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South Africa: A...

South Africa: Cultural Cities & Wildlife Safaris

17 days |  20 days with Johannesburg & Victoria Falls extension
17 days |  20 days with Johannesburg & Victoria Falls extension
Group size1222 travelers

4.6 star rating

Physical activity
a man standing on a cliff overlooking the coast of cape town south africa
a white van parked on the edge of a hill
an elephant in the brush in south africa
blue ocean waves crashing on the sand along the coast of south africa
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ

Currently, COVID-19 vaccination is required to participate in this tour.

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Journey to the southern tip of Africa to a country that defies comparison.

No other destination offers such a spectacular combination of scenery, cities, and amazing wildlife sightings. One day you’re out on the savanna, spying on leopards and lions on this small group Adventure Tour; the next, you’re sipping a crisp chenin blanc and feeling the breeze off the Indian Ocean.

Your tour package includes

  • 14 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 14 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 7 dinners with beer or wine
  • 1 liquor tasting
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Included highlights

  • Table Mountain
  • Cape of Good Hope
  • Pinnacle Point
  • Featherbed Nature Reserve
  • Tsitsikamma National Park
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Start planning today

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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Cape Town today.

Cape Town4 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Cape Town

Welcome to South Africa! Settle in to your hotel this evening.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Cape Town
Included meals: Breakfast, Welcome dinner

Join your Tour Director for a tour of Cape Town, a beautiful and culturally rich city.

  • Take a cable car ride up Table Mountain and soak in panoramic views of the city below (weather permitting)
  • See Signal Hill and the Castle of Good Hope
  • Catch glimpses of City Hall and the Houses of Parliament as you drive through the city
  • Take a walking tour of the Bo-Kaap area, home to Cape Malay culture and some of the city’s most vibrant architecture
  • Visit the District Six Museum to learn about the diverse communities that were forcibly removed under apartheid
  • See how the museum staff are helping to rebuild the communities and strengthen the rich cultures in District Six and beyond

Spend a free afternoon in Cape Town or add an excursion.

Enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow travelers this evening.

Please note: On some departures, the optional excursion will be offered in the morning and the sightseeing tour will take place in the afternoon. In the event of inclement weather, the visit to Table Mountain will be moved to day 4 or 5. In the unlikely event of poor weather both days, Table Mountain will be replaced with a visit to Signal Hill.

Robben Island

From $85 per person

Day 4: Sightseeing tour of the Cape Peninsula & choir performance
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring the Cape Peninsula.

  • Drive along the Atlantic seaboard, passing the Clifton and Camp’s Bay beaches
  • Visit the Cape of Good Hope and the lighthouse at Cape Point and enjoy views of where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet
  • Visit Boulders Beach, a protected marine habitat for the endangered African penguin
  • Learn how your visit helps support the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, a local NGO

As you travel back to Cape Town, stop to enjoy a performance by the Major Voices South African Choir.

  • Listen to Afro-gospel, and jazz music by the talented a cappella group, Isicathamiya
  • Hear about the group’s mission to give youth community members an opportunity to be involved in music and the arts
Day 5: Free day in Cape Town
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Cape town or add an excursion.

Cape Winelands Tasting & Lunch

From $109 per person

Knysna2 nights
Day 6: Knysna via Pinnacle Point & gin distillery
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Liquor tasting

Travel along the Garden Route to Knysna, making several stops along the way.

  • Enjoy a guided tour of Pinnacle Point, known as the Point of Human Origins
  • Enter cave 13B to learn about the archaeological site, which contains a record of human occupation and evolution over a period of 170,000 years
  • Enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant in Mossel Bay
  • Sip a gin cocktail at a local distillery as you learn about the local herbs used to produce the liquor
  • Make your own bottle of handcrafted gin to bring home

Then, continue on to Knysna.

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Featherbed Nature Reserve & Knysna Township
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cross the scenic Knysna Lagoon by ferry and get ready to explore the pristine beauty of Featherbed Nature Reserve on a guided tour.

  • Join your naturalist guide in a 4x4 vehicle and ride up the Western Head
  • Stop along the way to admire views of the lagoon, mountains, and Knysna village
  • Learn about the area’s coastal forest and fynbos, a shrubland with a diverse array of plants, on a nature walk
  • Enjoy an outdoor lunch under the grand milkwood trees

Travel back across the Knysna Lagoon by ferry. Then, meet up with a local guide for a tour of Knysna Township.

  • Learn about Xhosa culture and interact with the community members, who are part of South Africa’s second-largest ethnic group
  • Visit the library before meeting a local resident at their home to learn about Xhosa song and drum traditions
  • Discover the roots of the language, which eight million South Africans speak
Port Elizabeth2 nights
Day 8: Port Elizabeth via Tsitsikamma National Park
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, travel to the sun-drenched shores of Port Elizabeth, set on the beautiful Algoa Bay, making several stops along the way.

