Report on Ubuntu Conference Call with Peter Wilmot
March 17, 2014
Peter Wilmot is a South African man who has lived in the US since 1989. He has been a US citizen since 2001. Peter is an electrical engineer by profession and has been organizing tours for several years as a hobby. Phil says, “Peter is as passionate about travel as I am about camp!” Peter deals with small, well-established businesses rather than large tour operators so his trips provide a lot of TLC for the travelers. Likes to keep the groups small with a minimum of 6 travelers, to get good rates, and a maximum of 10-12 (including guides and GCA rep) to allow for personal attention and an intimate environment where travelers can get to know one another. Peter and his wife Elaine will be our tour guides.
We are organizing 2 tours of South Africa for Global Camps Africa donors that blend meeting the people with seeing the beauty of the country. The fifteen day trip in October 2014 and the ten day trip in December are both timed to coincide with the Camps Sizanani schedule.
The October “long” tour is fifteen days, October 1-15, 2014. Spring in South Africa. Out of season rates. The December “short” tour is ten days, December 9-18. Mid-summer in South Africa with warmer weather. During the school holidays and prime vacation time so rates are higher.
Cost of tour includes all guides, accommodations, transportation in South Africa, airport pickups and drop offs, entrance fees, all excursions, all breakfasts and occasional dinners. Lunches and most dinners are on your own account to allow for individual preferences about what and how much to eat.
Each tour visits both the northern and southern parts of South Africa.
Both tours include:
Camp Sizanani & related activities
· A full day at Camp Sizanani. Meet the kids and counselors. See what’s being done to enrich their lives.
· Soweto Township in Johannesburg
· Attend Youth Club session
· Politics, history and culture are covered throughout the tour. Travelers are always encouraged to engage with the local people for cultural exchange.
Pretoria: Trace the history & politics of South Africa from the Boer War up to the present day through visits to the Voortrekker Monument & Freedom Park. Freedom Park was just opened last year as a memorial to the South African liberation struggle heroes and all the international figures who played a part in the struggle for liberation.
Johannesburg: Full day visit to Soweto Township, Apartheid Museum, Nelson Mandela Square. You’ll gain an understanding of the Apartheid era and the great strides that have been made since then.
Capetown: Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of the 27 years of his imprisonment. Also visit one of the very large black townships in Capetown, see development projects and discuss the political, economic and social development projects and other local issues with the people.
Nature and animals
· This differs between the two tours. However both tours provide a very exciting introduction to South Africa’s animal kingdom in both the northern and the southern parts of the country.
· Natural attractions such as the Cape Peninsula, Table Mountain, and such.
The difference in the two tours is in the amount of time devoted to nature and animals.
October “long” tour:
· 3 days at Kruger National Park to see the “Big 5” and other animal and bird life. Morning and afternoon game drives and evenings around the campfire at the beautiful game lodge.
· Travel to Kruger via the scenic panoramic route, looking for animals on the way
· More time at each attraction visited
December “short” tour
· A 3 hour game drive to see animals in their natural habitat near the Johannesburg/Pretoria area
· A personal Cheetah interaction at the Cheetah Preserve
Physical demands of the trip
Generally the pace will be slow and easy. Some walking but not strenuous.
If mobility is an issue, guides will make allowances by drawing closer when possible or, otherwise, finding an alternative activity.
· October “long” tour: About $4,275 depending on the exchange rate
· December “short” tour: $3,250 depending on the exchange rate
· Add $500 supplement for single accommodations
· Payment structure
o A deposit on booking
o A second deposit a short time later
o Final balance approximately 3 months before departure date
• Vise not required
· Most travelers get shots to prevent hepatitis, tetanus and typhoid but they are not required
· Malaria: Only the long tour will visit a malaria area. The short tour will not be in a malaria area. Pills or shots are recommended for those on the long tour. You may get these the first day in country. Local pharmacists know which preventatives are best is the area where you will be traveling.
• Light clothing but cover up and use bug spray to avoid insect bites in safari areas
• Tee shirts and shorts or pants
Tipping in country:
There are two options for tipping. The first option is that tipping for guides/drivers will be included in the final balance to be paid 3 months before departure. This takes the guess-work out of tipping decisions for those in the tour-group.
The second option is that individuals may tip in cash on the trip. Peter will advise these individuals about the appropriate tipping amount for each occasion.
Tours do not include airfare in order to accommodate travelers who would like to use frequent flyer miles.
Direct flights to Johannesburg or Capetown from New York or Washington, DC.
• About 15 ½ hours from NY (non-stop). About 17 hours from Dulles
• South African Airways from Dulles stops for one hour to refuel in Dakar but you can’t leave the plane.
• KLM has a same day flight with a 3 hour layover in Amsterdam
• Turkish Airlines has good prices
Or fly through Europe and take a layover in a city there.
Economy fare is about $1,200 - $1,400.
Business class is 4-5 times more. Ethiopian Airlines may have the least expensive business class fare. Adds about 3 hours to the trip.
You must book by April 30, 2014! * Space is limited so sign up now!
Teleconference recording Playback Number: 712-432-0379
Access Code: 343775#