Mzanzi where the nature of Ubuntu comes alive
When you visit our 'Rainbow Nation', you're bound to want to know something about us.
To help you understand us
South Africa has 11 official languages. Most people speak English but that doesn't mean that you will always understand them.
Afrikaans - a language spoken by mostly white South Africans of Dutch origin, coloured people of the Cape and some black people. It is not an African language.
Amarula - a cream liqueur made from the fruit of the maroela tree.
amasi - a popular drink of thick sour milk. From the isiZulu language.
apartheid - was the policy of separate development implemented by, the then ruling party, the National Party from 1948 - 1990.
Aweh - Great, awesome.
babbelas - a hangover.
bakkie - a small pick-up truck.
biltong - dried, spiced and salted meat, similar to beef jerky.
bobotie - a dish of Malay origin, made with minced meat, an infusion of spices, dried fruit, topped with beaten egg and baked.
boerewors - a savoury sausage developed by Boers (Farmers) - today's Afrikaners - some 200 years ago. Traditional fair at its best.
boet - brother.
boma - an outside area where one can sit around a fire - sometimes with a thatched roof.
braai - outside barbecue, a must when visiting.
bru - shortened from brother, not necessary family.
bunny chow - an Indian curry served in a hollowed-out half-loaf of bread.
bushveld - the bushveld is a terrain of thick scrubby trees and shrub, with grassy ground-cover between. This is where you will find our game.
china - a buddy, good friend, not the country.
ching - money.
chommie - from the English chum.
deurmekaar - an Afrikaans term meaning confused, disorganized or stupid.
dinges - a thing, whatzit, whachamacallit or whatsizname.
dop - a alcoholic drink of any kind. "Can I pour you a dop with dam?", a drink with water.
dorp - a small town.
droewors - a thin sausage, wind-dried, eaten as a snack, like biltong.
Durbs - city of Durban, capital of KwaZulu-Natal.
eina - ouch! or sore
eish - used to express frustration, wonder or 'I don't really know'.
Eita - Hello.
frikkadel - a traditional meatball.
fundi - expert, knowledgeable.
fynbos - a vegetation unique to the Cape Floral Region - some 6 000 species, including many types of protea.
gatvol - fed up - I've had enough.
gogga - insect, bug.
gogo - from isiZulu, grandmother or elderly women.
hokaai - hold it! or slow down.
howzit - hello or "How are you?"
indaba - a meeting, from the isiZulu.
inyanga - a herbalist or traditional healer.
izit - is it, often used in conversation "really", "is that so?"
ja - yes.
jawelnofine - "yes well no fine", 'How about That?"
jislaaik - expression of surprise.
jol - having fun or "We are partying".
Jozi - the city of Johannesburg, also known as Jo'burg, Joeys or Egoli.
just now - sometime later, not now but in the future.
khaya - home, from the Nguni languages.
kif - cool, neat or great.
koeksister - a traditional platted dough dipped in a sticky syrup. From the Dutch "koekje".
kraal - a village of huts or enclosure for livestock.
kwaito - music of the urban black youth.
laduma! - used when celebrating a goal scored in soccer, from the isiZulu for "it thunders".
lekgotla - a brain storming session.
lekker - nice, great, tasty or cool.
mahala - free, cheap, costs nothing or almost nothing.
mampara - an idiot, a silly person, from the Sotho language.
mampoer - a potent drink made from distilled fruit, similar to moonshine.
mealie - corn. Mealie meal is maize meal or pap.
melktert - "milk tart". A sweet pastry crust containing a creamy filling made from milk, flour, sugar and egg.
moegoe - a buffoon or unsavory person.
muti - traditional African medicine.
Mzansi - a popular word for South Africa.
nê - really? Is that so?
now-now - shortly, in a bit.
oke - guy, bloke.
ou - guy, bloke, from Afrikaans.
oubaas - old man. Sometimes used for sir.
pap - local staple food, a porridge made from maize meal.
pavement - sidewalk.
platteland - farmland, countryside from Afrikaans meaning flat land.
"Plastic?" - when asked this question, the person wants to know if you want to buy a plastic bag for your shopping.
potjie - a three-legged cast-iron pot used on an open fire.
potjiekos - a traditional stew cooked on a fire.
robots - traffic lights in South Africa.
rooibos - a tea made from the Cyclopia genistoides bush (red bush), popular for its health benefits.
rusks - a biscuit served to be dunked in morning coffee, the traditional way to start a day. Balls of dough are packed into loaf tins and baked in the oven. Once cooked, the risen balls are then separated and dried out completely in a warm oven for a couple of hours.
samoosa - a small, spicy, triangular-shaped pie deep-fried in oil. From the Indian and Malay communities.
