Book Your South Africa Wildlife Safari Holiday
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South Africa is an exhilarating and complex country which effectively offers a whole continent in a single country! It is a vastly underestimated safari destination.
As African specialists, we can help design a trip for you encompassing the rich heritage of this country, its natural beauty, and its many different cultures.
South Africa’s infrastructure is sophisticated, the climate is kind and there are few better places to see native wildlife – indeed, of all the African countries, it offers the best opportunity to see the Big 5 (including the elusive leopard providing you pick the right reserve!)
Through Destinations Africa, you have access to a variety of hand-picked accommodation and destinations on and off the beaten track
Accommodation, Game Lodges, Locations & Activities
South Africa can be visited comfortably any time. Winter (June to September) is cooler, drier and ideal for hiking and outdoor pursuits. This is also the best time for wildlife-watching. Spring is the best time to see vast expanses of Northern Cape carpeted with wildflowers. More of a consideration than weather are school holidays when waves of vacation-hungry South Africans stream out of the cities, with visitors from Europe and North America adding to the crush. Accommodation is heavily booked, and prices can more than double. It’s essential to book in advance. On the plus side, the high summer months offer some great festivals, including the Cape Town New Year Karnaval, and Swaziland’s Incwala ceremony.
Since South Africa lies south of the equator, its seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere. Midwinter occurs in June and July; midsummer occurs in December and January. The Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate with generally dry summers (October – March) when the temperature averages around 25°C – 30°C. Most of the annual rainfall is during winter (June – September). The Natal coast can be extremely humid in February with temperatures of around 30°C. On the highveld in summer, rain tends to fall in thundershowers. In the winter the nights are cold and crisp with the days warm and dry. In and around Johannesburg winter daytime temperatures average 15°C but the nights are cold and can go down as low as 0°C. Snow may fall over the Drakensberg and the Southern Cape mountains in winter. Overall, the best time to visit is between September and May.
In South Africa, the unit of currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. There are many commercial banks in South Africa and most are easily accessible. Bank hours are Mondays to Fridays 09:00 – 15:30 and on Saturdays 09:00 – 11:00. Major hotels have foreign currency facilities. Most shops, lodges and travel agencies will accept traveller’s cheques and credit cards. Although smaller, remote camps may not accept credit cards. Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club credit cards are accepted almost everywhere except petrol stations. Fuel payments must be made in cash. Debit cards are generally not accepted.
For travel to South Africa in summer (September to April) lightweight clothes are essential, with a light sweater sometimes for the evenings. Pack an umbrella and/or lightweight raincoat. Smart casual clothing is suitable for most hotels and restaurants. In the winter temperatures can drop to zero. Always take precautions against the sun (even in winter). At lodges and safari camps, dress is entirely casual. Neutral colours are best for game viewing.
No vaccinations are currently required for entry into South Africa when arrival is directly from North America or Europe. We recommend that boosters of tetanus for children and adults are up to date; courses or boosters that are usually advised are diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid. Consult your doctor or a specialist travel clinic for further advice. 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, Zambia or Zaire). It must be administered at least ten days before arrival (or re-entry) into South Africa. Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended – there are several safe and effective options for adults and children alike. Malaria precautions are recommended 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. Epidemics occur during the warmer and wetter months of October to May. The tourist centre of Sun City is not a malaria area nor are the game parks close to this resort nor are the parks in the Eastern Cape. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset. It is advised to use insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net. As with all travel to remote places in developing countries, it is worth spending a little time to make sure you are well-prepared, and have a small supply of any medicines you might need to treat minor ailments.
English (which is widely spoken and understood throughout the country) and Afrikaans are among South Africa’s eleven official languages. Of the nine official African languages in the country, the most widely spoken are Xhosa, Zulu and Sesotho.
Please note that all charter transfers are in light aircraft that carry between five and seven passengers. These planes are limited with regards to the weight that they can safely carry. It is therefore vital that all passengers adhere to the luggage restriction of fifteen (15) kilogram’s per person in a soft bag with NO wheels. This excludes a reasonable amount of camera equipment and carry on luggage (20 kilogram’s in total). In addition, please let us know if you are over 1.82 meters (6’2”) tall or weigh over 100kg (220lbs). Tickets are generally not issued tickets for charter flights; you will however, receive a voucher.
GMT + 2 hours
Please be advised that the Kruger National Park, Natal Parks and other Game Reserves close their gates at approximately 18:00 year round. To be on the safe side, you should arrive at your destination well before dark.
