Gonna take some time to do the things we never had ~ Toto: Africa
African safari info.
Where to begin the search?
First, look at the big picture, namely which safari region to focus on. A little research may help you decided so check here for a key points summary. Your instinct will guide you; follow it.
Inside or out?
Next step: should you go for a safari lodge inside the game reserve or on the outside? It depends on the region and the game reserve within that region. We can help; just ask us.
On what basis do we pick a lodge?
It’s all about quality. We are picky about who we offer. Very picky. Our top picks are those lodges where service, comfort and game viewing has surpassed our high expectations. See our quality checklist here.
When is the best time?
It’s always a good time to go on safari. The issue is one of comfort. Short answer is, it depends which region you want to visit, and when it will suit you. We can advise.
How do I know the price is fair?
We cost all our tours on the published prices of safari lodges. We earn our keep from these lodges, through tour operator commissions. We then cost in road transfers, internal flights, Park entrance fees, conservation fees, taxis if required and government tourism levies, plus VAT. We dd bank charges of 3 – 5% for credit card payments, but there is no charge for EFTs. That’s it.
What is included?
Superior (four to five star safari level) lodges.
All meals, teas and coffees. Drinks in specified lodges.
Exclusive wildlife viewing in open vehicles.
Daily game viewing activities. Two game drives are standard.
Qualified, experienced game rangers and trackers.
Local road transfers.
Park fees; conservation fees.
Then what is excluded?
Gratuities, premium drinks such as French champagne etc, and travel insurance are not included.
Is a National Park camp cheaper?
Yes it is, but there’s a down side. There is much more traffic in National Parks and no off-roading is permitted. Game drive vehicles are larger, which means more people on your vehicle. In general the accommodation is basic, and furthermore the on-site restaurants are average at best. Local residents love to visit the National Parks during school holidays, where they can self-cater for the whole family for two or three weeks.
So, is a private reserve worth the money?
A private reserve is worth every cent. There is no traffic, off-roading is permitted, game drive vehicles are small and very comfortable, and in general the accommodation is superb. The cuisine is of a much higher standard. And the odds of seeing more wildlife, close up, are greater.
And what about payment?
There are three payment options and we discuss these with you after you have chosen your safari tour and price. The safari is not confirmed until deposit/s have been made and local flights booked.* Lodge Ts and Cs as published will be applied. Final settlement is requested 30 – 60 days before your safari begins. (* Rules relaxed during pandemic.)
Are we safe in a game reserve?
Yes, you are safe in a game reserve. Upon your arrival you’ll receive a full security briefing so you fully understand the safety protocols. Safari lodge personnel take your safety extremely seriously.
Should I worry about malaria?
Some safari areas are designated malaria-free (Kruger is not one of them). Malaria prophylaxis is recommended in a malaria area. Your doctor or travel clinic can advise best and latest products, and prevention of mosquito bites is also advised. Private lodges provide sprays, or bring your preferred insect repellent.
Are there top medical facilities in Africa?
There are very good private hospitals throughout South Africa, though our once-prestigious public health facilities are now in tatters. It is therefore critically important to take sufficient travel and medical cover before departing on your travels, to ensure entry to a private hospital if needed.
Will I need any injections?
No. But chat about prophylaxis with your GP or travel clinic physician. For example, some visitors elect to have Hep-A-B-typhoid and yellow fever vaccinations for personal peace of mind, but they are not required.
I like to travel ethically; what about canned hunting?
Hunting, as well as canned hunting, lion cub petting and walking with lions are an ABSOLUTE NO-NO for us. (Check here if your own cubs are thinking of gap years or volunteering.) Canned lions are still a reality after 30 years of anti-cruelty advocates begging South African law-makers to ban the activity, to no avail. Wild animal breeding for the Chinese market, lions and rhinos in particular, is rife. Botswana has reverted to elephant trophy hunting, under pressure from wealthy hunting groups like SCI. Be discerning; we happliy supply more African safari info in this regard – just ask.
Can I do some good on my visit?
Yes! Pack for a Purpose is a helpful and practical way to do some good. The idea is to bring school items for kids in rural (safari) areas, who are often poorly supported by local government, if at all. Hand the items over at your lodge reception, or visit the school yourself.
What about the pandemic?
Since 2020 many safari lodges have relaxed their booking conditions, and are offering very good specials to tempt travellers back to Africa. Africa in general was relatively unscathed by the pandemic.