18 Day Kaleidoscope of South Africa
Air & Land
|18 Day Kaleidoscope of South Africa|
|Southern Sun Rosebank||Johannesburg|
|Hippo Hollow Country Estate||Hazyview|
|Hilton Garden Inn Mbabane||Mbabane|
|Anew Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris||Hluhluwe|
|Garden Court Kings Beach||Port Elizabeth|
|Premier Hotel Knysna - The Moorings||Knysna|
|Protea Hotel Riempie Estate||Oudtshoorn|
|Queen's Hotel by BON Hotels||Oudtshoorn|
|Premier Hotel Cape Town||Cape Town|
Click a Date to Book Online
Click a Date to Book Online
|2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $600|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
|2024 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $600|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
Optional tours and gratuities.
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include flight Durban – Port Elizabeth.
Children under 12 years of age are not permitted on open vehicle game drives in Kruger National Park.
Please note, all passport holders should have four or more entirely blank (unstamped) visa pages in their passport when traveling to South Africa and eSwatini. Click here for more information.
Triple rooms are not available for this package.
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.
Is This Trip Right for You?
Escorted Package Includes
- Flights New York-Johannesburg, Cape Town-New York
Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
- Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
- Intra-flight Durban-Port Elizabeth
- 16 nights accommodations
- 2 nights Johannesburg
- 3 nights Hazyview
- 1 night Mbabahe (eSwatini)
- 2 nights Hluhluwe
- 1 night Port Elizabeth
- 2 nights Knysna
- 1 night Oudtshoorn
- 4 nights Cape Town
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
- Hotel porterage
- All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
- 30 meals: 16 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 11 dinners
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
- Game drives in modern 10-seater safari vehicles
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Entrance fees per itinerary
- Visit Nelson Mandela's former home and the stirring Apartheid Museum
- Thrilling game drives with experienced rangers in Kruger National Park, home of the “Big Five”
- Game drive in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, renowned for its conservation efforts
- Visit a Zulu village to observe the local culture and traditional dancing
- Cruise to the tidal St. Lucia Estuary, home to Nile crocodiles, hippopotami, and sharks
- Journey along the picturesque Garden Route to Knysna, a paradise for nature lovers
- Visit Featherbed Nature Reserve, a Natural Heritage Site, home of the endangered Blue Duiker
- In Oudtshoorn, visit a working Ostrich Farm to learn more about the world's biggest bird
- Home hosted dinner in Cape Town with South African wine and delightful conversation
†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates
Is This Trip Right for You?
This active program covers a good amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking on some touring days. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. A few early wake-ups are required. There are two long days spent on the coach between eSwatini and Hazyview, as well as between Hazyview and Johannesburg. For your comfort, several stops will be made along the way including a lunch break. While the majority of the tour will be performed in an air-conditioned motor coach, game drives will be conducted in small safari vehicles that cannot be air-conditioned. Visitors to Kruger National Park, Zimbabwe and Botswana are encouraged to consult their health-care providers regarding malaria prophylaxis. We suggest you check with your health-care provider before signing up for this tour. During this tour, you may come into proximity of wild animals whose actions can be unpredictable. Certain inherent risks are involved which should be considered at your own discretion. . Short power outages are a regular occurrence in South Africa. Hotels in major cities are equipped with back-up generators so there are no interruptions to normal services, however hotels outside of major cities may have supplemental generators that provide electricity to only essential services. This is a Classic program. For more information, click here.
Gate 1 Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
This first class hotel is located in Rosebank, Johannesburg's vibrant and multicultural district.Hotel Details
This first class hotel is located on the banks of the Sabie River just outside Hazyview.Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel is situated in the lush Mpumalanga Lowveld, and is twenty-five minutes from the famous Kruger National Park.Hotel Details
This superior tourist class hotel is situated in the Mbabane Central Business District.Hotel Details
This first class lodge is about a twenty minute drive away from the town of Hluhluwe.Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel is located in the heart of the Zulu's beautiful untamed Elephant Coast in KwaZulu Natal near to renowned Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and iSimangaliso Wetland Park.Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel overlooks Algoa Bay.Hotel Details
This first class hotel overlooks the Knysna Lagoon.Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel is located just outside Oudtshoorn on a beautiful farm-like setting.Hotel Details
This first class hotel is located in the heart of Oudtshoorn, the capital of the beautiful semi-arid Klein Karoo.Hotel Details
- Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
- Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
- Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
- Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
- Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
- The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Travel to the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, formerly known as the Malay Quarter, with its brightly colored houses, cobbled streets and several historic sites. Here, meet a local skilled in Cape Malay cuisine and learn how to cook dishes such as samosas or Cape Malay curry. After the class, savor a delicious home-made lunch while you gain fascinating insight into the Cape Malay culture.
Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.
|Day #15||01 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023||$49.00|
|01 Jan 2024 - 30 Apr 2025||$49.00|
This afternoon, wind through South Africa's fertile valleys, prized for their renowned vintages, and discover the rustic beauty of sprawling estates shaded by giant oaks and rows of vines running as far as the eye can see. Enjoy a wine tasting in Stellenbosch, South Africa's second oldest town and the historic heart of the country's wine region. First recognized as an ideal location for vineyards in 1679, viticulture has been entwined with the town's history ever since. A second wine tasting will be included (time permitting) before returning to Cape Town.
