Frequently Asked Questions
Visiting The Homestead
Is there a best time to visit The Homestead?
There isn’t a “best” time to visit The Homestead or South Africa in general, it all depends on what you are looking to experience during your visit. Each month of the year brings something different and all offer amazing experiences.
November through to March is known as our “green season”. These are our summer months, with temperatures up to 40ºC/104ºF, and we also get the highest rainfall in February and March both coming together to make luscious greenery across the reserve.
Dry season is April through October, temperatures are lower 26ºC/79ºF, you can see further into the bush as the grass is dead and most of the trees lose their leaves, the animals are also more concentrated as they have gathered at watering holes to drink.
During which season will I see the most wildlife at The Homestead?
May to October is the peak time for seeing animals on safari. It is certainly the best time to visit The Homestead in order to experience the greatest diversity in wildlife - and the time to see the Big 5 most frequently. During the dry season, animals visit watering holes so you will be able to see a very large number of animals lapping up the water, at sunset, as you enjoy a sundowner, overlooking the escarpment.
Of course, as autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere, many bird species begin migrating south, in search of a winter food source and optimal nesting conditions. Swallows swap the rumps of dairy cows for the broader frames of wildebeest; Amur Falcon, Pygmy Kingfishers and South Africa’s national bird, the Blue crane are just a few of the birds that fly thousands of miles to spend November through April in South Africa.
What animal sightings are guaranteed at The Homestead?
The Homestead is situated in Nambiti Private Game Reserve which contains completely wild animals that are able to roam all 23,000 acres, this means that we cannot guarantee animal sightings but our experienced guides and trackers will make sure to give you the best experience possible no matter what.
Your Health & Safety
Do I need to have vaccinations before visiting The Homestead?
We recommend that you consult your medical practitioner to ensure your safety, should you have underlying medical conditions that you need to manage. If you will be traveling to The Homestead from a country that has a risk of yellow fever transmission or if your journey requires that you spend more than 12 hours at an airport in a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission, during your journey, you are legally required to have a Yellow fever vaccination (this applies to all travellers from 1-year-olds and upwards) and you may be required to produce the certificate. Please refer to this guide to understand which countries this applies to.
Nambiti Private Game Reserve is a malaria-free zone, so guests can arrive knowing that malaria is not a risk at The Homestead and they need not bring malaria tablets.
What regulations do I need to comply with in regard to COVID-19?
Please refer to your home country’s government advice on travel to get the most up-to-date travel advice on COVID-19 and the steps you should take throughout your travel, to keep you as safe as you can possibly be: USA, UK, South Africa, Germany.
What is The Homestead doing to keep guests safe during Covid?
We are fully committed to the safety of our guests. We are continually following optimal sanitation and cleaning processes. Your personal safety is of paramount importance and we have devised, and are following, protocols that ensure your wellbeing is our leading priority, from the moment you arrive at The Homestead until the moment you depart. We closely follow the guidelines issued by the South African government and the governments of the countries our guests begin their journey from, in order to ensure the safety of our guests and their loved ones.
What medical help is available at The Homestead?
The Homestead has an on-site doctor who can fill prescriptions, administer Covid tests and, should you feel unwell, our doctor will be able to assess you in the comfort of your own room, if you can be treated at The Homestead then we will do that. If your conditions are more severe then we will arrange the quickest transport possible to the nearest medical care institution.
How long does it take to get to a hospital?
We have many transport options to the different medical institutions in the area and our on-site doctor will talk you through these options. Longer journeys can be made quicker by the use of our helicopter when urgency is required.
How can I manage my allergies at The Homestead?
We ask all guests to let us know whether they have any allergies or intolerances both during the booking process and on arrival at The Homestead. Our hospitality manager and our chef can easily accommodate different food allergies as long as we’re aware what intolerances guests may have.
We can assure people that have allergies to fur and animal hair that they won’t come close enough to an animal to experience these allergies at The Homestead.
We avoid peanuts in our cooking, where possible, however, do we use other nuts. We are fully trained in HACCP to ensure optimal food safety management and there will be a separate, designated area where all nuts will be handled and stored.
Please do bring the usual antihistamines that you use to alleviate symptoms from pollen and grass allergies.
Is KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa safe?
