Luxury & Experiential
FAQ
Where is South Africa located?
South Africa is located on the southern tip of Africa and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Indian Ocean on the south and east. Its neighbouring countries are Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland. The Kingdom of Lesotho is situated in the eastern central plain of the country.
What is South Africa's capital?
South Africa divides its governmental power among three capitals. Bloemfontein is the capital of the judiciary, Cape Town is the legislative capital, and Pretoria is the administrative capital.
What is South Africa's time zone?
Standard time zone in South Africa will be GMT +2 (2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time). No daylight saving time for South Africa.
What languages are spoken in Botswana?
South Africa has 11 official languages: Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsongo, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. English is spoken widely and is the language of the cities, of commerce and banking, of government and official documents. All our road signs and official forms are in English and at any hotel, Bed and Breakfast or Guest House, the service staff will speak to you in English.
What is the distance of the lodges from major centres?
Driving time is six hours from Johannesburg and four hours from Durban.
What are the best times to travel?
All year round, although the best game viewing is from the end of March to the end of August.
When is the rainy season?
It rains in summer (September to April).
What is the recommended length of stay?
A recommended minimum period is approximately three days. The maximum length is totally up to you.
Is it safe to travel in South Africa?
It is wise to take some basic precautions and be alert as you would in any situation. Avoid walking alone or in a small group after dark, never leave your luggage unattended, always keep you belongings close by or locked away and avoid displaying your wealth and luxury in full view particularly in public places such as at the airport or town. Always be with your guide when exploring places and areas.
Should I take out travel insurance before travelling to South Africa?
Travel insurance (via AXA Insurance) will be inclusive in the package, it will cover any medical situation (i.e. hospitalisation), as well as cancellation or curtailment of arrangements and loss of baggage. Emergency evacuation insurance also will be provided should you suffer either severe illness or injury while spending your holiday in Africa.
Do I need a visa to travel to South Africa?
The following nationalities do not need visas for visit to South Africa up to 90 days:

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela and United States of America

Nationalities from the following countries get 30 days visa-free visit to South Africa: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Gabon, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Jordan, Lesotho, Macau, Malaysia, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Peru, Poland, Seychelles, Slovak Republic, South Korea, Swaziland, Thailand, Turkey and Zambia.
What activities can we do in South Africa generally?
Having a luxury safari trip usually means enjoying your time observing the wildlife while taking lots of pictures, relax and enjoy your stay with the best luxurious lodges and camps in South Africa. South Africa's lodges and camps provide their guests with internet connectivity, pool and library (applicable to selected lodges and camps only).
What are the approximate starting times of the game drives?
Dependent upon the seasons, these are approximate times only:

Spring and summer
  • morning game drive 5:30am
  • evening game drive 4:00pm
Autumn and winter
  • morning game drive 6:00am
  • evening game drive 3:45pm
What is the length of the game drives?
Approximately three to four hours.
What is the maximum number of people allowed on the game drives?
Guests – between six and eight.
Are children welcome?
Camps
Kirkman's Kamp Yes
Ngala Tented Camp Yes (age above 12 only)
Ngala Safari Lodge Yes
Phinda Forest Lodge Yes (below 12 allowed)
Phinda Vlei Lodge Yes (below 12 allowed)
Phinda Mountain Lodge Yes. The lodge is highly recommended for families. (below 12 allowed)
Phinda Rock Lodge No due to cliffside location and safety reasons (below 12 not allowed)
What are the activities available for children?
Activities depend entirely on the age of the children. Activities available may include the following:
  • Special family game drives (at the discretion of the lodge manager)
  • Special bush walks
  • Special eco-guides for kids
  • Wildlife colouring-in books
  • Animated videos
  • Special programmes can be compiled such as tracking for children, fishing, frog safaris and birding – special quote necessary
What are the characteristic species of the area?
Cheetah, lion, white rhino, elephant, buffalo, nyala, reedbuck, red squirrel, suni antelope, hippo, Nile Crocodile, bushpig, leopard, impala, hyena, bush babies, porcupine, giraffe, red duiker, zebra, wildebeest, mountain reedbuck, chacma baboon, about 400 bird species and extraordinary marine diversity on nearby east coast.
What is the local currency?
The local currency is the South African Rand (R1=100 cents), which exchanges favourably with the major international currencies. Most international traveller’s cheques are accepted, however, it is advised that you bring them in a hard currency, such as US dollars or British Pounds. Currency can be exchanged at banks, forex bureaus and sometimes at hotels. Foreign tourists can have their VAT refunded at the point of departure, provided they present their original tax invoices.
Can I use my credit card in South Africa?
Most major international credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted.
What are the Bank Opening Hours?
Bank times are usually open from Mondays to Fridays from 09:00am – 3:30pm and on Saturdays from 09:00am to 11:00am.

