IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING THE SABI SAND CONSERVATION CONTRIBUTION, DECEMBER 2015
To our valued partners in travel,
We would like to notify you of the implementation of a ‘Conservation Contribution (CC)’, effective 01 January 2016. All lodges within the Sabi Sand Reserve have jointly and collectively agreed to the introduction of a contribution which will go towards anti-poaching, general conservation and community initiatives within the reserve. These initiatives will be executed and managed by the Sabi Sand Wildtuin Nature Conservation Trust.
The R100.00 per person per night contribution (non-VATable) will either be added to guests’ invoice for accommodation payable prior to arrival, or to their extras account payable on departure from the lodge. Please contact the lodge in question to establish their billing policy.
The contribution will apply to all bookings confirmed from 01 January 2016, and will be allocated towards;
• Security manpower
• Upgraded fences
• Updated gate controls
• Technology and surveillance
• Flying reaction capabilities
• Investigation and prosecution capabilities
• Development projects with our neighbouring communities
• Conservation initiatives for all indigenous flora and fauna found on the reserve, including the re-introduction of species which have previously been indigenous to the region
In light of the devastating effect of poaching on our rhino and elephant populations, and the immediate threat to the long term survival of these species, we trust you will join us in supporting this critically important function within the reserve.
Should you have any queries in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact the marketing teams at the supporting lodge/s.
With kind regards
The Sabi Sand Wildtuin
With barely a sprinkle of rain this last month the animals are starting to feel the pinch. Grazing especially is hard, with the pathfinding females of the giant buffalo herds having to really on all their experience to lead their charges to the grass that remains, or two the grass responding to the light intensities turns green in anticipation of rain that never seems to come. Matriarchal elephants lead their families to the river and often three or four herds can be seen munching away on the Phragmites reeds, the newly established sedge grasses and other pioneer species. These plants are taking advantage the newly emerging islands in the river, and as such there are swathes of green all along the river. The crusty old dagga boys are so plentiful along the river, might as well open up a golf course for them.
The impalas have started lambing and it is open season for the carnivores. The wild dogs take at least three or four lambs every drive, the strategy is always the same at sunrise and sunset, the adults get up, play with the youngsters a bit and head off all in one direction and spread out. The first animal they see the chase it down and rip it apart in a few minutes, this whole process may only last 15 minutes or so as they are such efficient hunters. All you have to do is hope you are in the right place at the right time. The adults then return to the pups and regurgitate a portion of their meal for the pups. As such the dogs are always full and the pups are growing quickly as they have too; as it is a tough life to be a Painted Wolf.
Not to be out done the leopards are working day and night to keep up with the tally of the dogs. Tlangisa has had cubs but we haven’t found them yet, so she has a few mouths to feed.
Xhikavi’s little boy is still doing very well, he is still quite shy and takes a while to calm down to his mother’s level. He is ticking all the growth boxes though as she is a terrific hunter.
Dewane is constantly putting pressure on his neighbors and as such we see him in the north a lot. Torchwood is often seen killing warthogs in the south and Schotia is steadily sailing her ship into her future. Basile and Khokovela are giving cameos in the north and seem to be embracing their newfound freedom with the grace we have come to expect from Tlangisa.
The bush is really dry and the river looks like it might run dry this year. So please pray for rain.
That’s all from Matt for this month. We thank you for spending few moments with us in the wilderness, sharing our experiences and joining our adventures. We are committed to keep you updated. Please follow our Facebook page for daily updates.
Regards, THE INYATI TEAM
Keith & Francis – Managers
George (Head Guide) & Solly (Tracker)
Khimbini (Senior Guide) & Rodger (Tracker)
Matthew (Senior Guide) & Nelson (Tracker)
This month’s sightings report compiled by Matthew Brennan. *Photographs by Khimbini, Keith and Matthew
The South African Tourism Industry spent the better part of last night honouring the crème de la crème of the sector. The industry hosted by the esteemed Minister of Tourism, Mr Derek Hanekom, were treated to an evening of splendour and entertainment from local musicians.
Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. South Africa has, without a doubt, among the most service-orientated tourism industry on earth. Ours is an industry that’s characterised by excellence and by an intensely guest-focussed culture. Our industry is made up of a team of committed people whose passion is on show for all to see and experience.
