Frequently Asked Questions:
It is my first time travelling to South Africa, anything I need to know, bring or remember?
- Packing, especially clothes, will depend on the season as well as the specific destination in South Africa you will visit. Over-packing is a problem most of the time – always remember that although International Flights have a high luggage allowance, many of the smaller planes on inbound flights as well as rental cars and Safari Vehicles have limited space – you could end up paying a lot on over-weight or being frustrated because your luggage don’t fit into safari vehicles.
What clothes should I pack if I am going on Safari?
- When you pack clothes always try and choose neutral tones and light fabrics, preferably cotton as this fabric is perfect for hot climates, like Kruger National Park. I would suggest that you pack approx.. 3 t-shirts and 3 pairs of shorts. Try not to pack white or red, which is highly visible to animals. Ladies it would be nice to pack a smarter set of clothes for Dinner at your lodge. Also pack a couple of long sleeved shirts and a pair of trousers – Nights, especially outside, can be chilly and this also helps to keep mosquito and other insects at bay.
- A lightweight Waterproof jacket is also always recommended – the temperature in Kruger Park can vary greatly and morning- evening drives can get cold. The secret is to wear several layers that you can add to or take off as needed. A good durable pair of trainers is all shoes needed except if you are doing a walking safari, then bring hiking boots. A pair of sandals or flip flops is always nice to have around the lodge or pool. A wide brim hat is always a winner – it will protect the back of your neck as well as your eyes – don’t underestimate the strength of the African Sun –
What Should I pack to protect myself against the African sun?
- A wide brimmed hat is always recommended as it protects your face, the back of your neck as well as your eyes. Choose a sunscreen with a high SPF or sun protection factor between 30 and 50. Sunburn or sunstroke can cut spoil your holiday. A pair of sunglasses is always a good idea. Most shops in Kruger Park do sell these items. I would also recommend that you minimise your sun exposure between 11 am and 3 pm. Apply sunscreen regularly through out the day paying attention to face, nose, ears and shoulders.
What else should I pack or bring when visiting Kruger Park?
- Remember your camera, charger and spare memory cards. Packing a small flashlight is always a good idea.
Should I pack a Medical kid or take any medication before visiting Kruger Park?
- Pack a small bag with some pain killers, chronic medications (enough for your whole trip), insect repellent, an antiseptic cream for scrapes, Vitamins, a sunscreen as well as a sunburn lotion. Most of the lodges will have a basic medical aid kit. Please note that Kruger Park is a malaria area, although low risk to the Southern parts – It is important that you consult your doctor about prophylaxes before your trip and remember to pack it.
Are there any precautions I can take to prevent insect, especially mosquito bites?
- Cover your arms and legs around sunset. Use light colored clothing to cover exposed skin areas – especially around the ankles, arms and legs. Apply insect-repellent to exposed skin areas every 4 – 6 hours. Burn insecticide oils or tablets in the bedroom at night or use the insect repellent room spray that most lodges provide to spray your room before you go for dinner. Don’t leave your room lights on when you leave your room.
Will I have Cellphone coverage in Kruger Park?
- Although there is mobile coverage in the park, signal varies from camp to camp and differs slightly for service providers, with the best signal being in the main rest camps. Should you need to make a call it is best to check the signal strength and stop where you pick up a strong signal. Please note that the use of cellular phones for phone calls is not recommended and most of the times not permitted on game drives. Enjoy the sounds of Nature. You are welcome to take pictures or photos on your phone when you are on a drive. Internet connectivity is limited to GRPS or EDGE at most camps, but there is 3G at the base stations in the bigger camps, it is useful to have both Vodacom and MTN SIM cards, as coverage varies. Most lodges will offer free WIFI – Please confirm this with your lodge upon booking.
Is the tap water in Kruger Park safe to drink?
- Yes, tap water is safe to drink at any of the rest camps as well as lodges, if not, it will be clearly stated and brought under your attention. Most clients prefer to play it safe and drink bottled water. There will be bottled water available in any shop in the park, town or lodge. Your guide should have bottled water on your game drive vehicle as well. It is recommended that you always have a bottle water with you as it is hot in Kruger and we would prefer to prevent dehydration.
