lose it.
Most visas, for most nationalities, are obtainable on arrival at each border. However, you must check with each consular office of each county we visit prior to your departure as to what the visa requirements are. Make sure you check this, way in advance of your departure, so that, if required, you have enough time to get them.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the correct documentation to complete your trip. The Trip Leader cannot stop or alter a trip because you don't have the correct paper work.

Security

We cannot stress enough, the need for you to be alert whilst travelling in Africa, as petty theft is common. Don't bring any unnecessary, expensive jewellery with you. Keep an eye on your belongings, at all times. We provide this safe in good faith, but cannot be held responsible for any losses or damages. Do not leave any valuables lying around. Your possessions are YOUR responsibility! Beware of pickpockets and it's a good idea to walk in groups particularly at night and in African towns, markets etc. Check with your guide if you are in doubt.
There is a safe on each truck where you may choose to store your travel documents and money. We recommend you photocopy all of your travel documents, which you keep separately from the originals.
Vehicle security is a part of trip life and is one of your roster duties. The vehicle should never be left unattended, except when we are staying in a guarded campsite. The luggage storage area of the vehicle will be locked overnight, we recommend storing any items of value in this storage area overnight.
Although every precaution will be taken, neither Africa Travel Co, nor its agents and employees can accept any responsibility for anything deposited in the safe or left on the vehicle.

Medical & Health

Any person participating in an adventure safari must be in good health and in possession of valid medical and personal insurance. Please see our terms and conditions for further information on this. Please note that Africa Travel Co & WildLife Adventures is not qualified to give you medical advice and you must contact qualified medical personnel prior to travelling for information regarding vaccinations and general health while on safari. Our vehicles carry a basic first aid kit that is used in emergencies. Passengers will be asked to replace any item they use. We would therefore strongly advise you to bring your own medical kit, which you'll be able to get at any reputable medical store.
Suggested contents include:
  • Pain Killers
  • Plasters / Sterile Dressings
  • Anti-Histamine Tablets / Cream
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Lip Balm
  • Anti-Malarial, Medication
  • Eye Drops
  • Antiseptic Cream
  • Anti-Diarrhoea Remedy
  • Sun Screen / After Sun Lotion
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sterile Wipes
  • Re-Hydration Salts
  • Moisturiser / Body Lotion
It must be understood that your crew are not able to administer any drugs/medication. It is the client's responsibility to administer medication to him or herself, unless incapacitated, in which case that individuals travelling partner will administer medication.
Water - Good personal hygiene is essential! Wash hands as often as you can, and always before eating - but remember water is precious in Africa. Do not consume any untreated water.
Inform your crew about any medical problems or allergies. This is essential and will be treated confidentially. Be sure to inform them if any medical conditions get serious. There are not always hospitals or doctors everywhere along the route.
Malaria
Malaria is endemic in most parts of Africa. It is your responsibility to take precautions against catching it. First and foremost, don't get bitten!!! Wear long sleeved shirts and trousers when mosquitoes are most active - early in the morning and evening! Use plenty of insect repellent with a high level of DEET on any exposed areas - neck, wrist and ankles!!! Consult your doctor prior to your leaving for Africa so that they can prescribe suitable anti-malarial medication. For further information see http://www.alib.co.za/aftrip/malaria.html.
Vacinations
Please consult your doctor / immunisation centre for the relevant vaccination requirements for the countries through which you will be travelling. Most countries you visit will require a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate if you've been into an area that's infected. Your home country will also probably need the Vaccination Certificate if you've been into an infected area. Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, Meningococcal meningitis, Diphtheria and Tetanus are all prevalent in much of Africa and while it is not compulsory to be vaccinated against these, all precautions should be taken to prevent them. TIP: We advise you to bring a copy of your yellow fever vaccination certificate, which you store away from the original, just in case you lose it.
Insurance
Personal travel insurance is compulsory to join all of our trips. This should include, at least, comprehensive medical cover including the cost of airlifting you to a specialist hospital. Make sure that you will be covered when participating in Adventure Activities, like white water rafting. We recommend you make sure your possessions are covered for both theft and damage. We also recommend you cover yourself for Cancellation and Curtailment Fees if you are unable to travel due to sudden illness, airline strikes, etc. NB: A copy of your Insurance Policy must be handed to your Trip Leader at the start of your trip.

