13 Day Namibia, Naturally

From

$4049

Land Only

$5619*

Air & Land

13 Day Namibia, Naturally

From

$4049

Land Only

$5619*

Air & Land



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Book By Dec 14, 2023 & Save!

2024 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $700
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
  Book By
Dec 14
Book After
Dec 14
Book By
Dec 14
Book After
Dec 14
$4049 $4549 $5619* $6119*
$4199 $4699 $5739* $6239*
$4199 $4699 $5959* $6459*
$4399 $4899 $6159* $6659*
$4399 $4899 $6149* $6649*
$4399 $4899 $6199* $6699*
$4949 $5449 $6869* $7369*
$4949 $5449 $6709* $7209*
$4699 $5199 $6449* $6949*
$4499 $4999 $5999* $6499*
$4349 $4849 $5849* $6349*
$4349 $4849 $5849* $6349*
$4349 $4849 $6699* $7199*
 
2025 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $700
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
  Book By
Dec 14
Book After
Dec 14
Book By
Dec 14
Book After
Dec 14
$4349 $4849 $5849* $6349*
$4349 $4849 $5799* $6299*

Not Included:
Optional tours and gratuities.


Additional Information:
Passengers should select international flights from Johannesburg that depart no earlier than 7 PM on Day 13. The flight from Windhoek arrives to Johannesburg at approximately 4 PM. Passengers with late evening flights will have a long layover in Johannesburg airport.


Accommodation Details:
Triple rooms are not available for this package.


Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day. Expect to spend a fair amount of time driving over gravel roads that are very rough and bumpy, some days for an extended period of time. A long drought has led to very dusty conditions, and face masks are recommended for long drive days. There are many early wake-ups, and long bus rides that are necessary to cover the territory. Game and dune drives will be performed in small 4x4 vehicles that cannot be air-conditioned. These vehicles have high ground clearance and require agility to embark and disembark. Only "bush toilets" are available during game drives. During this tour, you may come into proximity of wild animals whose actions can be unpredictable. Certain inherent risks are involved which should be considered at your own discretion. Electricity for some properties is provided by generator and may not be available 24 hours a day. Accommodations may require walking outside or traversing stairs between public areas and rooms. Visitors to Namibia are encouraged to consult with their healthcare providers regarding malaria prophylaxis. We suggest you check with your healthcare provider before signing up for this tour. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Accommodation Details





Room 1


  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Additional Nights

Flight Details




Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Round trip flights New York-Johannesburg, Johannesburg-New York
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-flights: Johannesburg-Windhoek & Windhoek-Johannesburg
  • 11 nights accommodations
    • 1 night Johannesburg
    • 2 nights Sossusvlei
    • 2 nights Swakopmund
    • 2 nights Damaraland
    • 2 nights Etosha National Park (West)
    • 1 night Etosha National Park (East)
    • 1 night Windhoek
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included
  • Desert excursions and game drives in 4X4 vehicles
  • 26 meals: 11 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of local guide in Johannesburg (Day 2)
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager (Day 3-13)
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  • National Park Fees

 

Tour Highlights

Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • Your Sossusvlei adventure is marked by towering dunes, surreal landscapes and dazzling colors
  • Explore the Sesriem Canyon, carved into the rock by the mighty Tsauchab River
  • Ride in a 4x4 through desert dunes in a barren landscape populated by geckos and chameleons
  • Zoom through the "singing" dunes traveling from the eastern side through to the Atlantic on the west
  • A scenic drive takes you to Damaraland, one of the most dramatic and picturesque areas in Namibia
  • Discover the world-famous rock engravings at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein
  • Visit a Himba tribe dwelling and learn first-hand about their history, culture and unique traditions
  • Spend three days exploring Etosha National Park, one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in Africa
  • Visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund, dedicated to saving the cheetah and its ecosystem

Is This Trip Right for You?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day. Expect to spend a fair amount of time driving over gravel roads that are very rough and bumpy, some days for an extended period of time. A long drought has led to very dusty conditions, and face masks are recommended for long drive days. There are many early wake-ups, and long bus rides that are necessary to cover the territory. Game and dune drives will be performed in small 4x4 vehicles that cannot be air-conditioned. These vehicles have high ground clearance and require agility to embark and disembark. Only "bush toilets" are available during game drives. During this tour, you may come into proximity of wild animals whose actions can be unpredictable. Certain inherent risks are involved which should be considered at your own discretion. Electricity for some properties is provided by generator and may not be available 24 hours a day. Accommodations may require walking outside or traversing stairs between public areas and rooms. Visitors to Namibia are encouraged to consult with their healthcare providers regarding malaria prophylaxis. We suggest you check with your healthcare provider before signing up for this tour. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

