Welcome to our travel tips page. Here you’ll find loads of useful info to help get you prepared before setting off your tip
Harvey World has put together a list for you to help you with all the information that you may require when travelling abroad. Please note that this is to be used as a guideline only. Please confirm details with your travel agent or the airline direct.
Have you booked all your travel requirements?
Example: Flight, transfers, accommodation, tours and visa.
SA Passport holders please check that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return.
Travelling to a destination that requires a visa?
If so make sure that you apply for your visa in advance and that everything is in order and that you receive your passport back before your departure.
Have you requested any extras?
Example: specials meals and specific seating requests for your flights.
Please not that these are on a request only basis and the agent cannot guarantee these.
Once you have received your documents please make sure to check all documents for accuracy. It is a good idea to carry photocopies of all your documents (separate to the original). Also leave a copy of your itinerary with a relative or friend at home.
Travel insurance is a must. If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford to travel!
Please reconfirm your flights directly with the airline 72 hours prior to departure, at each point of departure. When reconfirming all your flights, please check that special meals and seating requests are in order.
- Pack a change of clothing into your hand luggage in case of delays
- Clothing creases less if rolled into a sausage shape when packed
- No sharp objects are permitted in hand luggage
- During your flight drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol
- Exercise during your flight by regularly walking around the aircraft
- Airlines will charge you approximately R100 for each kilogram your luggage is over the stated baggage allowance so make sure you weigh your bags before departing
- Purchase your sightseeing, transport and accommodation before leaving South Africa to save money
This varies from airline to airline so you need to check with your travel agent to make sure what your baggage allowance is. Children 2-12 years have the same allowance as adults but infants 0-2years who are not occupying a seat may only have hand luggage with the additional of a collapsible stroller or pushchair.
Hand baggage is luggage that you carry on the plane with you, while hold baggage is luggage that you check-in. 6kg per person, of a size that will fit into the overhead locker, total dimensions 115cm (height+lenghth+width).
All baggage items, including hand baggage, must be screened, regardless of size.
You should always check size limits with your airline and airport before you travel. Airlines may also have their own rules about the number of bags you are allowed to take on the aircraft. It’s best to contact them if you have any questions.
Taking liquids in your luggage
Wherever possible you should pack liquids in your hold baggage, as there are restrictions on the amount you can take in your hand baggage
- All drinks, including water, soup and syrups
- Cosmetics and toiletries, including creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara and lipsticks
- Sprays, including shaving foam, hairspray and spray deodorants
- Pastes, including toothpaste
- Gels, including hair and shower gel
- Contact lens solution
- Any other solutions and items of similar consistency
If you need certain liquids during the flight, you can take them into the cabin in limited quantities as follows:
- Containers must hold no more than 100ml
- Containers must be carried in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
- Contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be sealed
- The bag must not be knotted or tied at the top
- Each passenger can carry only one of these bags
- The bag must be presented for examination at the airport security point
- Containers larger than 100ml (excluding essential medicines) will not be allowed through the security point even if they are only part full
One lighter per person may be carried on a flight. Lighters are considered to be liquids and should be put inside the plastic bag or screened separately. You must keep the lighter on your person throughout the flight.
It is very important that you DO NOT:
- Place it in your hold baggage
- Return it to your hand baggage after screening
Essential medicines, including inhalers and liquid dietary foodstuffs.
You are allowed to carry essential medicines of more than 100ml in your hand baggage, but you will need:
- Prior approval from the airline and departure airport supporting documentation from a relevant qualified medical professional (e.g. a letter from your doctor or prescription)
- Remember to take only what you need for your journey. Extra supplies and larger containers of medicine can go in your hold baggage.
- Baby food and baby milk
You are allowed to take baby food, baby milk and sterilised water in your hand baggage.
- Soya milk for babies
- Sterilised water for the baby (must be in a baby bottle)
- Formula, breast milk or cow milk specifically for babies
- Baby food of various consistencies
- You are allowed to take enough for the journey. In some cases this may be over 100ml. The adult carrying the baby food or milk may be asked to verify it by tasting.
Liquids bought at the airport
You can take into the aircraft cabin any liquids you buy after passing through security, as these items go through a separate screening process. This includes bottled water, wines and spirits and fragrances and cosmetics of any size.
You’re allowed to take electrical items (like laptops and hairdryers) in your hand baggage, but they have to be removed and screened separately.
Essential medical equipment
You are allowed to bring medical equipment if it is essential for your journey. The equipment will be screened separately and must be accompanied by supporting documentation from a qualified medical professional, such as a letter from your doctor.
If you plan on travelling with a large musical instrument, you should contact your airline before booking. You may need to make special arrangements, like buying an extra seat. Any musical instrument you bring with you will need to be screened separately
There is no additional allowance for sporting equipment, but it can be carried free of charge as part of your free checked baggage allowance. If the total number of bags is more than your free checked allowance, you will need to pay extra bag charges. Please double check with your agent or the airline direct to make sure if there will be any extra charge for your sporting equipment.
Important information regarding restricted items
Please note that due to the heightened security status in the past, some items have been banned on commercial flights for security.
These items are:
- Razor blades
- Knives with blades of any length
- Household cutlery
- Hypodermic needles
- Tools Catapults/slingshots
- Toy or replica guns
- Flammable liquids and solids
- Gas cylinders
- Infectious substances
- Non-safety matches, fire lighters, lighter fuel
- Poisons, arsenic, cyanide, weed killer
- Acids, corrosives, alkalis, caustic soda
- Radioactive materials
The above are just some of the restricted items for travel, also note that each airport has their own policy on what is allowed and what is not. So before flying out make sure the goods you take with you are allowed on your departure and arrival airports
Please reconfirm your flights as there may be airline schedule changes. Your return flight must be reconfirmed at your destination directly with the airline 3 days prior to your departure.
All passengers 18 years and over have an annual allowance of R500 000. Children under 18 years are permitted R160 000. When purchasing foreign exchange please ensure that you take your air ticket, passport and your latest utility bill with your physical address on.
Valid SA passports are required and your passport must be valid for 6 months after you return. It is a requirement of SA immigration that you have at least 2 blank pages available in your passport when you travel. You may be refused entry into other countries if you do not have 2 blank pages in your passport.
Duty free allowances – returning to South Africa.
These vary from Country to Country so please make sure you double check what they are depending on the destination you are travelling to.
- Cigarettes – 200
- Spirits – 1 litre
- Cigars – 50
- Wine – 2 litres
- Cigarettes or pipe tobacco – 250g
- Perfume – 50ml
- Gifts, Souvenirs – R3000
- Eau du Toilette – 250ml
Check with the Foreign & Commonwealth office before booking any travel, to view any travel warnings – your travel insurance may not be valid if there is a warning issued for the country you are visiting!
Ask your doctor about the necessity of immunisation from disease (e.g. Cholera, Hepatitis, Tetanus, etc.) for the countries you intend to visit. If you have any immunisations done, make sure you receive an International Health Certificate to show at immigration checkpoints and hospitals.
Please not some airport departure taxes are payable direct to the airline when travelling to/from certain destinations. This payment may be required in a foreign currency. Please make sure that you check this with your travel agent or the airline direct to make sure that you have the required money should you need this.
|Core Services||Fees||Fees Excluding Vat|
|Air Ticket – International – Economy Class (1-4 sectors)||R 650 Economy Class||R 650|
|Air Ticket – International Business Class (1-4 sectors)||R 850 Business Class||R 850|
|Air Ticket – International (per additional sector)||R 100 per sector||R 100|
|Air Ticket – Domestic – Economy Class (1-4 sectors)||R300||R342|
|Air Ticket – Domestic – Business Class (1-4 sectors)||R 350||R 399|
|Air Ticket – Regional – Economy Class (1-4 sectors)||R 300||R 300|
|Air Ticket – Regional – Business Class (1-4 sectors)||R 400||R 400|
|Air Ticket – Reissue / Revalidation International||R 250||R 250|
|Air Ticket – Reissue / Revalidation Domestic||R 150||R 171|
|Refund Admin fee||R 150||R 171|
|Accommodation Reservation fee International/Africa||R 250||R 250|
|Accommodation Reservation fee Domestic||R 150||R 171|
|Car Reservation fee||R 150||R 171|
|Visa fee||R 150||R 171|
|Rail/Bus Bookings International||R 200||R 228|
|Rail/Bus Bookings Domestic||R 120||R 136.80|
|Service||Fees||Fees Excluding Vat|
|Professional Travel Consulting fee( Minimum fee)||No Charge|
|Manual Farebuild||R 300||R 342|
|After-hours assistance until 21h00 (per transaction) thereafter double rate||R 285||R 324.90|
|Document Delivery||R 50||R 57|
|All loyalty Program Reservations & Upgrades domestic||R 200||R 228|
|All loyalty Program Reservations & Upgrades International||R 400||R 456|
|Transfers i.e. Airport Link||R 50||R 57|
|Copy Invoice (per copy)||R 2 per page||R 2.28 per page|
|Conference Bookings (per delegate)||R 75||R 86|
|Visas (per passport)||R 250||R 285|
|Emercency Visa fee ( per passport)||R 350||R 399|
|Insurance||R 50||R 57|
|Foreign Exchange||R 300||R 342|
|Premier Lounge Booking||No Charge|
|Account Management – Strategic||No Charge|
|Account Management – Commercial||No Charge|
|Standard Reports||No Charge|
|Customized Reports||No Charge|
|Benchmarking and Supplier Negotiation||No Charge|
|Business/Process Consultancy||No Charge|
|Credit Card Reconciliation||R 100 per page||R 114 per page|
|Authorization Process per transaction||No Charge|
ALL CONSULTATIONS AND TRANSACTIONS CONCLUDED ARE SUBJECT TO THE COMPANIES STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS
(INCLUDING SURETYSHIP & CESSION OF BOOK DEBT)
1. In this Contract, unless the context clearly indicates to the contrary, the following words and expressions shall bear the meaning hereinafter assigned to them:-
1.1 “The Company” shall mean Harvey World Travel Randburg, and/or anyone acting for or on behalf of the Company, provided such person has been duly authorized and is acting within his or her scope of duty.
