Luxury South African holidays promise wildlife, culture, and extraordinary gastronomy. "A world in one country" is how the southernmost country on the African continent is often described. There are vast windswept deserts with honey-coloured dunes; sun-drenched, vineyard-covered mountains; and pulsating, vibrant cities.
Safari holidays in South Africa are without par, there are multiple game reserves and luxury safari lodges to choose from: Kruger, Samara, Madikwe or Kwazulu Natal where hippo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, meerkats, wild dogs, kudu, hyena and ostrich can be spotted.
Malaria-free regions are a good choice for family holidays in South Africa, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is excellent, before a few days on the beach at Plettenberg or Walker Bay. For a special family occasion, rent a private house with ocean views or one deep in the bush.
For the gastronomically curious, a gourmet holiday in South Africa delivers in spades. Indeed, the regions of Constancia, Franschhoek and Hemel-en-Aarde are increasingly recognised for their spectacular foodie offerings, alongside the world-class vineyards of the Winelands.
The colonial-influenced Western Cape is not only known for its Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture, but also for the beginning of the glorious Garden Route. It stretches over one hundred and twenty-five miles of staggering coastline, starting at Mossel Bay and extending all the way to the Eastern Cape. Bordered by pine forests and fragrant fynbos bushes and punctuated with gorges, pristine sandy beaches and rocky coves, this is nature at its most exquisite.
Whether you wish to discover the battlefields at Rorke’s Drift, the Big Five on safari in Kruger National Park, the vintages of Stellenbosch, or follow in Nelson Mandela's footsteps, our South Africa safaris can be crafted to suit.
South Africa has varying climates, so it is a year-round destination depending on your activities. The best time for a luxury South Africa safari is during the 'Dry Season’ from May to September, when wildlife is easier to spot. June to December is the best time for whale watching, and October to April is the best time to visit South Africa for birdwatching.
Sabi Sands is South Africa’s answer to the Masai Mara. It’s the country’s most acclaimed game reserve in Greater Kruger National Park and its legacy of conservation means it boasts the highest density of big game in the country. Its rich wilderness is the best place to spot the elusive leopard, as well as the other four animals (lion, buffalo, rhino and elephant) that make up Africa’s ‘Big Five’. Glamorous safari lodges offer private plunge pools and floor-to-ceiling windows perfect for watching the wildlife in comfort. Here’s there no better way to toast South Africa’s greatest wilderness with a gin and tonic while watching the sun go down. Cheers!
Nudging Botswana’s border, the lesser-known Madikwe Game Reserve is a wild mix of savannah grassland and riverine forest only a short hop from Johannesburg. Many come to Africa in search of the ‘Big Five’ but Madikwe can trump that! It’s home to the ‘Super Seven’, which also includes the endangered wild dog and cheetah. Along with the rugged amber-tinted mountains of neighbouring Marakele National Park, these pair of wildernesses are malaria-free – something of a rarity in African reserves. They also share something else in common, with luxury treehouses planted slap-bang in the bush offering unique ways to sleep under the stars.
Even though Cape Town is affectionately known as the Mother City, the ‘Big Daddy of Cities’ would be a more appropriate moniker. It’s a melting pot of landscapes, culture and people, all lorded over by the iconic Table Mountain – the city’s literal crowning jewel. Here, you can sip coffee in the city’s buzzing café culture in the morning, hike the wilds of its famous peak at lunch and relax on beaches that rival the French Riviera in the evening. It shares its latitude with the UK so when you wake from your flight, you’ll be jet lag-free!
Only a short drive from Cape Town, the Cape’s Winelands twin superb landscapes with the top tipples the region is famous for. Towering peaks hem in the colonial Dutch towns of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, each littered with reams of rolling vineyards. The oldest region, Constantia, is oft-overlooked by visitors making a beeline for the headlining duo, but being the closest wine region to Cape Town, it’s well worth a trip.
Cape Town’s unique collection of cultures have each added their own flavours into the city’s cuisine, with hip eateries and top restaurants found on every street corner. World-renowned chefs come to add their own stamp on this culinary capital, where you can try everything from braai to bunny chow.
Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Polio and Tetanus-Diptheria vaccinations are currently recommended. Prevention against Malaria is advised for those travelling to the lowfeld of Mpumalanga (including Kruger National Park), Limpopo and the Maputaland coastline of KwaZulu-Natal. While Malaria is at low risk in the winter months, we’d advise using mosquito nets and insect repellent to prevent being bitten. If you’re entering South Africa from a Yellow Fever zone, possession of a valid Yellow Fever inoculation certificate is required but for any current travel health advice, you should seek guidance from your GP at least four to six weeks prior to travel. You would also need Covid-19 vaccination card as well as a negative Covid-19 PCR test result not less than 72hours old.
The official currency of the country is the South African rand.
If you want to visit South Africa, you must produce a valid visa before you can enter into the country. A visa will be issued for a visit for tourism or business purposes and is valid for a period of 90 days.
Some countries are exempted from visa control, which means that citizens from those countries do not need a visa to visit South Africa. Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials must insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country. Depending on your intended visit, you can apply for a Visitor’s Visa or a Transit Visa. Speak with your agent to find out if you would be needing one
The official languages spoken in Kenya are Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Swati, and Ndebele
South Africa’s sheer size means its various regions all experience different weather patterns.
The Western Cape, which includes Cape Town, the Winelands and the Garden Route, enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate year-round. The summer, between October and April, is warm and dry with maximum temperatures of 26°C in January and February. It’s prime whale-watching season between September and November, so head to Hermanus then for sightings of southern right whales. Cape Town receives most of its rain from June-August, but in comparison to the UK it’s a mild winter with temperatures averaging around 18°C.
If you’re looking to visit South Africa’s game reserves and national parks, May to November is the best time to go on a safari holiday, whether it’s Kruger National Park or Madikwe and Sabi Sands game reserves. Even though this is technically South Africa’s winter, the days are crisp, dry and sunny (daily temperatures average around 23°C). It’s an ideal time for game viewing, with the sparse vegetation making it easier to spot animals that are drawn to the watering holes.
In the east of the country, Johannesburg can be visited year-round. Coming to the end of winter (May-November), the city’s jacaranda trees are in bloom (October-November), but night-time temperatures can be close to freezing. On the coast, Durban’s Indian Ocean location makes for warm temperatures year-round.
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