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South Africa safaris, tours & holiday packages

A self-styled "World in One Country"

Africa's most popular and best-developed travel destination is famed for its sun-soaked beaches and vast game reserves, but it also provides exceptional opportunities to indulge in pursuits as varied as wine-tasting, hiking and museum-hopping

South Africa is a land of extraordinary natural wealth and variety. Indeed, one recent ecological survey ranked it as the third-most important country in the world in terms of biodiversity. The Big Five – lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino – roam freely through South Africa's premier safari destination, the vast Kruger National Park, along with a host of other iconic large mammals.

And the country is even more remarkable when it comes to smaller creatures – it is home, for instance, to more endemic and near-endemic bird species than any other African country, while the tiny Cape Floral Kingdom in the southwest contains around five percent of the world’s plant species.

Popular South Africa safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Big Five safari in the Kruger National Park

Big Five in the Kruger National Park

Encounter the Big Five safari and discover the elusive leopard

$ 1,478

£ 1,183

R 19,424

1,402

per person

3 days
Two weeks in South Africa - a luxury rail safari itinerary

Two weeks in South Africa - a luxury rail safari itinerary

Experience the best that South Africa has to offer: it's white-sand beaches, lush green wine-lands and find the Big Five wildlife in the Kruger National Park.

$ 5,650

£ 4,522

R 74,260

5,359

per person

14 days
South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

Explore the romantic Atlantic Ocean with multi-cultural mixture and Big Five - also encounter the Livington Victoria Falls

$ 410

£ 328

R 5,389

389

per person

11 days
South African bush and beach safari

South African bush and beach safari

Explore the jewel in the crown of Cape Town’s glamorous and encounter the Big Five members at the Kruger National Park

$ 3,935

£ 3,149

R 51,724

3,732

per person

10 days
Malaria-free South African safari itinerary

Malaria-free South African safari itinerary

Enjoy the city life in Johannesburg and track the Big Five in the Thornybush Game Reserve

$ 1,048

£ 838

R 13,770

994

per person

4 days
Aerial View of Sun City

Sun City and Madikwe Luxury Safari

From Sun City's hedonistic pleasures to the majesty of nature at Madikwe Game Reserve, this journey combines the best of two very different worlds

$ 2,062

£ 1,650

R 27,100

1,956

per person

6 days
Romantic view

Cape Town, Kruger and Vic Falls Deluxe Honeymoon

Combine three of Southern Africa's most loved destinations into one romantic getaway and you'll share the memories forever

$ 4,518

£ 3,616

R 59,380

4,285

per person

11 days
South African holiday adventure

South African holiday adventure

Explore the southern-most city on the African continent, before jetting off to spot the Big Five

$ 4,615

£ 3,693

R 60,650

4,376

per person

11 days
Sabi Sand Game Reserve safari

Sabi Sand Game Reserve safari

You'll be in Big Five country in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve

$ 2,413

£ 1,931

R 31,715

2,289

per person

4 days
Family safari in the Southern Africa itinerary

Family safari in the Southern Africa itinerary

Exploring the tip of Southern Africa continent should on top of your bucket list for 2017

$ 1,426

£ 1,141

R 18,740

1,352

per person

13 days
Our African Travel Expert

Free safari planning advice from destination experts

Philip Briggs says

I've probably travelled in South Africa for more than two years in total, and I've yet to exhaust its incredible variety. Obvious favourites spots include Cape Town and the Kruger Park, but I'm equally drawn to lesser-known highlights such as the remote Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Augrabies Falls National Park in the little-visited Northern Cape.

More on South Africa holidays

Introduction

The main coastal tourist focus is Cape Town, which ranks alongside San Francisco and Sydney among the world’s most beautiful harbour cities. Elsewhere, a 3,000-kilometre coastline includes the wild forested dunes of Cape Vidal, the family-oriented resorts of the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, and the spectacular cliffs of the Garden Route and Cape Point.

