This 19-day journey through four African countries hits the highlights and is perfect for the adventurer who wants to discover the region’s diversity. Explore the Okavango Delta by dug-out mokoro canoe, spot lions, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, and antelopes in Etosha National Park, marvel at the highest sand dunes in the world in the Namib Desert, meet the San Bushmen of the Kalahari and visit Victoria Falls- "the smoke that thunders." Your knowledgeable tour leader will take care of the hassles and planning while you recharge in hotels, bushmen huts, camps and farm stays for a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience you'll forever treasure.
July 3 : Livingstone
Arrive at any time. There's loads to do in Livingstone. Your tour leader will be arriving tomorrow, but you can visit the G Adventures help desk at the Livingstone hotel for info and to book optional activities for the next day.
July 4 : Livingstone
Visit Victoria Falls, enjoy whitewater rafting, canoeing, or fly over the falls. Group meeting at 6 PM at the hotel.
July 5 : Chobe Area (1B)
Drive to the Chobe Area in Botswana, including a ferry across the Zambezi. Try to spot the elephants, crocs and hippos this region is famous for with an optional river cruise or photo safari.
July 6 : Nata Area (1B, 1D)
Head to the Nata area for a sunset visit to the salt pans of Makgadikgadi. Watch the elephants drink from the camp's watering hole at night. Opt for a bushwalk or game drive.
July 7 to July 8: Okavango Delta/Maun (2B, 1L, 1D)
Prepare for a 1-night/2-day journey into the delta. Enjoy game walks, traditional mokoro excursions, birding and a sunset boat cruise in Maun. Learn the ways of the bush from the local polers. Opt to take a scenic flight over the delta.
July 9 to July 10: Windhoek/Kalahari (Ghanzi) (2B)
Explore Windhoek and visit the Kalahari Desert. Learn fascinating survival skills by the local San Bushmen on an optional walk and choose to enjoy a traditional bushmen dancing in the evening.
July 11 to July 12: Etosha National Park (1B)
Game drive in our own touring vehicle. Opt to go on open safari vehicle game drives in the evening or morning, when the animals are most active.
July 13 to July 14: Swakopmund
Drive to the historical town of Swakopmund. Optional activities here include sand boarding, a dolphin cruise, sky diving, quad biking and a Living Desert tour.
July 15 to July 16: Namib Desert (1B, 2D)
Travel into the Namib Desert, stopping at Walvis Bay on the way. Opt to climb up the breathtaking Dune 45. Visit to Sossusvlei Dunes and Sesriem Canyon.
July 17 : Fish River Canyon (1B)
Travel south across Namibia to Fish River Canyon, the largest in Africa. Continue on to the banks of the Gariep River with time to swim, canoe or just relax. Enjoying the beautiful scenery in this part of the country.
July 18 : Gariep River (1B)
Relax, swim or take a ride in a canoe at the Gariep River.
July 19 : Lambert's Bay (1B)
Cross the border to South Africa and continue down the coast to Lambert's Bay, stopping along the way. Opt to visit Bird Island or stroll through this charming town.
July 20 : Cape Town (1B)
Continue on the last stretch of the trip to lovely Cape Town. Enjoy a wine tasting or opt to wander through the vibrant streets of this scenic city on the coast.
July 21 : Cape Town (1B)
Depart at any time. We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully enjoy this city.
July 3 : Livingstone
Arrive at any time. There's loads to do in Livingstone. Your tour leader will be arriving tomorrow, but you can visit the G Adventures help desk at the Livingstone hotel for info and to book optional activities for the next day.
Our accommodation here in Livingstone is right on the waterfront, with a gorgeous setting and easy access to the activities in the area. We’ll be staying in permanent tents on the property- a cluster of 3m x 3m bow tents on raised platforms. Each tent has a small deck in the front and has 2 cot beds, electric light and fan. There are shared bathrooms close by. The property offers a central dining area with a sun deck overlooking the Zambezi with restaurant and bar, WiFi and swimming pool.
July 4 : Livingstone
Livingstone is a great base to see natural wonders and take part in some adventure activities. Get up close (and wet from the spray) while awing at the immense Victoria Falls, raft the whitewater of the mighty Zambezi and for the more adventurous, bungee jump with the Victoria Falls in view. We will be on the Zambian side of the falls. If you wish to see the falls from the Zimbabwean side, make sure your purchase a "Kaza Visa" when arriving at the airport. Please see our FAQ for more more information about visas.
Tonight at 6 PM we will have a group meeting where you will meet your tour leader.
July 5 : Chobe Area (1B)
Cross the Zambezi River by ferry (10 mins) to enter into Botswana and continue to the Kasane area, outside the gates of Chobe National Park. Opt to appreciate one of Botswana's national parks and its thousands of resident elephants, crocs and hippos on a sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River. There are options here for a casual cruise to enjoy the scenery with a cocktail or a photo-safari by boat, with the opportunity to capture some great shots with instruction, a professional camera and zoom lens. You may also choose to embark on a game drive in search of lions, antelope and elephants.
We’ll arrive in Kasane around lunch time and the optional cruises start around 3 or 4pm. For anyone looking to do both a boat cruise and a game drive, we recommend the boat cruise the first afternoon and the game drive early the next morning.
Kasane is situated on the banks of the Chobe River, near its mouth. This is where the Chobe and Zambezi rivers meet, creating a border area of four countries – Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Chobe National Park is Botswana’s first national park and is situated along the Chobe River. It has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa and is one of the world's last remaining sizable wilderness areas. By size, this is the third largest park (11,000 sq km) of the country, though it is definitely the most diverse and spectacular. The park is probably best known for its spectacular elephant population: with over 120,000 it has the highest elephant concentration of Africa.
Accommodation here has en-suite bathrooms, air-con and a restaurant/bar.
Approximate distance: 80 km
Estimated travel time: 3 hrs (depending on border crossing)
July 6 : Nata Area (1B, 1D)
Today we make our way to the Nata Area for a sunset visit to the salt pans of Makgadikgadi. Watch the elephants drink from the camp's watering hole at night. Opt for a bushwalk or game drive.
Our accommodation here are chalets with en-suite bathrooms. There is a pool and restaurant/bar.
Approximate distance: 500 km
Estimated travel time: 6 hrs
July 7 to July 8: Okavango Delta/Maun (2B, 1L, 1D)
This morning we stop in Maun, drop off your luggage, have lunch, and pick up any supplies we may need to prepare for your 1-night/2-day journey into the Okavango Delta.
Your main luggage will be stored in Maun as you will travel into the delta with only a small overnight bag. The fantastic 2-day/1-night excursion into the delta begins with a drive in customized safari vehicles for about 1-2 hrs to the "dock" where we hop into a mokoro (a dug-out canoe) that takes us deep into the delta. After a 1-2 hr mokoro trip, arrive at our basic bush camp. For 1.5 days, enjoy game walks, mokoro trips (occasionally unavailable due to seasonality), birdlife and game viewing in the pristine wilderness area of the Okavango Delta, the world's largest inland delta. In the evenings count the shooting stars, sing with the locals or just unwind and sit around the campfire. The polers will join you around the campfire tonight and usually love to sing with and for you.
Accommodation here is camping with tents erected for you. Please note that there will be no shower tonight and only a dug-out bush toilet, as our camp is very basic in the wild. You will be compensated by the incredible landscape and wildlife! There is time to relax in the afternoons so we recommend bringing a book in your overnight bag.
Approximate distance: 340 km
Estimated travel time: 3.5 hrs
Enjoy one last sunrise in the delta on Day 6, before travelling back to Maun.
NOTE: If you pre-booked the Okavango Delta Flight, you will be flying today.
Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and enjoys the reputation of being Botswana’s frontier town. Today it is one of the fastest growing towns in Africa. Enjoy a guided afternoon on a birdwatching walk through the peaceful hotel grounds, covering 7 hectares that stretch down to the Thamalakane River. A beverage will be offered before or after taking a sunset boat cruise (water levels permitting) on the Thamalakane. (150 species of birds have been spotted to date within the hotel grounds and river frontage).
In the evening, a traditional dance group, Dikgantshwane, will perform traditional welcome dances on the poolside terrace. The performance will include an introduction, explanation and meaning of the songs performed.
Accommodation here is a hotel with en-suite bathrooms. There is air-con, a pool and a restaurant/bar.
Estimated travel time: 3 hrs
July 9 to July 10: Windhoek/Kalahari (Ghanzi) (2B)
Today we travel along the northern portions of the Kalahari Desert – this is a severely arid and barren landscape, though completely beautiful. Here, we stay at a campsite close to Ghanzi, arriving in late afternoon. Opt for a “bushman walk” after getting settled.
Get a glimpse of how the San tribe adapted to the Kalahari Desert and learn some fascinating wilderness survival skills from these local bushmen. The hunter-gatherer life of the San bushmen has all but disappeared. There are few remaining who still retain the survival skills of their ancient way of life. During the walk, your local San guides, through an interpreter, will share their rich heritage of accumulated knowledge that makes them masters of this harsh environment. The walk is a slow meander through the bushveld, for about an hour and a half, of not more than four kilometers. In the evening, opt to experience the ancient dance rituals of the San bushmen around the campfire. On special occasions this could be a healing or trance dance, which can continue all night, and is an intense spiritual experience for both participants and visitors alike.
Accommodation here is in traditional-style bushmen huts, made to similar specifications of the real thing. In each hut there are cots with mattresses, lights and mosquito nets. The campground has shared bathrooms with flush toilets and basic showers. There is also a gift shop and bar area. There is no internet access here.
Approximate distance: 330 km
Estimated travel time: 5 hrs (including lunch stops)
On Day 8 we depart from the heart of the Kalahari and head through the eastern part of Namibia. The capital of Namibia has a population of 230,000, an altitude of 1654m and heavy German influence. Windhoek was originally the center of a Nama leader, Jan Jonker Afrikaner, who defeated the Herero inhabitants of the region in the mid-19th century. Windhoek became the seat of colonial rule in 1892, as the capital of the colony of South-West Africa (Deutsch-Südwestafrika). They built a fort that eventually spanned a town that grew under its protection. During World War I, Windhoek was captured by South African troops and became a British dominion. Until the independence of Namibia was inaugurated in 1990, Windhoek was recognized as the capital of South West Africa as administered by the South African government.
Accommodation here is a hotel with en-suite bathrooms. The hotel offers air-con, swimming pool, internet access and a restaurant.
Approximate distance: 470 km
Estimated travel time: 5 hrs
July 11 to July 12: Etosha National Park (1B)
Leave Windhoek and head north through the Namibian countryside to Etosha National Park.
Etosha in waMbo means "the great white place of dry water". As one of Africa’s highlights, the Etosha National Park offers a variety of wildlife and phenomenal natural beauty. Explore the pans and the park on game drives, with excellent opportunities to spot lion, giraffe, elephant, rhino, and antelope. Depending on our arrival time to the park, we continue on a game drive around the huge dry pan to find the elephants, herds of antelope and lions around the waterholes. After sunset you can watch some animals at the watering holes near the camping area, which is safe, being well lit with flood lights. Game drives are done in our air-conditioned touring vehicle. Night/Day game drives can be done in open vehicles (optional, at extra cost). The following day, enjoy another game drive in the park.
Accommodation here is camping in pitched dome tents with shared bathrooms. All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied. Assembly and disassembly of the tents takes only 5 minutes (your tour leader will show you how to erect your tent). All tents have built-in insect nets. Mattresses are also available (approximately 4cm thick) and are warm and comfortable. No meals will be provided. The campground offers a restaurant and shop which are great places to grab a meal. The tour leader will provide options for campfires and barbecues (braais) under the stars with the whole group, splitting the cost of food between everyone. This campsite also offers a swimming pool to relax in after your days exploring the area.
Approximate distance: 450 km
Estimated travel time: 5.5 hrs
July 13 to July 14: Swakopmund
Drive to the historical town of Swakopmund. Looking out over the beautiful desert landscapes we begin moving to the far west of Namibia. On this route we pass through a moon-like landscape and see the imposing Spitzkoppe, also known as the “Matterhorn” of Namibia in the distance.
We spend two nights in the area, where you can explore this historical town or try some of the numerous activities available, such as dune boarding or embarking on a dolphin cruise. Swakopmund has bizarre lunar landscapes, unforgettable sunsets and prehistoric Welwitchia plants. Optional activities here include sand boarding, a dolphin cruise, sky diving, quad biking and a Living Desert tour.
Accommodation here is a lodge with en-suite bathrooms. It’s in walking distance to shops, restaurants, beaches and dunes. The lodge offers laundry serves, wifi and a restaurant/bar.
Approximate distance: 610 km
Estimated travel time: 7.5 hrs
July 15 to July 16: Namib Desert (1B, 2D)
Travel into the Namib Desert, stopping at Walvis Bay on the way. Today you will really get a feeling for the Namib Desert as we spend hours crossing this void region along with a few dry mountain passes. En route through the Nambi Desert, we’ll take a coffee break in Solitaire, a mystical village consisting of a filling station, general dealer/coffee shop and a small mechanical workshop.
We arrive in the area in the late afternoon, where the towering red sand dunes of Sossusvlei form the gateway into the Namib Desert. Here you will really feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere.
Day 14 is spent exploring the natural wonders of this bizarre environment. Enjoy a visit to Sossusvlei, a clay pan enclosed by the world’s largest sand dunes, up to 300m high. Here you will have some free time to enjoy the sand dunes on your own. We will also make a stop at Sesriem Canyon, a small canyon typical of the area.
Accommodation here is a campsite with participation camping like you experienced in Etosha National Park. Your tour leader will do all the meal preparation but we do ask our travelers to help with the preparation and washing up. Team spirit is part of the fun!
At the campgrounds there are sites with their own shared bathroom block including toilets, sinks, hot and cold showers, barbecues, kitchen facilities and electricity. There’s a shaded vernada and swimming pool to relax in. There is an internet café adjacent to the campgrounds.
Approximate distance: 260 km
Estimated travel time: 4.5 hrs
July 17 : Fish River Canyon (1B)
Continue south across Namibi to Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa. The canyon was formed by the Fish River, which, at 650 kilometres in length, is Namibia’s longest river. The canyon itself is situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River and is one of the most impressive natural formations of southern African. It is approximately 161 km long, 27km wide at its widest point and 550m deep. It is the oldest canyon in the world, formed about 500 million years ago.
Accommodation here is a hotel with en-suite bathrooms, a pool and bar area.
Approximate distance: 400 km
Estimated travel time: 5.5 hrs
July 18 : Gariep River (1B)
This morning we continue to the scenic banks of Gariep River, where we stop for the evening. After getting settled near the banks of the river, enjoy the late afternoon with swimming, relaxing or canoeing on the river.
The Gariep River, sometimes known as the Orange River or the Grootrivier, is the major river of South Africa. The river was first discovered by indigenous people but only explored by Europeans in 1760 and named after the House of Orange, which was the Stadhouder of Holland between 1777 and 1779.
Accommodation here is a lodge with en-suite bathrooms, restaurant and bar, pool and internet access.
Approximate distance: 300 km
Estimated travel time: 5.5 hours (including stops)
July 19 : Lambert's Bay (1B)
Cross the border to South Africa and continue down the coast to Lambert's Bay, stopping along the way. In the afternoon opt to visit the well known “Bird Island” where you can find more than 25,000 blue-eyed gannets at certain times of the year. Opt to stroll through this lovely town visiting unique artisan shops and boutiques.
Our accommodation here is small guesthouse with en-suite bathrooms. There is air-con, laundry and internet access available.
