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South African Safaris

Bespoke Luxury African Safaris

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A chic modern hub ensconced in a glorious natural wonderland, South Africa is a safari Eden of unparalleled luxury, rare opportunity, and infinite diversity. With majestic and abundant wildlife, and lavishly appointed safari lodges, this is a safari holiday destination that should never be underestimated.

It can be easy to forget when planning your next travel experience that beyond South Africa’s ultramodern urban vibe lies a world of safari splendour unmatched for accessibility, variety, and comfort. That is where we come in. Our South Africa safari packages are truly something to marvel and will provide you with a lifetime of precious memories. We have meticulously looked over every detail to ensure we meet your South Africa safari needs and provide you with the best possible experience. So why a South Africa Safari then?

South Africa is a safari Eden of unparalleled luxury, rare opportunity, and infinite diversity.
A chic modern hub ensconced in a glorious natural wonderland. With majestic and abundant wildlife and lavishly appointed safari lodges, this is a safari holiday destination that should never be underestimated.

As a safari experience, South Africa affords the greatest opportunity to see the “Big 5” of any African country, and the best chance of observing the reclusive leopard anywhere on the planet. As an exotic locale, South Africa enjoys a pleasant year-round climate, and offers a landscape of exceptional geographical and biological diversity, with all the highlights of continental Africa packed into a single country.

Magnificent Safari Tours, Sumptuous Safari Lodges

After being mesmerized during the day by some of the world’s most captivating wildlife on one of our luxury South Africa safari tours, prepare to be favoured in the evening with every indulgence while retiring to some of Africa’s most elegant and accommodating safari lodges.

So Much to Do in South Africa

Beyond magnificent safaris and the scenic cosmopolitan fusion of Cape Town, South Africa offers a wealth of inimitable attractions – the striking surrounds of Cape Peninsula; the historic Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was once incarcerated; the glorious Garden Route; the picturesque Cape wineries offering superb wine and accommodation; and much more to be discovered by the intrepid traveller.

We can only hope you come and discover it for yourself.

Your Personalised South African Safari Awaits

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The 'Destinations africa' difference