In such an industry that takes product and service excellence to truly world class levels, the best of the best are recognised and honoured through the annual Lilizela Tourism Awards. These awards are not only an integral part of South Africa’s strategy to remain a globally competitive destination, but are pivotal to setting the excellence bar for the entire sector: giving all tourism businesses standards of excellence to aspire to and building South Africa’s reputation the world over as one of the best tourism destinations on earth.
Starting in the provinces where provincial champions are rewarded for their service excellence, national Lilizela Tourism Award winners are selected from the shortlist of provincial winners for the ultimate accolade of tourism excellence in the country at a glittering national event that attracts both the attendance and the attention of the industry, reflecting on a job well done.
Hosted by former Miss South Africa, now businesswoman Joanne Strauss and musician Stoan Seate of Bongo Maffin fame, last night’s Lilizela Tourism Awards have grown substantially since they were launched in 2013. This year, over 1 100 entries were received across all categories – making these awards far reaching and widely representative of the national tourism industry.
During the country-wide provincial awards, 219 tourism product owners and service providers in the industry were recognised and rewarded for their contribution to service excellence in tourism and upholding the promise of quality assurance.
Minister Hanekom, congratulated those who work in this ever growing industry in South Africa and commended them for contributing in the transformation and growth of the South African tourism industry.
South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thulani Nzima also congratulated the night’s finalists and winners.
“The contribution of tourism businesses nominated for the Lilizela Tourism Awards keeps the sector on an upward trend. We congratulate all the winners and hope they will continue to serve as tourism ambassadors by continuing to showcase the best of our country to the world as tourism continues to be one of the fastest growing sectors,” said Nzima.
Multi-award winning songstress, Lira; popular music band, The Soil together with Brenda and the Band added to the entertainment for this glamorous night.
Grant Thornton were appointed as the independent auditors for this year’s Lilizela Tourism Awards.
Some highlights of recipients of these prestigious industry awards were:
Winner of ETEYA 2015 – Simeliza Tours
Winner of Best Social Involvement Programme – Large business – Aquila Game Reserve
Winner of the Five-star hotel – The Oyster Box Hotel
Winner of the Wildlife Encounters award – Inyati Game Lodge
Tourist Guides winners – Nelson Maphaha and Michael Keith Jones
Recipient of the Minister’s Awards – Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo Managing Director of Birchwood Hotel.
For the full list of winners from last night’s awards ceremony, to view finalist and pictures, please visit the Lilizela Awards website, http://www.lilizela.co.za
The Mpumalanga Province announced the names of the provincial winners of the 2015 Lilizela Tourism Awards. The announcement was made at an awards ceremony held on September 8, 2015 at Emnotweni Arena in Mbombela where all the province’s finalists were publically honoured for their contribution to service excellence and quality assurance in the tourism industry.
“Being awarded the Lilizela award for the best wildlife encounter in #Mpumalanga two years in a row is a true source of pride for the entire team at Inyati Game Lodge ,” said Leighanne Dawkins, Marketing Manager at Inyati Game Lodge. “We are proud of our knowledgeable and passionate safari guides who are experts out in the field, and are the finishing touch to the fine quality of the Inyati safari experience.”
25 Things You Might Not Know About Rhinos
1. The word rhinoceros is a combination of two Greek words – rhino (nose) and ceros (horn).
There are five living species of rhinoceros – white, black, greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran. In addition, a number of other animals have rhinoceros as part of their names, including the rhinoceros auklet, rhinoceros beetle, rhinoceros chameleon, rhinoceros cockroach, rhinoceros fish, rhinoceros hornbill, rhinoceros iguana, rhinoceros rat snake, rhino shrimp, and rhinoceros viper. All of them have horn-like appendages on their noses.
2. Rhinos have also been referred to as pachyderms.
The name pachyderm also comes from two Greek words – pachys (thick) and derma (skin). Many years ago, zoologists grouped a number of thick-skinned species together as pachyderms, including rhinos, tapirs, horses, elephants, hippos, pigs, peccaries, and hyraxes. This classification is no longer considered useful, but the name is still used every now and then.
3. Rhino is sometimes used as a nickname.
A number of people have been given the nickname Rhino. They include American professional wrestler and actor Terry Gerin (Rhyno), Mark Smith from the British show Gladiators, guitarist Larry Reinhardt (El Rhino) from the band Iron Butterfly, and David Unsworth, a former British soccer star. The national rugby teams of South Africa and Indonesia are also known as the Rhinos.