Approximate distance: 450km
Estimated travel time: 7 hrs (depending on border crossing)
July 20 : Cape Town (1B)
Continue on the last stretch of the trip to lovely Cape Town, where we will arrive in the afternoon. There are many thing to do in Cape Town so we recommend you book an extra night or two to explore this city in more depth. Visit Robben Island, Table Mountain, explore Cape Point (Cape of Good Hope) or join a wine tour in and around Stellenbosch (45 min drive). Visit the old French Huguenot town of Franschoek and surroundings (1 hr drive). For the truly adventurous there are numerous adrenaline activities in the surrounding areas, from skydiving to abseiling to cage diving for a close encounter with the great white sharks. Opt to wander through the city centre with some of the oldest buildings and gardens in South Africa (Botanical Gardens and Parliament Gardens) or visit the Cultural Historical Museum, Planetarium and numerous other small museums and theaters.
Our hotel is in a neighbourhood called Gardens and is walking distance to some popular streets for cafés and shopping. There is free wi-fi in the lobby.
Approximate distance: 350 km
Estimated travel time: 5.5 hrs (including lunch stop)
July 21 : Cape Town (1B)
Depart at any time. We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully enjoy this city.
Stuff You Need to Know
Terms and Conditions
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
1. VERY IMPORTANT: This is a camping trip! You will be camping for 6 of the nights on this program.
2. This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Despite this, most participants feel that the diversity of the African landscape, countries, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience. We use a comfortable and safe air-conditioned touring vehicle for the long drives.
3. It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate if you are traveling to South Africa from a Yellow Fever endemic country.
Step out of the normal tourist mind-set and truly experience the world. Most nights will have you staying in a simple yet clean twin-share hotel or lodge rooms with private facilities, complete with running water and electricity. Occasionally you may have a multi-share night at rustic local guesthouses, with communal bathrooms and the sporadic cold shower. Transportation will be a combination of public transport, private buses and some private vehicles.
2: Light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels.
Minimum/Maximum Group Size
This program is confirmed to run and will have a maximum of 18 participants.
Group Leader Description
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure's group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). There will also be an expert driver. The tour leader will will be the group manager and leader. All of our leaders in southern Africa are registered and licensed tourism guides, meaning they’ve studied to have a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife, and are legally certified to lead/guide tours in the regions visited. Most of our leaders in the region are from South Africa, though it may be possible that you’ll have a leader from another country in the southern African region.
As the group manager and leader, the aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places where are travelling, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure. In addition, as an integral part of the team, your driver is skilled and experienced driver who has intimate knowledge of the vehicle and routes traveled.
We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase (please avoid a hard-top case), or sports bag, maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags.
It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cold evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning game drives. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable. We can't stress this enough, this trip take place during winter in Africa! Bring layers so that you can adjust to various temperatures.
Also, bring jackets, coats, fleeces that are neutral in color like beiges, greens, browns for the game drives and game walks. Bright colors will scare off the wildlife.
We have linked some of the suggested items for your convenience. Please email us if any of the links are dead.
• Neutral colored Fleece top or pack-able winter jacket. (Down jackets can pack down pretty well)
• Winter hat and gloves
• Long john top and bottom
• Windproof/waterproof jacket
• Camping Towel
• Sleeping bag (3 season bag is best, 10 degree-30 degree rating. Click here for more info on rating)
• Travel pillow (This one is great)
• 7 shirts/t-shirts, cool and breathable
• Sun hat
• 2 pairs of shorts
• 2 pairs of long trousers or jeans (Remember it is cold at night!)
• 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes or running shoes
• Headlamp (A flashlight that you wear on your head. Very, very important.)
• Sport sandals or flip flops
• Toiletries (biodegradable)
• Watch or alarm clock
• Water bottle
• First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
•For donation: notebooks, pens, pencils, pins, flags, pictures, postcards from your country for local villagers or children
• Water bottle
• Chargers for electronics as well converters/adaptors if needed (See FAQ)
• Packing cubes (These are awesome)
• Ear Plugs (These are a life-saver if you have a snoring roommate)
• Snacks (Packing a few granola bars is a good idea. You can buy snacks when you get there too, so don't go crazy here.)
• Ziplock bags for wet clothing
• Reading/writing material
• Hand Sanitizer/Baby wipes
• Phrase books (Portuguese)
• Electric lantern for tent
• Ground Pad (Our tour operator provides these, but you can bring your own if you like)
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Yellow fever certificate
•Credit and/or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas, additional passport photos or vaccination certificates required (Check our FAQ to see if you need them)
•GEEO Classroom action plans for your group (This is sent 10-30 days before departure)
Please note that you will be on the move a lot, and as such there will not be a lot of time for same-day laundry service. Please ask your tour leader to arrange if any laundry needs to be done, so that he / she can advise or make arrangements for you. Most travelers on this trip find that Swakopmund and Windhoek are convenient places to get their washing done, though facilities are available as well in Cape Town, Lambert's Bay, and Livingstone.
We believe single travelers should not have to pay more to travel so our trips are designed for shared accommodation. Single travelers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Most of our trips have the option for a "My Own Room" which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself for most of the nights.
Every traveler is different and therefore spending requirements will vary. Some travelers may drink more than others while other travelers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). The South African rand is also an accepted form of payment in Namibia.
The Namibian currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), which is equivalent to the South African Rand.
In Botswana, you pay with Pula (BWP) and the official currency of Zambia is the Zambian Kwacha, denoted by ZMK.
It is advisable to pay in US$ in Zambia, as it is not that easy to get a good exchange rate.
Each currency can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency. Your tour leader will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need.
The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. $US notes that are older than year 2009 are not accepted everywhere and can be difficult to change. In addition, $US notes prior to 2006 are worthless in many areas of Africa, as they are rarely accepted and impossible to exchange. Large notes ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will often gain you the best exchange rate. We recommend bringing a lot of US $1 and $5 notes.
Please note that South African Rand is widely accepted throughout Southern Africa, and you may use this as you “foreign currency” while travelling in other countries in the region.
Travelers’ checks are not recommended in Africa. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places. Where they are accepted, you often need the receipt of the purchase of the checks, and the process of changes checks where possible is extremely time consuming. Please no not expect to rely on traveler's checks for access to cash in Africa.
Debit cards are very useful for cash advances, but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept a 4-digit PIN). The Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted and reliable debit cards; it is harder to find machines Master Card/Cirrus cards.We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should something unforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels. While there are many ATMs in the major centers, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.
Credit cards can be used for purchases in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Credit cards, especially Visa cards, ARE INDEED USEFUL, HOWEVER, for taking cash advances in ATMs and for paying optional activities in South Africa (e.g. helicopter flight/hot-air balloon). Please do not rely on any non-Visa credit cards for accessing cash.
Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. Experience has shown that it is better upon arrival at the airport/starting city, to draw a large amount of money from the ATM’s in the local currency. Your Tour Leader can advise you on the approximate amounts of money you will need for each country of your tour.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
GEEO travel programs bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, at minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travelers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage. Travelers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travelers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our tour leaders work hard to ensure that all our travelers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings above for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at: www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
On our Southern Africa program there are a few optional activities that must be booked in advance, prior to departure. If you wish to book any of these four options, please send a request by email to email@example.com with the dates you would like at least 30 days before departure.
*For specific days of each activity please see the Full Itinerary*
OKAVANGO DELTA FLIGHT $110 USD p/p
Okavango Delta, 45 minutes
Get a fresh perspective on the vast wilderness of Africa with a once-in-a-lifetime view only a select few will ever see. Enjoy the Hippos in the waterways and Elephant and Buffalo in the tree line. Gaze at the winding water channels as they make their way through the Delta.
