Things to see on a African Safari

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve done our best to answer all your questions for a Kruger National Park Safari before you’ve even thought of them. If there’s something major that we’ve missed, let us know and we’ll get the missing info to you.

Find Your Answers Here!

Why Are Some Operators Cheaper?


Some safari companies seem to offer cheap Kruger Park safari. As with all things in life, you get what you pay for, and there is always a reason something is cheap. Here are some possible reasons: Always read the packages carefully to see what you are actually getting for your money. First check what exactly is included. In some cases, the price excludes things like your daily conservation fee (park fees) in Kruger. We include that in our pricing. Perhaps the camp/accommodation is not inside Kruger Park itself … nor inside the private reserve. They save on conservation fees this way. A number of Kruger Park safari we know of are actually based outside the park, at a cheap safari lodge or even at cheap accommodation in a nearby town. If the accommodation is situated outside, you’ll be entering Kruger Park as a day visitor, subject to queues at the gate, or getting off to a late start. To save costs, some cheap operators tend to use entry-level, inexperienced guides on minimum wage, some of whom may not have a good command of English. Highly experienced guides like ours cost more as we strive to give our best.




What Are The Big Five And Will I See Them?


The Big Five (or Big 5) were traditionally considered to be the five most dangerous animals to hunt in Africa. Today, they are among the most popular animals tourists wish to see in Africa. The Big Five are the Lion, the Elephant, the Rhino, the Buffalo and the Leopard. Apart from the Big Five there are The Magnificent Seven to be seen as well so these include the above as well as Cheetah and Wild Dogs.




Is It Safe To Visit South Africa?


South Africa is a safe tourist destination. South Africa has a reputation as an unsafe destination, but visiting here as a tourist is much safer than most people realise. Keep in mind that news headlines and social media often only report bad news, especially crime. Good news, unfortunately, does not sell newspapers. You are not likely to hear about the millions of tourists who visit South Africa each year without incident.




Is It Safe To Go On Safari?


Safety is a top priority for us, and we will never recommend a destination or activity we consider unsafe for tourists. Visiting South Africa as a tourist is quite safe. We consider South Africa to be as safe – if not safer – than many other major tourist destinations around the world. We are also owners of a safety app which we include in all of our packages for use while on Safari and in South Africa that can assist with any eventuality should you need assistance while in the country. Many visitors are concerned about crime, but we have never had any problems or incidents of crime on our safaris. Crime occurs in every major city in the world, and the key is to use common sense and avoid risky situations or known problem areas. Going on safari is also quite safe. As long as you abide by the rules and stay in your vehicle or with your safari guide, there is no need to be concerned about wild animals. In the Kruger National Park, each camp is safely fenced with an electric fence. Your accommodation is usually designed to be as insect-proof as possible.




I Have Limited Time Available What Can We See and Do?


Nhongo Safaris offers from a 2 Day Safari with those that have limited time to a 9 Day Holiday Safari. While on safari in the Kruger National Park the main activity is game viewing by Open Safari Vehicle as well as a Night Safari conducted by Armed Rangers on all of our packages. Bush Walks may also be booked on our longer packages at an extra cost should you wish to do one.




Should I Be Worried About Malaria?


The risk of malaria should not stop you from going on safari –malaria is preventable and treatable. The only people who should perhaps avoid malaria areas are pregnant women, small children and those with a compromised immune system, e.g. no spleen. There are plenty of exciting malaria-free safari options available – please ask us for details. If you’re going to visit the greater Kruger National Park, we recommend that you take anti-malarial prophylactic medication as prescribed by your doctor or travel clinic, before travelling to Africa.




How Can I Prevent Malaria?


The best way to prevent malaria is to not get bitten. Be sure to bring insect repellent with you – such as Mylol, Peaceful Sleep and Tabard. We also find that Citronella Oil is also good at repelling Mosquitoes while on safari. Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to avoid malaria,. Our Tented Safari Option at Nkambeni Tented Camp does have mosquito netting over the beds and even the basic bungalows in the Kruger National Park have mosquito screens at the windows and doors. Electric fans and air conditioning are also effective in keeping mosquitos away.




How Far Is The Kruger National Park From Johannesburg?


