Frequently Asked Questions

Group Tour FAQs

Can anyone join the trip?


Our group tours are for people who want a fairly well paced holiday with just enough adventure to make it interesting. We don't have an upper age limit, but do insist you can climb into a safari vehicle unassisted and can fully participate in the included activities. If you're not sure whether it is right for you - just give us a call and we will give you an honest opinion. We welcome anyone who is travelling solo, in a couple, or with friends – your love for travel is what makes a difference to us, not your marital status! Most of our tours have a lower age limit of at least 12, some 16, some 21, so you're unlikely to be travelling with small children. If you'd rather go adult only, just check with us as to who else is booked on and if there's quite a few spaces and you are worried, we suggest avoiding the school holidays. There's always a way to get your perfect trip, so if we can't 100% guarantee it will fit your ideals, we can convert any itinerary to a private holiday for almost the same cost so you get an exclusive tour with all the rules thrown out of the window – it is entirely up to you who comes and who doesn't!




How many people will I be travelling with?


We only specialise in small group travel, so we like to keep the group size fairly small to allow for a better group dynamic. Most tours only have a maximum of 7 people, with a few allowing up to 12 but no more. This also allows us to use some of the smaller boutique lodges and hotels, and helps you (and us) remember everyone’s names! Some (but not all) of our trips depart with a minimum of 2 people, so you'll know almost instantly if your departure is guaranteed, in fact they are so popular with limited spaces you may end up booking the last spots!




Who will be my tour leader and what will they do?


All of our tours are led by qualified and highly experienced guides who will have unwavering passion and excitement for every trip! Any problems that crop up (ever heard of T-I-A ~ This Is Africa ~ you might hear it whenever something goes not quite to plan!) they will sort out for you, and any questions or worries you have that is exactly what they're there for. Our main aim is to take the pain out of the organisation side of the trip so you can just turn up and enjoy, and let yourself be introduced you to these places in an undaunting, fun and safe way. Our founder Sam Sellers (aka Safari Sam) leads our exclusive Taster tours and having travelled most of South and Eastern Africa over the last 25+ years, we hope you will be caught up in her love of all things African, and her excitement to show what she deems "the best place on Earth" to anyone who hasn't been.




Do you use local guides at all?


Absolutely! We want to use the best people to show you the sights and promote tourism within each place we visit, so we engage with tried and tested tour guides and activity providers to bring you the best experience we can. All of our handpicked tours use extremely well trained guides and they love to share their local experiences and knowlegde with you. Read more about our guides here.




How much is fully organised versus “me” time?


Honestly, it really depends on which trip you book. If you're on a fully immersive mobile safari, you'll have some chill time between activities but you can't use this to wander off and explore alone. If you're on a multi-stop tour that involves some towns and cities, you'll have some free time to do the optional things you want to do that aren't included.

If you love the look of the itinerary but want more "me" time, lets customise it and make it private so that you get exactly the trip you want.




Do I have to pay more if I am on my own?


Sometime - yes. We have negotiated some great rates with our partners and each tour specifies exactly if there is or isn't a supplement. If there is a trip you're desperate to go on but can't quite stretch to the single supplement, please get in touch and we'll see if there is anything we can do to minimise it. You never know until you ask is our motto!

Our exclusive Taster tour prices are calculated on a per person sharing basis, so we do not charge you extra if you are travelling solo. You will be paired up to share a room with someone of the same sex who we have no doubt you will become great friends with, although there is always a choice to have your own room at a supplement if you prefer.




What is the standard of accommodation on your tours?


We always aim to use 4*-5* hotels and lodges as our exclusive Taster tours are upmarket and provide stylish comfort that is also great value for money. In the event that we stay at a tented safari camp, this will also be considered to be of luxury standard. Check out some of our top picks here, which you can add into any private trip.

For our handpicked group tours, we only select itineraries that have mid-range to luxury lodgings. You might find some of these have an official rating of 3*, but we know from experience that they fit the bill and in all honesty the rating system in Africa can be a bit misleading..!




