African Safari Essentials
Kruger Park South Africa is a true African safari experience boasting unrivalled game viewing. Kruger Park covers almost 2 million hectares where you can enjoy the animals, birds and plants on a Kruger Park Safari. Whether a luxury Kruger safari, Guided Kruger safari, Lion Safari, Elephant safari, Self drive safari, walking safari, birding safari or just to connect with nature Kruger Park is the place.
|Kruger Park||SAN Parks||Timbavati||Sabi Sands||Thornybush||Klaserie|
South Africa General Information
South Africa Time Zone: GMT + 2
South Africa Currency: Rand (ZAR; symbol R) = 100 cents. Notes
are in denominations of R200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations
of R5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 cents.
South Africa Official Languages: The official languages are Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. English is spoken in all areas of South Africa.
South Africa Power Supply: Electricity 220/240 volts AC; 50Hz.
Religion in South Africa: Most inhabitants profess Christianity of some form and belong to Catholic, Anglican, other protestant denominations, Afrikaner Dutch Reformed churches or African independent churches. There are also significant Hindu, Muslim and Jewish communities, and traditional beliefs are still practised widely, sometimes in conjunction with Christianity.
International Dialling code for South Africa: + 27
Kruger (South Africa)Weather & Climate
Kruger is a year-round destination in a vast and diverse area and wildlife is the major attraction.
South Africa's climate is generally sunny and pleasant. Winters are usually mild and summers pleasantly warm. In Kruger National Park the weather is generally a lot warmer than the rest of South Africa.
The tropic of Capricorn crosses the north end of Kruger park putting Kruger into a tropical weather region. Summers ( October to March) can get very warm in the Kruger while winter rarely gets cold during the day with evenings and nights getting chilly at worst.
The year can be roughly split into two seasons for Kruger National Park.
The Wet Season - which is the warmer months of November
The Dry Season – Which is the warm days but cooler nights of April to October. It is easier to spot game as the vegetation is less dense, grass is shorter and water is restricted to rivers and waterholes, where the wildlife congregates.
The optimum safari season is May to August and the hot months of September and October. The climate is comfortable in the dry winter months of May, June, July and August. Daytime temperatures are mild and the nights get a little cool.
Visas and Entry Requirements for South Africa
Passport valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure are required by all nationals visiting South Africa. Passport must have at least two blank pages for entry stamp which cannot include the 'endorsement' page at the back.
Tourists and visitors who also require a visa must have a passport with two blank facing pages, one for the visa and one for their entry stamp. Anyone attempting to enter South Africa without the required pages may be returned to their country of origin.
Most nationals visiting South Africa for business and tourist purposes will be granted a visa on arrival at the airport for stays of up to 90 days,
Nationals of Cyprus, Hungary, Poland and Slovak Republic who may stay for up to 30 days, and nationals of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia who do require a visa obtained in advance. Transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft provided holding onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport will not require a visa, although advance notice of overnight stay will still be required.
Kruger / South African Cuisine
A thriving agricultural sector yields excellent meat, fruit and wines and the long coastline produces very fresh and cheap seafood. South Africans like to eat out so there is an excellent and diverse range of restaurants. This is especially so in cities, where all international cuisines are represented. Fruity and sweet Cape Malay cuisine can be found in Cape Town, while the Indian influence in Durban provides some authentic Asian food on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, and Mozambique peri peri spicy chicken and prawns are popular all over the country.
Braais (barbeques) are hugely popular and every campsite, self-catering accommodation and picnic spot has a braai pit. Meat is a well-loved staple in South Africa, although vegetarians are offered at least a couple of dishes in even small-town eateries.
• Sosaties (a type of kebab).
• Umqombothi, a home-brewed sorghum beer.
Legal drinking age: 18
Tipping: Normally 10 to 15% if service is not included. It is customary to tip waiters. By law, hotel rates do not include a service charge.
South Africa History, Culture & People
South Africa has a population of approximately 19 million people.
Handshaking is the usual form of greeting. Normal courtesies should be shown when visiting someone's home. Casual wear is widely acceptable. Smoking is prohibited in public buildings and on public transport, and restaurants have enclosed or outdoor smoking sections.
South Africa is a republic that gained Independence from the United Kingdom in 1910. The Republic of South Africa lies at the southern end of the African continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and is bordered to the north by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland and totally encloses Lesotho.
South Africa has three major geographical regions, namely plateau, mountains and the coastal belt. The high plateau has sharp escarpments which rise above the plains, or veld. Despite two major river systems, the Limpopo and the Orange, most of the plateau lacks surface water.
Along the coastline are sandy beaches and rocky coves, and the vegetation is shrub-like. The mountainous regions that run along the coastline from the Cape of Good Hope to the Limpopo Valley in the northeast of the country are split into the Drakensberg, Nuweveldberg and Stormberg ranges.
Following the 1994 elections, South Africa was organised into nine regions. These comprise;
Photography on Safari
You will have the opportunity to take some amazing photo's while on your safari.
On guided Kruger Safaris talk to your Ranger before the Game drives and bush walks and he can guide you as to what you are likely to see and help position you best on the drives for light and angles.
It is helpful to know the behaviour of the animals and birds you're trying to photograph. By understanding their behaviour you will have a better chance of finding them and you will be able to predict their actions.
Never interfere with the natural behaviour of the animals in order to take a better photo! Please be courteous when taking pictures.
For more information on Safari Photography see our professional photographers Safari Photography tips by clicking here...
What to wear on Safari
On safari, most people wear shorts and a T-shirt during the day and put on long sleeved shirts and long pants in the evening. Different lodges have different etiquette when it comes to dressing for dinner, at many of the lodges the atmosphere is very informal and you can happly wear a clean set of shorts and T-short and feel comfortable while at other lodges there is an expectation of long trousers and shirt - which you will probably be more comfortable in anyway as this will protect against mosquito bites, dusk and early evening is when the mosquitoes are most active.
Should you be particularly sensitive to the sun a loose cotton shirt is essential during the day. Khaki, brown, olive and beige colours are best for and safaris and game walks.
White is not a suitable colour for these activities, as it increases your visibility to wildlife you want to get a closer look at and it will get dirty very quickly. Fleece or sweater and a windbreaker for game drives, because it is highly possible that you may go out on a hot day, but be faced with a chill evening on your return. Remember that layering your clothing will keep you warmer than relying on one thick item.
For more advice on Safari cloting and suggestions on what to pack see our What to wear on Safari section by clicking here...
Litter tossed on the ground can choke or poison animals and birds and is unsightly. Refrain from smoking on game drives. The dry African bush in Kruger Park ignites very easily, and a flash fire can kill many animals.
At many of the Kriger lodges and campsites you will find animals (typically
warthog, the usually shy bushbuck and other impala) taking advantage of
the lush green lawns and water supply. These animals have become accustomed
to human visitors and may seem very tame. Never attempt to feed or approach
any of these animals, they are still wild animals and can be dangerous
if they feel threatened in any way.