South Africa Holiday Guide

South Africa Holiday Guide

Cosmopolitan cities, stunning wildlife and deserted beaches - South Africa has it all.

South Africa Holidays 2020/21

Highlights and suggested holiday ideas

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South Africa really is the Rainbow Nation. It is wonderfully diverse with something for all ages and interests. South Africans refer to their nation as ‘the world in one country’ and this couldn’t be more true. From truly outstanding Big 5 game viewing to breathtaking mountain ranges and scenery, beaches, never ending vineyards, luxury rail journeys and cosmopolitan cities, South Africa has everything you could want from a holiday.

Elephant Mum & Calf In Sabi SandsSteeped in history and culture, there are world class attractions in every part of South Africa - from Table Mountain to the haunting Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned; the stunning Garden Route coastline; whale watching at Hermanus; the dramatic Drakensberg mountain range; and of course not forgetting the spectacular wildlife of Kruger National Park - to name but a few!

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a couples holiday or family adventure, or whether you have a limited budget or you want to stay in 5* luxury from start to end, a holiday in South Africa will tick all the boxes. There’s a huge range of accommodation options ranging from colonial-style guesthouses to sophisticated hotels, as well as traditional safari lodges and tented camps where you can go to sleep surrounded by the sound of the African bush.

There is also an excellent road infrastructure, making South Africa ideal for the independent traveller who is happy to hire a car and set off on their own, giving a holiday here the authentic feel of a real African adventure.  If you don't, however, want to spend your entire holiday behind the wheel of a car, then you can opt for either a group guided tour or you can choose to fly between destinations - you can even choose to travel by luxury train for a totally decadent and memorable journey!

The majority of the major airlines such as British Airways, Emirates, Air France, KLM and South African Airways also fly directly into Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, making the country incredibly effortless in terms of international travel to get to as well.

Our team of consultants have explored almost every inch of this beguiling country, and are on hand to share their own personal wealth of information and experiences to help you develop your own holiday plans.

When to Visit

South Africa is a year-round destination, however there are some things you may want to consider when planning your trip.

The Southern Hemisphere summer (October to April) is the most popular time for visitors to Cape Town and the Garden Route as this part of the country enjoys warm, dry, sunny summer days at this time of year. The whale watching season in Hermanus (2 hours from Cape Town) runs from July to October.

Whilst the Kruger Park is a great place to visit at any time of year, it is arguably at its best between May and August.  At this time of year the temperature is cooler and there is no rain, and it is easier to find the animals as they tend to congregate around waterholes and rivers. 

For more about visiting South Africa at different times of year see our guide to the best time to visit South Africa.

Visa Requirements

Visitors should check the visa requirements.

Planning Your Own Trip To South Africa

With such an overwhelming choice of places to visit, activities and accommodation choices, we understand that it can be difficult to know where to start when planning a trip to South Africa.

South Africa is a vast country, so our advice would be not to try to cram too much into a short space of time - rather, take the time to thoroughly enjoy each area before moving onto the next. This may mean that you focus on say just Cape Town, the Garden Route and a safari, or you head to KwaZulu-Natal for the safari teamed up with mountain scenery, battlefields and beaches - or if you are really short on the number of nights you can be away for, maybe it is as simple as visiting just Cape Town then heading off on a safari for the remainder of the time.

We’ve put together a selection of our most popular South African holidays for 2020/21 below to help you off to a good start. Hopefully, these ideas will give you some inspiration for your own holiday here. 

Maybe you will see a holiday that ticks everything you are looking for immediately, or maybe you will see one that is 'nearly there' but needs a few tweaks. Either way, simply give us a call on 01932 428380 or get in touch via our web enquiry form, and we’ll get the ball rolling together. Our consultants have all lived in South Africa and been back so many times that we’ve lost count. We would be delighted to discuss your holiday ideas and work with you to ensure you get your perfect South African holiday, with the right blend of adventure, relaxation and exploring -whatever your holiday wishlist is!

