Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding travel to South Africa. Do I need vaccinations? What are the voltage requirements? What should I pack? And many others.
- Air Travel
- Entry Requirements
- Family Friendly
- Food and Drink
- Ground Travel
- Health and Safety
- Mobile Phones
- Resort Amenities
If you’re in your hotel room, contact the emergency number provided or the front desk. If you’re out and about, dial 10111 from a landline for the police or 112 from a mobile phone for emergency assistance.
The first rule of malaria prevention is that if you don’t get bitten, you will not get malaria. The Female Anopheles Mosquito (the exclusive carrier and culprit) can bite at any time of day but is usually most active at dawn and dusk.
The Kruger National Park is one of the two South African National Parks that are situated in malaria risk areas. The other park is Mapungubwe National Park. It is important to note that the risk of malaria in both of these parks is usually low. The window identified by the SA Minister of Health for Malaria season is between September and May.
Malaria precautions include the use of prophylaxes and vaccinations in consultation with doctors, the use of repellents on the skin, wearing long-sleeved clothes when outside, keeping window gauzes and doors closed at all times, and ensuring that air-conditioners in the chalets are fully functional.
Please note: With Go Touch Down, only one of our Safari tours visits the Kruger National Park, and only for a one-day excursion between 9 a.m .and 3 p.m. During this excursion you will be in an air-conditioned bus/van for the majority of the time.
Your guide will meet you upon your arrival at the airport and transfer you to your accommodations in our luxurious Go Touch Down Resort vans. These air-conditioned vehicles seat a maximum of 6 passengers plus your guide. Your guide will have a microphone so that all travelers can be informed, no matter where they are sitting.
You will travel in these luxury tour vans during most of your Cape Town Tour, as well as when transferring to and from your accommodations during your Safari Adventure.
Safari vehicles are open-air with tiered seats, so no one’s view is ever blocked. Our safari vehicles accommodate up to 9 people plus driver and tracker.
OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg)
International arrivals: After collection of your baggage you will proceed through Customs and enter the International Arrivals area through a large glass sliding door. As you enter this area proceed immediately to your right where you will see an airports information desk indicated by a yellow “i” in an italic typeface. Your guide will meet you here with a Go Touch Down sign. If your guide is not immediately visible please stay at the information desk.
Domestic arrivals: After collection of your baggage you will proceed to the domestic arrivals area through a glass sliding door. Your guide will meet you in this area with a Go Touch Down sign. If for any reason your guide is not immediately visible please proceed to the information desk located in the immediate area.
Cape Town International Airport
International arrivals: After collection of your baggage you will proceed through Customs and enter the International Arrivals area. You will notice a large boulder/rock with a penguin sign. Your guide will meet you here with a Go Touch Down sign. If your guide is not immediately visible please stay at the penguin sign.
Domestic arrivals: After collection of your baggage you will proceed to domestic arrivals. It is approximately 3 to 5-minute walk. On your way, you will pass a meeting desk for Go Touch Down Taxi service. This company is not part of Go Touch Down Travel and Tours, please proceed further and your guide will meet you in the domestic arrivals hall in front of the Vodacom Mobile Store.
Lanseria International Airport
Domestic arrivals: After collection of your baggage proceed to the arrivals area. Your guide will meet you here with a Go Touch Down sign. If your guide is not immediately visible proceed to the information desk to your right near the pay stations at the entrance to the terminal.
Meat: Lamb Chops, Steak, Pork Chops, Kebabs,
Chicken: Drumsticks, Wings, Breasts, Kebabs
Sausages: Pork, Chicken, Boerewors: Coarsely minced beef – sometimes combined with minced pork, lamb or both – spiced with coriander seed, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and allspice
A typical braai platter in South Africa
It is important to note that venison (game meat) is seldom braaied (barbecued) in South Africa as it’s best to cook or stew to make it tender. South Africans will not surprise you by not announcing what meats are being braaied. Normally a selection and a spread is offered, allowing you a variety from which to choose.