CHOBE PHOTO RIVER SAFARI $120 USD p/p
Chobe River, 3 hours
You have come all this way to spot the incredible wildlife along the Chobe River, make sure you capture the perfect picture! Take a Photo Boat Safari on the Chobe River on a custom designed boat equipped with mounted Nikon D7000 bodies with Sigma 150-500mm & 120-400mm lenses. Don't know what that means? That's ok, beginners are welcome. On this unique safari you will be set up with your own camera with zoom lens with personal instruction on how to capture the best shots. On this 3 hour safari you will be positioned with the best light and shown how to frame your subject. After snapping photos of hippos, crocodiles, elephants and many beautiful birds, you will have your photos handed to you on CD or memory card just moments later. The tour includes: transfers, park fees, drinks, camera usage (Nikon D7000 With 150 - 500 mm zoom lens), photo permit, photo dvd/memory card and exclusive seat on the 8-seat photo boat.
**Please note: There is only enough time to do one of the photo safaris.
CHOBE PHOTO GAME DRIVE
Chobe National Park, 3 hours
This is not your ordinary game drive. You will have your own Nikon D7000 camera body with Sigma 150-500mm & 120-400mm lenses and an expert to provide photography tips for the perfect shot. This is a great opportunity for both beginners and experts alike. Explore Chobe National Park on a custom-designed safari jeep built for photo enthusiast. With a window seat and camera rest for each passenger, the truck is maneuvered to put you in the right place at the right time. After snapping photos of the wildlife you will have your photos handed to you on a CD or memory card just moments later. The tour includes: transfers, park fees, drinks, camera usage (Nikon D7000 With 150 - 500 mm Zoom lens), photo permit, photo dvd/memory card and exclusive seat on the photo jeep.
VICTORIA FALLS HELICOPTER RIDE
Helicopter Short flight (approx 15mins) $185 USD p/p
Helicopter Long flight (approx 30mins) $370 USD p/p
You don't want to miss the opportunity to see Victoria Falls from above. Watch the raging Zambezi River make its way toward the gorge and form the largest waterfall in the world. During your 15-minute ride, you will have time to take in the incredible views while snapping as many pictures as you like. You may be lucky enough to see some giraffes and elephants in the surrounding landscape and even catch a rainbow over the falls. Includes pick-up and drop-off from hotel and a 12-15min flight.
All optional of the following optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance which activities you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip.
All prices in US Dollars
Livingstone and Victoria Falls
Mwandi Community Farm building and interaction
$50/$100 half day/ full day
Livingstone Tour USD50
Breakfast Cruise USD55
Lunch or Sunset Cruise USD70
Lady Livingstone Sunset Cruise USD85
White Water Rafting:
River conditions are vary depending on the seasons. Low water season generally runs from August to January each year - this is when the Zambezi is at its very wildest. High water season is from about February to July with a "closed season" for a few months, usually in March, and April, depending on the season's rains. During this time rafting on the river is not permitted.
Full Day (Low Water) - inc lift USD185
Half Day AM (Low Water) - no lift USD160
Half Day PM (Low Water) or High Water - inc lift USD160
White Water Rafting / River Boarding Combo
Full Day (Low Water) - inc lift USD225
Half Day AM (Low Water) - no lift USD195
Half Day PM (Low Water) or High Water - inc lift USD195
Overnight White Water Rafting
2 Days, 1 Night Rapid 1 - 25 USD345
3.5 Days, 3 Night Rapid 1 to Moemba Falls USD1110
Raft Float on Upper Zambezi USD100
Upper Zambezi Canoe:
Half Day USD120
Full Day USD155
Overnight Canoeing USD285
Full Day USD162
Half Day USD139
Gorge Swing - (single / tandem) USD95/116
Flying Fox or Cable Slide (excl transfer) USD58
Vic Falls Bungee:
Big Air Experience (Combo) USD198
Bungee jump USD157
Bridge Swing USD157
Bridge Slide USD47
Bridge Tour USD70
Morning / Lunch / Sunset *$10 Park fee to be paid direct USD100
Jet Boating * includes cable car USD116
Half Day AM/PM USD145
Full Day (with lunch) USD296
Game Drive USD65
Zambezi Elephant Trail (AM/PM Ride) USD195
Lion Encounter (AM/PM Walk): USD160
Chobe Game Park (Kasane - Botswana) Day Trip (Excludes Visa Fees) USD190
Falls Tour (Zambia) (Excludes Visa Fees and USD20 park fee) USD35
Falls Tour (Zimbabwe)(Excludes Visa Fees and USD20 park fee) USD50
Flights over the Falls:
Helicopter Short flight (approx 15mins) USD185
Helicopter Long flight (approx 30mins) USD370
Microlight Short flight (approx 15mins) USD175
Microlight Long flight (approx 30mins) USD350
Livingstone Island (Devil's Pool)
Morning Breezer USD90
High Tea USD120
Mukuni Village USD50
Visit a typical African village, purchase food from the local market, enjoy a cooking lesson, interact with the Tokayela people and learn their rich culture while having lunch with them. In your tour prize a donation to the village community project is included.
African Culture tour (markets, cooking lunch, languages) USD60
Learn about the African culture on food and the basic languages used in the Livingstone area. It also offers clients an experience of shopping at an African market the way the Africans do it plus an overview on the history of Zambia and Livingstone town.
Kasane (Chobe NP)
Boat cruise (Incl. park fees)- $40 p/p
Game drive (Incl. park fees)- $40 p/p
Okavango Delta Scenic flight- $110 p/p
Guided walks - Hunting and Gathering- $10 p/p
Traditional dancing- $10 p/p
Game drives (in open-air safari vehicles)
Evening drive- $80 p/p
Morning & day drives- Prices on request
Guided Engravings Walk- $7 p/p
Quad biking (2-3hrs)- $73 p/p
Horse riding (1–2 hrs)- $53 p/p
Sand boarding – (half day)
Standing up- $45 p/p
Lie down- $35 p/p
Dolphin cruise (half day)- $60 p/p
Fishing boat trip (full day incl, transfers, lunch, drinks & equipment)- $125 p/p
Kayaking (5 hrs)- $70 p/p
Pleasure Flights – Sossusvlei/Forbidden Coast/Skeleton Coast - (half day to ¾ day) $275
Paragliding- $100 p/p
Hot air Ballooning (1hr) - $340 p/p
Township tour- $45 pp
Desert Walk- $30 p/p (3-4 hrs)
Lambert's Bay Area
Visit to the Bird Island $5
Home Dinner- $50 p/p (Incl. Transfer&Guide)
Table Mountain Cableway- one way ticket- $12 p/p
Table Mountain Cableway- return ticket- $23 p/p
Township tour $77
Robben Island (Tour times are: 9:00, 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00) $30 p/p (3 hrs)
For bookings: +27 21 413 4263/4 (Credit card details required). In peak season it is recommendable to book 3 days in advance.
Boulders Beach (where the Jackass Penguins can be seen)
Entrance- $5 p/p
Cape of Good Hope (Cape Point)
Entrance- $10 p/p
Shark viewing and cage diving (including transport): $175 p/p
Two Oceans Aquarium
Adults- $13 p/p
Children (14-17 yrs)- $8 p/p
Table mountain hike to Platteklip (3 hrs) $60
City sightseeing bus tour (hop on hop off bus) One day pass- $20 p/p
Winetasting Stellenbosch (8hrs, min3 pax)
Please keep in mind this trip is designed to give you the freedom to do whatever interests you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and keep in mind these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are in US dollars and are rough estimates so you can budget your trip.
Tour Company Fee
$100 USD (Educators do not have to pay this fee)
$200-$1000 USD. The detailed itinerary lists optional activities and their costs. We recommend giving yourself a healthy budget for these as some of them are pretty amazing!
International Airfare from USA
Roughly $1200-2000 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare we would be happy to assist you. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Also see our FAQ for flight advice.
Please note it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers for both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing an all inclusive plan that covers cancellation/interruption insurance as well.
