Garden Route Adventure Trip Notes

Garden Route Adventure

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017


Last Modified: 14 Jul 2016
Garden Route Adventure
Trip code: UBOH
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Travel to South Africa and Lesotho and explore the exquisite Garden Route on a tour from Durban to Cape Town via the Stellenbosch Wine Region. Combining the classic Garden Route with the enchanting beauty of the Wild Coast, this adventure offers the chance to experience the incredible variety of cultures, stunning landscapes and unique flora and fauna of South Africa. Exploring the traditional Xhosa lifestyle and visiting quaint coastal towns, sophisticated vineyards and cosmopolitan cities, this is the perfect South African tasting platter. TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017: From 1st January 2017 this trip will visit the Cango Caves on day 11 rather than 12, as there will be included rafting in Swellendam on day 12.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinish point description
ThemesAccommodation NotesFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionEmergency contact
Why we love itMealsVisas
MapTransportWhat to take
ItineraryMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderHealth
Physical ratingSafetyTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining pointA couple of rules
Important notesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Group sizeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish pointFeedback
Style
Basix
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Is this trip right for you?
- Purpose-built overland vehicles are used for the duration of this trip. These multi-purpose trucks allow for excellent game viewing, equipped with large sliding windows. There is no air-conditioning, however, so they can get dusty and hot.
- The going can be slow over the long distances and often bumpy roads. A little bit of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of this beautiful land!
- Facilities do vary, and WiFi is not always available. Accommodation upgrades are often available, however.
Why we love it
- Encounter gentle giants on a game drive through Addo Elephant National Park
- Embark on a half-day guided walk in the mighty Drakensburg Range and some spectacular hikes along the Garden Route
- Delve into the astounding Cango Caves outside of Swellendam
- Cruise the classic R320 wine route, stopping for a tipple or two, en route to South Africa's southernmost point
- Discover the Wild Coast, home to some of South Africa's friendliest tribal folk, the Xhosa
- Finish in Cape Town, the perfect stepping-stone to the outdoors, epicurean adventures, seaside fun or further travel
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Durban
Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these on hand to provide to your leader. If you arrive early, get out and explore Durban. A wealth of golden, sandy beaches and glitzy nightlife awaits. The Golden Mile is an essential spot – a stretch of fine sands bordered by frothy surf on one side and an attractive beachfront of shops, restaurants and cafes on the other.
Optional Activities
  • Art gallery - Free
  • Bay cruise - ZAR240
  • Juma Masjid Mosque - Free
  • Wet & Wild - ZAR140
    Accommodation
    Dormitory (1 nt)
    Day 2 Drakensberg
    Leave Durban and travel inland towards the majestic Drakensberg mountain range (approximately 5–6 hours).
    This highly fertile mountain chain, home to an amazing amount of flora and fauna, is Southern Africa's highest range (3,482 m). It forms part of the border between South Africa and Lesotho. The range is often referred to locally as the Barrier of Spears or the Dragon Mountains. Your accommodation here is in en-suited twin rooms at a unique backpackers lodge in Drakensberg. Sip on a refreshing sundowner in the thatched-loft lounge room. Here there is a book-swap and internet cafe. Other property facilities include a pool, jacuzzi, barbeque, fire pit, and WiFi. Upgrades are available (subject to availability).
    Included Activities
    • Drakensburg - Short hike
      Accommodation
      Lodge (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast, 1 dinner
      Day 3 Drakensberg
      Enjoy free time to go hiking through this incredible mountain range. It's up to you how much time you spend exploring. Feel free to take a short hike for an hour or so, or perhaps challenge yourself to a full-day hike with a local guide (this is optional). This is a great chance to learn more about the region from a local as you walk along. Regardless of how deep you delve, there are sure to be some amazing views and excellent photo opportunities.
      Optional Activities
      • Amphiteatre day hike - ZAR590
      • Mont-Aux-Sources day hike - ZAR590
        Accommodation
        Lodge (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast, 1 dinner
        Day 4 Lesotho Highlands
        Leaving the Drakensberg behind, head into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho (approximately 7–8 hours). Nestled like a small island in the middle of South Africa, Lesotho is commonly known as the 'Kingdom in the Sky' with beautiful mountain ranges and endless hiking trails. Generally the border crossing into Lesotho is quite smooth, but you may experience some delays, depending on the time of year. Drive past the Golden Gate Highlands National Park which is famous for its extraordinary sandstone rock formations. The park is also home to elands, zebras, mongooses and hundreds of bird species – keep your eyes peeled along the way.
        Accommodation
        Dormitory (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast, 1 dinner
        Day 5 Lesotho Highlands
        Today you will have a variety of hikes to choose from. The Lesotho Highlands offer excellent hiking for all levels of skill, so depending on your experience and level of fitness, you should be able to choose a suitable one that allows you to get the most out of these stunning landscapes.
        Optional Activities
        • Bushman Painting hike - ZAR45
        • Pitseng Canyon hike (6 hours) - ZAR65
        • Village, school and museum hike - ZAR50
          Accommodation
          Dormitory (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast, 1 dinner
          Day 6 Wild Coast/Cintsa
          Head to the stunning Wild Coast of South Africa and the small town of Cintsa (approximately 10–12 hours). A charming little coastal town, Cintsa and its surrounding region are inhabited by the Xhosa people, whose lifestyle is deeply rooted in tribal traditions and customs. You'll discover that they're a warm and friendly people who can give you a great insight into rural South African life. Arriving in the late afternoon, you will have time to relax and freshen up before an optional group dinner. Your campground has shared facilities, an ATM, and WiFi. Upgrades are possible (subject to availability).
          Accommodation
          Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast, 1 dinner
          Day 7 Wild Coast/Cintsa
          Enjoy free time to explore the town, relax on the stunning beaches or pursue the many optional activities on offer. You might like to go hiking, swimming, mountain biking or surfing. Ask your leader about these optional activities.
          Optional Activities
          • Village tour - ZAR235
            Accommodation
            Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast, 1 dinner
            Day 8 Addo Elephant National Park
            Travel on to Addo Elephant National Park (approximately 7–8 hours). A true success story in conservation, Addo Elephant National Park was created in 1931 to protect the region's eleven remaining elephants. Today there are over 450 elephants in the park, as well as Cape buffalo, black rhinos, all kinds of antelopes and even the flightless dung beetle which is unique to the park. On arrival, you'll take an afternoon game drive and try to spot some of these resident creatures, among others, from your truck. Your campground here has basic shared facilities and WiFi. Upgrades are possible (subject to availability).
            Included Activities
            • Addo National Elephant Park - Game drive
              Optional Activities
              • Night game drive - ZAR275
                Accommodation
                Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                Day 9 Garden Route/Tsitsikamma National Park
                Spend the next few days discovering the most superb stretch of the Garden Route. Your first stop is the Tsitsikamma National Park (approximately 4–5 hours). Protecting both land and sea, steep ancient forests meet the breakers of the Indian Ocean at this park. It's a spectacular place for walking and viewing wildlife. Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. The accommodation tonight is a campground with basic shared facilities, an ATM and WiFi access. Upgrades are possible (subject to availability).