South Africa is one of 12 countries in the world where drinking tap water is perfectly safe! It is also safe to eat fresh fruit, vegetables and salads, and to put ice in your drinks.
South Africa boasts excellent fresh produce, meat, fruit, fish, and seafood and is renowned for its award-winning wines. Types of dishes served include sosaties (a type of kebab), bobotie (curried mince), crayfish, biltong (seasoned dried meat), and potjiekos (a casserole cooked for hours in a three-legged iron pot). Also, try some traditional African and Afro-fusion dishes along with local beers, Cape wines, brandies, and liqueurs. The traditional beer – umqombothi – is a home-brewed sorghum beer sold in many African townships.
South Africa is a perfect family-friendly holiday destination with much for the kids to see and do – from building sand castles on golden beaches, swimming in the ocean, taking a joy ride in a theme park, spotting wildlife on a game farm or enjoying adventure activities at one of South Africa’s many resorts.
Child-friendly facilities are found throughout South Africa. Hotels offer inter-connecting rooms, triple bed arrangements, cots, babysitters, feeding chairs at meal times and children’s rates. Self-catering properties are also a good option to consider, especially establishments that offer multi-roomed cottages and apartments.
During peak holiday time, when South African families take their annual breaks (April, July, and December), coastal resorts offer children’s entertainment programs, movie theatres screen the latest family-oriented movies and there are special stage shows like the annual pantomime at Jo’burg Theatre in Johannesburg.
Theme parks such as UShaka Marine World in Durban, Gold Reef City in Johannesburg and Ratanga Junction in Cape Town are great child-friendly facilities in South Africa, as is the Two Oceans Aquarium, also in the Mother City. Sun City has restyled itself as a family-oriented resort with popular water rides at the Valley of the Waves, as well as animal attractions. Countrywide there are good zoos, bird parks, crocodile farms and reptile parks. Some of the private game lodges may not take children under a certain age, but the national parks are great for family-friendly holidays in South Africa.
If your South African sojourn includes a road trip, national routes are well supplied with ‘pit-stop’ conveniences incorporating gas stations, restaurant and restroom facilities. Family-style restaurants in South Africa are good about offering children’s menus and keeping the young ones busy with coloring books and crayons as they wait for their meals. Baby food, milk, and nappies, are of course, plentiful in supermarkets. Children’s car seats are available from car rental companies and airlines will oblige with bassinets – both with advance notice.
South Africa, with its excellent infrastructure and modern medical facilities, is an ideal holiday destination for senior travelers.
At Go Touch Down we make sure all our travelers’ needs are met as we provide private, intimate tours.
Airports, shopping centers, and tourist attractions are often geared to assisting senior citizens. For those who cannot walk long distances, wheelchairs or onsite transport can often be arranged.
Here is some general information to help you prepare for your visit to South Africa.
Please be sure to consult with your health practitioner prior to your departure for updated information and for treatment appropriate to your personal health and circumstances.
While not required, the malaria tablet is strongly recommended when visiting the Kruger Park area. Please check with your MD for your particular medicinal needs.
Currently, the only mandatory vaccine is Yellow Fever only for those travelers arriving from a country at risk for yellow fever or in transit for more than 12 hours at an airport in a country at risk for yellow fever.*
Malaria Advice for Travelers
The risk for malaria increases from September and September to May is considered the malaria season. Overall control initiatives have been very successful in the malaria transmission areas. Mostly falciparum malaria is seen. The risk remains low in KwaZulu-Natal and is confined to the very far northern KZN. There is no malaria in the Drakensberg, Hluhluwe and Umfolozi Game Parks and St Lucia areas. The risk of malaria in the Kruger National Park will increase and malaria chemoprophylaxis needs to be considered.
After periods of low rainfall, the risk of malaria at Kruger is low. In any case, it is always wise to take steps to avoid being bitten. The most vulnerable times are between dusk and dawn. People are advised to stay indoors during these periods or cover exposed skin with light clothing or insect repellents. Remember, mosquitoes find ankles quite savory.