The interior is even more varied. Contrast the mesmerising red dunefields of the Kalahari region with the autumnal purple winelands inland of Cape Town. Or the tangled green forests that blanket parts of the eastern coastal belt with the spring wildflower displays that enliven the wide open plains of Namaqualand.

At the heart of it all rises the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg, a hiker's paradise known for its imperious montane landscapes and immense wealth of prehistoric rock art.Part of South Africa’s fascination is its emergence as a unified nation, boasting a unique multicultural cocktail of indigenous, European and Asian influences, following the 1994 elections that swept Nelson Mandela to power. This achievement is placed in perspective by Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum and Cape Town’s District Six Museum, which confront the country's racially divisive recent past. Elsewhere, traditional Zulu and Ndebele cultural villages offer insight into life here prior to the arrival of Europeans.

Know before you go

South Africa has 11 official languages, however English is widely used in most areas, learn a local saying and impress the locals.

South Africa is a lively new democracy and a multi-racial society with a liberal constitution.

Landscape wise South Africa is extremely diverse and many have called it a world in one country.

Cape Town is often ranked as one of the world’s best cities especially for tourists and it has been compared to other great cities around the world including the iconic San Francisco.

South Africa is often credited for leading the way in Africa as being a highly developed country, with fantastic amenities such as world class airports, beaches and natural splendor in vast abundance.
The South African population also makes up 5% of the entire population of Africa with just over 50 million people.

When to go

Most of the country experiences 4 seasons, however in the coastal region of KwaZulu-Natal the weather is more subtropical and winter and autumn are extremely mild with no real need for warm clothes. It’s considered that this is the best area to visit KZN around June till the end of August.

There is no set time to travel to South Africa as even in the colder areas of the country winters are generally mild compared to Europe or The United States. Snowfall happens fairly regularly in certain mountain areas especially in neighboring Lesotho, which is unique as it’s a country within South Africa’s borders. Travel in South Africa is entirely governed by what you would like to experience at a particular time of year.

What to pack

  • Lightweight summer clothes when visiting during the hotter months
  • An assortment of shorts, T-shirts, skirts and sundresses
  • Sweater or long-sleeved button-down shirt
  • Swimsuit, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat
  • Sunblock and a wide-brimmed hat
  • Long pants and a heavy windbreaker
  • If you are going to be in colder areas make sure you pack for possible snow, South Africa’s weather changes drastically from area to area.

Weather and Climate

  • Summer is generally mid-October to mid-February
  • Autumn is February to April
  • Winter is May to July
  • Spring falls between August and October

Safari / Holiday Styles

South Africa has a world of natural game parks such as the famed Kruger National Park where luxury game Safaris are a must.

Road trips are also a very popular way of seeing the country as there are many well-kept roads to explore with splendid wine estates, resorts and world class hotels just waiting to pamper you.

The Garden Route is particularly spectacular.

Hiking is a hugely popular activity in the country and some of the trekking trails even boast wonderfully luxurious lodges to stay at on in-between gazing at amazing natural sites and scenes.

Urban holidays in the bigger cities such as Cape Town, Durban or Johannesburg are also popular and all the major cities are in close proximity to world class natural scenery, whilst boasting top restaurants, coffee shops, and 5 star accommodation facilities.

South Africa also has world class rail travel, where your every wish will come true as you travel through majestic African landscapes.
Golfing holidays and resorts are also popular in South Africa.

Where to stay

Aforementioned South Africa has some of the best accommodation facilities in Africa there really is a world of beautifully kept establishments to suit any budget.

From KwaZulu-Natal’s Oyster Box to Cape Town’s Mount Nelson. You really don’t have to worry about finding the perfect place to stay and be pampered at on your South African adventure.