See our FAQ for advice on Travel Insurance.
$160-$200 USD total. $50-$75 USD for the G Adventures tour leader, $50-$75 USD for the driver. The rest go to local guides on activities throughout the trip.
Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary
Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.
You should budget for these types of expenses.
Airport and Departure Taxes
allow $20-30 USD from Johannesburg, this is subject to change
It all depends on what you don’t have already/what your insurance covers.
Namibia and Zambia require visas for US passport holders. Currently Namibia is free of charge and Zambia charges $50 USD for a Kaza visa which will also allow you to enter Zimbabwe.
If you are not a US passport holder, please check your local embassies for current prices.
$0-???? (This is up to you)
What should be my expectations for this GEEO program?
Before you decide on travelling with GEEO it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. To summarize, our programs are quite adventurous.
• You will be camping for several night on this trip. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised with the facilities of the campsites and hotels, but we ask you to keep your expectations low.
• Sometimes you will have full days of transportation as this trip covers a lot of ground. The roads will often be an adventure in itself.
• You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
• Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometime include day hikes with your daypacks.
• We recommend always carrying snacks with you because sometimes meals can be far apart.
• Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
• We try to set up anywhere from 1-3 school visits per program, but these sometimes fall through due to complications. Please understand they are not a guaranteed part of the program.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
Do I need a Passport? Do I need a visa?
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport that will not expire within 6 months of trip departure. If you have a U.S. passport, but it has expired, or will expire within 6 months of trip departure, click here for information on how to get it renewed. If you have never been issued a passport or have lost your passport, please click here. Processing time for US Passports is 4-6 weeks so please start this process immediately.
As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is in your best interests to double check the information we provide below by searching here.
Please make sure you have at least 9 empty passport pages (2 pages for South Africa, 4 pages for Namibia, 1 page for Botswana, 2 pages for Zambia and possibly an extra 2 pages for Zimbabwe if you choose to see the other side of Victoria Falls)
Getting extra pages is simple, but I would do this right away as it can take 6 weeks to process.: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/services/pages.html
US passport holders do not need a visa to visit South Africa (although you do need a yellow fever vaccination certificate) and Botswana, but you will need a visa for Namibia and Zambia (Zimbabwe too if you plan to see Vic Falls from the other side of the border). These visas can all be obtained on arrival at the borders and do need to be obtained in advance. Zambia and Zimbabwe have just recently introduced the Kaza Visa, which allows entry into both countries for $50. You can purchase the Kaza visa at Livingston airport or Victoria falls airport.
Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need a visa.
What is group travel like?
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travelers will probably come from all across the US and beyond and are likely to be of a variety of ages too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travelers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Where do I meet the group? What happens when I arrive at the airport?
Our groups meet at the hotel we use for the first night of the trip. Your tour leader will leave a note for you at the hotel's front desk with the introductory meeting time and location.
Pre-arranged transfer: Upon walking out of the international arrivals, look for a transfer person with a G Adventures sign and your name. Ask him/her what hotel he/she will take you to (do not volunteer this information). Then present your passport for proof of identity.
Please email email@example.com if you wish to book the airport transfer. They will need your name and the name of the GEEO trip you are on.
Taxis can be hired once you have departed the arrival hall and outside the International terminal, you will find taxis to town. It is approximately 10 km from the hotel and takes about 20 minutes (Cost is about $15 USD for a taxi).
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your tour leader (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. G Adventures will refund the transfer cost if this occurs.
Is it OK if I am traveling alone? Do I have to have a roommate?
Half of the people that travel with us are traveling by themselves so please don’t worry if you have no one who wants to join you on our trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy, in other words, two people to a room. If you do not have someone that you are traveling with that you would like to room with GEEO will find you a roommate of the same gender. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. If you want to room alone, there is a "My Own Room" fee for this trip of $299 USD.
Please note, even if you pay the "My Own Room" fee you will have shared accommodations on Nights 12-13 Namib Desert; Nights 8-9 Etosha National Park; Night 4 Okavango Delta; and Nights 1-2 Livingstone.
Who travels with GEEO?
GEEO participants are mostly made up of American K-12 teachers. Each group tends to have a good mix of educators in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. About half of our participants are coming alone and do not know anyone in the group prior to the trip. We group single travelers of the same gender together as tent-mates. If we have an odd amount of one gender we will rotate the single tent for free among the participants.
GEEO trips are open to all Kindergarten to University teachers, school staff, school administrators, and soon-to-be teachers pursuing their teaching certificate. Our programs are also open to retired educators. Non-American educators are welcome on our trips.
Participants in our programs are permitted to bring friends or family members on their trip. You must be at least 18 years old to participate and of adequate fitness level for your chosen trip.
How long have we been running this program?
GEEO was founded in 2007 and our inaugural trips were run to Peru and India in the summer of 2008. We have run Southern Africa programs since 2010, but 2015 we will be running this particular route. G Adventures, who actually handle the logistics of the trip have been running trips to Southern Africa for many years so you can have faith that your trip will be safe and well run.
Is it possible to get references for GEEO?
Over 1000 educators have traveled with GEEO since we ran our first programs in 2008. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the quality and value of the life changing experiences that we provide.
To read comments from past travelers, please feel free to visit a website that reviews non-profit organizations called Great Non-profits. Please click here for those reviews.
Please contact us if you would like to communicate with some of our former participants for a reference.
What cities/airports should I book my flight in and out of?
Your trip begins in Livingstone and ends in Cape Town. Please double check our itinerary for the date on which you must arrive in Livingstone by. You can arrive at anytime of the day you choose. You can depart anytime on the final day of the trip. You are welcome to come early or stay late, but services, such as hotel nights, for that extra time are not included in the price of this program.
Where can I purchase flights?
We recommend using www.kayak.com to see what is out there in terms of flights. G Adventures also has a wonderful air department, which can be reached at 1-800-708-7761.
You may also want to take a look at the prices at www.flyforgood.com or call 1-877-359-4466 to speak to a person. They get humanitarian rates from airlines and GEEO is registered with Fly for Good as a non-profit. If you purchase a humanitarian rate flight, you will need a supporting document from GEEO. Please request this from us after you purchase the tickets. Note that humanitarian rates are not available for all flights to GEEO destinations, and are sometimes higher than tickets found on on kayak, travelocity, orbitz, etc. Often the layovers are long and sometimes impossible to navigate. Look very carefully at the offer before purchasing your ticket.
When should I purchase my flights?
This program is confirmed to run. Please feel free to purchase your flights whenever you wish.
Where can I purchase travel insurance?
Please note it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. Regular health insurance plans almost never include emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance, so you will need to purchase a separate TRAVEL health insurance plan.
You are welcome to use any travel insurance company you like. You must bring some proof of this insurance to your introduction meeting on the first day of the trip. If you do not have travel health insurance at that time, you will be forced to purchase insurance on the spot, which will be pricier than purchasing it in advance.
One of the least expensive options is the "International Volunteer Card." They have a $42 card (Plus Plan) that includes the amount of travel medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance you need for our trip, plus other trip insurance benefits. DO NOT get the Basic Plan that they offer as it does not have enough coverage for our programs.
To sign up for the card you can follow this link:
We recommend purchasing cancellation insurance too, which the IVC offers as an additional option. Trip Cancellation insurance costs 5% of up to the total cost of your trip. For example, if you chose to insure $1000 of your trip cost, Trip Cancellation would cost $50. You can call them at 1-877-359-4466, ext. 7663 to ask for details on the cancellation plan or follow this link:
Another option is purchasing the insurance plan that G Adventures offers. Their comprehensive plan offers both health and cancellation insurance.
Can GEEO book extra hotel nights for me?
You may want to stay longer in Livingstone and cape Town so feel free to arrive a few days early or depart a few days later. We can book your extra hotel nights for you if you wish.