4. Rhino horns are not made of bone, but of keratin, the same material found in your hair and fingernails.
A rhino’s horn is not attached to its skull. It is actually a compacted mass of hairs that continues to grow throughout the animal’s lifetime, just like our own hair and nails. The longest horn on record belonged to a white rhino and measured just under 60 inches (five feet). By comparison, a woman from Las Vegas, Nevada is believed to have the world’s longest fingernails – about 10 feet worth on each hand – while a woman from China apparently holds the record for the world’s longest hair – over 18 feet in length! Regrettably, neither human hair nor fingernails are believed to possess the healing properties that some people believe are found in rhino horn. If people believed they did, they could chew their own nails and cut their own hair in order to feel well, and halt the needless slaughter of rhinos.
5. A fossil skull first thought to be that of a dragon, turned out to be from an extinct woolly rhinoceros.
In the city of Klagenfurt, located in southern Austria, stands the statue of a legendary dragon or Lindwurm, sporting a crocodile-like body and bat-like wings. The statue was erected around the year 1500, about thirty years after a large skull had been unearthed somewhere nearby. Sculptures used the skull as a model for the dragon’s head, but it was only centuries later that scientists identified it as belonging to the extinct woolly rhinoceros of the last Ice Age.
6. The closest living rhino relatives are tapirs, horses and zebras.
These animals are known as perissodactyls or odd-toed ungulates. Even toed-ungulates are called artiodactyls and include cattle, deer, antelopes, goats, sheep, pigs, camels and llamas. Rhinos have three toes on each foot so, in a way, their tracks resemble the Ace of Clubs.
7. A group of rhinos is called a crash.
A group of deer is called a herd, a group of fish a school, a group of bats a colony, a group of turkeys a flock, a group of bees a swarm, a group of alligators a congregation, a group of clams a bed, a group of frogs an army, a group of penguins a rookery, a group of hyenas a clan, a group of lions a pride, a group of wolves a pack, a group of coyotes a band, and a group of crows a murder. Who thinks of these names?
8. Some rhinos use their teeth – not their horns – for defense.
When an Indian rhino defends itself against a predator or another rhino, it doesn’t use its horn to gore its opponent. Instead, it slashes and gouges viciously with the long, sharp incisors and canine teeth on its lower jaw. Neither the black nor the white rhino has incisors. Only the Indian and Sumatran rhinos have canines, but all five species have three premolars and three molars on each side of their upper and lower jaws. Commit this to memory … there will be a quiz tomorrow!
9. An adult white rhino can produce as much as 50 pounds of dung per day!
That’s a lotta poo! And it’s the result of rhinos having to consume large amounts of plant material to obtain proper nutrition. Nuances in the smell of dung can tell a rhino a lot about others in the area. Each rhino’s smell is unique and identifies its owner. The dung of a young rhino smells different than that of an adult. A male’s dung smells different than a female’s, and the dung of a female in estrus gives off a different odor than that of a non-reproductive female. Multiple or communal deposits of dung are known as middens, essentially serving as local “websites” or ”Facebook pages”, allowing rhinos to keep up with their neighbors.
10. White rhinos aren’t white and black rhinos aren’t black.
The white rhino’s name is taken from the Afrikaans word “wyd,” which means “wide” and describes its mouth. Early English settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the “wyd” for “white”. Black rhinos probably got their name from the dark wet mud in their wallows that made them appear black in color. Both species are essentially gray in color. By comparison, the famous Blue Rhino, corporate logo for the well-known propane tank company, is entirely a figment of its founder’s imagination.
11. Rhino pregnancies last 15 – 16 months!
The only animals with longer gestation periods are elephants, which carry a fetus for close to 2 years! Camels and giraffes have pregnancies lasting 13 to 14 months, while female horses, sea lions and dolphins can require up to a year to give birth. A bear’s gestation period is about seven or eight months, a lion’s less than four, and domestic dogs and cats about two. The record for the shortest mammalian pregnancy is 12 to 13 days, held jointly by the Virginia opossum, the water opossum or yapok of Central and South America, and the native cat of Australia.
