South Africa attracts millions of travellers to its shores with its unique blend of old and modern Africa. It has an abundance of wildlife and scenery – from the sandy beaches, forest-covered cliffs, amazing marine life on its coastline to arid deserts, peak-filled mountain ranges and open bushveld savannah.
One of the main attractions is Table Mountain, a beautiful natural phenomenon that you definitely want to see at least once in your lifetime. Luckily you don’t just have to admire its beauty from afar, you can book a spot on a cable car up to the mountain and admire its diverse flora up close, or you could hike up with a guide. Either option is just as amazing. There’s also the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, a beautiful nature reserve with rare plant species, walking trails and mountain views. There’s Robben Island, also known as Seal Island, which you can enjoy as a day outing.
Historical landmarks and interaction with local cultures and communities provide an insight into the “Rainbow Nation”. Big 5 Game Reserves, train journeys, award-winning wine estates and a large variety of shopping opportunities are just some of the other facets to be experienced.
Our history is definitely not only Apartheid, so many historical monuments are open to visitors to learn, and see, all that was and is South Africa. There’s the Castle of Good Hope, an expansive and colonial 17th century castle that is now a provincial heritage site. There’s the Cango Caves, a historical network of caves with large mineral formations. There’s also the Voortrekker Monument which commemorates the Afrikaans settlers who arrived in 1830. There are so many more museums and historical sites that tell South Africa’s story and are amazing places to visit.
Wait a minute. Can I travel to South Africa?
For most nationalities the overwhelming answer is YES! We suggest using this site as your guide to getting the right travel documentation and understanding up-to-date travel requirements based on your country of departure. An independent resource, this site is not sponsored by, affiliated with or funded by any government agency. Our team of experienced travel planners will be on hand to assist you with anything you may need throughout your safari leaving you to simply enjoy all that this beautiful country has to offer.
You Must see
Where does one even begin to answer that question in a country which holds so many wonderful experiences and iconic destinations? Here's our list of places you must see and experiences you should add to your bucket-list itinerary.
The Greater Kruger National Park & Sabi Sands
The Greater Kruger National Park, is joint venture between the Kruger National Park and the surrounding associated Private Nature Reserves within Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Together they have an area of more than 20 000 000 Hectares (or more than 20.000 km²), under their joint conservation.
Declared as an UNESCO ‘International Man and the Biosphere Reserve’, the Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It is situated across the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa, and its borders stretch up to Zimbabwe in the north and Mozambique in the east. Back in 1898 it was known as the Government Wildlife Park. It later became the Sabi Game Reserve, and then the Kruger National Park in 1926.
The Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR) is a conglomerate of privately owned nature reserves which form the Greater Kruger National Park. It has over 20 members in its ranks and include destinations such as Londolozi, Singita, Sabi Sabi, MalaMala and Ulusaba. In 1993, the fences between Associated Private Nature Reserves and the Kruger National Park were removed to encourage wildlife migration, and the Greater Kruger National Park was born.
Cape Town & Table Mountain
If Cape Town was a person, it would be that Hollywood starlet we all secretly envy. The Mother City is unlike any other destination in Africa: Separated from the rest of the continent by a ring of mountains, Cape Town stands as a glittering, metropolis juxtaposed with one of the world's most breathtaking natural landscapes. But good looks aren't the only thing Cape Town has going for it. You'll fall in love with this city's khaki-colored beaches, rolling vineyards, sizzling cuisine, thriving nightlife, and, of course, the spectacular Table Mountain.
Cape Town is by far the most cosmopolitan city in South Africa, as it hosts a hodgepodge of cultures that contributes to the city's eclectic music, food, and festival scenes. But to better appreciate Cape Town as it is now, it's important to understand what the city has experienced. Decades of racial and economic oppression invoked by apartheid has left a festering wound. Although many tourists only experience Cape Town's gorgeous beaches and vibrant restaurant scene, those who visit Nelson Mandela's jail cell on Robben Island or peruse the exhibits in The District Six Museum will see that there's a somber undertone to this otherwise vibrant city.
