Before you travel


Helpful Info - Makutsi

Download a printable summary of helpful pre-departure infos.

  • Your final day-to-day itinerary will be given to you on your arrival at Makutsi.
  • All clients arriving on their own (i.e. who are not picked up by Makutsi at HDS or PHW airport) need to make sure they arrive before 4pm so that we can do a proper arrival & safety briefing!
  • For payments on Makutsi: Cash (€, U$, A$, NZ$, CHF, Rand) Visa and MasterCard are accepted. (No Amex or Debit cards)
  • Makutsi has a no-cash bar. All drinks, lunch, internet, shopping etc (and other extras) are put on your room bill, and can be paid on the day of your departure.
  • Please remember to change some money into Rand at the airport as you will not be able to change money once on Makutsi. Most places accept credit cards, but here and there some cash might come in handy.
  • Electricity - South Africa’s electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 Hz. Some electrical appliance adaptors available to borrow at Reception, but please try to bring your own.
  • There is a telephone that you can use at the reception. It is a satellite phone and can occasionally be out of order due to bad weather. Also, be aware that not all foreign phone providers allow making calls to satellite phones. Mobile phone reception on Makutsi is very limited.
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot located in Library (vouchers available for purchase at Reception) & two Desktop computers with internet connection.
  • South Africa Time Zone: UTC/GMT +2 hours
  • We have a safe for personal items available for your use.

Makutsi cheetah

Helpful Infos - South Africa

  1. For detailed information about South Africa visit the CIA Factbook - South Africa
  2. Passport/visa - Travel requirements for entering South Africa.
    • A valid acceptable passport or travel document good for a sufficient period to cover the intended stay.
    • A valid visa, if required.
    • Sufficient funds  to pay for your day-to-day expenses during your stay.
    • A return or onward ticket.
    • Yellow fever certificates are required if the journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.
    • It is recommended to contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for specific information on visa requirements that may be applicable to you.
  3. New South African travel requirements for Minors!
  4. Money – currency/ credit cards/exchange
    • The South African unit of currency is called the Rand and it is divided in to 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5, and notes in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.
    • Foreign currency can be exchanged at local banks and Bureauxs de Change. Most major international credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and their affiliates are widely accepted.
    • For the up to date exchange rate: Currency Converter
  5. Customs - 400 cigarettes, 250g of tobacco, 50 cigars, 1l of spirits, 2l of wine, 50ml of perfume, and 250ml of eau de toilette, Gifts, souvenirs, and all other goods up to the value of R500 are permitted.
  6. List of airlines in South Africa: click here
  7. List of Embassies in South Africa: click here
  8. Health and safety - Malaria
    • Malaria is found only in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo and on the Maputaland coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Malaria is not much of a risk in the winter months. Although the incidence of malaria is rare, it would be best to take adequate precautions if you choose to visit these areas.
    • The cheapest, safest and most effective measures against malaria are physical barriers such as a mosquito net, and the use of a good insect repellent. It is advisable to consult a medical professional before embarking on a course of malaria prophylaxis.
    • For detailed and up-to-date information please visit the following site: Centre for Disease Control
  9. Time difference - Standard Time in South Africa is seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard (Winter) Time and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard (Summer) Time. Europe experiences a one to two hour time difference, depending on the time of the year. South Africa has no daylight change.
  10. Tipping - Most restaurants do not add a service charge to bills - thus it is customary to leave a 10-15% tip.
    • Petrol stations are manned by attendants who will expect a tip of two or three rands for filling up with petrol, checking oil, water and tyre pressure and cleaning windscreens. Hotel porters should be tipped two to five rands. It is also appropriate to tip taxi drivers, tour guides and even hairdressers.
    • If you park a car in a populated area such as near a shopping centre, street security guards will usually ask whether they can watch over your car and in return should be paid a small fee - anything from two rands upwards. 
  11. Telephone - The international code for South Africa is +27. In South Africa public phones are available and are either coin or card operated. You can purchase telephone cards at post offices and airports.
  12. VAT - Visitors to South Africa are not exempt from paying VAT (Value-added Tax) on purchased items. However, tourists can claim back the VAT paid on items taken out of the country with a total value exceeding R250. The VAT can be claimed at airports and/or harbours of departure, and customs offices. Visitors should present the folowing documents at VAT Refund Administration Offices and Customs Offices: original tax invoices, a VAT refund control sheet and foreign passport, and all items on which VAT is being reclaimed.

Makutsi lions

 

Makutsi Packing list

The following is a list of what not to forget. Please be aware that some of these items (clothing, insect repellent) will depend on what season you will be travelling in (winters can get surprisingly cold, especially at night & the summer sun can be very harsh and sunburn on safari, in the heat, is not fun). Don't overpack, remember to leave some room for souvernirs. Also remember that while at Makutsi you will have access to daily laundry service.

Clothing in neutral colours (avoid bright colours & white for improved game viewing), safari hat, safari jacket and items like gloves and beanies when coming in winter, comfortable short- and long sleeved safari shirts (2 or 3 of each), comfortable and sturdy shorts and long trousers (2 or 3 of each), swimwear, sunglasses, sandals as well as comfortable hiking/walking shoes.

Insect repellent, sunscreen, binoculars, flashlight or headlamp, camera gear and all that you need to recharge your digital equipment, travel alarm clock, adaptor, reading material (also available in Library).

Most important: valid passports, flight tickets and money!

Makutsi giraffe

Climate

In South Africa the average number of sunshine hours is amongst the highest in the world. The Lowveld where Makutsi is situated, is a summer rainfall area but despite the occasional shower, the average daytime temperature between September and March is around 30°C / 86°F. When the sun sets, it cools down by approximately 10°C / 18°F. Winters are mild with a daytime temperature that is normally above 20°C / 68°F. At night it gets considerably colder with the temperature dropping well below 10°C / 46.4°F although it hardly ever reaches freezing-point.

Please remember that below weather descriptions are averages:

SUMMER
November (Min Temp 59°F  15°C - Max Temp 93°F  34°C)
December (Min Temp 61°F  16°C - Max Temp 97°F  36°C)
January (Min Temp 68°F  20°C - Max Temp 97°F  36°C)
February (Min Temp 68°F  20°C - Max Temp 97°F  36°C)
March (Min Temp 61°F  16°C - Max Temp 90°F  32°C)

AUTUMN
April (Min Temp 50°F  10°C - Max Temp 86°F  30°C)
May (Min Temp 41°F  5°C - Max Temp 86°F  30°C)

WINTER
June (Min Temp 36°F  2°C - Max Temp 82°F  28°C)
July (Min Temp 36°F  2°C - Max Temp 82°F  28°C)
August (Min Temp 41°F  5°C - Max Temp 86°F  30°C)

SPRING
September (Min Temp 50°F  10°C - Max Temp 90°F  32°C)
October (Min Temp 59°F  15°C - Max Temp 93°F  34°C)

Makutsi leopard