What is covered by the expedition costs?
The expedition costs paid to Operation Wallacea cover virtually everything from the start point of the expedition to the finish point of the expedition. This includes all accommodation, food, transfers between sites, all on-site training courses (except optional additional courses), diving, $1.5 million medical and evacuation insurance, academic supervision, provision of all the support and medical staff and participation in any of the research projects being offered. The whole science programme and subsequent reporting is supported by the expedition costs.
The only exception is the South African park entry fee, which is ~ £40.
Optional training courses and equipment hire
If you have opted to do the PADI Open Water dive training course the training and diving is included in the expedition costs but you have to bring with you a PADI Open Water Manual with PIC card (approximately $75-$125 depending on the country from which you are purchasing these Manuals and the contents of the Pack). Other additional dive training courses (Advanced, Emergency First Response and Rescue Diver) can be done on site but are charged for as additional optional courses.
If you are diving and have your own dive equipment bring it with you, but if not there is equipment available to rent for £40 a week for a full set of dive kit hire excluding a wetsuit.
Travel, airport tax and visa costs
You are responsible for your own travel costs to and from the start and finish points of the expedition (see travel advice page).
A 90 day visa is issued free of charge on entry to South Africa for people travelling on an EU, US or Canadian passport. Please see the travel advice section however regarding current legislation regarding under-18’s entering the country.
Money to bring with you
You will need enough spending money to cover personal on-site expenditure only. This may include snack and souvenir purchases made at local shops.All payments made in country are denominated in South African Rand. You need to have all the cash you are going to need with you by the time you leave Johannesburg airport because you can’t use your credit or debit cards to pay bills at any of the sites and there are no cash-points near any of the sites you are going to.
You are best advised to order and bring out Rand from your home country, but there are cashpoints in the airport and generally at all the service stations stopped at on the transfers. Please also consider arranging a contingency fund to cover any emergencies, and check with your bank that your card will work and is activated for use in South Africa.