GENERAL AFRICA TRAVEL INFORMATION
Our ratings follow standards set by the independent Hotel & Travel Index and by national tourist boards. The specific rating for each property is determined by our quality controllers.
We, at times, must substitute accommodations listed in the itinerary. Rest assured your accommodation will be of equivalent standards if not better than the original. With your travel documents, you will receive a list of accommodation addresses, telephone numbers, and fax numbers for your vacation.
At our, conveniently located accommodations, you’ll always feel well looked after The accommodations we carefully select have mastered the fine art of handling group check-ins and luggage, and of balancing efficiency with the individual attention you deserve. You won’t be surprised by any hidden check-out charges either. The specific accommodations we have selected for you are listed separately for each tour. The vast majority are rated deluxe (D), superior first-class (SF), or first-class (F). In overnight places where there is no accommodation in these categories or where our demand exceeds the supply, we choose the best available superior tourist-class (ST) or tourist-class (TC) properties.
If your flight arrives in the morning at the city where your vacation starts, you may arrive before noon. Official check-in and check-out times vary from property to property, but in many cases it will be mid-afternoon before the staff has your room ready. We do our best to prevent this from happening, but check-in times cannot be guaranteed. Some people use the time to explore the neighborhood and maybe shop or sightsee. Others relax in the lobby. If your room is not available when you arrive, you may leave your luggage with the staff, who will store it for you until your room is ready. This storage is usually free of charge.
When checking into your accommodations in your start city, you simply need to check in at the main counter under your name. The staff will assist you from there. They will know you are traveling with a Globus tour and have your reservation available.
At other accommodations throughout your vacation, your Tour Director or Local Host will assist you with check-in and advise you of the procedure and expectations prior to arrival. Often, when arriving at your accommodations, you will have the opportunity to unwind in the lounge or lobby while the Tour Director checks you in, secures your keys and handles your luggage delivery to your room. We take the worry out of this process for you.
During your vacation, we suggest you pack your luggage and check your room the night before each departure. Leave out only those items needed in the morning, so you start the day in a comfortable and relaxed manner, and the possibility to forget items is reduced. In the morning, make a last-minute check of safety boxes, wardrobes, tables, and drawers. Settle any incidental expenses (minibar, telephone, or restaurant bills) at Reception and return your room key. Your Tour Director will advise the time you must leave your luggage outside your room so the porter can carry it to the motorcoach for you. This information is provided the night before and there is space in your Travel Documents to write this information down for your planning.
Normal check-out times vary but are usually between 9:00 a.m. and noon. If you have a late-afternoon or evening flight, most accommodations have luggage rooms where you can store your luggage until you depart for the airport.
For safety reasons, most accommodations have very sensitive triggers to electrical surges, so try to minimize the number of items you plug in at one time, as even basic items could overload the system and cause a black-out to your room or floor. Bathroom sockets are usually for razors only and do not carry enough voltage to charge or operate other items. In Africa, most voltage is 220-240 whereas the common voltage in the United States and Canada is 110. Therefore, a converter of some sort is required. Check the back of each charger carefully as some new electronics already have this built in. If not, you will need to purchase a separate converter which is designed to reduce 240 volts to 110 volts You will also need an adapter, a small item in which you plug your small appliance plug to fit into a foreign outlet. See the individual country information for specific electrical guidelines. Adapter and/or converter kits that include a range of plugs can be purchased at better electrical supply stores. Kits can also be found at most K-Mart, Target, and Wal-Mart stores.
Room amenities vary by property and they may not have all the amenities as hotels in North America. However, Globus accommodations in Africa are among some of the country’s finest.
- Hotels in cities – Most will include air-conditioning, mini-bar, satellite TV, an electronic safe, air conditioning and tea/coffee makers.
- Safari lodges/camps – Outside of South Africa, most lodges and camps do not feature air conditioning but typically include a fan. Rooms always include an en suite bathroom, verandah, in-room safe, writing desk & chair, and a bug net (when needed). Rooms do not include a TV.
Single and Triple Rooms
In some instances, single rooms may be smaller than rooms suitable for two or more people. This isn’t the norm but is something to prepare for. Triple rooms are usually no larger than twin or double rooms. The additional bed away bed put in for the night.
It is important that you arrive at the airport at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights. This will allow you time to check your luggage and present your passport and ticket at the
ticket counter, get seat assignments and boarding passes, and pass through security to the boarding area. You should be at the boarding gate at least 30 minutes prior to departure, in case there are any gate changes or late notifications.
For airline check-in, you will need the required government-issued photo ID (passport, driver’s license or military ID) and final destination information. Airline representatives can look up your reservation with that information, although also knowing your ticket number or reservation number is helpful. Many airlines now have computer check-in which requires a credit card or passport number to pull up your reservation (reading your personal data from the card/passport to find your reservation in the system.) Computer check-in is usually self-explanatory with a series of checks and questions to ensure you have what you need to board your flight, including checking in your luggage. If you have questions, ask the attendant on duty who should be able to help you. Make sure you are checked in to your final destination so you do not need to claim your luggage and recheck during flight connections. In some airports this is mandatory, but not all.
