The world renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African lowveld, this national park of nearly two million hectares, is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.
Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive variety of flora and fauna, including three hundred and thirty six species of trees, one hundred and fourteen species of reptiles, five hundred and seven species of birds, and one hundred and forty seven mammals.
Man’s interaction with the lowveld environment over many centuries – from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela, is very evident in the Kruger National Park. These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the Kruger National Park and are conserved along with the park’s natural assets.
Few cities in the world are blessed with such a recognizable natural icon as Table Mountain, rising above the “mother city”, welcoming all to visit her. Visitors from the past have left their distinct mark and today Cape Town pays homage to all the cultures that have influenced it’s history and that of the Southern Africa region. Attractions include Robben Island, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Groot Constantia, beautiful beaches and Table Mountain. A multitude of other activities are on offer thus making Cape Town a perfect destination.
With its magnificent natural beauty, its rich cultural heritage and its world-renowned wines – the Winelands Region is synonymous with all the best that the Cape has to offer.
A 45-minute drive from Cape Town take you to the Winelands where splendid mountains form a dramatic backdrop to lush vineyards and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads steeped in history.
Experience the hospitality and beauty of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek and Robertson in the Breede River Valley.
Visit some of the many wine farms, or stroll down a beautifully restored street in one of the historical town centres and visit the museums and monuments that pay homage to our proud history.
The excellent wines produced in this area are world-renowned. Join the winemaker on a tour of his cellar where the harvest is lovingly transformed into every wine lover’s delight.
The Winelands is the ideal base from which to explore Cape Town and its surrounding area. Indulge yourself in luxury at one of the exclusive boutique hotels, or enjoy the hospitality of one of the many guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments throughout the area.
Many wine farms offer a variety of tranquil and secure accommodation options.
Only 56 km from Cape Town, Paarl offers historical charm, culture, architectural heritage, wine and fruit farms, breathtaking scenery and many cycling and nature trails. Major attractions include Paarl Mountain (one of the largest solid rocks in the world), the Afrikaans Language Monument and a treasure house of architecture found along the 2 km stretch of the Main Street.
Franschhoek is well known for its excellent restaurants, top accommodation establishments, splendid mountains and openhearted hospitality. Spend time browsing its many arts-and-craft shops, galleries and antique stores.
Stellenbosch, the oldest town in the country after Cape Town, is undoubtedly one of the most scenic and historically-preserved towns in southern Africa. The town, ideally situated in a magnificent mountain valley, boasts a mild Mediterranean climate and is the ideal destination from which to explore the Winelands and the many tourists attractions that the area has to offer.
Wellington is famous for the panoramic Bain’s Kloof Pass, Dried Fruit shop, picturesque wine estates where wine as well as olive tastes are offered and well-known leather factories.
Numerous award-winning wines can be tasted in the cellars where they were developed, the better known being Twee Jonge Gezellen, Tulbagh Winery, Theuniskraal and Drostdyhof.
The largest wine-producing area under irrigation in South Africa, Robertson is known for superior wines, some of the country’s top racehorse studs and is well-known as the Garden Town of the Boland.
As you travel from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek via the scenic Hellshoogte Pass, the modest village of Pniel lies on the banks of the Dwars River in the Drakenstein Valley. This peaceful town with its close-knit community is well worth a visit.
The Garden route runs from Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay in the east. The warm Indian Ocean feeds the coastline making it one of South Africa’s premier tourist destinations whilst the area has a real rural feel with numerous small towns dotting the entire route. The scenic beauty is diverse and offers the tourist a wide range of activities. Places of interest include: Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
- Lairds Lodge
- De Opstal
- The Plettenberg
- St. James
The Madikwe Game Reserve is situated in the far of the North West Province, adjacent to the Botswana border and is a 75 000 hectare reserve restored from farmland to its natural environment. It is South Africa’s fourth largest game reserve and a malaria free area. The entire reserve has been enclosed in a 150km perimeter fence, which has been electrified to prevent the escape of elephants and the larger predators.
Operation Phoenix, which began early in 1991 and was completed in 1997, is one of the largest game translocation exercises in the world.