Approximate tour duration is 3.5 hours.
|Day #17||01 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023||$55.00|
|01 Jan 2024 - 30 Apr 2025||$55.00|
Depart from the hotel and travel to the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront, where you will board the ferry to Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, disembark and take a bus tour to the historically significant sites of the island. Visit one of the most famous prisons in the world, where Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s father of the nation, spent 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars. The guides conducting the tour are former political prisoners that share their knowledge of this island and speak openly about their experiences, thus adding a unique cultural layer to your visit. The tour culminates with a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell. Afterward, take the ferry back to Cape Town.
Approximate tour duration is 3.5 hours.
Please Note: All visitors to Robben Island are required to produce a form of identification, such as a passport, birth certificate or driver's license. Copies of these documents will be accepted.
|Day #17||01 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023||$95.00|
|01 Jan 2024 - 30 Apr 2025||$95.00|
|Know Before You Go|
|Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.|
|Getting Ready to Go|
|Passports and Visas|
|It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.
|SOUTH AFRICA - Passengers are required to have at least two, entirely blank (unstamped) visa pages (i.e. one side of such a page not front and back thereof) in their passport, each time entry is sought into South Africa, including re-entry from eSwatini. Therefore passengers continuing on to Zimbabwe and/or Botswana are required to have four blank visa pages. These pages are in addition to the endorsement/amendment pages at the back of the passport. South African government regulations prohibit airlines from boarding passengers without the required blank visa page. For more information, please visit the South African consulate website http://www.southafrica-newyork.net/homeaffairs/tourist_visa.htm or http://www.southafrica-newyork.net/homeaffairs/ |
|Children Under 18 Traveling to South Africa - The South African Department of Home Affairs no longer requires additional documentation for visitors under the age of 18 as of Nov 2019. Passengers traveling with children under 18 to South Africa will simply require a valid passport for entry. For more information please visit: http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/621-advisory-new-requirements-for-children-travelling-through-south-african-ports-of-entry-effective-1-june-2015.
|Traveling with Friends or Family?|
|If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/res with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display. |
|A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks. |
|Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. |
|Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/. |
Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.
This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.
|Mobile networks differ from country to country. We recommend you check with your provider to see if your wireless plan will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. To avoid possible roaming charges, you may want to consider purchasing an international plan. With most major phone companies, for a modest fee, you will be able to use your domestic plan's talk, text, and data allowances just like you do at home. If you can access the internet while you travel, you can also take advantage of services such as WhatsApp or Skype. |
|Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another|
|When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally). |
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555
|WiFi is available in most airports, hotels, and cruise lines, as well as on some flights, trains, and buses. There may be a fee for access and service quality and speed may vary greatly especially while on moving vehicles. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable, and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries. |
|Staying Healthy While Traveling|
|All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations. |
There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.
|Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at:
|South Africa & eSwatini - While the majority of South Africa is malaria-free, visitors to Kruger National Park and the Limpopo Province are encouraged to consult their health care providers regarding malaria prophylaxis. Malaria is endemic to the Kruger National Park Area. The Waterberg region of the Limpopo Province is considered a non-endemic area however as of March 2017, the CDC has received official reports of possible locally transmitted cases of malaria in this region and further investigation and surveillance is taking place. Visitors should use mosquito repellent and wear long pants, closed shoes, and a lightweight long sleeve shirt when in this area. Additionally, you may encounter mosquitoes in other areas, both rural and urban, especially during wet seasons. Please consult your physician before traveling to South Africa. |
Passengers arriving in South Africa after visiting or connecting 12 hours or more in designated yellow fever countries must carry proof of yellow fever vaccination. Designated yellow fever countries include but are not limited to Kenya, Senegal, & Ghana and it is recommended to check with the South African consulate prior to travel for the complete list of countries.
This tour visits areas of high elevations on the Panorama Route (5,870 feet) and in eSwatini (6,110 feet), and may cause temporary altitude discomfort for some travelers. Those affected should avoid over-exertion, drink extra water, and eat lightly.
|Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)|
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways: |
|Climate & Clothing|
|South Africa & eSwatini - Spring and Autumn: 55-70°F, Summer: 60-80°F, Winter: 45-65°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer, and an all-weather jacket. Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses are also recommended. On game reserves, visitors should wear neutral colors such as brown, khaki, and beige for their own comfort. |
South Africa Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/africa/#south-africa-weather
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones. |
|Book & Film Recommendations|
|Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations. |
|SOUTH AFRICA: Books |
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Zulu by Caryl Ferey
Mafeking Road by Herman Charles Bosman
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
Playing the Enemy by John Carlin
Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog
|Preparing for Your Trip|
| As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. |
|Luggage & Packing|
|Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost. |
|Southern Africa - Passengers arriving into Johannesburg and connecting to Cape Town must collect their luggage upon arrival to Johannesburg, and re-check their baggage into their connecting flight to Cape Town. |
Flights within South Africa and between South Africa and Zimbabwe have a weight restriction for luggage of 44 lbs. per piece of checked luggage and 14 lbs. per piece of carry-on luggage, with a limit of one checked and one carry-on piece of luggage per person. This differs from international flight luggage limits and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip. A lock is recommended for checked luggage while traveling within Southern Africa.
