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Essence of South Africa

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Essence of South Africa

10 Day South Africa Tour from Cape Town

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From $4,748
WAS $5,495
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South Africa Giraffe
10 Days
1 Country

South Africa

6 Cities

Cape Town, Cape Peninsula, Cape Winelands, Hermanus, Hoedspruit, Johannesburg

19 Meals

4 Dinners, 9 Breakfasts, 1 Be My Guest, 4 Lunchs, 1 Farewell Dinner


Faster paced with mix of 1 and 2-night stays in each destination. Requires walking to participate in top sites.

Average group size average 40-45
Tour brand Trafalgar
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If you like hassle free travel with everything handled for you – looking to meet great people, eat great food, enjoy great sightseeing, and have immersive experiences, Trafalgar is for you.  From the iconic not-to-be-missed to one-of-a-kind local experiences, including Be-my-Guest dining and stays with stories, you’ll connect deeper to your destination, and every tour has at least one MAKE TRAVEL MATTER immersive impact experience included advancing one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), offering you the chance to take a deep dive into culture and community. As the world’s leading tour company and trusted by more than 5 million guests, Trafalgar tours are simply the best value for your vacation dollar.

View all Trafalgar Tours

Bush, beach and two vibrant cities – capture the essence of South Africa on this culmination of a Cape Town to Kruger experience, including Johannesburg, the 'City of Gold'.

When do you want to travel?

Average group size
average 40-45
Tour brand
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Day-by-day itinerary
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Day 1

Welcome to Cape Town

South Africa’s ‘Mother City’ and her iconic Table Mountain extend a warm welcome as you embark on a small group journey that will reveal the highlights of South Africa. Spend the day delving into Cape Town’s cosmopolitan surrounds before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner.

Flowering aloes in Cape Town, South Africa
Accommodation Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town
Included Meals Dinner

Day 2

Table Mountain and Tour Cape Town

This morning, we encounter Table Mountain first-hand, ascending via aerial cableway to its vast flat top – a rocky wonderland of rich Cape fynbos and curious dassies (hyraxes). Peer over the bustling City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard keeping a keen eye out for the landmarks your Travel Director will show you during this morning's city tour, including Company Gardens, Bo-Kaap and the Castle of Good Hope. The rest of the day is yours to explore Cape Town at leisure. Ramble up Bree Street to sample the city’s vibrant coffee culture or take a stroll along the Sea Point promenade with the fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Consider joining our Optional Experience to explore infamous Robben Island, with your guide revealing its turbulent past and the cell where Nelson Mandela spent the majority of his prison term.

Coloured houses in Bo Kapp, Cape Town, South Africa
Accommodation Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town
Included Meals Breakfast
Iconic Experience Cableway on Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa
Table Mountain Visit Learn more

Table Mountain Visit

Iconic Experience Flag at harbour in Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town City Tour Learn more

Cape Town City Tour

Day 3

Circumnavigate the Cape Peninsula

Circumnavigate the Cape Peninsula, from trendy Camps Bay to Cape Point and back. The crashing waves of the Atlantic to your right, the rocky 12 Apostles to your left, wind your way along one of the world’s most magnificent coastal roads towards the outcrop that is Africa’s most extreme south-western tip. Say a quiet hello to the shy penguins of Boulders Beach, see the Cape of Good Hope and travel through charming coastal towns along the way.

Penguins at Boulder Beach in Cape Town, South Africa
Accommodation Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town
Included Meals Breakfast
Iconic Experience Twelve Apostles Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa
See the Twelve Apostles Learn more

See the Twelve Apostles

Iconic Experience Penguins at Boulder Beach in Cape Town, South Africa
Boulders Beach Visit Learn more

Boulders Beach Visit

Day 4

Cape Winelands and Hermanus Excursion

Venture to the town of Franschhoek and see during your orientation why it is proclaimed as one of the most beautiful wine valleys in the world. Take the scenic Franschhoek Pass to the coastal town of Hermanus for your Be My Guest experience. Connect With Locals when you meet local business owner Stefan, who will treat you to a delicious traditional braai (barbecue) featuring deliciacies such as boerewors, pap and melktert. Over a glass of his homemade wine he’ll share stories of his life in South Africa’s whale watching capital. Return to Cape Town via a scenic driving route, arriving in the late afternoon. Enjoy your evening at leisure.

