A selection of some of the “Top Tips” we have put up in our posts. Hopefully, lessons we have learned…
Bulgaria (Sept 2013): If you hear a whining noise (whether from your gearbox, or your wife / husband) DON’T ignore it. It never goes away on it’s own.
Namibia (Nov 2013): Always carry toilet paper with you.
Namibia (Dec 2013): Stay off the mobile data.
South Africa (Dec 2013): Never give up on a day – you just don’t know what will happen next in Africa.
South Africa (Feb 2014): By buying an annual Wild Card for approx £130 ($190) for 2 people when we first arrived at Cape Town we’ve not had to pay the daily park entry fees (Conservation Fees) for any of the SAN Parks we’ve stayed at throughout South Africa. That’s saved us at least £1,000 (US$1,500).
Botswana (Mar 2014): At some point see at least part of Africa from the air.
Botswana (March 2014): Keep your speed down, your eyes peeled and never drive at night.
Zambia (Mar 2014): Take US$ and local currency. Certain fees must be paid in US$. There are no ATMs at the border. Get receipts for everything. Don’t hand over cash for anything the fixer pays for until you get them and dont pay his fee till you get ALL your documents in your hand.
Zambia (Mar 2014): Don’t buy insurance on entering Zambia unless the same broker sells COMESA. If they do, buy COMESA there and then.
Zambia (Mar 2014): Get Zambian Kwacha from ATM’s. There are only ATM’s in about 6-8 towns, so get loads. The exchange rate from your own bank is almost certainly 10-20% better than given locally for US$ or Sterling / Euros in Zambia.
Zambia (Apr 2014): Visit the southern end of Lake Itezhi Tezhi. Stay inside the park at Shiluwe Hills – it’s the most beautiful spot on the lake and, although in the park, no park fees are payable while you are camping there.
Zambia (Apr 2014): Pay in Kwacha withdrawn from ATMs, rather than in US$. Nearly everywhere uses the ‘historic’ exchange rate of 5 Kwacha / $ whereas at present the bank rate is around 6.
Malawi (Apr 2014): stock up with Malawi Kwacha as soon as you arrive. 4 out of 5 cash machines don’t work or won’t take International Visa Debit cards. Fuel, camping etc must be paid for in cash and most ATMs only give out the equivalent of £50 maximum (in 1,000 Kwacha notes).
Malawi (Apr 2014): Visit the Wells For Zoe website.
Tanzania (May 2014): When you pay in US$, have the correct money ready in small notes.
Tanzania (May 2014): National 3rd-party Insurance costs are fixed. COMESA costs don’t seem to be. They will charge what they can get away with. Negotiate.
Tanzania (June 2014): Ngorogoro is beautiful. BUT:- the Transit Pass is probably sufficient. It’s $140 for 2 people to drive along the crater rim and take the 100km track west to Serengeti. Unless this is the only Game Park you will visit, it feels like extortion making foreign visitors pay an additional $440 to camp overnight and go down into the crater itself each additional day.