Pre-Trip

Africa Travel Co. is the only overland company with offices in Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa and we can therefore easily arrange accommodation for you. Rates and standards obviously vary from city to city and from country to country.
We recommend you pre-book, at least, one night's accommodation at the Departure Point before your trip begins. This way you won't have to worry about finding your feet in a foreign city or making your way to the Pre-Departure Meeting and joining the group on the morning of your departure.
We can recommend somewhere for you to stay at your journey's end. However, we don't pre-book post-trip accommodation as it is our experience that most passengers change their minds while on route, preferring to stay where their new friends stay. Bear in mind that when travelling during peak season the major centres will be very busy and you may not be able to book the accommodation you want on your arrival. Your Trip Leader can usually recommend somewhere that will suit you budget and standard at the end of your journey. We generally finish our trips in the mid-afternoon, which gives you plenty of time to source suitable accommodation.

Accommodation & Facilities en route

Camping Safaris
All camping trips overnight in a set campsite each evening.
On the Kenya to Cape route (or vice versa), we stay in a secure campsite every night and there are few nights when a shower or a beer are not available - whether they be hot or cold, respectively, is another matter! Sometimes conditions can be challenging and if it's raining you've still got to put up your tent.
The facilities in some of the areas that you will be visiting can be quite primitive and basic. PLEASE COME PREPARED! Please note that we travel to many remote areas where there is very little choice accommodation available, for this we expect your understanding. Participants are usually very quick to adapt themselves to the conditions of the safari. It's all part of the adventure!

Charging Batteries

Most of the camp sites have electrical points, so you should be able to charge your batteries every 3 to 4 days, provided they have electricity, which is not always guaranteed. We recommend you bring along 2 sets of rechargeable batteries as well as 2 sets of normal batteries, so you can be guaranteed of having working batteries at all times as while there may be electrical points. South Africa, Namibia and Botswana use round 3-pronged plugs, while all countries from Zimbabwe north use square 3-pronged plugs (UK type), so make sure you bring along a Plug Converter.

Climate, Visa & Vaccination

Climate, Visa & Vaccination

Weather in Africa can be very unpredictable. The below chart offers a guideline to assist you with planning your trip, and packing the correct gear for the time of year that you travel. We suggest doing a little research into the areas you?re travelling to in regard to local weather conditions prior to leaving on your trip, so that you can be fully prepared for the local climate. Keep in mind that winter in Southern Africa is from June to August and temperatures can be quite low while camping at night. Rainfall is also difficult to predict, so come prepared for some African ?showers? ? especially when booking within the rainy season! While we rarely have days and days on end with continual downpour, some areas do have a distinct rainy season with rainfall each day.
   Average Monthly Maximum & Minimum Temperature, Days of Rain
CountryCityClimateJANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC
BotswanaMaunMax °C323131312825252932353432
Min °C191918151066914191919
Rain87521---1357
NamibiaWindhoekMax °C292827252220202325292930
Min °C17161513976812151517
Rain88841----236
South AfricaCape TownMax °C262625221918171818212324
Min °C1616141298789111314
Rain3236991097533
South AfricaJohannesburgMax °C262524221917172023252526
Min °C1414131064469121314
Rain87521---1357
ZimbabweHarareMax °C262626252321212327292726
Min °C16161412977812151516
Rain1513942100141014
*Please note the above is based on past weather statistics and is a guideline only.

