Frequently Asked Questions
- Vaccinations required for South African Entry & Exit from 1st October 2011
- Who is responsible for my visas
- What else must I pay for including Local payment
- Cost of the Trans Africa
- Is each trip run separately
- Charging electrical equipment
- Can I use credit cards on tour
- Spending money
- Traveler's cheques
- Middle East accommodation
- Weather on tour
- Gorilla permits
- What language is the overland tour conducted in
- Can I bring my own tent
- Single travelers
- How much luggage can I bring
- How are the seats laid out in the overland vehicle
- Special diets
- I want to know the equivalent price in my local currency
- Can I book through a Travel Agent
- How can I make a booking
- How many people are on tour
- Can I drink the water
- Where is the best place to get medical advice before travelling?
- Do I need to take anti-malarials?
You may or may not be aware but there has been an important change to South Africa's Entry & Exit Requirements.
As of October 1st 2011, A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is now required for all passengers over one year of age who arrive or are transiting through South Africa, from a country or region listed by the World Health Organization as infected by yellow fever. Travellers unable to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate issued at least 10 days before arrival in South Africa will be refused entry. There is no option for travellers without a vaccination certificate to be vaccinated on arrival.
As of October 1st South Africa will also consider Zambia as a country infected by Yellow Fever even though the WHO does not currently list Zambia. All travellers from Zambia into South Africa will be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination.
Just to re-iterate - As of 1st October 2011, clients entering SA from a country or region infected by Yellow Fever and who do not have a valid yellow fever certificate when entering SA will be refused entry.
Smart traveller has also updated it's entry & exit requirements for Zambia and advises that Travellers may be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccinations if they have visited a country where yellow fever is common.
This is a huge change in terms of safety and health and effects a lot of trips.
"What 's a typical day on the Overland Vehicle like "
To find out more just click on this link "A day in the life of an overland tour"
You are responsible for your own visa's, many of which can be obtained on the borders at the time of travel. Your driver will assist you on the day, but should you have any concerns then please do not hesitate to contact us or check out the Visa and Embassy information link on the Links page.
Please remember that you are responsible for your own visas - if you arrive in Africa or the Middle East and you are from a country that requires visas before arrival then we cannot be held responsible.
Residents of the EU (most countries), Britain, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada normally do not require visas before arrival however, governments being governments, the regulations can change overnight.
If in doubt check with each consulate. Please do not spoil the potential holiday of your lifetime without ensuring you conform to the immigration laws and regulations of each country you are visiting.
A useful guide to finding out what visas you will need can be found on www.wikipedia.com if you search by putting in your passport ie British Passport etc. This will give you a list of visa costs and availability. Please remember though that this is a guide only and as things change it may not be 100% reliable.
We require the local payment as we are unable to reliably transfer
foreign currency required to operate the tour. It is for this reason
that we ask for a part of your tour payment to be paid on the first
day, directly to your driver. The Local Payment is not a Food Kitty.
Whilst it does pay for the food as per itinerary, it also covers;
camping accommodation cost, local tolls and taxes and other payments
required to make the tour run successfully. It is administered by the
driver and is not refundable.
If you want to pay the Local Payment in a currency other than pounds sterling please ask you driver for the current rate. This will be referred to the office who will check for the cross exchange rate on www.xe.com
These are activities, which are available for you to do along the
way on the tour but are not compulsory so we have not included them in
the tour cost. These are booked & paid for on the trip and
suggested form of payment is US$ cash. Sometimes you can pay by
Travelers Cheques or Credit card; however the surcharges can be
We also recommend a guideline of about US$ 25 per person for spending money daily to cover things like bottled water, refreshments, souvenirs and drinks.
London to Capetown – 22 weeks - budget for between £5000-£6000. This includes trip cost ₤2150, local payment ₤1100, visas US$990 vaccinations ₤100 optional extras ₤600, spending money 22 weeks x ₤60 = ₤1320 and flight home ₤200-£250 (varies depending on end destination)
London to Nairobi – 30 weeks - budget for £8000. This includes trip cost ₤2750, local payment ₤1500, visas US$900, vaccinations ₤100 optional extras ₤1500, spending money 30 weeks x ₤60 = ₤1800 and flight home ₤200-£250 (varies depending on end destination)
London to Istanbul – 43 weeks - budget for £11000. This includes trip cost ₤3500, local payment ₤2150, visas US$1250, vaccinations ₤100 optional extras ₤2000, spending money 43 weeks x ₤60 = ₤2500 and flight home (UK)₤150-£250 (varies depending on end destination)
Basically, every three weeks we have one truck that does a full ten week trip. This is the Africa All The Way trip. This trip is then broken down into all the other trips that you see on offer. The reason we do this is that not everyone can afford to take ten weeks off work (if only!), so this allows people to come and do a few section at a time. This also means that there will be a more diverse and integrated group of people on your truck and fresh faces too.
