Roadtrip Starter Kit

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What’s the Starter Kit?

Whether considering one of our trips or joining us already, the Road Trip Starter Kit is all you need to know when preparing for your Epic African Road Trip.

Read carefully. Although we are here to help as much as we can, preparing the admin for your trip is entirely your responsibility. Unfortunately, there is always admin for such things. Fear not though, it’s not all that bad – there’s the added bonus of the experience of a lifetime just on the other side.

If you have any questions about your trip that the starter kit doesn’t cover, do not hesitate to pick up the phone or drop us mail. We would love to help.

If you’ve already committed to a road trip and haven’t received  hard copy of your road trip starter kit, please contact us immediately.

*Road Tripping Tip: a travel agent may be able to help you with many of these steps if you require it.

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So, you’ve paid the deposit and you’re coming. Sick! Prepare yourself, the next few months are going to drag! Such is life.

Well, it’s time to get booking. Pay careful attention to dates, start times and cities. You will need these as a guide when booking your flights, accommodation and transport before and after the road trip.

You should aim to arrive in the starting city at least one day before the trip starts and leave at least one day after it ends. As we always begin our trips on a Friday morning, it is recommended that you arrive in the departure city by at least the Thursday (the day before). As we part ways on Sunday mornings, we recommend that you book flights home for the Sunday evening at the earliest IF of course you are not visiting for longer. Remember, you are responsible for your own accommodation and transportation before and after the trip but we can of course advise you if you need help.

Remember, pay careful attention to where you are flying to and from. If your trip starts in Johannesburg, fly there. If it starts in Cape Town, fly there. In some cases, it may be cheaper flying to Johannesburg and catching a transfer to Cape Town. If this is the case, look out for those flights.

Be careful when booking return flights. As road trips start and end in different cities, it would not be funny (although maybe just a bit!) if you arrive for a return flight in the wrong city.

Finally, the earlier you book, the cheaper the flights! That’s the general rule but I’m sure you knew that already.

Firstly, ask yourself this: do you have a valid passport? If not, please get one ASAP.

Secondly, depending on your nationality, you may or may not require visas when travelling to the respective African countries. MyEpicAfricanRoadTrip LTD cannot help you retrieve the appropriate visas for entry into these African countries. Not to worry though, it’s generally not too much of a hassle and very much a part of the fun when preparing for a trip.

Please ensure that you have satisfied all entry and exit requirements before joining us. It will make yours and our transition through borders as painless as possible. If you have not satisfied these requirements, MyEpicAfricanRoadTrip LTD has the right to exclude you from the road trip. Please see our Terms and Conditions

The following may help you with this task. It is a guide to various entry requirements for various nationals. Use this guide to get you started. Please, we cannot over estimate the importance of visa readiness. Get it done ASAP.

The following links were last updated on 1/12/2015.

SA Nationals

South Africans travelling on a South African passport will NOT require Visas to enter any of the countries we visit during the road trip. Just remember your valid passport!

British Nationals

British nationals may or may not require Visas for certain countries. Visa rules for certain countries can be followed using the pasted links. If we can help you in any way, or if you require any information from us for certain applications, please do not hesitate to contact us.

South Africa – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa/entry-requirements

Namibia – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/namibia/entry-requirements

Botswana – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/botswana/entry-requirements

Zambia – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/zambia/entry-requirements

Mozambique – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mozambique/entry-requirements

Malawi – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malawi/entry-requirements

American Nationals

American nationals may or may not require Visas for certain countries. Visa rules for certain countries can be followed using the pasted links. If we can help you in any way, or if you require any information from us for certain applications, please do not hesitate to contact us.

South Africa – http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/south-africa.html

Namibia – http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/namibia.html

Botswana – http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/botswana.html

Zambia – http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/zambia.html

Mozambique – http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/mozambique.html

Malawi – http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/malawi.html

Irish Nationals

Irish nationals may or may not require Visas for certain countries. Visa rules for certain countries can be followed using the pasted links. If we can help you in any way, or if you require any information from us for certain applications, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Beyond  the below links, you may navigate to “Additional Information” for the relevant entry requirements. But, further navigation beyond that may also be required.