Visas & Vaccinations

Several vaccinations are required for Africa, and on some trips malaria prophylactics are advised. Visit www.netdoctor.co.uk or your local medical expert to seek advice at least 6 weeks prior to departure, so that you may prepare adequately. Yellow Fever vaccinations are required by most East African countries, and are compulsory for those visiting Malawi, Zanzibar and if choosing the optional Gorilla Trek activity.
Visas are entirely your responsibility and Africa Travel Co & it's agents will not alter the itinerary in the event that a traveller has not made provision with the correct travellers documents and visa's. Visa requirements vary between nationalities and the individual countries through which we travel. www.projectvisa.com has a very helpful website with advice on where visas are necessary for which nationalities - but should not be relied on entirely for accuracy as country policies often change without notice.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Our crew are trained not only to run informative, fun and adventurous Trips, but also to take control when things don't run smoothly. Please remember that this is Africa after all and that the itinerary stated has to be flexible and will depend on local conditions. Travelling in Africa is sometimes unpredictable. By the very nature of travelling in remote areas there are unforeseen challenges to overcome and passengers should have a taste for adventure. Problems with road conditions, weather, mechanical breakdown or accidents can delay and change the schedule of the trip. Please be prepared and pack a sense of humour! On every trip that we operate timing and itineraries will vary slightly because of changing conditions. Be prepared and expect this. In the event of any incidence that may affect safety, security, and the well being of the Trip participants, the decision of the trip leader will be final.
Please Note that any trip travelling via Nairobi or Victoria Falls and any trip where we've added another truck to a departure date because of passenger demand, may have a Truck and/or Crew change.

Routes & Itineraries

Africa Travel Co operate multi country overland trips. On some Trips our total distance covered is over ten thousand kilometres and we visit up to 10 different countries! You need to be prepared therefore for long drives on certain days. Although our vehicles are well maintained and serviced regularly, the challenging African roads may sometimes cause temporary breakdowns. Do not panic and please be patient if this should arise. We are well represented with good support throughout southern and east Africa. Should a mechanical breakdown or incident occur, good back-up systems are in place, and there is no need for concern. Your driver has been trained and will need to do on trip maintenance to his or her vehicle as part of their responsibilities.
We make every effort to follow the intended route of the itinerary in our brochure; however changes sometimes need to be made due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control. This may result in missed areas and activities, diversions, and variations on night stops. Occasional operational uncertainties make it impossible to run adventure trips exactly to the intended itinerary, so when booking a trip we ask that you accept that itineraries may differ from those published. The company will not be responsible for accommodation costs, or liable for any airfares or any other compensation to the client.

Crew

Our crew are there to ensure the smooth running of your safari trip. If there is anything that is upsetting you whilst on safari, you need to approach the crew to give them a fair opportunity to rectify the problem. Dealing with any problems that may arise whilst on trip, will prevent them from developing into something more problematic. The crew cannot help you if you do not make them aware of the problem. Please don't wait until the end of the trip to raise any complaints if they arise. It is your responsibility to make the crew aware of issues that need attention so that they can address any problems or make changes where necessary. It will be difficult for us to address any complaint after a trip if you have not discussed any issues with your crew. If a serious matter arises on trip that you feel needs to be brought to our head offices attention, please feel free to contact us by email or by phone at [email protected].
Our crew is selected for their ability to handle overland safari travel and are trained en route by partaking in our trips under the supervision of a seasoned crew member. Please remember that the nature of an adventure safari is to give a very broad range of experiences and that they cannot be expected to be an expert on everything throughout many different countries! This is why we also contract the services of local guides and experts to compliment the information that our crew can give you. If you feel that you are not getting enough information please speak with your trip leader and they will rectify the problem to the best of their ability.
Your crew will brief you on the nature of the trip and what to expect in the pre departure meeting. Thereafter they will have meetings with the group on a regular basis (usually every evening) to explain the next day's options, programs and activities.
Most of our camping trips have 3 crew members - your Driver, Trip Leader and Safari Cook, while our VV10 Botswana trip may have only 1 or 2 crew members dependant on the size of the group.
Our crew are generally Kenyan, Zimbabwean, Namibian or South African. They have a wealth of experience and are more than happy to share it with you. Our Trip Leaders are generally African, European or Australasian. They have travelled through Africa, either independently or as a passenger. Most of our crew have been on the road for a number of years and have vast experience in running successful trips throughout the route we travel. NB: Your Trip Leader is not a "Tour Guide" in the normal sense. They are not experts in all aspects of the culture, history and wildlife of each area. They are employed to ensure the smooth running of your trip. That said, all of our crew have a passion for Africa and have acquired much knowledge of each area, which they'll happily share. For more in-depth information there are usually books on board the truck for your use, but if you have a specific interest like bird watching for example, consider buying one of the guides listed at the end of this document.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, like impassable roads or group safety, it may be necessary to make alterations to the planned itinerary. If this is necessary, the Trip Leader will discuss the issue with the group and alter the itinerary accordingly. The Trip Leader will obviously consider the wishes of the group, but there may be occasions where they have to make an unpopular decision. In ALL matters relating to the trip's running, the Trip Leader's decision will be final.

