If you are looking for the total safari experience and would like to explore the South African wildlife, then choosing one of South Africa’s top reserves is a good place to start. Take a look at some of the camps that offer an unparalleled luxury safari in South Africa.
Luxury safaris in South Africa take you closer to Africa’s wildlife but still offer you top-class accommodation and unrivaled service.
Experience our Tailor-made Luxury Safaris in South Africa
What You Need To Know
South Africa is a large country with so much to offer avid travellers. But one of the most loved tourist attractions are the safari experiences. From budget options to the more luxurious, South African game reserves offer a bird’s eye view of some of the world’s most prolific animal life.
Being the third most diverse country in the world makes the options to explore a wide array of natural landscapes, wildlife and climate that much more accessible. The top game reserves in the country are equipped for the most discerning of tastes and in most instances no expense has been spared to ensure an authentic luxury safari in South Africa.
Visas: Many countries do not require a visa for South Africa. As long as you are not visiting for more than 90 days then you should be ok. Be sure to verify this though.
Currency: You will use South African Rand and compared to the USD, Euro and Pound, you should receive a favourable exchange rate. Important to note is that if you are travelling to remote areas, ATM’s may be unavailable, so bringing extra cash with is advisable.
Getting around: South Africa’s public transport system is not ideal in some instances, unless you are travelling on a luxury passenger rail. However, Uber is popular and there are a number of metered taxi operaters throughout the country.
Language: South Africa has 11 official languages, but Emglish is predominantly spoken in all regions. The more remote the region, the less this rule may apply.
Vaccinations: You don’t need any, unless you have been traveling through other countries in the “Yellow Fever Belt” in which case you will be required to show proof of a yellow fever shot.
For an optimal safari experience, visit South Africa from May-September.
Comfortable, muted clothes.
A good pair of walking shoes
A light jacket/jumper (for mild summer evenings)
Warm clothing for winter months – the evenings can get cold.
Being a subtropical location, moderated by ocean on two sides of the triangle-shaped country, South Africa’s climate is generally warm and temperate warm temperate. Winters experience snowfall in some regions, but this is typically isoltade to high-lying areas. Summers are characterised by a lot of sun and warm to hot conditions, depending on the region.
Malaria is only prevelant in a very small part of South Africa, around the Kruger National Park and KwaZulu Natal. The three main areas for excellent game viewing are Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape. However, before deciding that you need to go down the malaria-free route, remember that in South Africa, mosquitos are not usually a year-round concern. There are a number of months (May to mid-September) when it is too cold at night for mosquitos to survive.
Kruger National Park
Madiwe Nature Reserve
Pilanseberg Nature Reserve
Karoo National Park
Addo Elephant Park
West Coast National Park
Popular Luxury Safaris in South Africa
Each of our popular itineraries can be tailor-made to suit your budget as well as your specific interests.
Sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and lip balm are all good options for UV protection
Walking shoes that are both comfortable and stylish
Binoculars, camera, lenses, extra batteries, and memory card
A medical kit for personal use
If you are planning on visiting South Africa, you may hear that South Africa is a beautiful country and that it is the most developed country in Africa. South Africa is big and if you stick to the main cities of South Africa it is safe to travel.
A Safari in South Africa is a popular choice for wildlife enthusiasts. All major safari animals can easily be seen at any of South Africa's National Parks.
The scenic KwaZulu-Natal parks are best for seeing rhino
Kruger National Park offers excellent general wildlife viewing
The main attraction in Sabi Sand is seeing the Big Five and it is well-known for its habituated leopards
Travel along the N1 through Polokwane (Pietersburg). Link up with the R524 at Makhado (Louis Trichard) and follow this route for 140km. This will bring you to the gate.
Allow 5 to 6 hours for the journey to the gate. Pafuri Border Camp is about 70 kilometres from the gate.
Allow plenty of time for the drive to the camp, especially if you want to take advantage of the game viewing opportunities!
There are plenty of different accomodation options in Kruger National Park, ranging from luxury safari lodges to simple safari camps. Examples of this include; Imbali Safari Lodge, Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge, Nsala Safari Camp and much more.
Safari lodges have guest rooms similar to a hotel with en-suite bathrooms. They are comfortably furnished with facilities normally associated with a hotel rooms, except your rooms are normally set in beautiful wilderness settings, with nature and wildlife around.
Tented lodges have rooms which are tents on a platform and with a roof and also have en-suite facilities with showers, flush toilets and hot water. Basically all the amenities of a hotel room, except canvas walls and roof.
The boutique lodges and camps can be very stylish and smart in terms of design and decor, often with very spacious rooms and even going so far in some cases as having plunge pools for each room.
Eco-camps and smaller tented camps have insect-proof tents with en-suite facilities including a safari shower and flush toilet. They give a more authentic safari experience but the tents are comfortably furnished with proper beds and you don’t need to bring your own sleeping bag! The emphasis is usually on having excellent guides and great wildlife viewing away from the crowds. Guests often eat together and people travelling alone usually say that they found the atmosphere friendly and enjoyed meeting other like-minded travellers around the campfire in the evening or at dinner.
The Adventure Camps are a budget option with guests bringing their own sleeping bags and towels. Accommodation is in small dome tented with a mattress on the floor. Each tent has its own nearby cubicle with a flush toilet, safari shower, and wash basin. The Adventure Camps are suitable only for those who don’t mind “real camping” and can put with some degree of “roughing it”. Apart from the accommodation in simple dome tents, the meals and the guiding are the same standards as the higher quality camps and game drives are in 4x4 safari vehicles. For those on a limited budget, the Adventure Camps are a good alternative to the big tourist lodges and minibus tours for those for whom the safari experience is more important than hotel accommodation.
Most lodges and hotels will have safes for your valuables either in your room or at the reception.
The local currency is the South African Rand (ZAR). There are numerous currency exchange outlets and the main credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Diners) are normally accepted everywhere.
Most petrol stations and toll roads take credit cards, but always have a small amount of cash on you for tips etc. Numerous ATMs can be found in all the big towns.
Wildlife viewing in Shamwari Game Game Reserve is good throughout the year. However, the best wildlife viewing is during the driest winter months of June to September.
The lack of water in the bush drives animals to open water sources - making them easier to spot.
During the dry season of May to September is the best time to visit Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve.
The dry season / winter months of May to September is the best time to visit the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The vegetation will thin out, making it easier to spot wildlife congregating around water sources.
The best time to visit the Phinda Private Game Reserve is during the dry winter months of May to September. These months provide excellent game viewing opportunities as the wildlife congregates around water sources.
The dry winter months of May to September are the best months to visit the Kapama Game Reserve. Game viewing is excellent during this period as the flora will thin out. The wildlife will also gather around water sources such as waterholes, making them very easy to find.
Southern Africa is a hot wildlife destination. There is a world of luxury bush camps, lodges and Eco-friendly tourist establishments in the heart of wildlife heaven.
It's important to take activities into account instead of weather when planning a South African holiday. If you're planning on going on safari, it's best to visit during the dry winter months of May to October. Game viewing is outstanding during this period as the foliage is much less and wildlife will congregate around waterholes in order to stay hydrated. If you want to spend some time relaxing on one of South Africa's sun-kissed beaches, then a visit during the hot summer months of November to March is ideal.