The ticketing agent at the counter will verify your ID and tag your luggage for you. They may also be able to help you with seat assignments or changes if available. After check-in, keep your boarding pass and government- issued photo ID handy, as you will need both to pass through security to your gate.
Traveling internationally often requires a change of planes in major airports. Your airline, not Globus, determines the minimum connection time required to transfer from one gate to another for each specific airport. At times, these connection times can be tight and may require you to quickly move from one gate to another. At other times, the connections may be very long due to flight availability at time of booking. When booking air-inclusive with us, we do all we can to provide adequate connection times for our travelers. However, we are subject to the rules, regulations, and availability of the airlines while also working within the transfer times for our airport-to- accommodation transfer schedules. If you feel a connection time is too short, we recommend you ask for other options before purchasing your ticket or putting down deposit in order to avoid change fees, which can be quite expensive.
We recommend you review the airline flight magazine’s airport maps (when available) prior to landing, so you are familiar with the airport layouts, which will assist in making your connections. Another tip is to carry the airline’s 800-number (or international dialing number) with you. If you miss a connection, and we hope you don’t, you may be in a long line at the service desk with other passengers who have also missed a connection. You may be able to get through to the airline on their direct number and reschedule yourself for another flight. Additional information will be available in your Travel Documents from Globus about how to contact us if you miss your flight and provide us the new details so we know when to expect your arrival.
Airport security is becoming more and more advanced, which also means it is becoming stricter for travelers. For information on what is allowed in carry-on luggage and what to expect at security in the US, please visit: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information
A couple of simple things can help you move through airport security more swiftly.
- Check the TSA website for prohibited items and leave them at home, or pack prohibited carry-on items in your main luggage.
- Any gifts should be left unwrapped so airport security can open them for inspection if necessary.
- Any undeveloped film should be carried in carry-on luggage, as checked bag screening may damage it.
- Avoid wearing anything with metal (necklaces, watches, etc…) Metal will set off security screeners and will require additional screening by TSA personnel.
- Be prepared to remove your shoes. Many airports require shoe removal and shoe x-rays during the screening process.
- Put identification (luggage tags) on your carry-on luggage and all your checked luggage.
- Any liquids in carry-on bags must be under the size allowance and placed in clear zip-locked baggies
- Electronic devices will need to be removed from carry cases for inspection and may require placement in the x-ray machine individually. This especially applies to laptops which require separation from your other items.
- Carry-on bags are usually limited to one carry-on bag and one personal item (purse, laptop bag, etc.). Bag sizes are restricted to what can fit easily into overhead bins and underneath seats. Please check with your airport and airlines to verify luggage requirements and restrictions before leaving home. They can vary based on airline, airport and destination.
- Have your boarding pass and government-issued photo ID available for all TSA personnel. Only put these items away after you have passed through security.
E-tickets are now becoming the norm and paper airline tickets, when available, usually require a fee to obtain. When e-tickets are provided instead of actual paper airline tickets, all you need to check in for your flight are your flight itinerary information (airline, flight code, and destination) and your passport (or driver’s license for domestic flights). Please check your e-tickets or paper tickets carefully. Many airlines have “code shares,” which is an agreement or alliance with another airline. Code shares allow passengers to travel from point to point using more than one carrier. If your ticket states “Flight operated by (airline),” you will need to check in with that airline, not the airline listed as the original carrier.
Airline tickets for intra-vacation flights are most often held by your Tour Director and only provided once at the airport for that portion of your tour. You will not receive these tickets in your Travel Documents.
Airline Travel Apps
There are several Apps you can download to help monitor airline check-in times and security wait times as well n and maps. Gateguru, flysmart, and gohow airport are just a few.
After arriving at your destination airport, you will need to clear immigration (if arriving from an international destination) and claim your luggage. This is usually done in the “customs area,” which is separate from an “arrival hall.” Follow the signs to “baggage claim” and “customs”. Information on customs can be found later in this document. Be prepared to show your luggage tags / luggage claim information to security to prove you have your luggage and not someone else’s.
When you book your Globus vacation air-inclusive, the transfer to and from the airport to your start and end accommodation is included. You may also choose to purchase transfers from Globus for your arrival and/or departure by coordinating your flight information with our transfer times and windows. If you have purchased transfers from us, once you exit the customs area, you will be greeted by a Tour Director, Local Host, or company representative depending on the type and time of transfer. This person will assist you with a transfer to your accommodation. Your specific, detailed vacation transfer information will be available in your passenger documents, which will be available approximately 2-3 weeks prior to your departure. Look for this information in the Arrival & Departure Transfer section of your travel documents, which will have specific details for your arrival and departure.
To book your transfers, please contact your travel agent or travel consultant. It is important that you or your Travel Agent provide us with your correct flight information and details, so we can appropriately schedule your transfers. Without your flight information—or if your flight information is incorrect—we cannot arrange for your transfers correctly, and you may miss our transfer and be forced to make your own way to your accommodation.