Passengers traveling while pregnant are advised to carry a doctor’s note approving their health is suitable for flying. Southern Africa authorities reserve the right to deny passengers boarding if they do not carry such a note.
|Day of Departure|
|What to do if You Need Assistance|
Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.
|Arrival & Departure|
|Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. Be wary of airport scammers who offer unwanted assistance. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative. |
|What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed|
|Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services. |
|If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally. |
|Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date. |
The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.
|About Your Accommodations|
|Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center. |
|Hotel Check-in/ Check-out|
|Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later. |
|At Your Destination|
|Eco & Sustainable Tourism|
|We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs. |
|Cape Town Water Conservation|
|Cape Town is in a water-scarce region of South Africa and is susceptible to drought. During your stay, please be mindful of water consumption and support the local government’s conservation efforts, in the event water restrictions are in place. |
|Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience. |
|Suggested Tipping: Southern Africa & eSwatini|
Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $10 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage): US $3 per person per day, US $2 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $4 per person per day of sightseeing, US $2 per half day
Game Drive Ranger: US $5 per person per day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included
|South Africa & eSwatini - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists, as well as on safaris. |
|About Your Sightseeing|
|To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. On river cruises, color-coded group splits may be used for shoreside included and Optional tours. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list. |
|Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)|
|Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents. |
|Purchasing Tours Locally|
| On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional |
|Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses |
|South Africa & eSwatini - The Rand is the currency of South Africa. The Lilangeni is the currency of eSwatini however the South African Rand is widely accepted. When exchanging currency in a bank, a passport must be presented to complete the transaction. |
|Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities. |
We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.
While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.
U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.
|South Africa & eSwatini - Local specialties include handcrafts such as basketware, beadwork, embroidery and sculptures, as well as exceptional gold, platinum, and diamond jewelry. Boutiques, malls, markets, and roadside stands abound. |
|Your Safety is Very Important|
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit. |
It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:
If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.
|On Safari - While on safari, it is very important that you follow all directions provided by your guide in order to ensure the safety of the group. Prior to the first safari, your driver/guide will review "safari etiquette" addressing, amongst other issues, off-road driving and hazards, and interaction with animals. Wildlife listed in the itinerary are based upon optimal conditions conditions and sightings cannot be guaranteed, including the "Big 5." While on tour you will be reminded by your guide of local safety and ecologic procedures to ensure your safety and the protection of the wildlife. Normal precautions include remaining in close proximity to your driver/guide and vehicle, avoiding tall grass and keeping noise to a minimum to not attract extra attention. Your driver/guide will advise you not to turn over rocks or dead wood and to stay clear of ground holes and caves, where scorpions, snakes and other potentially dangerous animal life may be hidden. Refrain from littering, feeding any animals or leaving food waste behind in the parks as this can upset their natural diets and lead to a dependence upon people. In addition, please do not purchase, collect, or remove any animal products, rocks, seeds, plants, or nests from the wild. |
Roadways to the game viewing sites are for the most part unpaved and will therefore be rough and dusty. Gate 1 safari vehicles are fitted with large roof hatches or open sides to allow for easy viewing of wildlife from all angles. Safari vehicles cannot be air-conditioned and you will be provided bottled water while travelling. Vehicles are equipped with seatbelts which must be worn on public roads. While safari vehicles typically move slowly, drivers warn passengers of bumps or potholes and many passengers may choose not to wear a seatbelt, it is still strongly recommended to do so. Passengers should always remain seated when the vehicle is in motion. Inside the National Parks and reserves there are designated picnic sites. Due to frequent use wildlife tends to avoid these areas with the exception of primates, reptiles, birds and small mammals. However, since picnic sites are open it is possible that a larger animal, such as an elephant, may wander through. Outside of the parks, it may be necessary to make more frequent shopping stops as these stores provide the only acceptable facilities while touring due to the lack of public rest stops.