Mozambique has year-round malaria and the risks in southern Zambia, Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls) will likewise increase. Measures to reduce mosquito bites (the malaria mosquitoes are most active from sunset to sunrise) are essential and include the application of DEET-containing insect repellents to exposed areas, wearing of long pants and socks and sleeping under a mosquito net.
Any person developing flu-like symptoms 7 to 20 days (or even longer) after being in malaria-risk areas should be tested immediately for malaria until the symptoms clear or an alternative diagnosis is made. It is important to advise medical practitioners that you have been in a malaria-risk area to avoid incorrect diagnosis.
*Should you be entering South Africa via any countries mentioned below, proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination would be required upon entry into South Africa:
- Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Guinea-Bissau, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guyana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Venezuela.
Rabies, typhoid, and meningococcal vaccines are not generally recommended for the average tourist. It is essential that travelers are up to date with the standard immunizations.
Tetanus – Ensure that boosters are up to date
Typhoid – Low risk – vaccine not recommended
Polio – No risk
Measles – Low risk in South African sporadic cases only. Outbreaks in UK and parts of Europe. Vaccine contra-indicated in transplant recipients and immuno-compromised travelers, pregnancy
Here is a link that is worth looking into:
Please be sure to consult with your health practitioner prior to your departure for updated information and for treatment appropriate to your personal health and circumstances.
Released: June 14th, 2021
Here is the latest re COVID-19 and how it may impact your travel to South Africa.
- South Africa allows for International travel (see conditions below).
Past: All Go Touch Down travelers that were scheduled to travel to South Africa during the 2020 pandemic moved their travel dates to 2021. In addition, travelers that had tours booked for the first few months in 2021, has done the same and requested to move to later in this year or to 2022.
Present: In March 2021 travelers from the USA started arriving in South Africa. Our tours in South Africa are now in full swing and we have a busy season ahead of us. Bookings from mid-August through mid-December are at 85% capacity. This is a good number for our small group tours.
Note that the CDC has given vaccinated US citizens the green light for travel.
Travel restriction in short:
- USA passport holders may travel to SA subject to a PCR Covid-19 test showing a negative result (72 hour rule) prior to departure
- Canadians may travel to SA subject to a PCR Covid-19 test showing a negative result (72 hour rule), but may have to mandatory quarantine upon return to Canada (this may change soon)
- Australians have a ban on international travel outside of Australia unless you have an exemption from Dept. of Home Affairs
The following important information, updates and travel restrictions may change. (Stay in touch with us to keep you informed):
- The South African Government announced borders are open for all international travel.
- One of the traveling conditions are: Upon entering SA travelers must provide a negative PCR Covid-19 test result no older than 72 hours prior to leaving their country. See link for level updates: CLICK HERE
- The US Travel State Advisory on International travel.
- Although you may travel, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative Rapid Antigen COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of return departure: CLICK HERE
- The Canadian Government has issued the following Global Travel Advisory:
- Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. Plus note that upon your return to Canada you are currently subject to a 14 day quarantine. See link: CLICK HERE
- The Australian Government has issued the following notice:
- A travel ban is in place for Australians. However if you are granted travel permission by the Dept. of Home Affairs, you must produce a negative PCR Covid-19 test upon return and still complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine. See link: CLICK HERE
Go Touch Down Travel and Tours will work with you:
With regards to our Standard Exclusive Tours: (8 Day Safari, 8 Day Cape Town, 10 Day Signature, 16 Day Combo)
- Go Touch Down Travel and Tours has no control on these visa and travel restrictions and we continue to see changes and updates weekly. Once restrictions lift for your country, you may contact us to arrange your travel.
- Be rest assure; Should you decide to postpone, “We will work with you” (We do however need to document this with a signed addendum if you are outside of your agreement terms)
- All enquiries are addressed case by case. That being said, it is extremely important to advise us ASAP of your plans to travel or to postpone.
With regards to “Add-On Tours and Third-Party Suppliers”
- Tours & Trips such as “Vic Falls, Rovos Rail, Chobe safari, etc. have their own Terms & Conditions.