The Kruger National Park is in the north-eastern corner of South Africa, along with the border of Mozambique. The park is an easy five-hour drive or a one-hour flight from Johannesburg. You may fly directly from Johannesburg or Cape Town to either Nelspruit Airport or Skukuza Airport should you wish to not experience the drive from Johannesburg.




What Animals Can We Expect To See In The Kruger National Park?


Game viewing differs quite a bit depending on which region of the Kruger National Park you visit. The southern part is known for its high animal density and excellent game viewing because of the abundance of food. The landscape and vegetation are characterised by thorny thickets and some rocky granite outcrops. Game viewing along the river banks and dry river beds is usually very good. Camps used for this are Skukuza, Berg en Dal, Pretoriuskop or Nkambeni Tented Safari Lodge. The central area has more open grasslands and larger herds of grazers. This, in turn, means a high concentration of lions (reputedly the highest lion concentration in the world) and other predators. Camps we use are Satara, Orpen or Olifants. The northern regions are characterised by mopane shrubs and game viewing is a bit more difficult here. However, the remoteness, beautiful landscape and lower visitor density are some of the reasons why many people prefer this upper section of Kruger. Birdwatching in the north is also excellent, and elephants are also in abundance here. Camps we use are Letaba, Mopani, Shingwedzi and Punda Maria. The animals you can expect to see on an average two or three day safari include elephant, buffalo, rhino, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, impala, waterbuck, warthog, hippo, crocodile, hyena, lion, leopard (possibly) wild dog (maybe) , cheetah (if you are lucky) and various smaller antelopes and predators, as well as birds and reptiles. Sightings can never be guaranteed because the animals move around freely. Unfortunately the Kruger Park is not a Zoo so you have to have good eyes to find what you are looking for with the help of your Safari Guide.




Do You Have Insurance?


Yes we are SATSA (South African Tourism Services Association) Bonded in South Africa which covers you the client. We also carry R100 Million Rands Public and Passenger Liability cover for every eventuality in South Africa. It is also important for you to carry travel insurance for any other eventuality.




What Accommodation Do You Use?


Accommodation standards differ and rates do as well. As you are accommodated in the Kruger National Park on all of our Safaris , we will make recommendations based on your budget and preferences. We can offer you options ranging from basic, budget accommodation with communal ablution facilities to exclusive, luxury five-star accommodation in private lodges within the Kruger National Park. We do not offer camping safaris (where you have to pitch your own tent), but we do sell a number of tented safari camps within the Kruger Park and surrounding Reserves. Please note that all accommodations in the Kruger National Park and its boundaries are subject to availability as it is a Public Entry Park.




What Is Your Electricity/Voltage In South Africa?


Our electricity supply is 220/230V, with a type M, large 15-amp plug. We always suggest that you bring your own travel adapter with you. These can also be purchased within the Kruger National park as well as at all major airports.




Can I Take My Children On Safari?


Children are welcome on most of our safaris. However, if they are under six years of age, we do not recommend a Open Safari Vehicle Safari due to safety reasons. SANParks considers children aged 12 and older as full paying adults. Important: If you are travelling with minor children (under 18) you will also need to
provide: Unabridged birth certificate of each child (showing both parents’ details) Proof of guardianship/custody Consent from the guardian in the case of an unaccompanied minor




How Many People Will Be In The Group?


If you book a scheduled Kruger National Park safari with us, the average group size is between four and six people per safari. The maximum group size is 9 per vehicle. For larger groups, we will use extra vehicles (one vehicle and guide per 9 people). We do not make use of shared accommodation, except for couples and families who book as a group (we do not expect you to share accommodation with people you do not know).




Where Do We Get Lunches While On Safari In The Kruger National Park?


Every camp within the Kruger National park has a Restaurant, Take Out or a shop within its proximity. Lunches are freely available from a Salad to a full on meal at any one of these facilities. All Shops within the park have drinks, snacks and emergency supplies of all that may be required while on safari.




Is There Wifi Available At All Camps?


Wifi is currently available at Skukuza and Pretoriuskop. Internet access can be slow.




Is Insect Repellent Available To Buy In Kruger?


Yes, all Camps that have Park Shops have a wide variety of insect repellents to choose from.




Do The Animals Get Scared Of The Vehicles?


No, we in the vehicles are seen as one unit (silhouette). Standing up and hanging out breaks the unit and causes the animals to feel threatened.