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{{fromName}} wanted to share this vacation with you! Message: {{message}} Package Url : https://www.gate1travel.com/small-groups/small-group/2024/small-groups-africa-13dna24.aspx This message was sent by {{fromEmail}} at Oct 02, 2023 at 11:05 PM

DAY 1, Saturday - Depart for South Africa
Depart for South Africa

DAY 2, Sunday - Arrive in Johannesburg
Arrive in Johannesburg, known as "Gauteng - the City of Gold." Today, board a shuttle transfer to your hotel
Overnight: Johannesburg

DAY 3, Monday - Windhoek and Sossusvlei in Namibia
A morning flight takes you to Windhoek in Namibia, a country that possesses some of the most stunning and untamed scenery on the planet with spectacular species of wildlife. Upon arrival, meet your Tour Manager and travel to the Namib Desert.* After a picnic lunch en route, drive to Neuras Wine Estate. Tour the vineyards and learn about wine production, followed by tasting. Later, continue south to Sossusvlei, marked by towering red sand dunes, surreal landscapes, and an incredible splash of dazzling colors. Arrive at your lodge and attend an orientation meeting with your Tour manager, followed by dinner
*Today's route from Windhoek to the Namib Desert will cover a considerable distance.
Overnight: Sossusvlei
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Tuesday - Sossusvlei Dunes, Sesriem Canyon
Rise before dawn to explore the Sossusvlei area, a salt and clay pan situated in Namib-Naukluft National Park. Perhaps climb to the upper ridge of Big Daddy dune,* surrounded by dreamlike scenery and extraordinary panoramas. Here, admire the majestic dunes, and see unique plants and wildlife that survive in the harsh terrain. Visit Sesriem Canyon, a narrow 100-foot deep gorge carved into the rock by the Tsauchab River, before returning to the lodge. Tonight, savor a special African barbecue in the bush under the stars
*Climbing the Big Daddy dune can be challenging.
Overnight: Sossusvlei
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5, Wednesday - Swakopmund
Today, drive via the Kuiseb Canyon toward Swakopmund,* a resort town, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert. A packed lunch will be provided en route before stopping in Walvis Bay. Continue to Swakopmund, known as the adventure sports capital of Namibia. Enjoy the friendly atmosphere, lovely seaside promenades, colonial-era architecture, and sandy beaches. Tonight, dinner is at a restaurant in Swakopmund
*Today's route from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund will cover a considerable distance.
Overnight: Swakopmund
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Thursday - The Living Desert
This morning, travel in a 4x4 through dry desert dunes in a barren landscape populated by geckos, chameleons, sand diving lizards, and scorpions. Your knowledgeable guides enlighten you about the plant life and minerals, as you travel from the scenic eastern side through to the Atlantic Coast on the west. Spend the afternoon at leisure in Swakopmund, or join the optional Mondesa Township Tour for a glimpse into everyday life in a typical Namibian township. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant
Optional: Half Day Mondesa Township Tour
Overnight: Swakopmund
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Friday - The Himba Tribe, Damaraland
After a leisurely morning in Swakopmund, drive to Damaraland.* Along the way, visit a Himba tribe dwelling; these semi-nomadic pastoralists live in homes built of palms and mud in scattered settlements throughout the region. Learn first-hand about their history, proud culture and unique traditions. The Himbas are colorfully adorned with shells and jewelry made of iron and copper and clothes cut from goatskin, with ochre glazed skin to protect them from the harsh desert climate. Arrive at your lodge in the afternoon for time at leisure, or join the optional Desert Elephant Safari. Embark on a safari to see Namib desert elephants in the wild. Conclude the safari with a drink. This evening, dinner is at the lodge
*Today's route from Swakopmund to Damaraland will cover a considerable distance.
Optional: Desert Elephant Safari
Overnight: Damaraland
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8, Saturday - Twyfelfontein Excursion
This morning, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein. These remarkable petroglyphs of wild animals including rhinos, elephants, giraffes, and zebras were created over 2,000 years ago by ancient hunter-gathers. After lunch at the lodge, visit the Damara Living Museum to gain insight into one of the oldest traditional nations in Namibia. Tonight, dinner is at the lodge
Overnight: Damaraland
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Sunday - Petrified Forest, Etosha National Park
Drive to Etosha National Park* in the vast arid space of Northern Namibia. One of the most important reserves and wildlife sanctuaries in Africa, the park is centered on the white salt Etosha Pan that dominates the landscape. En route, visit Petrified Forest, a unique site consisting of large fossilized tree trunks that are about 300 million years old. Arrive at your lodge on the outskirts of the park in time for lunch. In the afternoon embark on an open vehicle game drive. Observe the perennial springs and waterholes within the park that allow the predominant desert environment to support an incredible diversity of wildlife
*Today's route from Damaraland to Etosha National Park will cover a considerable distance.
Overnight: Etosha National Park (West)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10, Monday - Western Etosha National Park
Rise early this morning, and set out to explore the many waterholes along the enormous saltpan. More than 114 species of mammals survive in Etosha, including the rare black faced impala, along with over 340 species of birds. The game reserve is also home to ostrich, the world's largest bird, and the kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird on the planet. On the full day game drive, you'll look for cheetah on the vast open plains, lions lazing under the hot sun, and plenty of springbok and striking gemsbok. Relax and enjoy dinner at the lodge
Overnight: Etosha National Park (West)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11, Tuesday - Eastern Etosha National Park
Today, move to the Eastern side of the National Park. Enjoy game viewing en route where you may have a chance to look for endemic birds like the bare cheeked babbler and catch glimpses of elephants splashing at the water's edge. The areas with thicker vegetation are home to elephant, some of the largest in Africa the endangered black and white rhino and even leopard. Lions are camouflaged in the pale-golden color of the grasslands, while giraffes rise high above most of the dry vegetation. After stopping at a rest camp for lunch (on your own) continue to your lodge, arriving in the late afternoon
Overnight: Etosha National Park (East)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Wednesday - Cheetah Conservation Fund, Windhoek
Today, continue to Ojiwarongo, for a specially arranged visit with staff at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, dedicated to save the cheetah and its ecosystem. Begin at the Education Center, providing information about the cheetah: its history, physiology, importance within the ecosystem and the efforts made by the foundation to ensure the species survival. Afterward, continue to Windhoek,* the capital of Namibia. Tonight, bid a fond farewell to your Tour Manager during dinner and share memories of your adventure in Namibia
*Today's route from Etosha National Park to Windhoek will cover a considerable distance.
Overnight: Windhoek
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Thursday - Depart Namibia
After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Windhoek for your flight to Johannesburg, where you will connect to your departure flight. Please select flights that depart no earlier than 7 PM
Meals: Breakfast