Spending Money

Only you know to what extent your spending habits will tax you! Africa is not as cheap as a lot of the travel books would have you believe and as such we would recommend that you allow for between U$20.00 to U$30.00 per day for things like bottled water, snacks, drinks and curios. This obviously depends on how much of curio shopper and drinker you are!!! You will also have to budget for any Optional Excursions you'd like to do - please refer to the Optional Excursions guideline to assist with budgeting for these.
We advise you to bring your spending money in both cash preferably in US dollars. Credit Cards are not widely accepted. If you're travelling in East Africa, U$ notes should be clean, un-torn and printed after 2001. Larger denomination notes attract a better exchange rate, but we suggest you bring along a mix of both small and large denomination notes. You may need to change only a small amount to tide you over in a country and you should try to get rid of each country's currency before you leave that country as you won't be able to change it anywhere else! Your trip leader will advise you en-route of where and how to safely exchange your US$ into local currencies where needed.
Tipping
These are always at your discretion and then, only for at least satisfactory service. If you found the service to be unsatisfactory, you are obviously not obligated to leave a tip. However, we would ask that you let us know (on our Client Feedback Form) in what way the service was unsatisfactory so that we can rectify the problem for future clients. The tips below are a guideline only. Scale your tips according to your satisfaction - average service should equate to an average tip. Local guides (like the rangers when gorilla trekking and the polers when in the Okavango Delta), between U$3.00 and U$5.00 per day. Assistants to the guides, (like bushwhackers when gorilla trekking and camp assistants when in the Okavango Delta) between U$2.00 and U$3.00 per day. Others who have provided a service (like housekeeping staff when staying in lodges for a few days), about U$1.00 per day. When eating out, satisfactory service usually warrants a tip of about 10% of the total bill. Kilimanjaro Climbers should take note of the tipping guideline on the trip dossier.
Should you wish to tip your crew members you may choose to do so either directly to each crew member, or as a group. Any gratuity for satisfactory service is most appreciated as their job can so often be a thankless one. Our guideline for tipping crew - Driver/guides /couriers: USD 2 to 5 per day per client; Trainees USD 1 per day
Meals
Where your guides are scheduled to prepare food, they will make every effort to prepare nutritious and filling meals. In Africa especially in the more remote areas, availability of foods and fresh products are often limited. This may result in the duplication of ingredients and meals. The vehicle will be well stocked with staple foods at the beginning of the trip. We try to maintain as much variety throughout the expedition as possible, restocking from stores and markets along the way. Whilst making no special provisions for vegetarians, we have found in the past that there is ample choice available. Please discuss any dietary allergies or specific food requirements with your crew, especially in the case of allergies. They will wherever possible accommodate your needs.
For days where meals are from local restaurants or accommodation establishments, please ensure that you have budgeted for this. Some areas are very remote and only offer buffet style meals at a cost varying between US$15 pp to US$30pp. Please remember also that your crew are working to a specified food budget, which can provide great quality and variety, but does also vary depending on what foods are available locally. We are confident that you will be impressed with our meals, but please realise there is a limit to what can be spent on food, and what may be available in the local markets of the areas you are travelling through.
Drinks
You will be expected to purchase all of your own drinks. Beer, cool drinks, bottled water, local wine and spirits, etc are readily available in towns at reasonable prices. Most campsites and lodges will also have a bar where beverages can be purchased. Beware of dehydration and drink plenty of water, especially if travelling in the summer months.

