Before You Go

You've chosen your adventure; you've booked it... What next?

Being prepared before you go travelling is important as it will ensure you have the right information. Acacia Africa provides all the pre-travel advice necessary for the preparation of your tour; from what to pack to how to carry your money. We've put together a check-list below of the things to consider before you set off on your adventure.

Remember, the earlier you think about preparing, the better. For example, visas and vaccinations may take up to 6 weeks to arrange.

Our detailed tour dossiers include a full itinerary, background information and optional activity costs. These can be downloaded, or are provided when your booking is confirmed.

Visa and Embassy Advice

General Advice

Make sure you know what visas you need and how to get them before you travel. Visa requirements vary with nationality and change frequently, often with little or no notice. You should enquire well in advance of your departure date with each appropriate embassy, consulate or visa authority about your destination(s) visa requirements. At least one month prior to travel, seek confirmation from embassies or a visa specialist, if said requirements are still current.

For UK citizens, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) offers free up-to-date travel info: For other nationalities, there is travel advice on their own government websites. If your own government advises not to travel to the country you are planning to visit for any reason, check with your insurance company, as some policies may not be valid.

Travel Documents


Each nationality has different visa requirements and it is your responsibility to ensure that you have a valid visa for your destination(s). We will assist in any questions or queries that you may have and will also provide any documentation you may require to show proof of travel.

Some visas can be obtained on arrival and you need to ensure that you have US$ cash to pay for these (post 2009 edition notes). Other visas may only be obtained at an embassy or consulate prior to travel.

Some notable examples are South Africa, Malawi and Namibia. Visas for these countries must be obtained prior to travel if a visa is required.

Please contact your agent or a visa specialist and please bear in mind that visa rules and regulations do change with little or no notice.


Please ensure that you pass on your passport information to Acacia prior to departure. Most countries in Africa require you to have at least 6 months validity past the date that you intend to return home.

You also need to ensure that you have one full clear page for each country that you are visiting and a double page spread for South Africa (two clear pages next to each other). Failure to adhere to these regulations may result in delays or refused entry at border posts.

Many countries in Africa do NOT recognise dual nationality / dual citizenship. As such you need to travel on an individual passport for the duration of your tour in Africa. It is not practical to leave one country on one passport and then enter the next on another passport.

If you are unsure regarding anything please contact your agent or Acacia for more information.

Travel Insurance

All Acacia Africa tours require mandatory travel insurance and we do ask for a copy of your travel insurance policy to be shown to your tour leader prior to departure. Your insurance must cover any pre-existing conditions and emergency evacuation.

Acacia Africa has teamed up with World Nomads Travel Insurance. Wherever you are in the world, you can book your travel insurance online and have your documents emailed through to you. Details can be found on their website at:

Please don’t forget to bring your documents with you as your tour leader will need to see them.

Travel & Accommodation Vouchers

After you have paid your final balance, we will issue you, or your agent, a travel voucher. You need to produce this at the start of your tour.

Your travel voucher serves as a ticket for your tour and constitutes proof of payment for the tour. It will also contain other important information including local contact information and departure time.

If you have booked any additional services - transfers, pre or post tour accommodation - a voucher will be issued for each of these services.

Please ensure that you receive the Acacia issued vouchers from your travel agent and if you have any questions or queries please don't hesitate to contact us.

Tour Dossier
Please carefully read the Tour Dossier for all information relevant to your tour.

Tour Dossier

Please read the Tour Dossier for all information relevant to your tour.


Credit / Debit Cards and Forex Cash Cards

Most people choose to travel with a Credit or Debit card but this should not be relied solely upon.

VISA is the most widely accepted card and is recommended. Mastercard and American Express are accepted only in selected locations.

Some providers charge high fees for using Credit and Debit cards.

It is now possible to obtain Forex Cash Cards from Travelex as an alternative to your usual Debit or Credit Card.

Please note that all ATM's will ONLY dispense cash in local currency. You will only be able to draw US$ cash from ATM's in Zimbabwe.

Most activities are payable by credit card (surcharges will apply).


Bring most of your spending money in cash as USD, Sterling or Euro. Generally, US dollars are the easiest to exchange. If your tour remains within Southern Africa - South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Mozambique - you may opt to bring all your spending money in South African Rand and you can change the money before you leave your own country.

If you carry US dollar bills in East Africa, please ensure they are clean, un-torn and issued post-2009. Anything else will incur a poor exchange rate or might be refused. Your guide can advise you where it is best to change money into the local currency on your tour and how much you are likely to require. Some tours may require you to have money already changed after arrival at the airport. Please check your tour dossier.

Travel Health and Safety

Travel Clothing and Equipment - Nomad Travel Store

Travel Clothing & Equipment
Nomad have been kitting out travellers since 1990. Our ethos is the same today as it was then to ensure every traveller departs with the correct clothing, equipment and medical supplies for their trip. Whether this is your first trip away or you simply want to update or replace your clothing or equipment, the Nomad staff will endeavour to supply you with the perfect item. Nomad also offers a free kit out consultation service - simply make an appointment at your nearest Nomad store and clinic, as it will save you both time and money in the long run! . Tel: 0208 888 1405

By allowing 6-8 weeks for your vaccination programme, you have time to fit in full courses of vaccines where required which provides you with the best possible protection against certain vaccine preventable diseases. If you don't have time to complete courses before you go, you risk travelling with little or even no protection against sometimes high-risk diseases. All Nomad nurses are fully trained in travel health and use up to the minute information to ensure you are fully protected. Clinic Bookings Tel: 01341 555 061

First Aid & Medication

All Acacia Purpose-built vehicles are equipped with a first aid 'Trauma Kit'. This is intended for use in an emergency and contains the necessary items to administer basic first aid.