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Discovery Tours itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
  • Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
  • Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
  • Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
  • Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
  • The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Half Day Mondesa Township Tour

This afternoon, drive to Mondesa Township, a suburb of Swakopmund, and learn about the history of the township from your local guide. Mondesa was established in the early 1950s to provide housing for blacks working in Swakopmund. During your visit, get a glimpse into everyday life in a typical Namibian township. You will have a chance to meet with some of the residents, who will introduce you to their customs and traditions. Stroll along the streets to view typical homes, small craft markets and schools. At the conclusion of your visit, return back to Swakopmund.

Approximate tour duration is 2.5 hours.

Day #6 01 Jan 2024 - 30 Apr 2025 $50.00
Half Day Mondesa Township Tour Thumbnail
Desert Elephant Safari

Embark on a safari to see Namib desert elephants in the wild, a once in a lifetime opportunity. These hardy elephants are smaller than standard African elephants, and have evolved to make the most of their extreme environment, with larger ears to aid their cooling and broader feet that help them dig for precious water in soft riverbeds. Your guide will use fine tracking skills as well as information from the indigenous Damara people to bring you to safe watching distance of these wondrous creatures. Unlike the large herds of the savanna, desert elephants travel in small groups due to scarcity of resources, so it may take some time to find a group to observe. Afterwards, enjoy a refreshing drink in the bush before returning to your lodge.

During this tour, you may come into proximity of wild animals whose actions can be unpredictable. Certain inherent risks are involved which should be considered at your own discretion. Sightings of the animals cannot be guaranteed.

Approximate tour duration is 3.5 hours.

Day #7 01 Jan 2024 - 30 Apr 2025 $55.00
Desert Elephant Safari Thumbnail

Know Before You Go
Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
Getting Ready to Go
Passports and Visas
It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.