12. Rhinos and elephants are not mortal enemies.
The myth of hatred between these two species dates back to ancient times. In fact, in 1515, King Manuel I of Portugal decided to see if it were true. He had been given a female Indian rhino by the name of Ganda, who was given a home in his royal menagerie, away from the elephants. One day, however, the King arranged for a battle between the beasts, held in a courtyard and attended by the royal family and their guests. The youngest elephant in the King’s menagerie was led into the arena from its stable. The tapestries hiding the rhinoceros were drawn open. An official observer wrote that the rhinoceros appeared furious and immediately charged her foe, so violently that the young elephant broke free of her chain, uttered a tremendous cry and bolted to safety through a thick set of iron bars. This incident most certainly helped sustain the myth.
13. The white rhino is the largest rhino species and the largest land mammal after the elephant.
White rhinos can grow to weigh more than 5,000 pounds, which is almost as much as a Land Rover rolling along on the Serengeti. Next in size is the Indian or greater one-horned rhino, which may actually stand taller than a white rhino, but is just a bit less massive. Then come the Javan rhino and the black rhino. The Sumatran rhino is the smallest of its kind, with the largest individuals barely reaching a ton in weight. A large male hippopotamus can actually exceed the largest rhino in size – perhaps by as much as half a ton – but because it spends most of its time in rivers and lakes, biologists consider it an aquatic, not a land mammal.
14. Perhaps the most famous rhino in the world was one named Clara.
Clara was a female Indian rhinoceros who toured Europe for 17 years during the 1700s. Clara’s mother was killed by hunters in Assam, India in 1738, after which she was adopted by Jay Albert Sichterman and became a household pet. Clara was then sold to a Dutch sea captain, Douwemunt Van der Meer, who somehow got her safely to Rotterdam, rubbing down her skin with fish oil and providing dietary supplements of beer and tobacco. Clara’s European travels are documented in a book called Clara’s Grand Tour by Glynis Ridley, and included stops in The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, France, Italy, Denmark, and England.
15. African rhinos have a symbiotic relationship with oxpeckers, also called “tick birds”.
In Swahili, the oxpecker is called askari wa kifaru, which means “the rhino’s guard”. The oxpecker eats ticks and other insects that it finds on the rhino, and creates a commotion when it senses danger. This helps alert the rhino. Indian or greater one-horned rhinos have similar symbiotic relationships with other bird species, including the well-known myna.
16. Throughout their history, rhinos have been a very diverse group.
Paleontologists believe that at least 30 genera and 60 different species of rhino ancestors once inhabited North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The extinct species Paraceratherium, commonly referred to as the “giraffe-rhinoceros”, was the largest land mammal that ever lived. Its head reached a height of nearly 28 feet – as tall as a three-story building – and paleontologists estimate that it may have weighed as much as 20 tons! The smallest rhino ancestors were the Hyracodontidae, which were only the size of dogs. There was also a group of aquatic, hippopotamus-like rhinos, the Amynodontidae, that lived in North America and Asia.
17. Humans are the major threat to rhinos, but several other species are also rhino predators.
The two species most often reported to prey upon rhinos – usually young ones – are lions in Africa and tigers in Asia. However, leopards, hyenas, wild dogs and Nile crocodiles are also known to kill African rhino calves on occasion. By far, though, people are rhinos’ #1 enemy.
18. Most wild rhino calves never meet their fathers.
After mating, adult male and female rhinos typically go their separate ways. After the calf is born, it will probably spend a couple of years or more in the company of its mother, and perhaps associate with other females and their calves, but the father rhino is not part of the standard social group.
19. Three of the five surviving rhino species – the black, Javan and Sumatran – are Critically Endangered.
This means there is at least a 50% chance that these species could become extinct sometime this century. Just over 5,000 black rhinos now survive in nine African countries, essentially double the number that existed only 20 years ago, so that species is actually increasing slowly. Sumatran rhinos used to be found from the foothills of the Himalayas to the island of Sumatra. Today, however, only about 100 individuals are believed to survive as scattered populations in Indonesia and Sabah, Malaysia. The historic range of the Javan rhino was similar to that of the Sumatran, but the species currently numbers no more than 50 individuals, all restricted to Ujung Kulon National Park on the western tip of Java.