The Franschhoek Winelands
World renowned for its spectacular beauty, superb Cape wines and world class restaurants, the beautiful village of Franschhoek is a definite must-visit destination on any trip to the Western Cape of South Africa. Founded in 1688 by French Huguenots, this scenic gem nestles in a rich and fertile valley, between glorious towering mountains, right in the beautiful Heart of the Cape Winelands.
For food lovers, Franschhoek has a well known reputation as a dining out paradise. Food connoisseurs and gourmands will find a delicious choice of restaurants in and around the village catering for both fine dining as well as family fare. Many of these eateries are award-winning and widely acclaimed, both internationally and locally. In season (Oct – Feb), it is wise to book your table. Visit our Franschhoek Restaurants page to find a list of the best dining establishments in Franschhoek.
Wine tasting is one of the most popular activities in Franschhoek. With its century’s old wine estates and excellent wines, people flock to Franschhoek for the ultimate wine tasting experience and we would highly recommend you experience the Wine Tram for yourself!
The Garden Route
The Garden Route begins about four hours outside Cape Town, and includes one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline, the starting point of which is constantly contested as towns such as Witsand, Stilbaai and Albertinia join the route that winds its way for some 200 km via George, Wilderness, Sedgefield and Knysna on to Plettenberg Bay culminating in the Tstisikamma Forest - a fairyland of giant trees, ferns and bird life.
Along the way, every kind of adventure activity is possible; scuba diving, abseiling, fishing and more. The Tsitsikamma National Park, perched on a tumultuous Indian Ocean shore is one of South Africa’s most dramatic protected areas, combining marine and land attractions. Its indigenous forests are a haven for birdlife. One of the most geologically interesting parts of South Africa is the Klein Karoo, with its towering mountains and sheer gorges.
An important geological feature is the Cango Caves, a series of caverns and chambers naturally hewn out of limestone, situated outside the city of Oudtshoorn. The Cango Caves are among the top ten most visited South African attractions.
Climate and Seasons in South Africa
The weather in South Africa is generally pleasant throughout the year – warm to hot days, and cool to warm nights. During our winter months however (May to September), it can get very cold at night and in the early morning, particularly when on safari, so we would like to suggest that you pack accordingly – very warm clothing including an anorak/winter jacket, a beanie (woollen hat), scarf and gloves are recommended.
January to March is the peak of summer and the rainfall season in most of the country. Days are normally warm with afternoon cloud build up and possible showers although these are usually short-lived. Wildlife can disperse during this time in search of new grazing. The Cape Province has it’s rainfall in the winter months so it can be hot, dry and windy at this time.
During April to May morning temperatures start to drop and the evenings are cooler. Rainfall is limited and as the free-standing waters dry out, wildlife start to congregate more at perennial water sources.
The early part of June is very cold in the mornings and evenings, occasionally even dropping below zero, and winter lasts until August. Days are normally sunny and pleasant with occasional cold snaps, and windy spells towards the end of this period. Game viewing can be excellent in the dry winter months in some areas. The Cape can experience lovely sunny but cool weather during this period. It is also the rainy season in the Cape so some days can be quite wet and windy.Spring starts in September with all the vegetation coming into leaf and days are much warmer with the occasional cool evening and morning. From October we experience very warm sunny days with warm evenings. Some rains are experienced sporadically, though larger showers can be expected usually only around December. Wildlife sightings can vary depending how early the rains have started.
Despite regional differences, South Africa’s climate is generally mild throughout the year. Snowfall is limited to the highest mountain peaks and it is a relatively dry country with a mean annual rainfall of 502 millimetres.
So when is the best time to visit? Well whilst its great all year round we would say that the best time for safari is probably from May to November, with the best time to see whales being August to October, and the best time to visit Cape Town to be between September and November. All in all, October and November are excellent times of year to visit South Africa.
Our team of experienced tour planners will work with you to build a custom travel plan tailored to the destinations you would like to visit, the amount of time you’d like to travel for, your group size and of course, your budget. These are some of the suggested itineraries which visit South Africa.