- Note that we have great relationships with these suppliers and in many situations, they have assisted us with favorable changes.
- All enquiries are referred to third-party suppliers’ case by case. However, that being said; its extremely important to advise us ASAP of your plans to travel or to postpone. Preferably outside of 60 days, as last-minute changes may not always be approved by them.
What to do?
- Email us on email@example.com if you want to postpone your upcoming trip. *We will inform South Africa, Note this on your file and contact you to discuss and arrange the addendum if needed.
- Or contact the office on our toll-free numbers (US/Canada – 877 480 6881) (Aus – 61 1800 431 345) *We will schedule you with your Travel Advisor or a Travel Managers to discuss your options in the order of travel dates.
- We will be updating our FAQ on our website with regards to current status on COVID-19 and Travel Restriction’s as and when they change.
Do I need a visa to travel to South Africa?
A visa may or may not be required depending upon your country of citizenship:
USA / CANADA / AUSTRALIA
A visa is not required for stays in South Africa less than 90 days. However, proof of identity and proper documentation is required for all travel. Without proper identification and documentation, an airline can deny boarding and you may not be permitted to depart. Furthermore, without proper identification and documentation, you may be denied entry.
United States of America, Canadian and Australian Citizens require a valid passport to enter South Africa when visiting less than a 90-day period and holding proof of an onward ticket. The passport must be valid for more than six months after the intended return date to the USA, Canada or Australia. More than a 90-day visit will require a visa.
Your United States, Canadian or Australian passport must have a minimum of two completely blank pages labeled “visa” for the visa issuance by immigration offices upon arrival in South Africa. These two blank pages must face each other so the entry stamp can be placed on one page and the exit stamp on the page it faces.
No advance visa is required for United States, Canadian or Australian passport holders when traveling to South Africa for tourist purposes. Please note that immigration officers hold the right to deny entry to any traveler.
For a complete list of visa-exempt countries, CLICK HERE.
A South African Visitor Visa application must be submitted prior to traveling to South Africa. A Visitor Visa in South Africa allows a non-visa exempt foreign national to visit the country for tourism purposes and needs to be applied for prior to arrival in South Africa. The Visitor Visa for South Africa also covers many subsets such as the long stay Visitor Visa, the Visitor Visa with spouse and Visitor Visa with children.
For more information regarding the Visitor Visa, CLICK HERE.
THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS APPLY TO ALL TRAVELERS TO SOUTH AFRICA
If traveling with children under the age of 18, please note that in addition to their passport, immigration also requires the original unabridged birth certificate regardless of the relationship of the minor to the traveling companions. If the minor is traveling without both parents, a power of attorney is required. Please contact the consulate for all details prior to travel or visit the South African Department of Home Affairs.
Without proper documentation, entry will not be granted.
NOTE: If you are traveling to other countries in Southern Africa, additional blank pages are required.
For Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe or Zambia, you will require two more blank pages facing each other.
The visa fee for valid for entry into Zimbabwe and Zambia is US $50 per person, payable in cash upon arrival at immigration in Victoria Falls.
Please note: The charge card machines are not always operational. We recommend having the US $50 per person in cash prior to arrival.
Entry requirements can change without notice.
Please check with your local health clinic for any vaccinations required. No inoculations are required currently for entering South Africa from non-yellow fever countries. We recommend the malaria tablet while you are in the Kruger National Park; however, it is not mandatory. Please speak with a Doctor before taking any medication.
Please note that baggage allowances vary with airlines, and airlines are free to revise luggage policies without notice. It is the responsibility of the guest to research and comply with luggage allowances for each airline on the flight itinerary.
Size and Weight Restrictions
Carry-on bags must:
- Not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height), or 115 cm.
- Fit easily in our SizeCheck® unit (approximately 22″ x 14″ x 9″, or 56 x 36 x 23 cm).
- Fit in an overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of you.
- If your carry-on bag doesn’t meet these size restrictions it must be checked, and all checked baggage rules will apply.
