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This trip is being discontinued in 2013. If you are interested in this life changing experience for next year, have a peek at its new incarnation, tour code DNDO.

Cape and Dunes Experience

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2012 - February 3rd, 2013 Last Updated:
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Introduction

Experience incredible desert scenery and cosmopolitan city streets as you discover the diverse riches of South Africa and Namibia on this thirteen-day adventure. Beginning in Namibia, and continuing down the western edge of South Africa, this tour is a nature and adventure lover's dream. Explore the world's highest sand dunes, visit Africa's largest canyon and explore Etosha National Park in search if the 'Big 5'. Our expert CEOs will reveal the region’s hidden gems, taking the hassle out of travel so you can focus on breathtaking scenery and incredible wildlife. This is truly an African experience.

  • Seeing the 'Big 5' in Etosha National Park
  • Trying adrenaline activities
  • Tackling the world's largest sand dunes
  • Appreciating beauty in the Fish River Canyon and culture in Cape Town.
Duration: 13 days
Start/Finish City: Windhoek to Cape Town
Service Level: Basic
  • Excellent value, amazing prices, quality experiences
  • Simple and clean hotels, guesthouses and hostels chosen for location and character
  • Affordable public and private transport for maximum cultural interaction
  • Plenty of optional activities tailored to your interests and budget
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Travel Style: Overland
From North America to Africa, our Overland trips are perfect for those looking for a truly authentic backcountry experience. Using a combination of camping and hotel accommodation, our overland tours open up a continent's most amazing vistas and remote locations.
Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Cape and Dunes Experience (DNCE)

Day 1 Arrive Windhoek

Arrive in Windhoek and make your way to the hotel. Attend a pre-departure group meeting with your CEO scheduled for the evening. Please make sure you have all of the necessary visas for this tour by the time of the welcome meeting. It is very important to read the Visa section in our trip details to make sure which visas you will need, if any. Please note that not all nationalities are able to obtain a visa on arrival at the border.

Windhoek is the capital of Namibia, It has a population of 230,000 and is a major trade centre of sheep skins. Windhoek was originally the centre of a Nama chief, who defeated the Herero inhabitants of the region in the 19th century. Germany occupied the region in 1885, and it became the seat of colonial rule in 1892, as the capital of the colony of South-West Africa (Deutsch-Südwestafrika). During World War I, Windhoek was captured by South African troops and became a British dominion. Until the independence of Namibia was inaugurated in 1990, Windhoek was recognized as the capital of South West Africa as administered by the South African government. It continues today as the capital of the Republic of Namibia. The city of Windhoek is traditionally known by two names: Ai-Gams, from the Nama people, which literally refers to the hot springs that were once part of Windhoek, while the second name, Otjomuise, meaning a place of steam, was given by the Herero people. Both traditional names reference the hot springs.

Possible things to visit: Christuskirche & Alte Feste

Day 2 Waterberg Plateau Game Park (B,L,D)

Approximate Distance: 280 km
Estimate Travel Time: 6 Hours

Head north to Waterberg Plateau Game Park, where in the afternoon you can take a scenic forest walk to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
For those who are up for it, can get their hiking shoes on to do the hike up to the Waterberg plateau with its magnificent view over the plains of Namibia.

Day 3-4 Etosha National Park (2B,2L,2D)

Approximate Distance: 380 km
Estimate Travel Time: 8 Hours (including game drive)

Etosha in waMbo means "the great white place of dry water" or “white place of mirages” . As one of Africa’s highlights, the Etosha National Park offers a variety of wildlife and phenomenal natural beauty.

Upon arrival in the area in the afternoon, we continue on a game drive around the huge dry pan to find the elephants, herds of antelope and lions around the waterholes. After sunset you can watch some animals at the watering holes near the camping area, which is safe, being well lit with flood lights. Game drives are done in our overland vehicle. Night game drives are done by Namibia Wildlife Resorts in open vehicles (optional, at extra cost). The following day, enjoy another game drive en route as we travel towards the eastern side of Etosha.

A brief animal count of Etosha National Park: 30 000 Blue Wildebeest; 25000 Springbok; 23000 Zebra; 5000 Kudu; 3000 Hartebeest; 3000 Gemsbok; 2600 Eland; 450 Giraffe; 2000 Elephant; 260 Lions; 20 Black Rhino; 325 Bird species.
Etosha National Park in Namibia was first established in 1907, when Namibia was a German colony known as South West Africa. At the time, the park’s original 100,000 sq km made it the largest game reserve in the world. Due to political changes since its original establishment, the park is somewhat less than a quarter of its original size, at 22,912 sq km, but still remains a very large and significant area in which wildlife is protected.
The Etosha Pan dominates the park. The salt pan desert is roughly 130 km long and in places as wide as 50 km. The salt pan is usually dry, but fills with water briefly in the summer months, when it attracts pelicans and flamingos in particular. Periannual springs attract a variety of game and birds throughout the year, including the endangered Black Rhinoceros and the endemic Black Face Impala.
The name Okaukuejo (our first night’s camp) is derived from oKakwiyo, meaning “place of the fertile women”. It began as a veterinary post created by the Germans during a rinderpest epidemic in 1897. In 1901 a small fort was built here as a military stronghold. Namutoni, our camp for the second night in the park, was named after a spring found in the area. The waMbo called the spring oMutjamatund (high landmark). The name got distorted through the years. In 1903 a small fort was built at Namutoni, and it was maintained as a police outpost and customs post by the Germans.

