SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL INFORMATION & SAFARI PRE TOUR INFORMATION - Download your Pre Tour Info here:
Your Safari Rates: Rates are quoted in South African Rand, and are inclusive of 14% VAT
Accommodation is in Twin bed or Double bed safari tents, with private en suite shower, toilet and hand basin.
Rates include: accommodation, 2 safari activities per day (morning and afternoon-night game drives) and walking safaris, all meals, tea/coffee and all non alcoholic drinks
Rates exclude: Timbavati Reserve fees: Conservation levy of R170.00 per person once off (settled in cash at the camp) and R120 per vehicle once off (self drive or transfer, paid at the Timbavati Gate), all alcoholic beverages, travel to/from camp, travel insurance, gratuities, items of personal nature
Tented Safari Accommodation: Shindzela is a comfortable tented bush camp. We offer an authentic African safari experience in an unfenced wilderness environment.
Safari accommodation is in twin (furnished with 2 x ¾ beds) or double (furnished with 1 x King size bed) safari canvas tents, set on wooden platforms. Tents have a wooden entrance door, adjustable canvas flaps for windows, and mesh to keep insects out. Each tent has a thatch roof and porch, designed to cool the tents in summer. Tents have a solar light. All tents are equipped with all bedding, and towels. Each tent has a private en suite bathroom with shower, flush toilet and hand basin (hot and cold running water)
The general bush camp area encompasses a covered dining tent, kitchen, staff tents and a central African fireplace – a perfect spot to relive safari experiences around the fire. Please note that Shindzela runs on gas and solar (no electricity), so we do not have TV in camp, we can however recharge camera batteries in the dining room area. We do have a swimming pool in camp, so please bring swimming gear. We do provide swimming towels.
CHECK IN: Check in is between 13h30 – 14h30. Please try and adhere to the check in times – we are a small camp, so we are often moving laundry and supplies in and out of the camp after guests check out, and we do need some time to prepare your room. Our afternoon safari activity generally begins at about 16h00, so if you arrive by 14h00 / 14h30, you will have time to settle in before joining us for an afternoon activity
CHECK OUT: Check out is between 10h30 – 11h00 on the day of departure. Guests do have time to participate in the morning safari activity and enjoy breakfast before departure.
Credit Cards: We do accept Visa or Mastercards in camp.
Bar: Your African safari is hosted by a guide and tracker, and the camp is owner run & managed. You can ask any of the friendly Shindzela staff to assist you with getting something to drink, we offer complimentary soft drinks, bottled water and cordials (non alcoholic) for you to enjoy during your stay. If you would like any alcoholic drinks this will then be added to your room bill, which can be settled upon check out.
We stock a selection of drinks, but not a wide variety: we generally have soft drinks (coke, sprite, orange juice, bottled water, diet coke / coke zero, tonic water, lime & soda, fruit juices), local beers, gin, whisky, vodka, white and red wines. Drink prices range from R12 for soft drinks, R15 a beer, and R90 – R160 for a bottle of wine. Regrettably, guests are not permitted to bring their own drinks to camp.
Meals: We have 3 meals a day in camp. At the start of the day (05h30), enjoy tea and coffee with rusks (a local South African biscuit). On return to camp, enjoy a hearty brunch – fresh fruit, cereals and cooked breakfast. A light lunch is served in the late afternoon before the safari activity. Dinner is enjoyed at about 20h00/20h30.
Special dietary requirements: Please advise us of any special dietary requirements at the time of making a booking. We can cater for vegetarian, gluten free and non strict Halaal diets. Unfortunately we are unable to cater for Kosher meals. Our supplies are taken in to camp once a week, so if we are not aware of your dietary requirements at the time of booking, it may become difficult to cater for you once you arrive in camp
Is it safe to drink the water in camp? Yes, you can drink the water, but due to a high mineral content, it does not taste very good. We do have a prepared purified water dispenser in camp, which you can help yourself to at any time. Alternatively the bar does have bottled mineral water. It is certainly safe to brush your teeth using camp water.
