Ekala Eco Tours Travel Guide
All of below are a guide. However if Ekala is looking after you, then please contact us directly with any concern, issues or problems.
Ekala Eco Tours Travel Guide
Travel Guide with information and hints for your stay in South Africa.
Superior photographic opportunities, paired additionally with highly experienced professional guides.
Thus providing a unique tour and safari experience.
Cameras, binoculars, comfortable walking shoes, sun block, sunglasses, hat and swimming costume.
Cell Phones / Mobiles, International & Local Dialling
South Africa’s mobile phone operators utilise the GSM system, so if your phone is GSM compatible, you can organise international roaming before you leave.
Then the international dialing prefix for South Africa is +27. Please remember to remove the zero (0) from the area code if you are dialing from outside South Africa. But for local calls the zero must be dialed.
The best time for game viewing is in winter, this is from May to August. Consequently due to the lower density of grasses and accordingly the lesser amount of groundwater.
Summer (Oct April) – Then pack light neutral coloured clothing including rain jacket, then warm clothing for evening activities. Summer is then characterised by hot weather and occasional afternoon thundershowers (except the Western Cape which has dry summers and wet winters).
Climates range from Mediterranean (the Cape coast), to sub-tropical in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces.
Then the balance of the country enjoys moderate temperatures with summer thunderstorms.
Winter (May Sept) – Pack light neutral coloured clothing for day wear, very warm clothing for evening/early morning and then also a warm insulated jacket for game drives.
South Africa has well developed medical infrastructure. The private hospitals actually are equal to anywhere in the world. There is a large network of private and public hospitals around the country.
However travelers should have travel health insurance. Accordingly buy adequate medical insurance that includes air evacuation. Always declare pre-existing medical conditions.
Do you need any vaccinations?
Please see your doctor to find out which, if any, vaccinations are thus required, and/or visit the World Health Organisation for more information. If you are taking medication or suffer from any form of illness, consequently be sure to have an adequate supply of medicines before departing on your tour.
While the summer months are the time of greatest risk.
Malaria medication is above all, highly recommended if you are traveling in these areas, but the medication is not foolproof.
The medication must be then be taken strictly as instructed, with most requiring the individual to start a course of medication before entering a malaria area.
Further precautions when visiting or travel to these areas are:
As stated above, if you are travelling with Ekala, please discuss with us as to the risks and actual areas we would be consequently traveling in.
Thus ensuring we give you all the information required before departing.
Accordingly using mosquito repellent products day and night on all exposed skin. Wear light, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks if outdoors especially from dusk to dawn.
Close windows and doors at night unless they are screened. Burn mosquito coils and mats in sleeping areas. Then sleep under a mosquito proof bed-net.
Indeed, no agricultural products will be allowed to enter South Africa.
There are 9 provinces, and 11 official languages. English is the official language and spoken or however understood by most of the population.
Currency & Foreign Exchange
Local currency is the South African Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents.
Then foreign exchange outlets can be found in most major airports and shopping malls.
Banking & ATM’s – (Automated Teller Machines) – South Africa has a sophisticated financial and banking sector and ATMs will thus be found in all towns. Additionally many petrol stations offer this service.
Local Tax – Value-added tax of 15% is added to the price of most items and services.
While as a tourist, you can claim your VAT back on goods priced over R250 at the airport on departure.
You will however need the original tax invoice, a VAT refund control sheet, your passport and the goods.
Goods consumed and services rendered in South Africa, do however not qualify for a vat refund.
There is only one time zone in South Africa – 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Most parts of the country can be safely visited if common sense precautions are however taken.
Such as not walking alone at night in deserted areas and then not wearing a lot of flashy jewelry.
Again – if you are with Ekala, we discuss this in depth.
However if you have any concerns about areas your tour will cover please feel free to speak to Ekala.
Smoking has been banned in public places in South Africa and is consequently a sensitive issue for many establishments. Accordingly, please check before lighting up.
South Africa has high standards of water treatment and therefore its tap water is some of the cleanest in the world.
However, some areas are a little different. As the Kruger and some rural parts of South Africa.
Please discuss with Ekala.
Electrical current in South Africa is 220 – 230 volts, AC. Wall sockets accommodate 15 amp plugs with three round pins.
Ekala will assist with adaptors as may be required.
Gratuities are not included in the final bill and are welcomed for good service. Tipping is not compulsory, but is appreciated.
You are welcome to discuss this with Ekala – easy.
General Safety Guidelines
Ekala will be taking care of you for time you have booked with us. The following should however be observed.
When out and about avoid wearing visible flashy jewellery or carrying cameras and bags over your shoulder. Keep cell phones and wallets tucked away where no one can see them.
Do not leave purses on chairs, under tables, on the backs of chairs or then on restroom hooks.
Not to count money in the open.
Additionally do not leave valuables in the vehicle. Pay attention to your surroundings and report any suspicious situations or people to your tour operator.
Hence do not carry large amounts of cash. Separate your cash and credit cards. Keep valuable documents in a safe place.
Write down your credit card numbers in addition the customer service number for the issuing bank(s), put them in a sealed envelope and Ekala will hold these for you.
Always remain alert, moreover in crowded and noisy areas. Keep track of your keys. For Ekala Guest Farm, please return your room key to the front desk while away from your room.
