VAT (Value Added Tax) is currently at 14% and is included in the price of most goods, services and hotel accommodation. Foreign tourists qualify for a VAT refund on items purchased and taken out of the country upon departure. No VAT refund may be claimed on goods consumed or services rendered.
For further information, visit www.taxrefunds.co.za.
Tipping / Gratuities
Tipping / Gratuities are not included in the respective lodges' daily rates. Tipping is at the guest's discretion, and is dependent on individual levels of satisfaction. An average gratuity of 10% is the norm in South Africa.
South Africa's electricity supply: 220/230 volts AC 50 Hz
Most plugs have three round pins but some plugs with two smaller pins are also found on appliances. Adaptors can be purchased but may be in short supply. US-made appliances may need a transformer.
South African standard Time is two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 2), one hour in advance of central European winter time and seven hours in advance of United States eastern standard time throughout the year. There are no time zone differences within the country.
The Sabi Sand Reserve falls within a Malaria area. Anti malarial prophylactics are highly recommended. Visitors are advised to consult their physician prior to travel for the most appropriate prophylactics. Did you know that there are only 2 accounts of visitors to the reserve having contracted Malaria in the history of the Sabi Sand Reserve
Passports & Visas
For the majority of foreign nationals who travel to South Africa for vacation, entry is straightforward and hassle-free. All visitors to South Africa must be in possession of a valid passport in order to enter the country, and in some cases, a visa. To determine whether you require a visa to enter South Africa, visit the comprehensive South African Home Affairs Department website at: http://home-affairs.pwv.gov.za. For South African missions abroad, visit http://www.dfa.gov.za/foreign/sa_abroad/index.htm.
Cheque / Check Payments
Regretfully cheques are not usually accepted at the camps.
Most lodges accept Master Card, American Express, Diners Club and Visa.
One Rand (R) = 100 cents (c). Notes issued R200, R100, R50, R20, R10; coins R5, R2, R1, 50c 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, & 1c. Currency exchange rates are available at banks and published daily in the press.
Non-residents are permitted to drive with a driving licence issued and valid in their own country, provided it bears the photograph and signature of the holder and is in English. If your drivers licence does not meet these requirements, an international driver's licence is required. Driving is on the left and the wearing of seatbelts is compulsory.
General Safety Tips
If you are on a guided African safari, your chances of encountering problems are minimal. Tour operators make it their business to know the areas they travel in thus reducing risk to travellers. However, it is sensible to take normal precautions on your African safari, particularly when travelling through urban areas.
Travel Documents / Money
Always have a photocopy of your passport, and any visas. Also, have a list of traveller’s cheque numbers. These copies should be packed separately from the originals. It is never a good idea to carry large amounts of cash, and most urban centres (hotels, shops) do accept credit cards (Visa and Mastercard are most common), and traveller’s cheques. You might need cash for purchases local markets – keep this in a travel wallet, or a zip pocket.
Never leave cameras and hand luggage unattended, whether in a vehicle, or even in a hotel foyer. Never pack valuables (this includes medication), in your check-in luggage.
When travelling independently on your African safari, stay informed in terms of the local news. Ask at your hotel about any unsafe areas, and codes of dress and behaviour. Don't openly carry valuables. If you must carry your passport and money, keep them in a buttoned-down pocket.
Your guide will always do a safety talk with you, whether your game viewing is to be done from a vehicle, or on foot. Wildlife is potentially dangerous, but as long as you adhere to what you guide tells you, there is very little to worry about. At viewpoints, hides and camps, wildlife is more familiar with people and less intimidated by your presence. Never tease or corner wild animals - this may cause an unpredictable response and a potentially dangerous reaction. Never feed any animals, as this can cause them to lose their fear of humans.
Although Africa is known to be home to a number of potentially dangerous species, especially snakes, scorpions, spiders, and insects, very few visitors are adversely affected. Snakes tend to be shy, and generally stay away from built-up areas. Lodges and camps generally have insect (especially mosquito) proofing in their rooms. If you go on a walk, it is always a good idea to comfortable, enclosed walking shoes, socks, and long trousers – just as a precaution.