Cape Dutch Manor House in Cape Town, South Africa
Accommodation Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town
Included Meals Breakfast, Be My Guest
Be My Guest Join a local business owner for a traditional braai (barbecue) in Hermanus, South Africa
Hermanus Traditional Braai Lunch Learn more

Hermanus Traditional Braai Lunch

Iconic Experience Scenic Drive Cape Winelands, South Africa
Franschhoek Orientation Learn more

Franschhoek Orientation

Day 5

From City to Safari

This morning you’ll bid farewell to the 'Mother City' and fly to Hoedspruit where a private game reserve near South Africa's great Kruger National Park beckons. Kick back, relax and settle in to one of Trafalgar’s Stays With Stories, Becks Safari Lodge, your home in the bush for the next three nights.

Cheetah in Kruger National Park, South Africa
Accommodation Becks Safari Lodge Karongwe Private Game Reserve
Included Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Trafalgar Difference Stay at Becks Safari Lodge in Karongwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Stays with Stories Learn more

Stays with Stories

Day 6

Safari in Karongwe Private Game Reserve

The action begins as we embark on an early morning game drive through Karongwe Private Reserve with a Local Specialist game ranger and Shangaan tracker-guide. The rising sun awakens the birds and insects that share your journey into the bush, as you scour the dense brush for signs of the Big 5. After lunch, and time for a siesta and a swim, return to the bush for an afternoon safari drive.

Lions by Safari in Karongwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Accommodation Becks Safari Lodge Karongwe Private Game Reserve
Included Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Iconic Experience Group of giraffes and zebras crossing the road in Kruger National Park, South Africa
Reserve Tour with a Shangaan Tracker- Guide Learn more

Reserve Tour with a Shangaan Tracker- Guide

Day 7

Seek out the 'Big 5' Safari Animals in Karongwe

Today enjoy another full day of game drives through Karongwe Private Reserve. Continue to scour the dense brush with your Local Specialist for incredible encounters with Africa’s iconic wildlife. End the day with a traditional sundowner drink overlooking the Game Reserve, keeping your eyes peeled for signs of wildlife that emerge from their cover of darkness.

Elephants at Karongwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Accommodation Becks Safari Lodge Karongwe Private Game Reserve
Included Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Iconic Experience Leopard in Kruger National Park, South Africa
Karongwe Private Reserve Visit Learn more

Karongwe Private Reserve Visit

Day 8

Journey to Johannesburg

Our time in the South African bushveld comes to a close with a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience visit to a local Shangaan village. Learn about the traditions and customs of the Shangaan people and how the Eco Academy there provides eco and wildlife education. The visit includes a simple meal of grilled chicken, pap, Shangaan style cabbage, and for the brave, the opportunity to try mopani worms! Fly to Johannesburg and check into your hotel in the heart of Sandton that's well located for exploring the nearby restaurants and shopping during your free evening.

Warriors dancing in Shangaan Village, South Africa
Accommodation Michelangelo Hotel Johannesburg
Included Meals Breakfast, Lunch
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Visit a local Shangaan village in Kruger National Park, South Africa
Visit a local Shangaan Village in Hoedspruit Learn more

Visit a local Shangaan Village in Hoedspruit

Day 9

Discover Historical Soweto

Unlock the secrets of the 'city of gold' on a full-day tour to view several iconic sites including the Regina Mundi Church and Mandela's house in Soweto. Dive Into Culture during a visit to the Constitutional Hill and the Regina Mundi Church, which chronicles South Africa's tumultuous Apartheid years.

