Holidays in South Africa

Where to stay in South Africa

Holidays in Cape Town

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. 

Holidays in Winelands

Or why not stay longer? 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 in Garden Route

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

Holidays in Kwazulu Natal

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.

Holidays in Johannesburg

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

Holidays in Sun City

Whether you are looking for an active holiday filled with adrenaline sports, a beach or safari holiday for the family, a trip that's all about golf and good restaurants, or a 5-star spa break; Sun City Resort is the place for you!

Holidays in Madikwe

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.

Kruger and Surrounds holidays

The world-renowned Kruger National Park is one of the world's most spectacular nature reserves.

Hotels in South Africa

Sun, sea and safari: South Africa highlights

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. The 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

Whether you choose a South Africa holiday package or plan it all yourself, there’s no shortage of fantastic accommodation. Stay in the thick of it inside a game reserve or settle into an oceanside room in Cape Town
For a relaxing break that includes a bit of the bustle of city life, stay at the The President in Bantry Bay, Cape Town. With stunning views of Table Mountain and the Ocean, it’s exactly halfway between the bustle of the V&A Waterfront and the relaxed beaches of Clifton.

  • Book into one of the lodges at the Shamwari Game Reserve in Kruger National Park. Malaria-free and known for regular sightings of the “big five”.
  • The Bay Hotel in Cape Town is located directly opposite the beach on the Camps Bay strip. Stay here for the best of both worlds – where city life meets a sandy beach.
  • Opt for the Mont Rochelle in Franschhoek for the ultimate in luxury. With just 26 rooms, but over 300 years of history and set amidst the Mont Rochelle vineyard in the heart of the Winelands, the only question is whether to visit the tasting room within the hotel or venture outside by horseback and explore the surrounding vineyards.

South Africa Safari Holidays

Holidays to South Africa wouldn’t be complete without a safari expedition. You can choose to stay within a reserve or to just pass through – either way, this is your chance to spot some incredible wildlife.

  • Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in South Africa, with over 500 bird species and around 150 species of mammals. Be sure to go early to avoid the hottest part of the day. Drive slowly and stop often to increase your chances of spotting some rare finds, or visit at night for epic stargazing opportunities.
  • The Shamwari Game Reserve is a favourite stomping ground of the British royal family, with luxurious lodges and loads of activities on offer.
  • For elephants, buffalos and zebras, head to the Addo Elephant National Park. Hire a car to take it at your own pace – get there as soon as the gates open at 7am and check the sightings board at the main office to maximise your chances of seeing the most animals.

Adventure holidays in South Africa

Alongside the wildlife, there’s all manner of forests, mountains and lagoons waiting to be explored. Here are a couple you might not want to miss.

  • Take on the Cango Caves on the Garden Route. These massive chambers are easy to explore and the perfect escape from the midday heat. If you're adventurous (and don't mind tight spaces), opt for the extended tour.
  • Go for a scenic drive along the Swartberg Pass (also on the Garden Route). Here you can immerse yourself in dramatic mountain scenery and beautiful flowers.

Culture in South Africa

Once you’ve seen the safaris and taken in the landscapes, there’s no shortage of activities to fill your day with in South Africa.

  • Book a guided tour of Mbekweni for the day and see the colourful Rasta house that has been under construction for more than twenty years. If you get peckish, pop into Chippa's Pace for a boerewors roll – this is similar to a hotdog but uses a traditional farm-style boerewors sausage in place of a frankfurter.
  • Discover colourful Cape Dutch buildings in the Winelands and take an architectural tour of Paarl. These leave once a day, except for Sunday.
  • South Africa is just as renowned for its wine as it is its safaris. Go to Stellenbosch and join a wine tour to visit multiple wineries with stunning mountain and coastal views along the way.

When in Cape Town

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. 

  • Take a cable car up Table Mountain National Park for breathtaking views. Go early to miss the intense heat and abseil down if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
  • The Watershed is an oceanfront warehouse selling local crafts, and it’s the place to go for souvenirs. It doesn’t open until 10am so stop by after tucking into a late breakfast of eggs, bacon and boerewors.
  • When you've had enough of the hustle and bustle, escape to one of the secluded beaches on the Cape Coast for a picnic, or laze under milkwood trees at Oudekraal. In the evenings, get the party started on Long Street. The Waiting Room is a cosmopolitan bar with a retro feel. On hotter summer nights, be sure to make full use of its rooftop for epic views (and Instagram-worthy photo opps).
  • Learn about the country’s rich history in one (or all) of the city’s many museums. District Six museum is a must-see to learn about the history of the apartheid. Set aside at least two hours to take in all the exhibits. You can discover lush scenery, breathtaking mountain views and exotic wildlife on a holiday to South Africa. Plan your trip and discover our South Africa holiday packages today.

Essential information for South Africa

Local time

Language

south-africa-flag
English and Afrikaans

Currency

Rand (ZAR)
Official currency of South Africa

Do I need a VISA?

Your UK passport should be valid for a minimum period of 30 days from the date of exit from South Africa and it should have at least 2 blank pages when you present it at immigration to enter or leave South Africa.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Flight information

Johannesburg (JNB)
11h
Direct flight

Flight schedule

  • Virgin Atlantic fly daily to Johannesburg from Heathrow
are our main partner airline

Travelling with children

Parents travelling with children may 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.