1.2 “The Client” shall mean the person who applies (directly or indirectly) to the Company for the Company’s Services. The aforesaid will include but is not limited to a person who applies for his own use or benefit or that of any other person and whether applying as principal, agent or sub-Contractor. The Client shall include any other person on behalf of the Client or whom the Client, represents and includes the Client in the Company’s Application to do Business form.
1.3 “the Conditions” shall mean these terms and conditions and those of the Principal, where applicable;
1.4 “the Traveller” shall mean any person (whether or not such person is the Client) who utilizes or obtains any benefit from the Services of the Company. The Traveller shall include a potential Traveller.
1.5 “the Services” shall mean any travel or other service facility, product or matter incidental thereto of whatsoever nature arranged or to be arranged by the Company (whether directly or indirectly) to or for the Client or the Traveller. The aforesaid shall include inter alia but not be limited to the providing of advice or information, the booking of reservations for accommodation, transport or the like (whether by air, sea, land or otherwise), the application for passports, visums or other travel contracts, the arranging or obtaining of insurance, any other service or facility (even though not specifically requested by the Client or the Traveller) provided by the Company or which the Company in it’s sole and absolute discretion deems necessary or ancillary to the Services of facilities requested, or anything else associated with or related to travel.
1.6 “the Principal” shall mean the provider of accommodation, transport, and all other relevant Services or products arranged by the Company, or any Services ancillary thereto provided by the Principal or any other party.
2. The Company in its sole, absolute and unfettered discretion may perform all or any of the Services, either personally or through the Principal. If any other person performs or renders the Services the terms and conditions of the Company will nevertheless bind the Traveller mutatis mutandis including any terms and conditions of any Principal or any such third party.
3. The Client and the Traveller specifically, irrevocably and unconditionally acknowledge and record that all or any Services rendered are subject to the Conditions and that the Company would not have contracted with the Client and/or Traveller if the Conditions were not binding on the Client and/or Traveller.
4. The Client and/or the Traveller acknowledge and record that they are aware that the Company in providing certain Services is acting as an appointed agent for and on behalf of Principals. The Company represents the Principal as agents only and accordingly accepts no liability for any loss, damage, injury, illness, harm or death which any Clientand/or the Traveller may suffer as a result of any act or omission on the part of or the failure of the Principal to fulfill their obligations, whether in relation to travel arrangements, accommodation or otherwise. The contract in use by the Principal (which is often constituted by the ticket issued by the Principal), shall constitute the sole contract between the Principal and Client and/or the Traveller and any right of recourse the Client and/or the Traveller may have, will be solely against the Principal. The Company will provide the identity and terms and conditions (or access thereto) of all the Principals relevant to the service being provided for Client and/or the Traveller’s booking. It’s the Client and/or the Traveller’s responsibility to familiarise itself with such terms and conditions (‘the Principal’s Conditions’).
5. The Company shall not be bound by any promises, undertakings, warranties, representations advices, recommendations, opinions or the like (whether express, implied, tacit by conduct or otherwise) unless same are specifically recorded in the Conditions. The aforesaid shall apply inter alia to the Services or anything else having any reference or regard thereto.
6. The Client agrees and undertakes and shall be obliged to ensure that the Conditions are brought to the attention of and rendered binding on the Traveller. In any event and without derogating from the aforesaid, the Client warrants and represents that it is authorised and entitled to enter into this Contract on behalf of the Traveller. By signing this Contract the Client also binds the Traveller to the Conditions.
7. The Services are provided on the express condition that the Company, its employees and agents, shall not be responsible for, and shall be exempt from, all liability in respect of loss, damage, accident, injury, illness, harm, trauma, death, delay or inconvenience to or additional expense incurred by any Client (which shall be deemed to include the heirs, executors, administrators or assigns of the Client and/or the Traveller), their luggage, or other property, howsoever caused whether or not arising from any act, omission, default, or negligence on the part of the Company whatsoever, unless such claim is due to the gross negligence of the Company and such claim is lodged in writing with the Company within 30 (thirty) days after the end of the Services. Such liability will be subject to a limitation of R10 000, 00 (Ten Thousand Rand) per Client or Traveller per Booking.
8. The Client indemnifies and holds harmless the Company, its employees and agents accordingly.
9. The Company, its employees and agents shall further more not be liable for any indirect and/or consequential loss or damages whatsoever.
10. The Company shall in its sole and absolute discretion be entitled at any time to withhold any existing or future Services. This will apply notwithstanding the fact that inter alia credit facilities have been granted to the Client or the Applicant.
11. Payments for Services rendered or to be rendered by the Company, including payment for air tickets or other payments or for Services will be paid by the Client to the Company on demand, unless other specific terms for payment have been agreed to by the Company in writing.
11.1 Terms of payment will apply irrespective of whether or not the Services and/or arrangements undertaken on behalf of the Client are used by the Traveller;
11.2 All amounts payable shall be effected in the currency of the Republic of South Africa without deduction or set-off and payments shall not be withheld or deferred inter alia on account of any claim or counter-claim which the Client or Traveller may have;
11.3 If payment is not received by the Company on due date, or the Client or Traveller is in breach, commits an act of insolvency, is placed in liquidation or is sequestrated, the full balance owed by the Client or Traveller shall immediately become due and payable and the Company shall be entitled without prejudice to any other rights or remedies available to it, to claim interest on such arrears at the rate of 2.5 % (two point five percent) above the prime overdraft rate charged by the Company’s bankers for overdraft facilities from time to time from the date the Services were provided;
11.4 The Company in its sole and absolute discretion shall be entitled at any stage to claim payment on demand of any amounts due to the Company and such amounts shall become due and payable immediately;
11.5 Documents such as tickets, vouchers and itineraries will not be released until payment in full has been received by the Company. Upon receipt of your travel documents, PLEASE CHECK that ALL the detail therein are correct.
12. Refunds for unused air tickets or cancelled bookings will only be made to the Client once such amount has been received from the Principal concerned and the Client will remain responsible for any cancellation fees, which may be set-off against the amount refundable to the Client. The aforesaid will not detract from the Client’s obligation to effect timeous payments to the Company.
13. All Services are subject to increases by the respective Principals, to exchange rate fluctuations and to any taxes imposed within the Republic of South Africa or by any foreign authority governing any respective foreign destination. This may apply even where such Services have been paid for in full before any increase, rate changes or legislation becomes effective if they apply retrospectively. The Client will remain responsible for all disbursements already made, or committed to be undertaken, on it’s behalf by the Company.
14. Without derogating from anything hereinbefore contained, in the event of there being any increase, new levy or charge or fluctuation with the South African Rand against any foreign currencies which arises at any stage in respect of the Services, same shall be for the account of the Client.
15. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Contract or otherwise, it shall be the exclusive obligation and responsibility of the Client and/or the Traveller to: -reconfirm airline reservations with the respective airline at least 72 hours (seventy hour) prior to departure or as otherwise required by the airline in question;
15.1 ensure that all passports and visas are current, valid, obtained on time, and will be valid for six months after return to home country and that any vaccinations, inoculations, prophylactic (e.g. for malaria) and the like, where required, have been obtained. Please check the requirements with the Company before travelling. The Company will endeavour to assist the Client but such assistance will be at the Company‘s discretion and the Client and Traveller acknowledge that in doing so, the Company is not assuming any obligation or liability and the Client indemnifies the Company against any consequences of non-compliance.
15.2 familiarise him/herself with the inherent dangers of and mental and/or physical condition required for the proposed travel arrangements.
15.3 ensure that all passports are renewed. As a guideline, passports should be valid for 6 months after your scheduled return to South Africa
15.4 ensure that the details supplied to Company mirror those details shown on their passport for international travel and ID documents for local travel.
15.5 without derogating from anything contained above, the Client and the Traveller will be obliged, faithfully, diligently and timeously to comply with all laws, conventions, rules, regulations and the like having any reference or regard to the Services or any portion thereof which are rendered by the Company. The Client and the Traveller further agree and undertake to comply with and be bound by all terms and conditions relating to all or any Contracts (whether orally, in writing or otherwise) which may be concluded on their behalf relating to the Services which are being rendered.