20. The black rhino has a prehensile upper lip that allows it to feed on trees and shrubs.
The black rhino also has no front incisor teeth, so it relies heavily on its lips to bring food to its mouth. By contrast, the white rhino, the other African species, has a long, flat upper lip that is designed more for grazing on grasses. The black rhino can be compared to a tree pruner and the white rhino to a lawn mower. The upper lips of the three Asian rhino species are also prehensile to some degree, and other mammals with prehensile lips include bears, giraffes, horses, llamas, moose and manatees.
21. Black, white and Sumatran rhinos have two horns; Javan and greater one-horned rhinos have one horn.
The Sumatran rhino, although it has two horns, is not at all closely related to Africa’s black or white rhinos. It is the oldest of the living rhinos, having appeared nearly 15 million years ago, and its closest relative is actually the extinct woolly rhinoceros. Black and white rhinos appear to have evolved from a common 6 million-year-old ancestor and remain very closely related. The evolutionary paths of the greater one-horned rhino and the Javan rhino separated a bit more recently, their common ancestor dating back perhaps two to four million years. Curiously enough, most female Javan rhinos don’t appear to have any horn at all! Is a hornless rhino an oxymoron?
22. Rhino horn has been used for centuries in traditional Asian medicine, but has not been proven to cure any illness.
Powdered rhino horn has been prescribed by Asian doctors for centuries as a cure for a wide range of diseases or conditions including aging, arthritis, asthma, black magic, boils and carbuncles, chest cold, chicken pox, convulsions, coughs, demonic possession, diphtheria, dog bites, dysentery, epilepsy, fainting, fever, fits, food poisoning, hallucinations, headache, hemorrhoids, impotence, insanity, laryngitis, lumbago, malaria, measles, melancholy, memory loss, myopia, night blindness, nightmares, nose bleed, plague, polio, prescription overdoses, rectal bleeding, scorpion stings, smallpox, snake bite, toothache, typhoid, vomiting and worms. There is no evidence from western scientific studies that it has any curative powers but at least one Chinese study disputes those data. And, of course, its use is illegal.
23. Andatu was the first rhino ever born in captivity in Indonesia.
On June 23, 2012, the female Sumatran rhino known as Ratu gave birth to a 60-pound male at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, located in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park. Approximately 16 months earlier, Ratu had mated with the male rhino, Andalas, who was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001 – the first Sumatan rhino born in captivity in over a century. Andalas’ and Ratu’s baby was named Andatu, a combination of his parents’ names, but also an expression that means “A Gift from God”, in the Indonesian language.
24. The most famous piece of rhino artwork is Albrecht Durer’s woodcut, The Rhinoceros, printed in 1515.
The fact that Durer’s rhinoceros is not entirely accurate is not surprising. Durer never laid eyes on a living rhino, but made his famous drawing based on the sketch of an unknown artist who had. The animal was originally sent as a gift from Sultan Muzafar II of India to Alfonso d’Albuquerque, the governor of Portuguese India at the time, who subsequently “re-gifted” it to Dom Manuel I I, the King of Portugal. Dom Manuelwho then “re-gifted” it again to Pope Leo X in Rome. Unfortunately, the boat carrying the unfortunate rhino sank before it reaching its final destination, but the animal’s image has been reprinted countless times over the centuries.
25. World Rhino Day is celebrated on September 22
Each year in September, people who want to help save rhinos from extinction can do so by participating in World Rhino Day
Inducted into ‘Hall of Fame’ of Five-time Certificate of Excellence Winners on The World’s Largest Travel Site
SABI SAND GAME RESERVE, MPUMALANGA, SOUTH AFRICA – 20th, May, 2015 – Inyati Game Lodge today announced that it has been recognised as a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame winner. The Certificate of Excellence award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. The ‘Hall of Fame’ was created to honour those businesses that have earned a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years. Winners include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.
“Being awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence five years in a row and inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame’ is a true source of pride for the entire team at Inyati Game Lodge and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Leighanne Dawkins, Marketing Manager at Inyati Game Lodge “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by one’s guests. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”
“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years is a remarkable feat. TripAdvisor is pleased to induct five-time award winners into the ‘Hall of Fame’,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on consistently delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive an improvement to hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”
When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honourees that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period as well as business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.