  • Follow the Garden Route to Tsitsikamma National Park and Storms River
  • Walk along the Storms River suspension bridge for an incredible photo opportunity

Then, continue on to Port Elizabeth and venture out on an orientation tour before sitting down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 9: Pumba Private Game Reserve
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Visit the Pumba Private Game Reserve for a game drive today.

  • Keep a lookout for white lions, elephants, and other wildlife
  • Sit down for an included lunch at an outdoor boma restaurant
Durban1 night
Day 10: Addo Elephant Park game drive, SANCCOB & flight to Durban
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend the morning learning more about South Africa’s conservation efforts for some of it’s most beloved wildlife.

  • Set off on a game drive through the Addo Elephant Park, where over 600 elephants and other animals like with lions, buffalo, black rhino call home
  • Visit SANCCOB, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds and hear how the non-profit works to rescue, rehabilitate, and release endangered species like the African penguin

Later, fly to Durban and settle into your hotel. Afterwards, enjoy an included dinner this evening.

Hluhluwe1 night
Day 11: Transfer to Hluhluwe & Wetland Park
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Hluhluwe this morning, then pay a visit to the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, declared South Africa’s first World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999.

  • Admire the flora and fauna of the St. Lucia Estuary on a river cruise
  • Try to spot hippos, bush bucks, crocodiles, fish-eagles, monkeys, kingfishers, and mudskippers

Sit down for an included dinner tonight.

Eswatini1 night
Day 12: Game drive, Transfer to Eswatini & Swazi Candles
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Drive out into the bush to enjoy a catered, open-air breakfast complete with coffee, tea, and juices. Then, head out for a game drive at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve. The game reserve is home to the Big Five and is one of the best places in all of Africa to view rhinoceroses.

Later, enter the Kingdom of Eswatini, the continent’s last absolute monarchy.

  • Stop at the traditional markets in Manzini
  • Pay a visit to Swazi Candles, a local fair trade organization that produces high-quality candles
  • Tour the manufacturing warehouse and community garden, and receive a small candle to take home

Then, pass mountains, forests, and farms as you continue on to your hotel. Sit down for an included dinner.

Kruger National Park Region2 nights
Day 13: Kruger National Park Region via Chimp Eden
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cross the border into South Africa and tour Chimp Eden, the Jane Goodall Institute South Africa Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

  • Enjoy the unique opportunity to see chimpanzees in semi-wild enclosures
  • Admire the viewpoints at some of the enclosures, which overlook the forest and foraging areas
  • Hear how the chimps safely play in these areas and how they help positively reinforce their natural behavior

Continue on to the Kruger National Park region. Sit down for an included outdoor bush dinner at your safari lodge.

Day 14: Kruger National Park game drives
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Set out for a full day of game drives in Kruger National Park.

  • Hop inside your open-air safari vehicle and explore the park with a naturalist guide
  • Try to spot the Big Five game animals: buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos
  • Enjoy an included lunch at a private boma in the national park
  • Continue riding through the park to see wild animals in their natural habitat

Later this evening, sit down for an included dinner with your group.

Johannesburg1 night
Day 15: Johannesburg via Panorama Route
Included meal: Breakfast

See scenic landscapes at every turn as you head to Johannesburg along the Mpumalanga Panorama Route.

  • Soak in breathtaking views at God’s Window (weather permitting)
  • Walk along a pathway to visit Bourke’s Luck Potholes, a collection of natural rock formations
  • Stop at the lush, green Blyde River Canyon, where you can see neighboring Mozambique on a clear day
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 16: Sightseeing tour of Soweto & departure
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell lunch

This morning, set out on a guided sightseeing tour of the Soweto township.

  • See the soccer stadium where the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals game was played
  • Pass Vilakazi Street, once home to both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu—both recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Enter the Hector Pieterson Museum to learn about the 1976 Soweto uprising

Afterward, raise a glass to your trip at a farewell lunch before transferring to the airport to board your flight home, or continue on the tour extension to explore Victoria Falls.

Arrive Home
Day 17: Travel day

Arrive home today.

Extension to Johannesburg & Victoria Falls
Spend a little extra time in Johannesburg (Jo’burg for short), then fly to Zimbabwe. Learn more about life in South Africa with visits to the Chinotimba Township and Community Peace Project. Later, visit Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world. You’ll fly back to Johannesburg before saying “so long” to Africa.
Johannesburg1 night
Day 16: Sightseeing tour of Soweto
Included meal: Breakfast

This morning, set out on a guided sightseeing tour of the Soweto township.

