General Questions

Wildlife Questions

The national parks are administered by South African National Parks which ensures a standardised level of accommodation and facilities and the rates are usually kept low. These parks are mainly self-drive destinations with selfcatering accommodation although the larger parks like Kruger Park have restaurant facilities.

The game watching in the private parks is of an equal standard to that of the national parks, but the accommodation is usually far more luxurious and the service very attentive. Private game parks offer game drives with trained guides, bush walks, bush dinners and various activities as part of their service. The luxury comes at a price, but the private lodges are a good choice if you would like to be spoiled.
From:
Johannesburg / Pretoria - about 420 km (to the southern gates)
Durban - about 752 km
Cape Town - about 1 842 km
Bloemfontein - about 834 km
Port Elizabeth - about 1 436 km
Upington - about 1 207 km

Please consult the Kruger Park distance table.
Yes - the South African National Parks have designed all the National Parks to cater for self-drives with an excellent infrastructure of roads, hides, waterholes for easy game viewing and restcamps where you can rent a chalet. Private game parks are not open to the public.

You may get more out of your stay if you opt to do one or two escorted drives - available at most National Parks. This is an activity the private parks specalise in and one of the reasons some visitors prefer the private game reserves.
The Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo - is present in the Kruger Park and most of the Private Game Reserves around its borders, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park in Kwazulu Natal, but there are Private Reserves spread throughout the country that offer visitors a look at the Big Five. Even close to Johannesburg you will find reserves catering especially for the tourist, but larger reserves can be found in the Limpopo, North West and Eastern Cape.
No - although there are areas and routes in the Kgalagadi (Kalahari), Markele National Park and far northern Zululand where access is limited to 4-wheel drive vehicles. You may be required to drive on dirt (gravel) roads, but those are normally in a good condition.
It is possible. Many reserves have the big five but it's not that easy to see them all, particularly leopard. Leopards are nocturnal, secretive and well camouflaged. It also depends on the length of your stay. The chances of seeing all big five increase substantially the longer you stay. However, there is a large number of other animals, reptiles and birds in the parks which are often even more exciting than a procession of lions and elephants - ensuring a wonderful experience.
Most of the national and provincial parks have self-catering chalets and camping and caravan sites, with electricity and hot and cold ablutions. Some also have catered accommodation or a restaurant on site. Accommodation in the private parks varies from 5-star luxury at some of the world-renowned private game reserves to budget accommodation in bush camps. Please check the various web pages on this site for details.
This is not so easy to answer. The summer brings a multitude of beautiful migrant bird species and many newborn antelope species in thick green bushveld. In winter with limited water sources, activity is generally around water holes, the bush is dry and thin and visibility generally better. You'll get an excellent idea what to expect every month of the year by studying the guide prepared by Mala Mala Private Game Reserve.
The South African summer covers the months October through March with mid winter being May, June and July. In main game viewing areas (Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal) summer temperatures range from 16°C to 32°C and in winter from 5°C to 24°C. In isolated cases summer maximum temperatures can exceed 40°C. These areas have a summer rain season and and whilst not common, very light showers do occur in winter. Summer days and nights are generally hot and humid outdoors and winter days are mild and comfortable with evenings and early mornings being cold. Please consult the monthly temperature & rainfall chart.
Dress is informal. For safaris and bush walks bring along clothing of neutral colours, a pair of good walking shoes (sandals are not recommended) and a wind proof jacket for winter mornings and evenings. A high SPF sun block should be brought with you especially if you require a specific hypoallergenic brand as well as a cap/hat. A good camera is essential and 100 or 200 asa film. On safari it is not often possible to keep the land rover dead still for those shots requiring powerful tele-photo lenses and it is suggested that the most versatile lens should be capable of ranges between 70 to 210/300. Both slide and print film as well as batteries are available in the curio shops. Video cameras are ideal to capture sights and sounds and a pair of binoculars is a must for keen bird watchers.
The Eastern Cape, the Western Cape, the Northern Cape, the North West Province and the Waterberg area of Limpopo province are free of malaria. Of these, the best game viewing is Addo in the Eastern Cape, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape, Madikwe and Pilanesberg in the North West and Limpopo's Waterberg.
A modified four wheel drive vehicle designed to carry between 6 and 10 guests is used to bring you to within close proximity of the game. The vehicle does not have a roof or sides and allows for maximum all-round visibility. it should not alarm you getting close to big game as long as you observe the "rules" laid down by your ranger.
A minimum of a two-night stay is recommended to really enjoy your African bush experience.

Booking / Reservation FAQ's

Please proceed to the web page of the accommodation establishment, click on the "Rates / Bookings" button and then on the "Request a Quote" button. Complete the enquiry form and press submit.
Your enquiry is sent to the establishment.

