Questions and Answers

We seek to enable and empower you with good and accurate information to help you plan for the adventure ahead. Traveling to South Africa can be daunting for those ill-informed or ill-equipped. The following knowledge is derived from: general questions some have raised; tips from experienced and seasoned locals; and our experience travelling to and from South Africa over the years.

How do I book a tour?

We offer several ways to book a tour with us:

  • Book online and add the tour and any additional items (such as single-supplement) to your shopping cart and then check out.
  • Fill out the online form provided on each of the tour pages or our general Contact form.
  • Email us directly at [email protected]
  • Call us at +1 (202) 590-9699
What is your trip cancellation policy?

We are aware that plans may change. Cancellation of your booking must be in writing by email to us. Please also refer to our Terms and Conditions.

Tours already booked cannot be cancelled and rebooked where special offers are made available.

Our cancellation and refund policy takes into account the fact that we must advance to our Suppliers deposits for their services, which are often non-refundable. If you cancel your booking, you will be subject to the following cancellation fees.

Cancellation fees:

  • Cancellation 60 days or more prior to Tour Start Date – $500.00 nonrefundable deposit which represents our Planning Fee for incurred services.
  • Cancellation 59-31 days prior to Tour Start Date – 50% of total money paid, which includes our $500 Planning Fee, is forfeited.
  • Cancellation within 30 days or less prior to Tour Start Date – 100% of total monies paid is forfeited.

Note:  Day one of the tour is the tour start date as per itinerary.  Cancellation charges will also apply to any extra services pre and post tour.

Should I get travel insurance?

Absolutely. Mitigating known, and unknown, risk with travel insurance is a wise thing to do. There are different travel insurance packages with optional add-ons that anyone can tailor and purchase to meet their specific needs. We strongly recommend travel insurance with the ability to “cancel for any reason”. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for more information.

Why do you limit the tour capacity to 10-12 people for each trip?

Threaded Journeys offer seeks to provide a boutique experience that values quality over quantity. This derived from my experience on many knitting retreats that span the good, the bad, and the ugly. So I strive to replicate the good trips that cultivate higher quality and more relaxation with less drama. May you bring your peace, joy, and knitting fun to contribute to a boutique group experience while enjoying South Africa. Ubuntu: “I am because of who we all are.”

What does “per person sharing” mean? What does “single supplement” mean?
  • Per person sharing – The price each guest pays when sharing a room.
  • Single supplement – The additional cost a guest pays to secure a room to oneself.
Can I bring a “plus-one” who does not knit?

Of course! Spouses, partners, or friends who do not knit/crochet/weave are all welcome. All retreats feature safari and game park experiences that cater to all people. Of the three retreats featured here (as of early 2024), we highly recommend the Karoo Farm Experience, Wine Festival, and Safari for those who don’t knit since the trip provides the opportunity to attend a very large wine festival in the Karoo and additional activities on the beautiful farmstead such as mountain biking, medicinal walks, ancient bushmen rock paintings, a fossil museum, and more.

I’m interested in learning to knit. Do you provide knitting courses for beginners on your trips?

Yes; during the days at the safari lodge.

Why do you not include flights in your tour packages?

We accept a huge, diverse population of travelers who have a variety of benefits and resources to fly to the southern-most tip of Africa. We provide everyone latitude and space to leverage their own credit card points and benefits, frequent flyer benefits, preferred airlines, routes, and resources to book the most beneficial travel package for themselves.

What flight route and airline do you take to get to Port Elizabeth?

It depends. We are based in Virginia, USA and fly to South Africa to visit family and friends every year. We prefer to take the most direct flight to South Africa which is currently on United for us. However, if we lived in NYC, then the options would open up to more airlines to choose between. For some, time is more valuable than money when booking travel. For others, money is more valuable than time when booking travel. Regardless, there are certain tools and techniques that work for everyone that we’ve come to embrace and describe here.