Just send a request by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the dates you would like at least 30 days before departure.
What are the emergency contact numbers for this trip?
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local office in South Africa. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so that they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Operator (South Africa)
After Hours Emergency number:
From outside South Africa: +27 82 5757 434
From within South Africa: 082 5757 434
If you are unable for any reason to contact the local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with G Adventure's 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Is there any safety advice we should know about?
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers' checks, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your tour leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your tour leader will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your tour leader will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is G Adventure's policy not to allow our tour leaders to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
GENERAL: Look after your personal items. Do not leave your valuables visible in a car or hotel room. Lock your hotel room door when you enter and when you leave. Do not carry large amount of cash on you. Avoid displaying flashy jewelry and carry your camera in its pack on your shoulder rather than around your neck. Keep your passport, airline tickets, money, important documents locked up in your room/safe - do not carry it with you. Vital Information when you are staying the KNP or any Reserve: Please ensure that your stay is happy and safe by taking note of a few simple warnings. You will be sharing your stay with many exciting and unusual creatures but without knowledge some of them could be dangerous: Example: Bats, Spiders, Snakes, Scorpions, Malaria Zone. If you must walk around at night please DO NOT DO SO WITHOUT A FLASHLIGHT. Remember: by feeding any wildlife, you are signing their death warrant as they become aggressive!
NAMIBIA: Always be alert of animals that are wandering too close to the road. Both domestic and wild animals frighten easily and can jump directly in front of the moving vehicle. If possible, avoid travelling at night. Some wildlife tends to be more active at dusk. Always be on the look-out for sandy patches, potholes and sharp bends in the road. In rainy or wet conditions beware of slippery roads, washaways, running and or stagnant water. Always have enough water (bottled) for the journey. NO matter how beautiful or gentle an animal may appear, the only safe way to look at it is from the safety of your vehicle.
ZAMBIA: Theft is rife in the bigger towns and cities. Don’t walk around with things you can’t do without, like your passport or airline tickets. Carry minimum amounts of cash and keep it hidden or in a money belt. This is less of a problem in the rural areas.
Please do not take photo’s of Police stations or at Cross borders, Airports, army barracks and personnel or any Government building. It is against the law and will result in the minimum of your film and camera being confiscated.
What vaccinations do I need for this trip? What other health information should I know?
GEEO legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. GEEO recommends contacting Passport Health, (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/) who have travel clinics throughout the US. Please take this seriously!
The following information comes from G Adventures trip notes, as they appear on their website on August 11th, 2014.
Yellow Fever Certificate Note:
It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to South Africa from a Yellow Fever endemic country. Entry into South Africa when travelling from the following countries (but not limited to) will require a Yellow Fever Certificate: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This rule is also applicable to airport transit. If other countries not endemic to Yellow Fever have been visited (such as Botswana and Namibia), after visiting an endemic country such as Zambia, then a Yellow Fever certificate will still be required on entry into South Africa.
According to guidelines effective from October 2011, entry into Zambia, from South Africa also requires a yellow fever certificate although South Africa is a not endemic to Yellow Fever.
A valid Yellow Fever Certificate is also needed for entry into the following countries when coming from a Yellow Fever endemic country:
Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Malawi and Zambia.
BOTSWANA (Malaria Area): Water in the towns and villages, reassuringly, is perfectly safe to drink, BUT Bottled water is the safer option. It is recommended to visitors, though - those who want to take sensible precautions - that they are vaccinated against hepatitis A & B, which are common diseases, before entering the country. Malaria Area - please take anti malaria medication when travelling to Botswana.
NAMIBIA: Bottled water is the safer option when travelling in Namibia.
ZAMBIA: Vaccinations for cholera and tetanus are advised. Malaria is virulent in the low lying areas of the country which include most of the good wildlife destinations. Take prophylactics two weeks before arrival and continue two weeks after leaving. Your chemist or doctor can advise you of the most suitable drug available as certain drugs lose their effectiveness.
Tap water in the major towns is purified and perfectly safe to drink. In the more remote areas always boil it first, except if you’re staying at a lodge or hotel where drinking water is boiled already. Bottled water available in bigger cities.
Is there advice that past participants would like to pass onto you?
Quotes from past participants:
"It's the winter! Make sure you pack a winter coat, hat and gloves."
"It's funny. GEEO said it was going to be cold, but when I got on the plane in Houston to go to South Africa it was 95 degrees. It was so hard to imagine that it was going to be in the 30's! That information was well documented before we left, but I still didn't bring enough warm clothing. :-)"
"Warm clothing is necessary! I was prepared but not everyone was at night. The warm sleeping bag as I had was very necessary. The only things I didn't really need that I brought were the sleeping mat as they provided a nice one and bug spray(I used very little spray as it was really to cool at night for a lot of bugs). Also, snacks and most toiletries were available along the way."
"Try not to overpack. We only have so much room in the luggage compartment and because people overpacked we ended up with lots of stuff inside our riding area because it wouldn't fit in the luggage area."
"Bring jackets, coats, fleeces that are neutral in color like beiges, greens, browns for the game drives and game walks. I only had red ones and had to turn mine inside out or borrow coats."
"The camp grounds were adequate and we thankfully had warm showers every night except in the Okavango Delta."
"Get a Capital One Venture Visa card to charge your trip fees on so you don't have to pay any international transaction fees (since G Adventures is in Canada). Then use that card on the trip so you don't pay any service fees."
"Download Google Voice app on iPhone for free calls to US wherever there is WiFi."
"Shoes and sandals should have closed toes for most activities. There really is no need for a nice outfit."
"As soon as you sign up start watching the prices of tickets from the US to Africa. THEY VARY GREATLY. (Some on our trip paid as little as $1200 RT and others paid as much as $2500 RT.) Keep checking every week and be ready to buy your ticket as soon as GEEO says the trip is confirmed. South African Airlines (SAA) has non-stop flights to and from JFK to Jo'Burg and if you watch their website, they can be as cheap or cheaper than other airlines - and they are awesome - very highly rated!"
"Know that it is a good idea to get a yellow fever shot and bring along your travel vax book even though it is not currently needed in the four countries on the trip."
"Bring long underwear."
"PACK LIGHT! you have to unpack and re-pack often and space is limited."
"It's not that its freezing or hot all the time, its about dressing in layers! The mornings can be chilly (sweatshirts, jackets, hat, gloves) but by the time its noon, you want to be in t-shirts and pants (maybe shorts), and then nighttime can be just as cold as the morning. Bringing layering pieces is key. The people who brought a winter coat with a shell and an inner layer seemed to do best."
"If you are a shopper, bring an extra bag to check on the way home- tons of stuff to buy and some stuff is NOT small. Also be wary of bringing food items and drinks home. I know some airlines have a wine limit (we had this problem leaving Cape Town), but know that you may not be able to bring all your food stuffs home. Best to put these items in your checked bag and bury them!"
"Snacks & Food- we were able to stop often to buy snacks and drinks. So no reason to fill your limited bag space with snacks unless you have dietary constraints."
"Travel light. You may want to bring old clothes or shoes you can give away or trade at the end. The lady I gave my old hiking shoes to at the trip really appreciated them. It would have been good to bring a couple of teaching books, curriculum, kid books in English, etc. Schools could really use them. I brought a huge bag of pens and pencils not used from school and gave them to the teachers. They liked that. Other folks brought soccer balls and small items to give out. Big hit to these poor schools."
Is there clothing that is considered inappropriate that I should not bring?
Southern Africa is a pretty relaxed place and you can pretty much wear anything you would like, but if ever in doubt always best to err on the side of modesty
What should I expect in terms of school visits?
GEEO tries to include a school visit on each of our programs; however these visits are never a guaranteed part of our programming. School visits can be very tricky.
• In many of the countries we visit, schools will be closed for vacation over the summer. In that case we try to arrange an informal meeting with local teachers or a visit to a summer school.