Namibia
Visas required for Namibia
SOUTH AFRICA - Passengers are required to have at least two, entirely blank (unstamped) visa pages (i.e. one side of such a page not front and back thereof) in their passport, each time entry is sought into South Africa, including re-entry from eSwatini. Therefore passengers continuing on to Zimbabwe and/or Botswana are required to have four blank visa pages. These pages are in addition to the endorsement/amendment pages at the back of the passport. South African government regulations prohibit airlines from boarding passengers without the required blank visa page. For more information, please visit the South African consulate website http://www.southafrica-newyork.net/homeaffairs/tourist_visa.htm or http://www.southafrica-newyork.net/homeaffairs/

Children Under 18 Traveling to South Africa - The South African Department of Home Affairs no longer requires additional documentation for visitors under the age of 18 as of Nov 2019. Passengers traveling with children under 18 to South Africa will simply require a valid passport for entry. For more information please visit: http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/621-advisory-new-requirements-for-children-travelling-through-south-african-ports-of-entry-effective-1-june-2015.

Namibia - Visa required however it may be obtained at the port of entry at no charge. Travelers are strongly encouraged to have a minimum of 4 or more unstamped visa pages in their passport prior to commencing travel (amendment and endorsement pages cannot be used to fulfill this requirement).

Trip Preparation
A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.

Travel Protection
Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.

Mobile Phones
Mobile networks differ from country to country. We recommend you check with your provider to see if your wireless plan will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. To avoid possible roaming charges, you may want to consider purchasing an international plan. With most major phone companies, for a modest fee, you will be able to use your domestic plan's talk, text, and data allowances just like you do at home. If you can access the internet while you travel, you can also take advantage of services such as WhatsApp or Skype.

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally).

Example:
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555


WiFi Access
WiFi is available in most airports, hotels, and cruise lines, as well as on some flights, trains, and buses. There may be a fee for access and service quality and speed may vary greatly especially while on moving vehicles. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable, and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries.

Staying Healthy While Traveling
All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

South Africa & eSwatini - While the majority of South Africa is malaria-free, visitors to Kruger National Park and the Limpopo Province are encouraged to consult their health care providers regarding malaria prophylaxis. Malaria is endemic to the Kruger National Park Area. The Waterberg region of the Limpopo Province is considered a non-endemic area however as of March 2017, the CDC has received official reports of possible locally transmitted cases of malaria in this region and further investigation and surveillance is taking place. Visitors should use mosquito repellent and wear long pants, closed shoes, and a lightweight long sleeve shirt when in this area. Additionally, you may encounter mosquitoes in other areas, both rural and urban, especially during wet seasons. Please consult your physician before traveling to South Africa.

Passengers arriving in South Africa after visiting or connecting 12 hours or more in designated yellow fever countries must carry proof of yellow fever vaccination. Designated yellow fever countries include but are not limited to Kenya, Senegal, & Ghana and it is recommended to check with the South African consulate prior to travel for the complete list of countries.

This tour visits areas of high elevations on the Panorama Route (5,870 feet) and in eSwatini (6,110 feet), and may cause temporary altitude discomfort for some travelers. Those affected should avoid over-exertion, drink extra water, and eat lightly.

Namibia - Malaria is prevalent in the north of the country. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended for visitors to Etosha National Park, but it is not required in Windhoek.

There is no risk of yellow fever in Namibia. The Namibian government requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with a risk of yellow fever.

The CDC recommends vaccination against Hepatitis A and Typhoid for most travelers.

Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

Climate & Clothing
South Africa & eSwatini - Spring and Autumn: 55-70°F, Summer: 60-80°F, Winter: 45-65°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer, and an all-weather jacket. Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses are also recommended. On game reserves, visitors should wear neutral colors such as brown, khaki, and beige for their own comfort.

South Africa Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/africa/#south-africa-weather

Namibia - Namibia's climate is generally very dry. Namibia's geography is mainly arid desert. Inland, rain falls in the summer (October to April). January and February are hot, but nights are usually cool.

Bring comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer, and an all-weather jacket. Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses are also recommended. On game reserves, visitors should wear neutral colors such as brown, khaki, and beige.

About Drones
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones.

Book & Film Recommendations
Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations.

SOUTH AFRICA: Books
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Zulu by Caryl Ferey
Mafeking Road by Herman Charles Bosman
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
Playing the Enemy by John Carlin
Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog

NAMIBIA: Books
This is Namibia by Gerald Cubitt & Peter Joyce
Skeleton Coast by Ami Schoeman
Sands of Silence: On Safari in Namibia by Peter Hathaway Capstick
The Sheltering Desert by Henno Martin

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

Luggage & Packing
Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

Namibia -Southern Africa - Flights within South Africa and between South Africa and Namibia have a weight restriction for luggage of 50 lbs. per piece of luggage with a limit of one piece of checked luggage per person. This differs from international flight luggage limits and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

What to do if You Need Assistance

Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. Be wary of airport scammers who offer unwanted assistance. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative.

What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed
Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services.

