Frequently Asked Questions
Most of the African safaris and holidays we arrange are completely tailor-made to your requirements and budget. Our portfolio includes a large variety of game lodges and hotels to suit each individual’s requirements. We also offer different scheduled safaris which you could choose from depending on your preferences.
Does Ngwe Safari charge fees for making reservations? No, we do not charge any booking fees for making your lodge / hotel reservations through Ngwe Safari. Therefore the cost of you booking your itinerary through Ngwe Safari or directly with the respective lodges / hotels would be same. The benefit of booking through Ngwe Safari is that your entire trip is arranged for you on your behalf, at no extra cost! Plus you get all the back up service from us and 24hr back up service whilst you are travelling! All it takes is a simple request from you…Let’s begin!
Does Ngwe Safari charge cancellation fees? Cancellation fees are applicable if your safari / holiday if cancelled within a certain time period. Please contact us for further details.
Is it safe to travel in Africa? Our travel itineraries and destinations are selected to ensure that we do not put you in harm’s way. We monitor the safety status of each country, region and destination on an ongoing basis. We specifically exclude offer of travel and destinations in regions that may have the potential for being unsafe.
You can become the victim of crime anywhere in the world, as such it is always wise to take appropriate precautions when traveling. In general, downtown areas of cities in Africa should be avoided after dark. Keep travel documents, large amounts of cash, airline tickets and valuables in a secure place in your hotel, lodge or camp. Never leave baggage and personal items unattended, especially at airports. Take care not to flash money, expensive cameras and jewelry in public places. Do not take walks on deserted or lonely beaches and streets, especially after sunset. Do not pick up hitchhikers when traveling by car. Always seek and heed the advice of your local hotel or tour guide.
Our choice of itineraries, transfers and destinations take into account your personal safety. Take care to follow advice and demonstrate sensible judgment and your travel in Africa will be a safe and enjoyable experience.
What are the passport, entry and visa requirements in Africa? Visitors are required to carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the intended length of stay. Visas are required for some African countries, depending upon the passport you carry. Once you have decided upon your travel itinerary, check with the Consulate of the country you intend visiting, for the latest entry and visa requirements. South Africa Immigration in particular requires at least 2 blank pages in the visa section of your passport in order to receive an entry visa stamp.
What foreign currencies will I need, for travel? If traveling in South Africa, you will need to carry local currency (‘Rand’) and your major credit card. You will need both for incidental expenses, souvenirs, hotel meals and drinks, tipping and drinks purchased at safari destinations (meals are inclusive at lodges and camps). All pre-booked travel, accommodation, tours and transfer expenses are otherwise prepaid before departure.
Ensure that you carry sufficient cash when on safari to cover tips and incidental purchases, since you will not have access to banks and ATMs. Your consultant can provide guidelines on tipping.
In Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania carry cash in US dollars – it is always readily accepted or exchanged when necessary. Our safari destinations accept payment by major credit card, although some will not accept payment by Diners or American Express.
Note that Zimbabwe will not exchange Zimbabwe dollars back to other currencies; and Zimbabwe dollars have no value outside that country. Do not therefore exchange more US dollars into local currency than you will need. Zimbabwe banks and stores offer extremely poor financial exchange rates if you pay by credit card.
Important precautionary note: hotels and vendors of adventure activities will not accept payment in Zimbabwe currency from foreign tourists. If it is essential that you acquire local currency, then your local transfer operator will advise you where to do this. Our travel consultants will provide you with more specific information.
Are travelers’ checks accepted? Travelers’ checks can be exchanged at banks in South Africa. Travelers’ checks are however not accepted at many destinations.
How much of my trip can be prepaid in advance – and what will be my extra costs, when traveling? You will need to pay for incidental expenses and activities, souvenirs, hotel meals and drinks, tipping and drinks purchased at safari destinations (meals are inclusive at lodges and camps). All pre-booked travel, accommodation, tours and transfer expenses are otherwise prepaid before departure. Full pre-payment prior to departure is standard practice in the industry.
What travel insurances will I need? We always recommend that you purchase trip cancellation and curtailment insurance at time of reservation. Ask your insurance broker and your travel consultant for advice. It is advised to purchase your travel insurance from an Institution based in your home country. If in the event of a claim, you will be paid in the currency of your home country.
