From wildlife spotting on safari to exploring lush vineyards and immersing yourself in city life, there's a new discovery to be made around every corner on holidays to South Africa. This colourful destination is steeped in history and is home to some of the world’s most beautiful undisturbed natural beauty spots.
Where to stay in South Africa
South Africa's 'Mother City' rests between the iconic backdrop of Table Mountain and the country's most visited tourist attraction the V&A Waterfront.
Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl are all situated amongst the stunning natural mountain ranges of the Western Cape offering numerous vineyards, stunning views and romantic getaways.
Holidays to the diverse coastline of the Eastern Cape go beyond a regular adventure. From picturesque seaside towns and immense forests to rugged pastures and some of the best game reserves in the region, you’ll be able to set your sights on the ‘Big Seven’, journey through majestic surroundings and relax on some seriously sublime beaches.
Officially stretching from Mossel Bay in the west to Port Elizabeth in the east, the Garden Route is actually a great drive all the way from Cape Town to the 'Big Five' game reserves in the Eastern Cape. Sleepy historic towns, endless desert skies, white sandy beaches and amazing wildlife all make the Garden Route a highlight of any trip to South Africa.
Further afield are the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift made famous in the epic film 'Zulu' and in the north some spectacular game reserves and the untouched beaches of the Indian Ocean.
This diverse metropolis is bursting with super trendy bars and restaurants, stylish shopping malls, contemporary African art galleries and upmarket entertainment areas. Melrose Arch and Sandton are the places to be seen
Just a few hours from Johannesburg, nestled in the mountains of the North West Province lies the magnificent Sun City, a playground for child and adults alike. Twin this with South Africa’s most densely populated Big Five game park, the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, just next door and you have a perfect stop on a multi-centre holiday or one stop shop for your two week escape.
Great for families or those on a smaller budget and dreaming of safari. Madikwe also boasts the 'Super Seven', which consists of the 'Big Five' plus cheetah and the endangered wild dog.
The world-renowned Kruger National Park is one of the world's most spectacular nature reserves.
Hotels in South Africa
Essential information for South Africa
Parents travelling with children will be asked to show the child’s full birth certificate, and where only one parent is accompanying, parental or legal consent for the child to travel (e.g. an affidavit from the other parent). You should travel with these documents in case you’re asked to provide them. For more information, contact the South African High Commission.
Welcome to the wild! Is an African safari the ultimate tick on your bucket list? It should be! South Africa is special, there is no doubt about it, it is dusty and adventurous and warm and crazy and so much fun - we guarantee you will be back for more. Not only is South Africa home to the world’s only Big Five reserves but it also boasts glorious beaches, wondrous waterfalls, spectacular self-drives, history, culture, great gastronomy, luxury, romance… we could go on and on!
South Africa is a vast country with each province, city and game reserve offering a different experience, so where do you start? Most visitors combine a few different places within the country or across the region, travelling by plane, train or self-drive, and this is certainly what we would recommend.
The first place to start when planning your holiday to South Africa is to think about the weather or season in which you are travelling. South Africa has the opposite seasons to the UK — their summer is roughly November to March and winter is from April to October. The north of the country (Kruger, Madikwe, Sun City) is generally warm all year but the cooler winter temperatures have a stronger effect on the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces which includes Cape Town and the Garden Route.
The summer in Cape Town brings glorious weather and a drive through vineyards and along the Garden Route is one of the country’s highlights but also don’t be put off by travelling in the winter months! Sipping white wine under oak trees in the Cape vineyards in the summer months turns into drinking rich reds around the fire and warm evening safaris and hot summer storms gives way to the dry winter months, allowing low grass, less water-holes and easier wildlife spotting. Winter is also the best time to see the famous Southern Right Whales as they migrate to the Whale Coast from April to November.
So as a year-round destination and boasting amazing accommodation and sights across the country, the choice is yours! Here are a few of our favourite combinations across South Africa and beyond:
Holidays to South Africa wouldn’t be complete without a spectacular Big Five safari. You can choose to stay within a reserve or stay just outside and self-drive through – either way, this is your chance to spot some incredible wildlife.
Immerse yourself in history and everyday life in vibrant Cape Town. The lively metropolitan city is home to a myriad of boutiques, museums, restaurants and nightlife hotspots.
Alongside the wildlife, there’s all manner of forests, mountains and lagoons waiting to be explored. Here are a few you might not want to miss.