Each visitor must be in possession of a valid, signed passport that is valid for at least six months beyond his/her scheduled departure date. Citizens of the following countries do NOT require visas: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA. PLEASE ENSURE YOU HAVE AT LEAST FOUR BLANK PAGES IN YOUR PASSPORT FOR STAMPS/VISAS ETC, IF NOT, YOU MAY GET REFUSED ENTRY INTO SOUTH AFRICA. FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, WE SUGGEST THAT YOU CARRY A PHOTOCOPY OF THE RELEVANT PAGES OF YOUR PASSPORT AND ANY OTHER IMPORTANT TRAVEL DOCUMENTS WITH YOU. WE ALSO RECOMMEND THAT IN ADDITION, YOU LEAVE COPIES WITH SOMEONE AT HOME.
What Our Clients Say
I am writing to say thank you so much for the wonderful trip we just finished! Adam and I had the trip of a lifetime thanks to the staff at Destinations Africa. Our travel plan was just perfect. We met beautiful people and beautiful animals. We had the privilege of being the last guests to spend time with the gorgeous elephant Thembi at the Stanley Camp before he tragically passed away the day after. Sandi and Doug Groves were just lovely to be with and the elephant interaction remains one of our highlights. Dave and Rinska the team at Savanna Lodge were amazing. We had the best time there and saw all the wonderful wildlife. Adam and Dave were bantering and telling jokes all week! I could honestly write so much here. Cape Town, winelands and all the accommodation you chose for us was just beautiful. We couldn’t be happier and will definitely spread the word about Destinations Africa and the wonderful continent of Africa. When the rep Joanne met us in Johannesburg she gave us a big welcome hug. It was so lovely and comforting being in a strange new land. So we will very much have our eye on another trip in the future. Might be a couple of years but we would love at some stage to take our children (adult ones) back with us. To finish, John was so kind to us at Stanley’s Camp when I got sick for a day. We couldn’t travel and Adam had to call him in the middle of the night to find out what to do. He couldn’t have been more helpful. We were truly grateful and relieved. It enabled me to rest and get better to fly out the following morning. So we have some money to pay you? John said we would fix it when we got back so this email is also to ask what we owe you and we will try and claim some of it back from Insurance but wanted to ensure you are not out of pocket. Basically Destinations Africa paid an additional night at Stanleys and we missed a night at the Victoria Falls Hotel. Just let me know what we need to do about that. Thanks again Sandie. My sister in Adelaide is a travel agent and she is not familiar with trips to Africa so suggested I google some companies. I have let her know all about you all and the wonderful you have done for us. She has already handed on the contact details to one of her clients. Hopefully there will be more to come as we spread the word about a trip of a lifetime.
We used Christa at Destinations Africa to organise a family holiday to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe in April 2017. I had no idea where to start with organising this trip and some friends had used Destinations Africa for their trip, so I went straight to them as well. I told Christa where we wanted to go and how long we wanted to be away. She worked within the budget I gave her and without exception, everything she organised was perfect. Our first stop at Johannesburg airport (with a 6 hour wait for our next flight) was no problem because she had booked us a room at the airport Intercontinental Hotel for the six hours. We had breakfast, a bit of a sleep and a shower and were ready to continue our journey. It was a great idea. First stop was Shumbalala Lodge in Thornybush Reserve and the whole feel of the place was understated luxury. The staff were so accommodating and friendly and the game drives exhilarating. Next stop was the Okavango Delta, followed by Chobe River and Victoria Falls. All the lodges were great, the game viewing fantastic and the staff super friendly and helpful. Christa had organised all our transfers, small aircraft flights and everything went smoothly. We were never left wondering where our lift was or what we supposed to do next. It was an effortless holiday and I would highly recommend Destinations Africa if you are thinking of going to Africa.
On behalf of my wife and I, please accept our sincere thank you for an African holiday that exceeded expectations. Your time, effort, knowledgeable suggestions and assistance to the minute detail including restaurant reservations during a protracted planning period ensured our tailored holiday was an amazing experience. Your intimate attention to detail including even a valuable tipping guide made our travel experience a dream. To your in-country partners, the delightful Joanne from Welcome Tourism Services in Johannesburg, Wild Horizons in Zimbabwe, Safaris Direct, Jay Jay from TDM Touring and Paradise Touring in South Africa who facilitated prompt, seamless and personable greetings, transfers and tours, please pass on our appreciation. Our favorite lodge was the Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe for personable service. Our best experience was the 25-minute helicopter flight over Victoria Falls. The most sightings of Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and the rare and critically endangered Rhino and Painted Dog occurred at Cheetah Plains Safari Lodge in Sabi Sands. Our best restaurant was the Monneaux at the true 5 star Franschhoek Country House & Villas that cost only $A150 for two, 5 course meals, coffees and a bottle of Champaign. And yes John, I have a certificate to prove that I went back for a second serving of Mopane Worms. To plagiarise from Lynn and Alex’s testimonial “For anyone wanting to visit Africa you do not need to look any further than Destinations Africa.” Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts. Maybe Botswana next time?