Please note that Ngwe Safari cannot be held liable for losses that you may incur due to loss, damage or theft of baggage or personal items and for personal injury or illness.
Who will meet me when I get there? Ngwe Safari will arrange and manage all your pick-ups and transfers, with our professional and reliable partners throughout Africa. You will be provided, before departure, or if arriving in South Africa at Johannesburg International, your personalised, complete and detailed itinerary for your entire trip booked through us. You will know when and by whom you will be met; you will have their local contact numbers; your ground transfers will be prepaid – with vouchers provided as proof of payment. You never have to rent a car or catch a taxi or bus on your pre-booked itinerary.
Will I travel with a group? We specialise in select and luxury travel for singles, couples, families and groups of friends or business associates. Ngwe Safari is not a group travel operator, however we also offer scheduled packaged tours / mobile safaris which travel in small groups. If you are booking on a tailored itinerary, you may by coincidence travel on the same flight or transfer with other guests. However, we are able to arrange private charters, pick-ups and private vehicle transfers, if this is your preference.
Can I travel alone? Our travel itineraries are safe and convenient for the single traveler. Our safari destinations are small and personal (usually 8 – 24 guests), creating an environment where you will enjoy good company and make new friends.
For single accommodation, you will often have to pay an additional single supplement on the ‘per person sharing’ rate quoted at resorts and safari destinations. Hotels usually charge on a ‘per room’ basis. Some of our preferred lodges / camps are now offering the first 2 single rooms booked in one itinerary on the ‘sharing rate’. Please speak to your consultant for more information.
How do I get around, when in Africa? Ngwe Safari will arrange all your travel connections and local tours. You will never have to rent a car or catch a taxi or bus.
Are there any medical precautions? Vaccination requirements change from time to time. Some countries require advance inoculations for yellow fever (and certificates thereof) that are good for 10 years – we will advise you of these. Malaria is present in many parts of Africa – we will advise you if you will be visiting a malaria area. We suggest you consult your local doctor or health department for information on malaria prophylactics and the latest health precautions. If you are on prescription medication, please ensure you have an adequate supply to last the duration of your stay and a copy of your prescription(s).
For information on malaria please visit - www.malaria.org.za
What medical services are available? There is no general answer to this question, since your travel itinerary may take you to cities with excellent medical services and to remote areas with more limited resources. If you have a medical condition, please take this into account when planning your itinerary. Many safari destinations have qualified emergency first-aid staff members. Please advise us of any medical conditions you have and ensure that you have sufficient medical insurance cover.
When is the best time to travel weather wise? It really depends on the type of animal you wish to see. Certain reserves have good game viewing all year round but others will have particularly good sightings at different times of the year. It is generally felt that the African winter (June – August) is the best time to go on safari, as the grass is dry and vegetation sparse making game viewing easier. It is also the time when animals are on the move looking for food and water.
In the last few years, with African travel becoming so popular, we are finding our guests are choosing anytime of the year to travel whether it be summer or winter.
In Kenya and Tanzania, you have the memorable safari opportunity of witnessing the migration of over two million animals.
Temperatures in winter are generally mild but can become considerably cooler in the evening, so pack multiple layers of clothing to ensure you stay comfortable on afternoon game drives and walks. It goes without saying that the standard safari gear must include a broad brim hat, sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
South Africa: All year round. Best game viewing (in north): winter (May-August). Southern regions: summer destinations (Sept-April).
Botswana: All year round. Best birding: Nov-March. Best botanical months: Dec-May. Peak season: July-October. Middle season: May-June.
Namibia: All year round. Best birding: summer (Nov-April). Best botanical months: Dec-May. Peak season: July-October. Middle season: May-June.
Zambia: Many lodges are closed Nov-May. Victoria Falls is spectacular after the rains: April-May.
Zimbabwe: All year round. Best white-water rafting: Aug-Dec. Best botanical months: Dec-May. Peak season: July-Oct. Middle season: May-June.
Kenya: All year round. Great Migration: June-September.
Tanzania: All year round. Best climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Aug-Oct and Jan-March. Great migration: April-June and Oct-Dec.
What is the time difference in Africa?
South Africa: GMT +2 hours
Botswana: GMT +2 hours
Namibia: GMT +1 hour/GMT +2 hours
Zambia: GMT +2 hours
Zimbabwe: GMT +2 hours
Kenya: GMT +3 hours