Hoedspruit Accommodation | Hoedspruit Lodge

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Travel South Africa


Here is some useful information to assist you in preparing for your trip to South Africa. Detaisl are a general guideline only – for updated visa and health information, contact the South African Department of Home Affairs, and your travel clinic or doctor.

Visa Information:

Visitors from most Western European countries, Japan, and USA don’t require visas. If you aren’t entitled to an entry permit, you’ll need to get a visa before you arrive. Please ask your travel agent or tour operator for up to date advice, or contact our Home Affairs Department

Go straight to the horse’s mouth for information on South African visa requirements, namely the Department of Home Affairs which has a comprehensive website.  This website details which nationals are exempt from visas, and which are obliged to make application.  Enquiries regarding South African visa info can also be obtained from South African missions in your country, or the nearest one to you.

If you are a national of a country that requires visas, you must make application ahead of your departure, as visas are not issued on arrival.  The visa must be affixed in your passport to be shown to immigration officials on landing.  Applications must be made through South African diplomatic or consular representatives.

You will have to supply a number of elements in terms of visa requirements in South Africa, such as:

1. A passport valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of the intended visit, and at least 2 unused pages for entry/departure endorsements (sometimes referred to as the visa page).

2. Payment of a prescribed fee.

3. A vaccination certificate, if required (travel through the yellow fever belts of Africa and South America requires inoculation)

4. Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit.

5. Two identity photographs (guidelines on website).

6. Proof of financial means in the form of bank statements; salary advices; undertakings by your hosts in South Africa; bursaries; medical cover; or cash available, including credit cards or travellers’ cheques.

7. If travelling by air, a return or onward ticket; or proof of sufficient funds; or lodge a cash deposit of equivalent value to such a ticket.

Take care to request the correct duration of stay and type of visa.  Also check on processing time so that you don’t have any last minute panic.


In the Kruger National Park, we tend to have dry winters (May – August) and hotter summers (September – April). Winter can be fairly cold at night and during the early morning, so it is wise to pack warm clothes. Summer is our rainy season with short  thundershowers in the afternoon / during the day, but mostly does not last for longer than 2-3 days for continuous rains.

Winter temperatures usually range from 05 – 26 degrees C

Summer temperatures usually range from 12 – 38 degrees C

Our autumn months are April / May and spring months September / October

South African temperatures, which are measured in centigrade, average at high of 28°C and a low of 8°C.  Average annual rainfall is on the low side at less than 500mm a year, making the country somewhat dry.  Most of the rain falls in the Western Cape in the winter, differing from the rest of the country, which experiences a summer rainfall.  But on the plus side, the South African climate boasts more than its fair share of sunshine, recording an average of 8.5 hours a day.

South Africa’s climatic conditions generally range from Mediterranean in the south-western corner of the country to temperate in the interior plateau, and subtropical in the north-east. A small region in the north-west has a desert climate. Our relatively mild and short winters do not justify the expense of central heating in many buildings and homes, which may lead visitors to think the winter is colder than it actually is.  The answer to this is dressing in layers.


To sketch some background, English and Afrikaans were the official languages spoken in South Africa until the change of political dispensation in 1994.  At that point another 9 languages were added to the official list, to give representation to the many languages spoken by black population groups.

These languages of South Africa fall into two main language families, Nguni and Sotho.  But good news is that most South Africans are conversant in English, particularly in urban areas, so the tourist need not fear insurmountable language barriers. The Nguni languages include isiZulu, isiXhosa, siSwati and isiNdebele, while the Sotho languages encompass Setswana, Sepedi and Sesotho.

Travelling around South Africa

It is relatively easy by air, road and rail. Principal air routes are serviced by SAA and British Airways, operated by Comair. There are 3 low-cost carriers on main routes, namely Kulula.com, Mango and 1time.  South African Express and Airlink serve the smaller centres. Facilitating getting around in South Africa are 10 airports managed by the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), among them OR Tambo International Airport (Ortia) and the Durban and Cape Town International Airports.  In addition, there are some 90 regional airports, including Hoedspruit.

Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit and the Skukuza Airport, offers access to the Kruger National Park area. An extensive tarred road system makes travelling in South Africa by vehicle convenient. You will find gravel roads in rural areas though.


A valid international driver’s licence is required.

We drive on the left hand side.

Wearing seat belts is compulsory and cellphones can only be used ‘hands free’.

Speed limits are generally set at 120km on freeways, 100km on secondary roads and 60km in urban areas.

Toll fees apply on national roads.

Petrol (gas) stations are widespread. Please note that you must