If your plane is delayed, or you miss your connecting flight, we recommend you contact On Call International at 800-407-0801 and provide them with your name, tour reference, invoice number, and new flight arrival information. On Call will then notify us of your delayed arrival. If your delay causes you to miss your group transfer, you will need to make your own way to your tour start accommodation or embarkation point. Keep a copy of your receipt so you may file a claim with th airline for the transfer cost. All of this information will also be available
in your travel documents for your tour.
Calling home and being able to stay in touch with family is often an important part of your vacation. In your travel documents, which are available approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure, you will receive a detailed accommodation list that will include accommodation names, addresses, phone numbers, and dates of stay. We recommend you leave a copy of this list with family and friends so they may contact you if necessary. When calling from the United States or Canada, you dial 011 followed by the appropriate country code, city code, and phone number.
You may wish to bring a cellular phone with you on your vacation. When doing so, make sure to contact your wireless provider to inform them of your travel itinerary and dates prior to departure. Most cellular companies have an “international plan,” which will allow you to make calls from outside your home country. Some phones work internationally without a specific plan. Buying a plan (or certain amount of data and/or reduced calling fees) is the most cost effective way to use your phone overseas. If you don’t have a plan and your phone works internationally, please check with your service provider about associated costs as it can be very expensive. If you don’t already have this, you will need to purchase it prior to leaving on vacation in order to make calls from other countries. At times, cellular service may not be available as you travel from one city to another, but most metropolitan cities have cellular service which you can connect to.
Making long-distance calls home from your room is possible but very expensive. You may call collect (reverse charge) from your accommodation, but most accommodations charge a connection or service fee, which can range from $1-$10 and is in addition to any other calling fees or charges. This connection or service fee is also applied to calling cards, though calling cards provide better rates once connected. If purchasing a calling card for use while on vacation, please make sure the card covers all the countries you will be visiting. A list of covered countries should be clearly displayed on the card itself or its packaging. We recommend you check these countries carefully before purchasing.
Tour Directors may be able to assist you with making calls, but each calling card and cellular phone is unique and it would be impossible for them to know every plan or phone. Tour Directors should not be relied on to assist with personal phone calls. Therefore, we recommend you familiarize yourself with calling internationally before leaving home. Please refrain from using any cellular phones during sightseeing commentary, so everyone may
hear what is being said.
On Globus vacations, passengers are considered children if they are 17 or under on the vacation start date. Age restrictions apply to Globus tours, and generally under the age of 8 are not permitted on tour.
Discounts are also available on many of our optional excursions available on tour. In your travel documents, which are received approximately 2-3 weeks prior to vacation start, will be a list of optional excursions available and applicable discounts (if any).
Many of our activities are suitable for children over the age of 8. Please be aware, however, that Globus does not offer any babysitting services.
Traveling Internationally with Children
Many countries have adopted practices to prevent international abductions of children. Because of this, we recommend you secure a “Child Travel Consent” prior to departure if you will be traveling with a child under the age of 18. A Child Travel Consent is a document that shows authorities and foreign officials that a minor (under age 18) has permission from his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) to travel. The document may be requested by authorities when a child is traveling internationally:
- With one parent or guardian
- Without a parent
- With an adult who is not a parent or guardian.
If the traveling parent has sole custody, he or she will need a notarized true copy of a court order or equivalent proving custody. If both parents have custody, or the non-traveling parent has custody, the traveling parent will need notarized consent from the non-traveling parent. If the other parent has legal rights of access (e.g. visitation rights), it is advisable to obtain his or her consent. If it is not possible to obtain consent, or if the other parent has no legal rights, you should carry a notarized true copy of a court order or equivalent to prove that you have sole custody. You should also be prepared to prove your relationship to the child by producing government- issued certificates (e.g. certificates of birth, marriage, adoption or change of name). We also suggest you contact appropriate consulates and airlines for any additional requirements.
The South African government has approved new regulations pertaining to the travel of children. These are set to go into effect on June 1, 2015. All travelers should visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website and check the latest requirements with the nearest South African embassy or consulate. Rules apply to children who are entering or departing South Africa and appropriate documentation will be required.
Below is information on standard conversion tables, which you may find useful while traveling to international destinations.
Before leaving home, check your itinerary carefully and ask your local consulates about visa and passport entry requirements for the countries you are visiting. Requirements will vary based on passport place of issue. In the country portion of this Know Before You Go document you will find visa requirements for U.S. and/or Canadian citizens.
Entry documents and passports will be required at all border crossings, so please carry proper identification on you at all times (not in your luggage). Generally, crossing borders while on tour is straight-forward, and the process of going through immigrations and customs is facilitated by your Tour Director. You must be prepared to open your luggage for inspection at any time even though border crossing and customs formalities are not generally a problem.