  • We know Africa - it's in our blood

  • Consummate service around the clock

  • We make Africa travel a breeze

  • Total safety with vip transit

  • Life changing wildlife experiences

  • Incredible value for money

what our customers say

Destinations Africa are highly recommended. We have now engaged them for a second time. The level of service from start to after the holiday are excellent. The suggested trips, accommodation and places we stayed were spot on. It was an absolute pleasure to deal with Sandie and we are looking forward to booking our new trip
troy daff
troy daff
03:50 26 Nov 19
Destinations Africa are the best company to travel to Africa with. This is my fifth time with this company and everything always runs like clockwork. Always exceeding expectations.Travelling to many different places over the years. Everywhere I stayed at was amazing.I would always use this company and highly recommend them. Thank you to everyone.
Di Huntington
Di Huntington
13:22 18 Sep 19
My family and I spent 3 weeks in South Africa and Zimbabwe. The bookings and transfers went smoothly. The advice we were given was extremely helpful and the quality of the hotels, lodges and tour guides were amazing. I highly recommend the team at Destinations Africa
Dallas Kennedy
Dallas Kennedy
06:45 13 Sep 19
My husband and I went on a 2 week holiday to Zimbabwe and South Africa. We experienced 2 game lodges and visited Johannesburg and Cape Town. Cathy from Destinations Africa put together the most amazing trip. Everything was perfect, exceeded our expectations and we could not have had a better time. We look forward to being able to visit Africa again sometime and would certainly be getting Destinations Africa to arrange this for us. Thank you for the experience of a lifetime!!
Julie Short
Julie Short
03:54 11 Sep 19
My husband and I went on a 2 week holiday to Zimbabwe and South Africa. We experienced 2 game lodges and visited Johannesburg and Cape Town. Cathy from Destinations Africa put together the most amazing trip. Everything was perfect, exceeded our expectations and we could not have had a better time. We look forward to being able to visit Africa again sometime and would certainly be getting Destinations Africa to arrange this for us. Thank you for the experience of a lifetime!!
Julie Short
Julie Short
03:54 11 Sep 19
A great big thank you to Sandie at Destinations Africa for planning the most memorable and unforgettable adventure for our first trip to Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. Sandie listened to us regarding our time frame, budget and “must sees” and put together an incredible 17 day itinerary that balanced both safari adventure and the sights of Cape Town. We were looked after from the moment we landed in Johannesburg to our final flight from Hoedspruit. Everything ran smoothly. Our accommodations were expecting us and we were checked-in immediately, our transfers were comfortable and on time with friendly and informative staff. All aspects of the trip were finely tuned and ran to perfection. Our accommodations whilst on safari were breathtaking due to their locations be it on the Zambezi River or because the elephants came into camp and we could watch them from our window. The staff at the lodges were friendly and happy and treated us like a member of the family. The food was fresh, delicious and abundant. Then there were the game drives. We saw The Big 5 multiple times, saw leopard and lions “in action” and even saw rhinos mating!! We were also fortunate to see cheetahs, zebra multiple times, hippos both in the water and on land, giraffes multiple times and many other wild life that we had only ever seen in pictures and we couldn’t believe how close they came. The game drives were thrilling. We also enjoyed our time in Cape Town. Our accommodation was comfortable and very handy to the V&A Waterfront where a lot of the Cape Town action is. Although we don’t usually do a Hop on Hop Off bus we found this was a great way to explore Cape Town and get to Table Mountain. Our full day Cape Winelands tour was a lovely way to see more of the area and to visit the lovely villages on the way to our wine tastings. With a couple of days to do our own thing as well it was a good balance of planned and own time. Sandie, thank you again. I’ve already told many friends about Destinations Africa and given them your name. If anyone wants a trip of a life time then contact Sandie at Destinations Africa. Sandie will arrange for you the best trip of your life. We’ll back for another adventure.
Susie Soong
Susie Soong
05:24 10 Sep 19
My family and I, went on a 3 week holiday to South and East Africa, it was unforgettable and exceeded all our expectations. It was a trip of a life time, we have traveled extensively, and this particular trip would be on top of our list, we are planning on going back in the near future.We especially loved the detailed digital itinerary that provided so much information on every stage of the trip and could be shared with friends and family.
Elisa Kisvarda
Elisa Kisvarda
03:22 21 Aug 19
My family and I, went on a 3 week holiday to South and East Africa, it was unforgettable and exceeded all our expectations. It was a trip of a life time, we have traveled extensively, and this particular trip would be on top of our list, we are planning on going back in the near future. We especially loved the detailed digital itinerary that provided so much information on every stage of the trip and could be shared with friends and family.
Elisa Kisvarda
Elisa Kisvarda
03:22 21 Aug 19
Our 3 week holiday to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia was unforgettable and exceeded all our expectations. Thanks to Sandie for great recommendations and all arrangements, including finding answers for all our questions. Everything went very smoothly. We especially loved the detailed digital itinerary that provided so much information on every stage of the trip and could be shared with friends and family.
Linda Richardson
Linda Richardson
06:16 13 Aug 19