• Some of our shorter programs are so packed with activities and places to see that we feel a school visit would mean the group would have to miss out on something important. In that case a school visit may not be scheduled.
• Many times we spend hours setting up a visit only for the school to cancel on us at the last minute.
• Often arranging school visits is easier if done in person with short notice. Your tour leader will try to schedule ad hoc school visits for your group when possible.
• Each school visit is different. We aim for you to get a tour of the school, sit in on a class and have a Q and A session with some of the staff.
• If we do schedule a school visit it is important that the entire group attend.
• Over time we try to establish long term relationships with schools so we can have more predictable, immersive visits that are rewarding for both our guests and the schools themselves.
Should I bring school supplies with me to donate to a school?
You can if you wish. Please keep in mind it is important for you to pack light for your trip and school supplies can take up a lot of space. Sometimes school visits are at the end of the trip so you may be carrying the supplies for the entire trip. Sometimes we aren't able to arrange a school visit at all so you would then have to figure out a way to give them out yourself.
Our advice is to bring some school supplies with you and if you need more, purchase them locally. This will allow you to give an appropriate gift, save room in your pack and also help the local economy. We encourage you to establish relationships with the schools that we visit. In the past some of our participants have run fundraisers for needy schools and have mailed supplies to the schools.
Do I need plugs and current converters for my electronic devices?
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your computer.
South Africa, Namibia and Botswana use a type 220-230v M style plug. The adapter for this plug may be hard to find in US stores and can be purchased in Cape Town. Zambia uses 230v type C, G and D plugs.
Most laptops, ipod chargers, phone chargers will be usable both on 120V and 220V. A universal pin adapter will be needed to plug in US based devices to the local outlets. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an "Input" line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, "Input: 100 - 240V" means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can't handle the different voltage, you'll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Is the water safe to drink?
Unless your tour leader tells you differently, only bottled water should be drunk, and this is readily available for purchase. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled, washed in boiled water and in the case of the latter, well cooked. Meat and fish should also be fresh, well-cooked and hot, to avoid possible infection.
Is there Internet access? Should I bring a computer? Mobile phone?
Some of the hotels and campsites we use have WiFi (often free, sometime not). There are also internet cafes in some of the places we visit. Expect to be able to check your email every two to five days. You can also bring along your mobile phone if you choose. Make sure you check with your phone company before you leave to find out the rates for calling back to the US and if they have any special international plans that are worth taking advantage of. International roaming rates can be extremely high, so you don’t want to be surprised. You can bring a laptop/tablet/smart phone if you wish, but remember, GEEO and G Adventures are not responsible for the damage or theft of your valued items.
What is the weather like?
Southern Africa will be mild and dry at this time of year (July). It can get really cold at night (30 Degrees F) so make sure you pack layers of warm clothing.
Is the itinerary exactly as described on this website?
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Why are some activities included in the price of the trip and others are not?
We have found paying locally for activities allows our participants to save money. Not every activity is appealing to everyone and we don't want you to pay for services you might not use. Perhaps you feel sick one day and would prefer to rest. This allows you to decide on the spot what you want to do each day with your free time and at the same time control your budget.
Do you have advice on tipping?
Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory and optional (up to the discretion of the group/guest) - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s). You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format: Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required); Driver / Tour Leader US$2 each, per day worked, per traveler.
What is the camping like?
An essential part of your safari is participation - from putting up your tent (while camping) or packing away in the morning, to helping with meal preparation and cleaning up - it is all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly. Your tour leaders will do all the meal preparation, but we do ask the participants to help with the washing up. Team spirit is part of the fun!
Even if you’ve never camped before, after a quick lesson you’ll be an expert in pitching your tent under the stars. Campsites can be surprisingly well equipped in some places, while “wild” or bush camping in the Okavango Delta can be as rustic as it gets.
Durable Tents - We use canvas safari tents that are rugged and tough.
Spacious 2-Person Tents - Tents have a base area of about 4 square meters, plenty of room for 2 people with gear. Large doors and windows provide air flow and keep you as comfortable and cool as possible.
Protection from the Elements - Our tents are waterproofed regularly and all have built-in insect netting on windows and doors. We also provide 4cm thick, warm and comfortable air mattresses to sleep on. Just bring your own sleeping bag and pillow!
Campsite Amenities - Majority of campsites we use have a small snack bar or restaurant, flush toilets, simple showers and washing facilities. Hot water is a premium sometimes, so showers are often cool. Some showers may be in outdoor enclosures. A telephone is usually available at campsites as well.
Wild or Bush Camping - In the Okavango Delta and Serengeti (plus possible other spots), camping facilities are very basic. In the Okavango there are no facilities, so we bring our own water, dig our own toilets and use buckets in trees for showers. A truly wild experience! In the Serengeti there are basic toilets and washing facilities but no showers or hot water.
Campsite Safety - The campsites are frequented by many groups, so do not store valuable items in your tents. Nervy monkeys can also run away with your possessions. Certain campsites are enclosed for safety, but others are open to the wild animals of Africa and may have armed rangers patrolling at night. Use extra caution, and a torchlight, after dark. It is not unusual for Hippos and other animals to graze on the grass right outside your tent in the middle of the night. Your G Adventures tour leader will brief you on the specific safety precautions of each area you visit.
What are the campsites like?
Camping in Africa is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. While camping, we stay at designated campsites in national parks and outside towns. Campsite facilities in southern Africa are generally good, but can be basic in certain places. There are generally small restaurants and/or bars, washing facilities and occasionally telephones available.
The camps have flush toilets, and showers at some camps are outdoors, having simple reed enclosures for privacy. Additionally, warm water is available at most sites, but it is not guaranteed to always be warm when you take your shower; the warm water may be used up others who also use the camp. We usually set-up camp within close proximity to the toilet facilities, though occasionally to reach them you may to walk a short distance.
In camping within the national parks and conservation areas, some camp sites are enclosed for keeping the resident wildlife out. Other camps are open to the natural environment – care must be taken, especially at night, when a torch/flashlight is recommended when walking around the camp area.
Your camping experience in the Okavango Delta is fondly called “bush camping”. This will be the most basic two nights of our trip, as there is no running water, no showers, nor toilets facilities. You will be truly camping in the wild, away from civilization and its comforts, and completely surrounded by nature – an unbelievable experience some in fact feel is the highlight of the trip.
Despite the challenge that a few days “roughing it” may pose to some, the experience of being that close to nature, camping under the African stars, and seeing incredible wildlife at your tent door-step is not just gratifying but ultimately an experience of a lifetime.
What is the accommodation like?
We will be using a variety of accommodation on this program:
Hotels with comfortable twin rooms with en suite or shared facilities.
Lodges with more basic standard rooms with en-suite facilities.
1 night is spent in simple Hut. Rooms are twin or single with shared facilities.
2 nights are spent in simple Dorm/Adventure tents. Rooms are twin or single with shared facilities.
Basic Camping (participative, please bring your sleeping bag)
1 night is spent in pitched tents in the Delta with very basic facilities (no shower, dig-out toilet). Tents are twin.
Camping (participative, please bring your sleeping bag)
Several night are spent in pitched tents in Etosha National Park and Solitaire Area. Tents are twin with shared bathrooms.
What are meals like on this trip?
Eating is a big part of travelling. Travelling with GEEO you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available in southern Africa. On this tour, we provide only a few meals for you and your group members, so as to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility in you choices. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though - while in the larger centers, your tour leader will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip.
Your tour leader preparse the meals included in the Okavango Delta, arranging to purchase the foodstuffs before our bush camping excursion begins. Breakfasts will generally be cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Lunches will be light meals such as sandwiches and/or salads. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes.
For the included meals, vegetarian meal requests and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival.
What are the toilets like?
All of our campsites will have toilets. They are mostly sit down style toilets, but some are basic squat style toilets. Also of note, many of the toilets you use won’t have the septic systems for flushing toilet paper. If there is a little trash can near your toilet, please put your used toilet paper in there.