16. The Client and the Traveller will be liable jointly and severally in solidum the one paying the other to be absolved, for payment of all amounts due to the Company or fulfillment of any obligations arising out of or pursuant to this Contract.
17. No waiver or condonation by the Company of any breach, failure or default in the performance by the Client or the Traveller, and no failure, refusal or neglect of the Company to exercise any rights hereunder or to insist upon strict compliance with or performance of the Client and/or the Traveller’s obligations under this agreement, or any other indulgence allowed or shown by the Company to the Client or the Traveller; shall constitute a waiver, variation or novation of any of the provisions of this Contract or a waiver by the Company of it’s rights at any time, or operate as an estoppel or create an estoppel against the Company.
18. No variation or alteration of these terms and conditions shall be binding on the Company unless reduced to writing and duly signed by a duly authorised director of the Company.
19. This Contract constitutes the entire Contract between the parties and no warranties, promises, representations, undertakings or the like shall be of any force and effect save insofar as same are repeated and recorded herein or in a separate written Contract by the Company.
20. The Client and the Traveller agree to the jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Court, notwithstanding that the amount in dispute is otherwise beyond the jurisdiction of that court. The Company will have the option to either to proceed in the Magistrate’s Court or any other court which may have jurisdiction. The Applicant and Client agree to pay the Company all legal costs on an attorney and own Client scale, collection charges and tracing fees which may be incurred by the Company in connection with the recovery of any amounts payable or the enforcement of any rights.
21. DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Any and all dispute arising out of or in connection with the Conditions including any question regarding its existence, validity or termination, shall be dealt with as follows:
21.1 Firstly the manager director or equivalent of either party will meet within 5 (five) working days of the dispute arising in an attempt to resolve the mater amicably. Failing such amicable resolution of the dispute within 5 (five) days of their meeting, they will attempt to resolve the matter by mediation – the mediator will be an independent third party mutually agreed upon and, failing such mutual agreement, a party appointed as a mediator by the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa (‘AFSA’), which mediator must be appointed within 5 (five) days of their failing to resolve the matter amicably and the mediation itself must take place with a further 5 (five) days from the date the mediator is appointed. Failing such amicable resolution of the dispute by the intervention of a mediator, the dispute must be referred to arbitration in Johannesburg within two (two) days of the failure to resolve the dispute by the intervention of a mediator, which referral must be delivered in writing to and be conducted in terms of the rules of AFSA for the time being in force which rules are deemed to be incorporated by reference into this clause. The tribunal shall consist of one (1) arbitrator to be appointed pursuant to the AFSA Rules. The arbitrator’s decision shall be final and binding upon the parties and shall provide the sole and exclusive remedies of the parties. All judgment upon the award so rendered may be entered in any court having jurisdiction or application may be made to such court for a judicial acceptance of the award or orders of enforcement. The commencement of any arbitration proceedings under this Clause shall in no way affect the continual performance of the obligations relates to the subject matter of such proceedings. All arbitration proceedings shall be in the English Language.
21.2 Notwithstanding the provisions of this clause, either party may bring an urgent application to any court that has jurisdiction if circumstances arise that merit such an application.
22. The Client and the Traveller choose as their domicilium cititandi et executandi at which address all notices, legal processes, other documents can effectively be served and for all correspondence, the address which appears in the Application to do Business form.
23. A certificate signed by any manager or director of the Company reflecting the amount owing by the Client shall be prima facie proof of the Client’s indebtedness to the Company, the purpose of any action or insolvency or for any other purpose whatsoever where the amount of such claim is required to be established.
24. All or any obligations of the Client and the Traveller as set out hereinbefore shall be given effect to and shall be binding on their heirs, executors, administrators, assigns, successors in title, Trustee and liquidator.
25. DEED OF SURETYSHIP
25.1 The Client, the Traveller and Applicant binds himself in his/her private and individual capacity as surety for and co-principal debtor in solidum with the Company, close corporation, partnership, trust or other legal entity on whose behalf he enters into this contract, in favour of the Company for the due performance of any obligation of such entity and for the payment by such entity of any amounts which may at any time become owing to the Company.
25.2 This suretyship shall be a continuing covering suretyship which may only be cancelled by the Company in writing.
25.3 The amount recoverable in terms of the suretyship will be the full amount due and owing to the Company at any time.
25.4 If more than one person signs the application, each signatory will be deemed to have signed a separate contract of suretyship. If for any reason any one suretyship is not binding, then the obligations of the remaining signatories will nevertheless be and remain of full force and effect.
26. CESSION OF CLAIMS, BOOK DEBTS AND DEBTS
26.1 The Client, the Traveller and the Applicant jointly and severally hereby irrevocably and in rem suam cede, transfer, pledge, assign and makes over to the Company all it’s rights, title, interest claim and demand in and to all claims, debts, book debts of whatsoever nature and description and howsoever arising which the Client, the Traveller or the Applicant may now or at any time hereafter have against all and any persons, legal entities or any other legal personae whatsoever (‘the Debtors’) without exception as continuing covering security for the due payment of every sum of money which may now or at any time hereafter be or become owing by the Client, the Traveller or the Applicant jointly and severally to the Company arising from the Conditions or the Services (‘the Debt’).
26.2 Should it transpire that the Client, the Traveller or the Applicant has entered into prior deeds of cession or otherwise disposed of it’s rights, title, interest claim and demand in and to any of the debts which from time to time will be subject to this cession, the Client, the Traveller or the Applicant shall be entitled to institute action against any of the Debtors provide that all sums of money which the Client, the Traveller or the Applicant collects from the Debtors shall be collected for and on behalf of the Company and provided furthermore that the Company may at any time terminate the Client, the Traveller or the Applicant’s right to collect such monies.
26.3 The Client, the Traveller and the Applicant acknowledge that the Company may at any time give notice of this cession to any of the Client and/or the Traveller’s and/or the Applicant’s Debtors.
26.4 The Company hereby accepts the cession and it’s substitution for all purposes, mutatis mutandis, in the name, place and stead of the Client, the Traveller and the Applicant with immediate effect and the cession will remain in force until such time as the Debt and any other obligation and any further debts alluded to in clause 27.1 above have been extinguished and/or the Company has agreed in writing to terminate the cession.
27. INSURANCE – It is strongly advised that all Clients take out adequate insurance cover such as cancellation due to illness, accident or injury, personal accident and personal liability, loss of or damage to baggage and sports equipment (Note that this is not an exhaustive list). The Company will not be responsible or liable if the Client fails to take adequate insurance cover or at all. It shall not be obligatory upon the Company to effect insurance for the Client except upon detailed instructions given in writing and all insurance effected by the Company pursuant to such instruction will be subject to such exceptions and conditions as may be imposed by the insurance Company or underwriters accepting the risk, and the Company shall not be obliged to obtain separate cover for any risks so excluded. Should the insurers dispute their liability for any reason, the Client will have recourse against the insurers only. Once the insurance has been confirmed and paid for, the Client will be issued with a policy document of the insurer.
28. LATE BOOKING & AMENDMENT FEES – A late booking fee per booking may be charged in respect of bookings received within 4 working days prior to the departure date. This charge is levied to cover communication expenses involved. An amendment fee per booking may be levied for any changes to the confirmed itinerary.
29. FORCE MAJEURE – The Company shall have the right to cancel any contract should its fulfilment be rendered impossible, impeded or frustrated by strike, lock-out, civil commotion, war, act of God, force majeure, lack of materials, operation of law or regulations or order made by any statutory or other duly constituted authorities or any other cause beyond the control of the Company.
30. INTERNET BOOKINGS – If the Client requests or instructs the Company to do bookings via the Internet, the Client irrevocably authorises the Company to do the following on its behalf (1) make any selections of and for the Proposed Travel Arrangements (2) make payments and (3) accept booking conditions.
Everything about Thailand
Friendly and fun-loving, exotic and tropical, cultured and historic. Thailand radiates a golden hue. From its glittering temples and tropical beaches to the ever-comforting Thai smile.
In between the busy cities and towns is the rural heartland, a mix of rice paddies, tropical forests and squat villages. In the north, the forests and fields bump up against blue mountains decorated by silvery waterfalls. In the south there are limestone cliffs poking out of the cultivated landscape like prehistoric buildings. The usually arid and dry northeast beams an emerald hue during the rainy season when green rice shoots carpet the landscape.
Loved around the world, Thai food expresses the fundamental aspects of Thai culture. It is generous, warm, refreshing and relaxed. Every Thai dish uses fresh, local ingredients – lemongrass, searing chillies and plump seafood. A varied national menu is built around the four fundamental flavours: spicy, sweet, salty and sour. Big appetites go on eating tours of Bangkok noodle shacks, seafood pavilions in Phuket and Burmese market stalls in Mae Hong Son. Mastering the market is an important survival skill for Thailand.