We recently highlighted our trip to Port Elizabeth airport (PLZ) from the US. We leveraged the Google flights search capability as we find it very helpful in performing broad searches across the various airlines to see who is the fastest and cheapest. The site also provides information on a potentially lower cost flight if you moved your flight by 1-2 days. That’s how we discovered which airline is best to fly on an international flight into South Africa who essentially has 3 major international airports (Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban). We learned that Cape Town (CPT) is the closest international airport to Port Elizabeth for the knitting tours. We then used the Google search results to pivot and book directly with the airline or leverage miles and points benefits to try and keep the costs low.

The second key resource that we leverage for research is FlightConnections to see all the direct flight options from any given airport; such as from Cape Town (CPT) to Port Elizabeth (PLZ). The results quickly enabled us to view connecting flight carriers, their prices, and how often they flew to the destination (PLZ). Once we had that information, we further narrowed down the domestic flight carriers to select FlySafair since they seemed to have better checked luggage options and fares compared to the others. Remember, domestic checked luggage policies are usually more restrictive than on international legs.

Lastly, we’ve learned how the jet lag affects our bodies the first few days in South Africa which is a good reason one might want to first stay in Cape Town a couple days before travelling on to Port Elizabeth. We stayed downtown at the waterfront in our last trip and learned we should have just taken an Uber to the hotel.

Should we pay to have our baggage shrink wrapped when we transfer from international to domestic?

Yes. The shrink wrapping of baggage for domestic flights is highly recommended to mitigate risk of theft of your belongings during transit. It simply adds an additional layer of difficulty for thieves along the way. We use this company in the airports in South Africa as they are the most prominent and easily accessible. They only accept cash so be sure to have enough beforehand. Be sure to ask them how much they charge per bag before letting them wrap your bags. Then, step back and watch them shrink wrap your baggage with great speed and efficiency while keeping the handles and wheels exposed for use. You’ll want to borrow a pair of scissors when you arrive at your destination to cut off the layers of thick plastic wrap just to open your luggage. 🙂

What is “load shedding” and will it affect my trip in South Africa?

Load shedding (controlled rolling blackouts) has become a regular occurrence in South Africa over the past decade, and it is a problem that affects everyone in the country. Load shedding is the intentional reduction of electricity supply to avoid a total blackout of the power grid when demand exceeds supply and is performed by Eskom, the state-owned electricity supplier. This means that during load shedding, certain areas are left without power for a specified period of time depending on the location and level of severity.

However, most South African companies involved in providing services to the tourist industry usually have some sort of backup source of power (such as solar and generators). There are a number of load shedding apps for mobile phones in South Africa that enable one to plan ahead based on the time of day, locale, and level of severity when the load shedding occurs. Factor that information into each day to ensure you charge your devices when there are no outages.

We highly recommend bringing battery powered flashlights and alarm clocks (if your cell phone doesn’t have good battery life). If there is another device that you really need and value for the trip, please factor in and mitigate the risk of not having power for several hours.

What is the weather like in the South Africa? What should I pack?

South Africa has the opposite seasons and climate as the Northern Hemisphere. They celebrate Christmas during their summer break. Be sure to research ahead of time the weather forecast and pack accordingly.

Is there malaria in the areas that we will be traveling?

No; malaria is only present in South Africa along the border with Mozambique and Zimbabwe. We do not offer tours anywhere near there. If you choose to travel to that area in addition to our trips, then it is an easily mitigated risk by taking Chloroquine.

What happens when I arrive at the airport in Port Elizabeth (PLZ)?

First, it is your responsibility to ensure your flights arrive at the airport on or before the tour start date. You must advise us in writing via email of any special requests. The granting of requests is subject to availability and increased costs where applicable.

Second, it is your responsibility to provide us with your arrival time 3 weeks prior to commencement of the tour. Airport pick up times will be provided once all flight arrival times are provided. Please also refer to our Terms and Conditions for more information.

If those two steps are performed in time, then we can work to ensure you are picked up at the airport. When you land at Port Elizabeth airport (PLZ), collect your bags and exit security. A driver will pick you and transport you a short drive to the B&B/hotel in town.

