- The booking process
Dusty Footprints aims to remove all the stress and complexity involved in the planning, booking and conducting of your safari holiday. Following a clear and simple process, a truly authentic, privately guided wilderness experience is at your fingertips.
All you need to do is have a look at our portfolio of carefully planned safari experiences, select one and send us an enquiry email. From there on you will be guided through the booking process.
When you have agreed on the necessary details we will send you the initial required deposit invoice. A 50% deposit is required as it is necessary for us to book all the relevant features of your safari experience in advance. The remaining amount owed will be required to be paid in full at least 6 weeks prior to the departure date.
Dusty Footprints will have pre and post safari meetings in Switzerland whenever possible. Although these are not mandatory, it will enable you to meet your private guide and fellow group members well in advance. This not only makes for a more comfortable and relaxed experience for you but also allows for a relationship to develop between you and your private guide ensuring a perfectly personal safari experience of the highest quality.
- The safari experience
You will meet your private guide in Johannesburg, South Africa. From then on, until you are safely back in Johannesburg, you will be looked after and personally guided by your private guide. All transportation, accommodation, food, private guiding, conservation levis, game park entrance fees and specific additional activities are included in your safari experience.
All Dusty Footprints Safari Experiences are designed to start and end at an International Airport or nearby hotel. This not only makes it easy for you on arrival in and departure from South Africa, but also allows you to easily extend your stay in South Africa by giving you access to flights to other must-see places such as Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.
- A walking safari
Walking in the bush is by far the best way to experience all that nature has to offer. There are usually two walks per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These are the best times to be out and about as they are not only the best times of the day to find wildlife, but it is also cooler and much more comfortable to walk. Walks generally last between 3 and 4hrs depending on the group and what we see out in the bush, but it is important to note that a walking safari is not necessarily a strenuous hike. A walking safari provides you with the perfect opportunity to get up and close to nature, looking for things as small as an ant to as big as an elephant. All walks will be lead by two armed guides.
- A wilderness trail
A wilderness trail is without a doubt a must have experience on everybody’s bucket list. It is a primitive trail that allows you to be completely absorbed into the wilderness around you in a very special and wild way. You set out from camp with all the equipment and food you will need for the duration of the trail and head out into a place where time and technology means nothing. Most of the walking is done in the mornings and afternoons with midday usually spent relaxing in the shade immersed in the bushveld. Every night camp is set up in a different spot and is compiled of pretty much just your bedroll, sleeping bag and a small campfire. We all take turns being on ‘watch’ and spend the night under the a dark sky seemingly surrounded twinkling with stars. All trails will be lead by two armed guides.
- A game drive
Game drives are conducted in open game drive vehicles and lead by a qualified local guide and your private guide. There is usually a morning game drive with a coffee break and an afternoon game drive with a sundowner break. Game drives are between 2 and 4hrs long depending on the activity and what we happen to find.
- Set dates and Flexibility
Dusty Footprints predominantly operates in set guiding windows with certain safari experiences better suited to certain months than others.
Due to the nature of the safari industry, it is often necessary to book certain camps, lodges or game reserves well in advance, This does limit the amount of flexibility in terms of bookings in certain instances. However, We are reasonably flexible and are more than willing to try and meet certain requests if possible. This not only applies to set dates but also group numbers and preferred destinations and experiences. Please contact us and we will try to assist if at all possible.
- Malaria and drinking water
A few of the destinations that Dusty Footprints operates in are malaria risk areas. The emerald season is the higher risk season and if you will be in the north eastern part of South Africa it is recommended that you follow through with malaria precautionary measures. We encourage you to speak to your doctor with regards to preventative measures.
For the most part, water in South Africa is safe to drink. This includes major cities and all the camps and lodges utilised by Dusty Footprints. Water may be acquired from the bush on primitive wilderness trails and purification drops added. Bottled water is generally available almost everywhere at your own cost.
It is South African law that nobody under the age of 16 is allowed on a walking safari. Dusty Footprints does not allow children under the age of 8 on game drives. There is an element of guides discretion, so if you have any further enquires please contact us.
- Medical conditions, phobias and emergencies
During the booking process you are required to complete the necessary information forms regarding medical conditions, allergies and phobias. It is important to be open and honest about this as a lot of your time spent on a Dusty Footprints safari experience will be in true wilderness areas in South Africa. It is important to inform us of any medical conditions that may have an impact on a walking safari or game drive. Allergies to grass, pollen, bee stings, etc and phobias of spiders, elephants, heights etc should be shared. This will enable your private guide to plan accordingly to the best of his/her ability in order to ensure you have a happy and healthy experience.
You will also be required to provide the necessary information regarding health insurance during the booking process. This is important as it would be needed in the highly unlikely event that a medical emergency occurs while on your safari experience. In this unlikely event, a set of steps will be followed to ensure that the person is evacuated and transported to a hospital if necessary. For minor injuries, your private guide is qualified in first aid and will always have a 1st aid kit present. You are required to bring any personal medication that you may need.
- Transfers - Road, Air and Self Drive
You will be met at Oliver Tambo International Airport or a nearby hotel in Johannesburg by your private guide who will then transport you to all the destinations on your safari experience by means of road transfers in a minibus.
There is the possibility of arranging charter flights to some of our destinations. Please contact us for more information.
There is the option for you to self-drive.
- Private Guide
Most of Dusty Footprints safari experiences will be privately guided by Vaughn Du Plooy. A co-owner of Dusty Footprints, Vaughn is a very experienced and skilled nature, trails and wilderness guide. His passion lies in walking safaris and he has vast experience in this field. Vaughn is a South African citizen and having grown up in the South African bush veld, he is well placed in order to provide an authentically South African safari experience.
All Dusty Footprints safari experiences will be guided in English. For more information and possibilities please contact us.
- Packing List
During the winter months (May - August) - It can get quite cold in the mornings and evenings. It is best to go with the "layers approach" as you can take off or add a layer as necessary through the day. A warm fleece and a jacket with a beanie and gloves are recommended.
During the summer months (October - March) - It can get very hot. A broad brimmed hat is vital.
All clothing should be soft natural colours such as browns, greens, beiges and khaki. Blacks, whites and bright colours should be avoided. Pay attention to the type of material that your pants are made of as it is important to be able to walk around quietly.
A pair of comfortable walking shoes, socks, gators and a pair of sandals are recommended.
Binoculars, camera, water bottles and a headlamp
Sunscreen and insect repellent.