Sabi Sand Travel Tips

Posted on January 13, 2020

For visitors to the wonderful wildlife areas of Southern Africa, navigating the regulations and logistics of getting there can be quite overwhelming – especially for first time travellers. If you’re thinking of travelling to South Africa in 2020, we’ve put together some information addressing the most common stumbling blocks visitors face when travelling to South Africa.

Keep reading below:

Passport & Visa Regulations when travelling to South Africa


For the majority of foreign nationals who travel to South Africa for a 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.

Travellers from certain regions of the world (Scandinavia, Japan, USA and most Western European and Commonwealth countries) do not need to formally apply for a visa. Upon arrival in South Africa, countries falling into this category will automatically be given a free entry permit sticker that outlines how long they may remain in the country.

This automatic entry permit is usually for a maximum of 90 days, though the immigration officer may tailor the time period according to the airline tickets held.

Foreign nationals from some other countries are offered this service, but for a maximum of 30 days. If the visitors want to stay for a longer period, they will have to apply formally for a visa, as opposed to relying on the automatic entry permit.

Good to know:

  • Make sure your passport contains at least ONE unused page when presenting the passport for endorsements.
  • To find out whether you require a visa to enter South Africa, visit the comprehensive South African Home Affairs Department website.

Travelling with Children in South Africa


With effect 01 October 2014, parents travelling with a child must produce an unabridged birth certificate that shows the names of both parents.

In cases where the certificate is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.

When a child travels with only one parent, additional documents should include an affidavit in which the absent parent gives consent for the child to travel, a court order granting full parental responsibilities or legal guardianship of the child, or the death certificate of the absent parent. The affidavit should be no more than three months old, from the date of travel.

All documents must either be original or certified true copies of the original, by a competent authority. Documents not in English must be accompanied by a sworn translation.

For more information also visit the Department of Home Affairs South Africa website.

Currency and money in South Africa


The currency unit in South Africa is the Rand, denoted by the symbol R, with 100 cents making up R1 (one Rand).

Foreign currency can be exchanged at local banks and Bureaux de Changes. Most major international credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa, and their affiliates are accepted.

Tipping on safari in South Africa


Most restaurants do not add a service charge to bills – thus it is customary to leave a 10-15% tip. Parking and petrol station attendants can be given whatever small change you have available. This is always appreciated, even though it may seem a small amount.

Tipping at Leopard Hills is never anything that is expected, but always greatly appreciated. Our guideline that we give when asked is as follows:

Ranger R250-R350 per day, Tracker R150-R250 per day, General Staff R250 per day.

The currency does not matter, whatever is easier for you. You are also able to use your credit card for this. Please do not hesitate to ask our team if you have any further questions.

Getting to Sabi Sand Game Reserve


Leopard Hills is located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve on the unfenced border of Kruger National Park. Depending on your individual travel needs, you can choose a scheduled flight or road transfer to the reserve.

If you plan on travelling by road, the Sabi Sand has three access gates:
Shaw’s Gate: open from 05H00 to 22H00
Newington Gate: open from 05H00 to 22H00
Gowrie Gate: open from 05H00 to 22H00

Each gate serves different lodges. Please make sure you access through the correct gate when travelling to Leopard Hills.

Find out more about getting to the Sabi Sand by air or by road on our blog here.


What to pack on safari


  • Sun protection – SPF, hat, sunglasses
  • Camera and binoculars
  • Light-weight clothing
  • Comfortable walking shoes or boots
  • Charging units and adaptors

For more information on what to pack on a Sabi Sand safari, take a look at our comprehensive blog post here.

If you’d like to enquire about visiting the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and efficient reservations team via email at or filling in our online enquiry form.

We look forward to welcoming you to the one and only Leopard Hills in the near future.


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