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African Penguin

FAQ

What is the benefit of booking with Wild Things Africa?

 

Our tours and hikes have been carefully curated from over a decade of experience visiting all the places ourselves. They are tailored to suit the needs of our guests and are flexible. Our expertise and customer centred approach make the process effortless; knowing the ins and outs to provide the best experience possible. The value in the experience is that you will leave with priceless memories.

Is South Africa safe for tourists?

 

South Africa is generally safe for tourists, but like any destination, it's important to take precautions. Stay informed about your surroundings, avoid displaying expensive items openly, and be cautious when walking alone, especially at night.

Why should I have a guide?

 

Travelling in South Africa is not a “walk in the park.” Our trails boast steep cliffs, brittle paths, and unpredictable weather that make the presence of an experienced mountain guide essential. On the roads, we encounter drivers whose behaviour can be erratic, but our professional and experienced guides will skilfully navigate you to your destinations, ensuring your safety throughout. Furthermore, with the rising concern of crime, a guide’s knowledge of where to go and where to avoid becomes invaluable. But it’s not just about safety; your entire experience will be elevated with their wealth of knowledge and infectious enthusiasm. Our guides truly connect you to a new world. You can relax and immerse yourself in the adventure and they will not only introduce you to the wonders of South African nature and culture but also help you create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

What is the best time of year to visit South Africa?

 

The best time to visit South Africa depends on your preferences. The summer months (November to February) are great for beach holidays and wildlife viewing, while the winter months (June to August) are ideal for safaris and exploring cities without the heat. The off-season months around April and September are also great for price conscious travellers and the weather is temperate.

Do I need a visa to visit South Africa?

 

It depends on your nationality. Many countries, including the United States, Canada, and most European countries, do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days for tourism purposes. However, it's essential to check the visa requirements specific to your country before traveling.

What are the must-see attractions in South Africa?

 

South Africa offers a diverse range of attractions. Some must-see destinations include Table Mountain in Cape Town, The Cape Peninsula, Kruger National Park for safaris, the Garden Route for scenic drives, the Cape Winelands for wine tasting.

 

What currency is used in South Africa, and can I use credit cards?

 

The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). Credit cards are widely accepted in urban areas, but it's advisable to carry some cash, especially when traveling to rural areas or smaller towns.

What languages are spoken in South Africa?

 

South Africa has 11 official languages, including English, Afrikaans, isiZulu, isiXhosa, and Sesotho. English is widely spoken and understood, particularly in tourist areas and major cities.

What are the traditional South African dishes I should try?

 

South African cuisine is diverse and flavourful. Some traditional dishes to try including bobotie (a spicy minced meat dish), boerewors (a type of sausage), biltong (dried cured meat), pap (maize porridge), and malva pudding (a sweet spongy dessert).

Is tap water safe to drink in South Africa?

 

In urban areas and tourist destinations, tap water is generally safe to drink. However, it's best to stick to bottled water in rural areas or areas where the water quality is uncertain. Bottled water is always included on day tours and spring water is available at accommodations. For hikes we ask you bring your own water.

What is the tipping etiquette in South Africa?

 

Tipping is customary in South Africa, particularly in restaurants and for services like tour guides and hotel staff. A tip of 10-15% of the total bill is typical in restaurants, but it's always appreciated to reward good service.

What wildlife can I see in South Africa?

 

South Africa is renowned for its diverse wildlife. Visitors can see the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) on safari in national parks such as Kruger and Addo. Additionally, there are opportunities to see whales, dolphins, penguins, and various bird species along the coastline.

Can dietary restrictions be accommodated?

 

We will try our best to accommodate dietary requirements however some of the remote locations can be difficult to guarantee. Please let us know in advance about your food requirements and allergies so we can pass the information on to your guide.

How do I get to and from the airport and what is the easiest way to travel around when not on a tour?

 

We can provide transfers to and from the airport when planning your trip. Ubers are safe and efficient in Cape Town to getting to and from hikes and free time. For day and multiday trips transport is included.

Do you book flights?

 

We do not book flights but can direct you to the best carriers in the country and help you choose the best ones.