                Notes: Intrepid has not risk-assessed all optional local activities. Only those listed in the trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure about any, please check with your leader. It is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk-assessed or do not adhere to Intrepid's Responsible Travel ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles.
                Accommodation
                Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                Day 10 Garden Route/Tsitsikamma National Park
                Explore this magnificent national park further. Cape clawless otters, dolphins, tortoises and southern right whales (in season) are all visitors here, along with baboons, monkeys and myriad birds. See how many of them you can spot!
                Optional Activities
                • Snorkelling - ZAR100
                  Accommodation
                  Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                  Day 11 Oudtshoorn
                  Head out across the arid Karoo region bound for Oudtshoorn (approximately 4–5 hours). Stop off on the way at Knysna to stretch your legs and explore this quaint little hamlet. Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world, and at the turn of the 20th century it was full of 'feather barons' that grew rich from the popularity of ostrich feathers. Today there are thousands of ostriches here being farmed for their meat, leather, and on a smaller scale, their feathers and eggs. Take a short stroll around town and you'll discover all sorts of ostrich souvenirs. Your campsite has hot showers and flush toilets. Upgrades are possible (subject to availability).
                  Accommodation
                  Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                  Day 12 Swellendam
                  Get your blood pumping while exploring the Cango Caves and learn about their formation and history from your local guide. Travel from Oudtshoorn to Swellendam (approximately 4–5 hours) on the scenic Route 62.
                  One of the oldest settlements in South Africa, Swellendam is located at the foot of the Langenberg Mountains. This picturesque town has something for everyone, with plenty of great restaurants, adventure activities and wildlife. It's the perfect base for exploring the local wine region. You should arrive in Swellendam by early afternoon. Set up camp and have the remainder of the afternoon free for you to explore or relax around the camp. The camp has WiFi access and limited upgrades are available.
                  Included Activities
                  • Cango Caves
                    Accommodation
                    Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 13 Cape Agulhas / R320 Winery Route / Hermanus
                    Get up early this morning for your journey to Africa's southernmost point – Cape Agulhus (approximately 5 hours). You'll travel along the famous R320 winery route, visiting two or three wineries along the way, before heading onto the beach side town of Hermanus. This region is highly influenced by the cooling Atlantic Ocean that sweeps up past Cape Town and brings with it a nice breeze that cools down the grapes that are grown here. The predominant local grape varieties are French, German and northern Italian – such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Mourvedre, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage. You'll camp with shared facilities tonight and may go out for a BYO dinner to try some of the wine you might have purchased earlier.
                    Included Activities
                    • R320 Route Wine Tour
                      Accommodation
                      Camping (with shared facilities) (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast
                      Day 14 Cape Town
                      Enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Hermanus before driving back to Cape Town via the scenic bay route (approximately 4 hours). With its stunning coastline, dramatic surrounding mountains and modern cityscape, Cape Town is one of Africa's most appealing cities. It's a great place to end your trip, with vineyards, adventure activities and plenty of good restaurants and cafes at your doorstep. You'll be dropped at the finishing-point hotel in Cape Town.