Day 5 Damaraland (B,L,D)

Approximate Distance: 300 km
Estimate Travel Time: 8 Hours (including game drives)

Enjoy one last morning game drive, and begin moving south into the stony desert landscapes into Damarland. In the afternoon explore the area, which is adorned with rock engravings and petrified fossil forests.

About 100 000 Damara people live in Namibia, they share a common language with the Nama but have no kinship. The Damara have mystified anthropologists as they are a group of Bantu origin who speak a Khoisan dialect. Due to their resemblance to some Bantu groups of West Africa it is speculated that the Damara were the first people to migrate to Namibia from the north. There is evidence that the Damara have kept small herds of stock for centuries, they also grow tobacco and pumpkins, and in more recent time they have begun cultivating vegetables and corn. Prior to 1870 the Damara occupied most of central Namibia, but large numbers were displaced or killed when the Nama and Herero began to occupy this area in search of better grazing. When the first Europeans visited Namibia the Damara were a group of semi-nomadic gardeners, pastoralists and hunter-gatherers. They also had skills in mining and metal work. However in 1960 the South African government settled the Damara people in the area of Twyfelfontein and Khorixas, now known as Damaraland. The area has poor soil and irregular rain fall, and as such this has changed the way of life of the Damara and many now work in urban areas, with only about one quarter of their numbers actually residing in Damaraland.

This area is a famous for the bushmen paintings found in the region. The valley is known in the Damara language as Uis (fountain). This natural spring (when is flowed) attracted game animals and man. But the consistency of water flow has always been erratic, thus the Europeans named it Twyfelfontein (Doubtful fountain).There are numerous well-preserved rock engravings here. Their origin is uncertain, but they are probably the work of Bushmen or Nama artists and are estimated to have lived in the area 5 000 years ago.

Day 6-7 Swakopmund (B,L)

Approximate Distance: 425 km
Estimate Travel Time: 7.5 Hours

Heading south through Damaraland, en route if time allows, we’ll have a chance to visit some of the local attractions, such historic rock engravings, a petrified fossil forest, or see the “organ pipes”. We will spend 2 nights in Swapokmund, here you can explore this historical town or try some of the numerous activities available, such as dune boarding and a dolphin cruise.

Swakopmund has mind-boggling lunar landscapes, unforgettable sunsets, and bizarre prehistoric Welwitchia plants. The Topnaar people who live in the valley of the Swakop River derived the name from the mud, flotsam, and general detritus washed down during its infrequent floods, which reminded them of very loose evacuation of the bowels.

Almost a full four centuries later, the area, then known as South West Africa, was under Germany control. In choosing a location for a port, German captain Curt von Francois chose this site, north of Walvis Bay (an already existing English-controlled port), at the mouth of the Swakop River, for creating an artificial harbour. A military fort was built here in 1892, which was the beginning of Swakopmund. The building of the railway began in 1895. After the First World War, Germany lost occupation and the port/harbour was automatically displaced by Walvis Bay.
Namibia is well known for its desolate northern coastline called the Skeleton Coast. Along the West coast of Namibia flows the Cold Benguela Current. Also along the coastline is a very hot desert. What happens is that the cold, moist air from the sea mixes with the warm air from the desert and forms a very heavy mist. This mist over hundreds of years has caused many shipwrecks along the coast and if the sailors survived they soon perished in the unforgiving desert. It is from this, and from all the wrecks and shells of stranded ships along the coast, that the region received its name. As you approach the coastline you will see the band of mist.

In 1486 Portuguese Diego Cáo landed just north of what is now Swakopmund and erected a stone cross in honour of John II of Portugal. Known nowadays, as Cape Cross, the area is commonly visited by tourists looking for the large population of Cape Fur Seals that inhabit the coast.

NOTE ON ACCOMMODATION: In Swakopmund, we stay in backpacker's (hostels) or small guest houses, which will give us a break from camping and to be better located than the campgrounds in the area. Here, the accommodation is based on several people sharing dormitory-style rooms, with possibly 6 to 8 people sharing a room. Although we will try, we cannot guarantee to be able to divide the group into different dormitories based on gender lines. As such, males and females may have to share the same sleeping quarters for these nights. The bathrooms and showers are private, but may also be shared between both males and females

Day 8-9 Namib Desert (2B,2L,2D)

Day 8 Approximate Distance: 300 km
Estimate Travel Time: 7 Hours
Day 9 Appriximate Distance: 95km (excluding drive to Sossuvlei)

Day 8 Arrive in the area in the afternoon where we will be camping on a private farm on the edge of the Namib Desert. Here you can do a walk with a local expert who will explain the desert and its mysteries to you.

Day 9 We will leave early morning towards Sossuvlei campsite, where the towering red sand dunes of Sossusvlei form the gateway into the Namib Desert. Here you will really feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere.

The afternoon is spent exploring this the natural wonders of this bizarre environment. You will visit Sossusvlei - a clay pan, enclosed by the world’s largest sand dunes, up to 300m high. Here you can take a guided walk at the sands dunes, and enjoy some free time to enjoy them on your own.
Also, make a stop at Sesriem Canyon, a small canyon typical of the area, and invisible from even a short distance away.