|Tourist Street Scams|
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed: |
|Cape Town - While we recommend that you apply reasonable caution and common sense when traveling in any country, please be aware that in Cape Town, there are significant issues with theft against tourists in public places. Do not carry expensive valuables or wear valuable items (jewelry, watches) out in public and keep cameras and other touristy items out of sight like money belts and hip bags. If you have any questions on how to use the ATM machines ask your Tour Manager, do not ask strangers. Carry little cash and use a credit card as often as possible as they are widely accepted. Keep your card in your eye sight at all times when paying. You should not explore alone and it is recommended to travel in small groups. Be sure to ask directions from your tour manager and the hotel to avoid less safe areas. Do not take public transportation on buses as these vehicles are targets for robbery. We recommend that taxis be reserved via the hotel concierge desk, and that you do not ride alone when possible. As in most parts of the world, be aware of your surroundings and keep to well-lit and populated areas. Be sure to use the hotel safes at all times for your valuable items. |
|Local Emergency Phone Numbers|
|South Africa - Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, and English are among the local languages. |
|Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. |
|South Africa - The voltage used is 220 volts. The national electric company of South Africa has imposed planned power outages, locally referred to as "load shedding," to cope with overdemand on the electrical grid. Hotels in major cities are equipped with back-up generators so there are no interruptions to normal services, however hotels outside of major cities may have supplemental generators that provide electricity to only essential services. Power is generally restored within 2-3 hours of the outage, however this can vary. Passengers traveling with CPAP machines must notify Gate 1 Travel in advance so accommodations can be made to ensure there are no interruptions to run these machines through the night. |
|Code of Conduct|
|South Africa & eSwatini - Shaking hands is the standard greeting. Common courtesies should be observed. Conservative casual dress is appropriate. Rural areas tend to be more conservative than urban areas. In conversation, avoid discussing racial tensions. South Africa is one of the world's great examples of biodiversity. Please be mindful of this ecological significance and do not litter. |
|Meals & Dietary Requests|
|Included meals are based on the restaurant's buffet or set menu. Beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although special diets like Vegetarian and Vegan are relatively commonplace in the USA, much of the world's menu options are more provincial. Please do not expect to find the variety of food selection outside of the local norm. Every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests selected no later than 5 days prior to departure in the passenger details section of your reservation. In addition, we recommend that you make preferences known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. Special requests are subject to local conditions and availability and cannot be guaranteed. |
|On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. |
|Holidays - South Africa|
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: Day off for New Year's Day
Mar 21: Human Rights Day
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter
Apr 10: Family Day
Apr 27: Freedom Day
May 1: Worker's Day
Jun 16: Youth Day
Aug 9: National Women's Day
Sep 24: Heritage Day
Sep 25: Day off for Heritage Day
Dec 16: Day of Reconciliation
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Day of Goodwill
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Mar 21: Human Rights Day
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 31: Family Day
Apr 27: Freedom Day
May 1: Worker's Day
Jun 16: Youth Day
Aug 9: National Women's Day
Dec 16: Day of Reconciliation
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Day of Goodwill
We enjoyed our safari, really up to our expectations, and the one that made this happened was our tour manager Christopher. Christopher is all of the following: Super friendly, even to most of the safari drivers in game drives, caring, takes time to know and address our concerns. Flexible, goes out of his way and time to fill our expectations. Excellent safari driver, knows where to go off road to look for lions, elephants, hippos, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, etc. We strongly recommend Gate1Travel customers have Christopher as their tour manager. Christopher is Gate1Travel greatest asset.Henry C.
My husband and I just returned from an incredible 10 day trip to Kenya and Tanzania with Gate 1 Travel. We had amazing game drives with expert tour guides. Steve, our guide in Kenya, has a degree in zoology. He was a wealth of information. In Tanzania, our guide Abushiri, was wonderful. His knowledge of the land and animals greatly enhanced our experience. I highly recommend the optional sunrise hot air balloon safari over Masai Mara. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. Thank you Steve, Abu, and Gate 1 for helping us experience the sights and beauty of this magical land. We will definitely travel with Gate 1 again!Christine K.
My trip to South Africa was wonderful. I went to see the animals and we did!!! Thank Goodness! It was a thrill!Joyce N.
My trip to Africa was one of the best vacations I've had in 25 years of travel. I want to thank you for a fantastic bargain and everything that was included. The tour director was very knowledgeable, accommodating, and excellent at his job. The people we interacted with were great! Thank you again.Dennis S.
We had a wonderful Gate 1 Travel trip to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa! It exceeded our expectations in many ways. The safaris we took by vehicle and boat were great! Our tour manager, Desire, was excellent.Robert S.
This trip was just incredible! All the details were managed expertly by our guide Desiré. She is a credit to your company and the trip would not have been the same without her! We had outstanding game drives, experiencing sights that others can only dream of...Karen K.
Trip was terrific! Saw so much and found Africa to be magical. Our Tour Manager, Hendrik, was amazing. He seemed to know every detail about all the flora and fauna; dealt nimbly with the various personalities in our group; was unfailingly responsive and empathetic, and somehow managed to herd a diverse group of people through the complex journey of a lifetime. What a thrill this trip was! Thank you Henk, and Gate 1.Barbara H.
I completed the survey from our Kenya Safari, but I wanted to add more compliments. Our two guides, Francis and Joseph, were amazing and went above and beyond. They went out of their way to find the sightings we were interested in and to be friendly and helpful! Vasqual in Samburo was excellent at both the botany walk demonstrating how they use the plants and for the cultural talk that evening! So welcoming and fun and informative! Abraham, Cleo were so nice , and chef Jacob at Aberdare's lunch went above and beyond giving us our favorite recipe! The Elephant talk at the Ark was so good - he was a good speaker! The boat ride on Lake Navasha was a treat! We really enjoyed the 'extra' of the Coriolis effect at the equator - forgot his name but he made it so interesting! The included activities by Daniel at Lake Naivasha were impressive - the cooking class was amazing as was the nature walk and bush breakfast. Thanks for an amazing trip for my family of 6!Terri O.