  • See the soccer stadium where the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals game was played
  • Pass Vilakazi Street, once home to both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu
  • Enter the Hector Pieterson Museum to learn about the 1976 Soweto uprising
Victoria Falls2 nights
Day 17: Flight to Victoria Falls
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, located on the southern bank of the Zambezi River.

Then, sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Please note: Depending on flight schedules, Chinotimba Township may be offered on day 17 instead of day 18.

Day 18: Sightseeing tour of Victoria Falls, Chinotimba Township & Rose of Charity visits
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Explore Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of falling water in the world, on a guided tour.

  • Walk along a network of trails to take in spectacular views of the falls from several vantage points
  • Learn about the history, flora, and fauna of the area

Then, take a guided tour of Chinotimba Township, a village of the Nambya and Tonga people.

  • Sit down in the shady garden of a traditional home in the village for an included lunch of Zimbabwean food and drinks
  • Visit the Rose of Charity, an organization helping transform the lives of impoverished children, their families, and their communities through education
  • Hear how your visit helps sustain this local NGO

Enjoy a free evening in the Victoria Falls region or add an excursion.

Zambezi River Sunset Cruise

From $79 per person

Overnight Flight1 night
Day 19: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Fly back to Johannesburg, where you’ll board your overnight flight home.

Arrive Home
Day 20: Travel day

Arrive home today.

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4.6 star rating

Overall rating 4.6 out of 5

Based on 106 authentic traveler reviews
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    4.0 star rating

    9/15/23 by 6th-time traveler Jeanne

    4.0 star rating

    7/21/23 by 1st-time traveler Mark

    5.0 star rating

    7/21/23 by 1st-time traveler Eric

    The trip was fantastic What helped to make our trip so great was our tour guide - Pieter. I have been on over 13 guided trips and Pieter is BY FAR the best guide ever He is very, very informative. He is so knowledgeable about South Africa and the places we visited. He told us all about the history ...

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    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Southern Sun Cape Sun
    Southern Sun Cape Sun

    This elegant hotel is located in the city center of Cape Town. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a restaurant and bar, an indoor pool, and a spa. Nearby, you’l...

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    Protea Knysna Quays
    Protea Knysna Quays

    This stylish, scenic hotel is located in Knysna. Guests enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool, and a sun deck. Nearby, you'll find Knysna Elephan...

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    Southern Sun the Marine
    Southern Sun the Marine

    This beachfront hotel is located in Port Elizabeth. Guests enjoy a beachfront location and pool, fitness center, and Wi-Fi. Nearby, you'll find Baywor...

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    Anew Hotel Hluhluwe
    Anew Hotel Hluhluwe

    This welcoming hotel offers a true bush experience and is located in Hluhluwe. Guests enjoy an outdoor pool, sun deck, and Wi-Fi. Nearby, you'll find ...

    Read more +
    Foresters Arms Hotel
    Foresters Arms Hotel

    This cozy hotel is located in the beautiful Eswatini highlands. Guests enjoy free Wifi, a pool, and a gym. Nearby, you’ll find the village of Mhlamban...

    Read more +
    Hippo Hollow Country Estate
    Hippo Hollow Country Estate

    Nestled amongst lush indigenous gardens on the banks of the Sabi River in Hazyview, only ten minutes from the world famous Kruger National Park. Hippo...

    Read more +
    Protea Hotel Wanderers
    Protea Hotel Wanderers

    This vibrant, elegant hotel is located in Illovo. Guests enjoy an outdoor pool, spa, and laundry services. Nearby, you'll find the Wanderers Golf Club...

    Read more +
    A'Zambezi River Lodge
    A'Zambezi River Lodge

    This unique hotel is located on the bank of the Zambezi River. Guests enjoy multiple restaurants, a bar, and an outdoor pool. Nearby, you'll find the ...