Banks in South Africa will only accept US Dollars, Pound Sterling, Euro and South African Rand cash. Below are some of the licensed commercial banks and foreign banks available in South Africa:
  • HSBC
  • Barclays Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
Tipping
Tipping in South Africa is customary and at own discretion. It is usually customary to tip taxi drivers, waitresses, waiters, stewards and delivery person 10% of the bill if it is not already included in the service charge.

Porters at the airports, lodges or camps can be tipped about 5Rand per piece of luggage. However, on safaris, tips are always expected and considered almost part of the pay. Safari guides can be tipped around USD 5 – USD 25 per person per day.
Can I use my Cell/mobile phone in South Africa?
Mobile phone coverage/signal should not be any problem as long as phone is set to roaming and international calling is not blocked by your provider. There are however certain areas in South Africa where you will encounter little or no coverage at all.

Alternatively, you can purchase mobile prepaid (pay-as-you-go) SIM cards. 8ta, Cell C, Virgin Mobile, MTN and Vodacom are among few that offer mobile SIM cards and the top-up/refill are easily available in the airports, supermarkets and shops. Do note that North American and Japanese phones might not work in Botswana.
Will there be internet connectivity?
Most of the lodges and camps have internet access.
What plugs and power voltage is used in South Africa?
The local electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC, 50HZ. Three pronged plugs are universal. Please bring along voltage and plug adaptors if you intend to bring electrical devices.
How safe and clean is the water and food in South Africa?
Visitors are strongly advised to drink only bottled mineral water. Avoid consuming raw food and vegetables especially when eating at street restaurants and always wash and peel fruits and vegetables before consuming them. Ensure everything is well-cooked before consuming the food; be it meat or seafood.
How safe and clean is the water and food in South Africa?
Visitors are strongly advised to drink only bottled mineral water. Avoid consuming raw food and vegetables especially when eating at street restaurants and always wash and peel fruits and vegetables before consuming them. Ensure everything is well-cooked before consuming the food; be it meat or seafood.
What should I pack?
  1. Shorts and t-shirts or light trousers for the daytime. Bright colours and white alert the animals, so stick to neutral tones like beige, khaki, stone and brown. Clothing and apparels should be lightweight, breathable, hand-washable, and quick-drying. Casual, comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year.
  2. A pair of good walking boots/shoes for walking safaris.
  3. A wide brimmed hat.
  4. Plenty of high factor sun cream.
  5. Binoculars.
  6. Long trousers and long sleeved shirt for the evening as protection from mosquitoes.
  7. Mosquito repellent for bare skin.
  8. A sweater/jacket for the early morning and evening game drives as the temperature can get quite cold (even in summer).
  9. Plenty of camera films or memory cards for your camera and a battery charger.
  10. A small first aid kit.
  11. A light weight waterproof jacket in case of sudden shower.
  12. Swimming apparels as most of the lodges have swimming pools.
  13. A good book to laze by and enjoy the evening.
  14. Sunglasses (avoid reflective bright colours such as red lenses).
  15. Non-scented wet wipes and hand sanitizers.
  16. A small torchlight.