The name Namib is of Nama origin, with the modern spelling referring to a desert, but a particular part of the desert, specifically a large plain. The desert is classified as either extremely arid or hyper-arid, with a mean rainfall or less than 100mm of rain per year.
The dune sands are primarily derived from sediments washed down the Orange River and then moved northwards by the long shore drift plus the dominant southerly quadrant winds. The winds move the sand northwards and inland, trapping it by wave action in coastal embayment.
The types of dunes found are Star dunes, formed as a result of wind coming equally strong from all directions; Barchan dunes, crescent shaped and formed where wind is mainly from one direction and with a shortage of sand and the Linear dunes, which are long dunes with sharp crests that tend to lie in parallel rows. They are a result of two dominant winds in the central Namib- Southerly and easterly winds. Linear dunes form in a south to north direction.
The 14km long Sesriem Canyon was formed by the Tsauchab River rising in the Naukluft and Zaris Mountains to the east, and flowing through to Sossusvlei. Walking through the canyon takes you on a journey back 10-20 million years ago when sedimentary layers of gravel and sand were deposited and cemented together by lime. The ledges are now inhabited by pigeons, raucous pied crows and chattering starlings. But look a little higher and you might see a lanner falcon or the soaring spread of a lappet faced vulture with a wingspan of 2.6m. An amazing variety of wildlife has adapted to live in this inhospitable place such as lizards that only put 2 feet down at a time and the black toc tokkie beetle who leans forward to allow droplets of morning mist run down its body into its mouth.

Day 10 Fish River Canyon (B,L,D)

Approximate Distance: 560 km
Estimate Travel Time: 9-10 Hours (including canyon visit, excluding dune 45 sunrise.)

Before sunrise we will get up and head back into the desert where we you will have the chance to climb Dune 45 and view the sunrise from the top.

After the sunrise we will start out journey to Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa, and arguably the second largest in the world. Spend some time here taking in the majestic beauty of the canyon, watch as a spectacular sunset slips over the canyon's rim. We'll take some time for lunch in the area, we will continue south as we slowly leave the Namib desert behind us.

At 650 kilometres in length, the Fish River is Namibia’s longest river. Its source lies in the eastern Naukluft Mountains and flows south-west of Ai-Ais into the Oranje.
The canyon itself is situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River, and is one of the most impressive natural formations of southern African. It is approx 161 km long, 27km wide at its widest point and 550m deep. It is the oldest canyon in the world, formed approximately 500 million years ago, with some rocks at the bottom dating up to 2600 million years old. The canyon was formed in part by glacial movements (upper section), movement of tectonic plates, and erosion. Four wet periods, or pluvial periods, have occurred in the south-western part of Africa during the last million years, resulting in a large run-off of water, which sped erosion.
The plateaus are 220m from the base of the canyon. Catfish can be found in the Fish River below, and they are known to survive the dry season by burrowing into the mud until the water returns. It’s a very slow moving and shallow river – more like a stream. Water levels are normally highest during February until April. The highest recorded temperature at the bottom of the canyon was 58 C.

Day 11 Gariep River (B,L,D)

Approximate Distance: 180 km
Estimate Travel Time: 5 hours

Today we will cross the border from Namibia to South Africa. The name of the border post is Vioolsdrift on the South African side and Noordoewer on the Namibian side.
Some nationalities do require a visa for South Africa. See our visa section for further information. Remember that visas are your own responsibility; please double check with your agent if you will require a visa for South Africa.
The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR).The ZAR and the N$ is 1 to 1. Please make sure you do not have any N$ left when you cross the border into South Africa, as the N$ is worthless in South Africa. It will not be possible to change foreign currency at the border. But ATM machines are widely available in South Africa.

Crossing into South Africa we settle down on the South African banks of Gariep River. After we set up camp, enjoy a late afternoon swimming, relaxing, or possibly even canoeing on the river.

The Orange River, in the past also sometimes known as the Gariep or as the Grootrivier, is the major river of South Africa. The river was first discovered by indigenous people but only explored by Europeans in 1760 and named after the House of Orange, which was the Stadhouder of Holland between 1777 and 1779. Another account of its naming suggests that it may have been called after the supposedly orangey colour of its water, as opposed to the colour of the water of the Vaal River (‘vaal’ being Afrikaans for pale or grey). The farthest head stream of the Orange rises in the Drakensberg Mountains along the border between South Africa and Lesotho, about 193 km (120 mi) from the Indian Ocean and at an altitude of over 3000m. While in Lesotho, the river is known as the Senqu and parts of it freeze in winter, owing to the altitude there. It then runs 2200 km (1367 mi) westwards and eventually discharges into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay, forming the border of Namibia and South Africa.
Orange River, in sections, is a good diamond mining area. For thousands of years silt has washed down the river and produced diamonds on its banks. These diamonds also reach the sea and with long-shore currents (going northwards) and wind and wave action, they have been known to wash up on the shorelines.

Day 12 Cape Town (B,L)

Approximate Distance: 690 km
Estimate Travel Time: 11 Hours

Head inland, at Clanwilliam we continue south with the Cederberg Mountains in the distance. After a few hours, we approach the famous, beautiful, and cosmopolitan city of Cape Town.

Please note that we arrive in Cape Town in the late afternoon, you might not have time to do any activities or see any sights. If you would like to see or do anything, we recomend booking a night or two extra before your flight.