I can't say enough about our tour guide Chris . He was so warm , friendly and professional. He made us feel safe as we were four women traveling alone in a foreign country. Chris was in tune with every single one of us . He went out of his way to load the luggage and help us in and out of the car every time. He really cared. Chris is in the perfect profession -I learned so much from him. He taught us about all the animals we saw, and educated us on the culture. He was so knowledgeable. When the trip was over, I was sad. I felt as if I was leaving a close friend . He definitely showed us the beauty of Kenya as well as the spirit of the country . Kenya will be forever in my heart and Chris's enthusiasm and pride in his country I will never forget . He made our trip amazing !!! Thank you Gate 1 !!Margaret H.
I just wanted to comment on our recent trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar but mostly about our guide/tour manager Philip. I am always amazed at the quality of the tour managers you provide but Philip went above and beyond. From the first morning when he introduced himself to our small group, he was courteous, attentive, informative and fun. We enjoyed playing jokes on him and he took it in stride, always with a smile. His knowledge of the plants and animals we saw was astounding. Even though he repeats this trip over and over again, his enthusiasm when showing us the animals was so genuine, he seemed as excited as we were. It didn't matter how many questions were asked, he patiently answered each one often going beyond the simple answer but giving us a more in depth answer concerning animal behavior and what we should look for when viewing them. He also seemed to have great respect from other tour guides/managers we saw along our route. Many of them took the time to speak to us about Philip and how we were in good hands. He definitely made it a trip we will always remember. This was our 22nd trip with Gate 1 and he made it one of the best.Amy B.
Jason was the most professional, fun, and knowledgeable tour guide I have ever had! Gate 1 is so lucky to have him as an employee! He is very organized and professional, he made our whole tour of 28 people enjoy every minute of our trip to South Africa! If you are planning to do a Gate 1 tour in South Africa I highly recommend asking for Jason as your guide!Carleigh C.
The trip was an awesome experience of a life time. We were well taken care of by the Gate 1 representatives all the way. The accommodations varied from the modern hotels/lodges with swimming pools to tent camp cabins where we slept close to hippos in Masai Mara, or where we could hear the grunting and growling of lions, cries of hyaenas, footsteps of dik-diks (smallest deer), encounter giraffes visited yards away in Serengeti, or monkeys peeked into our windows, elephants and giraffes roaming beyond our lodge grounds in Amboseli. The literal zebra crossings (right in front of our jeep) were funny. Watching the lion pride sleeping in the shade while we had box lunch inside our jeep feet away was unimaginable. Wildebeests, elephants, buffalos all lined up orderly and marched in unison. Our games guides (James in Kenya and Vincent in Tanzania) were enthusiastic and knowledgeable in showing us the wild life while tactfully maneuvered over the bumpy and rough terrain. Once an elusive leopard laying on a tree limp perfectly camouflaged and a sleeping cheetah well blended with the dry grass were spotted by the guides. There were just too many memorable and impressive moments... Yes, we did have our "National Geographic" moment in Kenya and Tanzania.Georgia Y.
Absolute amazing especially the Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking. Our guide Yona was excellent. Uganda felt safe and welcoming. Thank you Gate 1 for the great trip.Sheila T.
It was a fantastic trip! A+ on everything. Belinda, our tour guide, was great. Kept us informed and safe throughout the trip. She made sure everything promised was delivered and she competently interacted with staff and purveyors to ensure we received first class treatment. She was a delightful travel companion and made sure everyone's needs were met. Safari guides Jonas and Play at Melomi Crossing in the Okavango Delta were top-notch. They worked very long days, walking us from our tents before sunrise and walking us back after sunset. Jonas sat with us at meals, offered pleasant conversation and all the while keeping an eye on our cups and plates to make sure we lacked nothing. While we were dining, Play was busy setting us up for the day. Jonas's expertise at driving on the sandy Delta roads (if you can call them that) was amazing. Watching Jonas and Play looking at the ground, analyzing animal tracks, and putting us on animal sightings was incredible. They answered every question we had and tried to make sure we saw every animal we had special interest in. They worked so hard! Drivers and local guides Dumi, Milton, John, and Alan drove safely, offered a hand getting off and on the busses, and, when also serving as local guides, were deeply knowledgeable and also made sure we physically were walking at a pleasant and safe pace. All of the side excursions were enjoyable. The Victoria Falls train ride, the Riverboat cruise on the Zambezi, the wine country tour in Cape Town, the drive to Cape of Good Hope and the penguin colony were all good; don't replace them please.Martha P.
We had an amazing time in Namibia. The Sossusvlei Dunes were so beautiful and we enjoyed all stops and activities on the trip. The food was fabulous and we loved the dinner under the stars. The hotels were also very nice. Our tour guide Herunga was one of the best we ever had. His love for the country showed and he was very informative. He was flexible making sure we had the best experience and opportunities to view the beautiful country, sunrises and sunsets. Our bus driver Elson did a fantastic job driving on some very bumpy challenging roads. We really enjoyed this trip!Jacqueline A.
It was beyond my expectations. The guides Paul and Peter were so knowledgeable and willing to share. They were also very patient with good senses of humor. The guide makes the trip. Thank you. The accommodations were very nice. Some even great. We were well taken care of and were busy from morning to night. We able to see many animals, go on 2 boat trips. The chimps were very active and fun. The gorillas were unbelievable. It really is a trip of a lifetime.Zena R.