To avoid extra charges for oversize or overweight baggage on international flights, your checked bag must:
- Weigh 50 pounds (23 kg) or less.
- Not exceed 62 inches (157 cm) when you total length + width + height
Each special item you’re checking counts as one bag. When checking in online, you don’t have to tell us what the special item is—only that you have one. An agent will determine any possible charges for your special item when you bring it to the baggage drop. Special Items Include:
- Overweight bags – bags over 50 lbs.
- Oversize bags – bags over 62 inches(when you total the length + width + height)
- Infant and children items – stroller, child restraint seats
- Assistive devices – wheelchair
- Sports equipment – bicycle, bowling, fishing or ski equipment, parachute, surfboard, windsurf board, scuba tank
- Musical instruments
- Fragile/bulky items – saddle, antlers, Hawaiian pineapples, military duffle bags
For flights within South Africa, the weight limit for your checked bag is 44 pounds (20 kg).
Any additional checked bags will require a fee.
You may carry on 1 personal item plus 1 bag weighing up to 15 pounds (6.8 kg)
Yes, you do need a visa to enter Victoria Falls. No need to arrange your visa in advance, you may purchase it upon flight arrival. The cost is $50 USD per person. Please be prepared to pay cash and in small denominations; exact change is preferred.
Here is a guide to help you estimate the length of time it will take when driving or flying within South Africa. For driving (van transfers) the time will be the same when you reverse “To” and “From”. The reverse time may vary by 5 – 10 minutes when flying. This guide is preceded by the days and times that you can expect our shuttles to operate.
Please note that every travel itinerary is unique. Be sure to confirm your specific details with your travel agent.
STANDARD SHUTTLE SCHEDULE
Shuttle Pickup Times from Johannesburg Airport – Arrivals
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (Flights arriving by 9:30 a.m.) – Shuttle departs around 11:00 a.m.
Monday, Tuesday (Flights arriving by 5:45 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 7 p.m.
Seasons Resort Shuttle time to Johannesburg Airport – Flights to Victoria Falls or other early a.m. flights)
Wednesday 7 a.m.
Seasons Resort Shuttle time to Johannesburg Airport – All Evening Departures
Wednesday 2 p.m.
Note: Clients may use Seasons Resort facilities between checkout and shuttle departure time.
Shuttle Pickup times from Cape Town Airport – Arrivals
Wednesday (Flights arriving by 10 a.m.) – Shuttle departs around 12 p.m.
Wednesday (Flights arriving by 5 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 6 p.m.
Inverness Apartments Shuttle time to Cape Town Airport – Departures
Wednesday (Flights departing on or after 8:30 a.m.) – Shuttle departs around 6:30 a.m.
Wednesday (Flights departing on or after 1:30 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 11 a.m.
Wednesday (Flights departing on or after 6 p.m.) – Shuttle departs around 4 p.m.
*Any arrival time outside of these flight times will require the purchase of a non-standard transfer.
|From Airport||To Resort||Drive Time|
|Johannesburg||Seasons Sport & Spa||1 ½ hours|
|Johannesburg||Dunkeld Country Estate||3 hours|
|Cape Town||Inverness Apartments||45 minutes|
|From Resort||To Resort||Drive Time|
|Seasons Sport & Spa||Dunkeld Country Estate||3 hours|
|Dunkeld Country Estate||Humala River Lodge||3 hours|
|Humala River Lodge||Seasons Sport & Spa||3 hours|
Domestic Flight Times*
|From Airport||To Airport||Airline||Flight Time|
|Johannesburg||Cape Town||Kulula||2 hours 10 minutes|
|Johannesburg||Lanseria||Kulula||1 hour 55 minutes|
|Johannesburg||Livingstone (Victoria Falls)||Kulua|
|Johannesburg||Livingstone (Victoria Falls)||SA Airways||1 hour 40 minutes|
|Johannesburg||Livingstone (Victoria Falls)||British Air||1 hour 45 minutes|
*Times may vary slightly due to weather conditions and other variables