As with many places around the world, Africa has its places of concern and these should be avoided. Planning your trip through The Homestead will prevent any misunderstandings and allow you to enjoy what will certainly be your most memorable holidays. We can take care of everything once you land in South Africa until the moment you leave.
What precautions do I need to take when visiting The Homestead?
It’s our intention to ensure your safe and comfortable passage from the airport, to The Homestead and back to the airport, at the end of your stay, should you require us to. Rest assured you will be accompanied by experienced guides who call the region home.
Other than that, we advise all travelers to abide by their countries' COVID-19 directives and consult their healthcare professionals to ensure that they are fully inoculated and underlying health conditions are taken into consideration. Of course, when traveling, it is always advisable to carry valuables securely, have duplicates of all documents, ensure that you update your family and friends of your journey progress and always be aware of your surroundings and respectful of local customs.
How do you cater to disabled people?
Our main lodge is fully accessible, with the addition of an elevator, and 10 out of our 12 luxury suites are wheelchair accessible. We are able to offer our guests safari vehicles that are also adapted for wheelchairs.
What languages are spoken at The Homestead?
English, Afrikaans and Zulu are the three main local languages in KwaZulu-Natal and all these languages will be spoken at The Homestead.
What are The Homestead policies on children?
We warmly welcome families with children to The Homestead - this experience can inspire a lifelong quest for conservation and sustainable living. The Homestead is the perfect place for a family adventure that will be imprinted in the memory forever.
Please note that new anti-child trafficking rules now require airlines and immigration security officials to request to see the birth certificates of traveling children under the age of 18 - even when both parents are traveling with their children. An affidavit from the parent, granting permission for the child to travel, must be produced if the child is traveling with a guardian or with only one parent - in the latter case, the affidavit must come from the non-traveling parent. In cases where one of the parents is deceased, a death certificate is required to be produced upon request.
Is The Homestead safe for children?
Absolutely. Every guest, whatever age they are, will leave The Homestead feeling as if they were safe at all times. Children will get to see some of the world’s most loved animals up close, learning about them and their habits and habitats from our experienced, engaging guides.
In addition to the safaris and on-site recreation such as swimming and yoga, children will also be able to participate in art and photography classes and learn of the significance of The Homestead in modern-day South Africa and the battles that have taken place on the grounds of The Homestead.
Travel, Insurance & Payments
Do I need to have any insurance to visit The Homestead?
We strongly recommend that you buy travel insurance. Travel insurance usually includes cover for any medical expenses you may incur - the health services in South Africa are of a high standard but a private system for which you would require medical insurance is in operation - and to ensure your passage home is as smooth as possible should you injure yourself or become ill, while traveling. Of course, travel insurance also covers loss or damage of your possessions as well as flight delays that may alter your carefully planned itinerary.
Do I need cash at The Homestead?
You do not need cash at The Homestead, all major credit cards, including Visa, American Express, Diners Club and MasterCard, are accepted on-site and around South Africa. Proof of identity may be requested in some instances and it is useful to carry a form of photo identification at all times whilst not on the reserve. Cash will be accepted at The Homestead for curio or spa treatment purchases and if you would like to tip any members of staff.
Should you need cash for any reason, our front desk team can easily organize those requirements for you.
Do I need to tip staff at The Homestead?
You are under no obligation to tip our staff but should you want to, any tips will be graciously accepted by our team members. Our front office can offer guidance on exchange rates if you should need it.
Sustainability & Community
Is The Homestead carbon neutral?
We are committed to our Net Zero target for The Homestead. We offset our carbon footprint in a number of sustainable ways that include building a photovoltaic solar farm to partly power The Homestead, electric state-of-the-art safari vehicles and collecting rainwater to irrigate the land in and around The Homestead.
Does a portion of my room fee go towards any causes?
A portion of your room fee goes towards supporting the APU (Anti-Poaching Unit) on the reserve, to protect our animals and preserve their surroundings. The APU patrol Nambiti Private Game Reserve day and night to stop poachers who harm the magnificent, majestic animals and threaten the entire ecosystem. You can read more about the APU in our blog: Putting an end to poaching.
What To Pack & What To Expect
Can I bring pets?
We are unable to accommodate guests’ pets at The Homestead; Nambiti Private Game Reserve does not allow for pets. This includes seeing-eye dogs, dogs are not allowed on the reserve at all.