We are located where the Elephant Coast meets Zululand in the eastern side of Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Since we are closer to the coast, our almost sub-tropical climate has the highest rainfall in South Africa under normal conditions. The higher rainfall results in a lusher vegetation. This, in return, guarantees the sustainability of the highest concentration of game in South Africa.
By law in South Africa everyone that earns an income from wild game, has to fence the property at all public roads to avoid liability in case of an unfortunate accident involving a wild animal outside of your property boundaries. Only our outer boundary has fences on 3 ½ sides. The far mountains are partially fenced.
Zeekoepan is home to Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Buffalo, and Cheetahs that have to be fenced according to government regulations to protect the neighbouring local population and their livestock. KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife laws require a very large continuous area, without any inner fences, to be licensed as a free roaming/ranging, Big-5 property.
On Zeekoepan we have no “high-fenced” enclosures where all the trophies are pre-measured before being released into the high-fenced area. No enclosures for lions and other cats – all our animals are free ranging/roaming and are EKZN Wildlife endorsed as “wild managed”.
If you are told you are hunting “open farms” and you see cattle fences, you have to question the free range of the species. Some species, such a Blesbuck and Black Wildebeest need only a cattle fence to keep them in. Some species, such as warthog and nyala, just can’t be held in by any fence, may it be high or low.
Our immediate hunting area is 69 000 acres, but this is irrelevant. What is relevant is how many acres does one need to sustain the same number of wildlife as we have in the dryer and more arid parts of our country? We have thousands of truly free roaming wild animals on Zeekoepan, under natural conditions, and this includes the Big 5.
We may hunt all over the country for the very few species that we do not have on Zeekoepan. We do not even want to start calculating what the total of these concession acreages would be.
You probably will need accommodation for your arrival night in Johannesburg and a morning transfer to the airport for your Richards Bay flight. Please book your arrival and departure times at Richards Bay Airport, as close as possible to mid-day.
Usually, your evening flight leaving South Africa, will not need a stay over in Johannesburg.
Afton Safari Lodge, formally known as Afton Guest House, is always the one that comes to mind first and most hunters have crossed paths with them through the years.
Mr X, short for Xolile, will most probably do “meet & greet” at the airport and assist with firearm procedures and clearings. You will then be taken to your arranged accommodation for the night. You will be taken and assisted for firearm and flight check-in to Richards Bay the following morning. On your return flight, they will assist with firearms between the domestic arrival and your international departure.
There are other companies, situated near Johannesburg OR Tambo airport, delivering an equally good personal service.
If you are not travelling with firearms, there are three main hotels at the or Tambo Airport within walking distance:
Zeekoepan is just over two hours’ drive from Richards Bay Airport. Flying in from Johannesburg to Richards Bay is the preferred arrival and departure. You will be met at the airport by a Zeekoepan Safaris representative displaying your name on a cell phone notice screen.
We are 5 hours away from Durban Airport and 6.5 hours from Johannesburg Airport. The latter often will require a night’s stay over if a road transfer is done, due to the safety concerns on the rural roads after dark with animals both stray and wild.
Our camp, on the Mkuze River is in the middle of this very large privately owned bushveld. We are the owners of the main part of this vast area and we are the sole hunting outfitters to our own property. No time is wasted on driving to hunting areas. Just one request: “Please do not start hunting within the first 200 yards from camp!”.
We also have concessions to hunt the few open highveld, plains game species we do not have. These special hunts are anything from 1 hour’s drive to 12+ hour’s drive from us, depending on the species required.
South Africa is controlled by the law to house the hunters in approved hunting camps and therefore all hunting camps should comply with minimum requirements and the bar is set rather high. Our camp is far above the average hunting camp standards with really nice luxury private chalets overlooking the Mkuze River.
We believe in the exclusivity of only one group at a time. You determine the size of the group. We have three private chalets and three more bedrooms in the main lodge with family rooms. The total bed count in camp is 18.
Sometimes it is necessary, if you are a small party of say two persons, to add another small party, to share the camp. A situation we like to avoid as far as possible. We have four resident professional hunters and strangers will not be asked to hunt together.
We hunt from April to September/beginning October. Over this 6-month period (26 weeks) we do only 12 -16 exclusive hunts.
We are happy that we don’t need to boast about how few animals in total we take down per year, but rather about the quality and enjoyment of the hunt. The self-imposed controlled number of groups we take per year also limits the number of trophies we take from our own area per year. Old animals, at the end of their lifespan, are harvested. We are the only outfitters hunting on our own land. This method of management has proven that our hunts deliver excellent medal-quality trophies every year since 1987. Our Nyala are mostly hunted in gold class and we have an abundance of Nyala.