What modes of transport do you use on your tours?


On most of our tours you'll find the following:

  • Road transfers in well maintained mini-buses, 4x4's or cars

  • Internal flights where these are reasonably priced, save many hours of driving, and we don't think you're missing anything by not doing the drive

  • Bush flights to get us across large distances quickly

  • Open 4x4 game-vehicles

  • Game vehicles with pop-up roofs (the 4x4 kind)

  • Mokoros (dug out canoes)

  • Your own feet (if on a mobile walking safari!)




Do I need to bring anything special?


We'll give you a packing list for the things we think you should bring on each tour.

Africa is very relaxed in general so you'll mostly need comfy clothing and layers, but we love a good head torch and of course, a good set of pocket binoculars.




Can I book my international flights through you?


Yes you can! Your internal tour flights (where applicable) are usually already included, but if you want to package in your international flights we can also quote you for these and protect your entire trip under ATOL. It's one of the reasons people choose to book through us other than our sunny disposition and honest opinions!




Can I stay longer or arrive earlier?


Yes of course! We can help to arrange hotel accommodation and change your transfers for you subject to availability. We can combine trips, add on a beach extension, or arrange a self-drive exploration very easily and best of all it can be packaged in with the tour to ensure the whole thing is ATOL protected.




Who operates the tours on your website?


We handpick the tours on offer from our partners on the ground and you can see who operates each one on the dedicated tour page. Most of our partners do not work directly with the public and they are all owned and operated in Africa, which is why we have teamed up with them to bring it to the UK market. We price match and have regular offers if you come and see us at any travel show that we are exhibiting at, and the benefit of booking through us is that you get full ATOL protection. You should never pay more than if you book direct, but you might pay less and you'll get quite a lot of extras thrown in!





Health & Visa FAQs

Do I need any special vaccinations or medications?


We can help to advise here but it would be much better coming from a doctor who has all the necessary up to date information. At the time of writing there are no special vaccinations for our trips such as yellow fever required unless coming from an infected area, however you will need to ensure your standard vaccinations are up to date and discuss the options for protecting yourself against malaria if travelling to Victoria Falls (high risk) or the Greater Kruger (low risk).




Do I need any Visas?


As our guests are from all over the world, you will need to investigate your own visa requirements for any of the countries on our trips. If you are travelling to Zimbabwe the majority of people can get a UNIVISA upon entry which also allows you day entry into Botswana and Zambia and we would advise to get this if you can. If travelling to Kenya or Tanzania, you may find it easier to get an eVisa before you travel. You will likely also need 2 blank pages and 6 months left on your passport too.




Do I need to get travel insurance?


We would always recommend purchasing an appropriate travel insurance policy as soon as you have booked your trip. Have a think about whether you want to do any exciting (death defying) activities such as bungee jumping as these will likely not be covered and you might want to add them on. You may also want to enquire about restrictions on acts of god or political unrest so that you are fully aware of what is and isn’t covered as in the current world climate, it is good to be covered for these extra things.




I have some strict dietary requirements - what should I do?


Everywhere we stay on our group tours should able to cater for any special dietary requirements you may have and trust us when we say this has been thoroughly tested! Allergic to nuts/mushrooms/tomatos….no problem! Vegetarian…easy peasy although South Africa in particular does have some of the best meat cuts we have ever tasted so you might want to change your mind! Any special requests should be noted on the pre-travel survey so that we can ensure we get this right for you. If you're on one of our tailor-made private trips, just let us know what your requirements are and we'll let your hotels know in advance, as well as recommend any suitable restaurants to dine at whilst you're away. The main thing is not to worry - people are often surprised by how much care and attention people put into making sure you have a great dining experience and comment on how great the food is in Africa.




Can I drink the tap water?


This is pretty dependant on each country and we would always advise to follow the current hotel policies. Bottled water will be available to buy if not and we will advise at each place we visit what the deal is. If you have a sensitive stomach and are worried about getting sick, avoid the tap water just in case!