                      Notes: No accommodation is provided for tonight. If you would like to extend your stay, this can be arranged when you book this trip. It's best not to book any international flights for earlier than 10 pm this evening, in case there are delays today.
                      Optional Activities
                      • Bo-Kaap Museum - ZAR30
                      • Harbour cruise - ZAR200
                      • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens - ZAR45
                      • Robben Island tour - ZAR260
                      • South Africa National Gallery - ZAR35
                      • South African Museum - ZAR27
                      • Table Mountain - Aerial cable - ZAR250
                      • Table Mountain - Hiking - ZAR720
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Itinerary disclaimer
                        ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                        OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
                        Physical rating

                        The step up into the overland truck, while not overly high, can become tiring, as can the constant setting and packing up of camp. You need to judge yourself to be physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down at least 8-10 times a day.
                        Included activities
                        Drakensburg - Short hike
                        Addo National Elephant Park - Game drive
                        Cango Caves
                        R320 Route Wine Tour
                        Important notes
                        1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
                        2. This trip finishes upon arrival in Cape Town on Day 14. Please do not book any flights until after 6pm this evening.

                        Group size
                        Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
                        Your fellow travellers
                        GROUP TRAVEL
                        As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                        SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                        Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

                        A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
                        Accommodation
                        Camping (with facilities) (8nt), Dormitory (3nt), Lodge (2nt)
                        Accommodation on this trip is mainly in two-person canvas dome tents with camping mattresses supplied.

                        The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hotels. In Africa it's not usually practical to camp when staying in towns and cities so we use hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants.

