SOME EXTRA INFO FOR YOUR TRIP
THINGS TO REMEMBER
When coming on safari to South Africa, what to pack and what to leave behind may be slightly different to conventional holidays abroad. To ensure you are well prepared, we’ve compiled a list of useful tips and items to bring along on your safari.
The summer months extend from August to April, with the hottest period being between October and February – which is also the time of year when rain is possible. Rainfall generally takes the form of thunderstorms, which last just for an hour or so, after which the weather clears up again. Kapama provides rain ponchos for guest use on game drive vehicles, and umbrellas for use are available at all four lodges.
Summers are generally warm to extremely hot, but may still be cool in the early mornings. Packing a light jacket and warm cap (especially for game drives) is advised.
However, by noon, temperatures in summer are often very hot and suited to cool, short-sleeve shirts and shorts/bermudas – light cotton fabric is best. Also pack in a bathing suit/trunks, so you can cool off from the heat with a dip in the pool. Swimming pool towels are available for your use at all the lodges.
African heat can be intense and the sun very harsh, so always wearing a high protection factor sunblock is advised, along with lip balm and sunglasses. Insect repellent will come in handy, although game drive vehicles do carry repellent on board should you forget yours.
Winter in the Lowveld area of South Africa where Kapama is located is from May to July, with the coldest period being from the end of June and throughout July. During this time, fleece blankets are provided on vehicles for your use on game drives.
Early mornings and evenings may be very cold, so it’s recommended to pack a thick jacket, scarf and cap if you are visiting in winter – along with closed shoes and socks. A pair of warm gloves will be useful, especially on game drives, as will a fleece tracksuit.
Keep clothing colours as neutral and as light as possible, so you blend in better with the surrounding environment. Khaki, beige, brown and green are generally best, as darker and brighter colours attract unwanted mosquitoes and insects.
Please note, as Kapama is situated in a low-risk malaria area, we suggest you consult your local doctor on suggested medication as a safety precaution.
A pair of comfortable walking shoes for bush walks or when off the game drive vehicle, and a pair of slip-on shoes or sandals to wear around the lodge or to meals is advised.
Meals are informal, so smart attire is not required.
Should you wear prescription spectacles or contact lenses, bring along a spare pair in the event that yours are mislaid or broken. Also ensure that you have sufficient contact lens cleaning lotion, as the dusty outdoor environment may require more frequent lens cleaning.
Electricity at Kapama is a 220-volt alternating current system. Wall plug units take a round two-prong European plug. It is advisable to bring the necessary converter or adapter from your home country, should you need to charge cameras or laptops. Alternatively, international adaptors are available for purchase at the lodges.
Remember to pack a telephoto lens for your camera, if you have one, and a video camera, along with all the necessary plugs, chargers and memory cards needed.
A pair of binoculars may be useful.
There are wi-fi spots in all the lodges, should you wish to bring a personal laptop, and each lodge has a dedicated computer for guest use, emails and internet.
Cellphones work in most areas of South Africa and also within the reserve, although it is not advised to take cellphones on game drive vehicles as they are considered an unnecessary disturbance to the wildlife and other guests. Guests are welcome to use their cellphone’s camera if it is set on airplane mode. It is also possible to buy local cellphone cards at most South African international airports for use in your cellphone.
All Kapama’s lodge rooms are supplied with amenities such as soap, shampoo and body lotion. You may, however, wish to bring your favourite toiletries with you.
The lodges all offer a reasonably priced 24-hour laundry service, which is available to all guests.
There are curio shops at all the lodges, and these also stock basic travel accessories.
Summer is from October to March. Daytime temperatures can reach highs of up to 42°C and lows of 20°C. Summer is also when most rain falls in this area, which receives about 550 mm of rain annually.
The colder winter months of May, June and July experience daytime highs of around 26°C and night-time lows of about 8°C.
Spring and autumn are more temperate seasons with less variance between day and night temperatures, and generally range between 12°C and 28°C. Game viewing, however, is excellent throughout the year at Kapama.