Our Recommended Accommodation

The Residence Boutique Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa - Africa Wildlife Safaris

The Residence Boutique Hotel, Johannesburg

The Residence is an extraordinary boutique hotel that is truly one of a kind, no effort has been spared in creating the most sublime…


Molori Safari Lodge, Madikwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Molori Safari Lodge, Madikwe Private Game Reserve

The secluded lodge offers absolute privacy, while taking in breathtaking views of the Dwarsberg Mountains and the expansive Madikwe…


Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch

Welcome to Delaire Graff Estate – where you can experience the ultimate in luxury, combined with a own unique blend of South…


Etali Safari Lodge, Madikwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Etali Safari Lodge, Madikwe Private Game Reserve

Nestled in the magnificent malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, Etali Safari Lodge has earned a reputation for offering our guests a unique and…


South Africa Map

South Africa's location on Google Maps

Frequently Asked Questions about South Africa

Is tipping the norm in South Africa?

Tipping is common practice in South Africa. Some guidelines concerning tipping are - in the bars and restaurants, the tipping is normally 10%. The car parks are monitored by guards or watchmen, they will often ask if you want them to keep an… go there.

When is the best time to visit Wolhuterskop Game and Nature Reserve?

You may visit Wolhuterskop Game and Nature Reserve all year around - winter (during the months of June and August) are chilly, and summer (during the months of November and January) are hot. Enjoy horse rides, mountain bike and game drive. go there.

When is the best time to visit Timbavati Private Nature Reserve?

The best time to visit Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is during the dry months of May through September. go there.

When is the best time to visit Mala Mala Game Reserve?

May through September, during the winter months, is the best time to visit Mala Mala Game Reserve. Animals are easier to spot, as they convene at trusted water sources. go there.

When is the best time to visit Manyeleti Game Reserve?

May to September are the best time to visit Manyeleti National Park - during the dry season. The wildlife seek for waterholes and other sources for water. go there.

Do I have to be over 18 to book a trip to South Africa?

Yes, you have to be over 18 to book a trip to South Africa. go there.

What types of plugs are used in the Southern and Eastern African countries?

Botswana: Electric plug M 230V and 50Hz Kenya: Electric plug G 240V and 50Hz Malawi: Electrical plug G 230V and 50Hz Mauritius: Electrical plug C & G, 230V and 50Hz Mozambique: Electrical plug C,F,M, 220V and 50Hz Namibia: Electric plug… go there.

What research should one do when thinking of travelling through Africa?

Africa for centuries has captured the imagination of explorers hence there really is a lot of information out there available on the continent from guide books to novels. go there.

What kinds of animals will I see on safari?

Whether you are in the Southern or East Africa you will generally be able to see the big five. The difference really comes in when considering antelope as they are based on your chosen location. go there.

South Africa - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Reviews on our South Africa safaris

I am copying Megan in case she is back from maternity leave (congrats Megan!). We are having an absolutely WONDERFUL trip. It has far exceeded our expectations! Everything has been perfect, the accommodations, transport, tours, etc. We…

Monica

from South Africa

We could not have been more pleased with "Discover Africa." Our agent, Megan W, was knowledgeable, accommodating and highly responsive. She asked pertinent questions, listened carefully to our needs, then organized a personalized tour- the…

Margery

from United States of America

We went on Safari to Phinda Game reserve which was our choice as was the the choice of 2 nights on the Rovos train.Our agent was quite happy with helping us with anything we requested. We worked out dates of where we wanted to be and when…

Madeline & Reymond Goodman

from Australia

Although our safari was very expensive for us as South Africans we were satisfied that we got a value for money experience. It was a once in a lifetime safari. Knowledgeable, professional guides - experience far beyond our expectations. They…

Uwe and Doreza Kersandt

from South Africa

We first reached out to two agencies when we were looking to book our trip to South Africa. They didn't really answer our questions and took days to respond. One actually stopped responding altogether and we gave up after 3-4 follow ups.

Julia

from United States of America

Megan arranged a wonderful tour of South Africa and Botswana for us. The hotels and safari lodges were first class. We especially liked the Chobe Game Lodge and the Fairlawn Boutique Hotel. The safaris were unforgettable. We viewed lots of…

Gerry

from United States of America

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