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South Africa Travel Advice

South Africa

Please read each of the sections below carefully. They provide important information about your Operation Wallacea expedition in South Africa. Should you require further assistance please do not hesitate to contact your nearest Operation Wallacea office.

Travelling to and from the expedition


For marine and terrestrial expeditions you need to arrive in Johannesburg before 1200 on the Friday before the expedition starts.

For expeditions and dissertations that start and finish at Dinokeng Game Reserve you need to arrive in Johannesburg on the Friday before expedition starts by 1200hrs.

For expeditions based at Gondwana Game Reserve need to be booked to arrive into Cape Town by 1000hrs The Friday before the expedition starts.


For marine and terrestrial expeditions you need to depart from Johannesburg after 2000hrs on the final Friday.

For expeditions and dissertations that start and finish at Dinokeng Game Reserve you need to depart from Johannesburg after 1400hrs the Friday expedition ends.

For expeditions based at Gondwana Game Reserve you need to leave Cape Town after 2000hrs on the Friday at the end of the expedition.

Internal Travel

When you arrive at Johannesburg or Cape Town Airport you will met by an Opwall representative and transferred to the site to begin your expedition the next day. On the Friday at the end of your expedition you will be transferred to the airport for your homeward flight.

The internal travel package will be arranged once we have the details of your international flights.

Additional Nights

As part of the internal travel package it is possible to arrange additional nights in Johannesburg or Cape Town before and after your expedition, and the relevant airport transfers. However, this will be at an additional cost – please contact us for more details.

Booking International Flights

Please ensure when booking your international flights that the cost of your ticket includes hold luggage.

Research Assistants and Dissertation/Thesis Students

If you are a student from anywhere other than the US or Canada, when you book an expedition with us you can opt to be contacted by our preferred travel partner Travel Nation, who will provide you with competitive quotes for your international flights.

Travel Nation
Tel: 01273 947 313
E-mail: opwallvolunteers@travelnation.co.uk
International Contact: +44 (0) 1273 947 313


If you are a Canadian student and would like to have your flights booked for you by the Canadian Office – canada@opwall.com. If you would prefer to book your flights independently, please be ensure these flights fall into our arrival and departure recommendations detailed above.


If you are a student in the USA, we recommend Student Universe for your flights as they give discounts to students. You are welcome to book your flights elsewhere, however our partnership means that they generally provide the best price, are familiar with our expeditions and give excellent service.

Student Universe
Tel: +1 800 272 9676 (Toll-free within the US and Canada)

Once you have booked your international flights, please enter the details on the Opwall portal.

School Groups


School groups that have chosen a fully inclusive expedition package do not need to book international flights or internal travel. Operation Wallacea will be in contact with the group leader directly and will provide you with a fully inclusive quote for your international flights, internal travel and expedition costs.


Schools also have the option of having Opwall search for the best flight deal for the group and once the school group leader has approved the purchase, the tickets are then bought by Opwall at cost on behalf of the school.  A flight booking fee per person is charged for this approach.  Details of the flights for the group will be entered onto the portal by the Opwall staff booking the flights.

Alternatively, if the school has reliable travel partners then they can book the flights themselves and just pay Opwall for the expedition and internal travel costs. Under this scenario the group leader needs to enter the flight details through the Opwall portal and email a copy of the itinerary or E-ticket to flights@opwall.com.


Please be aware that your passport must have at least 6 months validity (period before expiry) at the time of your arrival into South Africa. Failure to have at least 6 months validity on your passport will ensure denial of entry into South Africa. You will also need to have two consecutive and opposite blank pages in your passport to be stamped, otherwise you may not be allowed entry.


Currently travel advice is currently changing rapidly due to complications surrounding COVID-19, this is true the world over, including South Africa. We are constantly monitoring the situation and will be updating our advice as necessary. Please see the most up-to-date travel advice for South Africa at this link – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa

If you or your child/student does need a visa and is/are under the age of 18, you will also need to produce specific documents showing parental consent for your trip to South Africa. These are required to be produced at the point of visa application. For full details please e-mail gus.pitfield@opwall.com.


For all COVID-19 information please visit this page.

Carbon Offsetting

By joining an Operation Wallacea expedition you are contributing directly towards the study and protection of threatened biodiversity, bringing significant financial benefits to small local communities, and working towards protecting valuable carbon stocks from deforestation. We are extremely proud of the impact we and our volunteers have had over the past two decades, creating a significant benefit to the environment.

However, we want to do more. Specifically, we want to make Operation Wallacea completely carbon neutral. As an organisation we offsetting our own emissions from staff travel (both road and air) and from running our offices. But we also want to encourage all our participants to offset, at the very least, the carbon emissions from their own international flights – and ideally more. To do this we will be supporting the Wallacea Reforestation Initiative in partnership with our sister charity the Wallacea Trust (UK Charity 1078362), and you can read more about this exciting project here that takes a new approach to tropical reforestation that benefits not only climate, but biodiversity and livelihoods too.

How to Calculate Your Donation Amount

Once booked and we’ve received your flight details, you’ll receive an email from us with a recommended donation amount, where we take the exact flight routes you’ve booked on to for your expedition, and run them through the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) carbon calculator. This calculator can be found here and the method used is found here. This gives us the total estimated amout of carbon your flights will emit into the atmosphere, and we assign a value of $10 USD (or £7.69 GBP) per ton of carbon. We only used the flights that we’re aware of, so if you have any more you may want to up the donation!

If you’ve not yet the email and wanted to donate the exact amount, email carbon@opwall.com and we can let you know. If you’re happy with an estimate, a £15 donation will cover the carbon produced by the flights in more than 95% of cases.

To donate, click the button below.

Wallace House, Old Bolingbroke, Spilsby, Lincolnshire PE23 4EX, UK
| +44 (0) 1790 763194 | info@opwall.com