Are ATM Machines Available In Kruger?


Skukuza is one of the main rest camps in Kruger, ATM machines are available here. However, cash back is available from the tills in the Park Shops.




How Big Is Nhongo Safaris?


Nhongo Safaris is a small family owned company with a hands on policy.




How Old Is The Kruger National Park?


Established in 1898 and declared a national park in 1927 and opened to the first European public.




Are Public Allowed To Drive In The Park?


Yes, as it’s a national park and opened to all as a public entry park.




How Many Other Companies Are Like Nhongo Safaris?


There is a selected amount but most do day safaris and Nhongo Safaris specialises in overnight safaris and departs daily with a minimum of two guests compared to other companies that only leave with four or six guests on a safari.




How Long Has Nhongo Safaris Been Operating?


Nhongo Safaris has been in operation since 1999. They operate more on a private and relaxed basis giving guests a more attention to detail safari and that is why our slogan is Arrive as Strangers but Leave as Friends.




How Big is Kruger?


It is roughly 2.3 Million hectors and about 380km long from north to south, which is similar in size to Wales or Israel.




What Does Nhongo Mean?


The word Nhongo is the Shangaan name for the Kudu Antelope. The Shangaan tribe are found around the Kruger National Park and in Mozambique.




Can We Drink The Tap Water In The Kruger National Park?


Yes you may drink the water it is quite safe and comes from underground but you may also purchase bottled water should you wish to do so. This is freely available in all shops in the Kruger National Park.




How Do You Spot Animals In The Dark On A Night Drive?


Each Open Safari Vehicle carries a spotlight which your guide uses to spot animals.




Is There A Limit To The Amount Of Cars That Can Enter The Kruger National Park?


Each entry gate to the Kruger National Park does have a set limit of cars that are allowed to enter.




What Is The Difference Between A Cheetah And Leopard?


Firstly the size. Leopards climb trees and are not as fast as Cheetah who can reach up to speeds of 112km on the ground. Cheetahs are land animals and do not climb trees.




Will I Have Mobile Phone Reception In The Kruger National Park?


Yes, camps in Kruger National Park do have Mobile Phone Reception.




Will I Be Safe From Wild Animals At Night?


Yes, all camps within the Kruger National Park are fenced off and gates are closed after hours.




What Are Conservation Fees?


Every visitor to the Kruger National Park will pay a Conservation Fee for every day spent inside the Park. Only by contributing to conservation can funds be raised to help conserve the park’s natural and cultural heritage. The funds are not only used for conservation but also to maintain viewing hides, water supply, water holes etc.




May I Feed The Animals In The Park?


No you may not as this will then make them independent on humans and they then become aggressive in camps which means they then have to be culled to stop harassing park visitors.




Why Are Some Of The Lodges In The Kruger National Park So Expensive?


It’s important to note that the overall price of your accommodation not only includes all your meals and beverages but your twice-daily game drives with an expert ranger and other indulgent add-ons such as high teas and sundowners. More importantly, many of the lodges are found in private concessions where vehicle numbers are low and inaccessible to the wider public who are not staying at a lodge in that private concession or reserve.




What Is The Difference Between The Kruger National Park And Its Neighbouring Reserves?


The Kruger National Park is a park that is open to the public, for a fee, and allows guests to enjoy game drives either in their private vehicles or on an Open Safari vehicle with a guide. It also has set opening and closing times.




Does Our Guide Have First Aid Training?


All guides have Level One First Aid Training.




Is There A Doctor In The Kruger National Park For Emergency Treatment?


Yes, there is a Doctor and medical room at the camp of Skukuza for any emergency’s.




What Happens When It Rains During the Safari?


All Open Safari Vehicles are equipped with Blankets and Ponchos for the rain and do have covered roofs and canvas sides that can be closed if needed.




Are There Toilet Stops Along The Safari Route?


We do stop normally every two to three hours for toilet stops.




Can You Hunt In The Kruger National Park?


No, hunting is strictly prohibited.




Are You Allowed To Bring Drones Into The Kruger National Park?


The Kruger National Park is a closed air space and NO drones are allowed to be flown in the Kruger National Park.




Are There Tigers In The Kruger National Park?


No, we do not have Tigers in the Kruger National Park there are private reserves within South Africa that do breed Tigers.




Are There Springbok Antelope In The Kruger National Park?