2016 Safari Awards Voting is Now OpenInyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve has been nominated in three categories for the 2016 Safari Awards. Winning an award in these categories is quite an accolade and a feather in our cap. We need your help in voting for us. We could not be where we are today if it weren’t for the support and positive feedback received from our guests.
We have been nominated in the categories are: “Best Value Safari Property”,“Best Safari Guiding Team“ and”Best Walking Safari”. Please vote for us, we would appreciate the support – and will always continue to improve.
To vote for us, please search for Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve here: http://www.safariawards.com
2016 Safari Awards Voting is Now Open
If you have been on a memorable safari holiday, or stayed at what you consider the best safari lodge, you can vote for it now in the 2016 Safari Awards.
The best safari properties in Africa and beyond received over 13,500 votes last year, in categories including Best Value Safari Property, Best Safari Cuisine and Best Safari Guiding Team.
There are 18 categories for the 2016 Awards, including two new categories for Best Location and Best Design. To find out more about the property based categories, please visit our main categories page
To find out more about voting in the Safari Awards, including how to vote for wildlife organisatons and our two special personal contribution awards, please click here.
Planning on traveling to South Africa with your child? If so, it’s super important to keep in mind South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs’ new laws pertaining to traveling with minors (children under the age of 18). The new laws were effective on June 1, 2015 and were put in place in order to reduce (and hopefully eliminate) child trafficking across South African borders.
But the laws aren’t as simple as “show your child’s birth certificate.” There are several different documents that parents will need to show in order to bring their children on a South Africa safari vacation. Not to mention there are several different scenarios that warrant different types of documents. For example, a single parent traveling with a minor, or two parents traveling with a minor (both biological parents but different last names), a child traveling alone, etc.
Is your head spinning yet from all those different scenarios? Well, fear not, there is an app that can help you figure out what documents you need! The app, which is called the South African Child VISA Checklist App, was created by Andre Van Kets who says that there are “15 different documents and 37 unique scenarios for children traveling in and out of South Africa.”
This app is designed to simplify the process in figuring out what documents you need for traveling with a minor. All you have to do is download the app and answer two to three multiple-choice questions that will then generate a list of the appropriate documents you’ll need.
The questions ask about whom the child is traveling with. Specifically, the questions cover the status of the parents (divorced, married, etc.), as well as any special circumstance, such as if the child is adopted, if both parents are alive, etc.
The app, which can be downloaded on your mobile device or computer desktop, then generates a list of documents you’ll need, based on your responses. The app also includes links to official documents from the Department of Home Affairs, as well as frequently asked questions.
Try out the app for yourself at http://www.drivesouthafrica.co.za/child-visa-checklist/
Section 7 of the South African Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002)
Under 18s travelling to and from South Africa
The new requirements, being introduced by the South African Department of Home Affairs, for additional documentation needed by persons under the age of 18 years for travel to and from South Africa was implemented on 01 June, 2015.
*Applicable travellers will be asked to produce the required documentation at check-in for each flight.
For further information and assistance please contact: the South African Department of Home Affairs, 0800 60 11 90 (toll free from South Africa); or your local South African Embassy
Frequently Asked Questions
A) What do the regulations say about parents travelling with children?
Regulation 6 (12)(a):
Where parents are travelling with a child, such parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child.
1. What is an unabridged birth certificate?
It is a birth certificate reflecting the particulars of both parents.
2. Is this applicable to all children?
Yes, the South African regulations regards a child as any person under the age of 18 years. It is applicable to all nationalities departing from and arriving in South Africa. It is not required for passengers remaining in transit, unless s/he requires a transit visa. The unabridged certificate should be submitted during the transit visa application process and both the certificate and visa should be carried on person whilst travelling.
3. What about unabridged birth certificates or other documents that are not issued in English?
All documents issued in a language other than English would be accepted.
4. What about countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates?
In the case of foreign countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates, an equivalent document containing the particulars of the child and his or her parents issued by the competent authority of the foreign country should be produced.
5. Must I travel with the original document?
A certified copy is sufficient as per the regulations. It must be certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned).
6. Can the document be scanned and e-mailed?
B) What do the regulations say about children travelling with one parent?
Regulation 6 (12)(b):
In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and:
Consent, in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate of the child, authorizing him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic of South Africa with the child he or she is travelling with;
[or] a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child; or
Where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate, provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her his or her parents, approve such a person to enter or depart the Republic with such a child.