Departure Procedures
If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Transfers
Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date.

The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.

About Your Accommodations
Hotels
Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center.

On Safari - Electricity for some camps and lodges is provided by generator and may not be available 24 hours a day. Passengers traveling with CPAP machines must notify Gate 1 Travel in advance so accommodations can be made to run these machines through the night.

Hotel Check-in/ Check-out
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later.

At Your Destination
Eco & Sustainable Tourism
We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.

Gratuities
Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience.

Suggested Tipping: Southern Africa & eSwatini

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $12 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage): US $3 per person per day, US $2 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $4 per person per day of sightseeing, US $2 per half day
Game Drive Ranger: US $5 per person per day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included

South Africa & eSwatini - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists, as well as on safaris.

Namibia - A general guideline for tipping in restaurants is 10%.

About Your Sightseeing
To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. On river cruises, color-coded group splits may be used for shoreside included and Optional tours. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list.

Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)
Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents.

Purchasing Tours Locally
On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional

Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses

Currency
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

South Africa & eSwatini - The Rand is the currency of South Africa. The Lilangeni is the currency of eSwatini however the South African Rand is widely accepted. When exchanging currency in a bank, a passport must be presented to complete the transaction.

Namibia - The Namibian Dollar is the currency of Namibia. The South African Rand is also accepted.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.
While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The “chip-and-PIN” cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

Shopping
Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities.

We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.

While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.

U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.

South Africa & eSwatini - Local specialties include handcrafts such as basketware, beadwork, embroidery and sculptures, as well as exceptional gold, platinum, and diamond jewelry. Boutiques, malls, markets, and roadside stands abound.

Namibia - Namibia offers woodcarvings, handcrafted handbags, and woven baskets.

Your Safety is Very Important
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit.

It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash
  • While in destination, you may encounter local wildlife. Please refrain from touching any animal as they may carry diseases or harm you.

If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.

On Safari - While on safari, it is very important that you follow all directions provided by your guide in order to ensure the safety of the group. Prior to the first safari, your driver/guide will review "safari etiquette" addressing, amongst other issues, off-road driving and hazards, and interaction with animals. Wildlife listed in the itinerary are based upon optimal conditions conditions and sightings cannot be guaranteed, including the "Big 5." While on tour you will be reminded by your guide of local safety and ecologic procedures to ensure your safety and the protection of the wildlife. Normal precautions include remaining in close proximity to your driver/guide and vehicle, avoiding tall grass and keeping noise to a minimum to not attract extra attention. Your driver/guide will advise you not to turn over rocks or dead wood and to stay clear of ground holes and caves, where scorpions, snakes and other potentially dangerous animal life may be hidden. Refrain from littering, feeding any animals or leaving food waste behind in the parks as this can upset their natural diets and lead to a dependence upon people. In addition, please do not purchase, collect, or remove any animal products, rocks, seeds, plants, or nests from the wild.

Roadways to the game viewing sites are for the most part unpaved and will therefore be rough and dusty. Gate 1 safari vehicles are fitted with large roof hatches or open sides to allow for easy viewing of wildlife from all angles. Safari vehicles cannot be air-conditioned and you will be provided bottled water while travelling. Vehicles are equipped with seatbelts which must be worn on public roads. While safari vehicles typically move slowly, drivers warn passengers of bumps or potholes and many passengers may choose not to wear a seatbelt, it is still strongly recommended to do so. Passengers should always remain seated when the vehicle is in motion. Inside the National Parks and reserves there are designated picnic sites. Due to frequent use wildlife tends to avoid these areas with the exception of primates, reptiles, birds and small mammals. However, since picnic sites are open it is possible that a larger animal, such as an elephant, may wander through. Outside of the parks, it may be necessary to make more frequent shopping stops as these stores provide the only acceptable facilities while touring due to the lack of public rest stops.

Namibia - Please be aware that there are issues with theft against tourists in public places, even in busy locations in broad daylight. Always keeps valuables in a safe place and avoid walking alone. Passengers should be especially alert if traveling after dark.

We recommend that taxis be reserved via the hotel concierge desk, and that you do not ride alone when possible. When not possible, we recommend that a hotel, restaurant, or shop call a taxi; instruct the driver not to pick up other passengers. When using ATM machines, be on the lookout for anyone watching or following you. In the unlikely event that you should fall victim to a robbery, do not resist, the majority of injuries from robberies occur as a result of resistance. Do not hitchhike and do not accept rides from strangers. As in most parts of the world, be aware of your surroundings and keep to well-lit and populated areas.