South Africa has a landmass of 1,233,404 square kilometers with nearly 3000 kilometers of coastline with the Indian Ocean in the east and the Atlantic Ocean in the west. The northern borders is Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It also has within its borders two independent countries, Lesotho and Swaziland.
We have three capitals: Cape Town - Legislative. Pretoria - Administrative. Bloemfontein - Judicial.
About 53 million of which about 80% is African and the rest, white - Afrikaans and English, Coloured, Indian and Asian.
Known as 'Sunny South Africa' it has a temperate climate. Only the Western Cape has winter rainfall. Winter - May to August. Spring - September to October. Summer - November to February. Autumn - March to April.
There are 9 provinces (States), Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
We have a well-developed infrastructure. Mobile Signal, Internet and Wi-Fi is available in urban areas and at most Safari destinations except in the most remote areas.
The water in South Africa is drinkable from the taps in urban areas as well as in Safari Lodges, but it is not always palatable for the foreigner, so you might prefer bottled water which is available.
Most of the country is malaria-free but always check for the areas you intend visiting and take the required precautions.
It is safe to travel in South Africa if you take commonsense precautions. Do not take a taxi unless it has been vetted, don't walk at night, don't display expensive jewelry in the street, leave mobile phones, laptops or money in your room, etc.
Answering some Q's
Isn't Johannesburg a dangerous destination?
Absolutely NOT. Like any major city there are do's and don'ts, but you will be with your guide who knows the where and what not's.
What makes your Safaris different?
We live here. We are South African and this is our home and you will be a guest in our home. Not only do we know the country, we delight in sharing it with you on a personalized and hospitable journey of discovery.
All our itineraries are put together by ourselves in collaboration with you (no standard off the shelf stuff here). You know what you want, we know what is possible and together we will sculpture a journey based on your desires, needs, interests and our local knowledge.
We have extensive experience in the tourism industry and use that to sculpture these exclusive journeys. We host our journeys personally and therefore great effort is put into the planning and execution, as we can only do a handful of these journeys per year.
What is the difference between National Parks and Private Reserves?
National Parks are administered by South African National Parks which ensures a standardized, comfortable level of accommodation and facilities at a lower rate than Private Lodges. Accommodation in the Private Lodges are far more luxurious with attentive service and a good choice if you want to be spoiled. The game watching experience is the same, (the animals don't know where you are staying) but with certain restrictions - you have to be back in camp at a specific time and can only start your game drive when gates open in the morning.
Will I be 'roughing it' on your journeys?
If you wish, it can be arranged, but normally - absolutely NOT. The choice of accommodation and levels of luxury is up to you. We recommend you make use of a range of accommodations, that we will suggest, to enhance your experience. This way you will enjoy the country, its people and the wildlife to its fullest.
Aren't wild animals dangerous?
YES! All wild animals are dangerous. Like you, they will protect themselves, their offspring and their territories fiercely. However most animals are frightened by the sight and smell of humans and rather than attack, they will flee.
While on safari there is always a degree of danger as the behaviour of animals cannot be guaranteed. You will be accompanied by your guide who has an understanding of the wildlife and their behaviour that they share their lives with. It is therefore important that you follow your guides directions and when in doubt - ASK!
So, I will be in danger?
NO! If you listen to your guide and follow commonsense, you are going to have a unforgettable experience.
What are the Don'ts on safari?
- Observe the animals silently with a minimum of disturbance to their natural activities. Loud talking will frighten the animals away.
- Never attempt to attract an animals attention. Don't imitate animal sounds, clap your hands, whistle, pound the vehicle or throw objects.
- Never stand up in the vehicle.
- Don't feed or attempt to feed any wild animal.
- Never smoke on game drives. The dry African bush ignites easily and causes animal deaths.
- Litter can poison and choke animals and birds. DON'T LITTER!
- Respect your guides judgement about the proximity to wildlife. Don't insist that he/she take the vehicle closer so you can get a better photograph - pack that long lens.
- Wear subtle coloured clothing.
Are there lots of insects?
Generally no, sometimes yes. Near a carcass you are going to have flies; In the evening near illuminated areas you will have bugs; At night you might find the odd mosquito or two (not every mosquito is a malaria mosquito and we do offer malaria free safaris). So, take precautions, use bug repellent, we all do!
