Planning Essentials:

Fund my Travel

If you are ready to start planning your trip but are discourage by a financial roadblock, DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage has another solution for you. We have partnered with fundmytravel, who provides us with an online platform where you can fundraise for your meaningful travel experience. You create a campaign page, complete a brief profile to build trust, add a video and tell you story! 


Fundmytravel has a team of dedicated staff that will help you reach your fundraising goals. They can provide tips and insights on the best ways to spread your work and offer sharing tools to get your campaign greater exposure through social media and email. Click the button below to learn more and get started! 



Getting from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit: 

By plane -

See the link and book your internal flight as soon as possible as they are often full on Saturdays. You can also contact SAA Airways directly in Hoedspruit to book your seat. To do this, please send an email to Dina Van Zyl ( She will always do her best to find a seat for you if the plane on the SAA website is full.

CemAir has also started to run flights between Johannesburg and Hoedspruit. Visit to book your internal flight. 

By bus - 

To organise a shuttle transfer from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit contact Ashton Tours ( There is a daily shuttle from OR. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to Hoedspruit. Although a little longer than the airplane, this option is comfortable as well as cheaper. They offer a discounted rate for DAKTARI volunteers (R520 instead of R870), so be sure you let them know you are coming to volunteer at DAKTARI when you make your reservation. The Ashton shuttle leaves every morning from the airport. If you are staying overnight in Joburg keep in mind that most lodges can drop you off at the airport free of charge! (The lodges listed below all provide this service)

Rent a car -

Contact Robyn Gilbert by email ( who will offer a discounted rate, please also make sure you mention you are going to DAKTARI. 


Places to stay:

DAKTARI is only able to pick you up on Saturday from Hoedspruit. Depending on your flights, this means that you may need to stay overnight in Johannesburg or Hoedspruit. The lodges listed below have all been vetted by DAKTARI and have special rates for our volunteers. They will also provide free transportation to and from the airport to make it easier for you to get around. We recommend you keep the information for these lodges on hand in case you miss a connecting flight in Johannesburg and have to wait until the following day for a flight. 



Aero Guest Lodge


A 4 star lodge conveniently located just 2.7 KM'S from Johannesburg International Airport. The lodge is set in stunning, tranquil gardens which compliment the large sparkling swimming pool. Aero Guest Lodge is supporting Daktari's project and offers a discount to any of our volunteers who choose to stay there. They also offer a free airport transfer for your convenience. Visit their website and organise your booking or tour directly with them:


The lodge -
The tours -


Blue Mango Lodge


Set on a secure 3 acres of park like garden which is host to 43 species of birds and located only 10 minutes from O.R. Tambo. Steve has personally lived and travelled 10,000s kms by road through 18 African countries, spent almost 5 years in East Africa including Eastern DRC, Rwanda, Ethiopia, two years in Angola, his wife is Ugandan and they are living the African dream. They have many tales to tell and love nothing more than to relate their experiences whilst sitting around a roaring fire in the Mango Lodge boma. They also offer tours of Johannesburg and it's surroundings on request!

Blue Mango offers a special rate for DAKTARI volunteers! Ask about it when you book your room!
T: 0027 (0) 79 512 6364
S: Skype address bluemangolodge


Marieskop View Chalets


Contact them to make your booking. Mention DAKTARI for a special rate:
Laetitia at


Mist Of Gold Guesthouse


When you make your booking, be sure to mention that you are staying at DAKTARI to get a discount. Breakfast is excluded from the price and is available on request at R80 pp.
Contact them to make your booking: Danie Gouws at


Sausage Tree Safari Camp


Contact them to make your booking:


Swiblati Lodge


Pascale and Didier are eager to share with you their new paradise. The lodge is located in the reserve of Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate which covers 680 hectares, giving free rein to many animals. The lodge has a lovely swimming pool and each room has its private terrace open on the savannah as well as a large bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower. 

According to the booking periods they offer either self catering or bed and breakfast. 

Visit their website and organise your booking directly with them. They also offer safari on request!


T: (+590) (0)6 90 94 96 14






 What to pack: 

Depending on the season you will be visiting DAKTARI, your packing may vary. In general, you should bring the items below. On Saturdays, there is a trip into Hoedspruit where you will be able to purchase all toiletries. Also, if you would like to bring any items for DAKTARI or for the children, please see the list below.  


 What to bring for yourself:
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • Walking shoes or trainers, you'll need these for doing the bushwalks
  • At least one pair of long trousers (jeans are also fine)
    • If travelling between May and September, you may want to bring several pairs as it can be cold throughout the day
  • Shorts/skirt
  • T-shirts (you will be given a Daktari t-shirt that you can wear when teaching the children)
  • Long sleeve shirts/sweaters/jerseys to protect you at night  
    • If travelling between May and September, you may want to bring several as it can be cold throughout the day
  • A hat and sunglasses
  • Swimsuit for DAKTARI's pool!
  • A head-lamp is necessary
  • Insect repellent 
  • Sunscreen
 Things to bring for DAKTARI:
  • Batteries AA and AAA or rechargeable batteries
  • Rain coats or ponchos (mixed sizes)
  • White board and permanent markers
  • Glue sticks
  • Exercise books
  • Name tags
  • Insect repellent
  • Mosquito net
  • Soap, shower gel, toothbrush and toothpaste, female sanitary towels
  • Towels
  • Pen, pencil, colored pencil, colored marker, and colored pen
  • Chalkboard chalk
  • An easy educational game in English
  • If you would like to bring small gift for the children here are some examples. The children are about 13-14 years old so please bring items that fit that age group. 
    • Small cosmetics, perfume
    • Kitsch toys
    • Individual toiletries (soap, lotion)
    • Sweets or candy (no chocolate please, it melts!)

Before you fly: 

  • Visa requirements vary by country, however, most do not require a visa prior to entry to South Africa if you are staying for less than three months. 
  • If you are staying for longer than 90 days, you will need a visa
  • Please confirm with your local government department if a visa is required to enter South Africa


There is usually no legal obligation for specific vaccinations to enter South Africa, this is subject to change and you will need to check before you depart and especially if you plan to pass through other countries. However we recommend visiting your GP or doctor to ask their professional opinion, they may suggest you take anti-malaria treatment, have a rabies vaccination etc. Here is a useful website that you may find helpful




Travel insurance is REQUIRED for you to stay at DAKTARI. We will ask for a confirmation of your insurance and an emergency contact for you. It is always important to have a suitable cancellation and travel/volunteer insurance when you go abroad. Many travel insurances do not cover voluntary work, internships or extreme sports and have a limited validity. Daktari advises you to use of the services of JoHo Insurances. JoHo Insurances specialises in insuring volunteers, interns, travellers and expats worldwide. Click here for more information and to apply for insurance online.