                        There may be the occasional night stop, when we stay in the grounds of a hotel or at a campsite which may also have rooms/cabins available. In this case there may be a choice of camping or upgrading to a room. Rooms cost approximately USD60 per room per night for a twin room and cannot be pre-booked. The day by day itinerary advises when upgrades may be possible (subject to availability).

                        Keep in mind that if we are staying in dormitory accommodation, you may have to share with other passengers or be split into same sex rooms.

                        Campsites do have facilities but they usually aren't to the same standard you would find in western countries. For example the bathroom facilities can be very basic (the toilets may be a squat-style hole in the ground). There is rarely toilet paper provided and shower facilities can be as simple as a hose pipe spurting out cold water. Wild camps have no facilities at all.

                        Not all campsites are as basic as this description - it's just to make sure there are no surprises for you.

                        Meals introduction
                        By travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your cook prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping.

                        Your cook (East Africa only) will come up with meal ideas and quantities needed for large groups. Participating in the camp is usually done on a duty roster system with group of 5 or 6 people (depending on group size) having a different camp job each day.

                        If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking, and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting.

                        A typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, cereal, something hot such as eggs or pancakes, as well as tea and coffee. Lunch is almost always a sandwich with healthy salad and assorted fillings, sometimes with fruit to follow. There may be a chance on occasion to buy your lunch. Dinner might be a BBQ, rice dish or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some African food such as ugali and stew.

                        On the more remote sections of your trip (for example in West Africa & North Africa), your food and diet will be dependent on what is available locally as well as tinned and dry ingredients.

                        One thing is sure - you definitely won't go hungry or lose weight on your safari! When you aren't camping you will have the freedom to decide where, what and with whom you eat.
                        Meals
                        13 breakfasts, 10 dinners
                        Transport
                        Overland vehicle

                        Our trucks are purpose-built, self contained safari vehicles. Intrepid’s fleet of vehicles varies depending on your group size, trip route and style. In Southern Africa some departures may use vans and luggage trailers subject to group size and vehicle availability. Your vehicle type may differ from those listed above. It is also important to note that our overland vehicles are not air-conditioned, but all vehicles have windows that can be opened to allow for fresh air.

                        There are many early starts with long hours spent driving on rough roads on all African itineraries. While most people love the chance to watch the changing landscape and daily village life, feedback shows that long periods of inactivity does not appeal to all clients. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience which is right for you.

                        African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it's certainly our aim to avoid them, it's important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.
                        Money matters
                        When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

                        Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).
                        Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.


                        MEALS NOT INCLUDED

                        Breakfast, dinner and most lunches are included while camping on our overland safaris.

                        For lunches not included, a budget of USD10 to USD15 per meal will be more than sufficient.

                        For dinners not included, your leader will normally recommend options and restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

                        These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget and are happy to try local food, you can eat cheaper than this.


                        TIPPING

                        Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

                        Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.


                        TIPPING GUIDE

                        To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

                        - Basic restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
                        - Local guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD2 to USD3 per person, per day for local guides.
                        - Your crew (including leaders, drivers and cooks) You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD3 to USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. It is best to then divide these amounts into separate envelopes for each crew member. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.


                        EMERGENCY FUNDS

                        We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.


                        CREDIT CARDS, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE:

                        Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist shops and some restaurants across Africa. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Foreign currency is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.

                        With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country.

                        PLEASE NOTE: Many businesses and banks in Africa, especially East Africa, do not accept US dollar notes older than 2006. If you are bringing USD, we strongly recommend large bills in good condition, 2006 series onwards only. Any old or damaged notes may not be accepted.
                        Group leader
                        On this trip you will be accompanied by 2 crew members, a Group Leader and a Driver. (Depending on your group size – from time to time your leader will also be your driver)

                        Your Intrepid Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping.

                        Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Intrepid trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. The group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment.

                        While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds. Our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people.

                        Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way.