Tourist Street Scams
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Local Emergency Phone Numbers
South Africa
  • Ambulance/Fire: 10177
  • Police: 10111
  • General Emergency in Cape Town: 107

Namibia
  • Police: 10111

Languages
South Africa - Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, and English are among the local languages.

Namibia - The official language is English; Afrikaans and German are widely used. There are numerous local languages.

Electricity
Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.

South Africa - The voltage used is 220 volts. The national electric company of South Africa has imposed planned power outages, locally referred to as "load shedding," to cope with overdemand on the electrical grid. Hotels in major cities are equipped with back-up generators so there are no interruptions to normal services, however hotels outside of major cities may have supplemental generators that provide electricity to only essential services. Power is generally restored within 2-3 hours of the outage, however this can vary. Passengers traveling with CPAP machines must notify Gate 1 Travel in advance so accommodations can be made to ensure there are no interruptions to run these machines through the night.

Namibia - The voltage used is 220/240 volts. Outlets are of the 3-pin, 15 amp type.

Code of Conduct
South Africa & eSwatini - Shaking hands is the standard greeting. Common courtesies should be observed. Conservative casual dress is appropriate. Rural areas tend to be more conservative than urban areas. In conversation, avoid discussing racial tensions. South Africa is one of the world's great examples of biodiversity. Please be mindful of this ecological significance and do not litter.

Namibia - Visitors should observe normal courtesies. The atmosphere is generally informal and casual dress is appropriate.

Meals & Dietary Requests
Included meals are based on the restaurant's buffet or set menu. Beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although special diets like Vegetarian and Vegan are relatively commonplace in the USA, much of the world's menu options are more provincial. Please do not expect to find the variety of food selection outside of the local norm. Every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests selected no later than 5 days prior to departure in the passenger details section of your reservation. In addition, we recommend that you make preferences known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. Special requests are subject to local conditions and availability and cannot be guaranteed.

Namibia - While it is generally safe to eat fully cooked meats and vegetables, care should be taken to avoid undercooked meat and uncooked fruits and vegetables. Because tap water is not potable, visitors should only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered. Bottled water should be used for brushing teeth. Avoid ice, as it is usually made from tap water.Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - South Africa

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: Day off for New Year's Day
Mar 21: Human Rights Day
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter
Apr 10: Family Day
Apr 27: Freedom Day
May 1: Worker's Day
Jun 16: Youth Day
Aug 9: National Women's Day
Sep 24: Heritage Day
Sep 25: Day off for Heritage Day
Dec 16: Day of Reconciliation
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Day of Goodwill

Holidays 2024

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Mar 21: Human Rights Day
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 31: Family Day
Apr 27: Freedom Day
May 1: Worker's Day
Jun 16: Youth Day
Aug 9: National Women's Day
Dec 16: Day of Reconciliation
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Day of Goodwill

Holidays - Namibia

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: New Year's Day observed
Mar 21: Independence Day
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter
Apr 10: Easter Monday
May 1: Worker's Day
May 4: Cassinga Day
May 18: Ascension Day
May 25: Africa Day
Aug 26: Heroes' Day
Dec 10: International Human Rights Day
Dec 11: Day off for International Human Rights Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Family Day

Holidays 2024

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 26: Liberation Day
Feb 16: Archbishop Janani Luwum Day
Mar 8: Women's Day
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 31: Easter
Apr 1: Easter Monday
Apr 10: Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)*
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 3: Martyrs Day
Jun 9: National Heroes Day
Jan 17: Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)*
Oct 9: Independence Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Boxing Day

16 Day Classic South Africa with Robben Island, Victoria Falls & Botswana, September 2023
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My trip to Africa was one of the best vacations I've had in 25 years of travel. I want to thank you for a fantastic bargain and everything that was included. The tour director was very knowledgeable, accommodating, and excellent at his job. The people we interacted with were great! Thank you again.

Dennis S.
13 Day Zambia, Botswana & South Africa Adventure, August 2023
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We had a wonderful Gate 1 Travel trip to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa! It exceeded our expectations in many ways. The safaris we took by vehicle and boat were great! Our tour manager, Desire, was excellent.

Robert S.
13 Day Zambia, Botswana & South Africa Adventure, August 2023
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This trip was just incredible! All the details were managed expertly by our guide Desiré. She is a credit to your company and the trip would not have been the same without her! We had outstanding game drives, experiencing sights that others can only dream of...

Karen K.
10 Day Uganda Wildlife Exploration, August 2023
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Absolute amazing especially the Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking. Our guide Yona was excellent. Uganda felt safe and welcoming. Thank you Gate 1 for the great trip.

