General Information

Planning your trip

We make every effort to assist you in planning a trip that will suit your individual requirements. We welcome enquiries at any stage, whether you are only exploring the possibility of a trip to Africa or you already have a detailed trip that you would like us to cost for you. We recognise that while some guests prefer to limit their involvement to approving the itinerary and budget, others get considerable enjoyment from the planning process itself and wish to be involved every step of the way. We are delighted to involve you as little or as much as you wish.

In order to assist you, however, we do ask you to provide the following information as a minimum: the time of year you wish to travel; the anticipated duration of your trip; the type of accommodation you prefer; your budget (if any) and any special interests you wish to pursue. The more we know about your aspirations for the trip the better we can advise you.

Our intimate knowledge of Africa enables us to put together special trips which include places/lodging that we do not feature on our website. If you have any ideas please contact us and we will be delighted to assist.

Booking procedure

In order to book your trip we require a completed booking form and 25% deposit if booking more than 56 days before the start of your trip. The balance is due not later than 56 days prior to your trip. Full payment is required at the time of booking if you book within 56 days of the trip.

Please read the Booking Conditions on this website carefully – they constitute the conditions on which your booking is accepted.

When all the reservations have been confirmed with the suppliers of the arrangements and your deposit has been processed, we will issue you with a confirmation invoice.

Payment

Our prices are generally quoted in US dollars, net and exclusive of bank charges. We hold USD and GBP currency accounts, so payments can be made in either of these currencies. We normally work in US dollars but if you prefer us to quote in GBP then please request this at the “quote stage”. The GBP price will be calculated based on the Royal Bank of Scotland exchange rate at the date of booking.

The options for payment methods are as follows:

Price agreed in UK Sterling (GBP)
Cheques, Debit cards, Solo/Maestro cards, and direct bank transfers (net of all bank charges) are accepted without any surcharges. Visa, MasterCard and American Express payments are accepted, with a 3% levy to cover our costs.

Price agreed in US Dollars (USD)
Direct bank transfers in US Dollars to our USD account (net of all bank charges) are accepted.
Personal checks, or cashier’s checks (also known as a ‘bank draft’) are accepted. US Dollar personal checks are accepted provided full payment is settled 16 weeks before travel as these take up to eight weeks to clear with the bank. We cannot accept a US Dollar personal check for any bookings made within 16 weeks of the travel date because of this.
Cashier’s checks are arranged at your bank and usually clear within a matter of days of us receiving them. Although a cashier’s check is the best type of check to pay with, we are charged for the convenience, so US$40 should be added to any amount paid by cashier’s check to cover our bank charges.
Visa, MasterCard and American Express payments are accepted, with a 3% levy to cover our costs.

What is/is not included in the price

As our trips are tailor-made to suit your individual requirements, you will be advised prior to booking what is included and excluded from the trip price. However all of our prices exclude: international flights to/from Africa; visas; passports; vaccination costs; excess baggage charges; optional excursions; spending money; tips; local and airport taxes.

Accommodation & meals

Accommodation and meals are as specified on your confirmation invoice. We will gladly pass on any special requests to the camps and lodges but regret we cannot guarantee a request unless it is stated on your confirmation invoice as guaranteed.

Most of our accommodation is en-suite although a few of the bush camps have shared facilities. We will advise you if this is the case.

You should inform us of any special dietary requirements at the time of booking and we will pass the information to the relevant camps and lodges.

Passports & visas

The following is a guide to visas for British passport holders only. A full passport is essential and must be valid for at least six months after your return. Visas are required for Zimbabwe and Zambia. We can often arrange a visa waiver for Zambia but where this is not accepted by immigration it is the responsibility of the client to pay the cost of the visa on arrival. Visas are not required for South Africa or Botswana.

If you or any member of your party is not a British citizen or holds a non-British passport, you must check passport and visa requirements with the Embassy or Consulate of the country(ies) to or through which you are intending to travel.