The celestial world is a close confidant in Thailand’s nation and religious devotion is colourful. Shiny temples and golden Buddhas frame the rural and modern land. Ancient banyan trees are wrapped in sacred cloth to honour the resident spirits. Fortune-bringing shrines decorate the homes as well as malls. Garland-festooned dashboards ward off traffic accidents. Visitors can join in on the conversation through meditation retreats in Chiang Mai, religious festivals in northeastern Thailand, underground cave shrines in Kanchanaburi and Phetchaburi and hilltop temples in northern Thailand.
With a long coastline and islands anchored in beautiful waters, Thailand is a tropical getaway for pretty much anyone. This paradise offers a varied menu: playing in the gentle surf of Ko Lipe, diving with whale sharks in Ko Tao, scaling the sea cliffs of Krabi, kiteboarding in Hua Hin, partying on Ko Phi Phi, recuperating at a health resort in Ko Samui and feasting on the beach.
Top things to do in Thailand
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is one of the city’s main night-time attractions, especially for families, and is the modern legacy of the original trading caravans that stopped there along the ancient trade route
The Grand Palace in Bangkok
If there is one must-see sight that no visit to Bangkok would be complete without, it is the spectacular Grand Palace. The palace is undoubtedly the city’s most famous landmark. It was built in 1782 – and was, for 150 years, the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government. – It continues to leave visitors in awe with its stunning architecture and intricate details. Within The Palace walls were also the Thai war ministry, state departments, and even the mint. Today, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.
Similan Islands – Mu Koh Similan National Park
This group of rocks and islands lies about 90 minutes, by speedboat, off the coast of Phang-Nga. If you would rather take the slow boat from Phuket this trip will take 8 or more hours. The area was declared a marine national park in 1982 and still remains largely undeveloped. The waters that surround the Similans are teeming with tropical fish, colourful coral, and offer fantastic underwater visibility. The diving here is considered to be the best in the region, and compares favourably with some of the best in the world. Part of the reason for this is the very interesting submarine topography, due to the giant granite boulders which litter the shoreline and also lie in jumbled heaps beneath the waves to depths of 35 metres and beyond.
Bangkok Floating Markets
Even though the markets are more concerned with tourists rather than locals these days, the floating market’s boats are still piled high with tropical fruit and vegetables. As well as fresh, ready-to-drink coconut juice and local food cooked from floating kitchens located right there in the boat. To enjoy the atmosphere without haggling over prices, try to relax on a guided boat tour of Damnoen Saduak market. Floating markets are Taling Chan Market, Bang Ku Wiang Market, Tha Kha, and Damnoen Saduak.
Khao Yai National Park
Khao Yai is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is Thailand’s second largest and one of the most visited national parks. It spreads across four provinces, Saraburi (west), Nakhon Nayok (east), Nakhon Ratchasima (north) and Prachinburi (east). The highest peak is 1,351 metres above sea level. With a lush, mountainous landscape, and fertile valleys, pounding waterfalls and rich biodiversity, Khao Yai is a year-round getaway just three hours’ drive from Bangkok. It is also home to a rich diversity of animal life and thousands of different types of plants.
The best places to stay
To backpackers on shoe-strings and luxury-seekers alike, Thailand is the ultimate paradise. Style and comfort can be found on any budget, and it varies from well-loved hostels to stunning resorts. Here are some of our top picks:
- The Siam Heritage boutique suites – A 5 minute walk from Patpong, this hotel offers a restaurant, a rooftop swimming pool, and all the rooms feature antique furnishings. Traditional Thai dishes are served at the restaurant but it also features an international and Asian menu. There is a pool bar as well, which offers a variety of drinks and snacks.
- Baan Bayan Hua Hin – This hotel is only 320 metres from Hua Hin Market Village. This beach front hotel is 4 star and has an outdoor swimming pool. The hotel also offers free Wi-Fi and parking and it has a massage room and a restaurant.
- Mandarin Oriental Bangkok – This hotel is situated in the heart of Bangkok. This is a 5-star hotel and is close to Wat Pho and Grand Palace. The hotel has a lovely restaurant that serves lunch and dinner. There is also a spa at this hotel and two outdoor swimming pools.
- Ariyasom Villa – Ariyasom Villa is a peaceful garden hotel situated within Bangkok. It is conveniently located at the start of Sukhumvit Road. This hotel is decorated with 1940s heritage Thai decor and it has a cosy outdoor pool, an organic restaurant and a pampering spa.
- Woodlands Hotel & Resort – This is a 4-star resort within close proximity of Pattaya City Hall and Art in Paradise. Enjoy the spa where you can get facials and massages, or make your way to the 2 outdoor swimming pools or the waterslide. There is also a fitness center.
Health in Thailand
Health risks and the quality of medical facilities will vary depending on where you travel in Thailand and how you travel. Most of the cities and popular tourist areas have very good medical care. But if you travel to remote rural areas you can be exposed to some health risks and less adequate medical care. Travellers tend to worry about contracting exotic infectious diseases when visiting the tropics, but these diseases are far less common than problems with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, and accidental injury, especially as a result of a traffic accident. Others include respiratory infections, diarrhoea and dengue fever. Luckily most of these can be prevented or are easily treated.
The advice given below is a general guide and does not replace the advice of a doctor trained in travel medicine.
Before You Go:
Pack medicines in a clearly labelled original container. You also need to obtain a signed and dated letter from your physician describing your conditions, medications and syringes or needles. If you have a heart condition please bring a copy of your electrocardiography (ECG) taken just prior to your trip. Bring double of your regular medication in case of loss or theft. In Thailand you can buy many medications over the counter without a doctor’s prescription, but it can be difficult to find the exact medication that you are taking. Contact your own country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and register your trip as this is a helpful precaution in the event of a natural disaster.
Even if you are fit and healthy, don’t travel without health insurance. (Accidents do happen). You may need extra cover for adventure activities like rock climbing or diving, as well as scooter/motorcycle riding. If your health insurance does not cover you for any medical expenses abroad then ensure you get specific travel insurance. Most hospitals will require an upfront guarantee of payment (from yourself or your insurer) prior to admitting you. Ask about payment of medical charges before your trip and keep all documentation (medical reports, invoices etc) for claim purposes.
Items recommended for a personal medical kit: (Most of these medicines are available in Thailand.)
- Antifungal cream, eg Clotrimazole
- Antibacterial cream, eg Muciprocin
- Antibiotic for skin infections, eg Amoxicillin/Clavulanate or Cephalexin
- Antibiotics for diarrhoea include Norfloxacin, Ciprofloxacin or Azithromycin for bacterial diarrhoea; for giardiasis or
- Amoebic dysentery take Tinidazole
- Antihistamine – there are many options, eg Cetrizine for daytime and Promethazine for night-time
- Antiseptic, eg Betadine
- Antispasmodic for stomach cramps, eg Buscopan
- DEET-based insect repellent
- Oral rehydration solution for diarrhoea (eg Gastrolyte), diarrhoea ‘stopper’ (eg Loperamide) and antinausea medication
- First-aid items such as scissors, Elastoplasts, bandages, gauze, thermometer (but not one with mercury), sterile needles and syringes (with a doctor’s letter), safety pins and tweezers
- Hand gel (alcohol based) or alcohol-based hand wipes
- Ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory
- Indigestion medication, eg Quick Eze or Mylanta
- Laxative, eg Coloxyl
- Migraine medicine – for migraine sufferers
- Permethrin to impregnate clothing and mosquito nets if at high risk
- Steroid cream for allergic/itchy rashes, eg 1% to 2% hydrocortisone
- Sunscreen, sunglasses and hat
- Throat lozenges
- Thrush (vaginal yeast infection) treatment, eg Clotrimazole pessaries or Diflucan tablet
- Ural or equivalent if prone to urine infections
You should arrange your vaccines six to eight weeks prior to departure though a specialised travel-medicine clinic.
The only vaccine required by international regulations is for yellow fever. If you are travelling to Thailand from Africa or South America you should check to see if you require proof of vaccination.
Mosquito Avoidance Tips
Travellers are advised to prevent mosquito bites by taking these steps:
- Use a DEET-containing insect repellent on exposed skin
- Sleep under a mosquito net, ideally impregnated with Permethrin
- Choose accommodation with screens and fans
- Impregnate clothing with Permethrin in high-risk areas
- Wear long sleeves and trousers in light colours
- Use mosquito coils
- Spray your room with insect repellent before going out
- In Thailand
- Infectious Diseases
There is a lot of misinformation concerning malaria. Malaria is caused by a parasite transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. The most important symptom of malaria is fever, but general symptoms such as headache, diarrhoea, cough or chills can also occur – the same symptoms as many other infections. A diagnosis can only be made by taking a blood sample.
Most parts of Thailand visited by tourists have minimal to no risk of malaria, and the risk of side effects from taking antimalarial tablets is likely to outweigh the risk of getting the disease. If you are travelling to high-risk rural areas (unlikely for most visitors), seek medical advice on the right medication and dosage for yourself.
This is a serious bacterial infection, and is spread through food and water. It gives a high and slowly progressive fever, severe headache, and can be accompanied by a dry cough and stomach pains. It is diagnosed by blood tests and can be treated with antibiotics. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers spending more than a week in Thailand, or travelling into the rural areas. Be aware that these vaccinations are not 100% effective so you must still be careful with what you eat and drink.