6. What is the time line for the affidavit?
The affidavit must be no older than 4 months, dating from the time of travel.
7. My country does not issue affidavits. Which alternative do I have?
A South African Embassy in the traveller’s country of residence may be approached to commission the oath or solemn declaration free of charge.
C) What do the regulations say about persons travelling with a child who is not their biological child?
Regulation 6 (12)(c):
Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, he or she must produce:
A copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child;
An affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child;
Copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child; and
The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child,
provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her his or her parents, approve such a person to enter or depart the Republic with such a child.
Questions and answers 1 – 7 also apply.
8. Does this include children travelling with school groups and grandparents?
Yes, any child under the age of 18 travelling with a person other than his / her parents must be in possession of the above documentation.
9. Is a copy of the unabridged birth certificate sufficient or must it be the original?
A copy is sufficient as per the regulations. It must be certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned).
10. Must the copies of the parents’ passports / ID’s be certified?
They must be certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned).
11. In what format must the contact details of the parents be?
A Parental Consent Affidavit (suggested format attached) with the parents’ name and surname, physical address, telephone and cell phone numbers would be sufficient.
12. How do you obtain approval from the Director General when you do not reside in South Africa?
Through the nearest South African diplomatic or consular representative abroad.
D) What do the regulations say about children travelling as unaccompanied minors?
Regulation 6 (12)(d):
Any unaccompanied minor shall produce to the immigration officer:
Proof of consent from one or both his or her parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from the Republic: Provided that in the case where one parent provides proof of consent, that parent must also provide a copy of a court order issued to him or her in terms of which he or she has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child;
A letter from the person which is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his or her residential address and contact details where the child will be residing;
A copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic; and
The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
Questions and answers 1 – 12 also apply.
13. What is the age for an Unaccompanied Minor in this case?
Any child under 18 travelling by themselves will be seen as an unaccompanied minor by Immigration. This does not affect the airline’s Unaccompanied Minor policy and procedure.
14. In Regulation 6 (12)(d), points (i) and (ii) refer to a letter. Must this letter be certified?
It must be certified as the original or as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned).
15. Must the consent be from one parent or both?
It must be from both parents as per the regulations.
E) What do the regulations say about two unused pages in the passport?
Regulation 2 (1) (d):
Passengers travelling to South Africa must be in possession of a passport with two unused pages required for endorsements. The two unused pages when presented for purposes of endorsing a port of entry visa, visa, permanent residence permit or entry of departure stamp.
16. Is this for all passengers travelling to South Africa?
The two unused passport pages specifically pertain to foreign passports (non-South African).
These must be visa pages.
The requirement does not apply to foreigners who are in possession of valid permanent residence permits in South Africa.
The first unused page in a foreigner’s passport is used for the issuing of a visa, if required, by a South African mission abroad or by the Department’s Head Office in South Africa (the latter in the case of an extended stay).
The second page is used by Immigration at the South African port of entry for endorsing the arrival or departure stamp and, in the case of foreigners not requiring a visa, a port of entry visa (one page required for both arrival and departure stamps and port of entry visa).
F) What will happen to a passenger not in possession of these documents?
Regulation 6 (9):
When examining a person before his or her departure from the Republic, an immigration officer shall ensure that the person is not: a fugitive from justice; or the subject of a court order that orders the Department to prevent his or her departure.
Regulation 6 (10):
Any child who is in alternative care as defined in the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005) shall, before departing from the Republic, produce a certified copy of an authorization letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides as contemplated in section 169 of the Children’s Act.
Regulation 6 (11):
An immigration officer shall refuse any person contemplated in sub regulation (9) or who does not comply with sub regulation (10), to depart from the Republic.
17. What will happen if we don’t have the required documentation at the time of check-in?
SAA are bound by the South African Immigration regulations and must act accordingly. Travellers not in possession of the required documentation will not be allowed to travel.
18. Is this regulations only applicable to persons departing the Republic?
No, the regulations are applicable to all passengers arriving or departing South Africa.
G) What must I do if I am declared undesirable?
Persons who are declared undesirable persons in terms of Section 30(1)(h) read with 50(1) of the Immigration Act, no 13 of 2002 as amended (by Act No. 13 of 2011) are not permitted to return to South Africa for the period specified in the declaration. They may however submit written representations as indicated in the declaration.