Cape Town offers many different activities – something for everyone. Visit Robben Island, Table Mountain, explore Cape Point (Cape of Good Hope), embark on a wine tour in and around Stellenbosch (45min drive). Visit the old French Hugonote town of Franschoek and surroundings (1h drive). For the not so faint hearted there is numerous adrenaline activities in the surrounding areas, from skydiving to abseiling to cage diving and having a close encounter with the great white sharks. Or wonder through the city centre with some of the oldest buildings and gardens in South Africa (Botanical Gardens and Parliament Gardens). Do not miss the wonderful Cultural Historical Museum, Planetarium and numerous other small museums and theatres.

Cape Town's name originated from the term 'Cape of Good Hope' when Bartholomew Diaz and other seafarers looked forward to the sight of Table Mountain, like an inn that promised hospitality and prosperity. The city is steeped in a rich history and is a cultural melting pot with its diverse and vibrant character being derived from Khoxisan and other African tribes from the North, and Indonesian, French, Dutch, British and German settlers. Cape Town is the third most populous city in South Africa, with over 3 million inhabitants, and is the provincial capital of the Western Cape. It is also the legislative capital of South Africa, where the National Parliament and many government offices are located.
For shopping, dining and entertainment the V&A Waterfront is a hotspot for foreigners and locals alike. Still a working harbour, the Waterfront is an example of creative architecture and restoration and has become South Africa's most visited tourist attraction. The Waterfront offers over 250 shops from designer boutiques to craft stalls, a host of restaurants and coffee shops and plenty of other activities.
For cultural exchange, you shouldn’t miss out a "Local Dinner” in a private home in an informal settlement. This authentic community experience provides guests the opportunity to get deep inside the heart of Cape Town. Choose from Cape Malay, Xhosa traditional or Cape Town fusion foods, and visit families in their private homes in townships and get insight into South African realities - be part of the family for an unforgettable night. Proceeds go into the community.
Visit Red-Hill pre-school, one of our Planeterra project. Planeterra - the G Adventures Foundation is our non-profit organization that was developed to give back to the people and places we visit on our tours. Planeterra supports local community projects, non-profit organizations and international charities that focus on the areas of health, education, community development, environmental conservation and employment skills training.

Day 13 Depart Cape Town (B)

Depart Cape Town at any time.

What's Included

Etosha National Park entrance with game drives, Sossusvlei Dunes entrance, Fish River Canyon entrance.

Highlights

Seeing the 'Big 5' in Etosha National Park, trying adrenaline activities, tackling the world's largest sand dunes, appreciating beauty in the Fish River Canyon and culture in Cape Town.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes

2. This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, countries, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience. We use a comfortable and safe customized safari truck for the long drives.

3. It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate if you are traveling to South Africa from a Yellow Fever endemic country. SOUTH Africa is to enforce new rules requiring proof of Yellow Fever vaccination for all travelers - even in airport transit - who have been in Zambia or other countries where the disease is endemic. The stricter guidelines, effective 01 Oct 2011, will see pax without an international Yellow Fever certificate refused entry.
As of January 26th 2011 the Director General of the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism declared a valid Yellow Fever Certificate is required at all points of entry into Zanzibar. This includes the airport, seaport and other points of entry. Failure to provide the correct certification may result in an on the spot vaccination or $50 fine. Please check with your health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area.
4. An essential part of your safari is participation - from putting up your tent (while camping) or packing away in the morning, to helping with meal preparation and cleaning up - it is all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly. Your tour leaders will do all the meal preparation, but we do ask the clients to help with the washing up. Team spirit is part of the fun! All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes only 5 minutes. All tents have built-in insect nets. Mattresses are also available, which are approximately 4cm thick, warm and comfortable.

5. Sleeping bags can not be rented on any of our Africa overland or safari

6. LUGGAGE COMPLICATIONS: It occasionally happens that luggage on international flights into Cape Town, Livingstone or Johannesburg does not arrive. Please be aware that this may happen, especially if you have a tight connection in either of these centres, are flying with different airlines with a connection, have a last minute flight change or re-route, or fly from or connect through another African centre. Please be prepared and keep all important documentation and valuables on your person. As well we recommend a change of clothes in your hand luggage. If unfortunately this does happen, and your luggage does not arrive, you should be entitled to a limited initial compensation from your airline. In Southern Africa, the arrival of lost luggage normally takes between 10 and 48 hours after the initial plane’s arrival. The airlines technically should be responsible to forward your luggage to you, to your hotel or elsewhere in Southern Africa. You may find that your tour will begin, and you still have not received your luggage. When reporting your missing bag at the airport please provide the airline with the emergency telephone number of our local office in South Africa (+27 71 470 6928). Please do not give out any address (starting point hotel) as on most trips we do not stay long enough for the bag to arrive, the airline should phone our local office to arrange the delivery address. It is recommended that you purchase locally a few needed items, begin your tour. Your tour leader or local representative will be able to help you organize this, and once your luggage is retrieved, it should be able to be forwarded to you – depending where you are. Please note that any costs that you may incur for luggage retrieval or sending luggage are not the responsibility of G Adventures, though we will always strive to assist you in any way possible, Please make sure to hand in the reference number of the bag and your flight details to your tour leader in order to help with the tracing of the bag. You should always keep all receipts and documentation, and contact your airline or insurance provider for reimbursement.