Standard questions may be asked of you by a border guard, especially when arriving by airplane, such as “where are you from,” “where are you going,” “how long will you be there,” or “what is the purpose of your trip.” Answer honestly, directly, and politely. Though making jokes and wise-cracking may ease your apprehension, it can be seen as rude in other countries and may bring you under more scrutiny than necessary and may cause delay. Turn off cell phones and other portable devices while passing through customs and remove sunglasses and hats. Be sure to declare any items you have purchased.
Most items you purchase internationally are suitable for bringing back home. However, we recommend you check with the embassies of the countries you are visiting for items that you can and cannot bring in or out. For more information, we recommend you visit the U.S. Department of State at: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/go/customs.html
If you are taking laptops, cameras, or other electrical equipment with you that has been purchased within six months of your departure, you may be required to register these with your local customs authority in order not to be charged duty on these items when you bring them back to your country. For information on how to register these items before leaving, please visit: http://www.cbp.gov/travel/clearing-cbp/certificate-registration
United States:When you return to the United States, you should be prepared to declare everything you purchased or acquired while traveling. You will be asked to complete a Customs and Border Protection Form, which will require a description and a value of the item(s). To assist with this process, we recommend you keep any sales receipts for items purchased and pack things you are declaring in a place that is easily accessible. These forms are usually handed out during your flight home so you can prepare them in advance of landing. You will need your flight number as well as itinerary information when completing this form.
For specific and up-to-date information on U.S. customs regulations, contact the U.S. Customs and Border
Protection authority or visit their web site at: cbp.gov . Click “travel” then click “Know Before You Go.”
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE – COUNTRY INFORMATION
For US citizens, the US Department of State provides country-specific information for every country in the world at www.travel.state.gov. This is a good place to learn about the destinations you will be visiting, and includes quick facts for destination descriptions, passports/visas, safety and security, transportation, travel local laws, alerts/ warnings, vaccinations, and more. For citizens of other nations, we recommend you consult your local consulate for travel information, regulations, and requirements.
We know that some travelers may have specific dietary requests. Unfortunately, dietary requirements cannot be guaranteed on our vacations. We make our best effort to accommodate your requests, but not all accommodations and restaurants are able to manage specific diet requirements. Please discuss any dietary requirements you may have with your Tour Director on the first day of your tour. Pl ase see the Meals & Beverages section for more information on included meals and menus while on vacation
Tipping is a personal way to show your satisfaction for good service and is a general practice on all vacations. It is recommended that tips be paid in cash unless when paying by credit card, there is a specific gratuity line added to a restaurant bill. General tipping guidelines can be found below. Each country in Africa has different customs regarding tipping and country-specific guidelines can be found in each country-specific guide.
With Globus, all your accommodation taxes, service charges, tips for luggage handling, and gratuities for included meals are included in the vacation price.
For services with gratuity not included in the vacation price, we recommend the following as general tipping guidelines. More information can be found in the following sections.
- Local Guides (if applicable): $2 in the local currency per person per outing
- Tour Directors:
- East Africa: US$7 per day per person
- South Africa: US$7 in the local currency per day per person
- Driver/Guide (East Africa only): US$9 per day per person
- Driver (South Africa only): US$2 in the local currency per day per person
- Ranger (South Africa only): US$10 in the local currency per day per person
Traveling with us means you get specialized sightseeing with Local Guides in each major city. To make each location come alive throughout your vacation, these Local Guides share their vast knowledge about culture and history with you.
Gratuities for your Local Guides are not included in the vacation price.
Gratuities for your Tour Director are not included in the vacation price. An envelope will be provided in your travel documents for you to deposit any gratuities you would like to provide your Tour Director.
Gratuities for your driver are not included in the vacation price. Providing tips to your driver each day may not be necessary. Your Tour Director will let you know when a driver’s services have ended, so you know the appropriate time to provide a tip.
In all instances, we recommend that you carry some small change with you, as it is unusual to ask for change
when you are tipping.
Globus considers travelers to be a “group” when there are eight or more people traveling together on the same itinerary. Special incentives and discounts are provided to groups when traveling with Globus, and group leaders traveling with more than 20 group members may be entitled to additional discounts on optional excursions.
Globus has a specialized Group Department ready to assist with your group travel. If you have questions or are ready to book, we have specialized reservation agents who are ready to serve you. Whether it’s a small family reunion or a large affinity trip, our group department can work with you to put together the perfect vacation. They understand the uniqueness of group travel and will ensure that your booking process is smooth and effortless.
Globus uses Local Guides in specific cities and at specific sights to conduct sightseeing. These guides share their extensive and specialized knowledge with our passengers, discussing the aspects of a city or sight that make it worth visiting. All our Local Guides speak English and are some of the top guides in the industry.
Globus welcomes each traveling member to bring one suitcase and one carry-on bag. Due to limited capacity for luggage storage on motorcoaches, Globus does not accept more than one suitcase per person in order to avoid additional charges for excessive luggage.
