- When you consider visiting South Africa, and perhaps on a self-drive holiday, firstly decide whether this is the option for you.
- Secondly, familiarise yourself with the country and identify areas/places you want to visit. Acquire literature on the area.
Consider the time available for your self-drive holiday and your budget. At this point it may be advisable to make contact with a reputable operator either directly or through your local agency. Look at what they offer, peruse the itineraries of their scheduled tours. This always serves as a good example when designing your own itinerary. You will be able to identify the classical routes from which you can expand your tour. However, it is the rule of thumb to always allow at least thirty to fifty percent more time overall then the scheduled itinerary when driving yourself; stay two nights rather than one at certain key places, etc.
Now supply the operator with the following information for your self-drive holiday; how many in your party, your planned arrival date, your itinerary (whether it is a draft or a vague idea), type of accommodation and car, the duration of your holiday and any special interests you may have or areas you want to visit. They will use this information to design and return to you with a proposed itinerary and/or complete package.
It is important at this time to peruse the proposed package carefully and answer any questions they may have asked to ensure that you will ultimately have the holiday you envisaged for yourself.
We highly recommend that you arrange insurance for those unlikely, but also unplanned medical emergencies and the event of a possible last minute cancellation.
The northern and northeastern area, including most of the game reserves in South Africa, are low to medium risk malaria areas therefore an anti-malaria drug is highly recommended.
Request from the operator any information you may need, additional literature on the area, road signs, local customs, banking and shopping hours, etc
Once you are satisfied with the proposed itinerary, package, price and information, confirm the booking.
Ascertain whether you need visas. If you are going to travel to our neighbouring countries, advise the operator, as the car hire companies need to be advised. If you require a visa to enter a country, remember that a visa is normally only valid for one entry and if you are going to enter the country more than once, ask for a ‘multiple entry’ visa.
Also plan your arrival at the border posts carefully as they have different operating times and wasting time at a closed border post can be extremely infuriating.
Always observe payment deadlines and automatic cancellation in the event of non-payment.