Should there be an incident while you are travelling, it is greatly beneficial for us to have the necessary travel insurance information at hand – reducing the need for calls and allowing for prompt action or assistance – whether it is of a medical nature or lost baggage or a missed flight. We highly recommend taking out travel insurance, particularly due to the nature of the destination.
It is a condition of booking with many of our suppliers that you have the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover yourself, as well as any dependents/travelling companions for the duration of your trip to Africa. This is the sole responsibility of the traveler. This insurance should include cover in respect of, but not limited to, the following eventualities:
- emergency evacuation expenses,
- medical expenses,
- repatriation expenses,
- cancellation or curtailment of trip,
- damage/theft/loss of personal luggage, money and/or goods.
Wild & Isle (Pty) Ltd and its subsidiary companies, and any person or agent acting for, through or on behalf of said companies, will not take responsibility for any costs, losses incurred or suffered by the guest, or guests’ dependents or travelling companions. This is with regards to, but not limited to, any of the above mentioned eventualities.
Guests will be charged directly by the relevant service providers for any emergency services they may require, and may find themselves in a position of being unable to access such services should they not be carrying the relevant insurance cover.
Health Insurance: It is compulsory to have full medical, emergency evacuation and repatriation cover for the full period of time
that you are travelling.
Cancellation & Curtailment: If for any reason you cancel your trip close to departure date, you could forfeit the entire cost.
Should you have to leave prior to completion of your journey, we cannot refund you the cost of the portion of the package you do not complete. In the eventuality of this happening, insurance may cover you, depending on the reason for cancellation and curtailment.
Luggage & Money Insurance: It is advisable to take out luggage and money insurance especially if you are carrying a substantial amount of cash or expensive camera/electronic equipment. You should always carry such equipment as carry-on items as there is an inherent risk of items of value being stolen from checked-in luggage, or said luggage being delayed or lost.
Claims: If you anticipate an insurance claim upon your return, be sure to document as accurately as possible any accident, injury or loss. Police reports and any notes from a medical practitioner will aid any claim.
At the majority of camps in Africa children under the age of 6 are not permitted, unless under specific considerations.
Absolutely, good reliable internet is available in most developed African countries, and is as good as any other developed country in the world.
Many of the hotels, camps, restaurants, shopping centers have access to wifi. The exception comes in the form of certain camps and lodges that are far into the wilderness, or who prefer clients to “disconnect to reconnect” in order to endure the splendor of nature around them.
Internet access in the common/shared areas of most safari camps is not accessible as it is considered anti-social, and the remote camps that do offer wifi will restrict access to areas where internet usage is out of sight from other guests.
Not at all.
In fact, it should in most cases cost you less than if you tried to book things yourself. As we are industry experts that have been designing African and island travel packages for many years, our rates through our longstanding suppliers are much better than what you will get them for, and therefore, depending on the number of people and booking value, can pass on some of these discounts.
We operate our business from Cape Town, South Africa, and travel to different African destinations, lodges and camps throughout the year in order to familiarise and experience them for ourselves in order to advise our prospective clients properly and sell them destinations and accommodation that suits their budget and while at the same time making things logistically feasible. So, its really no-brainer to book with us.
Unless you have a pilots license to fly a drone and have obtained special permission from the government of the country you are visiting, the answer is simply no.
Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted to 20 kg (44 lb) per person travelling on our light aircraft transfers. Only soft bags will be accepted – no frames or rigid structures as they physically cannot fit into the aircraft. Wheels on a bag are only permissible if they are not part of a solid frame or rigid structure. A collapsible “wheeled” luggage frame/trolley (separate to the bag) is allowed, as long as the basic dimensions are similar to that of the bag. The maximum dimensions of the soft bags which can be accommodated are as follows: 25 cm (10 inches) wide x 30 cm (12 inches) high and 62 cm (24 inches) long. Should you require a bag, we do have a supply of soft canvas carry-all bags at a reasonable cost. Note that you will be required to re-pack/purchase a new bag/leave bags at the airport should the dimensions not comply, as these are in place for your own safety and allows us to provide a quality air service.
