SOUTH AFRICA MISSION TRIP INFORMATION PACK
We are committed to the salvation and reformation of Africa through the good gospel of Jesus Christ.
We look forward to partnering with you for our mission trip to South Africa. Many people are going to see heaven touching earth when we go. Below you will find all the necessary information you need to prepare you for this mission trip.
To express the supernatural love of God through the supernatural power of God as expressed in Mark 16: go into all the world and preach the gospel, heal the sick, cast out demons. There will be an emphasis on working with those marginalised in their society - the orphan, the widow and the oppressed. Through this cross cultural ministry experience you will be highly involved in the kingdom reformation of tribal and poverty stricken communities.
The mission itinerary will likely include:
Praying for the sick
Hospital and school ministry
Rural door to door evangelism
Spending time with aids Orphans (playing games, feeding, encouraging and ministering)
Casting out demons
Cross cultural church experiences
What to bring
Copy of passport
Vaccination certificates (if necessary)
Proof of travel insurance
Copy of Visa (if necessary)
General clothing (Durban, South Africa is hot and humid for most of the year)
Raincoat and/or umbrella
Sun hat and/or cap
Daily wear (informal)
Formal clothes for church ministry context - no shoulders showing and no shorts. Please wear closed in shoes and have a collared shirt ready as it may be necessary.
Mission field clothing - no short shorts (hot pants). Please wear comfortable shoes in which you can walk long distances.
*If an Awaken Africa team leader asks you to change your clothing, don’t be offended, this is for cultural sensitivity reasons.
Body wash or soap
Medication (if needed. Headache tablets and antihistamines)
Charger and adapter (universal travel plug adapter - three round pin plug)
Credit and/or debit card/s
Power bank (not essential but helpful)
Something to write on/with
*Please check both international and domestic flights for luggage weight restrictions.
The link below contains a list of countries that are exempt from having to apply for a visa before entry to South Africa. Please have a look at the list and see if you are required to apply for a visa to enter South Africa. Look under the “Ordinary” column.
For visa applications, we recommend following the below link.
If you are having any troubles applying or acquiring your visa please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Vaccinations, medication, health risks and medical facilities.
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
- At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
There are no required vaccinations for coming to South Africa (unless you have travelled through a yellow fever classified country).
The below link contains a list of countries in Africa (and others) which have yellow fever. If you are passing through one of the countries listed below, please go and see your local travel doctor for information on getting a yellow fever vaccination.
Below are two links for more comprehensive information on vaccinations and medication information.
Your country may require specific vaccinations upon returning. We advise that you see your local travel doctor for current vaccine and medical information at least eight weeks before departing your country.
Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription are available in other countries. Some may be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by a doctor.
Before you leave your country of residence, check if your medication is legal in each country you are travelling to and find out if any quantity restrictions or certification requirements apply. Consult your doctor about alternatives well in advance of travel. We recommend at least eight weeks.
Take enough legal prescription medicine with you to last for the duration of your stay so you remain in good health. Carry copies of your prescription and a dated letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only.
Yellow fever - If you are travelling from a country where yellow fever is widespread you'll need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter South Africa. This does not apply to a child aged under 1 year.
If you can't show proof of vaccination, authorities may not let you enter the country.
You cannot get vaccinated when you arrive in South Africa.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in South Africa is very high.
Take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus.
Malaria is common in South Africa, especially in:
remote areas in the far north
remote areas in the east
Kruger National Park
The 90km area along the border with Mozambique and Zimbabwe is a designated malaria risk zone. Some areas nearby may have a malaria risk during the year.
Other insect-borne diseases, including filariasis, are also prevalent.
To protect yourself from disease:
make sure your accommodation is insect proof
use insect repellent
wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
Take medicine to prevent malaria if travelling to an area where it is common.
Cholera mainly occurs in rural areas. More serious outbreaks can happen from time to time.
To protect yourself against cholera:
avoid ice cubes
avoid raw and undercooked food, such as salads
be strict with your hygiene habits if you travel in rural areas
drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids
Tap water in major cities is generally safe to drink.
Other health risks
Waterborne, food-borne and other infectious diseases are prevalent.
Rift Valley virus
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
avoid contact with animal tissues or blood when visiting farms or game reserves
only drink pasteurised or homogenised milk
don't eat raw meat
don't swim in fresh water
avoid contact with dogs and other mammals
If you're bitten or scratched by an animal, get medical help straight away.
Seek medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
The standard of medical facilities in South Africa varies.
Public medical facilities are generally low standard.
Private hospitals are often better equipped.
Many regional hospitals only provide basic facilities.
Before admitting you, hospitals usually ask for:
confirmation of medical insurance
up-front deposit for services
public hospitals will treat foreigners free, the level of care varies.
In remote areas, air evacuation to a major city is sometimes the only option in an emergency. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
Decompression chambers are located at:
Kleinmont Hospital, Cape Town
St Augustine's Hospital, Durban
Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg
Eugene Marais Hospital, Pretoria
Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. Make sure your policy includes adequate coverage for any pre-existing conditions.
Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. Governments may not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.
Ensure to confirm the following:
- What circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy.
- That you are covered for the whole time you will be away.
*Awaken Africa requires proof of your travel insurance two weeks before the mission trip commences.
The currency used in South Africa is the Rand (ZAR).
The current exchange rate is 1 USD to 14.5 ZAR.
There is also a great application called XE Currency which we recommend for live and updated conversion rates. https://www.xe.com/
South Africa’s time zone is (GMT+2)
About the community we are going to serve
The Valley of a Thousand Hills, found in the KwaZulu-Natal province, is situated between the urban metropolis of Durban and the province’s capital city, Pietermaritzburg. The valley is the meeting point of the Umgeni and Msunduzi rivers, making it a place of natural beauty. The Umgeni flows all the way from the scenic Drakensberg to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
This region is also famous for its deep and complex culture and history. The KwaZulu-Natal province is the homeland of over 10 million Zulu people (South Africa’s largest ethnic group). The Zulu people rose to fame and glory under the leadership of King Shaka in the 19th century who united over 100 Zulu chiefs and their respective clans.
The inhabitants of the Valley of a Thousand Hills are steeped in the Ancestral worship and practice witchcraft in day to day life. This is rooted within Zulu life and culture and has presented complex situations for Christians proselytising these communities. Unfortunately, because of the language barrier and inefficient ministry training of previous missionaries, this has resulted in an in-twinning of Christian doctrine and ancestral worship. These are some of the interesting dynamics which are part of the ministry Awaken Africa engages with to see people come of the full knowledge of Jesus and live in His fullness and freedom. Mission teams that come in are guided by local people who are fully equipped to translate and are sensitive to cultural cues to ensure safety and the effective ministry of the gospel.
Strongholds and Pressing Issues
The lingering effects of South Africa’s apartheid history are still felt today. The decades of subjugation resulted in animosity between the races and taught people to distrust authority, fight for food and jobs, and oppress, humiliate, injure and exploit others.
The Valley, at one stage the epicenter of HIV/AIDS in the world, has a declining infection rate but is still over 40%. A majority of these are on ARVs (Antiretroviral medication).
The unemployment rate is about 50%, which is mostly young people aged between 21 to 35.
70% of the inhabitants live in abject poverty, living day by day just to survive.
These, along with drugs, alcoholism, domestic abuse and fatherlessness are the predominant issues that afflict the Valley of a Thousand Hills.
This concludes our mission trip information pack. Please make sure you read, understand, sign and send us the indemnity form. We look forward to this time with you.