Travel Infomation
useful travel information

The following contains various useful information about climate, vaccinations, currency, insurance, items to bring, and booking of airline tickets. We strongly recommend that you read through all the information when planning your trip to Side By Side Safaris in South Africa.

 
Springtime in South Africa (September-November)

Late in spring the grass starts growing, trees and flowers start to bloom. It is unquestionably the prettiest time of year in South Africa. During this period, the temperature normally ranges between 22-28°C in the daytime and 12-17°C at night. Particularly toward the end of this period, it is mostly dry and quite warm. This is the best period to see game; the animals abound and tend to move around a lot.

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Summer (December-February)
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The summer months are warmer than the rest of the year and more rainy. Although there is no real rainy period, there is more rain in the months December and February, however, no so that it rains days on end. It is usually some heavy showers late afternoon and during the night. The temperature normally ranges between 25°C and 35°C in the daytime and 15-20°C at night.

 
Autumn (March-May)

The beginning of the South African autumn is warm and lush. May-June the leaves starts to fall and the grass withers. In May it is still comfortable outside in the evenings, even without a sweater. The temperature normally ranges between 20°C and 25°C in the daytime and 6-12°C at night.

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Winter (June-August)
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Winters in South Africa are cold and dry. Normally, the grass has withered away and the trees are naked. It is easy to spot game and even the well adapted species have difficulties hiding. The evenings are cool with temperatures normally ranging between 15°C and 24°C in the daytime and 0-10°C at night.

 
Weather in South Africa right now
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Here you can see what the weather is like right now in the area around our safari lodge in Eastern Cape.

Click for weather report  

 
Vaccinations / Medical Advice

We recommend the following vaccinations for a visit to Eastern Cape, South Africa:

  • Infectious Hepatitis A and B.
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus.

Eastern Cape is malaria free.

We recommend that you consult your own doctor for medical advice prior to planning a trip to South Africa 

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Travel Insurance

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By far the majority of all safaris to South Africa take place without accidents or unwanted incidents of any kind. However, just in case that something should go wrong, we strongly advise you make sure that you are properly covered.

Hunting safaris differ from other types of holidays as they usually involve the use of firearms. It is very important, therefore, to make sure that your liability insurance also covers when the use of firearms is involved.

It is a good idea also to make sure that your travel insurance covers compensation for lost days in case of an accident or serious illness. For instance, if you should break an arm so that you cannot handle your gun, the insurance should compensate for loss of pre-booked hunting days.

Also, if your hunting weapon does not arrive according to schedule, it is a good idea if your insurance covers hire of a gun from us.

Some insurance companies distinguish between "big game hunting" and hunting of smaller game. Make sure your insurance covers the type of game that you are planning to hunt.

In any case, we strongly recommend you to consult your insurance company to make sure you are adequately covered, prior to planning your trip. It may even be a good idea to consult several insurance companies to get the best coverage for your particular safari.

 
Passport and Money
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Your passport must be valid for at least six months after arrival to South Africa, and there must be at least two blank pages available for stamps, a left and a right opposite each other.

Children must have their own passports, regardless of age. The South African currency is called Rand. 1 Rand roughly equals 0.073 € (ultimo 2013). 

 
Gratuities/tips

In South Africa, gratuities – or tips – are widely accepted and, to some extend, expected. The professional hunter guides and their helpers work hard to ensure a successful safari and to locate the best trophies. Normally, therefore, they will expect to receive a small amount in appreciation of their efforts. As a rough guideline, an amount of 65-75 € per hunting day for the professional hunter would be fine, and 15 € per day for the tracker and other field helpers – depending on whether you hunt 1:1 or 2:1. The lodge staff will also appreciate a small amount for their efforts to make your safari a memorable one.

Tips are normally given on the last day of the hunt, respectively on your departure, in € or Rand as you prefer.

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Suggested packing list

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The following list of items to bring on your safari should be regarded as a suggestion only:

  • Vaccination documents
  • Travel insurance papers
  • Reading material
  • Camera + batteries/loader
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • After sun lotion
  • Skin lotion
  • Hunting clothes (suitable for the time of year)
  • Light jacket
  • Warm jacket
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Rainwear
  • Swimming suit
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Thermal-underwear (for the cold months)
  • T-shirts / shirts
  • Good (well broken-in) ankle boots
  • Sandals
  • Shoes
  • Gloves (for the cold morning and evening hours)
  • Warm hat (for the cold morning and evening hours)
  • Brimmed hat (for protection against the sun)
  • Small backpack
  • Good pocket light
  • Pocket knife / tweezers
  • Electric adaptor
  • Toiletries, shaver etc.
  • Anti-itch ointment or stick against insect bites
  • Lip ointment
  • Blister plaster

Download packing list here  

 
VIP guidance on your travel

Not all are "frequent flyers" and for some the long journey to South Africa may seem like an insurmountable obstacle. We want to make the journey easy for you, that is why we offer to personally accompany you on the trip all the way from your departure airport and until you arrive safely at our lodge. We guide you through the checking-in procedures, change of terminals, declaration of firearms, lounges, and all other formalities in the airports and beyond.

Normally, it will be the same PH, whom you will be hunting with, that will be your personal travel companion. Do you wish us also to accompany you on your return trip, that can of course also be arranged.

Language barrier

If English is not your native language and you find it a little difficult to communicate in English, we will be happy to assist you also in this matter – whether it concerns the filling-in of travel documents, the daily communication with our staff, on outings or when shopping.

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Booking of flight etc.

Normally, it is our guests' own responsibility to book flights to and from South Africa. Final destination in South Africa is Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, around two hours' drive from our safari lodge. Overseas travellers usually arrive and depart via Johannesburg.

More and more airlines refuse to accept guns as baggage. Recently, British Airways decided that they will no longer accept weapons and ammunition as baggage. When travelling to South Africa from Europe, we recommend that you use either Lufthansa or South African Airways. Neither of these companies have – as yet – any restrictions on carrying firearms. In any case, we strongly recommend that you check with your chosen airline, prior to booking your ticket, if they have restrictions on carrying firearms.

When travelling from Europe, there is a maximum time difference of one hour. Most airlines fly over night so that you arrive at Johannesburg in the morning. If you bring your own gun and ammunition, we have arranged for someone to meet you at your arrival to take care of custom and police clearance of your weapon. We will also make sure that you get to the right terminal for your onward flight to Port Elizabeth where we will be waiting for you to take you on final leg of your journey – the scenic drive to the Klipplaat range where our safari lodge is located.

At the end of your safari, we will of course take you back to Port Elizabeth airport and assist you with check-in of your gun and baggage.

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Side by Side Safaris acquires defibrillators for maximum safety

In order to safeguard our guests against possible heart attack while on safari with us, we have recently acquired two defibrillators (also known as heart starters or AEDs). The defibrillators will normally be placed at our safari lodge, but can also be brought along on hunts if so required. Our staff members are trained in the use of the defibrillators. We also have a 24-hour telephone hotline to an experienced Danish medical doctor. Jointly this means maximum safety for our guests if problems should arise. In case of serious injury or life threatening illness we have an arrangement with a helicopter service that will pick up patients direct from the lodge and turn them over to the hospital in Port Elizabeth.