Iconic Orlando Power Station Cooling Towers in Soweto, Johannesburg
Accommodation Michelangelo Hotel Johannesburg
Included Meals Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
Dive Into Culture Learn about South Africa's past on an interactive Johannesburg and Soweto Freedom tour
Johannesburg and Soweto Freedom Tour Learn more

Johannesburg and Soweto Freedom Tour

Iconic Experience Mandela House in Johannesburg, South_Africa
Johannesburg City Tour Learn more

Johannesburg City Tour

Day 10

Farewell Johannesburg

Our epic encounter with South Africa’s iconic sites comes to an end today. Transfer to Johannesburg International Airport for your onward flight. Find out more about your free airport transfer at

Traditional drums in Johannesburg, South_Africa
Included Meals Breakfast

Included Highlights

Top rated highlights

Learn more about the landmarks, history and culture that makes your destination special.

Iconic Experience
Table Mountain Visit Learn more
Iconic Experience
Cape Town City Tour Learn more
Iconic Experience
See the Twelve Apostles Learn more
Iconic Experience
Boulders Beach Visit Learn more
Be My Guest
Hermanus Traditional Braai Lunch Learn more
Iconic Experience
Franschhoek Orientation Learn more
Trafalgar Difference
Stays with Stories Learn more
Iconic Experience
Reserve Tour with a Shangaan Tracker- Guide Learn more
Iconic Experience
Karongwe Private Reserve Visit Learn more
Visit a local Shangaan Village in Hoedspruit Learn more
Dive Into Culture
Johannesburg and Soweto Freedom Tour Learn more
Iconic Experience
Johannesburg City Tour Learn more

Optional Experiences

Sign up on tour for additional experiences that have been curated by your Travel Director from their own in-depth local knowledge.

Cape Town Sunset Champagne Cruise
Learn more

Cape Town Sunset Champagne Cruise

Robben Island Tour
Learn more

Robben Island Tour

Cape Town Helicopter Flight - 12 Minutes
Learn more

Cape Town Helicopter Flight - 12 Minutes

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Official Languages across South Africa: South Africa has 11 official languages. These languages are recognized by the Constitution of South Africa and reflect the country's diverse cultural heritage. The 11 official languages are: Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi (also known as Sesotho sa Leboa), Sesotho (also known as Southern Sotho), Setswana (also known as Tswana), siSwati (also known as Swazi), Tshivenda, Xitsonga
  • Currency used in South Africa: The South African Rand.
  • Capital City:: The capital of South Africa is Pretoria.
  • Time Zone(s) in South Africa: South Africa Standard Time (SAST) is observed in most of South Africa. During the summer months, South Africa observes daylight saving time, South Africa Daylight Time (SADT), shifting the clocks forward by one hour.


South Africa passport, visa, and entry requirement information for US citizens.

  • Passport: Your passport should have at least two blank pages for entry stamps. Your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the conclusion of your trip
  • Visa Requirement: A visa is not required to enter South Africa.
  • Entry Requirements: You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to

The climate in South Africa varies significantly due to its diverse geographical features. The country experiences a range of climates, including Mediterranean in the southwestern Cape region, temperate in the interior plateaus, subtropical in the northeastern regions, and desert in some areas. Generally, South Africa has hot summers and mild winters, but temperatures can vary greatly depending on the location. The country's coastal areas often experience more moderate temperatures, while inland areas can be hotter during the summer and colder during the winter. Rainfall patterns also differ, with some regions experiencing a summer rainfall pattern, while others have a winter rainfall pattern.

Luggage & Carry-On Bag Size Limits for Africa Tours

  • Luggage & Carry-On Bag: East Africa safari vehicles cannot accommodate the typical on-tour luggage and carry-on bag dimensions. We kindly ask our guests to travel with a soft-sided bag or medium-sized suitcase.