Influenza (flu) is present year round and symptoms include high fever, muscle aches, runny nose, cough and sore throat. Flu is the most common vaccine-preventable disease contracted by travellers and everyone should consider vaccination. There is no specific treatment, just rest and paracetamol. Complications such as bronchitis or middle-ear infection may require antibiotic treatment.
Cutaneous Larva Migrans:
This disease, which is caused by dog or cat hookworm, is very common on the beaches of Thailand. The rash starts as a small lump, and then spreads like a winding line. It is very itchy, especially at night, but is easily treated with medications and should not be cut out or frozen.
Rare But Be Aware:
- Avian Influenza – Most of those infected have had close contact with sick or dead birds.
- Filariasis – A mosquito-borne disease that is common in the local population; practise mosquito-avoidance measures.
- Hepatitis E – Transmitted through contaminated food and water and has similar symptoms to hepatitis A; can be a severe problem in pregnant women. Follow safe eating and drinking guidelines.
- Japanese B Encephalitis – Viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, typically occurring in rural areas; vaccination is recommended for travellers spending more than one month outside cities or for long-term expats.
- Meliodosis – Contracted by skin contact with soil. Affects up to 30% of the local population in northeastern Thailand.
- The symptoms are very similar to those experienced by tuberculosis (TB) sufferers. There is no vaccine but it can be treated with medications.
- Strongyloides – A parasite transmitted by skin contact with soil; common in the local population. It is characterised by an unusual skin rash – a linear rash on the trunk which comes and goes. An overwhelming infection can follow. It can be treated with medications.
- Tuberculosis – Medical and aid workers and long-term travellers who have significant contact with the local population should take precautions. Vaccination is recommended for children spending more than three months in Thailand. The main symptoms are fever, cough, weight loss, night sweats and tiredness. Treatment is available with long-term multidrug regimens.
- Typhus – Murine typhus is spread by the bite of a flea; scrub typhus is spread via a mite. Symptoms include fever, muscle pains and a rash. Following general insect-avoidance measures and Doxycycline will also prevent it.
This mosquito-borne disease is very problematic in Thailand, especially in the cities. And as there is no vaccine, it can only be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites. The mosquito that carries dengue is a daytime biter, so use insect repellent measures at all times. Symptoms include: high fever, severe headache (especially behind the eyes), nausea and body aches (dengue was previously known as ‘breakbone fever’). Some people may develop a rash (which can be very itchy) and experience diarrhoea. Chiang Mai and the southern islands are high-risk areas. There is no specific treatment, just rest and paracetamol – do not take aspirin or ibuprofen as they increase the risk of haemorrhaging.
The risk of Hepatitis A in Bangkok is decreasing but there is still significant risk in the rest of the country. This food and waterborne virus infects the liver which causes jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), nausea and lethargy. There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A and in rare instances, it can be fatal for those over the age of 40. All those going to Thailand should be vaccinated against hepatitis A.
This is the only sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can be prevented by vaccination. Hepatitis B is spread by body fluids, including sexual contact. In some parts of Thailand, up to 20% of the population are carriers of hepatitis B, and are usually unaware of this. The long-term consequences can include liver cancer, cirrhosis and death.
This is contracted from exposure to infected surface water and most commonly after river rafting or canyoning. Early symptoms are very similar to flu and include a headache and fever. It can be a mild ailment or a fatal disease. Diagnosis is made through blood tests and it is easily treated with Doxycycline.
This is a highly contagious viral infection and is spread through coughing and sneezing. Most people born before 1966 are immune as they had the disease during their childhood. Measles starts with a high fever and rash and can be complicated by pneumonia and brain disease. There is no specific treatment. Ensure you are fully vaccinated.
This disease is fatal if left untreated. It is spread by the bite or lick of an infected animal, most commonly a dog or monkey. You should seek medical advice immediately after any animal bite and start with post-exposure treatment. Having a pretravel vaccination means the postbite treatment is greatly simplified. If an animal bites you, gently wash the wound with soap and water, and apply iodine-based antiseptic. If you are not prevaccinated you will need to receive rabies immunoglobulin as soon as possible, followed by five shots of vaccine over 28 days. If prevaccinated you need just two shots of vaccine given three days apart.
HIV is now one of the most common causes of death in people under the age of 50 in Thailand. Always practice safe sex and avoid getting tattoos or using unclean syringes.
Sexually transmitted diseases most common in Thailand include herpes, warts, syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia. People carrying these diseases often have no signs of infection. Condoms will prevent gonorrhoea and chlamydia but not warts or herpes. If, after a sexual encounter, you start to develop any rash, lumps, discharge or pain when passing urine seek immediate medical attention. If you have been sexually active during your travels have an STD check on your return home.
Jellyfish Stings – Box jellyfish stings range from minor to deadly. It is best to presume a box jelly is dangerous until proven otherwise. There are two main types of box jellyfish – multitentacled and single-tentacled.
Multi-tentacled box jellyfish are present in Thai waters – these are the most dangerous and their severe venom can kill an adult within two minutes. They are generally found on sandy beaches near river mouths and mangroves during the warmer months.
There are many types of single-tentacled box jellyfish, some of which can cause severe symptoms known as the Irukandji syndrome. The initial sting can seem minor, however severe symptoms such as back pain, nausea, vomiting, sweating, difficulty breathing and a feeling of impending doom can develop between five and 40 minutes later.
There are many other jellyfish in Thailand that cause irritating stings but no serious effects. The only way to prevent these stings is to wear protective clothing.
FIRST AID FOR SEVERE STINGS:
For severe life-threatening venoms the first priority is keeping the person alive. Send someone to call for medical help, and start immediate CPR if they are unconscious. If the victim is conscious douse the stung area liberally with vinegar for 30 seconds. Vinegar can also reduce irritation from minor stings as well. It is best to seek medical care quickly in case any other symptoms develop over the next 40 minutes.
Eating in restaurants is the biggest risk factor for contracting traveller’s diarrhoea. Ways to avoid it include eating only freshly cooked food, and avoiding food that has been sitting around in buffets. Peel all the fruit and cook the vegetables. Eat in busy restaurants with a a lot of customers.
Snake bites are generally rare for travellers, but there are over 85 species of venomous snakes in Thailand. Always wear boots and long pants if walking in an area that may have snakes. The Thai Red Cross produces anti-venom for many of the poisonous snakes in Thailand.
Insect Bites & Stings:
Bedbugs live in the cracks of furniture and walls and then move to the bed at night to feed on humans. You can treat an itch with an antihistamine.
Ticks are contracted when walking in rural areas. They are commonly found behind the ears, on the belly and in armpits. If you have been bitten by a tick and a rash develops at the site of the bite or elsewhere, along with fever or muscle aches, then you need to see a doctor. Doxycycline prevents tick-borne diseases.
Leeches are found in the humid rainforests. They do not transmit disease but their bites are often itchy for weeks and can become infected quite easily. Apply an iodine-based antiseptic to the bite to help prevent an infection.
Bee and wasp stings mainly cause problems for the people who are allergic to them. Anyone with a serious allergy should carry an injection of adrenaline in case of an emergency. For others, pain is the main problem – apply ice to the sting and take a painkiller.
For most of the people visiting Thailand it takes at least two weeks to adapt to the hot climate. Prevent swelling of feet and ankles as well as muscle cramps caused by drinking lots of water and avoiding excessive activity in the heat of the day.
Heat stroke requires immediate medical treatment. Symptoms come very quickly and include weakness, nausea, a hot dry body with a body temperature of over 41°C, dizziness, confusion, loss of coordination, fits and eventually collapse and loss of consciousness.
Prickly heat is a common skin rash in the tropics which is caused by sweat being trapped under the skin. Treat this by taking cool showers and using powders.
There are two fungal rashes that commonly affect travellers. The first occurs in the groin, armpits and between the toes. It starts as a red patch that slowly spreads and is itchy. Treatment involves keeping the skin dry, avoiding chafing and using an anti-fungal cream such as Lamisil. The fungus Tinea versicolor causes small and light-coloured patches, most commonly on the back, chest and shoulders. Consult a doctor.
Cuts and scratches can become easily infected in humid climates. Immediately wash all wounds in clean water and apply antiseptic. If you develop signs of infection, see a doctor. Coral cuts can also become easily infected.
Even on a cloudy day sunburn can occur very quickly. Use a strong sunscreen (factor 30 and above), and make sure to reapply after a swim. Always wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when you are outdoors. If you become sunburnt stay out of the sun until you have recovered, apply cool compresses and take painkillers for any discomfort.
A number of parasites are common in local populations in Thailand, but most of these are rare for travellers. To avoid parasitic infections, wear shoes and avoid eating raw food, especially fish, pork and vegetables.
Traveller’s diarrhoea is by far the most common problem affecting travellers. In over 80% of cases, traveller’s diarrhoea is caused by a bacteria, and responds right away to treatment with antibiotics.
