Below is a selection of clients' most popular queries.
If your query is not answered here, please get in touch with us through our contact page.
Is my holiday booking safe?
Yes! When you book your land only safari, you book with complete financial protection and peace of mind. Our safari tours are fully protected by Santam Ltd. Under policy number 55118956218 and covers you for passenger and general public liability.
We are also fully Bonded with SATSA for your peace of mind. Why use a SATSA member?
Is my payment safe?
Yes! Your payments are processed through our gateway partner, PayU, a verified and certified PCI DSS Level 1 payment gateway. For more informaton on the PCI DSS certification, browse their website at: www.pcisecuritystandards.org
What is our cancellation policy?
You can view our cancellation policy by clicking here.
What if we want to customise our holiday?
Our safaris and holidays are tailor-made to your specification. You can go when you want, where you want, with whom you want. Tell us your interests, preferences and budget and we will ensure you get the safari holiday you were dreaming of. We also offer a range of group departure tours, selected for the quality of their accommodation, transportation and guides. They are small groups to maintain the authentic safari feel and offer excellent value for money.
What shopping experience is there?
In the major cities, the shopping is equal to any modern metropolitan western shopping malls. In the bush, you will find local vendors and artists on the road side and at reserve entrance areas, selling beautiful hand crafted items from home ware, clothing, jewellery and furniture. In South Africa, the largest mall in Cape Town offers the V&A Waterfront, Durban offers the Gateway Theatre of Shopping and Johannesburg has numerous, not to mention the hundreds of art galleries and creative markets.
Do you cater for disabled / wheelchairs?
In our packages detailed on the website, there are no wheelchair access or bathroom facilities. However, please speak to us and we can customise a package for your needs.
What sort of accommodation can I expect?
Our safaris use 3-5* resorts and camps, but you can choose to book 5*, boutique hotel, tented camps, or if you prefer to rough it around a camp fire with marshmallows, a whole range of accommodation is available to suit your style and budget. In saying that, luxury tented camps are certainly not ‘roughing’ it!
I would love to go on safari but don't want to go on an organised tour and be stuck with a group of strangers.
We offer private safaris for couples or small groups. All the tours offered through Getaway Tours and Safaris are bespoke and designed for your needs. On these you can expect your own transport and guides. If you would like to book out the whole facility, just let us know.
What are the Visa entry requirements?
Each country has different requirements. Most don’t require a visa if your stay if under 90 days, however, some require holiday visa’s and need to be applied for before you leave. East Africa and Mozambique require a visa application before you leave Britain. Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia visa’s can be bought at the border, please have $US cash to pay at the Zim border. For up to date advice, please visit www.gov.uk and type in the name of the ‘country visa’ into the search bar. If you are not sure, please do contact us.
Do I need vaccines and Malaria tablets?
Depends on where you are travelling to and what season. The best advice from us is to recommend you book an appointment at your local travel clinic. The NHS has changed their services in the last 2 years and all the latest information is found here: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Travel-immunisation/Pages/Introduction.aspx
What type of clothes should I take on safari?
When on safari it is best to wear grey, brown or khaki coloured clothing during the months of July through October, and green clothing during the months November through June so as not to alert wildlife of your presence. White & other bright colours are definitely not recommended (blue actually attracts tsetse flies!). Camouflage clothing is not allowed.
Bring comfortable clothes that are cool, but that can layer to keep you warm at night or on game drives. During winter months (June through August in southern Africa), bring a pair of gloves and a warm hat as temperatures can drop to freezing at night! It is also advisable to bring a pair of cool sandals, comfortable walking shoes, a swimsuit, and a hat to block the sun for summer and winter months.
What is Bush Etiquette?
What you need to know before going on a game drive:
The Vehicle: The Land Rover in which you will travel to see game is open – there is no roof, and no doors or windows. There will be a time that the ranger will take the vehicle off-road in order to follow animals and tracks to afford you the best view possible of the animal. Please be aware that these are wild animals that you will be seeing and even though they may seem relaxed, it is important that they are treated with respect with regard to how close the vehicle is to them. Therefore the ranger will allow the animal to dictate where he will move and park.
What to wear:
- While on the open Land Rover there is no need to wear neutral bush coloured safari gear, but it is best to avoid very bright or iridescent colours.
- During the summer months it is advisable that you wear lightweight clothing, as well as sunscreen and a hat
- Bring something warmer to wear should it get cooler during the evening part of the drive.
- Winter drives – especially early morning and evening – are cold, so it is essential to bring clothing suited for these conditions.
- Midday in winter can be warm, so you may want to dress in layers so that you can shed clothes as the day warms up.
What to bring:
- Sunscreen and insect repellent are provided on the Land Rovers, but if you have specific sunscreen or insect repellent needs, it is advised that you bring the necessary products along with you.
- If you bring a camera, make sure that you have spare batteries or memory cards/film. There is nothing more frustrating than missing out on an once-in-a-lifetime photographic opportunity because you have run out.
- Binoculars are a handy tool for game viewing. If you did not bring a pair, there are camp binoculars available for hire at a daily rate.
Interests & special needs:
- Should you have a special interest regarding any aspect of the local fauna, flora or abiotic environment, please let your ranger know. This way he can ensure that your stay is especially memorable.
- Should you have any special needs, the Land Rovers are disability friendly and cater for a wide range of needs. A ramp in camp is provided for wheelchairs leading up to the front seat next to the ranger. On the seat, necessary cushions, blankets and straps can be provided if necessary.