                        Everyone is expected participate and carry their share of the workload, making camp chores easier. If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun.

                        We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and driver; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
                        Safety
                        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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                        We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                        Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                        For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
                        www.intrepidtravel.com/safety


                        FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                        Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                        BALCONIES:
                        Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

                        TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
                        Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                        SEAT BELTS:
                        Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                        PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                        While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                        WATER SAFETY:
                        Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

                        TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE
                        We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

                        UNFENCED CAMP SITES:
                        On some trips you will at times stay in unfenced camp sites within national parks. While this is a fantastic experience, there are a few safety rules to follow. While staying in national parks it's important that you listen to any advice given by your tour leader and the park rangers regarding responsible and safe behaviour.
                        Joining point
                        Happy Hippo Backpackers
                        222 Mahatma Ghandi Road (prev Point Road)
                        Durban
                        4001
                        SOUTH AFRICA
                        Joining point description
                        The Happy Hippo is a converted warehouse located in the docks area of Durban. It has a variety of rooms which lead into central living and kitchen areas as well as clean shared bathroom facilities. There is also a great rooftop bar to enjoy.
                        Joining point instructions
                        If you have pre-booked a transfer with us your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals section near where you clear customs. The driver will wait for an hour after your scheduled arrival time.

                        If you are unable to find your driver please phone 082 886 4042 or 031 201 2717. If you are delayed beyond one hour after your scheduled arrival time, please make your own way to the hotel.

                        Taxi services leave from in front of the departures terminal at Durban airport. The cost should be approximately
                        ZAR150 and it will take approximately 30 minutes. There is also a airport shuttle that leaves every hour on the hour for ZAR50 per person and will drop you at the Happy Hippo. This may take up to one hour depending on how many hotel drops the shuttle must make.

                        Finish point
                        Never@Home
                        107 main Road
                        Green Point
                        Cape Town
                        8005
                        SOUTH AFRICA
                        Phone: +27 214349282
                        Fax: +27 214349283
                        Finish point description
                        Never@Home (formally Hotel Graeme) is a small, boutique style hotel located in Green Point, Cape Town, and just a short walk from Cape Town CBD.

                        Hotel facilities include swimming pool and jacuzzi, pub, laundry and dry cleaning service and wireless Internet access.

                        All rooms are equipped with ensuite, air-conditioning, satellite TV, tea and coffee making facilities and a safe.
                        Finishing point instructions
                        Private airport transfers are available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Contact your agent for details. Be sure to advise of your flight details at time of booking. Alternatively, your leader or local representative can arrange a transfer for you on the ground.

                        If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.

                        If you have any issues with your departure transfer, Intrepid's South African Office can be reached on: +27 11 471 7400 (South African business hours) or +27 828229407 (24/7).
                        Emergency contact
                        In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's South African Office can be reached on: +27 11 471 7400 (South African business hours) or +27 828229407 (24/7).

                        For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

                        For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                        While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                        We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                        You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                        Intrepid's South African Office: +27 828229407
                        Visas
                        PASSPORT

                        As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

                        VISAS

                        Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                        We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from countries not listed below must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.


                        SOUTH AFRICA:

                        Australia: No visa required
                        Belgium: No visa required
                        Canada: No visa required
                        Germany: No visa required
                        Ireland: No visa required
                        Netherlands: No visa required
                        New Zealand: No visa required
                        Switzerland: No visa required
                        United Kingdom: No visa required
                        USA: No visa required

                        Citizens of the above countries do not need visas to visit South Africa as a tourist for up to three months. Citizens of all other countries should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required.

                        Entry Requirements – Passports:
                        Please note that non-machine readable passports are no longer accepted by South African immigration. All visitors to South Africa must have a machine readable travel document (e-passport). Failure to present an e-passport will result in denied entry. Passengers with a valid visa issued in a non-machine readable passport will be handled on a case by case basis, but a fine will still be applicable.