Though you can charge of the truck we don't advise it as it runs on a 24 volt system which shortens the life of your batteries. You can charge at nearly every campsite..
Most towns have internet cafes, and some campsites offer email facilities. So you can e mail from every day to sometimes once a week.
Bring two if you can get them in case one stops working, or gets swallowed by the cash machine. There are quite a few places where you can draw out local money. But take care as your card can easily be stopped with the unusual use abroad (as a bank security measure). Which means you may have to get on the phone home to get it unlocked . As a precaution, before travelling ring your bank and tell them where you are going and when you will be away.
£10 - £30 a day is a good start excluding the big side trips. This varies from with how much you drink, eat out and how many souvenirs you buy. Budget separately for the big side trips and options (Gorillas, Serengeti etc.).
The best way to break up your money for a mixture of ease of exchange and safety is to take 33% cash in US$, 33% Travellers cheques in either US$ or Pounds sterling and 33% in money on your credit card – but you really need to bring two credit cards as they can easily be rejected by the cash machine in Africa due to your own bank blocking them as suddenly withdrawing cash in Africa will seem unusual to your bank at home. In East and Southern Africa ATM machines are available about every two to four days, but remember ATM machines only pay out local currency. On most borders you can change excess left over currency for the next countries money.
The balance of carrying a lot of cash is a risk you have to asses yourself in case you lose it.
US$ is the most widely recognized hard currency. When bringing travellers cheques bring the receipt and keep it separately. Many places want the receipt when you change. If your coming from USA bring $, from Europe - € & UK - ₤.
This will depend on what time of year you are doing your trip. During the winter season we will be doing around 30% camping and 70% hostels. This is then reversed during the summer, when camping is more suitable.
Best thing to do is decide on the trip you want to do and the time of year, then look up the weather website from our links page, and you should be able to get an idea. But bring a jumper as it can get cold at night - even in Africa!
Travel Insurance is compulsory. We can point you in the right direction for insurance but can't sell it. You need insurance which covers you for medical, baggage, repatriation, and currency. Please bear in mind, when buying insurance, the most important thing is to look for medical and repatriation cover.
No one can guarantee you will see the gorillas as they move freely through the jungle forests. The gorillas are tracked daily and 99% of the groups do see them but, if the gorilla families are sick for example they are protected from human contact. The permit only allows you the chance to see them however we have managed to see the gorillas every time in the last five years.
English – if you don't know English by the end of the tour you will.
We supply good tents – but if you have one you like your welcome to bring it
Don't worry about that as there is always someone around who can help. It's not a Michelin 3 star gourmet experience and most people are so hungry living in the out doors all day they won't be too fussy.
No as over half the people who join our trips come alone the rest with a friend or so don't worry about coming alone as lots do.
Not really. Our safari trucks are very roomy but remember that most airlines restrict you to 20/30 kilos of luggage without charging so that may limit you in what you carry. We expect people to have a; back pack or duffel bag, day bag & sleeping kit
The trucks are designed for storing backpacks or duffel bags – suitcases are hard to squeeze in and are likely to get damaged.
Sidewards, but some safari trucks have some forward and rearward
facing seats, as well.
Our budget safari truck design has evolved over the 28 years we have been operating and we believe that our seating layout gives our passengers greater room to move.
Vehicles with bus-layout seats means that your movement is restricted a lot more and there is less space for everyone.
No, most diets can be catered for but note ingredients can be limited.
If you do have a particular dietary requirement or medical condition, other than being a vegetarian, you must tell us at the time of booking.
The tour cost can be worked out in your local currency using the exchange rate of the day.
Its normally simpler to book direct, information is more correct and you know your trip is booked.
You can either use the booking form on this website or contact the closest agent to you from our contact page. You need to complete our bookings form and pay your deposit to get your seat. Full payment is due 60 days before departure. To travel with us you must have travel insurance. You don't have to pay by credit card. A cheque/draft, bank transfer or online transaction is just as fine.
We travel with any number from 4 to 30 people on a truck.
Yes but though it's safe to drink bottled water is readily available and most people prefer to drink it.