Why Visit South Africa?
South Africa is known as being “the whole world in one county” – a nickname it lives up to with astonishing accuracy. It’s a country that’s equally suitable for a safari experience or a tropical beach holiday. The natural scenery in different parts of South Africa vary greatly, with desert drylands, grasslands and bushveld all part of the mix.
Also known as the Rainbow Nation, South Africa is equally diverse in culture as it is in natural scenery. South Africa has an array of native African cultures, such as Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Venda and Bushmen. Despite having so many native cultures, there’s also no shortage of cultures that originated in other parts of the world. Indian, European, Asian and Jewish cultures are all present on the local cultural landscape. This incredible variety makes South Africa one of the most interesting societies in Africa to explore.
South Africa is more developed than its southern African neighbours. While some areas of the country are still remote and close to nature, there are several booming metropolitan areas to visit. Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are great cities to explore if you want to experience a busy African nightlife with ample restaurants and social hotspots. Visitors can also experience museums, concerts, art galleries and markets in the larger cities.
Smaller towns with galleries, memento shops and cosy eateries are scattered throughout the country, so there’s something interesting to be seen at many pitstops throughout a South African holiday.
While the Kruger National Park is the most well-known conservation area in South Africa, there are numerous National Parks to visit across the country, many of which have a great variety of wildlife.
The best time to visit South Africa for a safari is from May to September, as the cooler winter months in the northern reserves bring superb conditions for viewing big game. It can be rainy from November to February (generally afternoon thunderstorms), but this is the best time for birding, and temperatures remain warm.
However, South Africa is a year-round destination, with varying regional climates and wildlife opportunities.
The Cape has beautiful, hot, dry weather in its summer months (between December & February). The best time to visit the Cape for whale watching is between July and November.
8 nights Thornybush Collection Combination
Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Thornybush Game Reserve
4 nights The De Hoop Camino Luxury Coastal Walking Trail
Lekkerwater Beach Lodge & Morukuru Beach Lodge
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What to See in the South Africa
Kruger National Park and Surrounds
The world-renowned Kruger National Park, is the second-largest game reserve in Africa and the largest in South Africa (2 million hectares of land), offering an almost indescribable wildlife experience. In fact, it is home to the largest and most diverse concentration of wildlife species in the world! Its high density of wild animals includes the Big 5: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos.
The Kruger National Park shares its unfenced western boundary with a handful of conservation-driven private reserves that are home to some of the finest safari accommodation in Africa. These properties offer couples, honeymooners and families a luxury safari experience bar none – think superb service, even better cuisine, fully equipped gyms, tranquil health spas and private butler services! These private reserves include, Sabi Sand, Thornybush, Manyeleti, Klaserie, Balule and Timbavati.
Each concession is several thousand hectares, and the lodges who are situated here are able to leave the road network within their concession boundaries during game drives in order to get closer to the wildlife – this is something that is not allowed in the public areas of the National Park.
Some astonishingly beautiful natural landmarks can be seen in nearby areas, including Mac Mac Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window and the Blyde River Canyon. Among these natural landmarks, tourists can also find lovely little towns, such as Pilgrim’s Rest.
Pilanesberg National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve and Welgevonden Game Reserve
Pilanesberg, Madikwe and Welgevonden are three very well-known, malaria free, Big 5 reserves in South Africa.
Pilanesberg National Park is close to Sun City and only a 2-hour drive from Johannesburg. Making it an ideal destination to visit for a short safari getaway.
Madikwe Game Reserve is currently South Africa’s fifth largest reserve and is regarded as one of the best conservation areas in Africa. It is situated against the Botswana border close to the Kalahari Desert and is roughly a 4.5-hour drive from Johannesburg.
Welgevonden Game Reserve is located in Limpopo, close to the small town of Vaalwater. With no major cities nearby, it is a remote safari destination like few other in South Africa.
Activities: Big 5 game drives, walking safaris, birding, star gazing & in the Pilanesberg, a Sun City tour
Cape Town & Winelands
Cape Town is perhaps the most beautiful city in South Africa. Set next to the stunningly beautiful Atlantic Ocean with Table Mountain as its central landmark, the city is considered to be one of the most upper-class destinations in Africa.