South Africa – https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/a-z-list-of-countries/south-africa/

Namibia – https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/a-z-list-of-countries/namibia/

Botswana – https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/a-z-list-of-countries/botswana/

Zambia – https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/a-z-list-of-countries/zambia/

Mozambique – http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/mozambique.html

Malawi – http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/malawi.html

Other Nationals

It is not difficult to investigate the entry requirements for nationals not helped above. If you need any help in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance. We will help guide you where we can.

You only need an international driver’s license if you are driving one of our vehicles (by the Follow the Leader) and yes, in order to get one, you have to have a valid driver’s license already. There has to be a minimum of two drivers per vehicle and if there is not you may be disqualified from your road trip according to our Terms and Conditions.

If you are driving, getting an international driver’s license is not the painful admin that it sounds. In fact, it might be the easiest of all of the steps. Most local Post Offices issue such licenses. Google it – it’s simple as simple can be.

*Remember, every country you visit on our trips we will be driving on the left hand side of the road with right hand drive vehicles.

Travel insurance is compulsory when road tripping with MyEpicAfricanRoadTrip LTD. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.

Remember, much of where we travel is exceptionally remote and local authorities may be hundreds of kilometers from where we are at any given time. Please be aware of your policy’s international contact numbers and your personal policy number. These will be collected and saved by your guides before the road trip begins and used in the event of an emergency.

The shots required when travelling to Africa vary considerably both seasonally and geographically. Because our trips are held during our winter, there are fewer risks of contracting sicknesses like Malaria.

Nonetheless, some vaccinations are a must when travelling to Africa and certifications of these vaccinations may need to be presented at various borders before entering. Contact your nearest travel clinic with inquiries about the shots and certifications required for your trip. Do so well before the start of the trip.

These shots may include (but are not limited to) vaccinations for:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Yellow Fever
  • Typhoid
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio

Let’s be serious for a minute. If you’re arriving from Europe, America or Australasia you are going to feel like a king for much of your trip. This is because strong currencies in Africa tend to buy you a whole lot more than it does where you’re from. That’s just the awesome truth of it.

We cannot recommend how much to bring because we’re not sure if you’re a one beer kind of person, or a let’s get proper drunk on a bottle of brandy type of legend. A good guide however, as it always is across the world, is the price of beer. For a six pack of beer from a bottle store in South Africa, you are looking at about R50 – that’s about £2.50/$3. It will be more or less the same amount in the other countries too.

For a pint beer in a bar (called a draught down here), you’re looking at an average of £1.50 / $2 across South Africa and Zambia and slightly less else where. Yes, you read correctly. It’s that cheap – and if that’s the reason you ultimately decide to come, respect. For a burger and chips, again you’re looking at about R50. You’re welcome.

As always, expect slightly higher prices across Joburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. But nothing like London or New York.

What currency should you use?

If you’re joining us on the Khaki Trek, for the most part South African Rand will work every where. Do have US dollars spare for Zambia though.

If you’re joining us for an Mzansi Jive, only South African Rand will work.

If you’re joining us for The Paradise Loop, use Rand in South Africa and US dollars else where. This does not necessarily mean you will be spending in US dollars, but exchanging at the border for local currency will be far easier and quicker using US dollars.

Cash or Card?

Throughout South Africa you will be able to use your bank card.  But, as we travel northwards into Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, cash is preferable. You should be very careful carrying cash so don’t flash it around especially at borders. For your benefit, there will be a safe in every car for your money.

The below is a list of some of the additional excursions that are not included in the costs. We’ve mentioned both how much you need for them and what currency it is best to use for them. Hopefully this gives you more or less an idea of what you need to bring along spending wise. 

With exception of the bungees and cage shark diving (reserved for the mad people), we recommend you join us for all of the below. Much of where we plan to go relies on these excursions to enhance the African experience. Of course, these are only a few of the excursions offered and there are many more along our route. We encourage that you also do your own research if you would like to do or see something in particular.

*As the Rand/Dollar exchange rate fluctuates these prices may have changed slightly by the time we arrive at these excursions. Please bring a little bit extra as to accommodate for these fluctuations.

