When planning a trip to Africa, there are many questions which come to mind. These questions vary and are different from person to person. Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions we are asked. If you don’t see your question answered, please don’t hesitate to reach out and we’ll be pleased to assist you further.

Booking your Trip

The dramatic spectacle of the Great Migration traditionally follows the rains as animals migrate towards better pastures. It is difficult to determine exactly when this will happen, although working on what would be a typical year, the migration generally begins in early April, May, and June when the claves are strong enough and the journey north begins. From June / July, the Wildebeest gather in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti National Park and in August / September the cross the famous Grumeti River and head towards the Masai Mara in Kenya.
Yes. Special dietary requirements are catered for throughout Southern and Eastern Africa. We recommend you give advanced notice to places where you intend staying when meals are included in your rate.
Yes, it is perfectly fine to travel on your own. Please note that a single supplement fee is typically imposed by hotels, lodges, and camps as properties within Southern and Eastern Africa charge per bed rather than per room. The single supplement fee varies from property to property as it is the excess cost you pay in occupying a room designated to take two people by yourself alone.
All visitors are required to carry a passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. Citizens of certain countries do not require visas - this depends on the country you are visiting. It is advisable to check with the Consulate of the country that you intend to travel to for the latest visa and entry requirements.
As a general rule, citizens from all foreign countries excluding the following, require visas: most Commonwealth countries, except Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Samoa, San Marino, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, and USA.

The majority of visas in Africa can be obtained at the border however it is essential that you check the visa requirements of the country you will be visiting with the local embassy, consulate or a reputable visa handling company for the most up to date visa information prior to your travels.
Majority of the places within Southern Africa accept credit cards; however, it is advisable to carry some cash with you to pay for curios, bar accounts, gratuities etc. In South Africa, we recommend that you change your money into the South African Rands as it is the accepted currency countrywide. When travelling in Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar and even Namibia, we advise that you carry the USD, but in small denominations.

Traveller cheques are becoming more difficult to exchange as many hotels and lodges no longer accept them.
It is the responsibility of the client to ensure that their passports are valid for travel to Africa. The passport must have at least 2-3 blank pages in it. This is critical as you will not be allowed into South Africa without meeting these requirements. Your passport must be valid for at least 30 days after the date of departure. If you are entering from a World Health Organization (WHO) designated yellow fever country, you must have health certificate proving vaccination

If your African holiday itinerary has you entering Zimbabwe or Zambia twice i.e.: arriving and then routing through Zimbabwe / Zambia again to catch your flight, make sure you purchase a multiple entry visa on arrival, it is cheaper and also less hassle than purchasing two single entry visas.

It is also the responsibility of the client to ensure that they are in possession of valid visas for all countries being visited during their African holiday.
It is customary to tip 10-15% of the bill at hotels and restaurants and 10% to the fare to taxi or shuttle drivers. Uber can be found in major cities in South Africa, which works the same way as it would in your home country. When staying at a safari lodge we recommend the following:


We recommend R80-R100 per person per day if the guide has done a good job. If you have a specialist guide who accompanies you throughout the entire experience, we recommend you increase your gratuity to R120-R150 per person per day

General Lodge Staff:

We recommend R80-R100 per person per day which will go into a communal gratuity box which the camp will equally divide by the staff. If there has been a certain person that has done a great job, you are more than welcome to place the gratuities into envelopes and select the staff members you will like to tip.

These are guidelines only; gratuities are paid at your own discretion. It is customary to tip not compulsory.
Unearth Experience can arrange all of your travel arrangements, from the moment you leave your hometown to when you set foot in Africa and back.
Visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the most up-to-date travel advice. https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/
We highly recommend you take out travel insurance when travelling to Africa. Your cover should include but not limited to, situations such as hospitalisation, emergency evacuation, cancellations, curtailment of arrangements and baggage.