Getting to Shindzela: There are various options on getting to Shindzela:
Daily road shuttle transfer from Johannesburg: Departs OR Tambo Airport (or selected airport hotels), Johannesburg at 06h45 in the morning and gets in to camp at about 14h30. On the return, depart from camp after your morning safari and breakfast around 09h30, and get in to OR Tambo Airport by about 18h30. Guests must overnight in Johannesburg the night prior to taking the shuttle and on the return, outbound flights must be booked for departure after 21h00 (domestic) and 22h00 (international). Please note that this shuttle service is divided into 2 portions, the shuttle part that drops clients off at the Timbavati gate (bush pub) and then we arrange for a private transfer into camp. (These services are all included in our transfer rates)
Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport: (Airline code HDS) Serviced with daily flights to / from Johannesburg – www.flysaa.com. We can ask a local transfer company to quote on this airport transfer for you. Travelling time in to camp is about 1hour 15 minutes
Nelspruit – Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA or airline code MPQ): Served by flights from Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Livingstone (Zambia) Airlines operating include SAA (South African Airways and Kulula) www.flysaa.com and www.kulula.com. Nelspruit Airport to Shindzela is approximately 3hrs 15 mins, so plan to arrive at Nelspruit by 12h00 latest, so that you are in camp in time for the afternoon safari. Similarly, on departure from Nelspruit, catch a flight out at about 13h30, so that you have time for a morning safari.
Check in for local domestic flights (in country flights) is a minimum 1-1.5 hours.
Self – Drive: this is a very popular option for many guests, especially if you are planning to combine your visit at Shindzela with sightseeing along the Blyde River Canyon or in the Kruger National Park. We will send you appropriate travel directions, depending on where you are coming from. If you are travelling from Johannesburg, please leave early (06h00 / 07h00) to avoid the city traffic, and to make it in to camp by the early afternoon.
By all means use a GPS to travel to Hoedspruit or the Timbavati Reserve Gate, but once in the Reserve, please make sure you follow our directions. Also, if you are travelling by car from Orpen Gate in the Kruger, please note that you cannot access the Timbavati Reserve from the Orpen Gate – you do need to drive all the way around, back top the R40 and past the Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport. Make sure you exit the Orpen gate by 12h00 / 12h30 so that you are in camp by 14h00 / 14h30 and in time for the afternoon activity.
Reputable car hire companies in the area include: Avis, Tempest Car Hire, Budget, Europcar
Driving times: driving times vary considerably between individuals, but these are a guideline:
Johannesburg or Pretoria / Shindzela: 6.5 hours
Timbavati Gate / Shindzela: 50 minutes
Nelspruit / Shindzela: 3hrs15to 30 minutes
Hoedspruit town / Shindzela: 1h20 minutes
Phalaborwa / Shindzela: 2hrs30 mins
Orpen gate / Shindzela: 1hr 50 minutes
IMPORTANT: Please aim to be at the Timbavati Gate by 13h00 / 13h30 so that you arrive in camp in time for lunch and the afternoon game drive. If you are late, we cannot guarantee that the game drive vehicle can come back to camp to fetch you for the drive – it disrupts the other guest’s game viewing.
Once you enter the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, please do not at any time get out of your vehicle. Should you for any reason get stuck (during the rainy season) please wait in your vehicle for a Shindzela staff member to come and assist you. We are aware of your arrival and therefore will come looking should you not arrive on said time.
The Timbavati Private Game Reserve: The Timbavati Reserve, South Africa, is home to a myriad of mammal species, including Africa’s “Big Five” animals (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant). Other species of game that guests may encounter whilst on safari include hyena, jackal, giraffe, hippo, wild dog, zebra, kudu and impala, to mention just a few. There are over 350 bird species recorded in the area. The Reserve is open to the Kruger National Park, providing animals with a vast expanse of wilderness in which to roam, free of fences.