faq - get the answers here
Visitors’ visas are for international travellers (citizens of other countries) who have permanent residence outside South Africa and who wish to visit the country on a temporary basis for tourism or business purposes for a period of 90 days or less.
A visa simply indicates that your application has been reviewed at a South African embassy, mission or consulate and that the consular officer has determined you are eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose.
The visa will allow you to travel to a South African port of entry where an immigration official will then determine if you are allowed to enter South Africa and for how long you can stay for that particular visit. Visitors are restricted to the activity or reason for which their visas were issued.
On entry to South Africa, a visa is considered to be a visitor's permit. The permit’s period of validity is calculated from the date of entry into the country and will be set out under the heading "conditions" on the visa label. You must ensure that you apply for the correct visa/permit. Entry in the country may be refused if the purpose of visit was not correctly stated.
Requirements for visitor’s visas differ from country to country (click here to see which countries are currently exempt), and the requirements are subject to change. As each application is treated as an individual case and you should make enquiries with your nearest South African mission or consulate abroad or any office of the Department of Home Affairs to see whether or not you are required to apply for a visa.
Remember that there is a fee charged for issuing a visa, and you should check the cost with the office as well as this is updated annually. The fee is payable in different currencies in different countries.
Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country.
When travelling to Afrika you must have up-to-date tetanus and diphtheria immunizations (i.e. within the last 10 years). Moreover, you must have a valid vaccination against Hepatitis A (one injection protects for one year and with a reinjection within 6-24 months you are protected for +30 years). Make sure to contact your health system for specific advice about vaccinations when travelling to the African countries.
Make sure to ask your insurance company about your insurance coverage before booking your next travel. We recommend that you have both cancellation- and travel insurance.
There are safety deposit boxes in all accommodation types of Elephant Hills Lodge. We recommend that you bring some South African Rand (ZAR) to the lodge to be able to buy a few souvenirs on the tours and to be able to tip the staff by the end of your stay. You will be able to use your credit card on Elephant Hills Lodge for all other purchases.
At Elephant Hills Lodge you will be able to order and pay (by credit card) for all activities. Kindly note, that some tours require minimum and maximum number of participation and that all tours are subject to a 48 Hour cancellation policy.
Long pants – optimally with detachable pant legs - a jacket and practical shoes for the safari excursions is a good idea, all year round. In the dry season (European summer) you will need a hat, maybe gloves and warm and wind resistant upper body clothing, but as soon as the sun comes out, it quickly heats up to 20-25 degrees Celsius, so you will also need shorts, t-shirt and sandals.
In the green period (European winter) it is warmer, so here you will need summer clothing, sandals and a sunhat. Still, we recommend that you bring a warm sweater and a wind resistant jacket along for the evenings and early morning departures. Khaki, white and black clothing is recommended for all safari excursions and a pair of good walking shoes/sneakers for all bush walks.
You will find ATM machines in all bigger cities, but in rural areas there are fewer ATMs, and at Elephant Hills Lodge you cannot withdraw cash. In Johannesburg airport you can withdraw and exchange cash, but we recommend that you make any exchanges from home. You will need to bring South African Rand (ZAR) to South Africa.
As in most other places of the world, it is good practice to tip when you are satisfied with the service.
At most our destinations you do not have to be worried about crime, with just Johannesburg as the exception. Here you should only go downtown on an arranged tour with experienced guides. In the bigger cities you must act sensibly as in any big city and it is very peaceful out in the rural areas where for example MILIMA Safari Lodge is located.
The general advice is to drink bottled water. The water is safe to drink at MILIMA Lodge, but never the less we recommend to drink bottled water.
The safari lodge has only a few binoculars. So it is a good idea to bring your own and remember to bring it for the safari excursions, so you have the best opportunities to spot wildlife.
Cell phones usually work fine although you may have to walk around to find a good signal. Today the Internet is perhaps the best way of communication. You can also make calls from fixed-line telephones at Elephant Hills Lodge
Wireless Internet is available for free all across Elephant Hills Lodge.
There is generally 220V AC. At Elephant Hills Lodge, you can borrow converters in the reception, if there are none in your room.
At Elephant Hills Lodge there is laundry service (payable). When you leave your clothes for laundry in the morning, it will be returned to you the same evening.
Please be informed that new requirements for children travelling to or from South Africa took effect on 1 June 2015. The requirements are aimed at establishing the principle that all minors (any person younger than 18 years) require the consent of their parents when traveling into or out of South Africa.
The following documents are required for travelling through a port of entry of South Africa when travelling with minors:
1. Where both parents are travelling accompanied by one or more of their children, such children have to produce:
A valid passports and an Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC) UBC or Equivalent Document for each child travelling. In South Africa a UBC is an extract from the Birth Register containing the particulars of a minor and those of his or her parent or parents.
2. Where only one parent is travelling with a child, (or children), each child has to produce:
A valid passport, an UBC or Equivalent Document for each travelling child and the Parental Consent Affidavit from the non-travelling parent whose details are recorded on the UBC or Equivalent Document. A suggested format of the Parental Consent Affidavit can be found here: http://www.dha.gov.za/files/ParentalConsentAffidavit.pdf.
A South African Embassy in the traveller’s country of residence may be approached to commission the oath or solemn declaration required in the Affidavit free of charge. The Affidavit must not be older than 4 months when presented. Please note that the same affidavit will still be valid for the departure or return in relation to the same journey regardless of the duration of the journey.
3. A person who is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, such child must produce:
A valid passport, an UBC or Equivalent Document and Parental Consent Affidavit.