Before You Depart

Cape Town & Safari Express


Your departure flights from the U.S. to South Africa and back are on the below airlines. We recommend that you check-in 3½ hours before departure.

Dates Airline Airport Depart Return
2024: Sep. 20, Oct. 18 United Airlines Newark (EWR) 8:15 PM 5:45 AM
2024: Nov. 8 United Airlines Newark (EWR) 8:35 PM 7:00 AM
2024: All Other Dates TBA TBA TBA TBA



The above airlines do not assign seats in advance. Seat assignment can only be arranged when you check-in at the airport.


Booking your own flights has advantages like flying from your home airport, choosing your own seats, upgrading your seats, and using and collecting airline miles. Tour-only travelers are responsible for arranging their entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. Unused land services including those caused by air schedule changes and delays are non-refundable and smarTours cannot be held responsible.

When booking your flights, please note that our tour starts in Cape Town and ends in Dinokeng Private Game Reserve near Johannesburg. We recommend that you:

  • Fly into Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
  • Fly out of O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB)


When and where you’ll meet the rest of the group depends on if you purchased our air-inclusive package with group flights from/returning to the U.S. or our tour-only package.

  • smarTours Group Air Travelers: Upon arrival in destination, please proceed through customs and immigration. Our Tour Director will be waiting for you at the airport upon arrival in the arrivals area near the point you clear customs with a smarTours sign.
  • smarTours Tour-Only Travelers: Please arrive at your preferred time. The Tour Director and group will meet the morning of Day 2 for breakfast and an orientation meeting. Hotel check-in is generally not before 4 PM.


The final end point for your tour depends on if you purchased our air-inclusive package with group flights from/returning to the U.S. or our tour-only package.

  • smarTours Group Air Travelers: On our last day, we’ll transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S.
  • smarTours Tour-Only Travelers: The tour ends after drop off at Johannesburg Airport (JNB) in the early afternoon. You may also forfeit the transfer back to Johannesburg and end services after breakfast at the lodge. Generally, hotel check-out is prior to 12 PM (noon).


You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. All visitors are required by the South African immigration authorities to have a minimum of two consecutive blank visa entry pages in their passport. Insufficient pages in the passport normally results in denied boarding or denial of entry upon arrival, and the person is likely to be detained pending return to their country of origin. Visa is not required for U.S. passport holders. Non-U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates as to the most current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.


Final instructions, documents, and travel tips will be emailed to you 10–14 days before the scheduled start of your tour. If you have not received your final documents, please check your spam folder or contact smarTours.


Please consult your personal physician or local public health authorities regarding taking anti-malaria pills, as well as other recommendations.


South Africa is located in the southern hemisphere and has the reverse seasons to those of the U.S. The weather is temperate, even in the winter. Overnight temperatures are 10-20 degrees lower. Night and day temperature can vary greatly. Here’s what you can expect:

  • April–September: Highs in the 60s and 70s.
  • October–March: Highs in the 70s and 80s.


Food costs in South Africa are quite reasonable compared to the U.S. In Cape Town, you may dine at either of the hotels used on this tour or in a nearby restaurant recommended by your guide. The V&A Waterfront offers a fantastic range of dining options. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals.


Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. For “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. Dollars. Your hotels will be able to exchange cash to local currency. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.

Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage and one carry-on piece. Please check with the airline for the maximum weight and size for luggage. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.