When is the best time to visit Kruger National Park?
- Kruger National Park is an all year round destination – each season has its own unique benefits that makes it special. Whatever time of the year you decide to do a safari to Kruger Park- you will not be disappointed.
- Game viewing can be at its best during the dry winter months, however the spring and wetter summer season brings full waterholes, lush bushveld, many newborn wildlife and the summer migrant birds arrive. The Kruger Park has a hot, sub-tropical climate and most of the year it is hot during the day. (Above 25 ®Celcius)but cooler or cold early mornings and evenings.
What is the Summer Season like in Kruger Park?
- Summer is the rainy season in Kruger Park filling waterholes, resulting in lush bushveld, thick grassland areas and green shady trees. Game Viewing can be a bit more difficult in the summer because in some areas the vegetation can be dense – making it a bit harder to locate and observe wildlife – although, keep in mind, our Safari Vehicles’ seats are high, putting you higher than the grass, which minimize the difficulty of locating and observing. Towards October / November / December Kruger Park is filled with newborns. Birding is excellent during our Summer Months. All insects are more active as well.
- Daytime is very hot with a high of well into the 30 degrees celcius, although early mornings and evenings do cool down.
What is the Winter like in Kruger Park?
- Although some visitors might prefer the green and lush vegetation of the summer, best time for observing wildlife in Kruger Park is the dry Winter Months.
- The veld is more open and allows better visibility. The grass is scarce and low and trees do not have the lush green leaves because it is dry. There is no rain and a lot of the times you will spot wildlife at the waterholes because there is no water pools in the veld.
- The day temperature in winter is pleasant but very cold during morning and evening drives. Make sure you pack something xtra warm for these drives. We do supply knee-blankets on the vehicles for each client.
Will I be safe from wild animals in Kruger Park?
- Yes, you will be safe as long as you adhere to the rules – Kruger Park offers a list of rules and regulations which will ensure your safety – Your guide will also give you a safety talk when you enter Kruger Park on your Game Drive. On your drive we will request that you do not climb out of the vehicle, that you talk softly to each other and don’t make big movements. Your guide will let you know when you reach an area where you are allowed to leave the vehicle. He will also stop at some of the Camps in Kruger where you can visit the restrooms, stretch legs, visit the shop and buy some snacks or enjoy a meal. Camps are closed and fenced off but a lot of the times you will find monkeys or baboons in the camps, please stay away and don’t feed them. Should you stay (sleep) in one of the camps, please make sure you are at your booked camp before the gates close. They are very strict with this policy.
You keep mentioning Conservation Fees – Please explain …?
- Every visitor to the Kruger Park have to pay a conservation fee when entering the park. The Conservation fee needs to be paid for every day you will spend in the park. There is different fees for international visitors and South African citizens. The Park needs these funds to conserve the natural and cultural heritage in Kruger. The funds are not only used for conservation, but also to maintain viewing hides, water holes and water supplies etc. These fees will change every year. The main reason that South African citizens pay less than International visitors are mainly because South Africans are already contributing to conservation with their taxes and therefore pay an adjusted rate. It is also important to make our National Parks affordable for our local people to ensure they visit more often, this allows them to learn more about conserving.
- Conservation Fees are mostly paid upon arrival at the Entrance Gate, unless otherwise stipulated on your confirmation. They do accept most major Credit Cards and should you stay outside the park, you will pay this fee every day you enter the park.
- If you are in possession of a valid Wild Card – the conservation fee will fall away as you will have contributed to conservation with your membership fee.
Should we give service gratuities?
- If you are satisfied with the specific service your received from a specific person, you are very welcome to tip the person. Gratuity is in most cases not included and tipping at your discretion. Standard tips are as follows: (These are only guidelines, you are welcome to decide for yourself what you think would be a good tip for service received)
- Transfers – ZAR 20 per person
- Restaurants – 10 – 15% for good to exceptional service
- Rangers – ZAR 100 per drive.