It was truly the trip of a lifetime! This was our 9th Gate 1 tour since 2017, with 2 more still to come. It exceeded our wildest expectations. The group was great - we are all now friends. The accommodations were superb. The activities were amazing. The sights were unbelievable. And our tour manager - Laurence - was the epitome of knowledge and professionalism. He was loved by all. He frequently went above and beyond for us, making a remarkable trip even better. And he was a great friend to the group as well. I cannot stop singing the praises of this Gate 1 adventure to everyone I meet. We brought a single friend with us and we're hopeful he would enjoy the experience. He is already booking the Uganda trip as we speak! I jokingly said to my husband midway through the trip that I didn't have to go anywhere ever again after this experience. But, of course, two more Gate 1 adventures are yet to come! Thank you, Gate 1, for truly letting us see More of the World for Less!Jo-Ann B.
This trip was phenomenal! Amazing! Extraordinary! Exciting! Our safari to the 5 national parks in Kenya and Tanzania was amazing from start to finish. We saw the big 5, saw animals from afar; cheetah, lions, elephants, wildebeest, black mamba, etc - up close. Kudos to our fabulous guides. We had 2 guides with us in each country, we interacted primarily with Sam, our guide in Kenya, and George, our guide in Tanzania because we were in their jeeps. Sam, who acted as the lead, kept us well informed on our schedules and itineraries. Both Sam and George were exceptional in their knowledge of the animals, their behaviors, the migration - the ecosystems, fresh water, alkaline lake, plants, botany, farm life, railroads we saw, old churches. Anything we discussed, Sam and George would provided facts and the context and history. I wanted to learn about the masaai people. From George we learned about growing up as a masaai, the culture etc. Sam and George didn't just answer questions they provided information they thought would be helpful and that we would enjoy hearing and learning. I basically told them, share anything you want with us, fill my head with knowledge! Sam and George did not disappoint! They were the best and they were exceptional at what they do.Sherry C.
It was trip of a lifetime. Wasn't prepared for all the gravel, rock, dusty roads but after the first day on the game drive got used to it. The guides in my vehicles Frances and Felix were outstanding. Very knowledgeable, went out of their way to get us beautiful photos, find us animals before any of the other vehicles, and explain about the habits of the animals. We always had all the time needed to get our photos. The people in our vehicle were a fun bunch. I did need some assistance getting in and out of the vehicle but a large stepstool was always there for all who needed it. The accommodations were fantastic. The food was delicious and so varied. Tried new things and for the most part everything was delicious even the goat stew! Loved the Ngorongoro crater. Loved the time we had at the airport Marriott. Got us rested up for the long trip home. I would recommend this trip to anyone interested, especially the Discovery Small group. Thank you for all who made this my trip of a lifetime.Sandra P.
The hotels choices were very accommodating with exceptional customer service and food offerings. The Mövenpick in Nairobi was conveniently located, clean, ample and the service was on the top scale. The Lake Elementaita Mountain Lodge was situated in the top of a mountain with fascinating views and the Elementaita Lake and the imposing presence of the flamingos. A personal cabin was assigned with ample space, extraordinary clean, and the comfort of a high end hotel. The advertisement for the Lake Elementaita Resort on the Gate 1 page lacks the truth beauty of this property. At the Massai Mara the Pride Inn Lodge was originally designed with personal glam tents, excellent service, clean surroundings, and very good food choices. Listening to the sounds of wild animals at night added the perfect touch to the nights in the wilderness of the Massai Mara. My guide Chris, was a book of knowledge, a gentleman who delivered great attention to all of us whom where assigned to his group. Literally we formed our tribe. We made out of "collective noun for a fun group of people" hence The Circus! Hesboro and Paul, Christopher's Co workers were also very good guides and showed respect and attentiveness to their group and whenever they interacted with my group. We created memories that will forever last as well as new friendships. It was a bit early for the Great Migration so the Wildebeest had not arrived. However there were a few left from last year's migration. I was very blessed and fortunate to observe lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, elephants, giraffes(Rosenshchild, reticulated and Kenyan) zebra, Buffalo, hippopotamus, warthog, Gazelle, impala, topi, hartebeest, bushbuck, waterbuck, eland, dik dik, baboon, silver monkey, a few wildebeest and bats Birds: super starting, greater flamboyance flamingos, lesser flamingos, herons, kestrel, black banded osprey, Kenyan crows and secretary bird. Visiting the Massai Village which I did on two occasions. Once upon my arrival in Nairobi with a private guide was the best way to spend my birthday. The family nomad tribe welcomed me into their clan and offered me a lesson on bead jewelry making, took me to herd the goats and sheep. Taught me how to milk goats, make fire with sticks and elephant dunk, invited me into their hut to prepare a meal and have a conversation about their life and my life. Their farewell dance, singing and dancing happy birthday for me not only brought tears to me but and an overwhelming feeling of joy and gratitude.Bibiana H.
The trip was simply over the top. It truly was a trip of a lifetime. This was the very first time that I've ever taken a structured tour, and I could not have been more pleased. Anni was simply over the top and made all the difference. She is a true professional in every sense of the word. She was fun and exciting! She is very passionate about what she does, and she made certain that we all were educated and felt safe on the trip. I observed her time and time again, being attentive, and having one on ones with all of us. She is simply amazing, what a valuable asset to Gate 1. Can't wait to go on my next Gate 1 trip!Ralph W.
