♦ City Safety
As with all major cities, caution should be taken. Try not to make yourself an obvious tourist, and it is worth not carrying valuables with you. Ask you hotel reception before going out exploring, as they will be able to give you the latest and most accurate information on when and where not to go.
♦ Check-In / Check-Out
Check-in is normally 2pm and check-out by 11am. Some lodges will try to accommodate early arrivals and late departures.
Summer temperatures range between 15°C and 40°C (September – April)
Winter temperatures can drop to 3°C and rise to 25°C ( May – August)
The Cape – May to September
Remainder of the Country – October to March
With worldwide weather becoming more erratic and harder to predict, we cannot be held responsible for a disruption to your holiday due to bad weather.
♦ Health Requirements
There are no Vaccination requirements to enter South Africa however if you have visited a Country which is in the Yellow Fever belt (some countries in North Africa and South America), you will be required to produce proof of vaccination.
Certain areas of South Africa are in a low risk malaria belt (Greater Kruger area, Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal) and therefore prophylaxis is recommended. Please consult your doctor or pharmacist for medication. On consultation with SA pharmacists, a drug called Malerone is suggested.
Water in most areas of the Country is drinkable however you will be advised of this by the hotels and lodges.
As with all medical requirements, your doctor or travel clinic will provide the most up to date information – the above is a guide only.
We recommend travel insurance to cover you in the event of illness as the private hospitals require proof of insurance or a large cash deposit before admission. Visiting a government hospital is not recommended
♦ Lodge Accommodation
South Africa has its own star rating system for hotels and lodges, which is managed and controlled by the Star Grading Council of South Africa. There are strict criteria that each lodge has to adhere to to be awarded a star grading. This grading is re-assessed annually.
This ensures that the standard of Lodge according to the Star grading has to be maintained. The highest star grading possible in South Africa is a 5 Star grading however it must be noted that there are varying degrees of 5 Stars. Some Lodges have been awarded 5 Stars however they may fall within a category of high 5 Star or low 5 Star. The difference could be in the small touches or finishes but still ensure however that the standard of the Lodge will be exceptional.
Although each airline can vary on this stipulation, 20 kg is considered the norm for stowed luggage and 8 kg for hand luggage. For Lodge transfers in light aircraft, only soft bags are allowed.
♦ Money Matters
The national currency of SA is the South African Rand (ZAR). All hotels and lodges in the Country accept major credit cards and in all towns and airports, ATM’s are available to draw cash.
Cash payment in major currencies (US$, GBP or Euros) or by credit card is acceptable at most lodges and hotels.
Photographs, especially safari shoots, are an excellent reminder of your safari holiday. Taking photographs and a video footage is encouraged. Should you bring a video camerl, it is worth bringing along a spare battery to charge whilst you are out on safari.
♦ Private Vehicles on Safari
In a number of our safari lodges we can organize a private guide and vehicle at extra cost. Please ask for details.
♦ Safety Features
While on Safari you will be staying in a game reserve, which is usually unfenced. Wild animals are free to roam wherever they please and in some cases this could include in the Lodge environment. Please adhere to the safety precautions of the Lodge and one should be vigilant at all times.
You should not walk around the camp after dark without being accompanied by a ranger or guard. Attacks by wild animals are rare, but no safari into the African wilderness can guarantee that this will not occur. Neither PRIDE LODGES, nor its employees, or the Safari operator can be held responsible for any injury or death on safaris. In the reserve the local wildlife, insects, reptiles, small mammals and rodents may be a feature, but in no way does this imply that the accommodation is unhygienic. They are simply a fact of life in these destinations.
♦ Special Requests
Any special request must be advised in writing if it was not already stated on your original booking form. We will make any reasonable effort to make the arrangements. We do not have any legal liability whatsoever to you in the event of non-compliance. We regret we cannot accept any conditional booking (i.e. any booking that is specified to being conditional on the fulfillment of a particular request).