On Zeekoepan we have all of the Big-5 – Elephant, Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Lion, Leopard – as well as Hippo, Croc and Cheetah. You will see these while hunting on our privately owned wildlife area. Very few South Africans can claim this to be possible and true. When hunting Zeekoepan, there is no need to visit a national preserve/reserve such as Kruger National Park to see the Big-5 or any of our other bush animals, big or small. (Dit lees net beter) We offer the same on a private experience.
Non-hunting observers, accompanying the hunters, have very good photographic opportunities. Alternatively, they can be on a photographic safari vehicle, for very exclusive pictures of our magnificent wildlife, and come up close to Africa’s Big-5.
Yes, without a doubt. We are the true African experience.
The photographic side of our African safari property is the repeated winners of National and International awards in eco-tourism.
One could eat at McDonalds or one could eat at a good restaurant. Both will ease your hunger, but the experience will not be the same.
USA citizens need no visa to visit South Africa. Just a passport valid for 6 months after your return date. South African citizens need a visa to visit the USA, and this can be confusing.
Please confirm with your own country of origin as to what the requirements are. Please apply in time as visitors’ visas can take some time
In Pongola, we have good doctors. The pharmacy in Pongola has all the medication you might need. Pongola is 37km (23 miles) from Zeekoepan. There is no need to bring loads of medication.
You do not need any inoculations for South Africa. In spite of what your doctor might tell you, South Africa is not the same as the rest of Africa.
Tetanus is always good to have up to date.
Tick bite fever might be a problem, especially in April, May and early June. It does not respond to antibiotics not containing tetracycline. Ask your doctor to prescribe antibiotics containing tetracycline, such as Doxycycline, to bring along. You will be feeling better within 24 – 48 hours. If you do not take the medication, it will take 3 weeks of agony to clear up.
Our area is officially malaria free as the Anopheles mosquito that carries malaria, does not occur here. It is more than likely that you will not even see a mosquito during hunting season. A good insect repellent after dark is enough safeguard against mosquitoes.
If you plan to visit the Kruger Park area or the lakes at Kosi Bay, take precautions against malaria. Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and countries further north – take malaria precaution.
Hepatitis shots are not needed for South Africa, but are good to have for countries north of our borders – Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and more north into Africa.
If you are planning to the visit Victoria Falls, rather fly directly to Victoria Falls and stay on the Zimbabwean side. If you are planning a visit the Zambian side of the falls, or even only fly into Livingstone in transit to Victoria Falls, you might need Yellow Fever inoculation as a requirement. A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is only required for travellers 1 year of age and older coming from, or who are in airport transit for more than 12 hours within Zambia. Vaccination requirements may change without notice and in some instances border agents use their discretion to deny entry despite the officially stated requirements.
We do both. In actual fact we do 6 months of hunting and 6 months of eco-tourism in this malaria free ”paradise”. Non-hunters who would not like to join the hunt as a non-hunting observer, may go on a private photographic safari with our safari guide or go for a treatment at the 5-star spa only 10 min from camp.
Day trips, on non-hunting Sundays, can also be undertaken to choose destinations near Zeekoepan, returning to camp at night.
We conduct 3-day / 2-night tours of the Elephant Coast in the area between Zeekoepan and the Richards Bay Airport. Furthermore, we do exclusively guided 6-day / 5-night tours of Cape Town, the Whale Coast and the Cape Winelands. Both these tours can be undertaken before or after the hunt, by booking additional days.
Our deals are honest and without hidden costs! Do not be misled by our good Daily Fee and Trophy Prices either. We hunt our own land, and do not need to pay concession owners most of the time. Since we do not have to rely on a big turnover of clients, we do not lure clients in with very low special deals and then add on the “hidden costs”.
At the bottom of each quote, you will also see the optional fees you might run into – firearms hire & ammunition (if using our firearms), special order liquor, gratuities to the staff, gratuities to the PHs, cash exchange for gifts and personal expenses.
Although the 10 people we have in permanent service, on a rotating days-on and days-off base, do not work for tips alone, they are very grateful if the clients acknowledge their hard work. We are often asked to recommend the tips to all staff members such as trackers, skinners, camp cooks, domestic- and laundry help.
The tips are mostly left to your own discretion, but keep in mind what you would like to give a person who works long hours, behind the scenes, to make your hunt a success and your accommodation pleasurable. On your invoice we will add a collective tip at a minimum of only $2 per day per guest per worker, as a guideline. If you think $2 per worker per day is fair, then it is fine. If you think more will be fair, then please know that it will be very much appreciated. We collect all of these gratuities and give the workers a substantial amount at the end of each month. We also tell them who contributed to the monies they receive.
Professional Hunters gratuities are at your own discretion. PHs are the people who find you the animals that you can proudly harvest. Contrarily to what some people say, giving a percentage of the hunt, is not necessary. We recommend that you give an amount per day, directly to your PH at the end of the hunt.
Different from hotels, Daily Fees are based on the day’s activity, rather than the night’s accommodation rates.
