Stunning surroundings, sumptuous luxury and great weather! Mpala Lodge is an ideal year-round destination. Whenever you plan to visit, you’ll be assured warmth, relaxation and as lots to see and do.
The Kruger National Park has a sunny sub-tropical climate, with daytime temperatures above 25º most of the year. There are two seasons: Dry and Wet. Each season offers the visitor something unique, and of course you’ll always be able to enjoy our exclusive activities. So, you really can plan your visit to fit around your schedule.
The Dry season – May to September
During the drier winter months, the park and surrounding areas turn into shades of yellow and brown. Leaves fall from the trees and the grass is low. This means that wildlife viewing is generally better during this season because it can be easier to spot animals when the vegetation is less dense.
Gather around the waterhole
Game movement becomes more predictable as the animals migrate towards the water and gather around rivers and waterholes for an early morning drink. This creates some really stunning scenes that you’ll want to capture on camera.
Fresh morning starts
Being the dry season means little to no rain, crisper and clearer skies and fewer mosquitos. Early morning starts can be quite chilly though, so the trick is to pack plenty of layers!
The Wet Season – October to April
In the wetter summer months, the yellow and brown grasslands soon give way to a lush green bushveld. By late November and early December the park will be brimming with newborns, making wildlife spotting really something to cherish. Don’t be put off by the rain though, as rainfall is usually short afternoon showers. By that time you’ll probably be relaxing at the Lodge with a glass in your hand.
Perfect for birding
Late summer, in the months of January and February, is a great time for birding in the Kruger Park with many migrant summer visitors. The park straddles so many eco-zones that it attracts a wide variety of birds. Some of the most common birds are the Bateleur Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, African Fish Eagle and Tawny Eagle.
Go on a daytrip to the Drakensburg Mountains
The Drakensberg Mountains are best seen during the summer months and we offer a spectacular trip as part of our additional activities offering.
Cool off in our pool
Daytime temperatures in the summer can be quite high, especially in the months of December, January and February. Be sure to pack plenty of light coloured clothes, preferably made with natural fibers and don’t forget to bring a sunhat. Of course our rooms are air-conditioned and you will definitely be able to cool off in our pool while sipping a cocktail!
The wet season is low season meaning that generally there are fewer visitors to the parks. So although the wildlife can be more spread out and harder to spot, you’ll find it less crowded.
So every season have its pro and cons. So pick your favorite and book today!
At the Mpala Safari Lodge we have a lot of guests from the US, who seem to appreciate our special blend of African nature and Scandinavian design and quality.
However, we often get the question: “isn’t it difficult to get to your lodge from the US?” We understand your questions and concerns. If you look at a World map, there is quite the distance from the one continent to the other. But modern travel and airfare can work miracles today, and if you take a closer look at the trip, it is actually not that difficult to get here.
A safari trip might be the best travel experience of your entire lifetime. It is not something that most people do every year, but more likely a trip that you have been saving for for years and planned for just as long. You want to make sure that you get the full value for your money and that the holiday will live up to your expectations. Having chosen the Mpala Lodge as your resort and safari organisor, you have taken a big step in the right direction. We have the experience and knowledge – combined with our own passion for Africa and its nature and wildlife – to help you create the holiday of your lives.
However, to make sure the experience will be perfect for you, there are a few things you can plan and take care of yourselves before coming here.
Booking the flight
Getting here by plane is easy no matter where in the world you come from. There are international flights to Johannesburg from all over the globe. You can book your own flight on the Internet if you are comfortable with doing this, or you can have a local travel agency help you buying the plane tickets. From Johannesburg, you can take a domestic flight to either Hoedspruit or Phalaborwa, where we will pick you up in our free shuttle.
It is generally very safe to stay here at the Mpala Lodge. However it is very important that you have a valid travel insurance in case you get ill or have an accident of any kind. The travel insurance must also cover your medical expenses and in the worst case scenario, your flight home for treatment. Remember to let your insurance company know what kind of holiday it is you are going on.
Passport and visa
You need a valid passport to enter South Africa. The passport should be valid for at least 6 months more. Also you might need a visa depending on which national citizen you are. You can check the rules that apply at your country’s embassy in South Africa or you can probably find the information on the Internet or in a local guidebook to South Africa.
Just make sure that the information you find on the Internet or in guidebooks is updated because the rules may have changed.