Thank you for the superb itinerary you put together for us for our recent trip to South Africa/ Zimbabwe/ Botswana/ Zambia, despite us leaving things to the last minute (three months to go)! You really took the headache away of wondering what to see and in what order, where to stay and how to get around. The holiday was an unqualified success and things couldn’t have run more smoothly. All arrangements, transfers, accommodation, excursions etc. worked flawlessly, the people we dealt with were all highly professional and you sent us to some amazing places! Having left Zambia as a three year old, it was effectively a ‘first time in Africa’ trip for me, so we both enjoyed the experience of discovering Africa together. We shall certainly be returning to see more, and recommending your services to any friends and acquaintances who may be interested in travel to Africa!
Two amazing weeks in Kenya! Destinations Africa…we can’t thank you enough! We have recently returned from our first holiday in Africa. What an experience! From the moment we arrived until the day we left everything exceeded our wildest dreams. Not being the most experienced travellers, this was a giant step for us, but thanks to John, Hillary and Sandy at Destinations Africa we knew from our first meeting that we were in good hands and that we had found the right people. Their knowledge, experience and genuine interest in their clients shines through every step of the planning process. We met as strangers and parted, two hours later, as friends. Our holiday ran like clockwork. Flights, transfers, accommodation, safari drives, meals, people, experiences and a whole lot more; everything was first class. For anyone wanting to visit Africa you do not need to look any further than Destinations Africa. We were warned by John during our first visit that Africa is addictive. How true! We have caught the Africa Bug!
Now safely home, unpacked and over our jet-lag! Heartfelt thanks for another wonderful visit to Savanna. The organisation was absolutely first class never a doubt about transport, flights or anything else! In particular, my special thanks for your patience in allowing Judy time to recover from her back operation! She was thrilled by the Savanna experience and cannot stop talking about it! I am already starting to wonder whether I can afford another visit – but not next year! Anyway, sincere thanks for our African experience – Judy sends her love!
We had a FANTASTIC time. All our pick ups and bookings worked wonderfully. We saw everything we wanted and more!!!!! At Savanna we even ended up with a private safari car by default as the people we were going to share with booked a private car! At Virunga Lodge we had a private discussion with the head Gorilla Vet as the group who paid for him to come and talk were late and we invited him to join us for a drink (not knowing who he was – pays to be friendly!). Thank you to everyone at Destinations Africa (and to Lauren as well) for listening to what we wanted and booking the exact trip for us.
Thanks for arranging another great holiday for Hany and I. We found out trip to Namibia a great adventure in great luxury. The people, scenery, food and accommodation was excellent. Namibia is a great county to visit, with a wide range of scenery across the country along with a range of wild animals. Thanks to the Team at Destination Africa for another great holiday
It has been a year since Destination Africa booked and organised our holiday to Africa. We a family of four with two teenage children are still talking about this great and memorable holiday. The accommodation and tours where all of A1 standard. A special thank to the tour guide for waiting, even after our plane was four hours late, and for doing his job above and beyond his duties. Also a very special thanks to another tour guide Emanuel, that Destination Africa organised, which too went above and beyond his duties when he showed us around Johannesburg and Soweto and helped us to make this a holiday we will never forget. and as it is a year later it is still in our minds The team from Destination Africa only use the BEST quality companies in there quest to make everyones holiday great and memorable. At the request of myself, I asked Destination Africa to book accommodation that they do not use, and weeks before we where ready to go to Africa the motel cancel our accommodation, Destination Africa organised new accommodation for us, and again thank you to the Cheetah lodge in Pretoria for going above and beyond there duties even after we had left, for getting our souvenirs back, that we had left behind.
We have just returned from a wonderful three weeks in Africa, our second trip organized with you and the team at Destinations Africa. We started with a week in Zambia, loved being right on the mighty Zambezi River, the amazing sunsets and canoeing with the hippo’s. Especially enjoyed the rustic bush camp Old Mondoro. From there we flew to Cape Town, staying in serviced apartments at the V & A Waterfront and Camps Bay and hiring a car for a few days. A special thanks to the lovely Sandie for her patience organizing this part of our trip. We spent the final few days at one of our favorite camps Savanna Lodge and as always they turned it on with fabulous game viewing, that combined with their warmth and ability to make you feel like one of the family completed another great holiday. As with our first trip from start to finish everything ran like clockwork, so once again a big thank you for all your time and patience putting together a wonderful trip for us. We would love to catch the first plane back and do it all again.
Our Africa trip has been wonderful again. The Hide was lovely, staying at the Victoria Falls Hotel a wonderful experience, and of course Savanna was superb as usual. To end, we enjoyed our stay in Cape Town. Thank you for arranging another wonderful trip where all arrangements went smoothly.