Madikwe is a haven of amazing diversities. The landscape has mountainous areas, plateaux, rocky hills, a perennial river, seasonal wetlands, a variety of sandy and clay areas, bushveld, Kalahari veld and savanna areas. This broad spectrum of habitats supports an animal life, which is consequently richly varied. There is a good chance of seeing the Magnificent Seven which comprises the Big Five as well as the rare and endangered wild dog and cheetah. The reserve is home to the largest elephant population outside the Kruger National Park, black and white rhino, and the biggest disease free herd of buffalo in the country. In addition to these, one may see brown and spotted hyena and all other South African predators. A multitude of plains game includes giraffe, zebra, springbok and sable. There are also large populations of wildebeest, impala and warthogs. For bird watchers Madikwe is an unmissable destination with the latest official bird list boasting an incredible 340 species.
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is undoubtedly the most exclusive private game reserve in South Africa. In the 1920’ and 1930’ a number of landowner pioneers initiated the conservation of the area’s wildlife.
In the 1950’s the landowners initiated the dropping of the internal fences and the sharing of a common environmental management programme.
The 65,000-hectare Sabi Sands Game Reserve is located on the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park and shares a common 50km unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park to the east. Two perennial rivers, the Sabi and the Sand flow through this Game Park, sustaining the diverse fauna and flora of the area, which enjoys one of the highest and most bio-diverse wildlife populations of any area in Africa. Such is the integrity of the environment that there is consistently a year round population of animals that remain within the area. There is limited migration between the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and the Kruger National Park, ensuring genetic diversity with an integrated biodiversity within the entire 2,7 million hectare protected area. This area is in the process of being further enlarged within the Peace Park concept and integration and the joining with protected areas in Mozambique and eventually Zimbabwe.
Due to considerate game viewing practises the trackers and game rangers of the various Lodges are able to offer exceptional game viewing of all the general game species, as well as the high profile animals. The success of viewing leopard within this area is legendary. Elephants, lion, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and a vast variety of antelope and other species can be closely observed within their own ranges. This greater area is home to 336 tree, 49 fish, 34 amphibian, 114 reptile, 507 bird and 147 mammal species.
The Timbavati Game Reserve lies north of Sabi Sand on the western edge of the Kruger National Park and lies between Umbabat and Manyeleti reserves. The Reserve shares a common unfenced border with the Kruger national Park. The Timbavati is a “Big Five” Game Reserve: Lion, Leopard, Rhino, elephant and Buffalo roam freely and many more species of predator and antelopes. Over 40 mammal species and 350 bird species have been identified within the area; this together with the abundant variety of flora, the tranquillity and the natural beauty of the land ensures an adventure to be remembered. It said to have the densest giraffe population in the world.
The Timbavati is famous for its white lions, which were discovered in the early 1970s. Although there are currently no white lions in the Reserve, the recessive gene causing this unusual phenomenon is still carried by the local prides, which are substantially paler than most other lions by comparison.
The Timbavati, one of the oldest private nature reserves, was formed in the 1950’s when Mr Peter Mostert urged his neighbours to pool their resources for a mutual benefit and to conserve the wildlife in the area.
The idea of forming such a reserve was first mooted as early as 1948, and for several years a handful of far-sighted men met frequently to discuss ways and means to create a nature reserve of a meaningful size in the area. Today the Timbavati is privately owned by 38 individual members and is governed by an elected committee and a constitution. Commercial development is restricted to 16 commercial beds per title deed as not to destroy the intrinsic wilderness experience that is offered to the visitors.
Soweto is the most populous black urban residential area in the country, with Census 2001 putting its population at 896 995. Thanks to its proximity to Johannesburg, the economic hub of the country, it is also the most metropolitan township in the country – setting trends in politics, fashion, music, dance and language.
But the township was, from its genesis, a product of segregationist planning. It was back in 1904 that Klipspruit, the oldest of a cluster
of townships that constitute present day Soweto, was established. The township was created to house mainly black labourers, who worked in mines and other industries in the city, away from the city centre. The inner city was later to be reserved for white occupation as the policy of segregation took root.
