The South African rand (ZAR).
US passport holders visiting the Republic of South Africa for ninety days or less for tourism purposes do not need visas.
South Africa’s shoulder seasons (April-May, September-October) see smaller crowds and better opportunities for seeing wildlife. During these seasons, you can also find better budget-friendly deals on accommodations and activities.
November through March is summertime in South Africa. This is also the peak season for tourism, so it’s best to plan ahead if you want to visit during these months.
South Africa has 11 official languages and a multilingual population fluent in at least two. IsiZulu and isiXhosa are the most prominent languages. English is the language of public life, widely used in the media, business, and government.
The lighter, the better! If you only have a rolling suitcase, that will work, but getting your hands on a more mobile bag, like a large backpack, would be better. We take private and public transportation, including a domestic flight. We move often on this trip, changing locations every 2-3 days. Loading your suitcase on and off all these modes of transportation can be challenging.
You'll also want a daypack for your personal gear, food, and drinks for the day.
South Africa's climatic conditions range from Mediterranean in the southwest, to temperate in the interior plateau and subtropical in the northeast. Most of the country has warm, sunny days and cool nights.
The average annual temperature for South Africa is 64 degrees Fahrenheit (17 Celsius), with average monthly temperatures ranging between 70 degrees Fahrenheit (22 Celsius) in December and January and 51 degrees Fahrenheit (11 Celsius) in June and July.
Kruger National Park is a year-round safari destination, bringing its own highlights every season!
Whatever time you decide to go on a safari in the park--you will not be disappointed! Game viewing can be best during the dry winter months. However, the wet summer season brings full waterholes, lush bush, newborn wildlife, and the summer migrant birds arrive.
Kruger National Park has a hot, subtropical climate; most of the year and it is hot during the day (above 80 Fahrenheit or 25 Celsius).
Travelers will be able to easily access the internet in the cafes of South Africa’s large cities, but limited to no access should be expected in rural areas.
South African long-drop toilets are available outside of each home. These facilities are clean and well-kept. Homestay hosts supply guests with hot water every morning and evening via portable bucket baths.
Tap water is safe to drink in South Africa’s cities. However, drinking tap water in rural areas isn't recommended. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
Ask your leader where filtered water can be found. Some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
For two nights of your trip, you will stay in a private room of a host family’s homestay accommodation. Each room has a double bed, with some hosts having two or three guestrooms. Upon arrival at your home and meeting your host, you will receive a homestay kit. Each kit is fitted with clean linen (duvet, pillow, towel, face cloth, sheet), toilet paper roll, hand sanitizer, mosquito repellent, tea, coffee, cup, sugar, and milk. South African long-drop toilets are situated outside of each home.
Credit cards are usually accepted by large hotels, modern shops, and Western-style restaurants rather than by smaller vendors. Ensure you have adequate cash to cover purchases not able to be made on credit.
There are many ATMs in the big cities and regional towns of South Africa. Rural areas, national parks, and small villages will have limited to no ATMs, so be sure to carry other payment options before traveling out of the big cities.
20 kg (44 lbs) for checked luggage and 6 kg (13 lbs) for carry-on.
You may find the best international deals by booking a round-trip flight in and out of Johannesburg Airport (JNB). Then you can book a separate domestic flight from Cape Town Airport (CPT) to Johannesburg. However, Cape Town Airport (CPT) is an international airport servicing multiple major airlines.
Yes. South Africa operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. We recommend packing a universal travel adapter for your electronic devices.
We suggest bringing $350 USD in cash to be used at establishments that do not accept credit cards. This is not the total cash amount that you should expect to spend on your trip. Please consider your own spending habits for additional expenses such as snacks, souvenirs, and optional activities.
Credit cards, such as Mastercard and Visa, are widely accepted in Johannesburg and Cape Town. In local currency, cash will be needed to purchase souvenirs or any other items in the village. ATMs will be available in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Cape Town will be your best option for doing laundry. The hotel offers this service. Talk to the receptionist when you arrive in Cape Town on Day 6.
The Big Five animals are lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo.
Safari vehicles are 10-seater, open-air vehicles. Picture a pickup truck with rows of seats fastened in the bed and a canopy overhead to protect people from the sun and rain. There are no windows/doors on the back of the vehicles, which allows for open viewing.
Of course! This is your trip, and you don’t have to participate in anything you don’t want to. Just be aware that opting out of included activities will not change the price of the trip.