Airport arrival at and departure days are non-hunting days, and we will only set rifles on arrival day, if there is time. Please book your arrival and departure at Richards Bay Airport as close as possible to mid-day to allow for daylight hour transfers.
Normally Sundays are non-hunting days or airport transfer days. On Sundays we often go for a remote bush picnic. If the client wants to take a complete rest day, or go to church in town, that is also in order. Depending on the activity the group prefers, there might be an extra charge applicable when the activity is away from Zeekoepan Safaris Game Ranch such as chartering a fishing boat for Tiger Fish on Jozini Dam or visiting the beach at Sodwana Bay.
A hunting fee will apply for every day that a hunter potentially could be out hunting according to his booking. However, if prior arrangements have been made to hunt only for a certain number of days and then turn to Photographic Safari, it is perfectly in order. That means he takes no rifle along with him on those days – only a camera. If he/she rides along with the remaining hunters, non-hunting observer’s fees will be charged.
If a vehicle needs to leave camp, especially for a photo safari, photographic safari fees will be charged.
According to South African hunting laws, a PH can only guide a maximum of 2 hunters at a time.
Dangerous Game Fee – This is a fee on hunting a dangerous animal such as Elephant, Lion, Cape Buffalo, Hippo, Crocodile, Leopard and Rhino. The task of tracking, skinning and preparing for the taxidermy is more challenging and we need to remunerate the extra help.
1 Hunter : 1 PH – This is if every hunter has his own private and dedicated PH and trackers to guide the hunt for only one client at a time. Non-hunting observers, approved by the hunter, can also accompany the hunter if there is space on the hunting vehicle.
2 Hunters : 1 PH – This is when 2 friends or a husband and wife pair or an adult and youth hunter hunts together as a pair sharing a professional hunter. Each hunter will pay the lower applicable fee. Non-hunting observers, approved by both hunters, can also accompany the hunters if there is space on the hunting vehicle.
If choosing a hunting partner on a 2:1 hunt, please take note that any 2:1 hunt, where the one hunting partner changes to pre-booked “non-hunter” status after completing his hunting list, will result in the changing of the hunt to a 1:1 hunt, for the remaining hunter. It will result in the changing of DAILY FEES for both. This issue must be understood and cleared amongst the partners themselves.
Please refer back to the “packing list” for general temperatures. [Click here] The following website is remarkably accurate in the temperature forecast for Zeekoepan:
We do have cell phone reception. Arrange the best deal for you with your own cell phone carrier company. Make sure your deal includes international roaming to make & receive calls. A common mistake made, is to think international dailling is the same as international roaming.
We suggest that you download WhatsApp on your phones. When setting up your download, make sure to allow the app to access your phone book. Let your families also download the application. This is the most inexpensive way to send your pictures, send text messages, make phone calls and send voice notes when in a Wi-Fi zone or if you have international roaming data on your phone. Wi-Fi is available in all the buildings in camp.
WhatsApp is also a great way of staying in contact with Zeekoepan after the hunt. We can also share the pictures we have of your hunt, with you, via WhatsApp.
Unfortunately, no checks. The use of checks has been completely stopped and declared unacceptable in South Africa from 31 December 2020.
Please make your final balance payment in USD or EURO cash only at Zeekoepan.
For visitors from the USA, we made it easy for you by having an USA based bank account, handled by a friend in Iowa. You can contribute your payments to this account. Just ask for the details.
What most hunters prefer to do, is to pay the quoted amount – less about $2000 or whatever hard CASH amount they are comfortable travelling with – into the bank account. We recommend holding onto your payment until it is almost time for you to come on the hunt. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the banking details.
If you are familiar with international transfers, we will give you our South African Global Banking details for final payment. Please arrange with your personal banker to do the transfer as soon as he receives the phone call or email from you at the end of the hunt.
As a last resort, credit card payments can be processed by a third party at a 10% fee (handling fee and bank charge) to be added to the payment.
A certain taxidermy procedure has to be followed.
Zeekoepan will do the field preparation of the trophy, including salting of the skins.
The hunters will be taken to Zululand Taxidermy (email@example.com) before the end of the hunt, to discuss the mounting and/or exporting of the trophies. A quote will be given by the taxidermy.
Once Zeekoepan has received full payment for the hunt, we deliver and sign the trophy parts over to the taxidermist.
The quarantine period is three months before raw prep hides and skulls may leave the country. Mounted trophies take longer, but the longest it is allowed to stay in the country is two years. Each hunter will discuss with the taxidermy, in person, when they would like to receive the shipment and what is possible in the hunter’s requested time frame.
Once Zululand Taxidermy has received full payment for the taxidermy fees, the trophies will be handed over to an independent shipping agent. Quotes are on crate volume and weight of the shipment and cannot be determined ahead of time. The taxidermy can recommend a reliable shipping agent to all destinations and will arrange the shipping with the agent. If the client wants to use a shipping agent of his choice, it can be arranged.