Overland Transport

All of our trucks are either Mercedes Benz or MAN trucks that have been designed, modified and built to ensure your safety and comfort. All our vehicles carry full cooking and camping equipment, exterior and interior lighting, long-range fuel tanks and 300 to 400 litre water tanks. They have either all forward facing seats or a combination of forward and backward facing seats with little tables between. A few of our trucks have a few side facing seats right in the front of the truck, but the rest of the truck has forward facing seats. Keep in mind, bench seating often faces inwards, so while you can communicate with your fellow travellers, it's not advantageous for game viewing and photography. Our trucks have soft cushioned seats.
Please take care in the vehicle whilst travelling - do not move about unnecessarily for if the vehicle has to stop suddenly you may fall. You must be seated and remain seated if the vehicle is moving, especially while travelling through towns and cities. Take care when standing that you do not bang your head! Do not carry all money or valuables on your person - use the on board safe to store money and passports. This safe is in the vehicle for your convenience
Last person out of the vehicle please switch off all lights and shut the door! Please keep all doors closed and locked at all times. Your possessions are at risk. The truck buzzer should be used with discretion. Please remember that the driver can only stop when it is safe to do so. Do not therefore expect an immediate stop for toilet or photographs after using the buzzer.

Photography

Africa is a photographer's paradise. There will be a few opportunities to download your photos, but these will only be in the bigger centres. We therefore suggest you invest in an extra memory card with a high storage capacity so that you won't have to delete your precious memories. If your camera still uses film, bring along a good stock, as film can be scarce (and, when available, expensive). Consider bringing along a re-sealable polythene bag to protect your camera from the dust.
If you are visiting the gorillas, make sure you chose a film with a high ASA (at least 200) as they are often found in deep (dark) forest and flash photography is not permitted. We recommend a speed of 400 ASA, but bring along a couple of 800 ASA films as it may be too dark for anything less.
If you're planning on videoing your trip, make sure you bring along an extra battery as it isn't always possible to re-charge you batteries.
WARNING - Under no circumstances should you attempt to photograph government buildings (including borders), police, military personnel or any government official. It is not unknown for people to have cameras confiscated if officials even suspect a photo has been taken. If in doubt, ask.