Will I see the 'big five' on my safari?
You may well see them all several times but as with all wildlife, nothing can be guaranteed. We plan your journey so that we visit different areas to optimize your chances.
sangoma - traditional healer or diviner.
sharp - used as a greeting, a farewell, for agreement, often doubled up as sharp-sharp.
shebeen - a tavern, usually in a private house in a township.
shongololo - large brown millipede, from the isiZulu "to roll up".
sjambok - a stout animal hide whip.
slap chips - french fries, soft and oily, drenched in vinegar with lots of salt.
sosatie - a kebab. Meat, peppers, onions and sometimes dried fruit on a stick grilled over an open fire.
spaza - informal shop anywhere.
taxi - a minibus, the most common way to transport people, 16 passengers at a time on a set route. The conventional metered taxis are also available.
tom - money.
toppie - old man.
township - low cost housing suburbs outside cities and towns.
toyi-toyi - a form of dancing used during protests.
tsotsi - hoodlum or gangster.
ubuntu - South African philosophy that holds as its central tenet that a person is person through other persons.
veld - grassland. Afrikaans for "field".
vetkoek - "fat cake", a dough that is deep-fried and served with jam and cheese or a savory mince.
voetsek - buzz off, go away, used for dogs.
vrot - rotten, not nice.
vuvuzela - a colorful plastic trumpet with the sound of a foghorn, made famous during the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.
windgat - show-off. Taken from the Afrikaans, literally "wind hole".
witblitz - "white lightning" from the Afrikaans, home-made distilled alcohol.
Terms and condition when booking with us
1. On receipt of a request for a quotation AfriFriends undertakes to make the necessary enquiries and issue a provisional travel itinerary indicating route and services as well as a cost for the suggested itinerary.
2. Acceptance of such a quotation will indicate an acceptance of these terms and conditions and an agreement to be bound by them.
3. On receipt of written acceptance of an AfriFriends Quotation, AfriFriends undertakes to provisionally reserve a place or places and all relevant services for the person or persons indicated on the quotation subject to availability for a period of seven (7) days only within which time AfriFriends requires a non-refundable deposit of fifty percent (50%) of the total quoted price to confirm the booking or the provisional space held will be released.
4. AfriFriends will confirm bookings by e-mail specifically headed CONFIRMATION OF BOOKING. When the deposit is received, AfriFriends will issue a receipt to confirm the booking. No other communication from AfriFriends will amount to a booking confirmation.
5. AfriFriends reserves the right to charge a administration fee of up to a maximum of 10% of the quoted tour price for issuing any quotation or itinerary at the sole discretion of AfriFriends.
6. While AfriFriends will make all reasonable efforts in good faith to accommodate bona fide changes in travel plans by clients, bookings may be cancelled or altered at the sole discretion of AfriFriends only and may result in forfeiture of any additional monies paid or owing to AfriFriends as well as the imposition of a transfer fee. Cancellations must be made in writing within the time period stated in this AGREEMENT and in the booking confirmation.
7. Cancellations are only effective on receipt by AfriFriends of written notification of cancellation. If cancellation is made prior to eight (8) weeks before departure your deposit is forfeited. If cancellation is made after the due date for full payment of the tour fare, charges will be levied on the amount due and deposit is forfeited. The scale of charges for cancellations expressed as a percentage of the full quoted price is as follows: Less than eight (8) weeks’ notice before departure - deposit plus 25%; Less than four (4) weeks’ notice before departure – deposit plus 50%; Less than three (3) weeks’ notice before departure – deposit plus 60%; Less than two (2) weeks’ notice before departure – 100%; Failure to join a departure or joining after departure or leaving prior to completion of an itinerary will not entitle the person concerned to any refund or reduction in price. Postponements of confirmed bookings may be treated as cancellations at the option of AfriFriends or AfriFriends may levy a charge of up to 25% of the total price to change a booking subject to availability and price changes.
8. Full payment will be due on the date stated in the booking confirmation. AfriFriends reserves the right to charge interest at the statutory rate on late payments. In the event that a booking is not cancelled within the time stated on the booking confirmation AfriFriends reserves the right to take steps, including at its option legal proceedings, to recover the full amount owing to it as stated in the booking confirmation, including any applicable interest and any costs associated with the recovery of monies in terms of this AGREEMENT.
