F.A.Q

  • Q: What accommodation do you use on your scheduled tours?
  • A: We are very particular about the accommodation on our tours as we understand the important part they play with regards to comfort, exclusivity  and the overall experience of our tours! Some minimum requirements we insist on are; being small, exclusive, high level of comfort and luxury (4 star type).  Some unique features such as amazing views / excellent food / interesting architecture is a definite plus and owner managed where possible. We sometimes use the more moderate accommodation in our national parks for a night to enhance the wildlife and safari experience and often precede or follow it up with luxury private lodges.

 

  • Q: What type of vehicles do you use on your tours?
  • A: We use our fleet of luxury 8 seater microbuses fitted with PA and music systems, so there are never more than 7 guests with the driver guide. We also have sedans and small SUV’s when one or two persons only are travelling.

 

  • Q: What kind of weather can I expect?
  • A: We call our country ‘sunny South Africa and it is just that. Please click here for more detailed information on the weather.

 

  • Q: What type of clothes do I bring along?
  • A: Unless you are partaking in a formal event, casual, well worn in and neutral coloured clothes are suggested for most of your holiday. In the evenings smart casual clothing is mostly accepted and a warm set of clothing is advisable for the odd cool evening or when your tour takes you on open night game drives where it can get chilly. More warm clothing during our winters (May – September) is also recommended Well worn in shoes, a sun hat and light windbreaker type clothing is advisable.

 

  • Q:  How do I make payment once I have agreed on a package, can I pay with my credit card?
  • A:   Yes, you can make payment online with your credit card via our secure payment site provided by our bankers. Typically, you choose your tour/s,  book and pay for them online. Alternatively, you can request your particular departure date and its price by sending an e-mail to info@southerncircle.com  as well as any changes you want to make and/or special requests you may have.  We confirm the tour and point you to the payment site where your personal quote includes all the confirmed information, changes and requests for your final perusal before payment.
    Another method necessitates a quick visit to your local bank to initiate a bank draft or transfer (also called a Wire) via the Swift way to our bankers.  If you choose this method, please advise us via e-mail and we shall send you the relevant information.

 

  • Q: What is your cancellation policy?
  • A: Once you have booked your tour and paid a deposit cancellation fees come into play. We only charge a small administration fee for cancellations longer than 30 days before arrival. Between 30 and 15 days, a cancellation fee of 25% is levied. From 14 to 8 days, 50% cancellation is charged and less than 8 days, we charge between 80 and 100% cancellation depending on the policies of the hotels we utilize on this tour. A charge may be levied when substantial work was done on itinerary design, etc. We strongly recommend that you insure yourself against cancellations, it can save you a lot of money in the unlikely event that you need to cancel your trip!  For more information see our terms and conditions.

 

  • Q: Are the departures of your scheduled tours guaranteed and can I choose another departure date?
  • A: Yes, our scheduled tour departures are guaranteed and will not be cancelled due to a minimum not reached. So, there could be the odd time where you may be the only person/s on tour with the vehicle and guide all to yourself – just like a private tour! To change a departure date, you will have to change it to a private tour which will increase the price by around 30%, but give you the freedom to make changes to the itinerary, etc. A group of four guests and more may request different departures at the published rate of the tour/s.

 

  • Q: What is the best way to convert my money to the local currency, should I convert, if so, can I convert during the tour?
  • A: Unlike most of Africa, shops and restaurants in South Africa only accept the local currency (it is illegal – and is enforced –  to trade in any foreign currency), called the South African Rand (ZAR or R). The best place to convert your local currency to Rand is at Bureau de Change outlets or at the major airports. Hotels also change money, but at a premium. Credit cards are widely accepted and Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s) are well distributed. When cashing money from your credit card at a bank, please have you passport available for possible inspection.

 

  • Q: What shopping possibilities are there?
  • A: South Africa is a shopping haven and in the bigger cosmopolitan areas, huge shopping centres / complexes / malls are distributed all over. There are also shops selling local gold and diamond jewellery at competitive rates. Locally made arts and crafts are widely available. Your guide can assist you with your particular needs.

 

  • Q: What kind of insurance should I take?
  • A: We strongly recommend that you insure yourself against  cancellations and get a personal medical insurance, preferably one that has a working relationship with South African medical insurances.  Check with us for details when you book your trip and click here for more information on medical insurance.

 

  • Q: Do I have access to detailed maps of the distances we cover?
  • A: We do not supply detailed maps as standard documents, but you can buy these at any reputable map supplier. On request and at a small fee we can include maps in your document pack. Detailed distances are supplied as part of your itinerary if requested or click here for maps.

 

  • Q: Do I need immunisation and do I take any other medical precautions?
  • A:  No inoculations are required except that people arriving here from a Yellow Fever Zone must have a valid international yellow fever inoculation certificate. It is strongly advised that you take anti-malaria precautions if you are entering a malaria zone. Check with us when you enquire about your trip. Also click here for more information or here for more info about insurance.

 

  • Q: How will my social needs be met (e.g. what happens in the evenings)?
  • A: The cities offer every need you may have ranging from a large selection of night clubs, raves, action bars, live shows, etc. In the wildlife areas, you’ll have to be content to listening to the magical night sounds of the bush and to watch more stars than you will ever see!  Regarding religion, South Africa cater for all faiths and places of worship are readily available.

 

  • Q: If I have a special interest, will it be met?
  • A: Yes, just mention your needs when you request your booking and it will be met.  Our scheduled tours were designed by specialists and the itineraries are regularly tweaked to accommodate the latest logistical changes, our regular inspections as well as suggestions from our guests over the years.  We are also able to design tailor-made itineraries on a private basis to fit your every need.

 

  • Q: Is it safe to self-drive and what assistance is available.
  • A: Self-drive is safe although it must be understood that it may be a little intimidating at first when faced with foreign looking signs, driving on the left side of the road and not having traffic congestion on intercity freeways! We are not saved from car-jackings and smash and grab crimes although with vigilance this problem is not encountered. Click here for more detailed information on safety. We offer self-drive packages, merely give us an idea of your needs, interests, duration and budget for us to design and suggest such an itinerary with all the information you would need.

 

  • Q: What are the conditions of the roads and the quality of the drivers?
  • A: The road conditions are described as good to excellent with regards to main arteries, highways and national roads. As you go further into the countryside, the roads become smaller and narrower, however mostly still in good condition. Deep into the rural areas you may end up on un-surfaced potholed pathways. The quality of the drivers is generally good although we also have our share of ‘cowboys’ and road hogs. Vigilance on the road is always good advice.

Please contact me personally at nic@southerncircle.com if you have anything to add here.

Thank you kindly for your assistance.

Nic de Klerk