The South African Republic requires no visa for Czech citizens. Czech passport holders can enter the country for 90 days freely. It's not required to prove your funds for your stay either.
Getting an insurance is never a bad idea, not unlike for any other foreign trip. We recommend this insurance company: https://www.unionpojistovna.cz
Recommended airlines - Emirates. Praha - Dubai - Durban, or Vienna - Dubai - Durban. Plane tickets are at everybody’s expense and most of the time, the sooner you buy, the less you pay. Should you need assistance with purchasing your plane tickets, I’ll be happy to redirect you to professionals, with which I have been cooperating for a long time now. Plane tickets can also be insured for any unforeseen complications, such as sickness (confirmed by a registered doctor) or death in the family. So if you can’t fly for any valid reason, Emirates will refund you for your tickets. Details must be consulted prior to securing your insurance.
There have been occurrences of malaria in SAR, however rare. Thanks to a simply and quickly accessible medical aid the spread of the disease is nowhere near as it was before. However, during visits do risky locations (such as Hluhluwe Game Reserve) a T-shirt, a long-sleeve shirt and a repellant is required. Please consult your vaccinations and other anti-malaria measures with your general practician.
All the way from your swimsuit to winterwear. Maybe it sounds silly but it does snow in Africa. I have experienced it myself several times and you can beat the odds by being ready. No need to go to any extra measures, however a set of clothing that you would wear on a cold autumn day might actually come in handy. Maybe you won’t even take it out of your suitcase but I recommend packing it anyway. Due to the climate change, even in Africa the weather isn’t something to rely on. But no need to worry. We’ll get enough sun, alright. This primarily concerns visiting the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, where we’ll going to get as hing as 3000 meters above sea level. Better safe than sorry.
The currency in South Africa is called Rand. You can get one Rand for approximately 2 CZK (or £1 gets you approximately 17 Rands). And what can you get for one Rand? For example, a bottle of Head & Shoulders shampoo costs about 90CZK/£3 in our home countries, and you can get it for 45 Rands in SAR. In general, you can say that groceries, cosmetics and clothes cost about as much as here. However, other commodities are far cheaper, such as red wine or quality beef steaks.
A high criminality rate is something to be kept in mind, unfortunately, especially in larger cities’ centres. Visiting satellite housing estates by metropoles, walks in lonely places around sundown and night is not recommended. Tourists are often targets of violet crimes, so it’s good not to draw too much attention to yourself by wearing jewellery, expensive watches, cameras etc. And even due to that it’s recommended to travel with locals, who can remember the faces of other locals far better than we can. On the other hand, you’ll be greeted with immense kindness and hospitality from the people we’ll be meeting and who are going to accompany us.
All meals are provided during the entire trip. You will be taken care of by a local cook, who works in the orphanage. Before that, she spent years cooking in a local golf resort. Mama Sherine was born in South Africa to a family from India. Her cooking skills are a unique mixture of the finest foods from South African, Indian and now European cuisine. Her beef goulash is, humbly put, outstanding.
Vegetarian diet can be arranged for the entire stay upon request prior to the trip.
A gluten-free meal plan can be arranged: a vegetable-fruit diet combined with meat steaks. However, the place where food is prepared is not gluten-free. This means that the knife, used to cut your vegetables might very well have been used to cut bread and so on. Unfortunately, this is as far as my options go at this moment. Other food-related allergies must be consulted prior to departure, however, I have to admit that my options are limited.
Our basecamp is in the Highlands resort, located in immediate vicinity of the oprhanage - God’s Golden Acre. From there, we are going to head out on several multiple-day trips into the Drakensberg and the safari in Hluhluwe, Infolozi Game Reserve. The accomodation in Highlands Resort is in traditional randovels, twin-bed rooms in Drakensberg and tents in the safari, where also two-bed rooms are available. Accomodation is humble but clean. A shower, hot water, flush toilet and a fridge. Upon request, single-bed rooms can be arranged as well.
If your schedule permits and you wished to stay in the Highland resort for a few more days, it's no issue at all. Accomodation and food can be arranged virtually indefinitely. And I can also arrange a transfer to Durban International Airport. Please send a message if interested and we'll discuss the details in person.
All transfers are provided for during the entire stay. We'll be travelling by a 13-seat Mercedes Sprinter with a trailer, and in order to provide maximum comfort it's going to be acompanying us at all attractions, where we switch into a 4x4 Land Rover or horse back every now and then.
Not unlike any other travelling that takes you out of the comfort of your home. It's important to keep in mind that we're going to be spending a lot of time sitting in the car, distances in SAR are quite large and it takes over four hours from one place to another. But you can always skip any all-day tour and spend the day with a book by the resort pool. Pretty much anyone who's in agreeable physical condition and used to some travelling.
My personal experience indicates that a nine-year old can manage the trip. However, the truth is that my daughter has been travelling with me ever since she was six months old and she's used to a lot. I'd recommend to leave your kids under the age of 7 at the grandparents'. However, this is an entirely individual issue and it should come down to each parent to consider whether or not to bring their child along.
If you have any medical conditions, it's required to consult the trip with your general practician. Based on particular requirements I can get further information in SAR. As it was said already, Heather and Patrick are native South Africans. Heather is a former nurse with many years of experience. One way or another, travel insurance is a must.
And many other venomous beasts do live in Africa and it's necessary to keep your eyes peeled. After dark, it's recommended to keep a flashlight on and shine its light at your feet. While in the Drakensberg, it's important to stick together and not break the group. Trip dates are situated towards the end of the summer/beginning of the autumn and end of spring/beginning of the summer, when the temperatures do not reach their peak. As it's quite known, snakes do like to expose themselves to the sun. In my 11 months in Africa I've only seen about two venomous snakes. How many saw me, well that's a different story entirely but none of them tried to devour me.
The South African Republic is still a third-world country. Finding a functionable internet point in cafés and restaurants can be quite hard. On one hand, we're going to Africa to relax (and not just from the Internet) but on the other one, it's important to stay in touch with your family and friends or to answer a work e-mail. Disposable SIM cards are good options and they can be topped up easily. 1Gbit of data costs roughly 350CZK/£13 and 3G network si available in all the resorts.
South African Republic unfortunately is one of countries where a significant part of the population is affected. That's why it's important to always keep the basic precautions in mind. You can find out more at:: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS
Are all very welcome. Any clothing, shoes or toys for children from 6 months to 18 years. There's going to be more than enough opportunities to hand them out in person. However, please, mind that dental care in South Africa is extremely expensive, thus unaffordable for many people. If you wish to give the kids something to eat, buy an apple or an orange instead of sweets that are bad for teeth.