    Read more +


    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights


    Print FAQ
    Passport, visa & entry requirements
    • In order to enter South Africa and Swaziland (plus Zimbabwe on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
    • We recommend having at least three blank passport pages for entry stamps.
    • There is no visa required for U.S. and Canadian citizens traveling to South Africa and Swaziland.
    • U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in order to enter Zimbabwe on the tour extension. We recommend obtaining your individual visa by purchasing it on arrival at the airport, at the cost of $30USD. If you choose to purchase your visa in advance, you may do so by applying directly for an e-visa.
    • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
    • If you are or will be accompanied by a minor (under the age of 18), additional documents will be required to travel through South African ports of entry. Visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website for the most-up-to-date requirements for minors traveling to or from South Africa.
    • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code SAF.
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    Tour pacing & mobility
    • You will walk for at least 1 hour daily across mostly flat terrain, including dirt paths and unpaved walkways, with some hills and stairs.
    • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
    • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of boats. This tour also includes long bumpy rides in safari vehicles.
    • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
    • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
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    Transportation & arrival information
    • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Cape Town and depart from Johannesburg. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
    • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
    • A flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg as well as a boat ride to Robben Island are included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes a round-trip flight between Johannesburg to Livingstone, Zambia.)
    • During game drives, you will be traveling in a specially equipped safari van.
    • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
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    Baggage allowance
    • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
    • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
    • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
    • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
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    Clothing & packing tips
    • Loose-fitting, layered clothing that can accommodate varying temperatures will be most comfortable. Quick-dry material is best for hot days outside and a warmer layer may be needed for chilly evenings and early mornings.
    • Comfortable closed-toes shoes, such as sneakers or lightweight hiking boots, are best for walking during the day.
    • Sun protection is very important. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face and the back of your neck from the sun.
    • Occasional rain showers are common during certain seasons, so lightweight rainwear may be necessary depending on the timing of your trip.
    • Insect repellent, binoculars, and a flashlight are highly recommended.
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    • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at
    • Local governments may require proof of a yellow fever vaccination (often referred to as a yellow card) or a statement of medical exemption from the vaccine. This is only required of travelers arriving from a country with a risk of yellow fever virus transmission. (Please note: This does not include the U.S. or Canada.) Visit for more information. Travelers flying with South African Airways with a fuel-stop in Dakar, Senegal, will not be exiting the aircraft and therefore will not be required to present proof of vaccination due to this stop.
    • Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication, and any prescription medications in your carry on luggage.
    • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour and any possible delays encountered.
    • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
    • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code SAF.
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    • You’ll find that most cuisine in South Africa reflects the region’s British, German, and Dutch colonial periods as well as Afrikaner influences. High-quality meats, vegetables, and fruits are sourced from the surrounding area’s farmland.
    • On the tour extension in Zimbabwe, cornmeal is an important staple used for making porridge and sadza, which is thicker and resembles Italy’s polenta. Rice, greens, potato, pumpkin, peanuts, black-eyed peas, and local fruits are popular additions to any meal.
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    Electricity & air conditioning
    • South Africa operates on 220–240 volts and uses a Type M plug with two small round pins and one larger round pin.
    • Zimbabwe (on the tour extension) operates on 220-240 volts and uses a Type G plug with three large, flat pins.
    • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
    • Not all of the hotels on this tour will have air conditioning.
    • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
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    • Wi-Fi is available in some hotels, though charges may apply.
    • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches or safari vehicles.
    • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
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    Time zones
    • South Africa and Swaziland (plus Zimbabwe on the tour extension) are two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET). South Africa and Swaziland (plus Zimbabwe on the tour extension) do not observe Daylight Saving Time.
    • From November through March, when it’s noon in New York, it’s 7pm on tour. From April through October, when it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.
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    • You will use the South African rand on this tour. (In Zimbabwe on the tour extension, it’s recommended that you use U.S. dollars or South African rand.)
    • You may be able to purchase South African rand in advance from your local bank or a foreign currency exchange retailer, such as Travelex.
    • Please note that travelers cannot import or export more than $25,000 in South African rand and may be required to claim any additional foreign currency at customs.
    • We recommend that you carry as little local cash as possible as well as small amounts of U.S. dollars (only crisp bills printed in 2004 or later).
    • ATMs are not readily available in more rural areas.
    • Major North American credit cards are accepted but can be difficult to use in remote locations (Visa is the most widely accepted).
    • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
    • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
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    • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
    • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $8USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
    • If applicable, we also recommend tipping the equivalent of $5USD per person for your local wildlife guides per game excursion and the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
    • Tips can only be paid in cash.
    • Gratuities for baggage handling are included in the price of your tour.
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    Purchasing excursions on tour
    • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
    • Your driver/guide will accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
    • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
    • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for moreinformation.
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    • You will have the opportunity to shop for local handicrafts, such as wood carvings and textiles, at outdoor markets and roadside stalls. Some lodges will have boutiques on the premises as well.
    • Prices at most markets are negotiable, so don’t be afraid to bargain—it’s a great way to strike up a conversation with a local.
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    Items to give or trade
    • Many Africans are fond of North American goods, and travelers often bring token items (such as T-shirts, baseball caps, pens, English-language books, small toys, and crayons for children) to offer as gifts or when bartering for souvenirs.
    • Offering local children candy or gum is somewhat controversial because of the potential lack of access to dental care.
    • Go Ahead Tours strongly recommends that you don’t bring any goods that will require batteries or chargers.
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