We have just returned from a fantastic 19 day trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe.What an amazing experience. From the moment we arrived we were met and transferred with effortless precision. Our accommodation surpassed expectations, the food was amazing and the attention to detail, second to none. Cathy suggested we travel on Rovos Rail and that was an amazing trip. I had never thought of train travel before.. can't wait to do another! The camps we stayed in were luxurious, extremely comfortable and so exciting - Elephants wandering past your front door was an everyday occurrence. We saw the big 5, several times over and the guides we had were informative, courteous and very professional. Prior to going, Cathy designed a trip that suited our group of 4 to a tee! All our questions were clarified promptly and we were never left wondering. If you are considering and African holiday I would definitely recommend Destinations Africa for a trouble free and personalised holiday! I extend a special thanks to Cathy for being our travel manager! Sue Peterie
Sue Peterie
Sue Peterie
23:31 24 Jul 19
Rick and I have been to Africa 3 times over the past 6 years. Destinations Africa have been amazing in planning our trips to suit price, places we wish to go and suggesting the most fabulous Private Game reserves. Christa went out of her way to accommodate our needs and we have always found that each trip has been seamless with arranging pick ups, flights, luggage care and finding new and exciting Private Game reserves. The accommodation is always fantastic and we have never had any worries during our time away. Our favourite is always Savanna Private Game Reserve but we have visited many other wonderful lodges during our trips, including Stanley’s Camp in Botswana, Motswiri, Motswari, The Hide, Imbabala and also went to Victoria Falls, staying at the magnificent 116 yr old Victoria Falls Hotel. There has always been an abundance of animals at each reserve which has been the highlight of our holidays. In summary, we would recommend Destinations Africa without hesitation for an amazing experience.
Dawn Moore
Dawn Moore
04:11 12 Jul 19
Hi to AllJust wanted to let anyone who may be wanting to go on a dream trip to Africa, you cannot go past "Destinations Africa".From our very 1st contact with Cathy, it was obvious that this lady knows her stuff when it comes to travelling to and around Africa. There was huge amount of information re our proposed trip well before we left and nothing in regard to queries etc was too much trouble.Everything, and I MEAN everything, was organised to a tee and absolutely nothing went wrong during the entire trip, we could not have been happierThank you Destinations Africa, you have given us "memories for a lifetime".
Trevor Walker
Trevor Walker
10:13 23 Jun 19
Thanks Destinations Africa for organising a fantastic trip the safaris were amazing Elephants Eye and Motswari were incredible we were treated like Kings and Queens fabulous foodFabulous people .
jim chadwick
jim chadwick
05:23 05 Jun 19
Hubby and I just got back from an amazing first trip to Africa organised by Christa from Destinations Africa. Christa created us a wonderful 3 week holiday from start to finish. It couldn't have been better. From pick ups, charter flights, choosing 5 different safari camps in Botswana and Zimbabwe for us, not forgetting Victoria Falls, we were met on time, every time by happy drivers, pilots and camp staff. The service at the camps was second to none and delivered so much more than we thought possible. Christa's choice of camps was perfect for us and each camp gave us special memories each different to the other. The animal life was exceptional. Destinations Africa get 5 stars from us for service, knowledge and knowing what we would enjoy. Thank you.
Bronwyn Dixon
Bronwyn Dixon
07:49 22 May 19
Our family has had two holidays at Simbavati, mainly staying at the River Lodge.Both have been wonderful experiences, really feeling that we were welcome visitors to a natural environment, still wild but approachable, and unspoilt. The River Lodge fits in to its natural surroundings while giving you all the amenities you need, we were not intruding or changing the habitat but felt very well looked after. The Hilltop Lodge is more modern and man-made but still blending gently into its environment.Destinations Africa made everything so easy for us - all our questions were answered quickly and with confidence, all the background information was sent to us to cover all aspects of a trip to Africa, not just to the game reserve. We felt that they cared personally about our group and what we wanted to achieve.Go and enjoy!
diane ross
diane ross
02:37 17 May 19
Destinations Africa listened to what I wanted, and delivered a dream trip. It was my first visit to Africa, alone, and they managed everything, all my connections and accommodation and activities. It was a perfect wish list of locations (Cape Town, Victoria Falls, safaris), the lodges were exceptional and friendly, the food was great. I saw every animal I dared to hope for, including the Big 5. Destinations Africa know what they're doing.
Jen Riddler
Jen Riddler
04:42 25 Mar 19
Travel Destinations Africa (TDA) is the best travel agent I have every used for anything. Their knowledge of Africa is unparalleled. Nothing is left to chance. The destinations themselves are superb, the arrangements seamless and all done with a very high level of personal service over the phone and via the internet. We have used TDA's services twice now and despite the fact we know Africa reasonably well will always use them when arranging a trip to Africa. I cannot recommend them highly enough
Martin Heffron
Martin Heffron
23:28 07 Mar 19
Our agent's local knowledge was invaluable, even the airport hotel was great! Ha ha. The safari at Karen Blixen Camp exceeded all expectations. We can't thank Destinations Africa enough for planning such a great trip for us.
Lainy Thompson
Lainy Thompson
22:16 21 Jan 19
