Stretched across nearly 2.5 million hectares of wild South African frontier and home to over 600 species of mammals and birds, Kruger National Park is massive by any measure. Designed for travellers who don’t have a ton of time, this 7-day trip devotes the, ahem, lion’s share of its length to exploring South Africa’s most treasured wildlife reserve with a few bonus experiences mixed in along the way. Get treated to a traditional family meal in Cape Town, take the train to Johannesburg with the locals, track the Big Five on a wildlife safari drive in Kruger, and visit Soweto and a G Adventures-supported project, too. One week now, memories forever.
- Travel Style : Rail
- Service Level : Standard
- Physical Grading : 2 - Light
- Merchandising : Planeterra Project
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your G for Good Moment: Hope Africa Children's Day School, Manyeleti
Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group. Cape Town orientation walk. Shosholoza Meyl train experience. Traditional meal in a local home. Panorama Route drive. Kruger National Park wildlife safari drive (full-day). Traditional dance experience. G Adventures-supported G Hope Africa preschool visit. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Take the train across the country like a local, explore coastal Cape Town, walk around Soweto township, search for the Big Five in Kruger National Park, savour a local meal with a family, visit the kids at the G Adventures-supported G Hope Africa preschool
- 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:SLEEPING BAGS
Please note that linen is not provided on the train. You will need to bring a sleeping bag or sleep sheet.
- Group Leader Description:On this tour, you will be accompanied by one Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will be the group manager/leader and driver – this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.
You crew member has studied to have a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife, and are legally certified to lead/guide tours in the regions visited. 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. As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. He/she will provide information on the places where you are travelling, and will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure.
- Group Size Notes:Max 18, avg 12
- Meals Included:5 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 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 CEO 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 crew member 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.
- Transport:Private van/bus, 4x4 safari vehicles, sleeper train
- 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:Hotels (2 nts), Guest House (1 nt) sleeper train (1 nt, multi-share mixed gender), lodges (2 nts).
- My Own Room Exceptions:Night 3
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:Cape Town International Airport is about 22 km from downtown. If you have not booked an arrival transfer through G Adventures, we recommend two ways to get into the city.
1) Taxi: to take a taxi, leave the international terminal, cross the first road and you will see the taxi stand. Official taxis have the kilometre rate on the door.
2) Shuttle: if you wish to take a shuttle to the city centre, when arriving at the international terminal, turn immediately left and walk straight ahead and you'll see the shuttle services desk. Cost is approximately 80ZAR.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
The tour departs Cape Town on Day 2 in the morning.
- 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 CEO (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 us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. 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.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please call the local emergency contact numbers listed below for more information.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (South Africa)
From outside South Africa: +27 713823286
From within South Africa: 071 3823286
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany 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. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning wildlife safari drives. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.
Please note that linen is not provided on the train. You will need to bring a sleeping bag or sleep sheet.
- Packing List:•Fleece top
•Small towel and swimwear
•1 pair of shorts
•2 pairs of long trousers
•1 pair hiking pants/track pants
•Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
-Sleeping bag/sleep sheet
•Watch or alarm clock
•Flashlight (with extra batteries and bulbs), a head torch is very useful!
•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)
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
-Waterproof backpack cover
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•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 facilities are offered by some of our venues for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
- Visas and Entry Requirements: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.
In January of 2008, Zambia changed it's policy regarding the issuing of entry visa for foreigners, and the fees associated with Zambian entrance visas have increased for the majority of nationalities. All travelers will be required to obtain a visa prior to entering the country, either at the border or in advance from your local embassy.
Please double check with your agent and/or visa agent what the visa requirements is for each country that you will be travelling 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.
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, 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
The visa fee is different for every nationality, so please check this with your agent or closest embassy.
**Please note for those traveling with minors: The International Air Transport Association (IATA), on 29 April, 2019, updated the Travel Information Manual Automatic (TIMATIC), used by airport ground staff to determine whether a passenger can be carried, with regard to the requirements for children travelling to South Africa.
According to the updated text, IATA is advising that members’ check-in staff to no longer request birth certificates from minors who have visas, or who are exempted from visas, if travelling with their parents with the same surname.