Travelling With Children
Thailand is generally safe for children. Consult a doctor who specialises in travel medicine prior to travel to make sure that your child is prepared. A medical kit designed specifically for children includes liquid medicines for children who can not swallow tablets.
Pregnant women should receive specialised advice before travelling. The ideal time to travel is in the second trimester, when pregnancy-related risks are low. Avoid rural areas with poor transport and medical facilities. Ensure travel insurance covers all pregnancy-related possibilities, including premature labour.
Malaria is a high-risk disease for pregnant women. You should not travel to those areas with Chloroquine-resistant malaria.
Traveller’s diarrhoea can quickly lead to dehydration and result in inadequate blood flow to the placenta. Azithromycin is considered one of the safest anti-diarrhoea drugs in pregnancy.
In Thailand’s urban areas, supplies of sanitary products are readily available. Bring adequate supplies of your personal birth-control option. Heat, humidity and antibiotics can all contribute to thrush, which can be treated with antifungal creams and Clotrimazole. A practical alternative is one tablet of fluconazole (Diflucan). Urinary-tract infections can be precipitated by dehydration or long bus journeys without toilet stops; bring suitable antibiotics for treatment.
Availability & Cost of Health Care:
Bangkok is considered a centre of medical excellence in Southeast Asia. Private hospitals are more expensive than other medical facilities but offer a superior standard of care and English-speaking staff. The cost of health care is relatively cheap in Thailand compared to most Western countries.
Jet Lag & Motion Sickness:
Jet lag is common when crossing more than five time zones; it results in insomnia, fatigue, malaise or nausea. To avoid jet lag drink plenty of fluids (nonalcoholic) and eat light meals. Upon arrival, seek exposure to natural sunlight and readjust your schedule. Some people find melatonin helpful.
Sedating antihistamines such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or Prochlorperazine (Phenergan) are usually the first choice for treating motion sickness. Their main side effect is drowsiness. A herbal alternative is ginger. Scopolamine patches are considered the most effective prevention.
Mauritius will enchant you and uplift your soul. It will make you feel that you belong to the chosen few. Every encounter is an opportunity to discover a friendly face. Behind each smile lies the promise of a unique holiday. The island, set in its turquoise sea, is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Mauritius is a melting pot where past and present are smoothly blended together and it offers an essential beauty that will compel you to return to its shores again and again.
What to see – North
Grand Bay was the first area of the island to fully experience the tourist boom. A shopping and leisure paradise, Grand Bay also happens to be the area where Mauritians head for when they want a fun-filled night out (restaurants, bars and discos). Recently renovated, La Cuvette beach is well worth a visit.
The wonderful Pereybere public beach is popular because of its shopping facilities, restaurants and pubs.
A few metres away from Baie aux Tortues, which 17th century sailors named after the many tortoises in the area, can be found the ruins of the old Balaclava estate. Visitors will be able to see the sea walls, whose initial foundations were laid down by Mahé de Labourdonnais.
What to see – East
Flacq is one of the most important villages in Mauritius. This meeting point for inhabitants of the East boasts the country’s largest open air market. The extremely colourful market attracts a large number of people.
The Waterpark Leisure Village
Enjoy unforgettable moments sliding on the giant chutes, with family or friends. Relaxation and pleasure guaranteed.
Coastal road, Belle Mare.
Ile aux Cerfs
Ile aux Cerfs is a paradise for water sports and has the most beautiful beach in Mauritius. You cannot afford to miss this tiny island, delicately poised on the ocean, a real pearl in the Mauritian landscape.
What to see – South East
At Vieux Grand Port, the oldest settlements in Mauritius, you can see the ruins of the first Dutch fortifications. Excavation work is underway in a bid to uncover an important part of Mauritian history.
Ile aux Aigrettes
Owing to the remarkable work accomplished by the Mauritius Wildlife Fund, the island has become an international standard for the protection of natural resources and endangered species. A few of the world’s rarest birds, including the kestrel, can be seen there. You can also discover the extremely rare Pink Pigeon, the Green Gecko Phelsuma and the Aldabra giant tortoise.
Mahébourg is one of the main fishing villages on the island. Built on the magnificent Grand Port Bay it was founded in 1804 by the French G Martello Towers. The Martello Towers represent the scene of the ancient rivalry between old colonial powers and the ingenuity of mankind. They are a milestone in the island’s history; they symbolise the end of slavery and the beginning of Indian immigration.
What to see – West
The Martello Towers represent the scene of the ancient rivalry between old colonial powers and the ingenuity of mankind. They are a milestone in the island’s history; they symbolise the end of slavery and the beginning of Indian immigration.
A winding road leads from Case Noyale village to the coloured earths of Chamarel: an undulating landscape of different and contrasting shades of colours. The different shades of blue, green, red and yellow are apparently the result of the erosion of the volcanic ash. The neighbouring waterfalls of Chamarel rise from the moors and the native plant life. The site possesses a rare beauty.
Owing to the exceptional high level of sunshine the district receives, Tamarin is naturally the heart of salt production in Mauritius.
What to see – Inland
L’Aventure du Sucre
Visit an interactive and ultra modern exhibition situated at the heart of an ancient sugarmill and discover the fascinating history of Mauritius and its sugarcane adventure exposed over 5000 sq meters! Then, let yourself be tempted by our tropical boutik with its unique gifts, souvenirs and tasting of special unrefined sugars as well as local rum. Do not miss the opportunity to relish authentic Mauritian cuisine with refined flavours at our restaurant “Le Fangourin”.
Open 7 days a week from 09h00 to 18h00 – Free access to the restaurant and the Village Boutik
Ganga Talao – Grand Bassin
Beyond La Marie and Mare-aux-Vacoas is found one of the two natural lakes of Mauritius. It rests within the crater of an extinct volcano. Ganga Talao is an important pilgrimage site and many Mauritians of the Hindu faith walk there during the Maha Shivaratri festival or the night fasting dedicated to Shiva.General Information:
Monday to Thursday : 9.15 am -3.15 pm, Friday: 9.15 am -3.30 pm , Saturday
:9.15 am -11.15 am (Some banks only). Banks are also open to coincide with the arrival and departure of international flights at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport.
The temperature on the coastal areas varies between 22°C in winter and 34°C in summer. The sea temperature varies between 22°C and 27°C. In the central part of the island, the maximum daytime temperature varies from about 19°C in August to about 26°C in February. The western and northern regions are warmer and relatively drier than the East and the South.
Almost all of our large hotels are equipped and ready to cater for conferences. The number of people that can be accommodated varies from 30 to 500. The International Conference Centre in Grand Bay and the Freeport Exhibition Centre in Mer Rouge can easily accommodate 600 and 1,000 people respectively.
Credit cards are normally accepted by banks and most hotels, restaurants and tourist shops.
Mauritius is a blend of diverse cultures and religions. The population consists of Hindus, Creole, Chinese, Muslims and Europeans.
The monetary unit is the Mauritian Rupee (Rs.) which is divided into 100 cents (cs). At the latest exchange rate, one Euro is worth around Rs. 30.
- Passengers over 18 years of age may import the following duty-free items: 250 grams of tobacco (including cigars and cigarettes), 1 litre of spirits, 2 litres of wine, ale or beer, one quarter litre of Eau de Toilette and perfume not exceeding 100 ml.
- A plant import permit must be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture, prior to the introduction of plants and plant material including cuttings, flowers, bulbs, fresh fruits, vegetables and seeds.
- It is prohibited to introduce sugarcane and parts thereof, soil micro-organisms and invertebrate animals.
- All imported animals including animal products need an import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture and a health certificate from the country of origin.
- Drug trafficking is illegal and carries very heavy penalties.
- Firearms and ammunition need import permits and must be declared on arrival.
People in Mauritius drive on the left-hand side of the road and give way to the right. Foreigners with a driving licence issued by a Competent Authority in their respective countries are allowed to drive during their stay in Mauritius.
The Mauritian economy is based on four sectors: Textile, Tourism, Sugar and Services.
Police(ambulance): 999, Police: 208-7018/20, Fire: 995, Samu : 114
Flights from Europe:
Air Mauritius operates over 30 weekly flights to and from all the European major cities including 15 combined flights with Air France to and from Paris. British Airways operates four weekly flights, Emirates Airlines three and Condor one.
Mauritius is located approximately 2000 kilometres to the south eastern coast of Africa and lies east of Madagascar on 20°5, 57.5E. The country covers an area of 1865km_ with 330 kilometres of coastline. Mauritius is 45km in width and 65km in length.
Mauritius is a democratic state based on the Westminster model and enjoys political stability.
No vaccinations are required. However a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers over 1 year of age who arrive from areas where yellow fever cases are reported.
Of volcanic origin and generally sheltered by barriers of coral reefs forming natural, safe, crystal clear lagoons, Mauritius has long been a dream destination. Known to the Arabs as early as the 10th century, but officially «discovered» in 1505 by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Mascarenhas, the island was occupied successively by the Dutch (1598-1712) and the French (1715-1810), and was ceded to Great Britain in 1814 through the Treaty of Paris. On 12 March 1968, Mauritius became Independent. Republic Day was proclaimed on 12 March 1992.
