South Africa Travel Information

Rock Fig Lodge, South Africa

Image © RockFig Lodge 

South Africa has it all, beautiful landscapes, breath taking scenery, vibrant and colourful cities and iconic wildlife – as well as gastronomic cuisine  and wine – this wonderful country offers an unforgettable experience. Our travel information section aims to provide you with useful information and resources for your holiday to South Africa.

  • Contact us for more information or to discuss your travel plans with one of our dedicated travel consultants.
    • Getting There
      • South Africa has a number of international airports, the three main ones are below, with Johannesburg being the international hub of South Africa:

        OR Tambo International Airport (JNB)

        Cape Town International Airport (CPT)

        King Shaka International Airport (DUR)

        There are over 70 airlines flying into this destination and you can fly direct from UK, Europe, USA and other African destinations.

        You can check your best flight route here

    • Security & General Travel Safety
      • To view the current travel advisory to the South Africa click here: UK & USA

        Our head office is based in Nairobi and we work with companies who are located on the ground in South Africa.  They are the eyes and ears on the ground and can inform our head office in Nairobi of any security situation as it may happen, ensuring that we can act and respond swiftly.

        Other general travel safety advice:

        – In the cities and main tourist areas, be on the alert for handbag snatchers and pick pockets.

        – Do not travel with any precious jewellery items.

        – Make copies of your travel documents and keep these in a safe place – separate from the original documents.

        – Split out cash into separate bundles of small amounts and keep separately.

        – Ensure that luggage can be locked.

        – Always wear sear belts whilst traveling in vehicles and ensure doors are locked.

        – Stick to main roads and don’t take short cuts through less secure areas.

        – Do not walk around after dark.

        – If you visit a township, only go with a responsible and reliable tour guide.

    • Currency
      • The South African Rand is the currency of South Africa.

        Ensure to travel with lower denomination notes, as change given from high tender notes may not be easily available.

        When tipping, do so in local currency.

        Most major credit cards (American Express, Mastercard, Visa) are widely accepted in shops, restaurants and hotels, but are not always accepted at petrol (gas) stations.

        Always inform your bank that you are travelling outside of the country as they might block any attempt to withdraw cash or use card machines if they have not been informed beforehand.  Never accept assistance or help to use an ATM.

    • Tipping
      • Tipping is entirely at your discretion and although it is not a requirement it is customary to tip for good service.  There is not a set amount to tip, so please take the following information as a guideline:

        Tipping Guidelines at Lodges:
        Guides: $10-$20 per person per day
        Trackers: $10-$20 per person per day
        General staff: $10–$20 per guest per day
        Gratuities for the general staff are evenly distributed between all team members.
        Tipping boxes are available on your day of departure from each lodge.

        In Cape Town, ie for a city tour,  the typical gratuity for your guide is around $10-$20 per person

    • Health Information
      • Malaria:

        Some parts of the country,  will require you to take malarial precautions, whereas other areas, such as Eastern Cape are malaria free.  It is recommended that you contact your Doctor or Travel Health Clinic, with your booked itinerary,  at least 6-8 weeks prior to travel so they can advise if malaria precautions are necessary for your trip.

        You can reduce the risk of malaria by using prophylactics (which should be started before arriving in South Africa and under your doctor’s guidance) and by following these simple procedures:

        – Wear long sleeves and long trousers to avoid bites from mosquitos, insects and ticks.

        – Apply mosquito repellents on a regular basis to exposed skin.

        – Where possible sleep under a mosquito net.

        – Burn an insect/mosquito repellent candle or coil.

        All travellers should be aware of the signs and symptoms of malaria and should be advised to seek immediate medical attention if these occur either whilst abroad or up to a year after their return. Speak to your Doctor or Travel Health Clinic for more information.


        Yellow Fever at least 10 days before arrival is required for travelers originating from or transiting through WHO-designated yellow fever countries.