What are the showers like?
They will vary from hole of the wall spout with warmish water to full shower heads, hot water and lots of water pressure. Most of the campsites will have very good toilet and shower facilities.
What is our transportation like?
We use a private local bus for the journey. With air conditioning, and sliding windows, this style of transportation is a comfortable way to travel through the region. In addition, even if we have a full group of 18 travelers, there will be extra space for the benefit of the group. Having our own private vehicle throughout the tour allows us the flexibility of making stops when needed. In addition, we are able to travel to out-of-the-way locations where public transportation does not reach.
Road conditions in South Africa are generally good, though once in Namibia and beyond, the road quality deteriorates. As such, we slow our traveling speed and enjoy some sand and bumps en route – something which is of course part of the adventure of traveling in Africa!
In the Okavango Delta, we leave our bus behind and explore in the area in mokoros – traditional dug-out canoes. The mokoros usually seat 2 people and are handled by ‘polers’ – so named as they move the mokoro forward by using a very long pole pushed into the ground under the water. This is a relaxing and peaceful way to take in the fascinating environment and wonderful scenery of the delta.
How much money in US cash should I bring? Should I exchange local currency in advance?
This is entirely up to you, but we think it is critical for you to bring along $300 USD in cash for emergencies. This is what GEEO's executive director Jesse does in regards to money while traveling:
"I do not exchange any money before travelling to a country but instead bring about $300-500 US in cash. I go to a bank before I leave the US and take out the cash there rather than an ATM. I make sure each bill is in great condition with no rips or tears. I like to have mostly 20's and a lot of 1's and 5's. I divide this money between a money belt and my main backpack and my daypack.
I also bring an ATM card and a credit card. Before I leave the country I call the bank and credit card companies to let them know I am traveling abroad so they don't think the foreign transactions are fraudulent and cancel my cards when I am most reliant on them. Having a second bank account and bank card is pretty handy so that just in case one card doesn't work at an ATM or is lost, you always have a back up account. It's also important to check with your credit card to see if there is an international transaction fee. Some cards charge up to 4% extra for any transactions made out of the US. My Capital One visa card doesn't have any international transaction fee. I just use this card for traveling so if it gets stolen and I have to cancel it I won't have to worry about recurring automated payments. I like to split up my cards between my money belt, wallet and one emergency one hidden in my main bag.
When I arrive at the airport I make sure to go to an ATM before leaving the airport and typically take out the equivalent of $150 USD in the local currency. I find that ATMs give the best exchange rate so throughout the trip I will use the ATM card to draw out my spending cash. I will ask our tour leader for an estimate on how much I will need if I am close to leaving a country so this way I do not draw out too much money.
I try not to use the US cash I brought with me so that I can use it in an emergency. This trip is the exception because visa fees are often paid in US and the US $ is the currency for Zimbabwe. Typically I will come back to the US with most of that US cash unspent. On a recent trip I lost my ATM card and was able to get cash by paying for our group dinners with my credit card and having people pay me their share in local currency. I NEVER take cash advances on my credit card as they charge you an arm and a leg.
I also never use travelers checks."
How long are the drives?
Not every day is a driving day and when we are on the road driving times will vary due to road conditions. The longest drive might be 8 hours but on average a driving day would be 5-6 hours.
Can I bring a rolling suitcase?
That's up to you, but we feel a backpack is better. There are lots of different backpacks out there, but in general you want a bag that has a capacity of around 50 to 80 cubic liters. For an example click here. (Please email email@example.com if that link does not work)
Are there mosquitoes? Should I be worried?
There are mosquitoes, and we recommend that you take preventative action against malaria. Using bug repellent is a very good idea, light weight long sleeve clothing at dusk and anti-malaria medication. The tents will be treated, there is no need for mosquito netting unless you plan to sleep outside your tent. Please consult your doctor for more information.
What happen if the airline loses my luggage on my way to Cape Town?
It occasionally happens that luggage on international flights into Cape Town does not arrive. Please be aware that this may happen, especially if you have a tight connection in either of these centers, are flying with different airlines with a connection, have a last minute flight change or re-route, or fly from or connect through another African center. Please be prepared and keep all important documentation and valuables on your person. As well we recommend a change of clothes in your hand luggage. If unfortunately this does happen, and your luggage does not arrive, you should be entitled to a limited initial compensation from your airline. In Southern Africa, the arrival of lost luggage normally takes between 10 and 48 hours after the initial plane’s arrival. The airlines technically should be responsible to forward your luggage to you, to your hotel or elsewhere in Southern Africa. You may find that your tour will begin, and you still have not received your luggage. When reporting your missing bag at the airport please provide the airline with the emergency telephone number of our local office in South Africa (+27 82 4444 303). Please do not give out any address (starting point hotel) as on most trips we do not stay long enough for the bag to arrive, the airline should phone our local office to arrange the delivery address.
It is recommended that you purchase locally a few needed items, begin your tour. Your tour leader or local representative will be able to help you organize this, and once your luggage is retrieved, it should be able to be forwarded to you – depending where you are. Please note that any costs that you may incur for luggage retrieval or sending luggage are not the responsibility of G Adventures, though we will always strive to assist you in any way possible, Please make sure to hand in the reference number of the bag and your flight details to your tour leader in order to help with the tracing of the bag. You should always keep all receipts and documentation, and contact your airline or insurance provider for reimbursement.
Is there any advice for finding funding for this program?
The first thing we recommend you do is speak to your school's principal and/or professional development coordinator. They may know of grants that your school district or state offers. Often schools reimburse teachers for professional development expenses. You can also try contacting your school's PTA or professional organizations that you belong to.
We also recommend applying for a Fund for Teachers grant, www.fundforteachers.org. These grants can be used on GEEO trips.
What is expected from me from an educational stand point?
Please take a look at the "Sharing your Adventure section of our website by clicking here.
What happens if it becomes unsafe to travel on this trip?
Your safety is our utmost priority and we will cancel a trip if we do not feel our participants will be safe. If GEEO or G Adventures cancels your trip we will issue a full refund of any payments you have made including the deposit. If YOU decide to cancel your trip you will have to abide by the rules of our terms and conditions.
What is the relationship between G Adventures and GEEO? Who is running this trip?
GEEO is an independent non-profit organization that helps teachers travel. GEEO negotiates with tour companies to get great deals for teachers. GEEO customizes these trips for teachers. GEEO provides educational materials to teachers before and after the trip to help bring the participating teacher's experience into the classroom. GEEO markets these programs to convince teachers to explore the world. For more about GEEO, please see our mission statement.
G Adventures is a tour company that GEEO has partnered with to run our trips. For over 20 years G Adventures has been sending hundreds of thousands of people abroad and today they are the largest adventure travel company in the world. They design the trips, provide expert tour leaders, ground logistics and work hard to make sure you have an excellent experience.
International Airfare not included
This program is confirmed to run and will have a maximum of 18 participants.
Bird-watching guided walk. Maun sunset boat cruise. Okavango Delta excursion with entrances, game walks and dug-out canoe trips. Kalahari Desert visit. Etosha National Park entrance with game drives. Swakopmund stay. Sossusvlei Dunes and Sesriem Canyon entrance. Fish River Canyon entrance. Border-crossing support. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
G Adventures Tour leader, Driver, local guides.
Accommodation: Hotels (7 nts), Guesthouses (1 nt), Lodges (3 nts), Participating camping (4 nts), Bushmen Hut (1 nt), Adventure Tents (2nt)
Total Meals: 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners. (Allow USD 455-500 for meals and drinks not included.)
Air-con touring vehicle, walking, mokoros
What's Not Included
Tips or gratuities
Meals not mentioned above
Optional Tours or optional admissions
Airport Transfers, unless otherwise mentioned in inclusions.