Should you have any medical conditions that the ranger should be aware of, please advise him. It is especially important that he has knowledge beforehand of allergies such as bee stings, in order to check with you whether you have your Eppiepen on hand in the event that a bee stings you when you are far from camp. The Land Rover is equipped with a small medical aid bag, with provisions to assist with minor injuries. You must ensure that you bring along any necessary medication to cover your specific medical needs.
The ranger carries a high-powered rifle on the Land Rover, which is there for your protection. He is trained and efficient in the handling of the rifle. Stay behind the rifle at all times and do not handle the rifle without his consent!
Listen to commands, be aware of the radio
- Commands could include keeping still when a predator or other animal walks in close proximity to the Land Rover. Even small movements may agitate an animal and make it feel uncomfortable.
- Every Land Rover is equipped with a radio, which the ranger uses to communicate with other rangers. So that you don’t have to hear the radio, the ranger will wear a headset. Please be patient while he is talking on the radio, as he is more than likely listening to information that may benefit your experience.
No mobile phones
Cell phones have their place in modern time, but it is unnecessary to have them with you on your game drive. We ask that you be respectful to other guests and you all experience a ‘free from interruptions’ of modern day life while out on safari.
Smoking & cigarette butts
No smoking is permitted while on the Land Rover. During a drinks break it will be possible to have a cigarette, but please ensure that you have the necessary means to ash into and dispose of your cigarette butt when you are finished.
It is important that the game reserve remain litter-free. Do not throw anything overboard! This includes decomposable items like fruit skins. No one would like to spend the time and money to visit Africa to take a photograph of a wild elephant with a banana peel at its feet! Please discard of these items inside of the vehicle.
Speak quietly at sightings
It is not necessary to whisper at sightings unless indicated to. Talking at a level so that everyone on the Land Rover can hear is acceptable. Please take the other Land Rovers at the sighting into consideration.
No matter how dumb you consider your question, please ask. By asking questions you help your ranger to ensure that you enjoy your stay and leave well informed on the environment. The only useless question is the one not asked!
Secure your belongings
While not using your equipment, please ensure that it is safe and secure, and not in danger of sliding off the Land Rover. It’s best to leave valuables with your resort manager in safety boxes.
Safety and the environment
- Watch out for branches
Watch out for branches, and don’t touch them. A lot of trees on the reserve have sharp thorns, which can easily penetrate the skin if a hand is placed on it while driving past. When driving off-road, be on the lookout for branches and duck under the roll bar of the seat in front of you, allowing the branch to pass overhead. Be aware of branches when the Land Rover is reversing too.
- Hold onto the bars when off-road
Parts of the reserve have slightly rougher terrain, which may jolt you as you drive along. Hold onto the bar in front of you to stabilise your body, making the ride more comfortable.
- Don’t stand up
Don’t stand while driving or at any sighting. The cats are especially habituated to the shape of the Land Rover that is presented to them. By standing up, you are altering the shape that they are used to, which may cause them to become agitated and uncomfortable. Should they feel threatened, they are more likely to either attack or run away – and neither option is desirable. In certain situations, such as when viewing rhino or buffalo from a distance, ask the ranger whether you can stand as it is often not a problem. If you feel that you need to stretch your legs, do not hesitate to tell your ranger and he will stop for a break. Do not, under any circumstances, stand when the vehicle is moving.
- Communicate if uncomfortable with a situation
Most animals are habituated to the presence of the Land Rovers. If, however, you feel uncomfortable at being too close, or that a sighting is too gruesome – such as a kill, just tell the ranger so that he can place a greater distance between you and the animal, or leave the sighting altogether. At times you may go off-road driving. If you feel uncomfortable with this activity, please say so.
- Stay on the vehicle unless instructed or permitted to do otherwise
If you wish for a comfort break while out on the reserve, please inform your ranger and he will happily oblige. The guide will usually stop in an area where it is open enough to see any animals approaching.
Safety and Travel Advice
At Getaway Tours and Safaris, our number one concern is your safety. If we felt that travelling to Africa was unsafe we would not arrange African safaris. Certain country's can be considered safe while others cannot. We actively discourage travel to destinations that we consider unsafe for any reason.
In general petty theft does occur in Africa's major cities and towns. Visitors should take the same care as they would normally take in any other destination worldwide. Keep a close watch on jewellery, handbags, wallets, and cameras when walking in crowded places. Avoid walking at night and be sure to place valuables in safe deposit boxes at hotels.
While at safari lodges and tented camps you are typically far removed from human settlement and crime is virtually nonexistent. We advise that valuables be locked away or kept under the supervision of the camp or lodge manager while on safari.
Importantly, travel safety concerns arising from a negative event in one African country do not apply to Africa in total. When planning an African safari, it is best to work with a company that has intimate knowledge of each country – not just its wildlife and attractions but also its unique cultures, economy and government.
For peace of mind, please be sure to check the www.gov.uk website for up to date travel advice for the area you wish to visit.
English is spoken widely throughout east and southern Africa (with the exception of Mozambique where the language is Portuguese). Although, South Africa has eleven national languages, the main one is English. In Zimbabwe, English is the national language.
Tipping at restaurants (at your discretion) is 10%. Tipping at lodges and camps is always welcomed but the amount varies greatly. It is often best to tip the lodge manager who will distribute your tip amongst the lodge or camp staff.
All clients are required to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance plan before trip departure. This should cover you for events such as trip cancellation, delay or interruption, lost or delayed baggage, emergency accident, sickness and evacuation, accidental death, common carrier, 24 hour medical assistance, traveller’s assistance, and emergency cash transfer.