The single most personal and detailed service we have ever worked with!What make Destinations Africa such a pleasure to work with was that they really took our experience, interests, passions and travel history into account. Cathy from DA interviewed my husband and I for almost an hour to deeply understand what we were interested in, how we like to travel, what experiences were the most important to us and other personal details. Based on what we provided in that initial interview, Cathy came back with recommendations, we provided feedback and she iterated on the itinerary until it was absolutely perfect. But this wasn't a simple booking service, we were provided with regular proactive updates and recommendations on additional activities as well as details on everything from the type of vaccinations required, to what type of currency we would need. We also felt completely supported by them while on the trip. Congratulations to the amazing team at Destinations Africa (especially Cathy!) for all of their fantastic work. If you are considering an African trip (and let's face it, after our experiences why wouldn't you be??), give them a buzz.
Juliette Connolly
Juliette Connolly
07:21 28 Nov 18
We are about to leave on our trip. Destinations Africa have been nothing but superb. We have been working with Cathy and the service and knowledge has been fantastic. We have done a lot of travel, and cannot recommend DA enough. Quick to respond, brilliant advice, and extremely well organised. If you're planning on a trip to Africa look no further than this company to help you create a trip of a lifetime.
Graham Connolly
Graham Connolly
23:23 30 Oct 18
We recently used Destinations Africa to organise our trip along the Garden Route (self drive) in South Africa, 8 days in Zimbabwe (a minibus for 6 people) and finally 5 days at Savanna Lodge in Sabi Sands west of Kruger National Park. It would have to be one of the best trips we have so far taken. Everything went like clockwork, the transport and accommodation was superb. The Garden route exceeded expectations. Travelling through Zimbabwe was an eye opener.. don't let anyone put you off exploring this very interesting country with amongst the friendliest people you could meet anywhere.We have been to a number of game parks in Africa and Savanna Lodge would have to be the best we've ever visited. Apart from the superb accommodation and food, the game drives were fantastic. If you want to get up close and personal with lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, giraffes... you name it, we saw it.Thanks so much Destinations Africa for such an amazing holiday. Would we recommend it?? Definitely!!
Maureen Hessey
Maureen Hessey
07:06 21 Sep 18
We have just returned from a 3 week honeymoon to Mana Pools and South Africa. Having used the wonderful services of Destinations Africa for my 2011 trip to Africa I did not hesitate to contact them once more when we decided to go to Africa.Everything was perfect. As usual, John and Sandie went out of their way to ensure they understood EXACTLY what we wanted to get out of the trip, to understand why we wanted to go to Africa and what we wanted to experience.The locations, accommodation, transfers, flights, the African support staff, everything was spectacular.I wouldn't trust anyone else to arrange our trips to Africa.
Amanda Lancaster
Amanda Lancaster
01:58 07 Sep 18
I have just returned from an incredible walking safari with Robin Pope Safaris in Zambia. What an incredible experience! With our expert guide, Kanga, we saw all of the animals we could possibly hope for including leopards, one with her cub. The staff, food and lodgings were top class and I would return tomorrow. Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel were an added bonus which we thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend the helicopter ride over the Falls.Thank you Cathy and team at Destinations Africa for your superb help with itineraries and all on ground arrangements. I would use you again without hesitation.All up, an unforgettable 5 star experience.
Julie Stewart
Julie Stewart
02:05 22 Aug 18
Christa planned the most amazing family trip of a lifetime for us! We spent 3 amazing weeks in South Africa and Zimbabwe and enjoyed every moment. Our accommodation and transfers were all seamless. We met the most amazing people on our trip and it's certainly left us with a myriad of lasting memories. Thank you so very much!
Robyn Follett
Robyn Follett
12:18 07 Aug 18
Cathy at Destinations Africa was amazing in organising a trip for myself and three girlfriends to East Africa and Victoria Falls. She was so efficient, always friendly, very patient and went above and beyond to give us the trip of a lifetime. From the moment we set foot in Africa we had a friendly face to greet us and we were never left wondering about any of the arrangements...the trip ran like clockwork. All the hotels and lodges we stayed at were terrific and the game viewing was spectacular. I can't thank Cathy and the rest of the Destinations Africa team (particularly Albatross Travel in East Africa) for all their hard work. I wouldn't hesitate in coming to them again for further Africa travel.
Denise Luey
Denise Luey
05:10 06 Aug 18
Wow Wow Wow! Just home from the best holiday I have experienced! And I'm a big traveller. I can not fault any little thing about Destinations Africa from the very beginning, and all the way through our trip, it was smooth sailing, John and Sandie are experts and listened to what I wanted and certainly delivered. Our itinerary was magic, just like Africa, trust me if you want a holiday that is wonderful and you want to feel totally at ease with the whole experience, look no further. Thanks guys for you expertise it was brilliant.
Dianne Mapleson
Dianne Mapleson
05:15 06 Jun 18
Destinations Africa planned our first trip to Africa, we visited Victoria Falls, Cape Town and Elephant Plains Game Reserve. All accommodation was first class from service to comfort to meals. The activities booked for us were interesting and informative. We especially liked the lunch with the local lady in Victoria Falls. Cape Town was a lovely city with the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain highlights. Then Elephant Plains with the great variety of animals we viewed was a dream come true. Thanks for a great itinerary and all your help.
Christine Mitchell
Christine Mitchell
22:40 27 May 18