Sole Use South Africa Safari for 8
This sole use South Africa safari adventure sees your group of 8 adults taking exclusive and sole use of 3 exquisite destinations. That is right, just you, your family and friends. Your group will begin your journey in South Africa's Eastern Cape at Kwande Private Game Reserve where you'll enjoy the flexibility of an exclusive home in the bush with your private vehicle, guide and chef to tailor make your day to day experiences. From here you'll fly to cape Town and on to Franschhoek where you'll live like a local for 4 nights at Le Cle Des Montagnes where a concierge service will tailor-make your day to day experiences such as exploring the village on foot or by bicycle.
The Royal South African Safari
This is the perfect combination of luxury hotels and Lodges in iconic South African destinations. From the vast open plains of the Kalahari to the Mother city, Cape Town and ending in the Greater Kruger National Park.Your winelands experience in Franschhoek will be the most memorable experience. Birkenhead House sets the standard for luxury hotels in Hermanus. These 15 nights will take your breath away and you will experience the best South Africa has to offer.
The Lion Sands & Cape Town Escape
The collection of Lion Sands lodges,set along the banks of the perennial Sabie River, each have breath-taking views which are all the better appreciated from the comfort of African contemporary luxury. Exclusive accommodation, sensory comforts, intuitive service, good food and fine South African wine come together to promise a safari in style; a Lion Sands Original. Ending off in the mothercity, Cape Town this is the best of South Africa in six nights.
Sabi Sabi & MalaMala Long Stay Safari
Welcome to the capital of Big Game viewing. The Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve is known for its incredible reputation to deliver sightings that you could only ever dream of. Crafted with the challenges around travelling during Covid-19 in mind, this itinerary sees you cutting down on travels and maximising your time in two of the best wildlife areas in southern Africa.
Family Friendly Madikwe & Marataba Safari
A exciting opportunity to combine two Malaria free destinations into a safari experience which makes a tangible difference to conservation. This Madikwe and Marataba safari is the ideal combination of wildlife, relaxation, fun, education and gives families the opportunity to leave their mark on conservation efforts in South Africa.
Self Drive Garden Route Itinerary
The Garden Route is a scenic and ecologically diverse region in South Africa and is one of the most famous road trips in the country! It stretches 300-kilometers (190 miles) from Mossel Bay (a 5+ hour drive from Cape Town), ending in Storms River. This self drive Garden Route Itinerary takes you on a journey from the heart of Cape Town along a route which highlights some of the most stunning landscapes in the country, with epic coastlines, towering mountains, and lush forests.
Authentic Bushcamps of Madikwe & Greater Kruger
This 7 night safari has been hand crafted to combine two of South Africa's most authentic bush camps in the Madikwe Game Reserve and Timbavati Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park. It’s all about experience here with small intimate camps where one is able to truly reconnect with nature. Charging facilities are provided but there is no electricity in either of these camps, allowing for unobstructed viewing of South Africa's beautiful night skies. If you're looking to reconnect with nature and enjoy a true break away from all the mod conns, the combination of these two camps is ideal.
Scheduled Photographic Safaris
With set dates and based on a group of between 3 and 12 guests, each of our scheduled departures are hosted by a qualified professional photographer who is on hand to help you get the most out of your time on safari. These are some of the scheduled safaris on offer in Kenya.
The Madikwe Photo Safari
Towering rocky outcrops, endless vistas, open grasslands and large waterholes drawing animals for a drink during the intense Madikwe heat, all form part of the exciting experience at this malaria-free Big 5 safari destination. It’s often thought that its simply not possible for one place to “have it all” and perhaps this statement is indeed true. That said, the diverse and wildly dynamic fauna and flora of Madikwe Game Reserve is about as close as it gets.
MalaMala and Mashatu Safari
It’s rare that you come across a safari experience that meets all of the requirements for a seasoned wildlife photographer. Well, look no further than the MalaMala & Mashatu photo tour. MalaMala arguably offers Africa’s most consistent big game safari experience. Mashatu is a scenic splendour and allows you to photograph wildlife at eye-level from within their renowned photo hide.
Sabi Sands Big 5 Safari
Welcome to the capital of Big Game viewing. The Sabi Sands is known for its incredible reputation to deliver sightings that you could only ever dream of. The Big 5 are commonly found and it’s without doubt a predators playground. Follow lions and leopards on the hunt and into the night to discover a side to them you’ve not seen before. This safari will leave you in total awe and wanting more.