                        Entry Requirements - Yellow Fever Certificate:
                        A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required for all passengers over one year of age who arrive or are transiting through South Africa, from a country or region listed by the World Health Organization as infected by yellow fever. Travellers unable to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate issued at least 10 days before arrival in South Africa will be refused entry. There is no option for travellers without a vaccination certificate to be vaccinated on arrival. Please note this also includes transiting through an infected country or region.

                        Entry Requirements - Travelling with Children:
                        Parents need to produce an original unabridged birth certificate if they are travelling with children. This regulation has been put in place to protect children from being abducted, kidnapped and child trafficking. The Department of Home Affairs has urged all parents to apply for unabridged certificates for their children. Additionally, further documentation including permission to travel, may be required if only one parent is travelling. These are requirements of the immigration regulation 6 (12)(a) for parents travelling with children. More information can be found here: http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/civic-services/traveling-with-children

                        We recommend travellers check all entry and visa requirements before travel as they can change.


                        LESOTHO:

                        Entry permits are issued free of charge on arrival for most nationalities, including from the EU, US and Australia. All nationalities should check with their nearest Lesotho Embassy for more information.

                        BORDER CROSSINGS ON THIS TRIP:

                        Exit South Africa - Maseru Bridge
                        Enter Lesotho - Maseru Bridge

                        Exit Lesotho - Van Rooyenshek
                        Enter South Africa - Van Rooyenshek
                        What to take
                        What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

                        Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

                        Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

                        ESSENTIALS:
                        - Sleeping bag. We recommend a 3–4 season sleeping bag because it can get very cold at night in winter months in desert and mountainous regions.
                        - Travel pillow
                        - Closed in shoes. As this trip includes camping and/or bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
                        - Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
                        - Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool.
                        - Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening game drives.
                        - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

                        RECOMMENDED:
                        - A simple plastic bag/waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures.
                        - A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the campsite at night. Some campsites have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. Although the trucks do carry lamps for meal times it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp to navigate the campsites and in particular going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
                        - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, anti-diarrhoeal, antibacterial gel, wet wipes, bandaids/plasters etc.
                        - Insect repellent.
                        - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
                        - Camera with spare batteries. Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days but we recommend you take a spare battery. You’ll take more photos than you think.

                        OPTIONAL:
                        - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
                        - Thermarest. While we provide a basic camping mattress for each client, some travellers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer.
                        - Ear plugs to guard against a snoring tent-mate
                        - A good book, a journal or an Ipod for the long drives.

                        LUGGAGE LIMIT:
                        The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is a strict maximum of 20kg.
                        Your main luggage will be stored in a compartment at the back of the truck. Traditional, framed suitcases are not recommended as they are large and can damage other travellers belongings while on the road. Backpacks or duffel bags are an ideal choice.

                        VALUABLES:
                        Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

                        BATTERIES/POWER:
                        Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Our overland vehicles are equipped with multiple power boards which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only a minimal number of items can be charged at a time and will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and many campsites have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.
                        Climate and seasonal information
                        Yes it is Africa, however the winter months can be very cold. Please bring a very warm sleeping bag as well warm winter clothing such as thermals, wool pullover, fleece, jacket, gloves and a woolly hat.
                        Health
                        All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                        You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

                        YELLOW FEVER:
                        A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

                        It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.


                        DRINKING WATER:
                        As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
                        Travel insurance
                        Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                        When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                        If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                        A couple of rules
                        Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our 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 Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                        Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                        Responsible Travel
                        We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

                        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                        The Intrepid Foundation
                        Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                        The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

                        http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                        Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in South Africa include:

                        * Thusanani Children's Foundation works to prevent and treat developmental delay in orphaned and vulnerable South African children, aged 0-6, in Children's Homes (orphanages) where they live. Developmental delay in these children has a far reaching negative impact on their formal schooling in later years and they run the risk of being seen as children with special education needs. Treatment and prevention of developmental delay can set children on the right path that enables them to be contributing members of society, and break the cycle of abuse and poverty.

                        Feedback
                        After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

                        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback