Frequently Asked Questions
How can I prevent malaria?
If you are visiting an at-risk malaria area, we recommend that you take anti-malaria medication as prescribed by your doctor or travel clinic, before travelling to Africa. The most up-to-date malaria prophylaxis can be found on the Netcare travel clinic site.
That said, the best way to prevent malaria is to not get bitten. Be sure to bring insect repellent with you – the best ones contain 30% to 50% DEET (diethyltoluamide), such as Mylol, Peaceful Sleep and Tabard. These shouldn't be applied directly to the skin during pregnancy.
Most (but not all) game lodges and safari camps have mosquito nets hanging over the beds, and even the basic bungalows in the Kruger National Park have insect screens at the windows and doors. Electric fans and air conditioning are also very effective at keeping mosquitos away.
Please also visit our malaria information page for more info and a malaria map.
Do you have insurance?
Yes, Wild Wings Safaris is fully insured. We carry substantial public liability and passenger liability insurance, underwritten by Lloyds of London. Our UK office carries financial failure insurance, which guarantees that you can never lose any money paid in advance.
Wild Wings Safaris operates as one brand, but our offices in the UK and South Africa are separate legal entities. If you book through our UK office, you will be contracting with Wild Wings Safaris UK Ltd, a company registered in the UK and subject to UK laws and regulations. For your financial protection, our UK office is a member of ABTA (member number Y6147) and offers full financial protection. If you wish to book via our UK office, you will receive your quote in British pounds (GBP) and will need to pay into our UK bank account.
If you book through our South African office, you will be contracting with Wild Wings Safaris (Pty) Ltd, a private company registered in South Africa and subject to South African laws and regulations. For your financial protection, our South African office is a member of SATSA (member number 1540), the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association, which includes bonding insurance. If you wish to book via our South African office, you will receive your quote in South African Rands (ZAR) and will need to pay into our South African bank account.
Please feel free to discuss these options with your consultant if you are not sure which office to book through, or if you have further questions about this.
Even though we are fully insured, it is important that you take out comprehensive personal travel insurance for your trip.
Do you have guides that speak my language?
We often get requests for safari guides that speak a particular language. Sometimes we are able to meet these requests, but it depends on availability. We can usually assist you in English, Dutch, German and Flemish/Afrikaans.
However, French-, Spanish- and Chinese-speaking guides are harder to find.
Our Kruger National Park safaris and game drives at most game lodges are conducted in English.
Do you drive off-road during game drives?
All game drives are conducted on open 4x4 safari vehicles or Land Rovers unless you specifically request otherwise.
In the national parks and government game reserves, no off-road driving is permitted and vehicles need to stay on designated roads (tarred or dirt). At private game lodges and on private safari concession areas, off-road driving and night drives are permitted, and trackers/rangers will take you as close to animal sightings as they can, within reason.
On our own Wild Wings Safaris in Kruger, we do not go off-road. We offer courtesy binoculars, bottled water and blankets on each drive.
Why should we book through Wild Wings Safaris?
Because we are the best. Booking through Wild Wings Safaris gives you the security of knowing that your safari is in the hands of a trusted, professional tour operator. We pride ourselves on being friendly, straight-talking safari experts with in-depth local knowledge.
Being completely familiar with local destinations and conditions is critical when it comes to putting together an itinerary that works – this is what sets us apart from other operators in the US or UK who may not have as good an understanding of Southern Africa as a destination.
We make it our aim to regularly visit each lodge and destination we sell, so we can monitor standards and give first-hand advice to our clients. We are a small team but, collectively, we have over 100 years’ experience in the African travel industry. We pay attention to detail and ensure that everything runs like clockwork, from start to finish. All of this means that you can relax and simply enjoy your trip.
It also costs less to book through us. We do not add any booking fees, and you will always pay the same or less if you book with us rather than booking with any other operator or directly with the lodge or hotel. Because of our established reputation with the lodges, a client of Wild Wings Safaris always receives the best possible treatment.
Still not 100% convinced? Please take a look at our sterling reviews on TripAdvisor or SafariBookings. We have won multiple TripAdvisor Hall-of-Fame Awards for being awarded Certificates of Excellence five years in a row.
Don't delay. Contact us now and let us help you plan your dream safari.
Do you charge a booking fee?
No, we charge no booking fees. If you book through us, it will cost you the same or less than booking directly with each lodge or hotel – and you get the benefit of detailed advice, and having someone to arrange all the details of your trip, and someone to turn to should anything go wrong.
In many cases, we offer a rate that is slightly below the normal rate at the lodge or hotel of our choice, because of the bulk discounts we have negotiated.