Sheila T.
13 Day Zambia, Botswana & South Africa Adventure, August 2023
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It was a fantastic trip! A+ on everything. Belinda, our tour guide, was great. Kept us informed and safe throughout the trip. She made sure everything promised was delivered and she competently interacted with staff and purveyors to ensure we received first class treatment. She was a delightful travel companion and made sure everyone's needs were met. Safari guides Jonas and Play at Melomi Crossing in the Okavango Delta were top-notch. They worked very long days, walking us from our tents before sunrise and walking us back after sunset. Jonas sat with us at meals, offered pleasant conversation and all the while keeping an eye on our cups and plates to make sure we lacked nothing. While we were dining, Play was busy setting us up for the day. Jonas's expertise at driving on the sandy Delta roads (if you can call them that) was amazing. Watching Jonas and Play looking at the ground, analyzing animal tracks, and putting us on animal sightings was incredible. They answered every question we had and tried to make sure we saw every animal we had special interest in. They worked so hard! Drivers and local guides Dumi, Milton, John, and Alan drove safely, offered a hand getting off and on the busses, and, when also serving as local guides, were deeply knowledgeable and also made sure we physically were walking at a pleasant and safe pace. All of the side excursions were enjoyable. The Victoria Falls train ride, the Riverboat cruise on the Zambezi, the wine country tour in Cape Town, the drive to Cape of Good Hope and the penguin colony were all good; don't replace them please.

Martha P.
Namibia, Naturally, August 2023
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We had an amazing time in Namibia. The Sossusvlei Dunes were so beautiful and we enjoyed all stops and activities on the trip. The food was fabulous and we loved the dinner under the stars. The hotels were also very nice. Our tour guide Herunga was one of the best we ever had. His love for the country showed and he was very informative. He was flexible making sure we had the best experience and opportunities to view the beautiful country, sunrises and sunsets. Our bus driver Elson did a fantastic job driving on some very bumpy challenging roads. We really enjoyed this trip!

Jacqueline A.
10 Day Uganda Wildlife Exploration, July 2023
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It was beyond my expectations. The guides Paul and Peter were so knowledgeable and willing to share. They were also very patient with good senses of humor. The guide makes the trip. Thank you. The accommodations were very nice. Some even great. We were well taken care of and were busy from morning to night. We able to see many animals, go on 2 boat trips. The chimps were very active and fun. The gorillas were unbelievable. It really is a trip of a lifetime.

Zena R.
13 Day Zambia, Botswana & South Africa Adventure, July 2023
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It was truly the trip of a lifetime! This was our 9th Gate 1 tour since 2017, with 2 more still to come. It exceeded our wildest expectations. The group was great - we are all now friends. The accommodations were superb. The activities were amazing. The sights were unbelievable. And our tour manager - Laurence - was the epitome of knowledge and professionalism. He was loved by all. He frequently went above and beyond for us, making a remarkable trip even better. And he was a great friend to the group as well. I cannot stop singing the praises of this Gate 1 adventure to everyone I meet. We brought a single friend with us and we're hopeful he would enjoy the experience. He is already booking the Uganda trip as we speak! I jokingly said to my husband midway through the trip that I didn't have to go anywhere ever again after this experience. But, of course, two more Gate 1 adventures are yet to come! Thank you, Gate 1, for truly letting us see More of the World for Less!

Jo-Ann B.
10 Day Uganda Wildlife Exploration, June 2023
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Our recent small group discovery trip with Gate 1 once again exceeded our expectations. Our Tour Managers, Chris and Emmanuel were knowledgeable, professional, courteous, kind and committed to Gate 1. In a word they were AWESOME! They represent your company well. Our trip and the itinerary was action packed and fast paced which was great. The interaction and outreach within the communities was exceptional. Our interaction with the children/students at one of the schools tugged at our hearts. It was a rewarding experience. All the accommodations and meals were superb. I wish we could have stayed for one additional night at the lodge in Kimbale. My wife and I are very much looking forward to our upcoming small group discovery tour with Gate 1 to Antarctica in February. Thanks again and onto the next adventure!

Terry T.
13 Day Zambia, Botswana & South Africa Adventure, March 2023
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Our trip to Zambia, Botswana and South Africa was exceptional. Our tour manager, Belinda, was an absolute joy. Her insight and knowledge helped us understand the culture and uniqueness of Southern Africa. We enjoyed the magic of Victoria Falls and while on safari in Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta the animal and bird sightings were phenomenal. Our visits to Cape Town's Table Mountain and lush vineyards were a perfect ending. Once again, Gate 1 gave us a beautiful trip.