There are no mandatory vaccinations coming to South Africa, however we do recommend that you get vaccinated for tetanus and hepatitis just to be on the safe side. If you plan to visit the Kruger National Park, we also recommend bringing medication against malaria.
These were 5 short tips to help you plan your safari experience. You can find more practical info here, and never be afraid to ask your quiestions.
We have had a few questions about ebola lately and people not being sure if it is safe to visit South Africa after the recent outbreak of the disease in West Africa. Let us be clear from the start: the risk of catching the ebola virus is as small in South Africa as it is in London or New York. We will explain why later, but let us get a few facts straight first.
What exactly is ebola?
Ebola is a highly deadly virus with no known cure. It has been known since 1976, but has only had a few outbreaks – all in Africa. The current outbreak of ebola is contained to West Africa, and primarily to the nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Ebola is contagious and spreads through bodily fluids only.
Africa – a continent, not a country
A recent survey by a leading safari website has shown that many safari operators are experiencing substantially fewer bookings than normal. This is mostly caused by potential customers’ fear of ebola. Again this fear comes from the misconception of Africa being a single country, when in fact it is a continent so large that the United States could fit into it three times. Africa measures 11.7 million square miles and has 54 different countries with more than 1.1 billion people calling it home.
Let us look at distances wihtin this large continent. The distance between the ebola outbreak area in West Africa and the country of South Africa is about 3.000 miles. This compares to for example Berlin or London in Europe, or to New York being 4.400 miles away from the ebola zone.
What actions have the South African government taken?
South Africa is as focused as most other countries in the world on preventing the ebola virus from entering the country. So far there have been no cases of ebola in South Africa since 1996, when a man infected with ebola flew in from Gabon. Today no foreign citizens arriving from ebola affected countries in will be allowed entrance to South Africa and South African citizens arriving from West Africa is strictly screened, before being allowed re-entry.
Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi told the press that “precautions are being taken to prevent the virus from entering the country,” and “that the surveillance activities in place are extremely effective”.
Let us sum up some facts:
• Ebola is not airborne and only spreads through bodily fluids
• Ebola is only in outbreak in West Africa
• The distance between South Africa and the ebola area is the same as the distance from London
• There have been no cases of ebola in South Africa since 1996
• The South African government has taken strict precautions in order to prevent the disesase from entering the country.
Given the above facts, we would say that coming to South Africa is as risky when it comes to being exposed to ebola as it would be going anywhere else in the world with a few exceptions in West Africa. Sharing the same continent with Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, doesn’t make South Africa any more dangerous than any European or American state.
There are several options to choose from, if you want to visit South Africa for a safari experience. In the following we would like to highlight why we believe that you should choose Mpala Safari Lodge, and why we like to say that we do things better than the competition.
Exclusivity – we only have 12 guests at a time
At the Mpala Lodge we focus on giving our guests the holiday of their lives, which is why we never have more than 12 guests at the lodge at a time. If we took more in we would not be able to give our guests the same personal experience, that we do now. We want you to feel special, when you stay here and not just a part of a big crowd. We want to take extra care of you and make sure that you have the best safari adventure you could possibly imagine.
The best and most intense safari program
Our location is unique and our main asset. Situated on the banks of the Olifants River, we are part of the famous Greater Kruger National Park, which is the prime nature reserve in all of South Africa. This means that when you go on safaris with us, you go into the actual nature; into the bush.
When you book a safari you should always check what kind of experience the operator offers you. Is it rhinos and elephants in wild life or are they bred and kept in an enclosure? What is the nature of the natural reserve they run their safaris in? And so forth. Everyone can advertise a safari, but to our minds a real safari is held in real nature and in the animals’ natural habitat. We believe that people coming all the way down here for a safari experience only deserves the real deal.
Danish quality in Africa
The Mpala Safari Lodge is the product of two Danes’ African dream. Helle and Per Grunert build the lodge back in 2002 making sure to apply typical Danish values to the design and construction of their African holiday paradise. This unique combination of Danish and African culture are among the main reasons that our guests love coming here, and keep coming back for more.
At Mpala you will only find the best materials used and the famous Danish design skills used in both building and decoration of the lodge and its chalets. These high Scandinavian standards recur also in how we do management and security at the lodge.
If you asked our previous guests we are sure that they would tell you, that a stay here at the Mpala Safari Lodge simply delivers the best value for your money when it comes to safari holidays in South Africa. What you can be absolutely sure about is that we are looking forward to welcoming you here and to giving you the best African safari experience there is.