7. Your CEO aims to provide you with the best service possible during your tour. They will be joining you in the back of the truck for a maximum of approximately 50% during driving, to answer questions and provide more information about the areas that you visit. They will spend the remainder of the driving time in front with the driver to enable them to make bookings, do planning and to fulfil other organizational requirements of the tour. During game drives, your CEO will ensure to accompany you in the passenger area of the truck. This is of course because they have a lot of knowledge to share with you during these exciting game drives. Please do not hesitate to ask your CEO any questions.

8. Please note that on all our Overland truck safaris there is a maximum of 22 people per vehicle.

9. VISAS. Please read the Visa section very carefully. Visas are your own responsibility. Always double check with the embassies what each countries requirement are.

Group Leader Description

On this tour, you will be accompanied by two Chief Experience Officers (CEOs). The Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) will be the group manager and leader, cook and driver. They will provide information on the places where we are travelling, offer suggestions for things to do and see and introduce you to our local friends. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure.

All of our CEOs in southern Africa are experienced group leaders, with a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife. Most of our leaders in the region are from South Africa, though it may be possible that you’ll have a leader from another country in the southern African region.

All of our overland truck drivers are experienced in the routes travelled, and highly skilled in dealing with different terrains. All of our cooks will organize and lead the meal preparation, and have experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.

We also use local guides for some included activities where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.

Group Size Notes

Max 22, Avg 18

Meals Included

11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 8 Dinners.

Meals

As mentioned above, most of the meals on this tour are included in the tour price. When a meal is not included, this is because there are often many options available - we would like to give you the opportunity to explore a bit and test the local cuisine yourself. In these cases, your tour leader will be able to suggest some good local restaurants or options for you to choose from.

All included meals will be prepared from fresh local produce. The majority of the shopping for foodstuffs will be done before the trip departs, and fresh goods, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, will be bought en route during the trip from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Breakfasts will generally consist of breads and cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will be light meals such as sandwiches and/or salads. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes.

Our cook will organize the meal preparation and lead the way here, but will prepare a duty schedule for ensuring a fair, rotating participation from you and your group members in the meal preparation and dish washing duties.

Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival.

Meal Budget

Allow USD110-145 for meals not included.

Transport

Overland vehicle, Walking.

About our Transportation

We use a large 24 seat overland truck to criss-cross through southern Africa. The overland truck allows the entire group to travel together, and because of its height, is great for game viewing and for enjoying the scenic landscape.

Road conditions can run the full gamut from new to being in very poor condition. This style of travel is by no means luxury as we are traveling in a truck, but it does allow us the flexibility of making stops when needed, and reaching some out-of-the way parts of Africa where the traditional safari crowd would not dare to go.

Here’s a quick look at the well-equipped G Adventures overland truck:
- Storage for main luggage in a compartment under the seating area (accessed from the outside of the truck). Day packs can be stored at your feet (there is plenty of room).
- Onboard safety box(es) for valuables.
- Front view windows
- Large sliding windows, great for game viewing
- Fully equipped retractable kitchen
- Intercom between seating area and driver
- Inverter for battery charging (South African plug - 220-240V)

Please note that our trucks do not have on-board bathrooms. Nor do they have seats that recline as often reclining seats will break, and thus you will have some seats that recline and some that don't.

This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Please take note of the travel times and distances in the above itinerary, and consider that this is often on poor quality, bumpy roads. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Simple hotel (2 nts), Participation camping (8 nts), Multishare guesthouse (2 nts).

My Own Room

Not available on this tour.

About Accommodation

Camping in Africa is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. While camping, we stay at designated campsites in national parks and outside towns. Campsite facilities in southern Africa are generally good, but can be basic in certain places. There are generally small restaurants and/or bars, washing facilities and occasionally telephones available.

The camps have flush toilets, and showers at some camps are outdoors, having simple reed enclosures for privacy. Additionally, warm water is available at most sites, but it is not guaranteed to always be warm when you take your shower; the warm water may be used up others who also use the camp. We usually set-up camp within close proximity to the toilet facilities, though occasionally to reach them you may to walk a short distance.

All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied, including camp mattresses, which are warm and comfortable. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes only 5 minutes. They are good quality, durable, industry-standard 2-person safari canvas tents. Please note that most adults will not be able to fully stand up inside the tents, though most travellers find these more than adequate, as they have a base area of approximately 4 square meters. These tents are regularly treated with a waterproofing agent, but under certain rainy conditions, the tent fabric may become saturated to the point where seepage or leakage may occur. All tents have built-in mesh insect netting on the windows and doors.

We travel with our own portable camp chairs with a comfortable back-rest, and we utilize our own cooking equipment to provide the group good quality camp meals.

In camping within the national parks and conservation areas, some camp sites are enclosed for keeping the resident wildlife out. Other camps are open to the natural environment – care must be taken, especially at night, when a torch/flashlight is recommended when walking around the camp area.

Despite the challenge that a few days “roughing it” may pose to some, the experience of being that close to nature, camping under the African stars, and seeing incredible wildlife at your tent door-step is not just gratifying but ultimately an experience of a lifetime.

In Swakopmund we stay in backpacker's (hostels) or small guest houses, which will give us a break from camping and to be better located than the campgrounds in the area. Here, the accommodation is based on several people sharing dormitory-style rooms, with possibly 6 to 8 people sharing a room. Although we will try, we cannot guarantee to be able to divide the group into different dormitories based on gender lines. As such, males and females may have to share the same sleeping quarters for these nights. The bathrooms and showers are private, but may also be shared between both males and females.