South Africa:

  • Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel - Cape Town

    Among the top luxury resorts in Cape Town, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel describes itself as “an oasis of calm within Cape Town’s beating heart”. Perched at the foot of Table Mountain, and invoking the magic of a bygone era through it’s colonial grandeur (with a distinctly modern touch), this airy sanctuary is guaranteed to be an unforgettable stay.

  • Victoria and Alfred Hotel - Cape Town

    A beautifully located 4-star hotel on the waterfront pierhead of Cape Town. Sophisticated modern luxury full of old world charm, the Victoria and Alfred Hotel offers sweeping views of the harbour and Table Mountain, and is within easy walking distance to many fine retail outlets, designer stores, restaurants, craft markets, boat cruises to Robben Island, and the Waterfront Amphitheatre.

  • InterContinental Hotel - Jo’burg Airport

    The award-winning 5-star hotel at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport. Providing convenience, style, and a host of services and facilities such as conferencing, spa, and the Quills restaurant, the hotel is a mere one-minute walk from both international and domestic terminals.

  • City Lodge - Jo’burg Airport

    A highly affordable and excellently equipped 3-star hotel, also offering superb convenience due to its immediate proximity to O.R. Tambo International Airport. Services and facilities include spacious air-conditioned rooms, 24-hour reception and check-in, wifi access, boardroom and conference facilities, same day laundry and dry cleaning, in-room safes, and a fitness room with deck and swimming pool.

  • Franschhoek Country House and Villas - Franschhoek

    Boutique 5-star accommodation in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town. A restored manor house and perfumery dating back to 1890, Franschhoek Country House and Villas is found between enchanting vineyards and majestic mountains, and offers guests a sublime list of services and amenities including the award-winning Monneaux restaurant.

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  • Savanna Private Game Reserve

    An exclusive 5-star lodge set in the renowned Sabi Sands Reserve. With nine opulent suites, Savanna also offers specially designed game viewing vehicles, and highly trained guides with a vast knowledge of the African bushveld in an area where “Big 5” sightings are certain. With their personalised service, you’ll feel part of the Savanna family from the moment you arrive.

  • Motswari Private Game Reserve

    Motswari Private Game Reserve, nestled in 150 square km of safari wonderland located within the Timbavati and Umbabat Private Nature Reserve, is an exclusive lodge never hosting more than thirty guests at any one time. Motswari, meaning “to conserve and protect” in Tswana, offers incredible game viewing opportunities, and places great emphasis on personal attention throughout your stay.

  • Shumbalala Game Lodge

    Situated on the shady banks of the Monwana River in Thornybush Reserve, Shumbalala offers a variety of activities from game drives, bush walks, to birding and photography excursions. This unexpected oasis of luxury, privacy and comfort gives you the opportunity to view all of Kruger National Park’s wildlife with none of the crowds.

  • Dulini

    Set beneath the shade of Ebony and Leadwood trees by the Mabrak River in Sabi Sands, Dulini offers a resplendent main lodge and six intimate thatched suites on the bank of the riverbed. As well as a perfect safari experience, the lodge provides a cantilevered viewing deck, a private restaurant, a wine cellar, and even a well-equipped gym for when the African pot begins to pad the hips.