Should I be worried about safety?


Almost every destination in the world has some parts which are dangerous and so we would never outright say no to this. We have personally never experienced anything remotely dangerous in the 25+ years we have been travelling to these countries, but we would always suggest being cautious. We will advise of any areas not to visit at all and not to walk around alone at night. We recommend that our guests employ the common sense rule in not being too flashy with expensive clothing, jewellery, electronics and not “flashing the cash” everywhere you go. Keep your belongings close to you, use the hotel safe where provided and listen to your own gut feel about situations as you would at home.





Money FAQs

What is your deposit and cancellation policy?


A 20% non-refundable deposit is required to secure your place on one of our group tours. If you need to change your plans, you can transfer your deposit onto another trip as long as it is 60 days or more from the start of your trip. Full payment is then required 60 days before the tour start date. For all tailor-made trips, we require a 30% non-refundable deposit as a total for all passengers. The remaining 70% is due 60 days before the start date of your trip. If you need to cancel your trip the following cancellation fees apply: Up to 60 days before departure: Deposit only
30-59 days: 75% of tour cost
Less than 30 days: 100% of tour cost International flights or those not included in the small group tour must be paid for 100% at the time of booking.




How will you protect my money?


Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

If you book a non-flight package with us, your trip that you have booked with us is still 100% financially protected at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with ''The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018'' all passengers booking with Take Me to Africa Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Take Me to Africa Ltd.

This insurance has been arranged by The Protected Trust Services and you can find out more about their consumer protection here:

https://www.protectedtrustservices.com/services/consumer-protection/




What are the different ways I can pay?


We have partnered with Stripe to allow you to pay by a variety of credit and debit cards in a safe and secure method. Once you have completed a booking form, we will send you an invoice with a link to pay via Stripe. You can also pay by bank transfer, details of which will be on your invoice, and whilst we do not impose any charges for this payment method, your bank may decide to charge you for any transfers, and these must be covered by you.




How should I bring my spending money?


Travellers cheques are not recommended but if you don’t wish to bring too much cash, you can obtain a multi-currency cash passport which will allow you to pre-load the currencies you will likely need such as US$ and ZAR and use it like a debit card whilst you are travelling. Most of these do not charge you to use them abroad, even when withdrawing from and ATM, but do check with your provider. We LOVE Revolut for its low fees, great app, and ease of use. For certain countries like Zimbabwe we would recommend bringing low denominations of US$ cash ensuring you have clean, untorn bills as it can sometimes be difficult to withdraw from the ATMs. The hotels do accept credit cards as do the activity suppliers if you don’t want to carry too much. We will always let you know in advance what our recommendations are.




Tips Tips Tips


That awkward do I don’t I question….yes we hate it to. Here is what we have deemed to be fair for excellent service but please remember this is not compulsory. You may want to bring some small envelopes to make it easier to tip any guides.

  • Restaurants – Zimbabwe – round the bill up, South Africa add 10%
  • Porters – Zimbabwe a minimum of US$1, South Africa 5-10ZAR
  • Game Drive Guides and Trackers – Botswana US$20 each per day Zimbabwe US$5-10 each, South Africa 50-100ZAR each – note that the general rule is to tip the tracker half of what you tip the guide but this is entirely your call.
  • Day Trip Guides – Zimbabwe US$5 for a half day tour or US$10 for a full day, South Africa 20-50ZAR
  • Tour Leader - this is certainly not compulsory as your great big smiles are enough of a thank you, but if you do want to give a tip, we suggest $50 per person in total.





Still have questions? Get in touch and let us help!

CONTACT US

 

Chandos Business Centre

87 Warwick Street

Leamington Spa

Warwickshire CV32 4RJ

Tel. 0203 955 8242

enquiries@takemetoafrica.co.uk

Sign up to our mailing list

Get social

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

 

© Take Me To Africa 2018. All Rights Reserved. Designed by