Joining Hotel

Hotel Safari
Corner of Auas and Aviation Streets
WINDHOEK
Tel: +264 61 2968000

Joining Instructions

Upon arrival in Windhoek, arrival transfers are not included. Please make your way to the joining hotel. Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport is about 40 km from downtown. There are a variety of ways to get into the city.

Taxi: When arriving at the international terminal, walk straight ahead and out the doors and just to your left you will see sedan vehicles which are the taxis. The amount should be $250N but agree the price before getting into the vehicle.

Shuttle: When arriving at the international terminal, walk straight ahead and out the doors and just to your left you will see a mini-van. This is the shuttle service to Windhoek/Windhoek hotels/guesthouses and departs when the vehicle is reasonably full (Cost is $120N payble in South African Rand 1ZAR=$1N).

Pre-arranged transfer: Upon walking out of the international arrivals, look for a transfer person on with a G Adventures sign and your name. Ask him/her what hotel he/she will take you to (do not volunteer this information). Then present your passport for proof of identity.

A brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel reception area in evening on Day 1 of your tour. Upon arrival look for information from your tour leader regarding meeting time and also the rest of the tour.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your trip leader (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local G Adventures representative. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

G Adventures Representative Emergency Cell Phone: From outside South Africa: 00 27 71 470 6928, From within South Africa: 071 470 6928(24 hours).

If you are unable for any reason to contact them, we have a toll-free line for North America, which will connect you directly with our Toronto office. In the event that you cannot get through, you can reach a member of our Operations department at the mobile number below.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 800 465 5600.
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Outside North America, Australia and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase (please avoid a hard-top case), or sports bag, maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags.

For our camping style tours you will need to provide your own sleeping bag, small pillow and sleeping sheet (if you would like). We provide the tent and the sleeping pads.

Please note that the seasons in Africa is quite extreme. Winters (especially South Africa, Namibia and Botswana) can be really cold and summers will be really hot.
If you travel during winter months(May to October) please ensure that you bring warm clothing and a suitable sleeping bag.

A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.

Checklist

•Fleece top
•Windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•4 shirts/t-shirts
•Sun hat
•Warm sleeping bag
•1 pair of shorts
•2 pairs of long trousers
•1 pair hiking pants/track pants
•Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
•Sport sandals
•Sunblock
•Sunglasses
•Toiletries (biodegradable)
•Watch or alarm clock
•Water bottle
•Pocketknife
•Flashlight (with extra batteries and bulbs), Head torch is very useful!
•Money belt
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Optional Items:
Camera and film, reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks.

Documents:
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•USD cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Laundry

Laundry can be done at least once a week on this route. Swakopmund lodge does laundry for the clients. At some of the camp sites further on the route washing can be done by hand by some of the local women, and the price can be negotiated. The cost is usually bewteen ZAr30-ZAr50 per load. It is recommended to bring some washing powder or liquid with you for smaller items.

Visas

All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity), and you are required to acquire the entry visas for each of the countries visited.
Please double check with your agent and/or visa agent what the visa requirements is for each country that you will be traveling to. Some countries do require that you get your visa before arrival. If you show up at a border and should you not have the required visa you will be denied entry to the country and be send back to the closest embassy/high commission to get the visa. All arrangements and expenses for that will be at your own cost. The CEO will assist you with travel arrangements but will not be able to accompany you. You will also have to catch up with the group at their next destination at own cost.

We have been experiencing a lot of problems with people that need visas for Namibia and Malawi. Namibian and Malawian visas is not available at the border, so please make very sure if you do need a visa before arrival.

The information provided here is to be used as a guide only. Please consult with the relevant embassy or your travel agency before you travel. We cannot take any responsibility whatsoever for the use of this information.


Namibia
http://www.namibia.org.za/consular.htm
http://www.namibiatourism.com.na/visas/
Visas cannot be obtained on arrival.
FOREIGN NATIONALS EXEMPTED FROM VISA REQUIREMENTS WHEN TRAVELLING TO NAMIBIA
Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India (Diplomatic and Official Passport up to 3 Months), Ireland. Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Lienchtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Macau (SAR), Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation ( Including States of the former U.S.S.R), South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Other categories must obtain VISAs
Visa costs
Please enquire with your agent or closest embassy.


South Africa
http://www.dha.gov.za/Counties%20Exempy%20from%20SA%20Visaa.html
http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/Applying%20for%20a%20South%20African%20visa.html
http://www.southafrica.info/travel/documents/visas.htm
Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country.
If you are a passport holder of the following countries/areas you do not need a visa for stays of LESS THAN 90 days:
African Union / Unity Laissez Passes, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States of America, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica
If you are a passport holder of the following countries/areas you do not need a visa for stays of LESS THAN 30 days:
Antigua and Barbuda,Barbados,Belize,Benin,Bolivia,Hong Kong,Hungary,Jordan,Lesotho,Malaysia Cape Verde,Costa Rica,Cyprus,Gabon,Guyana,Peru,Poland,Seychelles,Slovak Republic ,South Korea,Swaziland,Thailand,Turkey,Zambia

Visa costs
The visa fee is different for every nationality, so please check this with your agent or closest embassy.

This information is accurate at the time of writing, and please contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements and costs, regarding these, and the other countries visited, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.

Detailed Trip Notes

American Dollars that are series 1996 or earlier are not accepted and very difficult to change in Southern and Eastern Africa, as there are a lot of forgeries.