Who is the tour manager?

Esther will be the tour manager and guide.

What is the private ground transportation for the tour like?

Each tour features a luxury coach with experienced driver(s). All vehicles conform to South African standards. All are fitted with seat belts and most are air-conditioned. We ensure that you are provided with a coach that is suitable for the size of your group and that there is sufficient room for luggage. Some coaches may have Wi-Fi internet connection available, but we cannot guarantee this. There may also be a charge for this facility. There is no guarantee of bathroom facilities on board and any coach with such a facility usually has restrictions on use. There will be suitable rest stops provided during your tour.

Drivers are always available to offer advice and assistance to you and members of your group. They will want you to experience as much as is possible during your stay. Please note; however, that the porterage service is for one main item of luggage to be ported from the hotel reception to your room. While in some instances the driver may help with luggage being unloaded from the coach and into reception, this is goodwill and entirely subject to time constraints and numbers and is not to be expected as part of the service. Drivers are restricted to the number of hours in a day they can drive and consecutive days they can drive. They also have a minimum number of hours’ rest required between driving stints. Your itinerary has already factored this into account, including relief drivers where necessary. Consequently, any permitted changes to previously agreed activities, hours of travel and locations may result in additional costs and a relief driver where necessary. Please also refer to our Terms and Conditions.

What electricity adapter and converter do I need for South Africa?

There is one key distinction between adapters and converters. An adapter adapts to new outlets while a converter or transformer converts the voltage of the outlet. So the big difference between an adapter and a converter is electricity. While the purpose of an adapter is to simply help the plugs on your electronics fit into (or more aptly, adapt to the shape of) foreign outlets, a converter’s job is to change the voltage found in an outlet to match that of your devices.

South African adapters:

  • There are four plug types: types C, D, M and N. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins, plug type D is the plug which has three round pins in a triangular pattern and plug types M and N both have three round pins. Type M is the most common plug type used in South Africa.

South African voltage (220-240V)

  • South Africa operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
  • If you have a 110-220V powered device, then it will require a power converter. If your device requires 220-240V, you will NOT need a power converter. You will most likely need an adapter instead.

Dual voltage (120V/240V)

  • If you have a device that is compatible with dual voltages, then you will NOT need a power converter. You will most likely need an adapter instead.
What is the tipping etiquette in South Africa?

Ask the tour guide and locals; but 10% is usually the max.

How much luggage should I bring?

One “large” or “main” piece of luggage per person is allowed on our tours. This is in addition to your carry-on. The large/main bag must not exceed 23 kg (50 lb) and be of a standard size, i.e. reasonable in its dimensions such that you are able to manage it on coaches, trains and/or aircraft, and when porters are not available. This baggage must also conform to the limitations set by the airline with which you are travelling (contact the airline if in doubt). Some tours have stricter baggage restrictions as outlined in your pre-trip information package. Your tour leader will collect a fee if an additional piece of luggage is carried or if your bag exceeds the allowed weight. Porters may NOT be available at all hotels, airports, ferry terminals, etc, or at some destinations entirely.

Our drivers and guides cannot provide individualized help with luggage. We are not liable for loss of or damage to luggage, or any other article or purchase while traveling. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for more information.

What dietary requirements do you and your providers accommodate?

If you communicate to us your dietary requirements and allergies, we will relay that information to tour partners and service providers. It is very important that all dietary requirements, food allergies, textile allergies, etc. are communicated to our staff in advance of travel, so that we can do our best to help you avoid those items.

Please note, however, that we cannot be held responsible if a hotel or other supplier neglects to exclude allergens once we have provided them with the information. In addition, it is your responsibility to confirm that items presented to you are suitable for you and to ask for alternatives if necessary. While we will do our best, we cannot guarantee all food or allergen requests can be accommodated. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for more information.

How fit must I be to participate in the tour’s activities? What if I have mobility or other health issues?

Please refer to the section entitled “Mobility and Health Requirements” in our Terms and Conditions for more information.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top