Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why doesn't African Arid Experiences tours cover all of southern Africa?
The term southern Africa, not to be confused with the country South Africa, includes the countries of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. A colossal area.
Arid Experiences' expertise and tours covers 2/3rds of South Africa and Namibia. This area alone is roughly 7 times the size of United Kingdom, and few know the area as well as African Arid Experiences. We feel for us to go further afield would mean we would loose the personal touch that we value so much.
Q: What about Medical Facilities, Hospitals, Malaria and Drinking Water?
Medical facilities in cities and larger towns are world-class, but in rural areas the clinics and hospitals deal only with primary health needs.
In South Africa Malaria is restricted to north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal, parts of Mpumulanga and Limpopo, none of which we take you to on our tours. Malaria risk is present throughout the year in the Kunene River, Caprivi and Kavango regions in Namibia. There is a risk of malaria during November to June in Ohangwena, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa. There is a very low risk of malaria in all other areas of Namibia throughout the year. Many local people and some travellers do not take malaria prophylaxis, but most health professionals recommend you do. Consult your doctor or a specialist travel clinic for the latest advice concerning malaria prophylaxis, as it changes regularly.
Whether you take oral prophylaxis or not, always use mosquito repellent, wear long pants, closed shoes and light long-sleeved shirts at night, and sleep under a mosquito net in endemic areas (the anopheles mosquito, which carries malaria, operates almost exclusively after dark).
High-quality tap (faucet) water is available almost everywhere in South Africa and Namibia and treated so as to be free of harmful micro-organisms. Bottled mineral water, both sparkling and still, is readily available in most places.
Drinking water straight from rivers and streams could put you at risk of waterborne diseases - especially downstream of human settlements. The water in mountain streams, however, is usually pure and wonderful.
Q: Do I need Travel Insurance?
Yes! Make sure your insurance covers being airlifted in case of serious illness/injury as good hospital facilities may be long way from where our tours travel. Free credit card insurance is often insufficient, so a separate policy is recommended. Travel insurance is compulsory, and you will be asked for the policy number before being allowed on a tour.
Q: What are your Terms and Conditions?
See the terms and conditions here
All travellers will be required to sign our indemnity form before departure. Any person refusing to do so will not be allowed on the tour.
Q: Who is responsible for my Visas?
You are responsible for your own visas.
Most European passport holders are allowed a stay of up to 90 days in South Africa. This 'tourist visa' is stamped in your passport upon arrival at the airport, it does not need to be obtained prior to departure. Information about which countries get a visa upon arrival, and which countries need to apply for one, can be found on
Please note that, upon arrival in South Africa, your passport must be valid for at least six months and must have two consecutive blank pages.
Q: What Electrical Systems will I encounter?
In South Africa and Namibia electricity is generally 220/230 volts,15 amps delivered through a unique plug. But don’t worry, European /American-to-South African adaptors can be found readily at either airport shops or at speciality shops in South Africa.
Generally, the 110V video chargers work safely on the 220V supply.
When away from electical outlets, on some off-the-beaten-track areas, we may make use of solar powered 12 volt systems for refrigeration, lighting and charging of cameras and phones.
Q: Do I need Protection form the Sun? What is the Climate?
South Africa and Namibia have a warm sunny climate with most areas averaging more than 2 500 hours of sunshine per year. You should wear sunscreen with a SPF factor and a hat whenever you are out of doors during the day, particularly between 10am and 4pm, regardless of whether there is cloud cover or not.
Partially covered by the Namib Desert,(one of the world's driest deserts), Namibia's climate is generally very dry and pleasant, only receiving a fraction of the rain experienced by countries further east.
Even if you have a dark complexion, you can still get sunburned if you are from a cooler climate and have not had much exposure to the sun. Sunglasses are also recommended wear, as the glare of the African sun can be strong.
Climatic conditions range from Mediterranean in the south-west of the country, where Cape Town is located, to dry and hot in most of the arid areas
Most of both countries have warm, sunny days and cool nights. Rainfall generally occurs during summer (November through March), although in the south-west winter rains occur (June through August).
Q: What is our Accommodation Selection Critera?
South Africa and Namibia have a variety of accommodation on offer and we carefully select establishments used throughout your trip.
Our criteria are that establishments are clean, comfortable and preferably offer something unique and memorable. Our standard tour prices are based on an average of 3 star accommodation, to enable reasonable prices.
However depending on your needs and budget, at the top end accommodation can be upped to 5 star, or at the more reasonable end even combining guest houses with camping, when available. We will make the selection based on your requirements on our booking form.
Q: What are Mobile Telephones and Internet (Wi-Fi) like?
Mobile phone network coverage in South Africa and Namibia on main routes is excellent. We recommend you acquiring a South African SIM card and if going into Namibia a Namibian SIM card, making the cost of phone calls considerably lower than using your International SIM card.
Many of the accommodation establishments and restaurants offer Wi-Fi. However, they often limit the amount of data that you may use. Also bear in mind that internet connection speeds in South Africa and Namibia are slow in comparison to most of Europe and America, especially in outer lying areas.
In the more remote areas such as national parks and nature reserves you often won’t have access to any Wi-Fi.
Q: What is the Local Currency and Usual Tipping policies?
The currency of South Africa is the Rand (ZAR) and in Nambia the Namiian dollar (NAD). The Namibian Dollar is linked to the South African Rand and can be exchanged on a one-to-one basis locally. The exchange rate changes constantly so it is best to check online shortly before departure. The website
www.xe.com provides the current exchange rate.
ATMs can be found throughout South Africa and Namibia, reducing the need to carry travellers cheques or large amounts of cash. However, it is wise to always carry cash with you during your trip. You are welcome to ask for advice.
In restaurants, if you happy with the service, a tip of 10% of the bill is normal.
To petrol and parking attendants, usually give any amount between R2 - R10.
It is customary to tip your activities guide (game drives, boat trips etc). A rate of R20.00 per person per activity is advised.
If you have booked a guided tour and wish to tip our African Arid Experiences guide you are welcome to and would be greatly appreciated.