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A Hotel provides accommodation to the travelling public. It has a reception area and offers at least a “breakfast room” or communal eating area. In general a hotel makes food and beverage services available to a guest, though these may be outsourced or provided by the hotel.
Boutique Hotel
Owner managed, has less than 50 rooms and combines the amenities of a full service hotel with the intimacy of a guesthouse. Staff are all hired on the basis that they have an inherent desire to please and will go out of their way to make guests feel at home.

Resorts are hotel/entertainment complexes, which offer, in addition to accommodation, a number of facilities and holiday experiences. Particularly well suited for family vacations, resorts offer a variety of experiences from water sports and wildlife to golfing and gambling.

A Guest House is either a converted house, manor, etc adapted to accommodate overnight guests or it may be a purpose built facility. A guesthouse is run as a commercial operation and is often owner-managed. A guesthouse has public areas, which are for the exclusive use of the guest. The owner/manager lives either off-site, or in a separate area within the property.

Bed & Breakfast
A Bed and Breakfast accommodation is usually provided in a family (private) home and the owner/manager lives in the house or on the property. Breakfast is usually served. Bathroom facilities may or may not be en-suite and/or private. In general, the guest shares the public areas with the host family.

A Lodge is an accommodation facility located in natural surroundings. The rates charged are usually inclusive of an experience offered at the lodge, game drives, battlefield tours, etc. In general, food and beverage services are provided for all meals.

A House, cottage, chalet, bungalow, flat, studio, apartment, villa, houseboat, tents or similar accommodation where facilities and equipment are provided for guests to cater for themselves. The facilities should be adequate to cater for the maximum advertised number of residents the facility can accommodate.

Backpacker or Hostelling
A Backpacker and/or Hostelling establishment is an accommodation facility that provides communal facilities, including dormitories yet may offer a range of alternative sleeping arrangements. Only establishments that cater for transient guests (travelling public) will qualify for grading.

Country House
A Country House is a large Guest House, usually situated in natural, peaceful surroundings such as near a nature reserve, a forest, a lake etc. It offers all the services of a hotel, including dinner. Only establishments that cater for transient guests (travelling public) will qualify for grading.

Caravan & Camping
A Caravan and Camping Park is a facility that provides ablution and toilet facilities and space for guests to provide for their own accommodation, such as a tent, motor home and/or caravan. Only establishments that cater for transient guests (public travelling for recreational purposes) will qualify for grading.

South Africa Star Grading
1 star Fair to good (acceptable/modest) quality in the overall standard of furnishings, service and guest care. Clean, comfortable and functional accommodation.
2 star Good quality in the overall standard of furnishings, service and guest care.

3 star Very good quality in the overall standard of furnishings, service and guest care.

4 star Superior (excellent) comfort and quality with a high standard of furnishings service and guest care.

5 star Exceptional quality and luxurious accommodation (matching best international standards). Highest standard of furnishings, flawless service and meticulous guest care.

Website source –

Visiting South Africa: visas

Note: This article is currently under review as the regulations covering immigration and visas have been changed. In the meantime, please visit the Department of Home Affairs at for more information.

Want to visit South Africa? Here’s information on the basic requirements for entering South Africa, as well as links to full information on visas – what they are, who needs them, and when, where and how to apply for them. Note: Requirements for entry into South Africa differ from country to country, and are subject to change. Always make enquiries before travelling to South Africa.

What is a visa?

South Africa has the right to decide who may and may not enter its territory. A visa ensures that you have been properly screened before entering the country, and gives immigration officials the information they need to ensure you are admitted to South Africa for the correct purpose and length of time. A visa doesn’t guarantee you entry to the country – it only allows you to travel to a South African port of entry, where an immigration officer will check that you satisfy the basic requirements for entry into the country.

What are the requirements for entering South Africa?

You will need:

  • A valid passport or travel document that will be valid for the length of your intended stay. Your passport should have at least TWO blank facing pages in it.
  • A valid visa, if required.
  • Sufficient funds.
  • A return or onward ticket.
  • Yellow fever certificates – if your journey starts or passes through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.

Do I need a visa to visit South Africa?

Depending on your nationality, and the purpose and duration of your visit, you may not need a visa to visit South Africa.

Where can I make enquiries about visas?

How do I go about getting a visa?

The Department of Home Affairs’ website will give you the lowdown on visa costs, processing time, where to apply, what to submit, requirements for people in transit, as well as information relating to your duration and purpose of stay, medical visas, and photographs.

  • See the Department of Home Affairs’ guide to applying for a visa
  • Note: You are required to fill in an original visa application form. Forms downloaded off the Internet will not be accepted.

What’s the difference between a visa and a temporary residence permit?

A visa allows you to travel to a South African port of entry. A temporary residence permit will be issued to you at the port of entry. It replaces your visa, and sets the duration and purpose of your stay in South Africa.

What if I want to stay in South Africa for longer?

It is best to request the full duration of your intended visit when you first arrive, as extensions are subject to additional fees. If you wish to extend your stay further, you must keep your temporary residence permit valid by applying for an extension at your nearest Home Affairs customer service centre in South Africa. You should do this well before your permit expires.

What if I plan to work or study in South Africa?

If you intend to be professionally active in South Africa or to undertake any voluntary or paid employment or studies, you must apply for a work, work-seeker’s or study permit. These permits are also issued outside South Africa, and function as valid visas in allowing their holders to proceed to a South African port of entry. (In other words, if you’re applying for one of these permits, you do not have to apply for a visa separately.)

Get your visa before leaving for South Africa

If you are subject to visa requirements, you should apply for your visa at least four weeks before your departure for South Africa. Do not leave until you know your application has been successful. Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials will refuse you entry to South Africa and place you on a return flight to your country.