        The recommendations regarding vaccinations & anti-malaria tablets need to be discussed with a professional, therefore it is advised that you contact your Doctor/medical centre/ travel health clinic for up-to-date details, this should ideally be done at least 8 weeks before you travel.


        Travelers entering South Africa are no longer required to produce vaccination certificates or recent negative PCR tests.

    • Drinking Water & De-Hydration
      • Drinking Water: 

        Generally the water from the taps is safe for drinking, however it is advisable to check with each location as not all tap water in rural areas is safe for consumption, so it is advised you take precautions if necessary and order bottled water.


        Always take a bottle of drinking water in your day bag on any activity or excursions – even if it’s a short one – and take regular, small drinks of water.

        Wear a hat and sunscreen at all times and cover up/take shade from the heat of the sun, especially during the hottest times of the day.

    • Bites & Stings
      • Bugs and small creatures are all a part of being in the wilds of Africa.  It is of course important to take precautions against any opportunity for bites or stings, so being aware is important.

        When walking always wear long trousers and enclosed shoes or walking boots , with thick socks covering the ankles for protection. When walking in long grass, check your legs and clothes for grass ticks – especially in the rainy season, even when you are wearing long trousers.

        Check & shake out shoes and walking boots before putting them on.

        Always look first to see where you are sitting, when picking something up or when putting your hand/foot into something, like a bag or shoe – check first!

        If you think you may have been bitten or stung by something, always inform the Camp Manager & your Safari Guide as soon as possible.

    • Internet, Electricity and Plug Standards
      • Internet availability and wifi connection around South Africa is generally good, the main suppliers being MTN and Telkom.

        South Africa operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. Solar power is also common in safari locations.

        South Africa uses plug types C, D, M and N.

    • Climate
      • South Africa is a year round destination and is known as being a sunny destination, with rain falling mainly in the winter months. Temperatures are generally mild in the winter months, but can be wet and also cold overnight.  During the summer months, it can get very hot in some areas such as the Kalahari and Kruger National Park.

        Spring months are September to November
        Summer months are December  – February
        Autumn months are March – May
        Winter months are June – August

        Being such a varied destination, with coastal, desert and wildlife areas,  it is advised to speak to one of our travel consultants to discover the best time to visit, as this really depends on what you are planning to cover during your trip.

    • Visa & Passport Requirements for Entry
      • PASSPORT
        • Passport valid for a least 6 months from your date of entry.
        • 2 blank pages in your passport

        • You can visit South Africa for up to 90 days without a visa. If you plan to work or volunteer, or if you want to stay longer, you must get a visa.

        ZAR 25,000;
        Foreign currency unlimited if declared;
        No Kruger coins
        ZAR 25,000
        Foreign currency unlimited if amount was declared on entry
        Up to 15 Kruger coins if proof purchased with foreign currency
    • Clothing Suggestions
      • Pack light for a safari to include:

        – Comfortable, loose fitting cotton clothing in dark green, khaki or brown is recommended. Black, blue, and other dark-colored clothes are not recommended, as they may attract tsetse flies near the water.

        – Long sleeves and long trousers, shorts and t-shorts with enclosed footware.

        – Jacket or fleece for early mornings and evenings, when it can get chilly.

        – Hat to keep the sun off and protect from sunburn.

        – Swimming costume.

        – Casual clothes and comfortable shoes for relaxing at the lodges or in the city.

        – Small day pack to hold water bottle, binoculars, notebook and pen, sunglasses, flashlight &/or head torch.

        See here for our clothing packing guide

    • Travel Insurance
      • All travellers must have adequate and comprehensive travel health insurance.  Make sure your travel insurance covers all the activities you plan on doing in South Africa and covers your full stay in the country and travel to/from.

Concerned about the security of your booking and your own safety while on safari?

We fully appreciate your concerns when it comes to booking a safari in Africa and you can rest assured that your financial security when booking and your own personal safety when on safari is our highest priority. Gamewatchers Safaris is a member of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators bonding scheme, backed by a leading insurance company, to ensure your payments are fully protected if a bonded KATO member ceases trading.