9. On receipt of full payment AfriFriends will issue a receipt for payment and will forward any applicable travel vouchers, itineraries, travel information, visa requirements or other information. AfriFriends will be entitled to proceed on the basis that all information forwarded in terms of this clause has been received, read, understood and accepted. AfriFriends will not be liable for failure to receive any information but will, within reason, forward or re-send all or any information on receipt of a request to do so by a person who has made payment in full in terms of clause 8.
10. Baggage is subject to the restrictions contained in the information forwarded by AfriFriends. AfriFriends will not be responsible for any additional costs or damage, loss or consequential losses arising from baggage in excess of the baggage permitted in terms of the restrictions listed in the information supplied by AfriFriends.
11. Due to the inherently risky nature of African travel including, but not limited to, exposure to wild animals, dangerous environments, poor road conditions and risk of disease, AfriFriends and its agents and employees will not be responsible for any losses, accidents or injuries caused to any person or their belongings, howsoever arising, including but not limited to, losses or damage arising from delayed travel plans, cancellations, mechanical breakdowns or failures, road accidents, natural causes or violence or theft by non- AfriFriends employees.
12. AfriFriends and its staff, employees and agents will not be held liable in any way for the cost of travel documents and visas required for exit and entry into any countries, nor for ensuring that persons booking and/or traveling with AfriFriends have the necessary documents for entry into any country, nor for any losses, damages or other consequences flowing from a failure to have such documents. In the interest of other guests traveling with AfriFriends, AfriFriends reserves in its sole discretion the right to cancel the remainder of a client’s tour with AfriFriends where a client is unable to gain entry to any country due to failure to obtain, procure or produce the necessary documents. Such a person will be required to make their own arrangements for further travel from the point of cancellation and AfriFriends will provide reasonable assistance in this regard.
13. AfriFriends, its agents and its employees will not be liable for any losses or damages howsoever arising, including any losses or damage incurred as a result of any errors or omissions in any information or brochures supplied by AfriFriends and including loss or damage caused by accident, injury, sickness, delay or death. AfriFriends reserves the right at any time and in its sole discretion to cancel any travel arrangements or the remainder thereof, to make any alterations to travel arrangements including alterations to routes, intended activities, accommodation, prices or in respect of any other detail. In the event of any travel or part of any travel being rendered inadvisable, impossible, dangerous or illegal, whether by reason of war, strike, famine, natural disaster, civil strife, weather, interference or any other cause, AfriFriends will not be liable for any extra costs incurred as a result thereof. AfriFriends reserves the right at any time and in its sole discretion to cancel the booking of any person without liability or cost to itself in the event of the illness of the person or in the event of illegal, irresponsible, dangerous or incompatible conduct on the part of the person and AfriFriends will not be required to refund any monies to such person.
14. AfriFriends does not provide insurance cover for cancellation, curtailment, delay, medical expenses, baggage, emergencies or evacuation or insurance of any kind. AfriFriends recommends the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance prior to undertaking any African travel.
15. Any person making a booking or reservation with AfriFriends warrants that they are competent to enter into such a contract and that they have read and understood the terms and conditions governing the contract. In addition, they warrant that they are authorized to enter into a contract with AfriFriends on behalf of any other persons mentioned in such a booking or reservation. In the event of the failure of any or all persons mentioned in such a booking or reservation to pay any monies due to AfriFriends or to abide by these terms and conditions. AfriFriends reserves the right to proceed personally against the person whose name appears on the correspondence entered into with AfriFriends and such person agrees to assume personal liability for the total price of all bookings made by him or her and for all costs arising from these terms and conditions.
16. AfriFriends reserves the right to make use of any photographs or film taken by AfriFriends’ employees or under its instruction, authorization or sent to AfriFriends without further notice or compensation for any purpose.
17. AfriFriends will not be liable for any refund, either in whole or in part, in the event that any planned accommodation or activity or excursion is unavailable or in the event that the quoted or advertised service is unavailable.
18. Please note that AfriFriends subcontracts flying services and accommodation, amongst other things, to independent entities and is not itself responsible for any subcontracted functions. The terms and conditions of sub contracted parties will vary from party to party and are not included in this AGREEMENT – if you require the specific terms and conditions of specific sub contractors then please request these from AfriFriends. If any prices incurred through the use of subcontractors increase or where prices are influenced by exchange rate fluctuations, AfriFriends reserves the right to impose a surcharge on the quoted tour price, including where that price has been confirmed in a booking confirmation.
19. These terms and conditions are governed by South African law and all guests agree to be bound by South African law in respect of any dispute arising in terms of this agreement, regardless of the country in which the incident occurred or the facts complained of arose. Any dispute arising in terms of this agreement shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court.