IMPORTANT

If you come down with flu-like symptoms either during, or within four to six weeks after visiting a malaria area, seek a doctor’s advice immediately

Health & Malaria

Malaria

Malaria-risk areas in South Africa are limited, however, precautions should be taken in the following areas: Kruger Park, Northern Natal, Zululand, Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique. Please consult your general practitioner or visit the following website: www.travelclinic.co.za

If you are travelling to a malaria area, you’ll need to take the following precautions:

British Airways Travel Clinics provide a comprehensive malaria avoidance programme. You can contact them in Johannesburg at (011) 807 3132, and in Cape Town at (021) 419 3172.

Safari Advice

Ranger & Staff Tipping

Tips are not included in the bill of restaurants and hotels. It is usual to give a 10-15% tip for meals. Hotel porters are usually tipped R20 per person. Airport porters approximately R20 – R30 in total. A suitable gratuity for guides and or drivers should be considered.

Tipping whilst at a Game Lodge is by no means expected, however if you are very happy with your stay we would suggest the following as a very rough guideline.

Per person per night:

  • Game ranger and tracker- R150
  • General Staff – R75

It would be advisable to ask camp management during your stay.

Safety on Safari

All reserves have a set of rules that you need to follow to ensure your safety. Many of the animals you’ll come across, particularly lion, hippo, elephant and buffalo, are dangerous. Stay in your car and keep a reasonable distance – especially with elephant – in case you need to beat a hasty retreat!</div>

Africa has its fair share of poisonous snakes – though they are rarely encountered and, when they are, will more often than not try to get away as quickly as possible. However, if you plan on doing any walking, take along boots, socks and long trousers as a precautionary measure (which also helps with ticks) – and always look where you’re going.</div>

Avoid swimming in rivers that have hippos and crocodiles.

Safari Companion

It is said that a private game reserve experience can rank as one of life’s most defining moments, and certainly from our experience with guests from all over the world, we would endorse this. We have also learned that many guests arrive not knowing exactly what to expect and perhaps regretting not being better prepared for their safari experience.

South Africa is a vast country full of spectacular attractions, for this reason we strongly recommend that you consult with a specialist before concluding your travel arrangements

Safari FAQ

Which is the best time to view game?

To answer this question one should first determine what one would like to see. Our summer brings a multitude of beautiful migrant bird species and many newborn antelope species in thick green bushveld. In winter with limited water sources, activity is generally around water holes, the bush is dry and thin and visibility generally better. It is often said that there is nothing better than a winter’s day in the bushveld.

What is an open vehicle safari?

A specially modified four wheel drive vehicle designed to carry between 5 and 10 guests is used to bring you to within close proximity of Africa’s big game including the big 5. The capabilities of the vehicle are such that it is able to traverse fairly rough terrain, with the exception of ecologically sensitive areas particularly after rain. In the case of many lodges, the vehicle does not have a roof or sides and allows for maximum all-round visibility.

You could find yourself getting close to big game, this should not alarm you provided you observe the basic do’s and don’ts as discussed by your ranger prior to and during your safari.

A minimum of a two-night stay is recommended to savour all that is the African bush.

In compiling the safari companion we have taken note of some of the more frequently asked questions, and are always willing to answer any new questions that you may have, please feel free to direct these to: info@bushbreaks.co.za

Travel Advice

Check-in Time

Please note, most Game Lodges in South Africa adhere to a check-in time of 14h00 and check-out 11h00.

What to Pack

Dress should be informal and comfortable although one should be prepared to dress smart / casual at the better hotels and lodges. In top restaurants a collar and tie is required. On safari, neutral colours (no bright colours or whites) and cottonwear clothing. Lightweight trousers, slacks, skirts and shirts are ideal.

A warm jacket is recommended for early morning game drives and evenings. Always take something warm (cardigan, jacket or wrap around) for evenings as most restaurants are air-conditioned and may be a little cool after a day in the sun.

Bring a sunhat, suntan lotion with a high protection factor, swimwear and comfortable shoes and sandals, binoculars, a camera and film and Malaria tablets (if necessary). A light waterproof jacket is necessary for the summer months.

Flight & Driving Times

Approximate Flight Times

Johannesburg – Madikwe 1 hour
Johannesburg – Sabi Sand 1 hour and 20 minutes
Johannesburg – Singita 1 hour and 20 minutes
Johannesburg – Lebombo  1 hour and 40 minutes
Durban – George  1 hour and 50 minutes
Durban – East London 1 hour and 20 minutes
Durban – Port Elizabeth 1 hour and 20 minutes
Durban – Johannesburg 1 hour and 10 minutes
Cape Town – Johannesburg 2 hours
Cape Town – East London 1 hour and 30 minutes
Cape Town – Port Elizabeth 1  hour and 10 minutes
Cape Town – Hoedspruit 2 hour and 40 minutes

Approximate Driving Times

 

Johannesburg – Cape Town 1 hour
Johannesburg – Mkuze Falls 1 hour and 20 minutes
Johannesburg – Sabi Sand 1 hour and 20 minutes
Johannesburg – Hoedspruit 1 hour and 40 minutes
Johannesburg – Madikwe 1 hour and 50 minutes
Durban – Mkuze Falls 1 hour and 20 minutes
Durban – Phinda 1 hour and 20 minutes

Weather & Climate by Region

South Africa has two climatic systems. The South-Western Cape has a mediterranean Climate with winter rainfall (May-August) and a dry hot summer (September to April), whilst the rest of the country has exceptionally sunny weather throughout the year, broken only by spells of rain in the summer months. The long spring and summer months – late August to mid May make South Africa a holiday-maker’s paradise, whilst in the winter months the weather is still beautiful, with generally warm sunny days and cool nights, (except in the South-Western Cape where this is the green season).

Cape Town

Climate: Mediterranean

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum (ºC)  25  25  24   22 19 17 16 17 18 20 22 23
Minimum (ºC) 17 17 15 13  11 8 8 8 10 12 14 16

Best time to visit: November to February. Summer is hot and dry; winter is cool and wet

Johannesburg

Climate: Moderate

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum (ºC)  25 23 23   20 18 15 16 18 21 22 23 24
Minimum (ºC) 15 15 14 11 8 5 5 7 10 12 13 15

Best time to visit: September to April (For Kruger National Park best time is July to mid-October). Summer is the rainy season. Winter is dry and cool.

Durban

Climate: Sub-tropical

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum (ºC) 27  27  27  25 23 22 22 22 22 24 25 26
Minimum (ºC) 22 22 22 19 16  12 12 14 16 17 19 21

Best time to visit: September to April. Beach season is December to January. In summer the coast is very hot. Inland it’s warm during the day and milder at night. Winters are sometimes hot during the days, but are generally cool becoming cold at night. There are occasional thunderstorms and hailstorms in summer.

Nelspruit/Mpumalanga

 

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum (ºC) 29 29 28 27 25 23 23 25 27 27 27 28
Minimum (ºC) 19 19 18 14 10 6 6 9 12 14 17 18

 

Skukuza/Kruger National Park

 

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum (ºC) 33 32 31 29 28 26 26 27 29 30 31 32
Minimum (ºC) 21 20 19 15 10 6 6 9 13 16 18 20