All passport holders should verify visa entry requirements with their travel agent and/or relevant consulate prior to travel. If you are extending your journey to other countries, visa entry requirements for those countries need to be established as well. Visa applications, costs and relevant documentation are the responsibility of the traveller. Kindly ensure that you have all necessary visas prior to departure from your home country (unless these may be obtained on arrival) as Wild And Isle (Pty) Ltd, its staff, agents and operators cannot be held liable should entry be denied. In addition, it is your responsibility to ensure that the duration of stay in each of the countries visited on your itinerary is correctly noted on your visa/arrival paperwork or communicated to the Immigration Official, so that the appropriate number of days is stamped in your passport. If this is not done, there is a risk of being detained or charged for the number of days that you have “overstayed” in the relevant country/ies.
By law and standards of good practice, a medical clearance to fly will be required from your medical practitioner. A fitness to fly certificate will need to detail your current medical condition/s, the risk that flying poses to that condition/s and the precaution/s that need to be followed in order to ensure your safety. These clear recommendations will provide the pilot with all the information required relevant to the air transfer to allow for an incident free flight, especially in an unpressurised aircraft.
Similarly, a medical clearance or fitness to travel letter is required for a guest/s that may need special care or attention or those who may be travelling with medical equipment (sleep apnoea machine, wheelchair, walker, etc.). For guests who have been operated on or admitted to hospital within the four weeks prior to travel, please ensure that your medical practitioner clarifies whether your condition/s has stabilised sufficiently for travel.
If a parent/guardian is travelling alone with a minor child/ren (aged 18 years or younger) to South Africa then the parent/guardian must be in possession of a certified letter of consent from the non-accompanying parent or guardian.
All passengers under 18 years of age will need to present an unabridged birth certificate as well as a valid passport when entering, departing or transiting South Africa or Botswana. Abbreviated versions or baptismal certificates are not accepted. This requirement applies to minors of all nationalities – whether travelling unaccompanied, with both parents, with one parent, an adoptive parent/s or with a legal guardian/s or any another adult/s (e.g. family member or friend, etc.). A sworn translation (certified/authenticated) in English should accompany all documentation that is in a language other than English.
An “Unabridged Birth Certificate” contains the following details:
- Particulars of the child/ren: date and place of birth, gender and name in full.
- Particulars of the parents: full names, date and place of birth and their citizenship at time of birth.
For single parents, or those travelling alone with their child/ren, the following must be provided:
- An affidavit (no more than 3 months old on the date of travel) in which the absent parent gives consent for the child to travel, or
- A court order granting full responsibilities or legal guardianship of the child, or
- The death certificate of the absent parent.
There are a few basic health matters that require care and attention. The following points are recommended guidelines only – please consult your medical practitioner and check with your health department/travel clinic prior to departure from your home country, in the event there have been changes in the health regulations of the country you are visiting.
Malaria within South Africa’s borders is encountered mainly in:
- northern and eastern Mpumalanga,
- northern KwaZulu-Natal,
- the border areas of the Northern and North West province;
Outside of the South African borders it is found in:
- the lower lying areas of Swaziland,
- in Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe,
- northern parts of Botswana (more specifically Kasane),
- in northern Namibia,
- in Kenya.
Malaria prophylactic recommendations for travellers to Africa:
Expert opinion differs regarding the best approach to malaria prophylaxis. It is important to bear in mind that malaria may be contracted despite chemoprophylaxis, especially in areas where chloroquine resistance has been reported. Both chloroquine-resistant and normal strains of malaria are prevalent in Africa.
- Please remember that the best precaution is the preventative kind.
- Avoid being bitten by using mosquito repellents liberally. Wilderness Safaris provides a locally made repellent, however,
please feel free to bring your own if you suffer from any skin sensitivities or allergies.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks in the evenings.
- Please use the mosquito net over your bed where supplied/available.
- Where provided, please use the insecticide supplied to kill any mosquitoes that may have flown into your room.
- Mosquito coils are also effective.
- If you are a scuba diver, please consult your medical practitioner regarding the use of Larium in conjunction with diving.
Malaria is transmitted by a very small percentage of female Anopheles mosquitoes. They are mainly active in the early evening and throughout the night. Malaria transmission is at its highest during the warmer and wetter months of November through to April . From May through to October the risks of contracting malaria are reduced. There is also less prevalence in remote areas where our camps/lodges are situated; nonetheless, you need to consider taking preventative measures.
