Southern Africa is a year-round destination because the different regions are spectacular at different times.
In general the best time for game viewing is from our autumn to spring (April to October) as this is the dry season for most of the game park areas so you will have weeks of lovely sunshine. You can see deeper into the bush as the grass is sparse and most of the trees lose their leaves and wildlife gathers around the limited water sources, making it easier to spot animals.
It can get quite cold at night between June and August but temperatures are pleasant during the day.
All bird enthusiasts should come between October and March as during this time you can enjoy all the migratory birds.
Due to the vastness of Southern Africa the different countries have different climates and rainy seasons. For more detailed information on each country please go to Destinations:
We will gladly advise you which time is best for your dream destination and perfect safari.
Malaria is endemic in parts of Southern Africa. Transmission is at its highest during the warmer and wetter months of November through to March. The best prevention is to minimize your contact with mosquitoes by using repellent lotions, sticks or sprays and by wearing clothing that conceals as much of the body as practical, especially at dusk and at night when mosquitoes are most active.
Your GP or travel clinic can advise you if taking malaria prophylaxis is recommended for your trip. They can also inform you about recommended vaccinations.
Please find more information on the World Health Organization´s website here.
South African Standard Time (SAST) is used by all of South Africa as well as Eswatini (Swaziland) and Lesotho. The zone is two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+02:00) and is the same as Central Africa Time (CAT) which is used in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Daylight saving time is not observed in either time zone.
English is one of the official languages in most of Southern Africa´s countries. Road signs and official forms are in English and staff at your accommodation, restaurants or shops will speak English.
There is a variety of African languages in different countries, please read more under Destinations;
In most of the countries we travel to, major international credit/debit cards (Visa, Mastercard and to a lesser extent American Express) can be used to draw local currency at 24-hour ATMs and to pay directly for many services and goods. ATMs are readily available in major towns and we do suggest that you carry some local currency with you for emergencies or to buy drinks and souvenirs in remote areas. Changing money in a Bureau de Change is more difficult as it is often a complicated and lengthy process.
We do recommend that you inform your bank about your planned trip to make sure your credit/debit card can be used during your stay in a different country.
If you have international roaming activated before you leave home, your cell phone will automatically switch to the relevant service provider. Alternatively you can purchase a local SIM card for your mobile phone upon arrival at the airport. Please be advised that you might not have signal in remote areas. Most of the accommodations offer WiFi, the speed and connectivity often relies on weather and location and might be slow, especially in remote areas.
There is quite a variety of different plugs in the different countries, please use this helpful link to find out more.. Many hotels have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances.
Please note that on our private guided tours we provide the relevant adapter for your convenience.
South Africa has an electricity shortage and there are times when the country´s primary electricity supplier, Eskom has to implement load-shedding. This happens when there is not enough electricity available to meet the demand of all customers and the power supply to certain areas will be interrupted, often hours at a time. It is a last resort to balance electricity supply and demand and it is done on the basis of load-shedding schedules to enable the people to be better prepared for power outages. Many shops, hotels/lodges and restaurants have invested in a generator for their business to not be affected by the outages.
Crime does exist but is mainly happening in big cities. It is however wise to take precautions when travelling and be alert as you would in any situation, and let common sense prevail. Do not show signs of affluence, display money or openly show valuables. Pay attention to your surroundings and never leave your belongings unattended.
Tipping is customary in the countries we visit but always voluntary. We encourage visitors to tip in appreciation of good service but please keep in mind the importance and extent of the work someone is doing for you and remunerate accordingly.
Many people work behind the scenes to help you make the most of your holiday, including the chefs, the kitchen team and the housekeeping staff. It is common to tip your guide separately and the rest of the staff together and most camps and lodges have a tip box of some description. However, this does vary, so do ask how the tipping system works at each place.
Do not tip every day or after every activity, it is always best to tip just once, and always at the end of your stay at each lodge, camp or hotel.
The guidance we offer here is based on our experience in South Africa. In the end, though, tipping depends on your personal opinion and your individual satisfaction.
At the airport
Only use the baggage assistants in uniform (normally orange overalls). They have a fixed rate of R10 per bag and a sign of US$2 fixed to their carts.
You will usually be assigned a guide and a tracker: R125–240 (US$9–17) per person per day for the guide and R60–125 (US$4–9) for the tracker.
General staff gratuity box (waiters, chefs, housekeeping): R50–150 (US$3–10) per guest per day
R200–300 (US$14–21) per guest per day
10-15% of total bill
All filling stations in South Africa have attendants who will fill your tank and wash your windscreen. A tip of about R5 is welcomed
Car guards can be found just about anywhere you park. They will offer to watch your car and help you park in exchange for a tip of R2-5, for longer periods R10 is adequate