No, Springbok Antelope are only found in Arid Regions of Southern Africa towards the Northern Cape.




Can Children Join Bushwalks In the Kruger National Park?


The age of children needs to be 16 years and older to walk in the Kruger National Park.




Do You Cater For Vegetarians On Your Safaris?


All restaurants within the Kruger National Park cater for vegetarians.




Can We Do Night Walking Safaris In The Kruger National Park?


You may only walk at night in your camp that you are booked into but no Night Walking outside of the camps is permitted.




Who Was The First Ranger In The Kruger National Park?


His name was Harry Wolhuter and he was stationed at the camp of Pretoriuskop Camp which is also the oldest camp within Kruger.




Are There Swimming Pools Within The Camps Of The Kruger National Park?


Yes, all the main camps within the Kruger National Park have swimming pools.




How Do I Get To The Kruger National Park And How Far Is It?


Citybug Shuttle service runs from OR Tambo International Airport to Nelspruit daily and is a 5 hour drive. If you wish to fly, Airlink flys to both Skukuza Airport and Kruger Mpumalanga Airport.




Does Nhongo Safaris Only Leave On Certain Days Of The Week?


No, Nhongo Safaris departs daily with a minimum of two guests on any safari.




Are There Airports Close To The Kruger National Park?


Yes, there is airports and the main ones where we can collect you from is either MQP Nelspruit airport or Skukuza Airport within the Kruger National Park itself.




How Many Eco Zones Are In The Kruger National Park And What Are They?


There are six eco zones in the Kruger National Park. Namely Baobab Sandveld, Lebombo Knobthorn -Marula Bushveld, Mixed Acacia thickets, Combretun-silver cluster leaf, Woodland on granite and Riverrine Forests.




How Do I Book My Safari?


On our website we have an Instant Book Button which allows you to book and pay for your safari.




Can I Ask For A Taylor- made Package To Suit My Own Requirements With Nhongo Safaris?


Yes, you may ask for a personal package that would suit your requirements.




How Many Gates Does The Kruger National Park Have?


The Kruger National Park has 11 gates of which two of the gates are Border Control Gates crossing in to Mozambique.




How Many Camps Are In The Kruger National Park And How Many Does Nhongo Safaris Use?


There are 12 Restcamps within the Kruger National Park and Nhongo Safaris tries to use most of them but it all depends on the length of Safari that you book.




Is The Kruger National Park Divided Into Regions?


Yes, the Kruger National Park is split into Four Regions and these are the Southern Region, Central Region, Northern Region and far Northern Region.




Do The Animals In Kruger National Park Migrate?


No, we do not have migration in the Kruger National Park.




Are There Any Historical Sites Found In The Kruger National Park?


Yes, there is evidence of prehistoric man – homo erectus roamed the area between 100 000 and 500 000 years ago. There is 254 Cultural Heritage Sites in the Kruger National Park and 130 Rock art sites. More than 300 archaeological sites of stone age man have been found from the period dating back 100 000 to 30 000 years ago.




How Did The Kruger National Park Get Its Name?


After the proclamation of the Kruger National Park in 1926 it was decided to name it after president Paul Kruger who lived from (1825 to 1904) no accommodation was provided inside the park for the first three cars entering in 1926.




What Are The Rules For Tipping Guides?


Nhongo Safaris do not stipulate on what to tip guides as it is up to your own discretion on what you would like to give to your guide. As a guidline we normally say R100 per person per day.




What Forms Of Payment Does Nhongo Safari Accept?


Nhongo Safaris accept Master and Visa Card payments or Bank Transfers.




Do We Go Off Road On Our Safari?


No, we do not go off road in the Kruger National Park as it is a National Park and from the edge of the road into the Bush are all eco systems that need to be protected.




Are Binoculars Provided On Safari?


Your Ranger guide does have his or her own pair which they are willing to share with you but it is always a good idea to bring along your own.




How Often Are There Incidents Of Animal Attacks On People Or Vehicles?


Animal attacks on vehicles are very rare and will only happen if the animal’s behaviour and personal space is not respected. Attacks on people are extremely rare and those are normally people doing field work or maintenance out in the bush.




Does Nhongo Run Safaris Throughout The Year?


Apart from closing for approximately 2 weeks during the festive season which is the busiest period for the Park we run Safaris throughout the year.




