When travelling abroad it is important to be aware of local culture, any visiting rules and the general environment of the country you are intending to travel to, to help ensure a safe holiday.
On these pages you will find useful information about travelling to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia, including the weather, tipping protocol, tax laws and entry requirements so you can be fully prepared.
Known as the Rainbow Nation you’ll find the heart of the African community beating strong with cultural tradition, so embrace your surroundings and immerse yourself in local life. You’ll be touched and inspired by the legendary wonders that make South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia such a joy to explore. When going out and about you’ll find that smart casual wear is appropriate in the majority of places.
If you are hiking or camping, be considerate and cautious of local wildlife. Take all rubbish with you, and treat any food items with great care to avoid attracting animals to your site. Animals with nearby young or nests will be particularly aggressive when protecting their territory. Research the region and learn how best to deal with the local wildlife you might encounter. Take particular care if you’re touring an area where wild animals have been sighted. Keep a safe and legal distance from any wildlife including marine animals and birds and closely follow park regulations.
In game reserves and game parks, do not be tempted down dirt side roads in the quest for the best view of the wildlife. There are usually more animals along the main roads than on the lesser tracks and trails. If you do go along the lesser roads, communication can be more difficult, which could be problematic, in the event of a breakdown.
Be patient – a good ploy is to go to a watering hole and wait in the comfort of your motorhome. Remember that in the middle of the day many animals go to ground in the heat, or take shade under the trees.
Do not go walking, or even get out of your vehicle, in game parks without an accompanying ranger. Viewing big game is one of the main reasons for visiting Southern Africa. However, visitors should remember that these are large, powerful animals, including many carnivores, leading life in the wild and according to the laws of nature. So, please remember to respect all wild animals. Beware in particular lone male elephants, black rhino (the more aggressive of the rhino species) and buffalo. Snakes will flee from humans, so long as they hear them coming. If you surprise one (and yourself in the process), back off and allow it to escape. Scorpions are rare, but you should never leave boots or shoes outside your motorhome. If you do, then make sure you shake them upside down vigorously, outside your motorhome, before putting them back on. Most campsites in game parks are fenced. If the campsites are open then generally no dangerous game species are present in the area. The camps are often visited by Impala or other buck species visiting the campsite during the night.