  • Camp Jabulani

    Camp Jabulani in Kapama Reserve offers more than just safari. As well as elegant lodgings, delectable Relais & Châteaux cuisine, and superb opportunities to view the “Big 5”, Camp Jabulani allows you to get up close and personal with some of the most soulful animals in all of Africa. Due to their unique relationship with a herd of orphaned Zimbabwean elephants, Camp Jabulani can claim “the most incredible elephant experience imaginable”.

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  • Sabi Sands Game Reserve

    Few reserves in all of Africa come close to what Sabi Sands has to offer. With multiple high-end lodges in a region brimming with wildlife, visitors are spoiled for choice, for luxury, and for opportunities of viewing the “Big 5” on almost any budget. Without doubt, Sabi Sands is truly the ultimate South African luxury safari experience.

  • Timbavati Game Reserve

    With twelve lodges in 18,000 hectares of land, Timbavati Game Reserve was formed in 1956 with the intent to conserve a pristine wilderness area. The barely touched and unspoiled bushveld in this South African region is genuine wild land, and offers some of the most authentic and inspiring safari experiences available.

  • Cape Town

    Cape Town is a joyous blend of diverse culture, impeccable cuisine, engrossing creativity, and stunning landscapes, a singularly beautiful city topped by the glorious Table Mountain National Park. Named a World Design Capital in 2014, there are few cities in the world that can compare with the rich melting pot that is the Rainbow Nation’s western metropolis.

  • Cape Wineries

    The vineyards of South Africa’s western cape are as replete with scenic beauty as they are with world-class vintages. Enjoy lounging in sumptuous estate accommodation while sampling the cuisine of an award-winning restaurant in picturesque locales such as Paarl, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Wellington, Tulbagh, and more.

  • Garden Route

    Bask in the incredible vistas of the Garden Route, an approximately 200 kilometre section of coastal beauty found along the journey from Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay. Hidden beaches, placid lakes and lagoons, mountain ranges, bucolic townships, and sweeping ocean panoramas all have place alongside a swathe of outdoor entertainments fit for any tour group.

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  • Game Drives (Safaris)

    No visit to South Africa would be truly complete without taking part in one of our luxury safari tours. In addition to immersing yourself in the presence of Africa’s enthralling wildlife, guests will enjoy creature comforts comparable to those found in some of the world’s most indulgent resorts. Become one with nature and live your dream of walking among the big cats, the elephants, the rhinos, the buffalo, and more.

  • Wildlife Hiking

    If getting off the beaten track is your passion, South Africa offers numerous planned hikes and wilderness tours in stunning locations such as Table Mountain, the Drakensberg Escarpment or the rugged Cederberg. Enjoy trekking with like-minded individuals on your passage through sublime wilderness, and observe the local wildlife on some of the region’s most spectacular walking trails.

  • Ascension of Table Mountain

    There is no shortage of routes to the top of Table Mountain, the flat-topped crowning glory of Cape Town. The more adventurous visitor can choose from no end of hiking or climbing trails to the summit, while the more casual traveller may opt for a five-minute ride in the mountain’s permanent cable car, but both will be rewarded with breathtaking views in all directions.

  • Tours of Cape Peninsula

    Enjoy full-day tours of this exquisite natural landscape, accompanied by expert local guides. Take the coastal roads to Hout Bay, explore Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, enjoy idyllic coastal towns such as Muizenberg and Fish Hoek, and take in the incomparable view at Cape Point where two oceans collide, all with transport directly to and from your Cape Town hotel.

  • Cape Town Cuisine

    It is unlikely you will find a more eclectic mix of gastronomic delights anywhere in the world, with Cape Town restaurants being inspired by a swirling of cultural influences sometimes so diverse it can be hard to pinpoint their origins. Enjoy the traditional foods of the African continent, stellar international cuisine of all types, and numerous dishes native to South Africa itself.

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South Africa

Travel Guide

Local time:

South Africa’s climate allows for comfortable visits any time of the year.

Winter (June – September) is cooler and drier than other months, ideal for hiking and outdoor pursuits, and the best time for wildlife watching. Spring is the best time to see vast expanses of Northern Cape carpeted with wildflowers. The high summer months offer some outstanding festivals, including Cape Town New Year Karnaval, and Swaziland’s Incwala ceremony.

