HEALTH & SAFETY CONCERNS ON SAFARI
The prudent international traveler is going to be attentive to health & safety issues irrespective of their travel destination. South Africa being a modern developed nation, as well as being located at the southern end of the continent, does not have the health risks often associated with equatorial Africa. In addition, our health facilities meet, or exceed, common standards throughout the international community.
The health & safety issues you will face while on safari have much to do with:
(a) your own personal physical condition,
(b) your personal health issues,
(c) the general location of your safari,
(d) the activities you will engage in while on safari, and
(e) the preparedness of your outfitter
It goes without saying that being in good physical condition is a prerequisite to the enjoyment of an active outdoor lifestyle. However, you do not have to be a tri-athlete to enjoy the safari experience. To some degree, the amount of physical exertion required will depend on the species to be hunted and the terrain. The hunting of elephant, lion, and buffalo typically require a good deal of walking over generally flat to rolling terrain. In plains game hunting the hunting method is usually spot-and-stalk. You need to be in condition to climb into and out of the hunting vehicle and walk through brush which requires some bending and stooping. Thus, your feet, legs, and body core (back and waist) need some level of conditioning. Upon request we will send you a Physical Assessment Form for you to personally evaluate your physical condition. However, we are not exercise physiologists, so it is recommended that you consult with your family physician and health adviser to prepare you for your upcoming safari from both a health perspective and physical conditioning perspective. If you do have special health or physical requirements please advise us in advance as we are well positioned to handle safari clients irrespective of their possible physical limitations. For instance, we can install portable blinds and get the mobility-limited, or even non-ambulatory, client into shooting position in advance on known game trails that will increase the chances of success. Contact us and speak to our knowledgeable staff about these special arrangements. You might be surprised at the options.
PERSONAL HEALTH ISSUES
We are not qualified to give medical advice, but we do recommend that you consult with your family physician at least 3 months in advance of your arrival date in Republic of South Africa (RSA). If you are taking prescription medications make sure that (a) you have an ample supply to last you through your safari, and (b) that you have a letter from your physician explaining the nature of the medications in your possession. This precaution is because some medications may be narcotic based, and having a letter of authorization from your physician with protect you from suspicion if those medications are found in your possession while traveling abroad. Your physician may suggest that you procure certain inoculations prior to your international travel. However, it is our experience that your local public health facility is the best place to obtain this information and any recommended inoculations. For clients based in the US, public health facilities are generally directly linked to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta and will be the most informed as to requirements as well as the most recent health alerts. After being inoculated you will be provided with an inoculation record (yellow card) that you should place with your passport for international travel. This will constitute proof of inoculation in the rare instance that it should be asked of you.
GENERAL LOCATION OF YOUR SAFARI
Generally speaking, our hunting in South Africa is confined to the following four provinces:
2. Northern/Eastern/Western Cape
4. The Free State
Our Chacma Safari Camp is located in the Limpopo Province which is categorized as a “low risk” malaria zone. The northern area of the Limpopo closer to the Botswana border and the Zimbabwe border is considered “medium risk” zone. The Cape Province which, being located at the southern end of the continent, is generally considered a “malaria-free zone”. However, it is indeterminate as to whether the risk of malaria is ever “zero” anywhere on the continent. At the time of your booking your safari with us we will identify those areas in which you will be traveling. We are not qualified to give medical advice, so the client is advised to consult with appropriate health professionals to determine any prophylactic regimens and risks associated with those regimens (e.g. anti-malarial drugs can increase sensitive to sun exposure, therefore clients should protect themselves with appropriate clothing and sun screen). In addition, the origination point of your flight to RSA, as well as any interim stops along your travel route, may dictate inoculation issues. Therefore, when you consult with your local public health agency regarding your travel plans be sure to share this information with them. It is always a good idea to have a copy of your flight itinerary with you during this consultation. Certainly, just for general health purposes (as with any international travel), it is advised to have hepatitis and tetanus inoculations that are up-to-date. Many inoculations take several days, or even weeks, to become effective. Therefore, this part of your safari planning should not be delayed.
If your safari is to take place outside of RSA then please consult with us relative to any possible additional health & safety concerns. Finally, 7-10 days in advance of your departure to RSA check with CDC (US citizens) to determine the possibility and nature of any travel concerns.