Our luggage allowance and/or weight and size regulations may be different from airline requirements. We recommend you check with your airlines directly on luggage restrictions to avoid any additional or excess luggage fees. Certain vacations will have restrictions on the type, size, or weight of luggage that is allowed. Your Travel Documents will have specific luggage information and restrictions for your vacation.
Make sure when checking luggage on planes that you leave it unlocked, or locked with a TSA-approved lock. Checked bags are often screened on flights and any locks will be cut off for inspections.
Luggage Porterage / Luggage Service
Porterage (luggage or baggage service) for one suitcase per person is included in the vacation price. This includes transferring your luggage from the lobby to and from your room at time of check-in and check-out at each accommodation throughout your vacation. You will be asked prior to loading luggage onto the motorcoach, and at time of removing luggage from the motorcoach, to identify your luggage and confirm all pieces for your traveling party are accounted for. The porter or tour driver will then load your luggage onto the motorcoach or transport your luggage to your room. Airport and/or train station luggage services are not included unless otherwise specified in your travel documents. Please be prepared to carry your own luggage on and off airplanes and trains and through airports and train stations. For this reason, we recommend luggage be light enough for you to carry short distances.
Carry-on bags should be small, easy to carry and compact enough for carry-on use while touring. Generally, wheeled carry-on bags that may be suitable for air travel are not suitable as hand luggage on motorcoaches and mini-buses, since wheels can cause the luggage to move dangerously when stored under seats or in overhead bins. It is unsafe to store luggage in the aisles or to have it protrude into your legroom or the person’s next to you
while traveling. Therefore, carry-on bags that do not fit in the overhead bins or fully under the seat in front of you may need to be stored in the luggage compartments under the motorcoach for the safety of all passengers.
We recommend your hand luggage have a place for a water bottle and zipper pouches for easy storage. Bags that can be carried in front of you, and not on your back, are better options for traveling and are less likely to be susceptible to a pesky pick-pocketer.
Should your luggage be delayed en route by your airline, please note that it is the responsibility of the airline to ensure that it is delivered to you while traveling. Claims for reimbursement for delayed luggage should be addressed to the airline company directly. To assist in this process, fill out a claim form at the appropriate airline desk upon arrival and provide the carrier with a copy of your accommodation list, so delayed luggage may be forwarded correctly. Please complete any lost luggage forms and submit to your airline before exiting customs. Your Tour Director may be able to provide assistance contacting the airlines later for information regarding your delayed luggage during your trip, but they cannot submit the initial claim for you.
Size and Weight
Globus, and most airlines, restrict luggage to 62 linear inches, which is measured as length + width + height. Due to limited capacity on safari vehicles and flights when on safari, your single bag must be soft-sided. The weight cannot exceed 33 lbs. for vacations in Kenya & Tanzania or 44 lbs in South Africa and Botswana. Additionally, in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, due to the charter flights used your single bag cannot exceed 48 linear inches (26”x12”x10”) and hard-sided suitcases or other rigid, inflexible luggage (including those with “pull along” handle frames and wheels) is not permitted. Test the weight of your packed suitcase. You should be able to lift and comfortably transport it for short distances. Drivers and porters will be lifting and transporting your luggage during your vacation; on their behalf we urge you to please keep the size and the weight within the above limits. For safety reasons, porters may refuse to carry very heavy luggage.
We supply a luggage tag for you to fill out and attach to your luggage. We recommend you fill out this tag and attach to your luggage (opposed to using your own tags) as it also serves as an identifier for our touring staff throughout your vacation. In addition to your luggage tag, we recommend you put a label with your name, address, and telephone number on the inside of your suitcase and carry-on luggage as well. In the event your luggage is lost in transit, your contact information will still be available for airline staff. For security reasons, keep all unchecked luggage in your immediate possession. Luggage left unattended can be confiscated.
Important: International air carriers are becoming stricter about the size and weight of luggage and carry-on luggage. Please contact your air carrier or travel consultant for specific information prior to departure, as size and weight limitations vary from airline to airline and even according to destination, and may also be different from the limitations on your tour (for instance most airlines allow two pieces of luggage when traveling internationally, whereas on Globus tours we have a restriction of one per person). We recommend iflybags.com for reviewing airline luggage restrictions and fees for checked and overweight luggage. We are not responsible for additional luggage, luggage weight, or luggage handling fees imposed by air carriers.
Included meals are noted on each itinerary at the end of each day. We plan included meals to provide you the best possible enjoyment while on tour. Please check your itinerary for what meals are included on your tour.
Coffee and tea are usually included with meals on Globus itineraries. However, other beverages are not. You may order alternate drinks, including bottled water, sodas and alcohol beverages with any meal, and will be asked to pay for them upon completion of the meal. Your Tour Director will advise if payment will be required in cash or if credit cards are acceptable.
Breakfast is included with our itineraries to start your day off right. Each accommodation provides a buffet of standard continental breakfast items. Breakfast items may include whole-grain bread, croissants, cereals, eggs, fruit salad, yogurt, sweet rolls, cheese, and cold cuts.