Insurance

It is a condition of booking that all passengers have insurance cover. Your insurance should be fully comprehensive and include 24-hour emergency medical cover and repatriation along with general cover for travel cancellation and theft of valuables and personal items.

Health

At the time of writing there are no mandatory health requirements for visitors travelling direct from the UK to the countries we feature. However, anti-malaria medication is essential. You should consult your doctor at least six weeks prior to travel.

If guests have any medication requirements an adequate supply should be brought from home, as it might not be available locally.

Please advise us prior to booking if you have any health issues that we might need to be aware of.

We recommend that visitors bring plenty of insect repellent and sun cream.

Safety & security

In general, people in Africa have an enviable reputation for being friendly and welcoming. Along with most countries around the world, mugging can be a problem in certain towns and we advise that you do not walk at night unless you know the area well. If you are driving yourself it is sensible to arrive at your destination before dark as a myriad of animals enjoy lying on the roads at night!

It is always sensible when travelling to take precautions against theft. By far the best precaution is to avoid taking valuables with you on holiday. If you do carry valuables ensure you are discreet. Do not leave any valuables or luggage unattended in a vehicle, unless in a locked boot. Although your personal belongings are generally safe from theft in the camps and lodges, we recommend that you use the safekeeping facilities at reception.

If you are intending to carry valuables it is often easier to get cover on your house insurance than any travel policy.

Clothing

The dress code at all of the camps and lodges is casual and there is no requirement to dress for dinner.

We recommend that you wear neutral colours with a good pair of lightweight walking boots for game walks. Evenings are generally spent around a campfire, so a lightweight jumper is advisable. Early morning and night game drives can get very cold, particularly in June/July, so we recommend that you bring a warm jacket and woolly hat. During the heat of the day a shady hat is essential. A long sleeved shirt and long trousers offer a degree of protection from mosquitoes.

Fitness levels

There is generally no fitness requirement for our safaris. On walking safaris the walks are slow and gentle, although the ground is often uneven. Game drives can be bumpy at times and might be uncomfortable for people with back problems.

Luggage limits

A luggage limit applies for light aircraft transfers between camps. Soft bags are recommended for these flights. You will be advised of the requirements (if any) at the time of booking.

Wild animals

Please be aware that your trip might bring you into close contact with wild animals, which can be a threat to your safety and your health. Many of the camps we use are unfenced and particular care must be taken. It is essential that you always follow the advice of your guides, do not walk out on your own and do not touch any plants, animals or insects. You should understand the risks involved and take responsibility for your own safety. Please note that most safari lodges will require you to sign a personal indemnity form and you must be prepared to sign these.

Travel in Africa

Part of what makes Africa so special is that it is very different from Europe and the USA. Please accept that things do not always happen the way you would normally expect and you must be prepared to adapt your arrangements as necessary. Whilst we make every effort to ensure that your trip goes smoothly we recommend you travel with patience and understanding, accepting a degree of uncertainty and enjoying Africa as it is.

Climate

Although local weather conditions vary, the main weather patterns are the same throughout the destinations we cover. Evenings and early mornings can get quite chilly, particularly between May and August. October can be extremely hot and humid (although this is the best time for game viewing as animals congregate around the remaining water). The rainy season is normally between November and March.

Currency

The local currencies in the countries we feature are the Zambian Kwacha, the Botswana Pula and the Zimbabwean Dollar. Tourists are expected to use US Dollars in camps, lodges and hotels. For local shopping for souvenirs and sundries you will need local currency. Banks will generally exchange US Dollars, English Pounds, Euros and SA Rands. US Dollars are required for visas purchased at the border posts (take the correct amount as any change will be given in local currency).

Time

Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa are all 2 hours ahead of GMT.

Communications

In the towns, the telephone system is usually reliable and email is available (although slow). In the bush, communication is by radio, email or sat phone and is generally only available to guests in event of emergency.

Travel advice

The Foreign & Commonwealth Travel Advice website at www.fco.gov.uk/travel is useful for up to date advice before you travel. Travel Advice is also available by phoning 0845 850 2829.