FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Travelling to South Africa

Transfers to Sanbona can be arranged with reservations on request at an additional cost. All transfers are handled by accredited car hire and charter companies and must be arranged prior to arrival.

You can get detailed directions to the game reserve here, but if you get yourself lost, contact us on +27 (0)21 010 0028.

Welcome Lodge

Explorer guests are met at the Welcome Lounge, 15km in from the main gate and taken to the lodge in order to meet their specialist guide. A complimentary transfer from the lounge to the different lodges is available on request and must be booked at least 72 hours in advance. There is also secure parking available for vehicles at the Welcoming Lounge for guests who travel to the reserve on their own.

What do You Need to pack?

Clothing in neutral colours that is light in weight, but warm – Bright coloured clothing must be avoided as this can deter wildlife, you should include the following when packing your bag:

  • 3 x Shirts
  • 3 x Shorts
  • 2 x pants (long)
  • 1 x warm jersey or jacket as the evenings can get cold
  • Hiking or trail shoes
  • Sandals for showering
  • Sun block
  • Hat
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
What is the climate like?

South Africa enjoys a warm climate year-round. For the duration of the colder months,  (April – September) you can expect  temperatures that range from 7 – 22°C. During the warmer months (October – March), temperatures range  from  16 – 36°C. Rainfall is generally low and scarce, averaging only 2 or 3 days per month.

What can my children do at Sanbona?

There are so many things for kids to do here that they won’t have an opportunity to be bored, and with both indoor and outdoor activities available, we cater to a variety of tastes. And, to sweeten the deal even more for the kids, Sanbona has an entire lodge and programme dedicated to entertaining little ones. Read more information on our Kids on Safari page.

Can I take my toddler on a game drive?

Unfortunately, not. When on a game drive, it’s important to remain still and quiet, so as not to disturb the animals,  which can be difficult for young children to do. And, as safety is our primary concern, no children under the age of four years old are permitted on game drives. 

But, we do have childminding services available on request, in addition to a host of kid’s activities to keep the little ones occupied while you enjoy your safari.

What is the best time of year for game viewing?

Game viewing is not affected by the weather, seasons, or time of year. But, you can consult with one of our safari experts before you make your booking if there’s something in particular you want to see. We also recommend you bring warmer clothing along for the trip as it may get cold.

How do I get to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve?

Private road transfers and charter flights can be arranged at an additional fee and booked with your accommodation. Alternatively, if you are driving to Sanbona, you can find location and directions information here.

What will the daily programme be?

Your allocated ranger draws up a customised programme for you on the day of your arrival, which includes game drives and guided walks. For a guideline of what’s available, read our activities page.

What are the requirements to enter South Africa?

When travelling to South Africa, it’s important to take note as to whether you’re required to have a Visas. Certain countries are exempt, you can find that list here.

Please note: As of June 2015, people travelling with minors (people under the age of 18) are required to be carrying an unabridged birth certificate, as well as  their passport.

As per South African law, upon your arrival in the country, you need to ensure that your passport has at least two full pages open for passport control stamps.

For the latest visa requirements, you’ll need to contact your nearest South African Embassy or consulate. You also need to note that travellers over 1 year of age coming from a high risk area need to bear a Yellow Fever inoculation certificate.

You can get more information  here and here.

What are facilities like in South Africa?

Our 5-star, luxury lodge accommodation is accredited by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa every year. Thorough inspections have been conducted in accordance with the national tourism standards. And, the country itself is home to a world-class infrastructure including transport, telecommunications, banking, manufacturing, mining and medical facilities.

Electricity

The electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ, with the exception of Pretoria (230 V) and Port Elizabeth (200/250 V). Most plugs have 3-pin or 2-pin. Adapters can be purchased, but may be in short supply. However, we do have a limited number of adaptors are available in each room at the game reserve. US-made appliances may need a transformer.

Additionally, most hotel rooms have 110V outlets for electric shavers and appliances. All three of the Sanbona lodges are currently equipped with standby generators, as a precaution against a power outage.

Please be sure to check your device specifications and requirements before utilising our power supply source.

Driving

In South Africa, we drive on the left hand side of the road and wearing a seatbelt is mandatory for both drivers and passengers in the front and back seats of a car.

Non-residents are permitted to drive with a driving license issued and valid in their own country. But, the license must be in English and must contain a photograph and the signature of the holder.

If yours doesn’t meet these requirements, an international driver’s license is required.

People & Language

South Africa is a nation that’s home to a vast amount of cultures. In total, we have 11 official languages, including English, which is widely spoken throughout the country. The local population groups and cultures include Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi, Sotho-Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Afrikaners, English, Cape Coloured, Indians, Khoi, and San.

Health

South Africa has world-class medical facilities, with a large network of hospitals that offer excellent care. But, as a safety precaution, ensure that you have adequate health and travellers insurance.

Safety

While most parts of the country are perfectly safe for tourists to visit, it’s important that visitors take precautions. For example, walking alone in deserted streets, and exposing expensive equipment and jewellery is not recommended. Most major cities run crime prevention programmes and basic safety tip guidelines are also available at hotels and tourism information offices.

If you’re in doubt as to the safety of a particular area or attraction, contact the National Tourism Information and Safety Line on+27 (0) 831232345. This number may also be used for assistance in replacing lost documents or reporting incidents.

Shopping

There are many malls, markets, stores, and informal vendors who provide a variety of goods and services. Traditional African artwork, jewellery, and other goods are widely sought after by tourists, and are readily available close to tourist attractions. Most major shopping centres and malls operate seven days a week, but smaller town shops are often closed on Sunday.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve also has small curio stores, available at our lodges.

Money

The local currency is the South African Rand (ZAR) (R1=100 cents), which exchanges favourably with major international currencies. Take note that currency can be exchanged at banks, forex bureaus and at certain hotels. Foreign tourists can have their VAT (value-added tax at 14%) refunded at the point of departure, provided they present their original tax invoices.

In addition, most major international credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa are widely accepted.

Gratuities

Gratuities are not compulsory at Sanbona, however should you wish to leave a gratuity, they can be placed in the courtesy envelopes which are supplied in the rooms.

Food & Water

South Africa’s tap water is some of the safest and cleanest in the world. In hotels, restaurants and nightspots, the standards of hygiene and food preparation is closely monitored via inspections.

Restaurants cover a wide variety of cuisines and visitors are usually very impressed with the standard and choice of award-winning cuisine on offer.