Baggage allowances vary from airline to airline, and you should check with your chosen carrier for details prior to travel.

Packing Tips for Your Tour

Packing for a safari tour in Africa requires careful consideration to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable experience in the wild. It's best to travel light and prioritize the essentials. The less you bring, the easier it will be to move around and enjoy the experience without unnecessary weight. The specific items you'll need can vary based on the destination and time of year. Here's a general packing list to get you started:

Passport and Travel Documents: Ensure you have your passport, travel insurance, and any necessary travel documents.


  • Neutral-colored clothing: Pack lightweight, breathable, and neutral-colored clothing (e.g., khaki, beige, green) to blend in with the natural environment and avoid attracting insects.
  • Long-sleeved shirts and pants: These will protect you from the sun, insects, and any thorny vegetation you might encounter during walking safaris.
  • Lightweight jacket or fleece: Evenings and early mornings can be cool, so having a warm layer is essential.
  • Wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun's strong rays.
  • Sturdy, comfortable shoes: Bring closed-toe walking shoes or hiking boots for bushwalks or trekking.
  • Sandals or flip-flops: For relaxing around the campsite or lodge.
  • Swimwear: Some lodges or camps have pools or natural swimming spots.
  • Rainproof gear: Depending on the season and location, rain showers can be common, so a waterproof jacket and pants are useful.

Sun Protection:

  • Hat, sunglasses, UV-protective clothing.
  • Sunscreen with high SPF. If you're visiting any coastal areas, bring reef-safe sunscreen formulated without harmful chemicals known to be damaging to coral reefs and marine life. Traditional sunscreens often contain ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which have been found to contribute to coral bleaching and negatively impact marine ecosystems. Look for sunscreens with certifications such as "Reef Safe," "Coral Safe," or "Ocean-Friendly" to ensure they are environmentally friendly.

Medications and First Aid:

  • Any prescription medications you need. (See more below under Health & Wellness)
  • Basic first aid kit with adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, etc.


  • Travel-sized toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, soap, and toothpaste.
  • Travel towel (quick-drying and compact).
  • Hand sanitizer and wet wipes.
  • A washcloth and carry bag (often not available in hotels abroad).


  • Binoculars: Get a good pair for wildlife viewing.
  • A camera: You’re traveling on a safari to see extraordinary scenery, animals, and sites. So that you don't miss a single moment, bring a trustworthy camera. Taking pictures of wildlife can be a daunting experience; everything is moving so fast, and the last thing you want is blurry photos to document one of the most extraordinary trips of your life. To get the results you want for your photo album, Instagram account, or Facebook feed, use these tips for taking photos while on safari. No matter what, disable geotagging on all your devices. Posting locations of wildlife can attract poachers, which is probably the last thing you want. Here’s a site that fills you in on how to do this.
  • Extra camera batteries and memory cards: You won't want to miss any photo opportunities.
  • Mobile phone.
  • Chargers for each electronic you bring.
  • Travel adapter and/or voltage converter
  • Flashlight or headlamp: Useful for navigating in the dark.
  • Portable power bank for charging devices on the go.
  • Small travel hair dryer (make sure you have the correct converter and adapter).


  • A travel-friendly daypack or bag to carry your essentials during excursions.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Reusable water bottle. At GET, we’re all about caring for our planet, and with that in mind, we always recommend that you pack a reusable water bottle for your trip. Bringing your own reusable water bottle or asking for tap water at restaurants means you can make a difference by reducing your vacation plastic waste.
  • A small travel alarm.


  • Scarf or shawl for visiting religious sites or to cover up in conservative areas.
  • Light sleepwear.
  • A new, blank journal to document your trip. Don't know your travel journal style? Find out here!
  • Ziplock bags (storing snacks, toiletries, and keeping things organized).

Remember to pack light and versatile items that can be mixed and matched for different outfits. Laundry facilities are often available, or you can have your clothes laundered at hotels during your trip. It's also a good idea to pack a small bag or backpack to bring on the coach for day trips and excursions, leaving your larger luggage at the hotel.