Going on Safari

First, dial the country’s international dialling code for dialling out of the country, then dial the specific international code for the country you are wanting to call, then you dial the area code of the region you need then the specific number. The international dialling codes for each country are:

Botswana: +267

Kenya: +254

Mozambique: +258

Namibia: +264

South Africa: +27

Tanzania: +255

Zambia: +260

Zimbabwe: +263
If you are planning to drive whilst in Africa we recommend you see your local roads authority office to receive an international driver’s license. Although not consistent, if you are stopped by a traffic officer in Africa they may require an international driver’s license.
The roads are rough and bumpy and occasionally you will travel “off road” where you will experience rough terrain.
Most private camps and lodges in Africa are unfenced with animals occasionally walking through the camp. It is imperative that you listen to the staff and guides at the lodge. Do not push any safety issues as the animals you encounter are all wild. Don’t ever go wandering away from the lodge or from your guide. The staff and the lodge will always walk through all the safety precautions with you so ensure you are listening and follow all instructions.
Although in most areas the tap water is safe to drink, we highly recommend that you stick with bottled mineral water which is readily available throughout Africa.
Ensure that your medical insurance covers you for emergency medical evacuation. Should you require a medical evacuation, be advised that most travel insurance companies require that you obtain authorisation from them prior to the medical evacuation. When you are on a safari, you may find yourself in a situation where it is not possible to access the telephone to get the authorization beforehand. Check with your chosen company if they have this clause and what can be done to get around it if the eventuality does arise.

There are some luxury safari properties which offer emergency evacuation within their own insurance policy, please ask your experience expert if this is covered by the properties you are travelling to.
Pack your prescription medication. Cities and towns all have pharmacies (drugstores) with everything one requires. Be mindful that South Africa has a first-world infrastructure, however the further north you travel, the more difficult it may be to get medication.
Yes, there are many doctors available on safari. The further north in Africa you travel, the fewer doctors and medical facilities there are. South Africa has many private hospitals, excellent specialists, and state of the art equipment and facilities, including emergency rescue and air ambulance. Government facilities are overcrowded and should be avoided.

Most lodges have qualified emergency first-aid staff members.
Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers over 9 months old in areas where there is evidence of persistent or periodic yellow fever virus transmission. We will advise you if you require a yellow fever vaccination, although we do recommend you do your own research if travelling to a known country which requires yellow fever vaccination.
Children are particularly at risk of developing severe malaria. If you must travel with children to a malaria risk area, visit a travel healthcare provider to determine if anti-malarial medication is recommended. Seek medical attention immediately if your child develops a fever on or after your return.
There are a few basic health precautions which require care and attention if you plan to travel to Africa. We recommend you visit your local doctor prior to travelling. Please also check with your health department prior to departure for any changes in health regulations.


Malaria is present in many parts of Africa. Your experience specialist will advise you if you will be visiting a malaria area. The best protection against contracting malaria is to try to prevent being bitten, use mosquito repellents liberally. Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks in the evenings. Speak with your medical practitioner in regards to taking or prescribing the best-suited prophylactic for you. If you become ill on your return, while still on prophylactics or even once you have stopped, make sure that your doctor does everything necessary to establish that your illness is not malaria. Malaria is not a serious problem if people are sensible and take basic precautions. If caught early, the disease can be effectively dealt with.


It is imperative that you drink plenty of water when travelling throughout Africa. Dehydration is possibly the single biggest cause of ill health on an Africa safari. It is generally recommended that guests drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration. If water is not fit for human consumption, the lodge or hotel will advise guests and supply drinking water. Bottled water is readily available throughout Africa.

Tsetse Flies:

Tsetse flies are large daytime feeding flies occurring in certain low lying and hot safari areas such the Zambezi Valley in Zimbabwe or the Okavango Delta in Botswana. If bitten, you could contract trypanosomiasis, also known as the sleeping sickness. Symptoms such as fever, severe headaches, irritability, extreme fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and aching body muscles and joints is common. We advise that you wear light coloured lightweight clothing on your African safari. Avoid deep blue and black (as tsetse are attracted to these colours) to lessen the chance of being bitten by these flies.

Yellow Fever:

Yellow fever has been reported from 43 countries, mostly in Africa and Latin America. The list includes three SADC countries, namely Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. Consult your experience expert if you are not certain whether or not the country you will be entering from is in fact on the list. If you travel through the yellow fever belt, most countries require a yellow fever certificate to show vaccination.
The “Big Five” are leopard, lion, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. The term is a reference from colonial trophy hunting. Hunters ranked African animals as to how dangerous they were to hunt on foot.
Wildlife is just that, wild! We don’t guarantee any sightings. If big cats are what you want to encounter, we do recommend the greatest locations to have the very best opportunity to view the big cats, although we do not guarantee the sighting.
Pink Flamingoes can be seen seasonally at Walvis Bay in Namibia; Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania and year-round in Lake Nakuru in Kenya.
There are many lodges and camps which cater towards children to keep them entertained and educated during their stay. Activities may include but not limited to bush walks, mini-game drives, insect safaris, arts & crafts, and cooking classes.
The minimum age limit required to stay at a safari lodge or camp is determined by the property itself and varies from place to place. Generally speaking, children must be over 6 years old to participate in game drives. Some lodges do not accept children under 12 years old. There are exceptions to this rule, particularly if you book the entire camp or lodge.
We highly recommend that you bring a small flashlight (torch) as you may encounter wild animals in camp at night. You should bring spare batteries as they can be unobtainable in some remote areas of Africa. Most safari camps supply a flashlight, but it is good to have your own as a backup as this is one of the best forms of safety.
Laundry can be done at most camps and hotels. Some camps and certainly hotels charge a fee for this facility, but others do provide this service complimentary. We stipulate this in the included and excluded section of your confirmation.
Most major world currencies are available throughout Southern and East Africa. Any of the following currencies are accepted: US Dollar, Euro, and Pounds. There are ATM’s as well as money exchange companies in a lot of the major cities.
A typical day on safari begins with an early morning wake up call with tea, coffee, and a light snack. You will then depart on your morning game drive where you will have the opportunity to spot some great wildlife and take some incredible photographs. Halfway through the game drive, you will have a drink stop where you can enjoy a famous cup of Amarula Coffee, Hot Chocolate or Tea with some traditional South African treats. You will return to the camp typically between 9:30-10:30 where breakfast is served. The rest of the morning and early afternoon is at your leisure. You can choose to go on a walking safari, enjoy a spa treatment, read a book or take a nap. Lunch is typically served from 12noon until 2pm with afternoon tea served just prior to your afternoon game drive. You will depart on your afternoon game drive at approximately 4pm. As the sun sets, you will stop for a sundowner and enjoy a few beverages and snacks whilst enjoying a beautiful African sunset. After sunset, you will return to camp where you can freshen up and enjoy dinner before turning yourself in for the night.

Please note, this is a rough guide and does vary from property to property.
Yes, the majority of accommodations in Africa will have facilities to charge batteries for cameras. We do recommend that you bring spare batteries as a backup. Most accommodations have the necessary adapters to fit all international plugs, although we do recommend that you bring your own adapters.
The choice of the correct camera equipment will determine the quality of your photographs on your African safari. For good photography of birds and animals, a good SLR camera and telephoto lens are necessary. The minimum recommended size is 200 mm and a zoom lens can be extremely useful on safari. There will be plenty of opportunity to charge your camera batteries overnight although bring plenty of spares and spare SDR cards.
We recommend that you book your safari experience as far in advance as possible to ensure availability at the time you wish to travel, in particular during the peak seasons (July & August and Christmas/New Years). This is especially important for those wishing to travel to the world renowned properties.


Luggage which goes missing on scheduled flights is beyond the control of Unearth Experience. We will do everything in our power to assist in making the process as seamless as possible for you. We do suggest that pack a small bag with your essentials that can be carried with you as hand luggage, so if the second bag was not to arrive, you will still have your essential items on hand to see you through the first couple of days while we try and recover your baggage.
Luggage security is typically very safe, although we do request that the following items should not be included in your checked-in baggage: fragile items, money, jewellery, precious metals, negotiable documents, cameras, pocket computers, mobile phones and chronic medication. The airlines and hotels assume no special liability on such items. Please note this is industry practice and passengers will be advised to claim through their personal insurance if anything goes missing on their African vacation.
Yes, we can arrange luggage storage facilities throughout your experience at an additional cost.
The check-in luggage limits on commercial flights are one bag at 20kg per person. Additionally, you are allowed one carry on piece weighing 7kg.

If your African experience involves light aircraft transfers, typically the weight limit is between 12-20kg depending on the aircraft. We will advise you of the specific weight limit once booked as each light aircraft varies. Please ensure the bag is a soft carry-all bag rather than a rigid suitcase.