If you feel you have received good service at the lodge, a gratuity would be very appreciated by the staff. This is, of course entirely your choice and not compulsory.
As a guideline, we suggest the following:
Hotels – Between R150 and R250 per room, per day
Game Lodges – Between R250 and R500 per day, per room for Ranger and tracker (the Ranger will split this with the tracker) and between R150 and R250 per day, per room for your Butler and same for all staff.
Tour Guides (Road transfers and tours) – Between R100 and R200 per transfer/tour
Restaurants – 10% of total account
♦ Travelling Abroad with children
SA law requires that any minor children (under 18 years of age) travelling to SA, are required to present an unabridged birth certificate. If not travelling with both parents, letter of permission is required. One of our consultants will advise you on this once you have confirmed your booking
♦ Visa and Passport Requirements
Visitors from the USA, most Commonwealth countries including the UK and Australia, most Western countries and Japan do not require visas but will be issued a free entry permit on arrival valid for up to 90 days.
Visitors of nationalities other than those listed above will need to obtain a visa prior to travel from a SA Embassy or Consulate.
♦ What to Pack
Hotels in SA do not require formal dress for dinner. Casual clothing is widely accepted but some hotels will not allow jeans to be worn for the evening meal.
On Safari – Light coloured, comfortable clothing is recommended while on Safari. In Summer the daytime temperatures can reach 40 degrees C, so shorts and t-shirts are best, with a light long sleeved shirt for protection against the sun during the day and to cover up for mosquitoes in the evening. Peak cap or hat, sunglasses and sunscreen is a must. Swimming costumes are highly recommended for Summer
During the cooler winter months, the days are still warm but the night time and early morning temperatures can drop to almost freezing (especially with the wind chill factor on game drives) so layering is essential. Be sure to pack a thick fleece or jacket, gloves and a beanie. Most lodges have Curio shops which will stock some of the items mentioned above.
♦ Your safety on Safari
The Guides/Rangers in the lodges and camps are qualified professionals and they should be taken seriously at all times. While on game drives, animals may be viewed as close as a few meters from the vehicle. While this gives excellent photographic opportunities and is a rewarding experience, all caution should be taken to listen to your guide regarding the rules. For example, talking quietly at sightings and not standing up in the vehicle.
While on Safari you will be staying in a game reserve, which is usually unfenced. Wild animals are free to roam wherever they please and in some cases, this could include in the Lodge environment. Please adhere to the safety precautions of the Lodge and one should be vigilant at all times. You should not walk around the camp after dark without being accompanied by a ranger or guard. The lodge will give you a briefing on the safety aspects.
In the Reserve, the local wildlife, insects, reptiles, small mammals and rodents may be a feature, but in no way does this imply that the accommodation is unhygienic or unsafe. They are simply a fact of life in these destinations
♦ Typical day on Safari
Times vary between Summer and Winter
05h00 – 05h30
Wake up – Tea/Coffee and snacks and out on a game drive in open vehicle with qualified Guide and Tracker. Bush coffee stop and back to lodge for breakfast
09h00 – 11h00
11h00 – 15h00
At leisure. Swim, sleep, shop.
13h00 – 14h00
Some lodges offer a full lunch while others offer a light snack
15h00 – 16h00
High tea/lunch and out on a game drive. Bush drinks stop and then night safari
19h30 – 20h00
Return to the lodge to freshen up before dinner in one of the lodge’s dining areas
Activities at the safari lodges and camps are dependent on local conditions and may change to ensure guests’ safety and enjoyment
Having confirmed this booking, you acknowledge that there is a limit to the precautions that we can take against any risk during your stay in South Africa
Neither PRIDE LODGES, nor its employees, or the Safari operator /Lodge can be held responsible for any injury or incident.
We strongly advise that you take out travel and medical insurance for your trip to Africa. Insurance should cover cancellation and curtailment and medical cover. In Southern Africa there are many state hospitals however we do not recommend these and the alternative is a private hospital which is expensive. Insurance or a large cash deposit is required before treatment.