Most African countries, including South Africa, run on 220-240 volts at 50 Hz. This means that the electrical outlets and voltage used in African countries are different from the standard 110-120 volts at 60 Hz used in the United States.

If you plan to bring American appliances or electronics to Africa, you will likely need a voltage converter and a plug adapter. Here's what you need to know:

  • Voltage Converter: American appliances designed to run on 120 volts may not function properly or could be damaged if connected directly to the higher voltage in African countries. A voltage converter (also known as a voltage transformer) will step down the voltage to 120 volts, allowing your devices to work safely.
  • Plug Adapter: The physical shape of electrical outlets in African countries may also differ from those in the United States. You'll need a plug adapter to match the American-style plug with the outlets in the destination country.

It's essential to check the voltage and plug type requirements for the specific African country you plan to visit, as they might vary slightly from one country to another. Some modern electronic devices, like laptops and smartphones, are often designed to handle a wide range of voltages, so they might only require a plug adapter. In Kenya, Morocco, and South Africa, the standard electrical voltage is 220-240 volts at 50 Hz. In Namibia, the standard electrical voltage is also 220-240 volts, but it operates at 50 Hz in most areas and at 60 Hz in some regions. If you plan to bring American appliances or electronics to any of these African countries, you will likely need a voltage converter (transformer) as well as a plug adapter.

Before your trip, verify the compatibility of your appliances and devices. You can find this information on the labels or tags of your electronics or in the user manuals. If in doubt, consult with the manufacturer or a qualified electrician.

We suggest buying an adapter with a voltage converter to help reduce the number of things you have to pack. Additionally, it's essential to get any required adapters or converters for your electronic devices before embarking on your guided tour and bringing them along. It's crucial to be cautious when using electrical appliances in foreign countries, as using incorrect voltage or plugs without the right adapters can cause damage to your devices or even pose a safety hazard.

Hair Dryers in Your Hotel

In hotels in Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, and Namibia, you will typically find hair dryers available for guests to use. These hotels are accustomed to hosting international travelers, and providing hair dryers in the rooms is a common amenity. Some remote safari camps may not have the infrastructure or resources to support electrical appliances like hairdryers due to their location in more pristine and wilderness-focused areas.

It is important to keep in mind that the voltage of the hair dryer provided by the hotel will match the local electrical standards of the country where it is located. For example, in Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, and Namibia, the standard electrical voltage is 220-240 volts at 50 Hz. However, some regions in Namibia may operate at 60 Hz.

You will need a voltage converter (transformer) to safely use your own hair dryer or other 120-110 volt appliances you bring. Before using your hair dryer or any electronic device, it is important to verify voltage compatibility and use the appropriate plug adapter if necessary. Although many modern hair dryers are designed to be dual voltage, meaning they can work on both 120 volts and 220-240 volts, it is always recommended to double-check the label or user manual to be sure.

If you are unsure about the electrical compatibility or amenities provided by a specific hotel, you can contact them directly before your trip to inquire about the availability of hair dryers and other electrical considerations for international travelers. If you need a hair dryer during your trip but cannot find one in your hotel room, you can inquire with the hotel staff. Many hotels will be able to provide a hair dryer upon request, either at the front desk or through housekeeping.

Air Conditioning

  • Air conditioning is commonly available in various accommodations and public places in Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, and South Africa, especially in urban areas and more developed regions. However, the availability of air conditioning can vary based on the type of accommodation and the specific location within each country. In major cities like Nairobi, Marrakech, Casablanca, Fes, Cape Town, and Johannesburg, many hotels, lodges, and upscale accommodations provide air conditioning. However, in more remote or rustic safari lodges or tented camps, air conditioning might be limited or not available.

Regardless of where in the world your tour visits, we do our best to ensure your transportation is as comfortable as can be. On Africa safaris, you may be on a coach part of the time and a 4 X 4 safari vehicle at other times.