There is a 6 to 7 day minimum incubation period before symptoms present themselves. If you become ill on your return (early symptoms being fever, headache, chills and muscular pain), while still on prophylaxis or even once you have stopped taking them, ensure that your medical practitioner does everything to establish that your illness is not malaria. Malaria can be prevented if you are sensible and take basic precautions. There have been very few cases of our guests contracting malaria in our nearly 30 years of operation. It is inadvisable for pregnant women to visit malarial areas as malaria infection during pregnancy can be detrimental to mother and child. Caution should be exercised with small children as they can be more susceptible and are unable to take some forms of medication.
Tsetse flies do occur in some of the areas in which we operate: parts of northern Botswana, Zambia and Mana Pools in Zimbabwe. They look similar to other large flies except that when perched, both wings are held folded directly over the other above the abdomen and they have a long proboscis extending forward from a large head.
They are best known as the carrier of trypanosomiases – causing sleeping sickness in humans that can be fatal, however, is easily treated and cured. Not all tsetse flies transmit all variations of the disease and in Wilderness areas of operation they are regarded more as an irritation (the bites are sharp) than as a serious threat. Enormous efforts have been made in the eradication of tsetse flies in various countries and sleeping sickness has now largely disappeared from southern Africa. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that very few cases have been reported in Zambia since 2005 and none in Botswana from where it has long been absent.
The disease is easily treated with modern medicine and in the unlikely event that symptoms are recorded after a visit to an area containing tsetse flies we recommend that a medical practitioner be consulted. These symptoms can present a few weeks to months after a visit and begin with fever, headaches and pains in the joints followed by dramatic swelling of the lymph nodes. If left untreated these symptoms can evolve to cause anaemia as well as cardiac and kidney disorders before the sleep cycle is disrupted by alternate bouts of fatigue, insomnia and sleep.
What precautions can I take against tsetse fly bites?
The most important precaution is to be aware of tsetse flies and what they look like. In order to differentiate them from other flies look closely at the wings. If they are held closed and overlapping over the abdomen it is likely that it is a species of tsetse fly. Other characteristics include a long, defined biting proboscis. While on game drive or walks, be aware that they occur in wooded areas rather than out in grasslands or on the plains. Generally brushing the flies off your body once they have landed there is enough to prevent getting bitten. This can be a challenge in areas of high fly density, however, these are avoided wherever possible by the guides.
The colour of clothing worn can be helpful (see below) and while in camp/at the lodge keep your tent or room closed to insects. The
insects are tough and easily survive a gentle slapping.
What clothing should I wear to avoid attracting tsetse flies?
Dark coloured clothing is generally more attractive to tsetse flies since the majority of their host species are dark coloured large mammals such as buffalo. Wearing long-sleeved neutral coloured clothing is probably the best approach. It is possible for the flies to bite through light clothing and some people do wear heavy fabrics to avoid this.
If I get bitten and get infected or have an allergic reaction, how can I treat the bite and how common is this?
Infected tsetse bites can be treated by simply applying an antihistamine cream to the bite area. This will ease the itch which is commonly associated with insect bites of this nature. Allergic reactions are not at all common and should this occur, it can be treated with any of the antihistamine tablets available off the shelf and kept in our camps/lodges and vehicles.
Ticks occur the world over and are well known ecto-parasites. The most obvious species in the savannah regions of Africa are the ‘hard ticks’ which attach themselves to their hosts to feed before they either fall or are brushed off. Ticks are also well known as carriers of diseases that affect both animals and humans; in southern Africa this is referred to as tick bite fever. Symptoms of this disease present after a 5 to 7 day incubation period and include fevers, headaches, malaise and even a skin rash, however, effects can vary dramatically from person to person. A dark black mark usually results at the site of the infected bite and is a helpful diagnostic. The disease is easily treated with antibiotics although this is not always necessary. After walking in the bush with your guide it is best to brush your clothes down and to examine your body for ticks, taking care to remove these entirely without leaving the biting mouth parts behind in your skin. Anti-tick sprays such as Bayticol can be very effective against ticks and wearing long pants will prevent many bites.