It is difficult to be able to precisely assess the risk factors associated with any given activity. Much can depend on the weather, the terrain, the number of people involved, their personal abilities and conditioning, the nature of the activity itself, etc. With that being said, one might presume that dangerous game hunting is more risky than plains game hunting, which is more risky than fishing, etc. One might conclude that sky diving is more dangerous than scuba diving. At Chacma Safari Camp and surrounding areas there is a wide array of activities in which to be engaged, all with their inherent level of risk. We do provide safety talks in advance of each activity and expect clients to ask questions and to point out any possible unsafe situation that they might perceive to be present. We take our health and safety responsibilities to our clients seriously and take every reasonable precaution to ensure that our client’s health & safety issues are looked after in a responsible manner. However, we know of no Outfitter/Professional Hunter that is able to guarantee the health & safety of clients in every environment, and Chacma Safari is no exception. We do everything we reasonably can to prepare our clients for their African safari, but at the same time (as is standard within the industry) we request that each client sign a Release of Legal Rights and Waiver of Liability form before their safari begins. See section on Hunting Activities below.
Our base camps are comfortable, well-constructed, and appropriately lighted. It is fenced and secure behind a lockable gate. One of our Professional Hunters (PH) is based in camp throughout the entire evening. Medical supplies approved by the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS) are easily accessible in a visible location if needed.
Before a PH may affiliate with us they must pass the SARCS Basic First Aid Course. We also promote the achievement of higher first aid certifications (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and CPR) as well as continuing education to maintain certification levels. The provincial SARCS office is located in Mokopane (“Potgietersrus” on older maps)
Our hunting vehicles are equipped with up-to-date first aid kits as recommended by SARCS.
Our Chacma Safari Camp is about 74 miles from the Lephalale Mediclinic where professional staff and doctors can do emergency assessments and treat patients if needed. The Mediclinic can be reached within 60 minutes.
The Netcare Montana Private Hospital, a full-service modern fully staffed hospital is located in Pretoria, which can be reached by helicopter from our Chacma Safari Camp in about 45 to 60 minutes. For someone needing hospital care that does not require air-based medical evacuation this hospital can be reached by ground transportation in 2 hours.
As one might expect, a large percentage of our clients come on safari to hunt; that’s what we do. Accordingly, the biggest emphasis is on safety with firearms and archery equipment and safety relative to the animals being hunted. A part of the first evening in base camp is devoted to these topics. Approximately one hour of the first morning is devoted to ensuring that your rifle is shooting to the desired point of impact, and once again safety with firearms in an around vehicles and in the bush is emphasized. We also review the proper way to approach a downed animal.
If you are hunting dangerous game, we provide you with a video relative to your specific animal in advance of your arrival in RSA and ask that you view it extensively and contact us with any questions you might have. Upon your arrival the first evening in base camp we discuss important aspects of your dangerous game safari and confirm the appropriate level of understanding as to safari expectations. The morning of the first day, in addition to checking your rifle for functioning and accuracy we will run you through a quick shooting session to provide you a further level of comfort in taking on a dangerous game animal at close range.
OUR SAFETY RECORD
We are proud of never having had an accident that required professional medical treatment. Scratches, bruises, abrasions, are sometimes an inevitability of long days in the bush. Like the scratches and dents that sometime appear on our rifles those are enduring memories of great times afield. We will look after your family’s safety with the same commitment that we look after all aspects of your safari. It is time to own the African adventure!
Adventures with Elephants
To experience elephants this close and to have the opportunity to interact with them is a privilege. This sanctuary is situated just outside Bela-Bela and gives visitors the opportunity to learn about elephants while these elephants go about their daily routine. This day excursion is perfect for the whole family.
If you are a bass fishing enthusiast we can arrange a day trip within our surrounding area. These dams and rivers are filled with healthy bass and the “catch and release policy” ensures that visitors can fish and enjoy the day.
The waterberg area is to low in altitude to sustain trout. If clients are interested in fly fishing we book a few days in Dullstroom. This charming village nestled in the Mpumalanga Highlands. It is a mere 2.5 hours drive from Gauteng and conveniently situated halfway to the Kruger Park. Given its altitude at 2100m above sea level, it is the highest village in South Africa. Dullstroom is known for its crystal clear dams, perfect for trout fishing and popular outdoor activities include not only fly-fishing, but also hiking, mountain-biking and an array of other adventure sports.