 
Recommended you pay in…
Price/person
Bungee Jumping over the Soweto Towers, South Africa  Rand R480

£20

$27

 

Bungee jumping off Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa  Rand R750

£30

$45

Shark Cage Diving, South Africa Rand R1500 – R2500

£60 – £100

$84 – $139

Cable Car up Table Mountain, South Africa  Rand R240

£10

$14

 

Half day white water rafting and booze cruize, alcohol included, Zambia USD $190

£145

Entrance to Sun City and Valley of the Waves, South Africa Rand R180

£9

$12

 

Boat Trip and Snorkelling on Lake Malawi, Malawi USD Always negotiable with locals. Put aside at least $20 for this.
Entrance to view Vic Falls, Zambia USD $30

£23

Ostrich Rides, South Africa Rand R100 – R200

£5 – £10

$7 – $14

Cango Caves, South Africa Rand R105

£5

$7

Entrance at Etosha Park, Namibia USD/Rand R80

£4

$6

Of course. There will be signal pretty much throughout your journey with the odd exception on some of the more remote roads in the deep Kalahari, Mozambique and Namibia.

All vehicles will be fitted with walkie talkies for communication throughout the trip between vehicles.

Finally, the lead van will have a working satellite phone in case of an emergency.

There will be aux connections available to play music from your phone.

Well, this is a difficult one. One of the biggest misconceptions about Africa is that it’s always hot. A South African winter though is actually very cold – and sometimes freezing depending on where you are! Fortunately though, most places except Cape Town tend to be completely dry and cloudless, which is a bonus – cold but not wet.

All trips that fall in and between late April and late August should consider the below because that’s our winter season. Anywhere outside of this date, don’t worry, it will be an African type of hot! Remember, the majority of our trips are set in winter as it minimises the risk of contracting sicknesses such as Malaria, which is especially relevant for the Paradise Loop.

For the Mzansi Jives in , pack jackets, jerseys and jeans. It will be cold throughout your trip.

For the Khaki Trek, pack the same but do remember your shorts. Northern Nambia and Southern Zambia will be quite warm-to-hot during the day but will be slightly chilly at night.

For the Paradise Loop, it will be warm-to-hot throughout the trip except for the start and the end of it in Johannesburg and Pretoria. They both will be cold.

Please remember to pack sleeping bags! We provide tents only.

Many of the questions are already answered on this site or in your brochure. Here are a few more though. If there is anything else you need to know, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What will we be eating?

It is likely that we will be braai’ing most nights (that’s barbequing). Guides will recommend where to buy food along the way for the evenings meal. Guides will also have a gas skottel with them for frying up some great breakfasts, which can also be bought along the route.

In the bigger cities and towns, especially on the Mzansi Jive, there will be an array of restaurants to choose from if you would prefer to eat there. In most of South Africa you will be eating out in your own time. Regardless, we imagine that we will be a close knit group and will decide on suppers along the way.

With regards to braai-ing, we will provide all the charcoal, wood and grills for the campfires.

Snacks and fruits can be found throughout your journey at garages and shops. There will be lots of biltong consumed I am sure. If you are not sure what biltong is, you will learn to love it soon.

How safe actually is it?

This is very long road trip. Its risks are as you would expect on any road trip. Driving excessively for a long time can be dangerous anywhere. That’s why we recommend as many drivers for the vehicles as possible for those tripping via follow the leader, but a minimum of two is mandatory. No exceptions. Drivers should swap constantly to avoid tiredness.

With regards to political safety and violence, all countries concerned are exceptionally placid; we wouldn’t be driving with you if we felt at risk during our time on the road. As always, take caution on the road, but especially do so in these countries where laws may be slightly different. Cultural nuances on the road are likely to differ here too, and certain givens you may take for granted may be lost here. You will be informed about all of these before we get going.

If we are tripping in our own vehicle, what if there is only one person eligible to drive? 

Please see our Terms and Conditions regarding eligibility. There must be a minimum of two drivers per car.

Do we have to have 5 in a car?

No you do not but you will still have to pay the full price for a vehicle.

What are the conditions of the road?

The roads in South Africa are world class. Much is the same in Namibia and Botswana. In Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, the roads may have large potholes but we will make our way carefully through these sections.

There will be a few sand roads we will need to tackle but nothing our vehicles can’t handle.

Can we road trip for a cause?

Absolutely.

As always, we provide 30 soccer balls per trip that we hand out along the way to the wonderful kids we meet. That’s our way of contributing – that and bringing tourists to local villages and towns.

What’s your cause? How will you contribute? Just by being there and contributing to our economy is a wonderful gift in itself.

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