The following documents must be submitted:
A copy of the declaration of undesirability (form 19) that was issued at the Port of Entry.
A copy of the relevant pages of the passport, including biodata page.
Acknowledgment of receipt ( in cases where the applicant has applied for a permit and the status is still pending).
If the applicant overstayed due to medical reasons, a medical certificated must be submitted.
The appeal must be e-mailed to: Overstayappeals@dha.gov.za
H) Who can I speak to if I have further questions?
If you have any further questions relating to these regulations, please contact:
the South African Department of Home Affairs, 0800 60 11 90 (toll free from South Africa); or
your local South African Embassy
Safety with lions on safari – Written by: Onne Vegter
Following the unfortunate incident at a lion park in Johannesburg recently where a woman was dragged from her vehicle and killed by a lion, the world’s media has been abuzz.
On social media, concerned tourists are asking whether it is safe to go on safari. Many have criticised the poor woman for leaving her car windows open in spite of the many signs warning her not to do so. However, if an open window is so dangerous, is it safe to go on a safari that uses open vehicles for game drives?
When we posted this photo on our Facebook page a while ago, we received some comments about how crazy and stupid these people were to be sitting in an open vehicle so close to a pride of wild lions.
Yet this kind of sighting happens every day all over southern Africa. These concerns about safety stem from a lack of understanding about where the recent tragedy occurred, and how the lion park differs from a regular wildlife safari.
Confusing potential tourists even more, news headlines around the world proclaimed: “Lion kills American tourist at a game park in South Africa”. We’ve seen the words game reserve, game park, nature reserve and safari park all used in connection with this incident. The truth is that this was not an African safari and did not happen in a game reserve. This attack happened at a small lion park, which is very different from a normal African game reserve. It is not the first time an incident like this has occurred in a lion park yet you never hear of lions dragging tourists off open safari vehicles in bigger game reserves like the Kruger National Park. Why is that?
A typical lion park is nothing like a game reserve such as the Sabi Sand Game Reserve or Kruger National Park. It is more like a glorified zoo that is big enough to drive through. The key issue in this case is that these lions are not entirely wild. These lions are kept in enclosures and have been raised in captivity (or in some cases rescued from abusive conditions). As cubs, they have probably been handled and photographed by humans. Lion cub interactions have received increasing criticism in recent times, and rightly so. However, such activities have traditionally been a key source of income for certain lion parks. When lions are raised like this and fed by humans, they lose their natural fear of humans and they learn to associate humans with food.
This is the critical difference between lions in a lion park and wild lions in a game reserve. In game reserves, wild lions do not associate human beings with food. They are naturally fearful of humans and, unless you run away, they will not see humans as prey. They also do not associate vehicles with humans or with food.
For this reason, thousands of tourist game drives are conducted every day across Africa in open safari vehicles and involve many close encounters with wild lions and other predators. However, you never hear of tourists being attacked or dragged from their open safari vehicle.
A leopard like this can walk right past an open safari vehicle and does not even take a second look at the people in the vehicle – they are not seen as a threat and they are not seen as food. I’ve watched lions and leopards walk so close to the tracker sitting on the front that he could have reached out and touched the animal if he so wished.
The lion park has had similar incidents before, and the management is well aware of the dangerous nature of captive lions. This is why there are clear signs all over the park warning visitors not to alight from their vehicle or even to open their windows. Unfortunately, this tourist did not heed those warnings. Yet in the Kruger National Park, visitors have been driving around with open windows for many decades, and thousands have enjoyed close-up encounters with wild lions from the back of an open safari vehicle. Millions of tourists have safely visited Kruger in their own vehicles, and you never hear of lions dragging people from their cars there. Of course, there are rules in Kruger too. Do not alight from your vehicle. Do not disturb the animals. Do not feed the animals. Do not stand up or hang out of the vehicle. If you heed these rules, you will be perfectly safe.
After a tragic incident like this, misguided and hysterical reporting about the dangers of going on safari does incredible damage to tourism and, by extension, to wildlife conservation as so much of Africa’s conservation effort depends on income from tourism. African safaris have an excellent safety record and millions of people visit Africa every year to go on safari. As long as tourists obey the rules of the park they are visiting, it is absolutely safe to go on an open vehicle safari.