Responsible Tourism

Local laws & customs
We are guests in each country we visit and it is only good manners that we comply with their customs. All participants are required to obey the law and regulation of the countries visited and any passengers contravening such laws may be required to leave the trip immediately with no right to refund of the trip fare.
When visiting homes or villages, as a form of respect and general courtesy towards local inhabitants and village dwellers, we do not encourage the complete invasion of their privacy and homes by tourists. There are certain villages that allow tourist visits at a minimal fee. Many tourists are happy to pay for this small charge for the opportunity of seeing the way in which local inhabitants live. If in doubt ask your WildLife Adventures crew for advice.
Conservation
Most countries are members of CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Please do NOT purchase products made from ivory and skins. These may be confiscated by customs.
Ecotourism
Africa is a diverse and unique continent with both a very beautiful and a very ugly side to her. Wherever possible, we try to let you experience Africa first hand so that you may get a better understanding of what makes her so unique. We ask that you leave her as you find her. Respect the locals. Ask before taking a photo. You probably wouldn't enjoy suddenly being accosted by a group of tourists taking pictures of you! Some people believe that you take away their spirit when you photograph them, so ensure you show them the same courtesy you would appreciate, and ask for permission. Bargaining for curios is the norm. It is a great way to interact with the locals, but bear in mind they're trying to make a living, so don't bargain just for the sake of it. Be prepared to pay what you think the item is worth. You will see some of the absolute poverty that grips much of the continent, but will amazed at how people with seemingly so little are able to triumph over their circumstances to come out on the other side with such a generous spirit. In many of the places you visit, you will experience begging in some form or another. Whether or not to give has caused many a heated debate. The answer is entirely personal, but consider the long term consequence of your decision. If you'd like to distribute goodies, why not ask for permission to take a photo, a smile or a song from the kids and as payment you could let them have a goodie. Please bear in mind that while the kids in your hometown may find sweets a real treat, their moms and dads haul them off to the dentist regularly to get their cavities filled. Many of the areas you visit will not have access to dentists, so instead of sweets, why not bring along some fruit or pens/balls/old clothes/etc. which will be happily received by the kids but won't leave them toothless.
The ultimate objective of eco-tourism is for clients to have a pleasant and enriching experience of nature, and at the same time, cause the least possible disturbance to ecosystems. Your crew have strict environmental policies to adhere to, which we endeavour to instil in all of our passengers. Respect for local people, fellow travellers and the places we visit are expected. Consider the environment at all times and be considerate in your approach to your holiday.
Rubbish
All litter including cigarette buts must be thrown into dustbins provided. Not even fruit peals or pips may be thrown anyplace other than the dustbin.

Connecting Trips & Safaris

Africa Travel Co operate safaris in southern & east Africa. Many of our trips are designed to interlink so that you can connect with other departing adventures. We can also tailor make any other combination for you. Please contact us for full details.
As already mentioned, conditions in Africa are constantly changing and we can therefore not be held responsible for disruptions and delays that may cause you to miss your connections. We recommend that you allow 1 to 3 days after the completion date of your trip before flying out.

Money Guide

Money Guide

The following information is provided to help you with planning your finances while on tour. As African currencies tend to fluctuate more rapidly than your own, it is intended as a guide only.
In East and Southern Africa US$, £ and € are accepted, though US dollars are most easily used. Cash is the best type of currency to use even though traveller's cheques, Visa credit cards and Visa/Visa Electron ATM cards can occasionally be used - but it can be difficult to cash in Travellers Cheques or to find banks that support certain bank cards. Knowing which to use where can be extremely confusing. We have therefore put together a country guide to help you decide what form of payment to use where.

Currency & Denominations

We don't suggest you change any African currency in your home country as, if it's even possible, you will be given a very poor rate of exchange. We recommend that most of your money is in US$ as the Local Payment and all visas obtainable at the borders must be paid in US$. It is also possible to pay for many of the Optional Excursions in US$. If bringing another currency, you'll have to change that currency into the local currency and then buy back the US$, thus incurring foreign exchange charges twice! We suggest you bring along a good mix of both small and large denomination notes as the larger denominations attract a more favourable exchange rate. However, you may need to change a small amount at the airport on your arrival to pay for your taxi and the exchange rates here are a lot lower than you'll receive in town. You may also have to change only a small amount to tide you over in a country. Small US$ notes are also useful for tipping locals for services they've provided. All US$ notes must be printed post 2001, and be in a good condition.

General Notes

Always carry your passport when changing either cash (or traveller's cheques) or when drawing money inside the bank. When changing cash or traveller's cheques or drawing cash from a bank or ATM, you will always receive the local currency. If you need to then change this money back into US$ cash, you'll have to pay the foreign exchange charge twice! Help each other out - if someone wants to exchange US$ cash and you need it, exchange your excess local currency or draw it from the ATM. This way you'll get your US$ cash a lot cheaper (and easier) than having to buy it from the bank. Always bring more money with you than you think you'll need. You can always take it home with you. Try to get rid of each country's currency before you leave that country as you'll struggle to change it anywhere else and it could prove to be an expensive memento of your African holiday. Your trip leader will provide you with more information on this.

