If you are based in the UK you can find the necessary information on www.nathnac.org, the site of the National Travel Health Network & Centre. For all other nationalities we advise www.who.int, site of the World Health Organization. Or consult your local professional travel clinic.
Compared to many other countries in Africa, healthcare in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana is good to excellent.
Generally vaccinations against Hepatitis A and DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and polio) are recommended, as well as malaria prophylaxis and the use of a good mosquito detergent. In places with a lot of mosquitoes the lodges have either mosquito nets or a fan, so you don’t have to bring your own mosquito net. It is however handy to bring duct tape to fix those pesky holes and tears.
Always put your vaccination certificates in your carry-on luggage when traveling! If you carry personal medical drugs, check with your doctor if you need a medical passport. This can prevent a lot of questions or even seizure when entering a country.
Do NOT underestimate the sun and the high temperatures! Sunshine can be very fierce and temperatures rise quickly during the day. Dehydration is a real danger. Which is why you have to bring a cap, sun cream and good sunglasses, and why we provide drinking water at each ride. ORS (oral re-hydration salts), also very effective against dehydration if you get diarrhea, are for sale in most places along the way.
Last but not least: if you fall ill within three months after you return home, always consult your local doctor and tell when and where you traveled. A lot of diseases have an incubation period of several weeks or months.
Driving license, passport and visa
It is your own sole responsibility to obtain and bring the requited travel documents for all countries you visit. This includes driving license, passport and, if required, visa.
Due to local requirements for riding a rental bike in southern Africa you need to be at least 25 years of age and have a valid motorcycle driving license. If your license is not in English you will also need an international driving license. Check for your own country where you can get buy of these. Usually you need to bring one or two photos and then you get it on the spot, but will have to pay a fee.
Passport and visa:
Citizens of the E.U. countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, the USA and Singapore do not need visa to enter South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Since these rules can change, always check with the South African embassy the current requirements.
Upon arrival you usually get a free visa, which is stamped on an empty page in your passport. Make sure you have at least two empty right pages in your passport before you travel! Upon arrival at passport control ask for the maximum tourist visa (usually three months). This will make live much easier if you are delayed when traveling back home.
When leaving South Africa or Namibia, your passport needs to be valid for at least another month (30 days). However, if you also visit Zimbabwe and the Victoria Falls, this needs to be at least another six months! So check well before your departure what the validity of your passport is. You will need enough time to get a new one if necessary.
If you visit the Victoria Falls you buy a visa for Zimbabwe at the border. This is payable in cash US dollars and varies between US$ 30,- and US$ 55,- per person, pending nationality.
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