Kruger Self-Drive Safaris

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The vast Greater Kruger Park is undoubtedly the best safari experience in South Africa, and by combining a couple of nights at an affordable safari lodge and then self-driving in the Park it is possible to get a fantastic safari experience at a very affordable price.

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A Family Safari Holiday With Teenagers

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A holiday with teenagers has to be the right mix of adventure, entertainment, and relaxation - with the first two really aimed at the kids, the last one definitely for the parents!  Making sure that there is something for everyone is key when planning your family holiday, and these itineraries will hopefully give you some ideas.  Plus the inner hope that you will deliver the best holiday your teenagers have even been on and as a result become the coolest parents ever in the history of mankind.

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Escape To The Cape

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Fall in love with Cape Town, find new wines while visiting one of the many wineries of the Cape Winelands, and tour along the Garden Route - and if these are not enough highlights for one trip, end your holiday with an amazing Big 5 safari in a malaria-free reserve.

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The Best Of South Africa: From Cape Town to Kruger

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Enjoy an unforgettable safari, tour along South Africa's popular Garden Route coastline, go wine tasting in the Cape Winelands, watch whales and explore Cape Town, one of the world's most spectacular cities. Can you think of a better way to spend your holiday?

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The Best of South Africa and Mauritius

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There really is nothing like wrapping up a Big 5 safari with a few days on the beach, and combining a South African wildlife adventure with a relaxed beach retreat on the island of Mauritius will give you an unbeatable blend of excitement and relaxation. We can't recommend it highly enough!

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South African Safari and The Romantic Seychelles

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Mixing South Africa with Seychelles will give you unforgettable Big 5 game drives followed by a tropical desert island escape. It’s one of the ultimate safari and sunshine combinations. First, you’ll explore the African bushveld on the safari of a lifetime and then you’ll retreat to a picture-perfect beach paradise to recharge your batteries. What could possibly be better?

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Cape Town and a Big 5 Safari in 7 Nights

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If you're big on ambition but a little short on time, this itinerary combines 2 of the real highlights of South Africa into one trip. Over just one week, you'll get a real taste of the cosmopolitan Cape Town, with 4 nights to explore this brilliant city. After that, you'll head off into the bush for an exciting Big 5 safari. It's an unbeatable combination - a week that you'll never forget.

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Combining a Kruger Safari with Victoria Falls

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A Big Five safari in the Greater Kruger Park and a visit to the thundering Victoria Falls are both perennial bucket list favourites. They are two of the most unforgettable, overwhelming, and awe-inspiring experiences that Africa has to offer.

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A Family Holiday in South Africa

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South Africa is very popular with families from all over the world who are looking for a holiday that offers sunshine and beaches and plenty of activities for kids of all ages in a country that is truly family-friendly. It is especially good for families with younger children, as South Africa is the one country in Africa where you can go on safari without having to worry about taking malaria tablets.

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South Africa and Mozambique

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These holiday suggestions give you the opportunity to experience the best that South Africa and Mozambique offer, and go home fully refreshed, reinvigorated and wanting to return again. Whether you want to combine the bright city lights with a wildlife adventure and laid back beach life, or if you just want a safari and beach combo, we can help you create your perfect holiday.

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Durban and Zululand

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KwaZulu-Natal has something for everyone - splendid beaches lapped by the Indian Ocean, stunning mountain scenery, wildlife, and a vibrant city life. Nowhere else in Southern Africa are so many outstanding tourist destinations to be found in such close proximity to one another.

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Alternative Wildlife Experiences in South Africa

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If you have already been on a traditional 'Big 5' safari, maybe this time you are looking for something a little 'different' but which will still enable you to enjoy South Africa's wildlife? Whether you're a seasoned safari-goer or an adventurous spirit eager for a twist on the traditional safari, these alternative ideas will set your imagination running wild. Whilst game viewing from an open-topped safari vehicle may be the classic way to explore the African bush, there are several more unusual safari options that will give you an entirely unique and totally thrilling perspective of Africa.

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Luxury Train Journeys Across South Africa

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For the epitome in luxury travel, why not consider taking a classic train journey across South Africa's beautiful countryside as part of your holiday plans.

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