In cities, lunches are often not included in the daily itinerary, as it allows you free time to enjoy the destination as you choose. Some people prefer to grab a quick bite and continue to explore the area, while others may want to try a local pub or restaurant. Included lunches will have a set menu to choose from and will include tea or coffee. Your Tour Director or Local Host will be able to provide you information on local restaurants to consider for dining on your own.
On safari, all lunches are included at your lodge/camp. Meals are often buffet style with a wide selection of western and local items.
In cities, included Globus dinners consist of three courses (mostly local dishes where appropriate), iced water, and tea or coffee after the meal. Other beverages cost extra and you will be asked to pay for them at the end of the meal.
On safari, dinners are always included and vary by destination. In East Africa, they are often buffets. In South Africa, they can vary from a buffet to a barbecue dinner under the stars. This is determined by the lodge.
Some accommodations and restaurants may be able to provide for a special diet, such as vegetarian or salt- free, but this cannot be guaranteed. When special diets can be accommodated on tour, it tends to be repetitive and usually costs extra. Please advise your Tour Director at the beginning of the tour of any food allergies or special requests.
For sightseeing and excursions in cities, we recommend you bring bottled water with you. Bottled water is also common in restaurants.
On safari, water is provided on all game drives.
We recommend you pack an ample supply of any medications you may require while traveling and include copies of your prescriptions and the telephone/fax number of your doctor in case you need them during your travels. Because of strict drug and medication laws in some countries, drugs or medications you take on doctor’s orders should be carried in their original container showing the prescription label. As long as this conforms to airline regulations, keep medicines safely in your carry-on luggage, as your checked luggage may not be easily accessible while traveling and to avoid additional problems should your luggage get lost, damaged, or delayed.
Here are some additional items you may want to consider for your travels:
- Pack an extra pair of eye-glasses and/or a copy of your prescription.
- If you wear contact lenses, remember to pack eye drops and use them frequently if you are traveling in a dry climate and while on airplanes as cabin air can dry out your lenses.
- If you use a hearing aid, bring a set of spare batteries, as it may be time consuming and difficult to find new batteries.
Please contact your doctor or healthcare provider before traveling to determine which vaccinations are recommended for your travels. Most countries where we travel do not require any special vaccinations. However, requirements can change at any time. Your healthcare provider can best guide you in vaccinations for you based on your itinerary. If you would like to research health and safety topics for your travel, we recommend the Center
for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov.
On vacation, you will need spending money for meals, beverages, entrance fees or gratuities not already included, additional activities and excursions, shopping, and incidental expenses. We suggest that you take more money than you think you’ll need. In some African countries you will be able to use US dollars while in others you will need to use the local currency. Due to this variation, please refer to the country sections of this Know Before You Go guide for information about each country’s currency and any details about accepting various currencies, money exchange and costs for standard items for your budgeting.
ATMs connected to bank networks such as PLUS or Cirrus are available in most major metropolitan cities, including airports, city centers, and in some accommodations. Access to ATMs on safari is possible but limited. Due to this we suggest obtaining your money in cities to avoid potential issues. Your Tour Director can give you more advice based on your situation.
ATMs will be similar to those in North America and most will offer English as a language option. The PLUS and Cirrus logos are now displayed at many ATM locations worldwide. Your bank can tell you which network your ATM card can access and whether a credit or debit card may be used. Be sure to activate your ATM and/or credit card before traveling, and don’t forget to bring your PIN to facilitate use. There are usually fees associated with money withdrawals, and these fees can vary from location to location.
It is recommended to notify your bank or credit card company prior to your departure with information on your travels. The number to call for this notification can be found on the back of your credit card. We recommend you contact them with your travel information because more and more credit card companies are denying payment for overseas purchases unless they know you are traveling. In addition, we recommend you bring an overseas contact number for your bank or credit card company in case you require any assistance while traveling.
While major credit cards are generally accepted by shops and accommodations throughout the world, you may encounter stores or restaurants that require a minimum charge for using them. Be sure to take more than one credit card, as some outlets may not accept all cards. Check that your credit cards are valid for at least 30 days after completion of the vacation. As credit card fraud is increasing worldwide, it is becoming more and more common for identification to be requested when making payment by credit card. Therefore, be sure to have your passport with you or a photocopy of your passport or driver’s license/birth certificate in case identification is requested. Shops, restaurants, and bars in some small villages may not accept credit cards at all. Therefore, it is wise to always carry some cash.
When making credit card purchases abroad, you will be charged in local currency by the vendor. Your credit card company will convert the charges based on the exchange rate they implement and may charge a fee for doing such. Visa or MasterCard are usually your best options while traveling, as these will be accepted at most shops, stores, and restaurants. The American Express, Discover Card and Diner card are not accepted in many African cities and are not recommended as means of payment for traveling in Africa.
More information on credit card usage may be found in the country information in this guide.
