** TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN **
Immigration rules require children under 18 travelling to South Africa to carry extra paperwork. All children need an unabridged birth certificate. If travelling with only one parent listed on the birth certificate or with a school group, further documents are required. Please contact us for further information, or check with your airline, as they will have details of the latest requirements.
Some immunizations are recommended when travelling to South Africa – don’t worry, it’s worth it! It is recommended that you make an appointment to see a healthcare provider at least 6 weeks prior to departure so that they can give you advice dependent on the areas and activities you will be undertaking.
Hluhluwe is in a low risk malaria zone. According to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park authority, the threat of malaria in this area has almost entirely been removed due to close co-operation between the Swaziland, Mozambique and South African governments.
As with all diseases, prevention is better than cure and we recommend that you take precautions. In the winter months (April to September) we rarely see mosquitoes, but in the summer months (October to March) mosquitoes will be around if we have good rainfall. Doctors recommend using mosquito repellent and covering up exposed skin in the evenings. Anti-malarial drugs are not generally recommended for low risk malarial zones. However, if you are passing through Kruger Park or Swaziland you may wish to take anti-malarials – this is a matter of personal choice to be discussed with a healthcare professional.
Other medical info
From October 1st 2011, all travellers (from one year of age) require proof of yellow fever vaccination when traveling from (regardless of the amount of time spent at the airport if passing through) a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission. This includes the following countries with low potential for exposure: Somalia, Tanzania, and Zambia, Sao Tomé and Principe. All travellers not meeting this requirement can be refused entry to South Africa or on admittance be quarantined for up to 6 days. Unvaccinated travellers require a valid medical waiver to be admitted into South Africa.
Our water is safe to drink – we are on the municipal line and the water is treated. Bottled water is available to purchase if preferred.
Currency – www.xe.com
The currency in South Africa is the Rand. Its weakness against the dollar and the pound makes South Africa the perfect holiday destination. The notes R10, R20, R50, R100, R200 are decorated with the ‘Big 5’ – so be sure to take a look.
Check the exchange rate at www.xe.com
Gratuities (tipping) whilst not demanded can be an ‘expected’ custom. Frequent travellers have found it useful to have a small supply of change for such an occasion.
Below is an example of suggested amounts:
- Car guards – R2 – R5 (not necessary in areas where you have paid for parking)
- Petrol attendants – R2 – R5 (dependent on service; windscreen, oil, water, etc.)
- Waiters/waitresses – minimum 10% of meal total (depending on service – waiters/waitresses get paid very little for long hours and rely on tips)
Changes to your holidays
Do be aware that itineraries planned for some holidays may be changed on the spot due to unexpected events. Umkhumbi Lodge cannot be held responsible for disruption to planned itineraries arising from weather conditions or situations beyond our control such as earthquakes or political unrest. Every effort will be made to provide alternative activities and to ensure that you have the best holiday possible.
When to come
We are a year-round destination. However, certain times of the year are better for weather or wildlife sightings than others. We think the best times are: March to June, and September/October. It’s not too hot, not too cold, not too wet etc. July and August are our winter months, but it rarely gets below 15 Celcius, and often reaches a glorius 27 degrees C. We generally have summer rainfalls, so from November through to February. It’s not a high rainfall area so there are plenty of dry days, but what rain we have combined with rising temperatures (up to about 35 C) can make it humid and a bit unpleasant for people used to colder climes. The rooms are fully air conditioned though, and there is a swimming pool to dip into, so don’t let the temperatures put you off.
For special wildlife sightings: May to September it is possible to do a whale watching tour out at sea. November to January sees nesting and hatching turtles along the beaches.