 

Do I need a power converter or adapter for the electricity in South Africa?

 

South Africa uses 220/230 volts electricity and requires a type M plug. You will need a voltage converter for 110-volt devices. It is best to travel with your own adapters.

 

Are my valuables safe?

 

We recommend your keep your passports and valuables locked in your room. Always carry a copy for your passport, travel insurance and any medical prescriptions.

 

Will my mobile phone work?

 

Yes. Accommodations are equipped with Wi-Fi, and you can use data roaming when not at your accommodation. On Safari there is no signal, only Wi-Fi at the lodge.

 

Are there any medical requirements?

 

No vaccinations are mandatory for United States, Canada, and most European countries for entering South Africa. If travelling to the Kruger in the summer months malaria medication is advised. Please consult your doctor before you travel for what is recommended by your country.

 

How far in advance should I book?

 

We recommend that for multi day trips you book a month in advance in off peak season and 3 months in advance in peak season. Peak seasons are from November to March (for all tours) and May-August (for safari only)

 

Do I need travel insurance?

 

We strongly advise you to take out travel insurance. We do have limited liability insurance which covers under our care. Please ask if you wish to view our insurance policy.

 

What essentials should I pack?

 

We always suggest packing comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sun protection and a warm/dry top on all tours. A small check in bag and a carry-on backpack is the best way in our experience. 

 

What to bring on Safari?

Clothes:  Walking shoes, sandals, neutral-coloured clothing: long pants, shorts, fleece/jumper, light raincoat, long-sleeved tops.

Personal:  A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, sunblock, personal amenities, insect repellent, reading material.

Winter:  During the winter months (May to September), add a tracksuit, beanie, scarf, gloves and a warm fleece.

Equipment:  A flashlight, camera and spare batteries.

 

What is the minimum and maximum number of people on your tours?

 

For hikes we can accommodate solo travellers and up to 7 people per guide. For all other tours we can accommodate groups of 2 or more. Besides our hikes our tours are all private making it flexible to accommodate your needs.

 

What is your cancellation/refund policy? For hikes we have a 24-hour cancellation policy. For our day tours we have a 48-hour cancellation policy. For multi day trips our policy is as follows:

1-7 days before arrival - 100%

8-15 days before arrival - 90%

16 - 30 days before arrival - 50%

31 - 45 days before arrival – 30%

46 days or more – 10%

 

What if the weather is not good for a hike or tour?

 

All hikes continue unless there is torrential rain, lightning, or wildfire. We hike in all other conditions where it is safe to do so with your professional mountain guide. All other vehicle-based tours will continue unless there is a force majeure event where safety is a risk. In all cases above, you will be given the option to postpone or to cancel and receive a refund. For multiday tours your guide will shift the itinerary around to accommodate weather.

 

Furthermore, our guided experiences are not only for the photos but also to connect with locals and learn about our natural and cultural heritage.

 

What is the weather like in South Africa?

 

South Africa boasts a diverse climate due to its varied geography, ranging from coastal plains to mountain ranges and semi-desert regions. Generally, South Africa experiences four distinct seasons:

Summer (December to February): Summers are warm to hot, especially in the interior regions. Coastal areas enjoy more moderate temperatures with refreshing sea breezes. Expect occasional afternoon thunderstorms, particularly in the Highveld regions.

 

Autumn (March to May): Autumn brings mild and pleasant weather across most of the country. It's a great time for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing, with fewer crowds compared to peak tourist seasons.

Winter (June to August): Winters are generally dry and cool, with colder temperatures in inland areas and higher elevations. The Western Cape experiences its rainy season during winter, which replenishes the region's lush vegetation and fills up its reservoirs.

 

Spring (September to November): Spring heralds the arrival of warmer weather, blossoming flowers, and newborn wildlife. It's an excellent time for outdoor adventures and exploring South Africa's natural beauty.

It's important to note that South Africa's climate can vary significantly depending on the region you're visiting. For instance, the Western Cape experiences a Mediterranean climate, while the northeastern regions bordering Mozambique have a subtropical climate with higher humidity levels.

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