What Would You Like To Know?
We’ve compiled a list of answers to questions that our guests often ask us before travelling to Chitwa Chitwa, to better help you with your planning.
Take a look at these frequently asked questions below and feel free to contact us if you have other queries.
Here's how to get to Chitwa Chitwa
Chitwa Chitwa (24°44’2.16″S, 31°33’35.81″E) is situated in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve in South Africa, which forms part of the greater Kruger National Park. The lodge is easily accessible by air directly from Oliver Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) with a flying time of approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes. Direct connecting flights are also available from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (35 minutes) and Eastgate Airport, Hoedspruit (25 minutes). Airlink operates convenient daily direct flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town to Nelspruit Kruger. A unique 20 minute air-side transfer connects you onward on Airlink’s Lodge Link service to the Arathusa Airstrip. From there you will enjoy a short open vehicle transfer to Chitwa Chitwa’s doorstep.
The road transfer from Johannesburg to Chitwa Chitwa is about 5 hours. The lodge is in the northern area of the Sabi Sand and access is via the Gowrie Gate – near the Orpen Gate of the Kruger. Chitwa Chitwa is a scenic 3 hour drive from Nelspruit. Road transfers from the airport can be arranged by Eastgate Safaris or Seasons in Africa.
Baggage on safari should be carefully considered. One soft-sided bag and one smaller piece of hand luggage per person is recommended. In total this should not weigh more than 20kg on small Southern Africa charter flights. Travellers may be made to pay for an extra seat on a charter flight if the luggage is heavier than 20 kg. This allowance includes camera equipment. We recommend you pack:
- sun block, sunglasses, wide brimmed hat, insect repellent, lip salve
- light t-shirts as well as blouses/shirts with long sleeves (even in summer as they will protect you from the sun and from mosquitoes)
- khaki, green, beige and neutral colours – dull and/or neutral colours are suitable for safari, white is not practical. It is best to pack hardy, durable clothing
- shorts or a light skirt
- cotton pants, jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
- fleece or sweater and a warm jacket for game drives (necessary, even in summer)
- comfortable walking shoes
- track suit – good for sleeping in during winter months
- light, compact raincoat is a good idea for the summer
- swimsuit for the swimming pool
- binoculars and a camera are a must
Packing for a purpose
The Chitwa Trust is now also supporting the Wisani Elementry School in Pack for a purpose. The kids there need absolutely everything, bags, clothes, shoes, medicines… everything. Use available space in your luggage to provide supplies to communities you visit. Read more here.
Bring your kids along.
Yes, Chitwa is child-friendly. Read more about our terms and conditions regarding children at Chitwa here. We also have a special Chitwa Children’s Eco Experience on offer. Click here to read more.
Chitwa Chitwa accepts Master Card, American Express, Diners Club and Visa. The Rand is the national currency of South Africa. One Rand (R) = 100 cents (c). Notes issued R200, R100, R50, R20, R10; coins R5, R2, R1, 50c 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, & 1c. Currency exchange rates are available at banks.
For the majority of foreign nationals who travel to South Africa for vacation, entry is straightforward and hassle-free. All visitors to South Africa must be in possession of a valid passport in order to enter the country, and in some cases, a visa. To determine whether you require a visa to enter South Africa, visit the comprehensive South African Home Affairs Department website.
The library is equipped with an internet access point and there is WiFi access available.
The Sabi Sand Reserve falls within a malaria area. Anti malarial prophylactics are highly recommended. Visitors are advised to consult their physician prior to travel for the most appropriate prophylactics.
Yes. Just let us know when booking and we can be sure to suit whatever culinary needs you might have.
There is, but coverage is limited and patchy in places.
There is no ‘best time’ to visit the Sabi Sands Reserve. It’s just great to visit anytime. There are however two distinct seasons that could determine when you would prefer to visit:
In summer (September – March), the fauna and flora flourish because of the rain. The reserve becomes a green paradise, hundreds of Impala lambs are born – providing plenty food for all the predators. During summer day temperatures can reach 27°C with a maximum of 37°C. The temperatures drop to around 20°C at night, with occasional thunderstorms.
Winter (April – August) is the dry season. With little to no rain, the park becomes more brown and barren and animals congregate around the perennial waterholes. The grass is low and the bushes and trees are bare, so spotting the animals is much easier. Temperatures can drop to 7°C at night with the odd night at zero°C. Average day temperatures reach a comfortable 20°C, though.
Check-in Time: 14h00
Check-out Time: 11h00
Yes they are. We’ve gone the eco-friendly route and made sure all of the air conditioners at Chitwa have been fitted with “airco saver” air-conditioning energy savers. This reduces the energy consumed by our air conditioners by between 20 – 35%.
There are standard and inclusive rates. The difference is that the inclusive rates include local beer and spirits and the Chitwa House Wine Selection, while the standard exclude the cost of alcoholic beverages. Otherwise, both rates also include luxury accommodation, all meals, soft drinks and bottled water, teas and coffees, two open vehicle safaris a day, daily walking safaris, laundry service and a return transfer from the Chitwa airstrip to the lodge. The rate also includes a ZAR 50 per person per night contribution to the Chitwa Trust Fund, for our community upliftment projects.
Rates exclude all spa treatments, telephone calls, purchases from the Chitwa Boutique and air and road transfers to and from the lodge. All airport taxes and applicable Sabi Sand entrance fees (R 120 cash per vehicle and R 30 per person) are for the client’s own account. Guests flying in will be subject to R 20 fee per person. Private use of safari vehicle accompanied by an expert guide is available on request and costs ZAR 5000 nett per day.
The rate for The Chitwa House is inclusive of accommodation, private meals, private game drives, local beverages and laundry. When booking The Chitwa House guests are offered 4 complimentary Chitwa activities per stay. The hospitality at The Chitwa House is serviced by a private butler. Note: when booking The Chitwa House & the whole lodge the service of a private butler will not be included.
There is a wide variety of fauna and flora, birdlife, insects and game to see at Chitwa. Chitwa Chitwa is highly acclaimed for its excellent game viewing and we boast some of the best opportunities to meet Africa’s Big 5, either in a game vehicle or on foot – that is the buffalo, elephant, rhino, leopard and lion, as well as other the wildlife who share the rugged bushveld with the Big 5 – such as the elusive wild dog, cheetah, giraffe, hippo, zebra and antelope.
Chitwa Chitwa offers a range of exciting activities. Go on safari game drives, bush walks with your ranger, receive pampering treatments in the Spa, take a dip in the the rim-flow swimming pool or work out in the gym. Relax in the library with a book from our selection, play boardgames, or enjoy delicious meals and drinks on the deck, in the boma or in the dining room and bar area. Go on a cultural village excursion to Dixie, a small village situated close to the entrance of the Sabi Sand.
There are no rules when it comes to tipping. It is, however, customary to tip in South Africa, if you are satisfied with the service you have received. Most guests leave a tip for both the ranger and tracker after their safari. As a guideline, you can plan to give the local equivalent of about USD 15 pp per day to the ranger and not much less to the tracker and an additional tip of about USD 50 for the general staff would be sufficient for a couple staying 3 nights.