Airport transfers

Transfers will depend on the trip you choose and vary among destinations. In general, if you are joining or departing your guided vacation on the first or last day, return transfers between the airport and hotel are included. You’ll find specific information on your itinerary page.

To enable you to personalize your tour experience, you will find a number of Optional Experiences designed to complement the itinerary. These are designed to offer a deeper insight into the culture and character of the areas to be visited and provide some wonderful highlights to your travels. The optional program is designed to let you experience more of what interests you and to get the most from your vacation without replacing or overlapping with anything included in an itinerary.

The majority of Optional Experiences will be offered to you by your Travel Director at the beginning of your trip. Some may be subject to change, depending on the time you are traveling or local circumstances, including weather and days of the week. Your Travel Director will provide further information.

Usually, most Optional Experiences will be priced in the local currency, but please read through the details of individual optional experiences for specific information. Exact payment options will be advised locally by your Travel Director/Local Representative for each Optional Experience, but in many cases, cash, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted.

Traveling to Africa on a guided tour can be an exciting and enriching experience. However, it's essential to prioritize your health and safety while exploring new territories. Health risks can vary based on the specific countries or regions within Africa you are visiting. Staying informed, prepared, and cautious will go a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable travel experience. Always stay in touch with your Travel Director and always follow their recommendations.

Here are some health advice and recommendations for travelers heading to Africa:

Visit the Doctor: Before embarking on your trip, schedule a visit with a medicine specialist or your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized health advice based on your medical history, current health status, and the specific countries you'll be visiting.

Travel Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, evacuations, and trip cancellations.

Vaccinations: While there are no vaccine or testing requirements, travelers should ensure that all routine vaccinations are up to date.

  • Routine Vaccinations: These include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap), and influenza.
  • Yellow Fever: Some countries in Africa require a yellow fever vaccination certificate for entry. Even if not required, it's highly recommended, as yellow fever is a serious disease transmitted by mosquitoes in some regions.

Malaria Prevention: Malaria is prevalent in many parts of Africa. Consult with your healthcare provider about the appropriate malaria prevention measures, such as antimalarial medications and mosquito bite prevention strategies (e.g., insect repellents, mosquito nets, long-sleeved clothing).

Insect Bite Prevention: Besides malaria, mosquitoes can transmit other diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. Use insect repellents containing DEET or Picaridin and wear long-sleeved clothing and pants to reduce the risk of bites.

First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with essential items like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, antidiarrheal medication, and any prescribed medications.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially in hot and humid climates, to prevent dehydration.

Respect Local Customs: Be aware of and respect local customs and traditions, as some practices may have health implications.

In order to ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip, we strongly suggest that you pack a plentiful supply of any medication you may need while on vacation. Here’s what you need to know about traveling with medications.

Prior to traveling, please notify GET of any disability requiring special assistance or any specific dietary needs that you may have, and we will strive to accommodate these. 

When traveling with GET, baggage handling at hotels, service charges, and tips for hotel wait staff (for included meals) will all be taken care of by your Travel Director. There are, however, a few instances where individual tipping is welcome.

Local Specialists

It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories, and know-how shared with you by the Local Specialists, and we suggest a gratuity equivalent to $1.00-$2.00 USD per person per half day.

Your Coach Driver and Travel Director

The trip cost does not include gratuities for your Travel Director and Driver. At the end of your trip, you may express appreciation to your Travel Director and Driver for their excellent service and the personal attention you received. Gratuities are given at the discretion of each guest, and a suggested amount per person/per day is listed in your travel documents.

For your convenience and ease, there is an option to pre-pay gratuities for the Travel Director and Driver at the time of booking.

Hotel services

It is customary to tip hotel staff for room service delivery if the charge has not already been added to the bill. Where ice machines are not available, and you receive ice from the bar, a small tip to the bartender is always appreciated.

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