English is an official language in nearly all countries in Southern Africa, and most urban dwellers speak it fairly well. Afrikaans is widely spoken in South Africa and Namibia, and German is also spoken by some in Namibia. The official language in Botswana is Twana.
One of the most popular holiday activities in Southern Africa is wildlife safaris in search of spotting the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, rhino). There are game reserves within South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe. They all have lodges ranging from basic camping to five-star luxury.
South Africa has beautiful beaches stretching all the way from Cape Town around the coast up to Durban, which is a surfing mecca. Further north Mozambique – known for its excellent diving and warm, clear waters – takes over.
Namibia beaches are at their very best along the Skeleton Coast, which can be found on the far north-western side of the country with high concentration of seal and whale bones. It has a seemingly endless beachfront, superb photo opportunities and a magical coastal road
Southern Africa is an adventure haven. The region has some of the highest bungee jumping spots in the world; fantastic hiking and biking trails, hot-air ballooning, great rivers for white-water river rafting and canoeing and excellent surf for surfing and kite-boarding. Guide Animal tours, Hunting for trophies
The area at the tip of Southern Africa around Cape Town is known as the Wine Route and produces award-winning wines. Most wine farms are open for public tastings. Some of the towns to visit on the Wine Route include Stellenbosch, Franschoek, Paarl and Robertson.
Travelers on a budget have little choice other than to pack a cheap lightweight tent and camp much of the time. Be warned that in winter the nights can get very cold, despite the warm days and a frost as far north as Zimbabwe is not uncommon in some national parks. If you can’t/won’t camp then you are at the mercy of national park lodges which cost considerably more than any remotely budget traveler could afford. The only other option is to not spend the night in any national park, but that is generally impractical unless you have your own car, as getting to and from these places is not usually straight forward.
In towns and cities, there are usually cheap guest-houses that double up as a brothel of some sort (usually) and if you are lucky they may even have running water (don’t count on it outside Namibia/South Africa). In large cities like Windhoek and Harare there are foreign NGO workers who have a tendency to live in (and thus provide enough business for) hostels that also cater for budget travelers. Exactly how budget you think these are depends on your previous experiences, they do usually have hot water and electricity and a standard “hostel feel”, and also tend to be only found in large cities.
Lastly, besides perhaps the big-city hostels mentioned above, you will not be able to book anything. But in general you will find locals to be friendly and happy to help you find some cheap back-alley guesthouse for you to spend the night (if that’s what you ask for). In/Near bus stations they tend to be much more than 5 mins walk away, but of a higher standard
General guidelines or General Information
* No inoculations are required for Southern Africa, however tour consultants and planners should check with their local operators for any change in status.
* Travelers should be advised to take sensible precautions to ensure their health while in Southern Africa.
* Travelers on medication should consult with their doctors prior to departure, and prescriptions should be carried with the traveler.
* Adequate supplies of prescription medications for the duration of the trip should be carried with.
* The Tour operator must be informed of any special medical requirements or allergies.
* State-owned and private medical facilities are well developed and of a high standard, particularly in major centres.
* Emergency medical evacuation services are available. If required, tour consultants and planners should evaluate the requirements of their local laws, the requirements of travelers’ insurances and then consult with Enricos Tours and Safaris to ensure that the emergency medical evacuation suits their requirements. General Information
Southern Africa is a big place spanning multiple countries, urban and rural areas. Like anywhere, safety varies from place to place and time of day. Use common sense and defer to advice from trusted locals wherever you go, before you venture to new areas, engage with strangers or use public transport, and you’re extremely likely to have a safe visit.
Bites (Insects & Snakes)
Insect bites can be prevented by use of insect repellents. Travelers should shake out their shoes before putting them on. Snake bites are extremely rare and usually the result of an inadvertent mistake on the part of the traveler. Travelers should be advised to keep their eyes open and look where they are walking, especially where they put their feet, as most snake bites happen when the snake is stepped upon.
Depending on the country you are visiting, Tap water in Southern Africa is either purified or comes directly from boreholes and is therefore safe to drink. We supply drinking water from the tap, but Bottled mineral water is readily available at shops and Resorts should you prefer it General Information
Many activities in Southern Africa will be outdoors, travelers are advised to wear a hat and use a strong sun block. In the event of sunburn, drink plenty of water and apply an ‘after sun’ cream.
Dehydration is common, particularly in active travelers. Travelers should drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily in addition to beverages such as tea and coffee or cold drinks which can actually act as diuretics and increase loss of water. Diarrhoea happens. Travelers should ensure that the water which they drink is clean and, if in doubt, boil the water before use. All vehicles should carry their own water as a normal precaution. Food at lodges and hotels is generally excellent but the rich fare may upset stomachs. Travelers should be advised to exercise caution in selection of their meals.
HIV and AIDS
If the traveler intends to engage in sex while in the country, all possible precautions are advised. The only 100 percent precaution against HIV AIDS in the sexual context is not to have sex. However the traveler should be reminded that HIV AIDS cannot be contracted from kissing (unless there are open wounds in the gum), hugging, sneezing and toilet seats. HIV AIDS can be contracted from exchange of blood so plastic gloves should be used if giving first aid to someone who is bleeding. Plastic gloves are a standard inclusion in first aid kits. General Information
There might be a risk of contracting Malaria in many areas in the region. See the Malaria and Mosquitoes travel topics for more information. General Information