We are home safe and have settled back into our normal routine, although we have joined the gym!!
We just wanted to thank you all for organising our “trip of a lifetime”. The whole trip went smoothly and everything went according to plan, with lots of extras and upgrades included. We had a marvellous time and Savanna Plus was a highlight. You guys made travelling to Africa so easy. Thanks again
We have travelled with Destinations Africa on 2 occasions. Once through Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa, and more recently to Savanna Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sands. Both trips have been outstanding, not a single glitch. The accommodation has been extraordinary, and the game viewing unbelievable. I can thoroughly recommend John and his team at Destinations Africa to put together an unforgettable experience. We can’t wait to go back.
The itinerary for my first visit to Africa was a real highlight (especially the five days at Savanna) and achieved the impossible in that it far exceeded my already lofty expectations! It is certainly my ambition to return with my wife next year, depending of course on health issues. I have already received expressions of interest from a number of friends and perhaps you could let me have a few business cards to pass on to them! From our point of view, June could be perfect as we could plan to travel to our family in Ireland after the safari! Yours aye David
We had the most amazing trip, that you, Lauren & Sandie put together for us, thank you all. Savanna was fantastic and we made some great friends, all of us are going to keep in touch. As for next time, well we hope to be able to go back some day, we will be seeking you out for a quote then. It would be fantastic if it was next year, maybe have to win Lotto first, ha ha. In the meantime, take care, will probably see you around the Bay somewhere.
As a family of 5 with 3 children below 15 we had the trip of lifetime in Africa. We had the perfect mix of history with the Amandla Tour of Johannesburg and Soweto, the sights and shopping in Cape Town, the excitement and adrenalin of Victoria Falls and of course the game viewing on safari at 3 lodges each with their unique experiences. Thanks again to Sandie and the team at Destinations Africa for helping us put together our very own adventure that we will never forget!
All we can say is THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! What a perfect honeymoon experience to remember!! You definitely exceeded our expectations. For our first ever dealing with Destinations Africa as well as our first ever African/South African Safari tour, we sure did feel at ease dealing with you both. With your detailed itinerary going to plan 100% without a single glitch, along with the endless game viewing, the amazing lodges and hospitality, our trip was PERFECT! Your recommendation to stay at the Savanna Lodge was superb. We totally enjoyed every moment. The ranger, tracker, game drives, food, room, hospitality etc was absolutely flawless. We honestly did not want to leave. To top things, when speaking to guests from other countries and even the transfer drivers, we were told Savanna lodge is one of the best, if not the best lodge in the Kruger. We were so glad to have had the experience of a lifetime. Once again, a HUGE thank you to the both of you! We will definitely be recommending Destinations Africa to all our family and friends and we look forward to planning our next trip in the near future.
Well what a great experience my wife and I had. Never have we been away on holiday that we didn’t experience some “hiccups” or the anxiety associated with booking ourselves. So, we decided to leave the organising to Lauren at Destinations Africa. Every part of the adventure went off without a hitch, so we were able to enjoy an amazing time and hope we’ll get to other parts of Africa in the future.
A big thanks to Destinations Africa, our honeymoon to Africa was a holiday of a lifetime! John & his team were absolutely fantastic even before we started our trip (special thanks to Sandie for putting up with our silly questions and multiple changes!). It was great to experience the varied landscapes & game lodges, which were absolutely perfect. The staff at each lodge was so friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Seeing the ‘Big 5’ was absolutely crazy and getting so close you can almost reach out & touch them was something we’ll never forget! The sundowner cruises were also a highlight! The true test came when our flight was unfortunately cancelled and a number of changes to our holiday plans needed to change. The Welcome Tourism team on the ground in Africa were superb and the personal service we received from Andrea in particular gave us that piece of mind we needed half-way across the world. Thanks also to Jon for responding to my emails at all hours of the morning! We look forward to seeing Africa in the future and have no doubt who’ll we be contacting to organise our next trip, would definitely recommend Destinations Africa to anyone wanting to experience a truly life-changing Africa experience!
I have pleasure in providing the following Testimonial of our Kenya experience. Before I do however we would like to thank you and your Destinations Africa colleagues for your professional advice and assistance from the beginning to the end of our adventure. Our trip to Kenya and the Masai Mara went without a hitch from Meet and Greet to Farewell. It was perhaps the most exciting holiday my wife and I have experienced and totally exceeded our expectations in every respect. Both Camps ie Karen Blixen and Governors il Moran were fantastic with staff being friendly, knowledgeable and obliging. Highlights were abounding in the shear numbers and veriety of animals, we experienced a couple of migration crossings, saw the big 5 and visited a Masai Village which was colourful and eye opening. I guess the Masai guys have it given the number of wives they can have although on second thoughts that may not always be so. We would totally recommend such an experience to all.