Cash

In Africa, cash is generally king! While traveller's cheques and credit cards are obviously safer options they cannot be relied on. We recommend you bring a fair amount of your money in cash, which you can opt to store in the truck's on-board safe. Where traveller's cheque and credit card facilities are available, the surcharges can be a much as 15% on each transaction. If bringing US$ notes, they must all be printed after 2001 and must be in as good a condition as possible - clean and un-torn.

Traveller's Cheques

Traveller's cheques are NOT that widely used, especially in East Africa, and are more difficult to change - especially outside of the major centres. Where the facility is available, they will be cashed at a much lower exchange rate than if you cashed notes. If Optional Excursion operators do accept traveller's cheques, they will generally add a surcharge of between 5 and 15% per each transaction! If choosing to bring traveller's cheques, make sure they-'re in US$ and that they're a well known brand - Thomas Cook, American Express or Visa. Most places will also need your proof of purchase receipt - the piece of paper you're given when buying the traveller's cheques and told to keep separate from your cheques.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are always handy for that "in case of an emergency" situation, but are only widely accepted in Southern Africa, so Do Not Rely on being able to make purchases or pay for excursions with them. Remember you may have to pay your bank a charge for using the card internationally. If you're going to bring your credit card, make sure it's a Visa card, as MasterCard (Maestro) is not widely accepted. Debit Cards are not always accepted. Please ensure you know your personal pin code and that is does not exceed 5 digits.

Automatic Teller Machines (ATM)

These are readily available throughout Southern Africa and are occasionally accessible in the major cities in East Africa. Always check with your Trip Leader when you'll have the next opportunity to draw cash. ATMs usually offer a fairly good exchange rate, but remember, you'll always be issued with the local currency, so if you need US$ you'll have to change the local currency back into US$! Remember too, you may have to pay your bank a charge for drawing money internationally. Some African ATMs tend to "swallow" foreign cards randomly. Try to make sure you use the ATM during bank business hours, so if it's "eaten" you can retrieve it immediately. ATM scams are rife in Africa, so never EVER accept help from anyone when drawing money from the ATM and make sure your PIN number is not seen by anyone when entering it. If you feel unsafe, cancel your transaction, retrieve your card and find another ATM. Visa cards are accepted at most ATM's that accept foreign cards, whereas MasterCard or Maestro cards are not. Please note that debit cards (EC card) are not always accepted.

Trip Feedback

Trip Feedback

At the end of your trip you will be asked to complete a trip feedback form. These forms are handed in at Head Office after each tour and the information you supply is of great importance to us. Please be honest in your opinions and ratings on the forms. Please note that the section regarding the 'quality and quantity of the food' is purely based on the food supplied by the Africa Travel Co Crew Members and not the food you received from Lodges and Restaurants you visited during your trip. If you feel you would rather not give your opinion on this form, please still put your name at the top and simply write on the form that you do not wish to complete the form and hand the form back to the crew. Alternatively send us an email at [email protected] with any applicable comments.
Email
Most people no longer receive posted mail whilst on tour, preferring instead to catch up on news from home via email. Internet access is available throughout Africa, but this is generally only in the major centres, and then only when the connection is working! You'll probably have access to the internet once every week/week and a half. Connection speeds are a lot slower than you'll experience at home and the fees may be relatively high.
You should have internet access at the following points:
KenyaNairobi & Nakuru
Uganda:Kampala, Kabale, Lake Bunyoni - but intermittent connectivity
Tanzania:Arusha, Dar Es Salaam & Zanzibar
Malawi:Lilongwe
Zambia:Lusaka, Livingstone
Zimbabwe:Victoria Falls, Bulawayo
Botswana:Kasane & Maun
Namibia:Swakopmund, Rundu
South Africa:Cape Town & Johannesburg have good facilities
Bear in mind that checking your email will cut into your excursion time. Connectivity may be interrupted in some areas due to unreliable electricity supply, or may be very slow due to dial up connections.