REGIONAL INFORMATION
Climate
Southern Africa is renowned for its excellent outdoor living climate. The winter months are from May to September and are characterized by cold nights and pleasant days. Summer is from October to April and starts off with increasing dry heat and dust. Rains generally only start from mid to late December and last until March; this period is hot and humid. Large parts of Namibia are desert environment, so you will have to come prepared with a three-season sleeping bag and appropriate clothing for the winter season (nights only).

Electricity
50 HZ, Most electrical plugs are 15 amp 3-prong with round pins. International adaptor are called for, they can be purchased locally (approx 2 U$).

Language
There are multiple official languages in Namibia and South Africa, although English is widely spoken. There are also numerous dialects spoken throughout different parts of these lands.

NAMIBIA
Full country name: Republic of Namibia
Area: 824,292 sq km (318,259 sq mi)
Population: 2,032,000 (July 2005 est) 1.820,916 (Census 2002)
Capital city: Windhoek (pop 161,000)
People: 86% African (50% Owambo, 9% Kavango, 7% Herero, 7% Damara, 5% Nama, 4% Caprivian, 3% San, 2% Baster, 0.5% Tswana), 7.4% mixed, 6.6% white Languages: English, Afrikaans, German, Oshivambo, Herero, Nama
Religion: Christian, Lutheran, native religions
Government: Republic
President: Sam Nujoma
Major industries: Meat packing, fish processing, dairy products, mining (diamond, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper), millet, sorghum, peanuts, livestock, fish, tourism.
Major trading partners: UK, South Africa, Spain, Japan, Germany, USA

Formally known as South West Africa. The whole territory became German protectorate in 1884, except for the British/Cape Colony enclave of Walvis Bay. After the First World War the territory was administered by South Africa until independence on 21 March 1990. The capital is Windhoek and the second largest town is Walvis Bay, Namibia’s only port. Swakopmund is a coastal town with a German influence and revolves mainly around tourism. Namibia’s economy relies on diamond mining in the south, cattle farming in the north, fishing along the coast and tourism. Most of the country is desert or semi desert. There is a population of around 1.8 million. This, around 1, 5 people per sq. km is one of the lowest in the world. The official language is English although there are many different cultures including Herero, San, Koikoi, Owambo, Afrikaans and German. Namibia was at one stage a German colony therefore having German-speaking people. About 75% of the locals are Christian and the others have traditional beliefs. Namibia is a land of contrasts. Being largely semi-desert and desert, midsummer temperatures may rise to 40°C, while winter night temperatures can drop to freezing. Along the coast it is cool, with regular morning fogs. Namibia’s rain falls in summer, from October to April, and the land averages 300 days of sunshine annually.

SOUTH AFRICA
Full country name: Republic of South Africa
Area: 1,221,037km2 (447,443mi2)
Population: 47,432,000 (July 2005 estimate), 44,819,278 (Census 2001)
Capital cities: Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Admistrative) and Bloemfontein (Judicial)
People: Zulu, Afrikaners, Xhosa, Basotho (South Sotho), English South Africans, Bapedi (North Sotho), Indian/Asian, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi, Ndebele, others
Language: Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda
Religion: Zion Christian 11%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8%, Catholic 7%, Methodist 7%, Dutch Reformed 7%, Anglican 4%, other Christian 36%, Islam 2%, none 15%
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Major industries: mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metal working, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, food stuff, commercial ship repair.
Major trading partners: U.S., UK, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, China, France, Saudi Arabia, Iran (2004).
Currency: Rand (ZAR), consisting of 100 cents

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). The South African rand is also an accepted form of payment in Namibia.

The Namibian currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), which is equivalent to the South African Rand.

Each of the countries you visit has their own currency, and all can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or ATM’s (where available). The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. $US notes that are older than year 2002 are not accepted everywhere and can be difficult to change. In addition, $US notes prior to 2000 are worthless in some areas of Africa, as they are rarely accepted and impossible to exchange. We recommend $US 50 notes, and $US 100 notes can be difficult to change in some places.
Remember that each country has its own currency and in most countries you will not be able to pay in shops with USD. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money into the local currency.

If you plan to rely on cash, please bring foreign currency (Euro, Pound, USD) with you, as it is often expensive to buy these currencies locally. And in more rural areas, it is often not likely. Please note that South African Rand is widely accepted in throughout southern Africa, and you may use this as you “foreign currency” while travelling in other countries in the region.

Travelers’ cheques are not recommended in Africa. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places. Where they are accepted, you often need the receipt of the purchase of the cheques, and the process of changes cheques where possible is extremely time consuming. Please no not expect to rely on traveller’s cheques for access to cash in Africa.

Debit cards are very useful for cash advances, but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept a 4-digit PIN). The Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards; it is harder to find machines Master Card/Cirrus cards. While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.

Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Credit cards, especially Visa cards, ARE INDEED USEFUL, HOWEVER, for taking cash advanced in ATMs

Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.

A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. Experience has shown that it is better upon arrival at the airport/starting city, to draw a large amount of money from the ATM’s in the local currency. Your Tour Leader can advise you on the approximate amounts of money you will need for each country of your tour.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

USD20, may be included in the international air ticket

Tipping

Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory and optional (up to the discretion of the group/guest) - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s). You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format: Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required); Driver / Camp Cook / Tour Leader US$3/4 each, per day worked, per traveller.