But it was not until 1963 that the acronym, Soweto, was adopted as the official name for the South Western Townships, following a four-year public competition on an appropriate name for the sprawling township.
The perennial problems of Soweto have, since its inception, included poor housing, overcrowding, high unemployment and poor infrastructure. This has seen settlements of shacks made of corrugated iron sheets becoming part of the Soweto landscape.
Apartheid planning did not provide much in terms of infrastructure, and it is only in recent years that the democratic government has spearheaded moves to plant trees, develop parks, and install electricity and running water to some parts of the township.
Soweto has also been a hotbed of many political campaigns that took place in the country, the most memorable of which was the 1976 student uprising. Other politically charged campaigns to have germinated in Soweto include the squatter movement of the 1940s and the defiance campaigns of the mid-to-late 1980s.
The area has also spawned many political, sporting and social luminaries, including Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu – two Nobel peace price laureates, who once lived in the now famous Vilakazi Street in Orlando West. Other prominent figures to have come from Soweto include boxing legend, Baby Jake Matlala, singing diva Yvonne Chaka Chaka and soccer maestro, Jomo Sono. Others include mathematician Prof Thamsanqa Kambule, medical doctor Nthato Motlana and prominent journalist Aggrey Klaaste.
The township has also produced the highest number of professional soccer teams in the country. Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows all emerged from the township, and remain among the biggest soccer teams in the Premier Soccer League.
Homelessness has been a perennial feature of Soweto since its inception. With its uniform four-roomed matchbox houses, hostels and without trees, Soweto looks drab and grey. The hostels were built on the outskirts of various townships to house migrant workers who have historically lived on the fringes of Soweto communities.
With its high unemployment rate, the area has also spawned many gangsters and been a seedbed of criminal activity. Since the 1930s, various gangsters, mostly territorial formations of young, barely literate males, out of school and out of work, have come and gone.
The gangs come and go, fashions come and go, but the ubiquitous township continues to grow.
The extensions built in the 1980s to house the emerging middle class, mostly civil servants, have added some colour to the township.
Recent years have seen Soweto become a site of massive development projects and a major tourist attraction in the country.
Request An Itinerary For Your Next African Adventure
Our knowledge is unrivalled. Access that knowledge to arrange your perfect escape (designed to cost no more than if booked directly yourself). Armed with 24/7 emergency numbers and pre-arranged personal transfers from every point of departure, you are free to explore the wonders Africa in perfect safety and comfort
What Our Clients Say
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.
Spoke to John yesterday to tell him what an amazing time we had, and how much we loved Africa- definitely making plans for a return trip. Steve’s seemed interested in the August 2014 trip John mentioned, so we might think more about that once he gets through all this drama. Just wanted to say thanks for organising everything for us. Everything went so smoothly from the minute you took on our planning for us. You totally understood what we were looking for in a trip to Africa, then quickly provided us everything we could have hoped for in a wonderful itinerary. I have to say that the whole trip exceeded my expectations- Savanna in particular was the highlight for us. Wonderful warm people, an excellent set-up which caters to all your needs and then some, and the most wonderful animal viewing we could have hoped for. We could not have done it without you! Thanks so much for making our trip so very memorable, and we will not hesitate to recommend you to any of our friends and family wanting to experience Africa! You guys are really special and I just loved the personal feeling we got working with you on our adventure.
Thank you very much for our recent African Safari Holiday recommendations & travel arrangement. The quality of game viewing, accommodations, services, hospitality, transfers etc. had exceeded way beyond our expectations. Your suggestion of Savanna Private Game Reserve Lodge was totally amazing. You couldn’t find a better place than Savanna to experience African wildlife and sublime hospitality. There was never a dull moment at the lodge, so full of fun and surprises from early mornings to nights. So, thank you making our 1st trip of Africa such a great memory. We simply cannot wait to revisit our new found friends and animals at Savanna next year.
Wow what a wonderful holiday perfectly organized, the amount and variety of animals we saw on safari was mind blowing so much so that before the trip norm was never going overseas again and now he can’t wait to go back. We can’t thank you enough