A few answers to the many questions......

 

Languages:

South Africa has 11 official languages.  English is widely spoken and understood.

Currency:

The local currency is the (ZAR) South African Rand. The exchange rate is variable, with exchange facilities at all airports, cities and major towns. We too have a modern and sophisticated ATM system which accepts many international bank and credit cards.

Communication:

South Africa operates the cellular network on the GSM system which covers the majority of the country and has 3G coverage in the main centers. If you do not have international roaming is it possible to either rent a cell phone from the airport or buy a local SIM card at most shops. To dial South Africa from another country, you dial +27 then the number. If dialing a cell number then dial as following: +27 (0) xxx xxx xxxx. You drop the 0 (zero) and just dial the rest of the number. Most of the accommodations we use offer internet facilities, either in form of free WIFI, or in form of a voucher.

VAT:

South Africa has a Vat system. The rate is 14% on purchases and services. Prices include the Vat amount. Foreign visitors can claim back Vat from purchases of more than R250 when leaving the country at the airport, this is however a long winded process and we suggest you plan enough time, so you don’t miss your flight.

Gratuity's:

At the airports and hotels, a R7 tip per bag is in order, however you are not obliged to use their services. Parking attendants,  (some official some not) in the region of R5. In restaurants 10% is the going rate, if you had very good service, please feel free to give more. Your “Crew” also work hard, we recommend +- $10/ day per guest.

Drinking water:

South Africa has a very high standard of drinking water, the taste and color may differ depending on the area you are in, but as far as bacteria go, our tap water is safe to drink. Should you however prefer to drink bottled water, this is available in all shops and stores.

 

Best time to visit and cycle:

Roughly speaking, the summer months are December to March, autumn is April to May, winter is June to August, and spring is September to November. Because southern Africa is such a large area, and each region's offerings change with the seasons, when you go may determine where you go.

The Coast -- South Africa's Western Cape, tends to attract the majority of international visitors during the summer months. Be aware, however, that accommodation prices do increase in summer, some by as much as 70%; and if you dislike crowds, you should try to avoid South Africa's coast during the busiest South African school holidays, which take place from around mid-December to mid-January. In fact, the hot months of February and March are considered by most Europeans to be the best times to visit. April, too, is a great month to visit, sunsets are often spectacular, and balmy temperatures are preferable for those who dislike baking heat. 

Depending on your interests, winter (June-Aug) brings substantial benefits, July to November are the months when the Southern Right whales migrate to the Cape's southern coast, providing the best land-based whale-watching (see our whale biking route). With the Cape a winter rainfall area, local tourism authorities have aptly dubbed the May-to-August period its "green season," and indeed the Cape's valleys and mountains are an ideal backdrop to dramatic displays of fynbos (shrub like plant) in flower. While it can at times rain continuously, the pattern is usually broken every few days with sun.

If you you enjoy the sun, plan to head to the Garden Route and Karoo, preferably along Route 62, where year-round sunshine ensures that any time of year is a great time to do a cycle tour of this region. October to November is when the Cape floral kingdom explodes with a new carpet of color.

How long in advance should I book:

We suggest booking and finalizing your trip at least 3 (three) months before the planned departure date, this way you also qualify for a 5% discount. Please see our Payment Conditions.

Entry requirements for South Africa:

Visitors to South Africa are required to carry a valid passport that is valid for at least six (6) months and have at least four (4) blank pages free. Visas can be obtained through the foreign affairs office in your country of residence if applicable.

Vaccinations for South Africa:       

This is a debated subject, and we suggest our guests read this information on the basics required.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

How safe is it to travel in South Africa?

All our tours and accommodations have been carefully designed and selected so that our guests do not come to harms way. South Africa, like an other country has it's problems and you should take the same precautions when traveling. In general, keep your documents, large amounts of cash, airline tickets and valuables in a safe if provided in your hotel or lodge room. Otherwise store in a safe place in the room. Take care not to flash money, expensive cameras and jewelry in public places. Never leave your luggage and personal items unattended especially at airports. Do not walk alone on deserted roads or lonely beaches and streets, especially after dark. Never pick up hitchhikers when traveling by car, and finally always adhere to the advice provided by your tour guide or driver.

What happens when I land in South Africa?

You will be meet by your tour guide or driver. Details of whom, your full itinerary and 24h contact/ emergency number should you require assistance while in South Africa are contained in the documents found in your Members Area on the website.

Shall I bring my own bicycle?

We suggest you do for the mountain bike program. It is a lot better to sit on a bike your accustomed to while cruising down that single track. If you would prefer to leave your own bicycles at home,  we do have a fleet of quality hard tails and road bikes you can rent from us for a minimal fee.

What happens if I can't keep up?

You have the luxury of a climatized back-up vehicle on all the trips, accept some of the the mountain bike tours on offer. We cycle in mountain bike parks, meaning the vehicle will be at both the start and finish point. On any of the other tours, if you feel you have had enough, you can always jump in and keep the driver company.

Do we cycle as a group?

Our tour program is generally group travel, this way you get to experience South Africa together and swap your action stories, motivate and encourage each other, with the back up vehicle not far away. When mountain biking, we often use different bike parks, so we leave from and return to the back-up vehicle.

How often do we see the support vehicle per day?

The support vehicle will be on your heals for most of our tours. The purpose is replenishment of supplies (fluids/snacks) and if for any reason you would like to take a break.

What should I carry with me on my bicycle?

On our road bike trips, you do not need to carry anything on your back, remember the back-up vehicle is close at hand to replenish fluids and feed you bananas and muesli bars. During the mountain bike tour, we suggest our guests carry a small rucksack, a 25l has proven to be the ideal size, (for obvious reasons) BUT also carry at least a 3l bladder in addition the drinking bottle on the bike

Can I hire a bicycle from Cycle Africa Tours? 

Yes you can, we have a selection of hard tail mountain bikes as well as good quality road bikes in our fleet. (See our hire prices and what’s included) This is often the preferred method as guests try to eliminate damage to their own bikes while traveling abroad

 

How much should I budget per day?

This depends on how much you eat and drink in the evenings or during mealtimes, we suggest you budget on R250 per day per person. Remember that some meals will be included and mentioned in the itinerary 

Is it possible to do laundry on tour?

Yes and no, some establishments offer a laundry service but not all of them. Your guide will advise when this service is available.

Do you cater for special diets?

Yes, please add this information under Guest Info found in your quote breakdown (Members Area) once you get your log in details.

Is it possible to arrange accommodation before or after a tour?

Yes by all means, we are connected to a large network of hand picked establishments.