Yellow Fever is a viral illness for which there is no cure, however, there is an effective vaccine that will prevent it. It is transmitted by a daytime biting mosquito. The Yellow Fever virus is found in certain areas of Africa, Central and South America. Proof of vaccination is required when visiting Kenya, if travelling from a country with the possibility of Yellow Fever transmission. Note that Yellow Fever is a risk in certain parts of Kenya so most countries will require proof of inoculation on your return home from Kenya.
While proof of vaccination is not required when travelling to Rwanda, only, it is required if onward travel includes Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and others. There is no risk of Yellow Fever in Mozambique. As such, note that when flying into Mozambique, travelling from a Yellow Fever destination, proof of inoculation will be required upon entry. The government of Tanzania requires proof of Yellow Fever vaccination, upon arrival, if you are travelling from a country with risk of Yellow Fever. This is important to bear in mind if combining Kenya and Tanzania, i.e. the Masai Mara and Serengeti, as Yellow Fever is required for Kenya. Please be sure to carry your valid certificate of vaccination. For the Seychelles, a Yellow Fever vaccination is required for travelers who are arriving from or have transited through countries with risk of Yellow Fever transmission.
Time: Inoculations must be had at least 10 days before travel, as the vaccine is not effective within 10 days.
Validity: The World Health Organisation (WHO) have adopted an amendment to Annex 7 of the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) which stipulates that the period of protection afforded by the Yellow Fever vaccination will change from 10 years to the duration of the life of the person vaccinated. This lifetime validity applies automatically to all existing and new certificates, beginning 10 days after the date of vaccination. As of 11 July 2016, revaccination or a booster dose of the Yellow Fever vaccine is not required, regardless of the date that their International Certificate of Vaccination was initially issued. Valid IHR International Certificates of Vaccination are now automatically valid for the life of the traveller indicated and need not be modified. For new certificates, WHO has encouraged countries to use words that clearly and unambiguously indicate that the validity of the certificate is for the life of the person vaccinated. You will receive a Yellow Card which you have to carry with you when you travel. Failure to produce the card during travel could result in penalties by
Immigration or refusal to enter the country.
People Exempt: Pregnant women, HIV-positive, anyone undergoing chemotherapy or with a suppressed immune
system. You still need to go to a clinic/medical practitioner for a consultation and to be given an exemption certificate
which will still allow you to travel without having had the injection. Babies under the age of 9 months and people over the
age of 60 years can qualify for an exemption, however, this is at the discretion of the medical practitioner.
Symptoms: The illness develops within six days of being bitten by an infected mosquito, and the onset is usually
sudden: fever develops, with headache, body pains, and most often nausea. Jaundice develops with a bleeding
tendency, coma and death.
Yellow Card: Travellers immunised against Yellow Fever are issued with an internationally recognised vaccination
certificate for inspection by Immigration Officials. The international health regulations concerning Yellow Fever are
unequivocal, and unvaccinated travellers may face denial of entry, quarantine in certain circumstances or even deportation.
This strict control is maintained to ensure that both the individual traveller and the broader communities are protected
against outbreaks of this disease. Persons arriving in South Africa from a country/ies designated by The World Health
Organisation as Yellow Fever risk areas will require a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate or a waiver letter, unless
the traveller was only in transit in that country. In transit is defined as a period less than twelve hours with the traveller
remaining in the airport terminal, and in this case, a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate or waiver letter will not be required.
The rationale behind requesting personal weight is that light aircraft companies must comply with very stringent controls and legislation regarding weight on our aircraft – taking the weight of the passenger into account, plus luggage and fuel requirements. Over and above passenger weight, there are strict luggage type, size and weight restrictions for all light aircraft transfers. It is important to note that if weights are not be provided in advance, and additional aircraft need to be arranged on the day, you will be liable for the relevant costs.
Sure! Especially for larger sized groups this can enhance the experience. Enquire about a tour leader/host or professional guide service.
We recommend a minimum of 4 to 6 months if you’re planning on traveling in low (green) season and at least 6 – 12 months, or more, if you’re looking to travel in peak season (July to October).
This is no exaggeration. Safari and African wildlife experiences (especially ones in exclusive areas) are on the top of the list of most peoples bucket list of things to do. The later you leave your planning, the less chance of us being able to design you the best experience for your money.