Does Nhongo Offer Any Tours Outside Of Kruger Park Or In Any Other Parks?


We do Panorama Tours and also custom made Safaris which might include other areas outside the Kruger Park




Where Does Kruger Rate In Terms Of Safari Experience Compared To Other Parks In Africa?


Kruger Park undoubtedly offers a top Safari experience, considering the sheer size and diversity of the Park at nearly 20000 square km Kruger is approximately twice the size of other famous parks like the Serengeti or Etosha. Kruger also offers the widest variety of Mammal and Bird species of any Park in Africa.




What Do We Do In Case Of An Emergency?


We have several radio channels providing coverage throughout the Park which enables us to reach assistance in areas without mobile coverage.




Are Animal Densities The Same Throughout The Park?


For the most part there will be higher animal densities in the South of the Park. There are certain areas in the Park that are better for some species than others. Animal movements however are largely determined by the availability of food and water and after good rains the animals will disperse more throughout the Park, but as the South is a higher rainfall area it will have more activity during dry season.




What Is The Best Time To Visit The Park?


For the mainstream guest this would be when the bush is at its most open, meaning little foliage, short grass and limited water sources that will attract the animals. This means dry season is the best, ideally the couple of months before the rainy season starts – August, September and October.




Is There A Fence Between Mozambique And The Kruger National Park?


No, the fences were pulled down some years ago in order to allow our larger mammals to be able to move into larger areas of the park.




Why Are The Bungalows All Round In The Kruger National Park?


Huts are the most basic type of Kruger lodge. They’re typically small round buildings with thatched roofs. This style of building is known as a rondavel. In most African countries tribes found it easier to build round huts out of mud with thatched roofs and you still see many of these as you travel around Africa. Some are painted in their unique tribal colours or just plain mud huts. Of course the huts in Kruger are made out of brick with thatched roofs.




Do They Start Fires On Purpose In The Kruger National Park?


At times the section rangers do a cold burn in winter which helps assist with new grass in the summer but most times it is caused by lightning which is a problem in summer with its electrical storms before the rains.




Do They Feed The Animals When There Is No Food For Them?


No, they don’t this is a natural wilderness area and man does not interfere with the cycle of nature but only manages it.




Are There Mosquito Nets In The Huts In Kruger National Park Camps?


All Kruger Park huts have screening on the doors and windows to keep mosquitos out. At times when the mosquito problem is high they do spray around each hut on the outside as well. But no mosquito nets are available in the huts.




Are Bush Walks Safe To Do In Kruger National Park?


The Rangers who work in the Kruger National Park are very experienced within their fields so Bushwalks are safe to do with them. These are booked at Reception of each camp within the Kruger National Park.




Does Nhongo Safaris Do The Night Safaris?


No, we are not permitted to drive at night in the Kruger National Park and have to stick to the gate opening and closing times as stipulated by the park.




Why Does Nhongo Safaris Not Offer The Panorama Route On The Way To Kruger National Park Or Back From The Park?


Unfortunately Nhongo only offers a shuttle to and from the Kruger. We do not do the Panorama Route either on the way to Kruger or back from Kruger as our drivers are just drivers and are not qualified in any way to do the Panorama Route as it has to be done by a qualified guide and not just a driver. This is the law in South Africa when it comes to guiding International guests.




Is It Necessary To Book In Advance For The Kruger National Park?


Since destinations in the Kruger National Park are very popular and sometimes fully booked as far as 11 months in advance, you may not be able to be accommodated without a booking. Always book in advance to avoid disappointment.




What Amenities Are Available In The Huts In Kruger National Park?


All bed linen, towels and bath soap are provided in each unit.




If I Book A Flight To Kruger National Park What Is The Latest Time I Can Arrive?


If flying to Nelspruit airport the latest flight would be arrival by 16h00pm the latest and if flying into Skukuza the latest flight is 14h10pm this is to allow you to enter the park before gate closing times from Nelspruit.




Do The Vehicles Have Seat Belts?


All transfer vehicles and Open Safari Vehicles do have seat belts and individual seats.




What Organisations Does Nhongo Safaris Belong To?


Nhongo Safaris are a member of SATSA (Southern African tourism and services association), Kruger Lowveld Tourism Association and ATTA (Africa Travel Tourism Association).