Please proceed to the web page of the accommodation establishment, click on the "Rates / Bookings" button.
You can now either make an enquiry (click on the the "Request a Quote" button and complete the enquiry form), wait for the response from the accommodation establishment and then confirm that this is what you want, by clicking the link below the total to proceed with your booking.

Or you can select the room you which to book and click on "Book Now" button.

Once you have submitted the booking form, the establishment is contacted to confirm availability and the rates. On confirmation, you'll be informed immediately and you will receive an invoice indicating the total amount, the amount required as deposit and when the balance is due. Only at this stage we process payment from your credit card.

Yes, you can firstly cancel the booking immediately on receipt of the confirmation from us. Or should you wish to cancel at a later stage, you'll have to inform us by email. Please view the cancellation policy guidelines.

Yes, your card information is handled in the following way:

1.Your credit card information is transferred to our system via SSL technology in an encrypted format and stored on our database in the encrypted format without a single person viewing the information.

2. On receipt of your reservation, we confirm the rates quoted to you and the availability with the establishment you made a booking at. For this reason it takes up to 48-hours for confirmation.

3. Only when we've received the confirmations from the establishment, your credit card information is decrypted and forwarded by fax to the establishment. You'll be receiving a confirmation at the same time.

4. Your credit card information is deleted from our system and we only retain information on the reservation for reference purposes should you wish to change or cancel your reservation.

At Southern Africa Places you won't pay extra! The rates quoted are the same you would pay if you book the establishment yourself. In some instances there is a difference of 5% for banking costs we incur on behalf of those establishments not handling credit card transactions.
Yes, with some establishments we do have an agent/establishment agreement which let us offer very competitive rates. Also because of a favourable exchange rate foreign visitors receive excellent value for their money.
All facilities listed under the rooms are included in the price. VAT will be included. Meals which are included are clearly listed per room. In general, but not always, breakfast are included. This information will also be in your confirmation email
A valid credit card is needed to make a reservation. However, you can also make a booking by means of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). When requesting a quote, please stipulate that you wish to pay by means of EFT and you'll get the option to do so when receiving details of how to make a booking.
Please advise us by email, quoting your booking number of the changes you wish to make.

In general, the earlier you make any changes, the better. While we do not charge fees for changes some establishments may impose a charge and specifically when you've booked a non-refundable rate. Such fees are highest when cancellations occur within 30 days of your scheduled travel dates.
If you have a reservation and would like to upgrade your room, please give us a call at +27 21 872 3210 or send us an email (quoting your booking number). We cannot guarantee that another room will be available, but we will work with the establishment to fulfil your request. Any change fees set forth by the establishment's rules and regulations when you booked your reservation will apply. We will not charge you for changing your reservation.
You will need an ID document or passport plus your reservation number. It is always a good idea to have a copy of your reservation confirmation available.

Please note your SA Places tracking number will not necessarily be the same as the reservation number at the establishment.

Most reservations are prepaid at the time of booking; however, you will need a credit or debit card for any incidental expenses such as room service. You will pay for those incidental expenses at the time of check-out. For non-prepaid reservations, you will need a credit or debit card as well. Please be aware that some hotels do not accept debit cards. If you have questions about which cards hotels accept, please call the hotel directly.
- In your confirmation email you will find a link to a map, the GPS coordinates and driving directions.
- On the establishment's web page on www.places.co.za, you'll find a link to a map which you can print
A late check-out can only be arranged with the establishment and usually depends on availability at the time of your stay. You can ask about the possibility at the front desk upon arrival.
Some properties offer you the advantage of checking for the availability of rooms (and corresponding rates) for specific dates - in other words "what you see is what you'll get" when making a reservation. And if you book any of the rooms for the specific dates, your reservation is immediately confirmed.

Payment of a deposit is immediately charged to your credit card according to the terms stipulated by the specific accommodation establishment. You can still cancel, but cancellations will be handled according to the policy of the establishment.

Details of the deposit & cancellation policy, age restrictions and any other are clearly displayed on the booking form and you'll view all the details before committing yourself. This is the quickest way of making a reservation.
You can start by obtaining a quote for specific dates by completing the "request a quote" form of the Once you have submitted the booking form, the establishment is contacted to confirm availability and the rates. On confirmation, you'll be informed by email (as well as sms / text). You will receive a confirmation indicating:
- the total amount payable and the payment schedule for the deposit and the balance. - the cancellation policy of the establishment - contact details of the establishment

Contacts

Business Hours

  • Monday-Friday: 8am to 4:30pm
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed