Travel and general information
For your safety, the White Elephant gate entrance times and access is strictly controlled. Gate hours: 6h00 until 18h00. Should you anticipate arriving before or after these gate hours, please notify us on 082 945 7174 so we can arrange for your entry into the game reserve.
Pongola Game Reserve has strict security systems and is thus a safe area. We advise, however, that any valuables be placed in the lodge safe on check-in.
Please note the road to the lodge is a 12km rocky gravel road but is accessible with a normal sedan that has good ground clearance. The drive in could result in very good game sightings. If Elephant are encountered on the road, stop at a safe distance and wait for them to move off before you continue driving. Once inside the Pongola Game Reserve, do not leave your car until you arrive at the lodge. Remember, our wildlife have right of way. Please request detailed directions from Reservations office.
Avoid travelling at night. The South African Roads are frequently under construction and maintenance. Roads often have potholes and are subject to heavy truck and taxi traffic. Also many cattle, other animals and pedestrians can be encountered on the roads.
The wildlife in the reserve constitutes a potential danger to all persons, therefore do not walk or drive around without being accompanied by a guide outside of the lodges fenced in areas.
For general travel safety please ask your travel agency, or contact us for more information.
SA Express operates daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg to Richards Bay Airport. SA Airlink offers scheduled flights three times a week from Johannesburg via Skukuza to Mkuze Airstrip, please enquire with reservations. Private air charter from Durban/Johannesburg/Kruger National Park to Mkuze can be arranged. The lodge also has its own private landing strip for light aircrafts (co-ordinates: S27 24 671 E31 52 822) and a helipad (co-ordinates: S27 23 32 E31 54 545).
We highly recommend that travel insurance is taken out.
Transfers can be arranged with reservations on request at an additional cost. All transfers are handled by accredited car hire and charter companies. All transfers must be arranged prior to arrival.
Gate hours are strictly 6h00 – 18h00. A fee of R 25 per vehicle/boat at the entrance gate. R 50 is payble for after-hours arrivals/departures. (18h00 - 6h00)
We need to be informed of late arrivals ahead of time.
Pongola Game Reserve is Malaria free. However, if you are travelling via Mpumalanga and Swaziland or to the Northern coastal areas of KwaZulu Natal, before or after your visit to White Elephant, we advise the use of anit-malaria medication.
Please remember that the best insurance against contracting malaria is to prevent mosquito bites. 95% of malarial infections occur between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. It is advised to use mosquito repellents liberallyand to wear long sleeved shirts and slacks in the evenings. Mosquito repellent is provided in our lodges, as well as mosquito nets on all beds. Tents/chalets have mosquito gauze on windows/doors for guests’ comfort.
If you become ill on your return, whilst still on prophylaxis or even once you have stopped, make sure that your doctor does everything necessary to establish that your illness is not malaria. It is essential to seek specialist advice– a delay of even 48 hours can be dangerous. Prompt and proper treatment of malaria should always be successful. Six/seven days is the minimum incubation period.
Other health precautions
Tick bite fever can be contracted from the ticks found in our game reserve.
We suggest that you spray all your packed clothing, socks and shoes with a tick repellant (such as Bayticol) prior to your safari and then re-applying repellent once you are at White Elephant before going out on game activities. (The mosquito repellant spray provided in our lodges is also an effective tick repellant).
Should you have flu-like symptoms approximately 14 days after tick exposure, consult a doctor.
Khaki clothing and good walking shoes are advised for those guests who wish to participate in game activities. Hats, sunscreen and insect repellent are recommended for use throughout the year.
During the summer months (October to March) cool cotton clothing is advisable as well as anoraks or raincoats as afternoon thunderstorms often prevail.
Jerseys and pullovers are suggested for the winter months of May through to August.
Northern Zululand is situated in the subtropical zone of Southern Africa (Summer rainfall area). Temperatures average 34°c during the summer months
of October through March. Winter months May through August, temperatures are moderate averaging 23°c.
White Elephant is host to a diversity of wildlife species. Guests are advised not to venture away from the camp and gardens without the company of a guide.
All guests are required to sign an indemnity form on arrival at their respective camp.
Reservations and booking conditions
All reservations are made through White Elephant central reservations office. Office Hours 8:00 – 16:00 WEEKDAYS
CANCELLATION FEE POLICY:
100% payable if cancelled 7 days or less prior to arrival date
75% payable if cancelled 1 to 4 weeks prior to arrival date
50% payable if cancelled 4 to 6 weeks prior to arrival date
25% payable if cancelled 6 to 8 weeks prior to arrival date
A deposit is required to confirm and secure all bookings (unless other arrangements were made)
Children of all ages welcome.
Payments can be made by direct deposit or credit card. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.
NOTE: PROPERTY IS STRICTLY SELF CATERING, ALL FOOD AND BEVERAGES MUST BE BOUGHT BEFORE ARRIVAL, AS THE CLOSEST SHOP IS 50 KM AWAY AND WE DO NOT HAVE A RESTAURANT ON THE PROPERTY.
Kindly inform reservations of any specific interest you might have in terms of activities.