The kits do NOT contain any personal medication such as painkillers, anti-histamine, etc and you should bring a small personal medical kit with suggested items like: antiseptic ointment or spray, cotton wool, sterile dressings, crepe bandage, band aids, scissors, tweezers, tape, antibiotic powder, painkillers, lip salve, sun block, insect repellent, water purification tablets, hypodermic needles and syringes, anti-malaria tablets, anti-diarrhea tablets, and a good supply of re-hydration powder sachets.

You may wish to consult your doctor or vaccination clinic regarding a broad-spectrum antibiotic (for skin and/or bowel infection) as there are occasions when you cannot obtain these locally. Don't forget a supply of any prescription medicines you usually use (asthma, birth control etc).


We strongly advise that you contact your local travel clinic or doctor well in advance of travelling as you may well need vaccinations prior to travel.

NB: Some countries require a compulsory yellow fever vaccination certificate for entry. Failure to provide one may result in a denied entry.


Malaria is the most common serious ailment affecting both residents and visitors to many parts of Africa. Seek professional medical advice regarding whether you may take anti-malaria medication, the different types available and which is most suitable for you. Anti-malaria medication will offer some protection, however you must also use a good insect repellent cream/spray to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in the first place.

Our tents have mosquito nets in the vents and it is not generally necessary to bring a separate mosquito net unless you plan to sleep outside 'under the stars', in which case you are recommended to bring one.

What To Pack

Spectacles / Contact Lenses

Take a spare pair of spectacles and/or contact lenses if you normally wear them. Some people have trouble with contact lenses and dust therefore we suggest you bring a pair of spectacles as back up and to avoid possible problems. We also recommend that you bring your spectacle prescription with you, as it is possible to have lenses made in the larger cities - should the need arise.

Most well-known brands of contact lenses are available in South Africa at reasonable prices.


Toiletry bag, towel, small mirror, razors, shampoo, soap, wet wipes, toothbrush and paste, moisturiser, sun protection lotion, sanitary napkins. Most supplies can be replenished en-route, however not all western brands may be available.

Clothing - Adventure Tours

You will be on the move quite a bit, so we suggest that you pack lightly. The lockers we provide on the custom-built vehicles are about 70 litres (H:330mm, L:700mm W:540mm) and this is the only space for storage so please keep your luggage to this size.

Please note that we recommend you pack for warm days and cool nights. Even in summer the evenings can cool down quite a lot.

Our Camping Adventure tours require that you bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. We provide your tent and sleeping mat (tents have built in Mosquito nets.)

Gorilla trekking:
The terrain is quite difficult, so we suggest you bring comfortable sturdy hiking boots suited to rugged terrain. The area can be muddy and slippery especially if you are trekking in the wet season. The items of clothing you wear for trekking may not come back in their original state, so bring clothing you do not mind getting dirty/wet. Neutral colours will need to be worn for this trek.

Itemized list for Adventure Tours:
Waterproof jacket/pants (if travelling in rainy season)
Sleeping bag/small pillow (not applicable for Accommodated tours)
Fleece/warm top
Small towel
Sun hat/sunblock/sunglasses
Shirts long and short sleeve
Hiking/trekking pants
Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
Flip flops/thongs/Sandals/slops
Short/long pants
Smart outfit/dress
Underwear (girls include a sports bra)
Watch (alarm clock)
Water bottle (reusable bottles are popular to avoid plastic waste)
Locker Padlock
Flashlight/head torch (remember to bring extra batteries)
First aid kit
Toiletries (supplies for most things can be replenished en-route but Western brands may not always be available)
Spectacles/contact lenses (there might be a lot of dust, so if you wear contacts we suggest you bring spectacles for the dusty days on tour).
Power-bank for charging

Most people make the mistake of bringing too much! The clothing you bring should be easy to launder and hard wearing. There will be an opportunity to do washing at most campsites.

Acacia Africa is working with a registered NPO in Cape Town called SAVE (South Africa Volunteer Experience). This organization helps assist, develop and uplift the local disadvantaged communities in and around Blouberg, Cape Town. Our office is also located in this area and we are helping by donating any items left behind in our vehicles. If you bring too much and wish to donate, please let your tour leader know.


Most general items can be carried and stored in your main bag, but a lockable day pack or bag is essential for those items you may require during the day when there is no access to the vehicle for instance. Try to keep your luggage to a minimum and remember to keep to your airline's weight restriction (normally 20kg or less). Note some tours have luggage weight limits – please check your tour dossier for details.

Your luggage will be dependent on the type of trip you are taking but a holdall backpack, a soft bag on wheels or a rucksack are ideal for adventure travel when luggage is stored in vehicles. As a rule, hard cases should only be used on centre-based trips (i.e. dive tours or city stays). Your tour dossier has advice on luggage type.