It was a fabulous trip. Both tours managers in Kenya ( George) and Tanzania ( Phillip) were phenomenal. Great managers and guides. The accommodations were superb. Food is delicious . All organic. Wish we had 3 nights instead of two at the Serengeti. We saw The Big 5 both at Lake Nakuru, Maasai Mara National park and the Serengeti. Hot air balloon ride in Serengeti was phenomenal! Looking forward to our Gate 1 trip to Ireland in September. Thanks for all your help Joycee! I referred 5 people to you from this trip. You are the best! I appreciate your expertise!Jane R.
Our trip was fabulous. The itinerary lived up to expectations. The amount of time in each location worked well. The tour director (Desmond) planned each day to maximize as much as we could even when weather became an issue. From the moment we booked the trip to the final flight home, it was fabulous. Thank you for your company and the way you handle tour groups. This trip was much different than the China trip we took back in 2018. The make-up of the group was different and worked really well. The age spread was 15 years old to mid 70's with most being close to late 50's. Do love the multi-generationals make-up of the group. We took our 27 & 29 year old sons with us and they had a blast. Desmond made sure every age group was being accommodated. Also did want to comment on the hotels used for his trip. They were all exceptional and especially loved the AC Hotel in Cape Town and the Lodges in Kruger and Victoria Falls. Lots of opportunity to see wildlife directly from the Lodge properties. We will definitely do another Gate 1 trip soon. Please give a special shout out to Desmond who is a true professional at what he does. Thank you for always making our travel special.Michael R.
Our recent small group discovery trip with Gate 1 once again exceeded our expectations. Our Tour Managers, Chris and Emmanuel were knowledgeable, professional, courteous, kind and committed to Gate 1. In a word they were AWESOME! They represent your company well. Our trip and the itinerary was action packed and fast paced which was great. The interaction and outreach within the communities was exceptional. Our interaction with the children/students at one of the schools tugged at our hearts. It was a rewarding experience. All the accommodations and meals were superb. I wish we could have stayed for one additional night at the lodge in Kimbale. My wife and I are very much looking forward to our upcoming small group discovery tour with Gate 1 to Antarctica in February. Thanks again and onto the next adventure!Terry T.
We had a Trip of a Lifetime...I should be a Spokesperson for Gate 1 Travel!!! My passion for experiencing the WORLD... LIVES on Through Gate 1 and your EXCELLENT CHOICES of Tours! This fantastic Company has NEVER let me Down and CONTINUES TO provide TOP RATED ACCOMMODATIONS, SERVICE AND OH MY GOSH THE FOOD!!!! OUR tour guide Kenyatta was the MOST knowledgeable, courteous, KIND, FUNLOVING gentleman....He was Beyond AMAZING...WE all left a piece of our hearts in Kenya especially in Samburu and the Mara....such a BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY full of Nature's Amazing Animals! Thank you Gate 1 for providing this exceptional service to my 3 Sisters and I...I will not Travel with ANY other COMPANY!!!Nancy A.
Our trip to Zambia, Botswana and South Africa was exceptional. Our tour manager, Belinda, was an absolute joy. Her insight and knowledge helped us understand the culture and uniqueness of Southern Africa. We enjoyed the magic of Victoria Falls and while on safari in Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta the animal and bird sightings were phenomenal. Our visits to Cape Town's Table Mountain and lush vineyards were a perfect ending. Once again, Gate 1 gave us a beautiful trip.Nancy L.
I just wanted to add to the post-trip survey following my 10-day visit to Kenya and Tanzania. This was my 9th Gate 1 trip and arguably my best. Aside from being beautiful countries and people and incredible wildlife, the itinerary, lodging facilities and tour managers far exceeded expectations. My tour guides Jafar (Kenya) and Baraka (Tanzania) were excellent professional safari guides who were successful in showing us the best of the Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater. They were very conscientious in catering to our specific needs. Staff of the Pride Inn Mara Camp were very helpful and attentive. But the staff of the Acacia Farm Lodge really captured my heart. They sang for us when we arrived and sang for us when we departed. I'm a hardened 74-year old engineer, and I cried. I didn't want to leave. And I definitely want to go back.Ralph C.
We just returned from our sixth Gate 1 trip. Although the Tour Managers we had all on previous Gate 1 trips were good, Charl definitely raised the bar on how good a Tour Manager can be! Our tour group consisted of 37 persons. I equated his job as one who had the impossible task of herding 37 cats, but he made the impossible task possible. He took the time with each person in the group to answer their questions and make sure each person was satisfied with how the tour was proceeding. When he spoke with each person, he acted like that person was the only one in the group, and would not move on until that person was satisfied with his response. Charl's calm personality and demeanor kept everyone at ease and helped in maintaining group unity. Charl was always up early greeting everyone at breakfast and did not retire at night until everyone was done with dinner. When we were leaving Johannesburg to fly back home on the last day of our tour, Charl helped us resolve our delayed flight issue, and did not leave us until he knew we were satisfied with the rebooking of our flights. He almost missed his flight back to Cape Town to make sure we were okay! Charl is very proud to be from South Africa, and is very proud to be a representative for his country. Gate 1 should be proud to have Charl as a valued member of the Gate 1 team!Lawrence P.