However, the most important consideration is the school holiday schedule. During the holidays, waves of vacation-hungry South Africans stream out of the cities, with visitors from Europe and North America adding to the pressure on local accommodation bookings and prices (which can more than double). Essential tip: Book in advance.

South Africa enjoys an overall comfortable climate that varies by region, from Mediterranean in the southwest, to temperate in the inner plateau, to subtropical in the northeast. As the country is south of the equator, its seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere.

The Western Cape enjoys largely Mediterranean weather, with generally dry summers (October–March) and temperatures averaging around 25–30°C. Most of its annual rainfall occurs during the winter months (June–September).

The eastern Natal Coast can be extremely humid in February, reaching temperatures of around 30°C.

On the Highveld (including Johannesburg), most rain is in summer, and tends to fall in thundershowers. Summer days are pleasantly warm, up to around 25°C, while winter days are dry and also relatively warm, averaging around 15°C. Winter nights are cold and crisp, reaching lows of 0°C or occasionally lower.

Overall, for best weather, we recommend visiting from March to October, inclusive.

South Africa’s currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents.

As a modern nation, there are numerous commercial banks available, and most are easily accessible. Bank hours are typically 09:00–15:30 Monday to Friday, and 09:00 – 11:00 Saturdays.

Major hotels have foreign currency facilities. Most shops, lodges and travel agencies will accept traveller’s cheques and credit cards. However, some of the smaller or more remote camps may not accept credit cards.

Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.

For travel to South Africa over the warmer months (October to April) lightweight clothing is essential, with a light sweater or jacket sometimes suitable for the evenings. As rain can be frequent in many areas, we also recommend packing an umbrella or lightweight raincoat. In winter, temperatures can drop to zero, so heavier clothing may be advisable.

Smart casual clothing is suitable for most hotels and restaurants. At lodges and safari camps, dress is entirely casual. However, neutral colours are best for game viewing.

We recommend always taking suitable precautions against the sun (even in winter), such as a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

No vaccinations are currently required for entry into South Africa when arriving directly from North America or Europe. However, we recommend that tetanus boosters for children and adults are kept up to date, with courses or boosters usually advised for diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid.

A yellow fever certificate is required if the visitor is over one year old, and arriving in South Africa from an infected area or a country where yellow fever is endemic (such as Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, or Zaire). In the case of yellow fever, the vaccine must be administered at least ten days before arrival.

As malaria epidemics occur in certain areas of South Africa during the warmer months of October to May, malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended. Precautions are advisable mainly in low altitude areas of northern and eastern Mpumalanga (including Kruger National Park and other game parks in the region), Northern Province, and northeastern Kwa-Zulu Natal as far south as the Tugela River.

As with all travel to remote places, we recommend bringing a small supply of any medicines you may need.

English is the lingua franca of South Africa, and the language most commonly used in media and government. English is also widely spoken and understood throughout the country.

However, English is only one of eleven official South African languages. The others include Afrikaans (a language originally derived from Dutch), and nine languages of the African continent, the most widely spoken of which (according to the 2011 Census) are Zulu, Xhosa, and Sepedi.

Read more about the languages of South Africa.

All charter transfers on our South Africa luxury safari tours are in light aircraft that carry between five and seven passengers. Please note that these planes are limited with regards to the weight that they can carry. It is therefore vital that all passengers adhere to the luggage restriction of fifteen (15) kilograms per person in a soft bag.

This excludes a reasonable amount of camera equipment and carry-on luggage (up to 5 kilograms – 20 kilograms in total). In addition, please let us know if you are over 188 cm (6’2”) tall or weigh over 100kg (220lbs), so that we can plan our trip appropriately.

Tickets are generally not issued for charter flights; you will however receive a voucher for your trip.

Please be advised that the Kruger National Park, Natal Parks and other game reserves close their gates at approximately 18:00 all year round.

To be on the safe side, we recommend that you arrive at your destination well before dark.

Passport requirements: Each visitor to South Africa must be in possession of a valid, signed passport that is valid for at least six months beyond his/her scheduled departure date.


VISA EXCEPTIONS: Citizens of the following countries do NOT require visas:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.