South Africa-Camping: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About South Africa

Overview

South Africa, is the gateway to one of the world’s most extraordinary adventures. Whether you fancy diving with great white sharks, embarking on a game drive in search of lions, or simply relaxing on sandy beaches surrounded by rugged mountains, your journey in South Africa will open your mind to infinite adventures.

 

For camping itineraries, please note, this is a participatory camping trip, where all travelers will assist in setting up camp and cooking meals. Guides will teach you the best methods for quick set up and take down of tents and will lead the cooking, providing clear instructions and oversight. If you’ve never set up camp or cooked outdoors before, this is the perfect opportunity to learn under expert supervision!

 

Capital City: Pretoria (Executive), Bloemfontein (Judicial), Cape Town (Legislative)

Population: 60 million (2021 est.)

Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)

Time Zone: South Africa Standard Time (GMT+2)

Emergency Number: 10111

Outlet: Types C, D, M and N

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Packing List

Speak the Language

Language: There are at least 35 languages indigenous to South Africa. The 4 most common languages are Zulu (22.7%), Xhosa (16%), Afrikaans (13.5%), and English (9.6%).

 

  • Good morning - Sawubona (Zulu), Mholo (Xhosa), Goeie more (Afrikaans)
  • Good night - Ulale kahle (Zulu), Mholo (Xhosa), Lekker Slaap (Afrikaans)
  • Good bye - Hamba khale (Zulu), Sala kakuhle (Xhosa), Totsiens (Afrikaans)
  • Thank you - Ngiyabonga (Zulu), Enkosi (Xhosa), Dankie (Afrikaans)
  • How are you? - Unjani (Zulu), Icomo estas (Xhosa), Hoe gaan dit (Afrikaans)
  • I’m fine - Ngiyaphila (Zulu), Ndiphilile (Xhosa), Dit gaan goed met my (Afrikaans)
  • I’m Sorry - Ngiyaxolisa (Zulu), Ngiyaxolisa (Xhosa), Ek is jammer (Afrikaans)
  • How much? - Malini (Zulu), Yimalini (Xhosa), Hoeveel kos dit (Afrikaans)

 

Google Translate: Download the Google Translate app or click here 

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Weather

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Fun Facts

  • South Africa is a wildlife paradise, including the Big 5 - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and African buffalo - South Africa also boasts great white sharks, African penguins, giraffes and zebras to name just a few. In fact, despite only covering 1% of the earth's land surface, South Africa possesses 10% of the world's bird, fish and plant species as well as 6% of its mammal and reptile species.
  • Although our images of lions are that of ferocious beasts, on safari, you will most likely spot them resting in the shade or taking a nap under a tree. Lions typically hunt at night and spend roughly 20 hours a day resting.
  • Regardless of its bulky stature and portly demeanor, the hippopotamus is quite the athlete and can run at a top speed of 20 miles per hour.
  • South Africa is known as the 'Rainbow Nation' for its diversity as a cultural melting pot. South Africa has 11 official languages: Zulu, Xhosa, English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sesotho, Northern Sotho, Setswana, Swati, Tshivenda, and Xitsonga.
  • In 1994 Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected president of South Africa. It was also the first year he was allowed to vote. He was 75 years old.

Tipping

Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, drivers and restaurants are not included. Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

Guides USD $5-10 per guide and safari tracker
Drivers USD $10 per person/per day
Restaurants(full service)  15% of total bill

 

FAQ

Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling. 

Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

 

Is the water safe to drink? Tap water in South African cities is considered safe to drink but in rural areas, it is advised to take precautions when necessary.

 

Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, click here. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you return home and has two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.

 

What about vaccines? For vaccination information, click here.

 

Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner, worldnomads.com or from a provider of your choice.

 

How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please take a look at our luggage restrictions below.

 

What facilities are available? Please be aware that not all campsites have shower facilities. Please have cash or spare change on hand as you may need to purchase shower tokens.

 

What does public transportation look like? In major cities, public transport in South Africa includes public buses, passenger trains (Metrorail) and public taxis - (FYI It is not advisable to use public taxis). There are private company taxis. 

 

Is Uber or Lyft available? Uber and Lyft both operate in all major cities in South Africa along with Taxify and Zebra Cabs.

 

What about Wifi? Internet and cell access are widely available along the N2 and big cities and towns.

 

Power Outages: South Africa has been experiencing rolling blackouts. Locally, they are called load shedding. In cities such as Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town, load shedding is daily. Your Guide should have a good idea of when the scheduled times are.

Luggage Restrictions

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