We do however sometimes request a commitment fee, early on in the booking process. As a small company with a reputation as one of the best African safari operators, demand for our expertise is very high. At times, we can hardly keep up with the many requests we receive. For this reason we have found it necessary to sometimes request a small, non-refundable commitment fee. Paying a commitment fee is not an extra cost, it will form part of your deposit payment once you are ready to confirm. The small commitment fee signals your intent to book with us. We have found that it filters out "window shoppers" and allows us to help more people by giving priority to those who are serious. Your consultant will explain more. If you are undecided or not ready to book yet, no problem at all. Please take some time to browse through the wealth of helpful information, travel ideas and blog posts on our website, and only send an enquiry when you are ready to start planning your trip in earnest.
Can we fly directly between Cape Town and the Kruger National Park?
Yes, SAA (South African Airways) flies direct to Nelspruit's Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP), and the flight takes about 2.5 hours. From Nelspruit, it's another hour's drive to Kruger National Park. This is ideal if you are going to Kruger or the southern and western Sabi Sands lodges.
If you're going to the northern Sabi Sands lodges, or the Timbavati, Balule or Klaserie private reserves, SA Express flights depart Cape Town for Hoedspruit Airport three times a week (Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays).
There are also daily flights to Skukuza, the main camp inside Kruger National Park, with SA Airlink.
If you're unsure of which flights to book, we'd be only too happy to advise.
Can we fly directly from the Kruger National Park to Victoria Falls?
Unfortunately not, unless we arrange a charter flight for you. It's more common and cheaper to fly via Johannesburg. The flight from Kruger to Johannesburg takes just over an hour, and flying from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) or Livingstone (Zambia) takes about two hours. These flights are usually scheduled in the mornings only, and often flight times necessitate a one-night stopover in Johannesburg. If so, we will gladly recommend suitable accommodation for you.
If you're really pressed for time, SA Airlink flies from Nelspruit to Livingstone five days a week – daily, except Thursdays and Sundays. Please bear in mind that if you fly to Livingstone instead of Victoria Falls you'll need additional visas.
Do you book flights?
Unfortunately not. With regard to international flights, it's best to book these yourself, and it often works out cheaper to book your domestic or regional flights as part of the package. Our packages do not include flights.
Should you require local flights, these cannot be booked by our UK office since we do not hold an ATOL. Should you require assistance with booking local flights, these can only be booked via our South African office. We partner with a certified local travel agent if we are requested to book internal flights. Alternatively, we can refer you to our reliable ATOL partners, who will gladly assist you with these. You may also be able to secure a better rate by booking directly on the internet. For SAA flights, the cheapest available rates can be found on our SAA booking portal. If you need any help with booking flights, please let us know.
Unless your booking is short notice, it is usually best to book your flights after your itinerary is planned. This gives you more flexibility and a better chance of securing availability at the destinations of your choice.
There are various airlines that conduct flights within South Africa and in the Southern African region, for example:
- SA Airlink
- SAA (South African Airways)
- SA Express
- Kulula (a low-cost airline owned by BA)
- Mango (a low-cost airline owned by SAA)
Do the vehicles have seat belts?
Yes. All our transfer vehicles are late-model, high-quality vehicles with three-point seatbelts for your safety. We carry extensive passenger liability insurance. Day tours and transfers are usually conducted in a luxury air-conditioned vehicle. Whenever we use third-party operators, we ensure that their vehicles are of a similar standard, and properly licensed and insured.
Our vehicles are meticulously maintained and serviced regularly. Game drives are usually conducted on open Land Rovers or a custom-designed open safari vehicle with canopy. Our own open safari vehicles have lap-belts for your safety, but many open Land Rovers used by safari lodges for game drives do not have safety belts as standard as the speed during game drives within the game reserves is very slow.
Do the vehicles have air conditioning?
All our day tours and transfers are usually conducted in luxury air-conditioned vehicles. Whenever we use third-party operators, we ensure that their vehicles are of a similar standard, properly licensed and insured.
All off-road open safari vehicles are, of course, not air-conditioned, but some are fitted with canopies to provide protection against the sun. Please bring sun hats for daytime game drives, and you'll need to wrap up warmly for late afternoon/early evening game drives on the open safari vehicles when the wind chill factor can really drop temperatures quickly. Bring good jackets, scarves, gloves, beanies and even knee rugs.
Do the rooms have air conditioning?
At most lodges and hotels the rooms have air conditioning. However, some of the safari camps (especially tented camps) only have fans. Often, the lodges may have both air conditioning and ceiling fans. When sending your quote, we will specify whether or not the accommodation is air-conditioned.