Most people in Mauritius are bilingual and are equally fluent in English and French. Creole and French are the main languages in the everyday environment and several oriental languages are also spoken.
Free public medical facilities are widely available. Private clinics provide medical services for a fee.
Besides a wide choice of local papers, the pick of the European and American press is available.
Nudism and topless sunbathing are frowned upon on our public beaches. No hotel permits nude sunbathing on beaches. Topless sunbathing is sometimes tolerated.
1.2 million (Year 2003)
Population literacy rate:
There are 15 public holidays every year. Seven of them are fixed holidays: January 1st & 2nd, 1st February, 12th March, 1st May, 2nd November and 25th December. The remaining public holidays are religious festivals whose dates vary from year to year.
A tourist police service has been set up to ensure security in tourist zones. An anti-terrorist law has also been proclaimed. A specific law relating to all tourist activities and corrupt practices has also been voted.
The following essential pieces of advice are meant for you :
- Keep an eye on all personal belongings at all times.
- Be careful when withdrawing money from a cash point.
- Avoid wearing expensive jewellery.
- Do not leave anything inside your car.
- (For trips or purchases) use only recognised operators or suppliers.
- Keep your passports, plane tickets, jewellery of value and large sums of money in safe custody.
- For sea excursions, do not rent boats with inadequate security standards.
- During individual sea trips, always notify the person responsible for the boat house.
- Do not go swimming in areas where it is forbidden.
Shopping hours in the main cities range from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm (Monday-Saturday). Some shops are open till noon on Sundays and public holidays. Many duty free shops and modern shopping centres (Caudan, Curepipe, Floréal Square, Happy World House, Orchard Centre) offer a wide choice of products. Please note that there are no shops open in Rose-Hill, Curepipe and Quatre-Bornes on Thursday afternoon.
Tipping is not compulsory.
Time & Telecommunications:
Mauritius is four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and three hours ahead (2 hours in summer) of mid-European Time. Mauritius has international direct dialling facilities to most parts of the world as well as high speed fax and internet services.
Satellite TV and local tv & radio are available in most of the hotels.
A value added tax of 15% is payable on goods and services including hotel and restaurant bills.
Visa & entry requirements:
A visitor must be in possession of a valid passport and a return or onward ticket. A visitor’s visa is normally granted for a period of two weeks to one month upon arrival, to almost all holders of a valid passport, with one or two exceptions. Visitors are strongly recommended to contact the Passport and Immigration Office in Mauritius or the nearest Mauritian Embassy or Consulate. The visa can be extended upon request at the Passport and Immigration Office.
What to wear:
Take your best beach and casual wear. In the winter months (June -September), carry some light woollen clothing for the cool evenings. Please show due respect when visiting religious places. Wear appropriate clothing (and remove leather shoes and belts) when entering the premises.
Private Sector : Monday to Friday: 8.30 am – 4.15 pm Saturday : 9am -noon (Some offices)
Public Sector : Monday to Friday: 9 am – 4 pm
Saturday : 9 am – noon (Skeleton service).
The Seychelles has a dreamlike setting which is why it is unsurprisingly a choice place for newlyweds. But if you are looking for more than a suntan or romance, this place offers a number of high-energy distractions. There are jungle and coastal walks, boat excursions, and diving and snorkelling to keep you buzzing. Ecotourism is big – there are marine parks and natural reserves filled with unique species that are easy to approach.
The Seychelles is more affordable than you think. On top of ultra-luxurious options, the country has plenty of self-catering facilities and family-run guesthouses that offer local colour. So if you are suffering from visions of tropical paradise, here is your medicine.
What to do:
Visit the beaches:
Many of the beaches are untouched by man and are uncrowded. They offer clear blue skies and a tranquility you will rarely find anywhere else. A hike along the coastline from Beau Vallon to Anse Major will take about 2 hours and your reward will be a small deserted beach that’s fit for a king and the scenery along the hike is breathtaking. Not all beaches are suitable for swimming, it all depends on the time of year, due to the seasonal winds. Do not ignore warning signs indicating that a beach is hazardous for swimming, no matter how it may seem to you.
Vallee de Mai:
A national park and world heritage site which is home to amazing flora and fauna, including the world’s largest seed: the coco de mer.
The world’s largest coral atoll is here. It stretches about 22 miles east to west and encloses a huge tidal lagoon. Aldabra is the original home of the giant land tortoise. Tiger sharks and manta rays can also often be seen here.
The warm Indian Ocean waters make Seychelles the perfect place for the water enthusiasts. Explore on board a yacht, power boat, catamaran or sailboat. Windsurfing is also popular and the best time for this activity is usually around May then in October, at the start and end of the trade winds.
Scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing:
These are also extremely popular and can be done almost anywhere in Seychelles. Baie Ternay is superb and easily acccessible by glass bottom boat tour from Beau Vallon beach – leave yourself an empty day and walk the beach for a ‘last minute’ booking – great deals can be bartered. Snorkeling (provided you have your own gear – some hotels lend masks, snorkels and fins to guests) is FREE and there are many great spots: off some of the small beaches at Glacis, past Mouse Island at Anse Royale, along the reef at Port Launay (near Ephelia Resort). Often spotted are a wide array of tropical fish, sea turtles, eagle rays and more!
Golf, tennis, squash, badminton, horseback riding, biking and hiking are some of the recreational activities available on the Seychelles Islands. Bike rentals and walking tours are great ways to sightsee and since distances are relatively short and the scenery is beautiful, walking is probably the best way to see the smaller islands (La Digue, Praslin), while walking along the main road can be quite intimidating as the roads are narrow and local cars/busses drive quite quickly. On Mahe it is not advised to ride bicycles, and there are no rental shops within sight. Bird watching is also popular and the islands are home to many of the worlds most treasured and rare species of animals. The best place to do so is Cousin Island which although only 1 km (0.6 miles) in diameter, is home to more than 300,000 birds, but many unique species can be found at ease on Mahe.
Do not miss most popular Nightclub “Lovenut” in the centre of Victoria, 100 metres walk from central Taxi station. Also entertaining are “Tequila Boom” at (Bel Ombre) and “Katiolio” (near Anse Royale) night clubs. “Katiolio” was one of the first nightclubs to open on Mahe and boats an open-air that is directly beside the ocean.
International Charter Group:
Yacht charter and sailing, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in the Seychelles. Operating from nine offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).
There are several maintained hiking routes on the main island of Mahe and a few on Praslin. The Seychelles tourism office has a few descriptions of the hiking routes with maps available to be purchased. Check out openstreetmap for some hiking tracks around the islands.
Seychelles also has numerous markets, art galleries and shops, colonial Creole-style plantation houses, and the main island of Mahé has six museums, a botanical garden, and several national monuments. The market downtown Victoria has a good selection of local produce, and spices for sale that are all grown locally and 100% authentic.
The name alone is likely to conjure up images of spice markets, palm-fringed beaches and white-sailed dhows on a turquoise sea – and happily the reality doesn’t disappoint. Lying only a short distance off the Tanzania coast but at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Zanzibar has long been at the centre of the Indian Ocean experience in East Africa and a Zanzibar holiday is a sensory experience par excellence.Go on spice tours, taste local dishes and walk the cobbled streets of the capital’s old quarter Stone Town, now a World Heritage Site buzzing with colourful back-street markets and local flavours. And then of course there are the Zanzibar beaches: perfect for anyone who simply wants to enjoy a lazily luxurious beach vacation – Zanzibar and its outlying islands are home to some of the finest beaches in East Africa as well as a number of its best dive sites.You won’t want for somewhere to stay either: one of the world’s most romantic honeymoon destinations, Zanzibar has accommodation that ranges from luxury beachfront cottages to exclusive boutique hotels and elegant spa resorts; parents on the other hand will be delighted by Zanzibar’s family-friendly hotels and safe-swimming beaches.
What to see:
There is a lot to see and to do on Zanzibar island. First and foremost, do enjoy the amazing white sand beaches especially at the north, east and south coast. The sand has the consistency of castor sugar! Zanzibar also has quite a lot of caves, e.g. Tazani near Nungwi. A tour company in Jambiani “Mambopoatours” offers excursions off the beaten track. Also do a village tour that are offered all over the island. The villagers don’t see tourists as intruders, to the contrary, they welcome foreigners. Please do make sure that you are dressed with a t-shirt and knee-length pants – Zanzibarians are 98 % Muslims and walking through villages in beach gear is disrespectful. A Zanzibar resident put together quite a lot of information on “Zanzibar Insider Buzz”, you can google it.
Zanzibar Island, a.k.a., The Spice Island, was an important stop in the Spice Trade centuries ago. Today, it is one of the few places in the world where saffron is produced, and many other Middle Eastern/Asian spices (cardamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, etc.) are grown here. Visit one of the spice farms where you can see how anise, pepper, cloves etc. grow; you can sample some of the exotic fruit grown on the island. And do check out the “lipstick tree”.