One hour from Cape Town are the Cape Winelands that produce some of the best wines in the world. The beautiful towns of Franschhoek are a must see!
Activities: dining, wine tasting, shopping, swimming, spa treatments, hiking, boat cruises, cultural tours, birding, Intaka Island, Robben Island tour, scenic helicopter flight, Cape Peninisula tour, Boulder’s Penguins, Lions Head hiking, city tour, day trips, skydiving, paragliding, shark cage diving Gansbaai, seasonal whale watching, abseiling, cycling, sand boarding, hot air ballooning, zip lining, scooter riding, Kirshtenbosch botanical gardens, water sports, snorkel with seals, surfing, kayak with the penguins, kloofing, golf, horse riding
The Garden Route is a well-known scenic stretch of coastline territory. With the deep blue ocean, lush forests and rolling green hills, this stretch of land is amazingly beautiful. Some of the highlights on the Garden Route include a visit to the small town of Knysna and the Addo Elephant National Park. Plettenburg Bay, Oudtshoorn (which is popular for its ostriches), Tsitsikama forest and George.
Whale watching is also available on the Garden Route. The town of Hermanus is one of the prime whale watching destinations in South Africa and whales can be seen from June till November.
Activities: dining, wine tasting, shopping, swimming, spa treatments, hiking, boat cruises, cultural tours, birding, scenic helicopter flight, city tour, day trips, skydiving, paragliding, shark cage diving Gansbaai, seasonal whale watching, abseiling, cycling, sand boarding, hot air ballooning, zip lining, scooter riding, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, water sports, surfing, kayak with the penguins, kloofing, golfing, bungee jumping, horse riding, ostrich tours & the Otter Trail
The Eastern Cape is especially known for its superb, malaria-free game reserves. Enjoy all the benefits of a luxury African safari holiday without worrying about malaria mosquitoes. Generally, there are considerably less unpleasant critters present in Eastern Cape game reserves.
Popular game reserves for tourists to visit include: Shamwari Game reserve, Addo Elephant Park, Amakhala Game Reserve, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve and Karongwe Private Game Reserve.
Activities: night and day game drives, swimming, walking safaris, birding, star gazing, sight-seeing, water sports, boat cruises, helicopter flights, shopping, dining, spa treatments, hiking, horse riding, canopy tours
KwaZulu Natal is a province on the eastern coast of South Africa. It’s popular for being South Africa’s tropical oasis and a prime holiday destination for both locals and tourists.
Almost all the best swimming beaches can be found in KwaZulu Natal, as the Indian Ocean makes for temperate waters.
Highlights in the area include, the Drakensberg Mountain range, Midlands Meander, Jozini Dam, Isimangaliso Wetland Park and amazing Big 5 Game Reserves such as Nambiti, Phinda, Manyoni and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi.
The battlefields capture some of South Africa’s historical moments, with a variety of locations where both the Anglo-Boer War and Anglo-Zulu War were fought.
Activities: dining, shopping, swimming, spa treatments, hiking, boat cruises, cultural tours, birding, scenic helicopter flights, city tour, day trips, skydiving, paragliding, seasonal whale watching, dolphin spotting, abseiling, cycling, hot air ballooning, zip lining, scooter riding, water sports, snorkel with seals, surfing, kayak with the penguins, kloofing, golf, horse riding, gorge swing, uShaka Marina World Aquarium, game drives, walking safaris, sight-seeing
Namaqualand is a semi-desert region that can be found in the north-western part of the country. Some of the most remote places in South Africa are located in this north-western area, as the population density is much lower. With no major cities and few people to be seen, Namaqualand is a great place to see unspoilt nature.
Despite the semi-desert nature of Namaqualand, the area is surprisingly known for its prolific flower meadows, which are normally in bloom only between August and October.
Activities: sight-seeing, star gazing, SALT Observatory, hiking, museums, horse riding, Orange river rafting
Perfectly tailored luxury travel itineraries
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