Optional Activities

Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season, or weather conditions. As generally not a lot of time is spent in start/end cities, you may want to arrange to arrive early, or stay longer after the trip in order to allow sufficient time to participate in optional activities there.

All prices are per person, are in US dollar amounts, are subject to availability and are only an indication due to currency fluctuations. The optional activities in South Africa need to be paid in Rand.

South Africa
Cape Town
Home Dinner- $60 p/p

Table Mountain Cableway- One way ticket- $12 p/p
Table Mountain cableway- Return tcket- $23 p/p

Robben Island (Every hour 09h00 - 15h00)
$30 p/p (3 ½ hrs)
For bookings: +27 (0)21 413 4200 (Credit card details required).
In peak season it is recommendable to book 3 days in advance.


Boulders Beach
Entrance- $5

Cape of Good Hope (Cape Point)
Entrance- $10 p/p

Shark viewing and cage diving:
$205 p/p

Two Oceans Aquarium
Adults- $13 p/p
Children (14-17 yrs)- $8 p/p

Winetasting Stellenbosch (8hrs, min3 pax)
$85

City sightseeing bus tour (hop on hop off bus)
One day pass- $20 p/p


NAMIBIA
Sossusvlei
Desert Walk- $30 p/p

Swakopmund
Quad biking (2-3hrs) $73 p/p

Horse riding (1–2 hrs) $53 p/p

Sand boarding (Half Day)
Stand up- $45 p/p
Lie down- $35 p/p

Dolphin cruise (half day) $75 p/p

Fishing boat trip (full day incl, transfers, lunch, drinks & equipment) $120 p/p

Kayaking (5 hrs)- $70 p/p

Pleasure Flights – Sossusvlei/Forbidden Coast/Skeleton Coast - (half day to ¾ day) Price on request when booking's made.

Paragliding $93 p/p

Hot air Ballooning (1hr) - $350 p/p

Township tour- $50 p/p

Twyfelfontein
Guided Engravings Walk $7 p/p

Etosha
Game drives (in open-air safari vehicles)
Evening drive- $80 p/p
Morning & day drives prices on request

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

PLEASE READ THE YELLOW FEVER NOTE IN THE IMPORTANT NOTE SECTION.

We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travelers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes. Travellers to Kenya and Tanzania should observe similar precautions to those taken elsewhere in Africa. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise your tour leader of any medical condition that may affect you while travelling with the group. Be aware that all safaris enter malaria areas. Your doctor should be able to recommend the necessary prophylactics. Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor.

Sand flies:
Are generally found on the coast but they can also be found in dry & dusty conditions inland, these and Mosquito’s tend to come out in the early evening and early mornings. Insect repellent is a must during these times.

Malaria:
You must have prophylactics which you can obtain from your local doctor back home.

It is very important that you wear sun block, even on a cloudy day when it feels cool as we are near the equator and the sun is very strong. A sunburn can turn a pleasant trip into a painful trip.

Even when days are cool please be sure to drink a minimum of two liters of water and refrain from drinking to many diuretics, as while when traveling outdoors the breeze can dehydrate you quickly as well as the heat.

Diahorrea:
It is very common for people traveling overseas to get an upset stomach due to a change of climate and food. Please make sure that you wash your hands and stay away from street food.

Ringworms:
Can be found in humid conditions, they are easily treated with ointment.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Some precautions you should take while in major cities are:
*Always leave your passport (It’s better to carry a photocopy of it instead), traveller’s cheques, flight tickets and money that you won’t be using in the safe deposit at the hotel reception. This is free of charge to G Adventures clients.
*Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewellery, cameras etc.
*Please don’t wander through the city to unknown areas especially at night. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organised from reception. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.
*People are generally friendly, but don’t let people take advantage of you, especially the sales people!
* Beware of people approaching you on the street with an apparent interest of where you are from, and want to sit down and have a chat with you. These people are con men and will ask you for money.
* People on the street who ask you if you want a safari and have a brochure are often conmen, best to avoid these folk. Besides, you’re already on safari.

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Please do not take photo’s of Police stations or at Cross borders Airports, army barracks and personnel or any Government building. It is against the law and will result in the minimum of your film and camera being confiscated.In rural areas it is generally much safer, but you should always take your cue from your tour leader, who will advise when to be extra vigilant and when to relax.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Associated Planeterra Project

In South Africa, Planeterra supports the following community project:

Shalati Community Project
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is having a devastating effect on the lives of millions of children worldwide especially in Africa. South Africa has one of Africa's strongest economies, but the HIV pandemic has weakened the nation and has taken a severe toll on its adult population. South Africa has the sixth highest prevalence of HIV in the world, with 18.8% of the population estimated to be infected. As children lose one or both parents to the epidemic, they are often either taken into care by other family members or find themselves suddenly responsible for the care of their younger siblings. As a result, the fabric of society has begun to shift and change in unprecedented ways.

In the South African community of Shalati there are many single parent families and a vast number of orphaned children, often cared for by their grandparents. This is due in part to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Many children do not begin school until the age of eight, and receive no formal education and limited support during their early formative years. Based on the needs of these families and children, we aim to assist the local community with their goal of building and developing a pre-school so that children are provided with a secure and nurturing environment to learn and grow.

How you can help
Donations raised through the Planeterra Foundation will provide funding for the construction and development of the preschool.

For more information about this project and/or to make a donation please visit our website at www.planeterra.org or contact us at info@planeterra.org

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

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Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.