Deep Sea Fishing
Deep sea fishing is very popular along the coast of Natal and Cape Provinces. We are happy to arrange a few days before or after a hunt for clients to enjoy some relaxing days on the sea with very professional charter companies. In the warmer currents fisherman or -woman can expect to catch a variety of game fish such as Tuna, Dorado, Sailfish and Marlin. In the colder water reef fishing is popular and you can catch Kob, Rockcod and various other species.
South Africa is a haven for wild bird shooting and provides the bird enthusiasts with a variety of terrain to hunt from. We offer our bird hunters Grey-Wing Partridge on the high ground within the Eastern Cape, or a selection of Waterfowl species, Guinea Fowl and an abundance of Pigeons and Doves over sunflower or corn fields in central South ANon frica and Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Guided Game drives
We offer day excursions to nearby Game Reserves where guests can enjoy a morning or afternoon game drive in wildlife areas in the company of a qualified game guide or ranger. These areas offer the visitors opportunities to take photos and learn about the bush and it’s inhabitants. The drives vary between 2 to three hours where after guests can either enjoy a lunch or sundowner. These day trips can be booked on short notice when clients feel the need to entertain the family with something different.
The Waterberg area with it’s abundance of wildlife and the enthusiasm of people to take care of this wildlife, offer visitors the chance to see different species up close in game parks and sanctuaries. Some animals get hurt or abandoned through interacting with other animals and people in their daily activities. These animals are then taken to these sanctuaries where they are looked after and released again or not, depending on the injuries and disabilities. Most of these sanctuaries are a few minutes to a few hours drive from our base camp and is perfect for the family.
Horse Back Riding
It is always amazing to see wildlife from another perspective and on horse back is always a thrill. The horses can get close to the wildlife and this gives riders the opportunity to observe animals close up. The trails or outrides vary in time and difficulty. Most riders should be moderately experienced to well experienced to enjoy these rides.
The Waterberg with it’s terrain and beautiful scenery is also ideal for mountain biking and other adventure sports such as zipline. There are various mountain bike trails in the area for visitors and their whole family to enjoy. Zipline is an adventure sport that gives visitors the opportunity to appreciate the beautiful scenery while feeling the adrenaline pumping. Zipline consists of 6 cables across corges and the lines are about 90m to 150m long. The operators are very safety conscious and the unique landing zones give beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. This experience will thrill young and old.
We offer spa treatments at the lodge with qualified beauty therapists that come to our lodge for various treatments such as body massages, facials, pedicures, manicures and more. We also offer day trips to Bush Spa’s in the surrounding area. These spa’s offer various activities such as saunas and more with a view of the surrounding mountains or somewhere in the bush. Clients can take a day to relax or if we can take non-hunters to these spa’s while others are still hunting.
Curio shopping or other traditional crafts
The Waterberg area has many traditional and historical places to visit and visitors can see ladies working beads, making pots, bushman rock art and more. Most of these activities give visitors the opportunity to purchase authentic African items.
We offer day excursions to Marakele Game Reserve, Sun City and various others within a radius to make it comfortable to travel there and back within a day or two. We can also assist if guests want to plan a trip to other tourist destinations such as Kruger Parrk,
Limpopo Base Camp – Chacma Safari Lodge
Our base camp in the Waterberg area, Limpopo consists of 5 en-suite rooms. with hot/cold water, individual bath and/or shower as well as cooling/heating. The rooms are comfortable and part of a luscious green garden. The rest of the lodge is a spacious area with a comfortable bar area overlooking an open area where guests can either watch television, read a book or sit by the fireplace on colder nights.
The dining room has seating for up to 20 guests and the big wooden tables create the perfect setting for long discussions over a good plate of traditional, healthy food prepared by our amazing and friendly chef. Most of the furniture in the lodge was made locally from wood found on the game reserve. The outside boma is the perfect place for guests to contemplate the day’s hunting and tell the stories of their experiences. We take personal pride in welcoming our guests as family and providing them a home away from home.
More content will be updated soon.