What a Wonderful Trip! We saw all the The Big Five, multiple times. The meals were delicious and introduced us to Kenyan cuisine. The accommodations were interesting and more than comfortable. The guides, Geof, Dennis, Muthee, and Moses, were welcoming and took great care of us. They were exceptionally knowledgeable and personable. The small group was awesome! We would certainly do again. Many Thanks to all that made this a most memorable trip,Terry R.
What a wonderful experience! Our Uganda tour exceeded my expectations from the tour managers, the hotels and friendliness of their staffs, sights that we saw and guides who led us. It was amazing. We traveled the most with Paul and he did an excellent job in providing information, local color, water in the vehicles and even kept a roll of toilet paper for the ladies to use at the rest stops along the way. The trekking was wonderful and we were fortunate to see 10 chimpanzees and a gorilla family of 16! The total experience is one where I am still pinching myself that I experienced so much in a short amount of time. I will be a Ugandan Ambassador for the future. Looking forward to my next Gate 1 adventure in April to Albania, Montenegro, Croatia & Slovenia. Thanks again.Cynthia B.
Our Discovery trip to Namibia was incredible due to the leadership and knowledge of our tour guide Herunga. His enthusiasm and love for his country was obvious as he shared commentary on the countryside, animal life and the customs and traditions of Namibia. Kudos also for our bus driver- Kenneth. Kind and funny and more than capable of driving our bus over washboard roads! We truly enjoyed our excursion!Deborah L.
We had a wonderful trip to South Africa. Our guide Anna was outstanding. She as very intelligent very concerned in our safety, very to take in timing for all our excursions ,giving us accurate and interesting information. The hotels and meals were very good. But the real reason that our trip was so good was Anna our guide. I will give this trip a 10 out of 10.Christa R.
I recently completed an extraordinary trip to South Africa, Botswana, Victoria Falls with Gate1. Without question, a really marvelous trip was made spectacular by the tour director Jason. Although I have not taken many, many tours, Jason easily was the best I have ever encountered. Highly informative, kind, intuitive, caring, diligent, and efficient, he made a spectacular trip all that it was. I think he is everything that a Tour Director should be. All of us were blown away at how successful the trip was, and attributed the smoothness and richness of the trip to his knowledge and efforts. I cannot recommend him highly enough. Cheers to Gate1 for having someone like Jason there for the members who are lucky enough to cross his path.Steven P.
Our trip to South Africa was the best. Our tour Manager Gavin was very well knowledgeable and friendly. Experienced the Apartheid Museum, land in Eswatini ,Cultural Dance and Dinner, Game drive in Kruger nation park we're very memorable. Overall we all enjoyed the trip.Suketu M.
The 14-Day Classic South Africa with Robben Island & Victoria Falls was wonderful. Our tour guide, Jason was available whenever we were needed. He took care of our every need. He also is very well-versed in the history and background of South Africa among other things. He answered every question that was asked in great detail. A friend in our group had a birthday during the tour and Jason arranged for a cake, ice cream and champagne to be served. Because we decided to stay an extra day in Johannesburg at the end of the tour, Jason arranged transportation for us for that day so we were able to visit the Apartheid Museum and shop at Eastgate Mall before going to the airport for our return trip home. Everything was Awesome! Thank You for a lifetime trip. We want to return in the future - so much to see, learn and experience.Sherry S.
Our trip to South Africa and Victoria Falls was amazing! This was our 5th trip with Gate 1 and we are already planning our next adventure! Our tour guide Belinda was kind, knowledgeable and extremely helpful. She consistently treated everyone with respect and courtesy. We expressed wanting to go to Robben Island (please add to itinerary), and she assisted us in obtaining tickets and where to catch the ferry. Belinda did not hesitate to give us valuable information regarding shopping, currency exchange, safety and great restaurant recommendations. Honestly, our group had a few difficult people who complained unnecessarily and she handled them with great patience and professionalism. Lastly, I appreciate how our tour guide assists us in navigating through the airport to catch our return flight home without incident. Gate 1 will always be our choice for group travel!Michelle R.
I just completed a trip to Africa. Our tour manager, Reiner was AMAZING! He makes me want to do more tours. He was so nice, knowledgeable, prompt approachable all rolled into one amazing guide! I just wanted to give him extra kudos, he truly deserves it!Angela M.
Fantastic! Our tour manager Jason was absolutely amazing. He helped us arrange our flight back to Cape Town from Victoria Falls because we arranged our own flights and we were scheduled to fly home from Cape Town not from Johannesburg as was planned for our trip with Gate 1. He made sure that we didn't miss any of our planned excursions, there are just too many things he did for our group and for us to list here. All of our accommodations were beautiful and our tour guide, Deon, at the Mabula Game Reserve and our tour guide, Emmanuel, in Kasane for the Chobe National Park tour and Chobe River Safari Cruise were wonderful too. They were very knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Because of them we are Gate 1 travelers for life!Sarah B.