Best ability to contact Ekala
Then will respond within 24 hours. Actually in most cases less. However depend on time differences.
Additionally Cell phones do create some problems. Due to time difference or because we may all be on tour and thus unable to answer your call at that time. Thus email works perfectly.
Furthermore difficult to deal with tour specifics on a cell phone.
Different tour/safari options available – historical/cultural/wildlife – structured around your requirements and timing to create a multi day local tour package:
- Cullinan Diamond Mine Surface Motorised Tour – Shafts, Kimberlite dumps, slimes dam, big hole and additionally new operations.
- Mine Historical Tour – Cullinan Diamond village to early operations including the then black worker compound.
- Cullinan Diamond Mine Underground tour – only opportunity for an underground tour in a working mine – underground thus with the working shift.
- Gold Mine tours – Johannesburg gold history – over 130 years of Johannesburg as one of the biggest gold producers in the world.
- Ann van Dyk – De Wildt Cheetah Sanctuary – cheetah and wild dog experience.
- Elephant Sanctuary – an interaction tour that is compatible with wildlife conservation.
- Monkey Sanctuary – Experiencing primates in a natural environment – NO interactions with these primates.
- Ekala Eco Bird tours – South Africa – one of the most desirable birding areas in the World.
- Soweto Township Cultural tour – Ekala does not invade people’s privacy.
- Alexandra Township tour – part walking tour and part tour in an Alexandra Taxi.
- Lesedi cultural village – Living African Culture – Colourful Culture Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Sotho and Ndebele.
- Soweto Historical tour – early 1900’s establishment, through the Apartheid struggle with the major events that played an important part of our history – not only for Soweto but South Africa as a whole.
- Johannesburg Historical tour – from farm land to the world’s biggest gold producer to the backbone of South Africa.
- Freedom Route – South Africa’s Journey to Freedom tour including the life of Nelson Mandela and the struggle against Apartheid.
- Gandhi Tour – Mahatma Gandhi’s Johannesburg heritage tour.
- Liliesleaf historical site including Umkhonto we Sizwe and the Rivonia Trial. Nelson Mandela and others involved in the Rivonia trail and general opposition to Apartheid.
- Pretoria – Historical tour -Colonialism – Boer/British to democracy tour.
- Battlefield tours – South Africa Battlefield Route Tour – Anglo/Boer and Anglo/Zulu and Voortrekker/Zulu
- Pilanesberg Safari – full day private safari or overnight/multi day safari
- Kruger Safari – private safaris with the greater Kruger National Game park.
Other Professional tours:
- Constitution Hill including Constitutional Court – Old Fort to Prisons and the Constitutional Court Complex.
- Paleontology tour – Cradle of Humankind including both Maropeng and Sterkfontein Cave with current finds and activities.
- Panoramic route tour – en-route to or from the Kruger.
Commercially run “parks” as the “lion type parks” we do not supply. Far better natural options that are more ecologically friendly and an experience that will be remembered for the right reason. These “parks” may be the cheapest options, but at what cost to the wildlife, specifically the lions.
These commercially run “parks” and “Lion Parks” and related Predator breeding will in the long term affect South Africa’s brand attractiveness. Also no actual conservation value.
Thus Ekala Eco Tours will not be involved in this in any way. Nothing beats seeing wildlife in its natural habitat – Kruger and Pilanesberg National Game Parks.
Ekala’s guides are well spoken providing interesting detail and clarity while on tour.
Thus active engagement between guide and guest is encouraged.
Guests are enthralled by Ekala’s passion and enthusiasm to explore the beauty and wildlife of South Africa
Private, professional and reliable tailor made tours and safaris
Tailor made eco-tourism and safari experiences that therefore cater for solo travellers, couples, families and group tours.
Appreciation of South Africa’s multifaceted heritage.
Ekala Family & Guides
Our safaris, nature tours, wildlife tours are non-invasive
No wildlife interactions
Focusing on the national game reserves – naturally wild.
Promote conservation and education.
As Kruger and Pilanesberg National Game reserves.
An experience that will be remembered for the right reason
We do not support private – commercially based “parks”
No prices on our website as a result of the unique, individual and specialised requirements for each tour we supply.
Thus Ekala structure our tours/safari's around our client’s individual requirements.
So if time is limited
We thus structure the tour from arrival to departure – including airport collection and drop off.
Accordingly using all time available as a fully guided professional tour.
Consequently not simply a point to point mixed group drive around.
As a result, tour quote based on your specific requirements.
Ekala's wildlife tours and safaris can then be adapted to the client’s individual needs.
Accordingly we accommodate specific and personal requirements.
Ekala family & tour/safari guides
We pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of South Africa’s nature, history, culture and wildlife.
Thus we focus were our experience and expertise lies - in South Africa only.
Highly Experienced Guides
Accordingly with our vast experience and expertise, we will bring the historical and cultural tours to life.
Additionally sharing our love and knowledge of South Africa's nature, wildlife and national game parks.
Ensuring as a result, you leave full of the best memories.
Thus Ekala will endeavor to personalise your tour package according to individual requirements/interests as well as available time .
Furthermore Ekala personally conducts and organises all our tours and safaris.
As highly experience and professional guides.
Consequently you get an enhanced understanding of South Africa’s wildlife, history and diverse cultures.
Thus the best South African Experience
Responsible and ethical tourism/consumerism.