Tanda Tula - frogs in the Timbavati
< Back to all

I don't do frogs!

Chad Cocking | Wildlife

I would love to say that I try hard to go against the stereotypical, tough-and-rugged image. But, unfortunately, being the total opposite of this preconceived image just comes rather naturally to me!  Most guides are full of stories about near death experiences with buffalos and lions; my near death experiences involve brushes with boredom and drinking cups of tea.  Most guides have dark, golden complexions; even when I have what I consider to be a tan, people ask which sunblock company sponsors me. And most guides will gladly pick up an array of small creepy crawlies to show their guests. I simply scream like a little child if they come anywhere near me (the creepy crawlies that is, not the guests)!

To be fair to myself though, the one aspect that I do share with most guides is the tendency to stretch a story, just a little. After all, how exciting is a story of the charging elephant if it stops 30m and was actually running in the opposite direct?  So, with this in mind, I do have to give myself some credit and explain that I don’t freak out over all creepy crawlies.  Spiders don’t frighten me (although my mother might beg to differ), I can deal with snakes (except when they are 3m long and stuck in my bathroom), and I drink enough gin and tonic not to have to worry about mosquitoes. But put a frog or a mushroom in front of me, and suddenly I make Justin Bieber’s voice sound quite manly.

Mushrooms, well, basically, they are mushrooms.  I might be a fun guy, but that doesn’t mean I should eat fungi – so I have developed some rather precise eating habits to ensure that I avoid having convulsions should one such wannabe-plant try make its way past my lips.  But frogs, unlike mushrooms, are quite sneaky little critters, and just seem to know I have a fear of them. As a result, they take any opportunity they can to scare the living daylights out of me…

It was a warm summer’s morning. I had my extremely short shorts on, and had just left camp with a group of guests to go looking for a leopard, when I felt something on my left calf.  Its presence was fleeting, sort of like the muscles I once had down there, but then this odd feeling made an appearance on my right calf, and then back to my left.  It was cold, somewhat moist, and slowly but surely it was making its way upwards.  Taking my eyes off a thankfully straight road I peered down and then, my worst nightmare came true…I had a frog using my legs as a ladder – and using them pretty well I might add!

The rest is a bit of a blur (although that could be from the G&T I had afterwards to calm my nerves), but in what I like to think was one rather fluid motion, I managed to put the car in neutral, slam up the handbrake, open the door and jump out, all the while letting out a tiny little squeal reminiscent of Beatlemania!  Luckily the frog went flying out of the Landy with me, and I took a few deep breathes, regained my composure and calmly climbed back into the vehicle to resume my drive.  My guests looked at me quizzically, clearly pondering how a man that walks into lions and elephants could be scared of something so small they couldn’t even see it!  The worst part was that I didn’t even have a good answer for them, and all I could muster was “give me a charging elephant any day, but I’m sorry, I don’t do frogs!”



View rates & promotions >

Find Us

We’d love to have you join the family.

Sign up for exclusive access to early bird promotions and other exciting offers, news and updates.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Rates are quoted in South African Rand (ZAR) and include VAT. Rates are reviewed quarterly and are subject to change.


Bookings can be held as provisional for up to 14 days, after which the booking is required to release or confirm. A 20% refundable deposit is required to confirm the booking.


Once confirmed with a 20% deposit, the booking is held on a status of ‘confirmed with refundable deposit’ until any of the following becomes true:

  • The booking is cancelled in writing by the agent.
  • Another request is received with overlapping dates. At such a time, the 20% refundable deposit shall be required to be converted
  • into a 20% non-refundable commitment fee. At this stage, the booking status changes to ‘confirmed with commitment.’ • In such an event, Tanda Tula will contact the client and give them the option to either confirm with the non-refundable
  • commitment fee or reschedule their dates, or, failing that, to release the booking.
  • At 60 days prior to arrival, when the full payment is due, the booking status changes to ‘confirmed with full-payment.’

Final payment is due 60 days prior to arrival. Any outstanding balance on the total reservation value shall be required to be settled at 60 days prior to arrival.

All refundable deposits, commitment fees and full payments are held in a separate call account and do not become part of the operational cash flow until the guest has stayed.

The amount stated on the invoice is what must be received by Tanda Tula nett of bank charges.


Cancellations must be received and acknowledged by Tanda Tula in writing.

‘Confirmed with refundable deposit’: bookings carry no cancellation fees up to 61 days prior to arrival.

‘Confirmed with commitment’ or ‘Confirmed with full-payment’: in the event of any reservation being cancelled after Tanda Tula has issued a confirmation, for any reason other than a WHO-recognised pandemic that impacts the booking, the following cancellation fees will apply:

  • ‘Confirmed with commitment’: if cancelled more than 60 days prior to arrival, the cancellation fee shall be equal to the 20% non- refundable commitment fee.
  • ‘Confirmed with full-payment’: if cancelled between 60 days prior to arrival, the full reservation value is forfeited.

All cancelled bookings that qualify for a refund, will be refunded less a handling fee valued at 5% of the refund amount.


Tanda Tula will allow postponement of a booking for up to 12 months, if travel is cancelled with a commitment fee or 60 days or less prior to arrival due to a WHO-recognised pandemic directly impacting the guests’ ability to travel (e.g. lockdown, no flights, guest not allowed to board a flight, guest falls ill due to a pandemic and unable to travel).

In the event of a WHO-recognised pandemic directly impacting the ability of Tanda Tula to meet its obligations with respect to the booking, all monies received, including the commitment fee, will be fully refunded (e.g. lockdown in RSA, government restrictions on trade).

Any refund is given at the discretion of Tanda Tula management and will be charge a handling fee valued at 5% of the refund amount.

All travellers are advised to take out fully comprehensive travel insurance with ‘cancellation for no reason’. This insurance must be able to fully cover cancellation of travel fewer than 60 days prior to arrival.

The Terms and Conditions are subject to change without notice.