FAQ

/FAQ
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The xenophobic attacks that have occurred in South Africa in 2015 have been limited to a few factional groups in some centres. The vast majority of South African citizens are appalled by these incidents and together with the government and security forces the elements responsible for them have been brought under control.

We will never expose any of our guests to any potential hotspots of civil unrest and our time spent in major centres is pretty much limited to a day or two at most while we are in transit between game reserves and other areas.

About as good as getting an invite from the Queen! Seriously, we have had ZERO cases of Ebola in Southern African countries, unlike North America and Europe who have had a good number of reported deaths from Ebola. From what we can tell the outbreak in North Western Africa is now under control anyway, so this should be very low on your radar if you are thinking of coming on one of our safaris.

We have not had any terrorism in Southern Africa since the 1980’s. While there were terrorist attacks in Kenya in recent times, those have nothing to do with places we go to. The furthest North we go is to Victoria Falls which is nowhere near Kenya. South Africa is one of the least likely places on earth to encounter religious fervour.

This is an easy one to answer. We’re based in South Africa so when you come on a safari with us our travel costs are not included in the safari price, whereas if you are coming out on a workshop that perhaps a high profile web photographer might have organised, you’re going to be paying for their airfare and also any accommodation costs they incur. As guides and tour leaders we usually stay in guides accommodation which is part of the arrangements we have with suppliers to keep costs minimal.

Besides, we don’t want to rip you off. :)

Most of the suppliers that we work with charge us in ZAR and we normally have to pay them well in advance to secure the accommodation and services we need for any of our safaris. Because the ZAR fluctuates (sometimes radically) against major currencies like the USD, Euro and UKP, we can’t risk any shortfalls that might arise if the major currencies weaken against the ZAR in the time between us booking the services and then receiving payment from our Safarians.

We do keep an eye on the exchange rates and will advise Safarians of any major fluctuations in either direction. If the Rand strengthens then we will advise you to perhaps settle your invoice for the tour earlier to safeguard against any further decreases in the value of your own currency. If it weakens we might ask you to bring us a present. 😉

Depending on where you are coming from, your government may ask you to have certain immunisations against things like Yellow Fever and other nasty tropical diseases. It is best to check with your local travel advisory board to be 100% sure you have the necessary shots before coming out.

Some parts of Southern Africa are low risk malaria areas, such as Northern KZN, the Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. However, despite this low risk we strongly advise that if your safari falls in a malaria zone that you take precautions in the form of anti-malaria medication such as Malarone(R) to protect yourself. If you are not all that keen on medication, the use of mosquito repellent with long sleeves and trousers in the evenings, as well as using the mosquito nets at the lodges should provide some protection against being bitten by the anopheles female mosquito but there are no guarantees that such measures will work.

Not all of our trips see us enter malaria areas, however we will state this in the literature for each safari and advise you well in advance if your safari requires you to medicate.

Malaria is not to be taken lightly. If you suspect that you may have contracted malaria after being on a safari (you experience any flu-like symptoms or fever) it is very important to seek out medical attention immediately. Do not ignore these symptoms.

Like any worldwide destination there are places in Southern Africa where you shouldn’t venture without taking precautions. We don’t take our Safarians into any high risk areas and the lodges we stay at are all perfectly safe. We do advise that you keep all your valuables stored safely on your person or in your room safe. It’s also advisable to take out adequate travel insurance before embarking on any international travel.

As far as natural disasters are concerned, Southern Africa is the least risky area in the world. There are no blizzards, hurricanes, volcanoes or earthquakes to worry about.

Depending on your primary photographic objectives, you should plan to cover the areas that are most important to you first by making a list of the images that you would like to get in order of importance. As you work through the list of priorities pack the lenses that are most likely to help you obtain the desired results, weighing your bag as you go. When you begin to reach the limits of the airlines carry on start looking to filter out those lenses that are more “nice-to-have” than essential.

We have written quite a few articles on travelling with equipment within South Africa on our blog. Check them out.

You will want to bring some form of external storage with you because you will be taking a lot of photos! As an example, on our most recent safaris the average disk space used per day was in the region of 20GB!

In most major South African cities (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban) the tap water is perfectly safe to drink. However, in many of the places we visit the lodge tap water comes unfiltered from rivers or boreholes which may not be safe for drinking. This is especially the case in northern Namibia and Botswana. It would be safe to brush your teeth and bathe in this water, but unless the lodge management or your tour leaders have confirmed the water is safe to drink, please stick to bottled water if you get thirsty.

Unless it’s a special camping trip we do in the middle of nowhere, then yes, all the lodges we visit usually have electricity and running water. If we are on a road trip we will advise in the literature if any of the places we stay at will not have electricity.