Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you pick us up at our hotel/accommodation?
Yes – we pick guests up at their accommodation in Marloth Park, Komatipoort or Malelane (or at the lodges close to Crocodile Bridge Gate). We enter the Kruger Park at Crocodile Bridge Gate or Malelane Gate. The distance between gates is too far for us to travel to enter the Kruger at any of the other gates, so we cannot offer safaris via Numbi Gate, Phabeni Gate, Paul Kruger Gate or Orpen.
2. What kind of vehicle is used?
We use 10 seater open safari vehicles. There are 3 rows of 3 seats and one seat next to the driver. We are allowed a maximum of 10 passengers.
3. Is it safe to drive in the vehicle – will animals try to get in?
It is completely safe. In fact, our vehicles are safer than small closed cars. The animals are used to seeing the vehicles in the Kruger Park and regard them as just another animal. At sightings we request our guests to stay seated and try to remain still. Standing up, or sudden movements, changes the shape of the vehicle – this may then seem a threat to the animals. Our guides are very experienced and professional and do advise guests when it is unsafe to stand up or make sudden movements. There have been no instances at all when animals have tried to “attack” the safari vehicles.
4. We are a group of 11 – can you squeeze one more on?
Unfortunately, we cannot add additional people. Our maximum number is 10. This conforms with the laws of both the Kruger Park and on the National Roads. To have more than 10 is breaking the law and we may stand to lose our licence. We do have two vehicles and suggest that bigger groups break into two groups and make use of both the vehicles.
5. Can we drive off the main roads?
No – vehicles are not permitted to drive off road in the Kruger Park. We have to stick to the designated tar roads and gravel roads.
6. What is the itinerary on a safari?
On a full day safari we stop at least twice and on a half day at least once. The stops are at approximately three-hour intervals. It is company policy that our guides have a break after three hours. This is for your own safety as concentrating on finding sightings whilst driving can get very tiring. For health and safety reasons it is also recommended that our guests get out of the vehicle to stretch their legs and walk around for a short while.
7. Where do we stop?
In the Kruger Park you are only allowed out of the vehicle at designated areas. We use one of the rest camps in the Kruger. The rest camp has ablutions, a shop and very nice restaurant with both sit down and take away options. We normally stop at the rest camp around breakfast and lunch times so our guests can buy food in the shop or have a meal in the restaurant.
8. Do you provide meals?
In the past we provided breakfast packs. However, as we are a safari company and not a catering company, it became problematic with our guests having so many different dietary requirements. For this reason, we reduced our price and our guests can either buy meals at the designated rest stops or bring a cooler box with a picnic meal. Meals are to be eaten at the rest stop and not on the vehicle. We also do not permit smoking or alcohol on the vehicle.
9. Can we carry drinks on the vehicle?
Yes - you are very welcome to bring bottled water or cold drinks (no alcohol). We urge our guests to fill flasks with cold water as we have a concern for the environment and discourage the use of plastic bottles.
However, we do recommend that you try not to drink too much on the vehicle as it is at least 3 hours between bathroom breaks!
10. Will we see the Big 5?
Nothing is guaranteed. The Kruger Park is the size of Portugal and the animals are free to roam in this vast area. Our guides try their hardest to find the best sightings. They know the animal territories and which areas they have recently been seen. The guides communicate and give each other information about sightings. We tell our guests to go into the Kruger with no expectations – that way anything you see is wonderful.
11. What time will you pick us up?
We are allowed into the Kruger Park 15 minutes before the gates open. It is about a 30 minute drive from Marloth Park so we pick our guests up about 45 minutes before the gates open. The times for the gates are:
October – March – 5.30 a.m. – pick up is therefore approximately 4.45 a.m.
April – September – 6.00 a.m. – pick us is therefore approximately 5.15 a.m.
12. How long is the safari?
A full day safari is approximately 8 hours and a half day approximately 6 hours. However, we do not watch the clock and times are estimates only. On some days the animals are not very co-operative and our guides have to drive a bit longer and further to find good sightings. On other days the animals are better behaved and show themselves frequently. Unfortunately we have no control over where the animals go, but we do our best to find as much as we can.
13. Is it advisable to purchase a Wild Card?
The Wild Card is only worthwhile for visitors if you intend to visit the Kruger Park multiple times during the year. For one or two visits it is more cost effective to pay the conservation fees each time on entry.
14. Do you do night safaris?
Unfortunately, we do not. Private operators can only enter the Kruger Park between the times the gates open and close. The Kruger Park offers Sunrise Safaris, Sunset Safaris, Night Drives and Morning Bush Walks. These can be booked via the website www.sanparks.org. However, we have been advised by many guests that they have struggled to book these activities on line so we can offer to book them on your behalf. However, we do charge a small booking commission per person per activity. Conservation fees (entry fees) are not charged by the Kruger Park for activities done by them. KINDLY NOTE HOWEVER – you will need to drive yourselves to Crocodile Bridge Gate for the Kruger Activities – we do not offer transport, but your hotel can probably arrange this for you.
15. Do you accept small children
Yes, we are happy to have little ones join our safaris. However, when small children are involved (6 and under) we do recommend a half day safari as we have found a full day is a bit too long for them. We also prefer that guests with very young children book a private safari. This is a bit more expensive but then families can have the vehicle to themselves without having to take other people into account. Our guides are both excellent with children. Kerry was a swimming teacher for 14 years before a career change and children love her. Jan is a Dad and has two teenage boys, so they are both very used to children.
16. Who are your guides?
Kerry Balaam is the business owner. She is extremely passionate about her job and is very experienced. Kerry is cheerful and friendly and has a wealth of knowledge to share with our guests. Kerry has been guiding in the Kruger Park for over 6 years.
Jan Bergh is fairly new to our company, although he is not new as a guide. He is also very experienced and has a wonderful sense of humour. Our guests have given us feedback that they had sore stomach muscles after their safari as he had them laughing all the time!