Do I have to submit my visa application in person?

No, you can ask someone else – such as a travel agent, a courier service or another family member – to submit the application on your behalf. Source: SAinfo reporter and the Department of Home Affairs

Sandown Terms & Conditions

Click here to view our GROUP Terms & Conditions: PDF
Click here to view our F.I.T Terms & Conditions: PDF

Role of Sandown Tours & Incentives
The role of Sandown Tours & Incentives (STI) is to customise tours & itineraries to suit the requirements of our customers. In doing so we may use independent suppliers for the provision of selected services ie: car & coach hire, luxury trains, hotels, private game lodges & airlines (the Suppliers).

The customer and authority
The person requesting such quotations or estimates or making such booking or to whom any service is rendered, is deemed to have read and accepted the STC and to have the authority to do so on behalf of the person in whose name the estimate, proposal or quotation or reservation is requested and/or provided and/or the person to whom the services are rendered, including in the case of groups and incentives all the parties whose names appear on delegate or group lists (collectively referred to as ‘the Customer’)

Sandown Tours & Incentives (STI) will endeavour to maintain all the prices quoted. Costs are however subject to change according to availability. However where increases due to currency fluctuations, airfare increases, hoteliers increases and other factors outside STI’s control do arise, surcharges will be made to cover such increases. The onus will be on the Customer to check that there has been no change in the price prior to making full & final payment. However once STI has received full payment on invoice, no surcharge will be charged. The final costing will be subject to the final number of guests traveling.
Airfares are however subject to increase and are subject to the price and conditions quoted by the airlines and cannot be guaranteed by STI.

STI makes every effort to ensure that all arrangements and services are connected with your tour will be carried out as specified in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Each tour requires the organization of transport, meals, entrance fees, accommodation, and or other facilities or services. However, we do not have direct control over the provision of services by the Suppliers and, whilst they are in all cases selected with the utmost care, we do not accept liability for error and omissions of the Suppliers.
STI accepts no responsibility for any death, injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or other irregularity that may be occasioned by any defect in any vehicle or other form of conveyance, or by error or default of any company or person engaged in conveying passengers, carrying out the arrangements of the tour, or otherwise in connection therewith. STI will furthermore not be liable for any loss or damage or additional expenses caused by changes in schedules, delays, illness, injury, death or any other cause whatsoever.

Limitation of Liability & Indemnity
The proposed travel arrangements are made on the express condition that STI, itsemployees and agents, shall not be responsible for, and shall be exempt from, all liability in respect of loss, damage, accident, injury, illness, harm, trauma, death, delay or inconvenience to or additional expense incurred by any Customer (which shall be deemed to include the heirs, executors, administrators or assigns of the Customer), their luggage, or other property, howsoever caused whether or not arising from any act, omission, default, or negligence on the part of STI whatsoever. The

Customer indemnifies and holds harmless
STI, its employees and agents accordingly. STI, its employees and agents shall further more not be liable for any indirect and/or consequential loss or damages whatsoever.

STI does not hold itself responsible for any delays prior to departure nor during the course of the tour brought about by technical difficulties, strikes, weather conditions or any other circumstance whatsoever, whether foreseen or unforeseen. It is understood that any expenses relating to these unscheduled extensions (eg: hotels, meals, airfares, telephone calls etc) will be for the passengers’ account.

Passengers are strongly advised to take out an Insurance Policy against cancellation, curtailment charges, illness and baggage loss and default at the time of booking. STI will not be responsible or liable if the Customer fails to take adequate insurance cover or at all.

Visa & Health Requirements
It is entirely the Customers responsibility to ensure that all passports and visas are current, valid, obtained on time, and will be valid for 6 months after return to the home country. It is also the Customers responsibility to ensure that he has a minimum of 3 blank pages in his passport. If there is insufficient space in the passport entry will be denied and the person is likely to be detained pending return to their country of origin.
It is the Customers responsibility to check if any vaccinations, inoculations or prophylactics are required and if yes to ensure that the rules are adhered to. Certain parts of South Africa are considered malaria areas and we recommend that the necessary precautions be taken. Please consult your local doctor or travel clinic.
STI will not be held liable for any consequence of any nature arising from the customer failing to ensure that he/she has complied with all such requirements.

Extras incurred during trip
Please note that for any extras (not included in the above basic costing) incurred during the trip, ie drinks, optional tours etc, for which the client would like Sandown Tours to pay for, Sandown Tours & Incentives will charge an additional 15% management fee onto the quoted amount. This will be payable within 7 working days of the Customer receiving the final reconciliation of extras and accompanying invoice.

Unscheduled Extensions
In the unlikely event of there being unscheduled extension to the final itinerary caused by flight re-scheduling, flight delays, bad weather, strikes or any other cause which is beyond the control of STI, its agents or the Supplier, it is understood that expenses relating to these unscheduled extensions (hotel accommodation etc) will be for the Customer’s account.

Special requests
Customers who have special requests, must specify such requests to STI in writing and at least 14 (fourteen) days prior to departure. Whilst STI will use its best endeavours to accommodate such requests, it does not guarantee that it will

No refunds will be considered.

Force Majeur
Sandown Tours & Incentives shall not be liable for any failure to perform any obligation, or provide any service for the Customer’s inability to partake of any tour or services contracted for due to any reasons beyond its reasonable control including without limitation, acts of God; acts of nature including fire, flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane, snowstorm or any other natural disaster; strikes; war; invasion; hostilities (whether war is declared or not) civil war; rebellion; revolution; terrorist activities; Government prohibitions or restrictions or any act of omission of any Suppliers.