Travel to Africa

Botswana: GMT +2 hours

Kenya: GMT +3 hours

Mozambique: GMT +2 hours

Namibia: GMT +1 hour/GMT +2 hours

South Africa: GMT +2 hours

Tanzania: GMT +3 hours

Zambia: GMT +2 hours

Zimbabwe: GMT +2 hours
The best self-drive destinations in Africa are South Africa and Namibia for the simple reason that these two countries have well maintained and extensive road networks. Although Namibia has many gravel roads, it is still easy to travel around.
South Africa and Namibia are ideal self-drive destinations. For other parts of Africa, we do recommend that self-driving is to be done only be experienced African travellers and preferably in more than one vehicle. Bear in mind that in Southern Africa, we drive on the left-hand side of the road and give way to the right.

If you are self-driving it is vital to lock all the car doors and keep the windows as far up as possible. Plan ahead and know which route you intend to take using a GPS or Google Maps. When leaving your car, do not leave your purse or bag lying on the passenger seat in clear view. Never pick up hitchhikers no matter how nice they seem.
Southern and Eastern Africa welcomes millions of international tourist’s year round and are safe destinations for travellers. It is wise to take standard security precautions, as you would whilst travelling anywhere in the world.

Most safaris take place in remote wilderness areas and game reserves, away from villages, towns, and cities. When in towns and cities, do not carry large amounts of cash in your pocket. Keep enough for the expenses of the day and place the rest in a safety deposit box at the hotel/lodge or money pouch under your shirt. We advise discretion with expensive cameras or jewellery. Take note of onlookers and keep your possessions in sight at all times to avoid opportunistic theft. It is best not to wonder streets by yourself after dark.

A few tips to consider when travelling include, making additional photocopies of your passport, airline tickets, drivers license and other important documents and keep them in a safe and separate spot. We advise that you leave your expensive jewellery at home.
Africa is a phenomenal destination all year round. Summer is from October through April and winter is from May through August. Summers tend to be quite hot with daily temperatures sitting at approximately 30°C. For beach holidays and birding, summer tends to be the preferred time to visit. Winter is the best for game viewing, as temperatures are low, wildlife tends to concentrate in areas where water is available and the bush is less dense which improves the visibility. Winter temperatures sit at approximately 15-20°C. throughout the day and can drop to 0-5°C at night.
Banks in Southern Africa are generally opened on weekdays during traditional office hours or mornings only. Some countries have banks that open until about 11:00am on Saturdays.
The electricity voltage in Africa varies from slightly from destination to destination. As a general rule of thumb, the voltage is between 220/230 volts. Visit the world standards for more information. http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plug-voltage-by-country/
Yes, most city hotels will have either internet connection in the bedroom or a business centre where you can spend time online. Some safari lodges and camps in South Africa offer wireless, although, in some remote areas, there is no internet.
When travelling on safari we recommend that you keep your luggage to the basics for your African experience. Whilst on safari bright and contrasting colours (black & white) are not advised. We recommend that you stick to neutral colours such as khaki, beige or bottle green. Dark colours are not great especially if you are going to be out in the sun. Tsetse flies love colours like blue or black. Don’t forget to bring a hat! In winter, make sure to take warm clothing as the evenings and early mornings are cool.

Some people often make the mistake of purchasing expensive hiking boots when going on safari. This is not the necessary as typically you would not get out of the game drive vehicle and when you do, there is no strenuous activity. If you are doing the likes of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro then you will need proper hiking boots, although if you are going on a safari experience comfortable covered shoes are perfectly acceptable.

When travelling to metropolitan cities, pack what you would typically pack when travelling to cities.
Yes. English is spoken throughout Southern and East Africa, especially by those involved in the tourism industry. Many countries use English as their language of education in schools and universities.

European and Middle Eastern languages spoken in Southern Africa include: Portuguese (Mozambique), German (Namibia) and Arabic (Tanzania).
Did you know that Africa is four times the size of the USA? It is larger than the USA, Europe, China, India, Argentina and New Zealand combined. It is unfortunate that the media portrays all of Africa to be unsafe when it is only certain parts of Africa which is. The unsafe areas are within some Northern and Central Africa. These may include Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Republic of Congo, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon.

Southern Africa is by far the most peaceful, democratic, and economically stable part of the continent, and is increasingly considered to be one of the safest destinations in the world for Western travelers by virtue of the region's geographic disruption from global "hotspots".
Crime is prevalent in major cities worldwide with safety precautions advised for travel to Africa. The hotels and lodges we recommend are reputable and offer our clients the best possible experience. We highly urge clients to exercise the same common sense they would whilst in any big city of the world and not to openly display cash and valuables whilst out on the street.