Q: Will I need to take preventive medication for malaria, or for any other tropical disease?
A: Makweti Safari Lodge is located in an area that is considered very low-risk for malaria and other tropical diseases. However, before travelling (to Makweti or to any other location in Africa) please consult your medical practitioner about any special medication that you might require. We also encourage you to check, with your health department or travel clinic, whether there have been any recent changes in the health-status of the areas you plan to travel to.
Q: Weather-wise, which season is the most pleasant (and the best for game-viewing)?
A: Makweti enjoys a wonderfully temperate climate – for the most part, it’s pleasant all year round. Our game-viewing, likewise, is good across any season. This said, please be aware that our cooler, dry-season months are April through to September, while our warmer, wet-season months are October to March. (And do please read our advice – below – about apparel!)
Q: What apparel should I bring?
A: We recommend a sensible, broad brimmed hat and high protection factor sunscreen. Evenings can be cool at any time of the year (especially in an open safari vehicle at sundown), so bring a warm, windproof jacket and trousers. From April to September, temperate sunny spells can turn suddenly into very cold ones; in these months pack a couple of winter essentials, such as a sweater and scarf. If you plan to do a walking safari, bring your hiking or trail shoes.
Q: What does a typical day on safari hold?
A: Game viewing is best in the early morning and late afternoon, when wild animals are most active. You may also wish to see our more nocturnal species (which include the big cats) on the move. So your typical day will include an early morning safari drive, followed by breakfast or brunch, and later by lunch or a light mid-afternoon repast. Toward late afternoon, you’ll set off on a second safari drive, and return to the Lodge after sunset – whereupon, dinner will be served.
Q: Am I guaranteed to see all the “Big Five” (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard)?
A: On an authentic safari, no sighting is ever “guaranteed”. The element of surprise is what makes the experience exciting – you never know what wildlife action you might see! Your chances of encountering the wild species that most appeal to you are improved, of course, by the immense expertise of our guides.
Q: Should one tip the guides and Lodge staff?
A: Tipping is entirely at your discretion.
Q: Are the roads to Makweti suitable for driving oneself (from, say, Johannesburg to Makweti)?
A: The national freeways and feeder roads to Makweti are mostly “world class”, with well maintained tar surfaces. A standard rental sedan or hatchback will be entirely suitable for the drive to Makweti’s main gate. (For more, see getting to Makweti…)
Q: Does the Lodge have power points (for charging laptops, camera batteries and suchlike)?
A: Yes, the Lodge is fully electrified. However, we recommend that before you travel, you do a quick internet check on South African voltage and plug specifications relative to your own electrical equipment. (Generally, suitable converter plugs are available at international airports, including Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.)
Q: How safe is your tap water?
A: Although we provide bottled drinking water, our tap water is of good quality, and perfectly safe for bathing, mouth-rinsing, freezing into ice cubes, and so on.
Q: What type of insurance do I need?
A: Your insurance should cover you for any kind of medical eventuality, and also for all the standard travel concerns (such as flight cancellation, baggage-loss and theft).
Q: What bathroom amenities are provided?
A: Your room is stocked with a range of bathroom amenities, including shower gels, shampoos, body lotions and a blow-dryer.