Exchange rates vary by currency and change daily. You may find up-to-date exchange rates at www.GlobusJourneys.com/currency. If you are traveling with a laptop or other mobile device, you can also download exchange rates from the Internet, which will continually update you with information during your travels.
“How much money should I bring” is a common question. The answer is difficult as each person is different, and each person chooses to spend money on different things. The amount will vary depending on if you are a “grab a sandwich and soda and walk the city” type person, or a “sit down and enjoy a good meal” type of person. How much do you like to spend on gifts and mementos for yourself or others? All these things can alter the amount of money you should bring with you while traveling.
Although a secure means of carrying money, we don’t recommend using traveler’s checks as they are rarely accepted in Africa.
Sometimes luggage is briefly delayed during air transport. Therefore, we recommend you take a change of clothing and essential toiletries in your carry-on luggage, or pack some of your clothing in your traveling companion’s luggage, so you don’t have to wear the clothes you have traveled in until your luggage is delivered. Do not leave essential medication in your checked luggage; always keep it in your carry-on luggage, as long as this conforms to airline regulations. We also recommend placing a copy of the accommodation contacts inside each piece of luggage. If your luggage is lost, this will help the airline find you while you’re traveling.
Traveling light is recommended. Adopt a simple color coordination plan for your vacation to reduce the quantity of clothing required. For every week of travel, five to seven tops or shirts and three skirts, shorts, or slacks that can be coordinated are enough. Pack jackets and slacks that have plenty of pockets so you can carry documents and money in separate places on you, reducing theft and loss risk. Wrinkle-resistant, easy-care cotton/polyester clothing is preferable for travel. Keep in mind that laundry service is available at most hotels/lodges/camps and while prices may vary they are generally reasonable.
Tip: Put dryer sheets (fabric softener sheets) in your luggage. Your clothes will smell fresh and clean throughout your travels.
Below is a list of items to consider when packing for your trip.
- Passport, visa(s), Travel Protection/insurance, flight information, and other necessary documents
- ATM/debit/credit cards and their applicable PIN codes. Do not pack your passport or your money in your checked luggage
- Jackets and slacks with plenty of pockets and inner pockets
- Light bag with a strap that can be worn crosswise over your body. Purses/handbags are best avoided unless they can be carried close to your body in front of you
- Sportswear/casual wear for daytime
- fits for evenings
Enough underwear/socks to avoid frequent laundry. Pack at least one pair of warm socks even in
summer in case of an unusually cold day
- Warm sweater for evenings
- Comfortable, sturdy, tried-and-tested walking shoes (rubber soles help grip slippery/uneven surfaces)
- Sandals and/or non-slip socks that double as slippers
- Warm jacket, socks, and cap
- Sun hat
- Insect repellent and balm
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Shampoo and soap (if you prefer to use your own brand)
- Razor and shaving cream
- Comb, brush, hair ties
- Lady’s necessities
- Band aids
- Aspirin/Tylenol/Ibuprofen/cold medicines/Pepto Bismol
- Chap stick or lip balm
- Antibacterial wipes/small bottle of hand sanitizer gel
- Travel pack of Kleenex
- Medicines (carried in their original container) and copy of prescriptions, telephone/e-mail/fax number of your doctor
- Manicure set and mending kit
- Travel alarm clock (to avoid relying on wake-up calls)
- Mini umbrella or fold-up poncho for the occasional shower
- Glasses, plus extra pair and/or copy of prescription, eye drops for contact lenses
- Collapsible walking stick if you have mobility difficulties
- Small travel pillow
- Electrical converter(s)/adapter(s)
- Camera/video equipment with plenty of memory cards/extra film/spare batteries. Label camera/ camcorder and film bags with your name and vacation code; should you lose them, there’s a better chance of their being returned
- Cellular phone with international calling plan or international phone cards
A valid passport is required for international travel. Please see the country specific guides for visa requirements and potential options for obtaining visa(s).
Taking photographs is no doubt top of your list while on vacation. Capturing those special moments on film and being able to share them with family and friends—and retain them for your memories—is as important to us as it is to you. If your camera uses film, we recommend you bring extra while on vacation. Film is not always compatible in different countries. The same holds true for digital camera memory cards, so we recommend a few extras just in case you can’t help yourself and take more pictures than originally intended.
Photography and video filming may not always be allowed inside churches, museums or shows, or there may be a fee to take pictures or videos. Always ask your Tour Director or Local Guide if it is acceptable to take pictures before pulling out your camera. Please respect the privacy of others, including the Tour Director, Driver, Local Host, Local Guides, ship’s crew, and other traveling companions by asking permission before filming or taking their photo.
Our range of rugged yet comfortable safari vehicles provides you with the best possible experience and excellent views of the passing landscapes and wildlife.
In Kenya & Tanzania, 4-wheel drive Land Cruisers. Both feature a pop-up roof designed for wildlife viewing and photography. While others sell seven seats in each vehicle, we limit the number of passengers to six per vehicle to ensure everyone has a window seat.
In South Africa, you will travel in an open-air 4-wheel drive Land Rover with a maximum of 9 passengers.
- Never leave your hand luggage unattended or out of sight in public spaces
- Be as vigilant with your valuables as you would in any major city in North America or Europe
- Avoid excessive displays of wealth. You may want to use room safes.
- Be wary of strangers approaching you in the street asking for directions or wanting to lend assistance.
- Always be alert to the possibility of pickpockets including children.
- Do not accept any offer of food or drink from strangers (drinks should not be left unattended in bars/ restaurants or nightclubs).
Check fire exits at each accommodation and familiarize yourself with the accommodation layout upon arrival. Use door locks in your room and verify credentials before opening the door to strangers.
Motorcoach (Southern Africa only)
Watch stairs and overhead entrances when getting on and off the motorcoach. The doorway may be lower than you think. Always check for traffic when exiting and walking away from the motorcoach and when re-entering. Heavy items, bottles, and odd-sized objects, should not be stored overhead as contents may shift while traveling, and removing heavy items can be tricky. Hand luggage should be placed safely under your seat. Please keep aisles clear of bags to prevent tripping hazards.
Due to government or country regulations and laws, some accommodations are required to keep your passport at reception throughout your stay. Therefore, we recommend you bring a photocopy of your passport and visas with you, which you can carry on you at all times. We also suggest you photocopy your airline tickets, credit cards, medical cards (front and back), and perhaps bring a copy of your driver’s license and/or birth certificates. These document copies can help speed up replacements in the event that the originals are lost. Keep the copies in a place separate from your originals. Another recommendation is to scan your passport, airline tickets, and credit card numbers and send them to yourself as attachments to your e-mail. In case of loss, you can access copies to assist in replacement.
Please remember to fill out the “Emergency Next of Kin” section in your passport. Make sure your passport does not expire within six months of your date of travel since a majority of countries insist that your passport be valid for at least a 6-month time period.
Transportation – Train, Ferry & Air
Please pay attention to on-board attendants and review safety information prior to departure or takeoff. Take particular note of the location of emergency exits. Use special care when embarking/disembarking boats as walkways may be wet or slippery.
Local sightseeing is included as per your itinerary description. In each instance, this has been arranged in such a way as to show you the most important sights of each destination with the most amount of free time available, dependent on the tour schedule. Sightseeing generally involves walking. If you lead a sedentary life, enjoy walks to improve your physical condition before leaving home. Participation in the included sightseeing tours is not obligatory. It is, however, your responsibility to be back at the motorcoach or accommodation in time for departure for the next activity. You will always be clearly informed of the departure time by your Tour Director or Local Host.
Experienced. Knowledgeable. Friendly. Efficient. These words describe our outstanding group of travel professionals, whose mission is to make your vacation the best ever.
We set very high standards and dedicate a lot of time and effort to selecting just the right Tour Directors for your tour. We eagerly use their first-hand experience to refine our product. Our tours are updated for each new season and, if necessary, even during the season to make your travel more rewarding. Tour Directors have a major say in the process—and you benefit!
Your Tour Director will help you make the most of each day and deliver interesting commentary. We receive numerous letters from our travelers praising their Tour Directors for the skills, energy, and special personalities they bring to the table—testimony that these professionals are the best in the business!
Our Tour Drivers are the finest professionals in the business. Globus tour drivers take pride in driving and in their vehicles, keeping them in great working order and spotlessly clean. Your driver will help you on and off the motorcoach and load your luggage with care. Our travelers consistently lavish the highest praise on the person behind the wheel! Globus drivers are certified, licensed, and experienced professionals whose expertise is motorcoach handling.
On Safari, you will have the services of a driver/guide (East Africa) or a ranger (South Africa). Finding animals in the bush can be challenging and these experienced professionals have a keen eye and extensive training to spot game. It is truly an art and a science!
Any disability requiring special attention should be reported to Globus prior to traveling. We will make reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of disabled travelers but may not always be able to do so. Access to some establishments may not be convenient for wheelchairs, and other facilities for disabled travelers may be limited. Most transportation services, including the touring motorcoach, are not equipped with wheelchair ramps. We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to a vacation participant for walking, dining, getting on and off motorcoaches and other vehicles, or other personal needs. Please do not rely on the Tour Director or Driver to assist with walking or maneuvering through the sights, as he/she has other responsibilities to all the travelers within the group. We recommend a qualified and physically able companion accompany travelers who need such assistance.
Please see the booking Terms & Conditions regarding travelers who need special assistance while on tour.
Weather in Africa is generally like weather in the North America – it varies by region, proximity to water and time of year. Within the country-specific information you will find average temperatures for each country. Africa uses the centigrade temperature scale (also known as the Celsius temperature scale). In the Conversion Tables section of this Know Before You Go guide you will find information on how to convert Celsius temperatures to Fahrenheit. Rainfall is measured in centimeters (one inch equals 2.54 cm) and wind speed is measures in kilometers per hour (one mile equals 1.62 kilometers.)