Malaria in South Africa
Drakensberg Mountain Retreat is malaria free. Nevertheless malaria is serious and when traveling in regions ( Northern KwaZulu-Natal or Kruger National Park) where it is prevalent, precautions need to be taken against it.
I recommend that you firstly get hold of a really fine mosquito net big enough for a double bed. Use it every night while inside the malaria areas. An anti-mosquito lotion (not spray as this tends to react with the net and makes large holes in it) should be applied after your shower especially in the evenings.
Malaria prophylactics are easily available over the counter at any chemist in South Africa for a 10th of the price than they are in Europe. Please note Malarone is not available in South Africa. You must decide if you want to take the Malaria drugs as a stand by or as a prophalactic.
South African Currency
It’s really easy getting hold of local currency in South Africa. Your best bet is a credit card. This can be used at all auto bank telling machines. Using your credit card enables you to use the current exchange rate and not the buying rate; also a bank commission of between 2,5% and 10% does not get charged. Instead only a 1% charge due to the credit card being used in a foreign county is levied and a small levy for using the ATM.
From a machine a maximum of R3000,00 per day is obtainable. From within a bank the limit is on your card. Maestro and EC cards are also accepted by the auto tellers which have a fixed charge per transaction which is a little less expensive than a credit card. Bank auto tellers are available at the airport when you exit from the customs.
Renting a Car in South Africa
By far the cheapest way to do this is to rent a car in connection with the purchase of your air ticket. This way the car rental can be up to 50% cheaper than renting it in South Africa. South Africa has an excellent road infrastructure so you don't need a 4x4 SUV although they are better for viewing game being higher off the ground.
South African Climate
Midwinter occurs in June and July; midsummer in January and February. The climate ranges from Mediterranean in the Cape to sub-tropical on the KwaZulu-Natal coast. In general year round sunshine means that any time of the year is a good time to visit South Africa. The average number of sunshine hours per day is among the highest in the world. (8,5 per day). Nevertheless, don't leave your jersey at home. It sometimes does get cold, especially during winter evenings and during the winter nights.
Being in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains the retreat can experience very cold weather, even snow
South African Time Zone
Throughout the year Standard South African Time is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and one hour ahead of Central European Winter time. This means you won't have those nasty jet lag feelings when you fly here from Europe