Nancy L.
10 Day Uganda Wildlife Exploration, January 2023
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What a wonderful experience! Our Uganda tour exceeded my expectations from the tour managers, the hotels and friendliness of their staffs, sights that we saw and guides who led us. It was amazing. We traveled the most with Paul and he did an excellent job in providing information, local color, water in the vehicles and even kept a roll of toilet paper for the ladies to use at the rest stops along the way. The trekking was wonderful and we were fortunate to see 10 chimpanzees and a gorilla family of 16! The total experience is one where I am still pinching myself that I experienced so much in a short amount of time. I will be a Ugandan Ambassador for the future. Looking forward to my next Gate 1 adventure in April to Albania, Montenegro, Croatia & Slovenia. Thanks again.

Cynthia B.
Namibia, Naturally, October 2022
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Our Discovery trip to Namibia was incredible due to the leadership and knowledge of our tour guide Herunga. His enthusiasm and love for his country was obvious as he shared commentary on the countryside, animal life and the customs and traditions of Namibia. Kudos also for our bus driver- Kenneth. Kind and funny and more than capable of driving our bus over washboard roads! We truly enjoyed our excursion!

Deborah L.
Namibia, Naturally, September 2022
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This was the first Discovery tour I did and I loved it! I've done about 13 escorted tours and Herunga was the best tour manager I ever had. I was amazed at how he made everyone feel important and was sure to meet any special dietary needs the tour participants had. He was extremely organized. His knowledge of the animals, stars, geology and history of Namibia was awe inspiring. The extensive driving on gravel roads was tiring and there wasn't much free time but Namibia was my favorite trip.

Kathryn G.
Namibia, Naturally, June 2022
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The trip was outstanding. My wife and I loved every minute of the trip. Our guide, Mr. Herunga was one of the best guides we ever had with Gate1 and other tours, and the driver, Nathan, was not only an excellent driver, but also having been a tour guide, he could also answer many questions. Both of them sat with our group and meals and we so enjoyed that. Herunga was extremely attentive to all the needs of our 17 fellow travelers, several of whom had requirements that required a lot of his attention, dietary restrictions or other needs. He consistently demonstrated grace, patience, empathy and a can do attitude which all of us appreciated, but especially for my wife and me, we observed his care for their needs. Some matters that came up were simply beyond his control, but he took all matters in stride and did all he could to help. His attitude was always for the best interest of the group and that was everyone in the group and above all, he did all this with a great sense of humor. He also evinced great knowledge about his country, Namibia, whether about language, topography, geology, plant and wildlife, culture, foods, climate and so many other things. He also had familiarized himself with the US beforehand so he could draw comparisons on landscapes. As he escorted us to the gates at the airport, many of our group exchanged hugs with Nathan and him. Though there had been some grumbling about some of the matters noted above, including the cold weather, over which Herunga had no control, without exception, we found him to be an outstanding tour guide. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best, I would give him a 10+.

Oliver M.
13 Day Zambia, Botswana & South Africa Adventure, May 2022
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The trip was AMAZING! The lodging choices were perfect! Our Gate1 guide, Don, is so knowledgeable on all things Africa, as well as being a beautiful soul who looked after us every step of the way! The highlight of the trip for me was the time we spent at the Moremi Crossing camp in the Okavanko Delta. The game drives and time in Moremi Crossing are memories I will cherish the rest of my life. Thank you for all of your help with the registration process!

Mardi K.
Namibia, Naturally, April 2022
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The Namibia tour was better than imagined! The guides were excellent, professional, organized, knowledgeable, caring and fun! We were amazed by all the logistics they handled smoothly and always pleasant. Can't say enough good things about Herunga & Silver ..Kudos to them !! The food , drinks & lodging were top notch ..good location, well-appointed with great service//ambiance. One of the best Gate 1 trips ever!!!

Rebecca F.
13 Day Zambia, Botswana & South Africa Adventure, March 2022
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I've just returned from my first trip with Gate 1 and it was spectacular ! The group size was perfect for this, allowing for ease of communications, team building (camaraderie), and movement (in and out of buses and other transport). Roger, our group leader was beyond compare. Perfect easy going personality, extremely knowledgeable, and tirelessly working to enhance every guests experience. I've already recommended Gate 1 to friends of mine, and fully expect to take future trips with Gate 1. The only risk, is that this trip was so perfect, the sequel has a hard act to follow. But that doesn't mean you don't try ! Keep up the fantastic work, I had high expectations going in, and they were exceeded beyond belief. Thank You !

Anthony P