South Africa

South Africa is a country of great natural and cultural diversity, five times the size of Great Britain, located on the southern tip of the African continent, bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and fully encompassing the independent kingdom of Lesotho and most of Swaziland. South Africa is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean, fuelled by the chilly Benguela current on the west and the warm Agulhas current of the Indian Ocean on the east. The mixing of these currents off the Cape of Good Hope causes eddies and upwelling of nutrients, leading to a richly productive marine ecosystem. On land, the varied landscapes and habitats, globally-renowned flora and fauna, fascinating distant and recent history, friendly populace, exceptional lodges, service levels and value for money make South Africa a world-class destination.

There is a bewildering choice of high quality wildlife reserves to choose from, all offering a subtly different experience, many containing Africa’s ‘Big Five’ (Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros – animals which are considered dangerous to approach on foot) with lodges from rustic to five star. Other attractions add great variety to a holiday, including beautiful Cape Town and surrounds, with the classic ‘Garden Route’, wildflowers and whale watching; the spectacular Drakensberg mountains for hiking, and historic Zulu Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal; and the deserts of the Karoo and Kalahari. Although some areas are malarial zones, it is also entirely possible to arrange a malaria-free holiday to South Africa.

REMEMBER!

We offer combination tours to SOUTH AFRICA & MADAGASCAR for a mindblowing mix of wildlife worlds – with lemurs, wildlife walks and other-worldly adventure in Madagascar to the ‘Big Five’ and out-of-this-world safari lodges of South Africa! Please find some sample itineraries below and contact us for endless other possibilities!

Self-Driving in South Africa vs Chauffeured Tours

South African itineraries tend to lend themselves to self-drive arrangements since the roads and signage are good and this allows more flexibility and value for money. It can also be a great benefit for keen photographers. Self-drive safari is permitted in some areas of the Kruger National Park and other public reserves (or one can simply drive to the lodge and be taken out on dedicated safari vehicles with a qualified ranger). Hire cars are modern, usually with power-steering and air conditioning and British drivers will be pleased to learn that driving is on the left.

However, if you would prefer chauffeured transfers this can be arranged for most itineraries as well as scheduled and charter flight hops between locations. Some of our sample itineraries include a private driver, but please ask for details if you’d like to add the services of a driver to any itinerary.

South Africa Wildlife Holiday Ideas

# Tailor-Made Tour

Cape Town, Kalarhari, Meerkats and Madikwe

South Africa
13 Days from £7653
A luxurious fly-in exploration of South Africa's more unusual wildlife, with Cap...
# Tailor-Made Tour

South Africa’s Whales, Wildflowers and Wildlife

South Africa
13 Days from £7769
A chauffeured itinerary of great quality enabling numerous privileged encounters...
# Tailor-Made Tour

Chauffeured Cape Town, Garden Route and Eastern Cape

South Africa
15 Days from £5696
Enjoy the manifold attractions of the Western and Eastern Cape of South Africa w...
# Tailor-Made Tour

A Self-drive Adventure in South Africa & Swaziland

South Africa
15 Days from £2695
A fantastic road trip east from Jo'burg along the famous Panorama Route to the l...
# Tailor-Made Tour
# Family Holiday

Classic Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route and Game Drives

South Africa
16 Days from £4283
A classic South Africa self-drive itinerary of great variety and scope, treating...
# Tailor-Made Tour

Exploring South Africa’s Natural Beauty on Foot

South Africa
18 Days from £4247
For those who would prefer to explore South Africa on foot, this active itinerar...
# Tailor-Made Tour

A Superb South Africa Honeymoon: In Luxury

South Africa
13 Days from £7867
With private chauffeured transfers and virtually all fully inclusive to enable y...

Thonga Beach Lodge

South Africa
Kwazulu-Natal
A small luxury lodge set within the coastal dune forest, with views of the unspo...

Riverbend Lodge

South Africa
Eastern Cape
a luxury property situated on the 17,000 hectare Nyati private concession within...

Robberg Beach Lodge

South Africa
Western Cape
luxurious five star accommodation on the beach front of Plettenberg Bay...

Cape Royale

South Africa
Western Cape
A luxurious, urban hotel located on the Northern tip of Cape Town along the Atla...

Hluhluwe River Lodge

South Africa
Kwazulu-Natal
With magnificent views of False Bay and Lake St Lucia, Hluhluwe river lodge offe...

Tintswalo Atlantic

South Africa
Western Cape
A luxurious 5 star boutique lodge right on the Atlantic Ocean between Hout Bay a...

Destination Map

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South Africa: -26.037042, 26.191406

Best Time To Visit South Africa

A pleasant climate throughout most of the year is a major asset of South Africa. Seasons are the reverse of ours in the Northern hemisphere with midsummer falling in December and January and midwinter June and July.

The coastal lowlands of the south around Cape Town enjoy a Mediterranean climate of hot summers and warm rainy winters. Peak southern right whale-watching season along this coastline falls between July and October.

The lowveld of KwaZulu-Natal – Durban and the eastern coastlands – have a subtropical climate with most rainfall in summer between October and April coinciding with highest temperature and humidity. Leatherback and loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in this region in summer.

The northeast lowveld areas (Kruger and surrounds) have a tropical climate of high temperature and humidity with rainy summers (with impressive electrical storms) and dry winters (note – the opposite of the west!). Game viewing is generally good throughout the year. Animals may be a little easier to spot during the winter months from May to September when the grass is lower and the bush less dense, but the thick bush of the summer encourages animals to use roads as walkways, sighting can be outstanding and colours vivid.

The western interior has a hot sunny climate and is mostly desert or semi-desert with any rain falling in summer between November and April.

In Johannesburg and Pretoria in the highveld or eastern interior the summers tend to be rainy and warm and winter days are mild with the chance of a dramatic drop in temperature at night. However, the high sunshine hours and low humidity produce a year-round pleasant climate.

Travel Info

Flight Time
12 hours

Time Zone
GMT +2

Best visited
January to December

Language Spoken
Afrikaans & English

Population
52.98 million

Area Specialist

Alan Godwin
specialist_alan-godwin

There is so much to see and do in South Africa that it makes an excellent stand-alone destination. However, it is also easily combined with Madagascar for a wonderfully contrasting wildlife holiday.

We can also combine South Africa with magical Mozambique with its pristine Indian Ocean beaches and spectacular marine life, and beautiful Botswana where safari experiences are as wild and raw as can be.

If you have any questions regarding travel to South Africa please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965