Jozani Forest has excellent nature trails, featuring some very exotic (and large) trees and plants. Even more interesting, though, are the Red Colobus Monkeys that live here. These Monkeys can only survive on Zanzibar, nowhere else in the world, since they need a diet of 70 different plants, berries etc. The Red Colobus Monkeys are a protected species. A major part of the entrance fees goes to the local farmers in the surrounding area. In the past, the farmers killed the Monkeys because they destroyed their crops. Ever since they are compensated for their losses, the killing stopped. They are very curious and playful and will likely pose for a picture. The entry fee (USD10) also include an optional visit to a beautiful mangrove forest which is highly recommended. You can take the local daladala from Zanzibar Town for TZS 2000 per person. They might want to charge you more (because you are a tourist). The official price for everyone is TZS 2000.
There are a number of historically important (and frankly, just plain beautiful) buildings in Stone Town, like The House of Wonders and The Arab Fort. It is easy to arrange a simple walking tour with a local guide who can teach you some history.
The market in Stone Town is one of the largest, most vibrant open-air markets anywhere. Here, you can find several varieties of bananas, “elephant garlic” unique to the island, the largest avocados you’ll probably ever see, and more. Prices are extremely reasonable. Even if you have no intentions of purchasing food, the spectacle alone is worth a visit. If seeing raw meat and fish covered in flies makes you squeamish, avoid that part of the market. Overall, pretty much all food that is not packaged in plastic is covered in flies.
Seaweed Center (Seaweed industry development project), (Paje, East Coast, Zanzibar), ☎ +255 772 37-18-44, . 3% of the world’s commercial harvest of Seaweed is taking place in Zanzibar island. The industry has ~15,000 women seaweed farmers. The Seaweed Center is a socially responsible business that provides female seaweed farmers in Paje, Zanzibar with opportunities to improve their personal standards of living and develop economic activities that benefit the entire community. The project comprises a factory and gathering site to produce soaps and creams from seaweed that are sold locally and begin to be distributed throughout East Africa. Tours are available, showing the life of seaweed women, the work and the value added activities.
What to do:
The inner city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, is a most unique city. Blending Moorish, Middle Eastern, Indian, and African traditions and architectures, it is possible to spend days winding through Stone Town’s labyrinthine alleys. That said, a day will give you plenty of insight. The inner city is small and can easily be explored by foot. It is estimated that 85% of the historic building fabric (coral stone) of Stone Town is irredeemably lost. Only very few of the old magnificent buildings shine brightly, i.e. if they have been converted to (boutique) hotels, clubs, or restaurants. Most buildings are in bad shape and the rough sea climate has taken its toll on the structure.
While in Stone Town, you can shop for souvenirs, drink the occasional tea, or visit the few city’s historic sites. Be aware that -being close to the equator- even the little alleys may offer little shade/protection from the sun. Water is also important and can be bought in plenty of stores along the narrow streets.
The House of Wonders is currently closed due to reconstruction work (Oct 2014). It carries this name because it was the first house in Stone Town to have electricity, running water, and an elevator.
Former Slave Market (Entry fee is TZS7,000 – this fee includes a guide (Oct 2014), who you may or may not tip). This is the site of the old Slave Market. The museum only consists of slave chambers (one for 50 men and one for 75 women and children), a memorial, and an Anglican Church built on the site of the tree that served as whipping post. Unfortunately it provides only very few information on the history of the building or slave trade in Zanzibar. Apart from the slave chambers nothing is left, as a hospital has been built into the old market. However, you can go into the holding chambers in the cellar to see how this wretched piece of history played itself out in small dark dungeon-type cells. The property was purchased by Dr David Livingstone (one of the biggest proponents of the abolishment of slavery) who wanted to turn the grounds into a haven after the atrocities committed there by the Oman Arab and British slave traders.
In the tourist areas around the waterfront, Kenyatta Road and Shangani Road, you will be beset by all manner of papasi, touts and others wanting to offer you taxis, spice tours, music, gifts, etc. A polite but firm No, thanks usually doesn’t do the trick, and can get exhausting. Best thing to do here is to keep walking and wander into the more residential alleys where you won’t be disturbed.
Around Stone Town:
Spice tours are being offered by many companies, they take you out to a spice farm, where your guide will show you how things like cinnamon, jack fruit and kukurma are grown, and will let you taste most of them. Be wary of buying them on the street, in which case the tout might just take your money without a booking. Another common scam is for a tout to follow you into (or give you directions to) the office, in which case the tour price will change from USD10-15, with you paying the commission.
If you have a car you can just drive to the Kizimbani area yourself, where plenty(!) spice tours are offered. Again, depending on your bargaining skills you may be able to get it for TZS22,500 (two persons) plus the tips (6000).
[Surfing on the Southeast Coast] Surfing is getting more popular on the island. The Southeast Coast offers a variety of surf spots for different level surfers. Guaranteed uncrowded surf in crystal clear warm waters with a consistant waist high wave for beginners and shoulder to head high wave for advanced can be found on the island. The reefs are flat and beginner friendly in some sections and can be gnarly with sea urchins if you do not know the spots. Self exploring missions are not recommendable. For a good surf experience in Zanzibar a guide is essential. Aquaholics Zanzibar  is the only surf school on the island and offers trips for beginners, intermediates and advanced surfers. A variety of surf boards is available to rent.
Deep Sea Fishing with ” Hooked on Fishing” in Nungwi in the North Coast.
Kitesurf at the Ras Nungwi beach with [www.kiteboardingzanzibar.com]. Full equipment rental runs USD60 (half day) and USD90 (full day). Lessons can be booked (Group introduction of 3 hours at USD165 and private lessons (1h) at USD90). They also offer Kendwa beach and Matemwe kite beach.
Zanzibar Cycling Adventures takes you to some of the islands hidden treasures, offering cycling tours around the Northern region of Zanzibar. You get a bit of culture, history, exercise and fun… all on a bicycle!
Fishing with local Dhow with and “jumping” out of coral reef like a local,the most exceited feeling must try in a life time .
The East Beaches are popular among travellers. The sand is brilliant white, and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean are a deep teal. Here, you can:
Find plenty of opportunities for scuba diving; Rising Sun Dive Center  (based at the Breezes beach resort)
Kizimkazi Dolphin Tour For $25-$35 You can take this beautiful (but not necessarily moral) tour. This includes a ride from Stone Town to the village of Kizimkazi in the south tip of the island, a few hours boat tour that includes snorkelling and chasing dolphins, local lunch, nap on the beach and an optional tour to Jozani Forest (see above). The full tours leaves town at 08:00 and returns at 17:00 – a complete day of fun and a very memorable experience, especially for the dolphins.
Do not miss out on one of the best dives in East Africa.Spanish Dancer Divers  arrange daily trips to the famous Mnemba Atoll Marine Park for divers and snorkelers. Mnemba Atoll is known for having clear warm waters. Dolphin and Green Turtle encounters are very common, though not guaranteed.
Arrange for a ride on a local’s dhow (a carved, wooden boat).
Sit and stare at the water for hours on end.
Kitesurf is a popular sport in Paje Beach, where the crystalline lagoon waters and reef protection offer ideal conditions for both advanced and beginner kitesurfers. At full moon the lagoon maybe very full and conditions may be suboptimal. Zanzibar Kite Paradise offers beginning classes as well as rentals.
Kendwa Beach on the North Western coast is beautiful. Here you can swim during low and high tide, which is not always possible on the East side of the island. Just beware of the “Sea Urchins” that give a powerful sting if stepped upon during low tide. Kendwa offers lots of beach bars and restaurants serving everything from pizza to local curries. Kendwa Beach is also known for the Full Moon Party, arranged Saturdays just before or after a full moon. While not as big or extreme as those arranged in Thailand, the parties on Zanzibar attract quite a large group of people, especially when the full moon coincides with public holidays in Europe and North America (eg Easter and Christmas).
Africa house in the stone town was the old English club and explorers like Livingstone and Stanley relaxed in the bar and billiards rooms before exploring the main land. The billiards room now is an Arabic shisha smoking lounge.
Zanzibar Butterfly Centre, Pete village (1km before Jozani Forest Park), 09:00-17:00. The Zanzibar Butterfly Centre (ZBC) is a community and environmental project located in Pete village next to Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park. ZBC has trained local people from the Pete community to farm the butterflies sustainably and buys their pupae for the netted garden. Revenue generated by tourist admissions supports ZBC with the project’s aims of poverty alleviation and conservation of the local forest. ZBC provides visitors with a unique and fascinating opportunity to learn about all the different butterfly life cycle stages close up in one of Africa’s largest butterfly exhibits. Visitors can enjoy an interactive tour with one of the knowledgeable guides in the tropical garden where hundreds of butterflies, all of which are native species to Zanzibar, fly freely.
Menai Bay Conservation Area Snorkel Excursions (Fumba Water Sports), Fumba (25 minutes south of Zanzibar airport), Menai Bay Conservation Area in the southwest side region holds very pristine and colourful coral reef systems with abundant sea life. Take a morning trip out to snorkel or dive in a traditional Swahili dhow then come back to an all inclusive lunch from Fumba Beach Lodge.