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.
- 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.
In Botswana, you pay with Pula (BWP) and the official currency of Zambia is the Zambian Kwacha, denoted by ZMK.
It is advisable to pay in US$ in Zambia, as it is not that easy to get a good exchange rate, however, change will then be in Kwacha.
Each currency can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need.
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. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa.
Large note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate.
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.
If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD.
Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques toAfrica. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.
Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels.
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. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these.
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.
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!
- Tipping:Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of your tour program. The gesture serves as an expression of appreciation for exceptional service, and amounts given are up to your discretion.
Tipping 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 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 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 person format:
CEO: $5-8 USD (per day, per person)
Local guides: $2-3 USD (per day)
Safari Guide/Driver: $2-3 USD (per day)
Restaurant Staff: 10-15% of cost of bill
- Optional Activities:Robben Island
- Robben Island Visit (550ZAR per person)
- Stellenbosch Wine Tour and Tasting (800ZAR per person)
- Table Mountain Cable Car (300-360ZAR per person)
- Manyeleti Wildlife Safari Drive (990ZAR per person)
- Health: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. Travellers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes on their travels. 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. Your tour leader will be able to inform you of local health advisories (e.g. drinking water quality). Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor.
Yellow Fever Certificate Note: (Updated: May 2017)
It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to the following G Adventures-visited countries from a Yellow Fever endemic country:
- South Africa
For some of these countries, proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is also required for passengers who have travelled more than 12 hours through the airport of an endemic country. If other countries not endemic to Yellow Fever have been visited after visiting an endemic country, then a Yellow Fever certificate may still be required on entry. Please check country-specific regulations before your departure.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that is present in some regions in Africa. Risk of malaria can increase during periods of heavy rain, during the rainy seasons, and in densely populated areas of Southern & East Africa. To prevent malaria, we recommend speaking to your doctor about taking preventative medication (prophylaxis), combined with regular use of insect repellent spray/cream. Please check updated travel health advisories specific to malaria before your departure.
- 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:
- Trip Specific Safety:At the pre-departure your CEO will give general information on the safety required for the duration of the trip. Each person will be responsible for their own valuables. As a lot of time on this trip is spent camping in the wilderness bush safety is of particular importance. The continent of Africa is beautiful, vibrant and friendly but if under estimated or mistreated she can hold some very unpleasant surprises. It is important to always listen to your guide as he is a professional and has yours and his safety at heart. Noise levels must be kept to a minimum both when in camp and on wildlife safari drives. Never walk off into the bush unless a staff member accompanies you and tell someone where you are going. Always walk with a torch after dark.
Never walk more the 25 meters from the centre of camp. Don't leave your tent unnecessarily after everybody has retreated for bed. Keep your tent zipped up to keep out unwanted guests. Remember that it is perfectly safe inside your tent - no matter what sounds you might hear outside from some nocturnal visitors. Also keep in mind that the animals that enter the camp are the residents, and that we are the visitors.
- 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:The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
- 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 email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
- Newsletter:Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
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.
- Minimum Age:You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
- International Flights:Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
- Max Pax:16
- Group Leader:Chief Experience Officer (CEO)/driver, local guides.
Itinerary (7 days)
Arrive at any time.
Enjoy a full day in Cape Town with options to visit Robben Island or Table Mountain. Choose to explore Cape Point or embark on a wine tour around Stellenbosch. In the evening, experience an authentic meal in a local home in a nearby township.
Board the Shosholoza Meyl train at Cape Town station. Enjoy the day with your travel companions playing cards, meeting the locals, and checking out the dining car. Drift to sleep to the rhythm of the train. Wake up and opt for a tasty breakfast on board.
Scheduled arrival into Johannesburg is noon (this train is often late however). Enjoy a tour of the surrounding area.
Take the Panorama Route into the Kruger National Park area. In the evening, enjoy a traditional dance experience in Shalati.
Visit the G Adventures-supported G Hope Africa preschool before an afternoon wildlife safari drive in Kruger NP (own vehicle). Keep an eye out for elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, and buffalo—Africa's famed Big Five.
Drive back to Johannesburg. Tour ends on arrival at the airport.