When you mention Africa, many people assume you are referring to South Africa …. but this is one country containing as many different experiences as a whole continent and almost as big! A world in one country is a good description of this amazing Rainbow Nation and the variety of South Africa Holidays is truly stunning from Cosmopolitan Cape Town and the surrounding foodie winelands through the Garden Route along the coast, to hiking the Drakensberg and the traditional culture and history of Kwa Zulu Natal up to the iconic safari lands of Kruger National Park there is something for everyone here.
South Africa is perfect for self drive holidays with the Western Cape and Garden Route being the most popular. Flying safaris are also a good way to see the country as the distances are huge! Combine Kruger with Kwa Zulu Natal Reserves or Madikwe or even Victoria Falls!
Carefully consider which time of year you are going where in South Africa. The difference in temperature between Johannesburg and Cape Town can be as much as 20 degrees at some times in the year and with the warming Indian Ocean currents to the East and the cold Atlantic to the West it’s no surprise really. In our winter, the Western Cape is gorgeous, making Cape Town, winelands and the surrounding area a popular destination at that time of year, but in our summer, the Atlantic winters can set in making the Cape quite cold and grey – great if you are a birder and want to see the Cape pelagics or into botany and want to observe Namaqualand‘s spring flower carpets (late Aug – early Sept), but if you want to lie on a beach at that time of year rather head for the Indian Ocean side!
The many difference provinces offer hugely varied scenery and habitats for wildlife with examples of pretty much all the bio-spheres of the natural world in one country. There are eleven official languages in the Republic of South Africa, two being of European origin – South African English and Afrikaans. About 79.5% of the population are of black African ancestry and have ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages. Meeting the people here is part of the holiday experience and food and drink features highly in South African culture. It’s easy and safe to self drive in South Africa, or if you want to join an escorted tour or day excursions there are plenty of those too.
Wildlife of South Africa
The Kruger Park covers almost two million hectares and sits along the Mozambique border to the north east of South Africa. The National Park has many good standard rest camps where you can self drive but for a more exclusive safari experience head to one of the luxury tented camps in the private reserves which make up ‘Greater Kruger’. Here not only do you get up close to the big 5, you can enjoy walking safaris, taking in the beauty of the scenery and observing the birds and insects, learn about the plants and camp under the stars. Kruger is in a malarial zone so if you have small children and prefer a safari in a non-malarial area, head for Madikwe Game Reserve about four hours drive from Johannesberg, which also has the big 5 and some great family friendly lodges or down to the Eastern Cape where you can combine a safari in one of the private reserves there or in Addo Elephant Park with some time on the beaches nearby. If deserts are your thing, head north towards the Botswana borders and the Kalahari for some fabulous experiences in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
There are no limits to what you can do in the great outdoors of South Africa this is a fabulous destination for Adventure Holidays! A wonderful hiking country, trails criss cross everywhere, a few suggestions being the Drakensberg Mountains, Mpumalanga (near the Kruger) with it’s rivers and canyons, Cedarberg Mountains north of Cape Town or the Wild Coast. Along the Garden Route you can spend days around Tsitsikamma National Park and Knysna where activities can include bungee jumps, canoeing, canopy walks, horse riding, cycling and many more. Horse riding safaris are amazing in South Africa, head up to the North of Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province for some fabulous horse riding country and specialist operators. For world class diving including some truly jaw dropping sights such as the Sardine Run, head to the coast around St Lucia and Sodwana Bay and for more sedate but still enjoyable snorkeling, north of there towards the Mozambique borders are lovely lagoons and reefs surrounded by coastal forest and sweeping sand dunes.
South Africa is a fertile land and offers endless tantalisation for the taste buds! Wonderful wine is grown mainly around the Western Cape, you can do day trips from Cape Town to vinyards or for more of an all round foodie experience, stay in Stellenbosch or Franschoek and enjoy the farm tours, cheese and ice cream parlours and more. There are some great farmstays in the region to learn more about how food and wine are produced and encounter some other local produce such as the Ostrich and Antelope meat. North of the Cape into Cederberg are the citrus and fruit farms, producing plenty of oranges, lemons, peaches, plums and more. Cape Town is of course foodie central with world class restaurant, harbour cafes and street food round every corner. With the mix of African and European culture and the Cape Malays, local dishes here include Bunnychow (no, it’s not rabbit!), Bobootie and Malaysian curries. Seafood is probably some of the best in the world – visit some of the small fishing towns around False Bay, pull up a sea view chair, open the crisp fruity white wine and enjoy a seafood platter – bliss!
If you would like to holiday in South Africa whether it’s by train, on a horse or cycling holiday, self drive, part of an adventure group, hiking trails or a private tailor made safari, get in touch and I will put together the perfect holiday to South Africa for you.
Spend a week in the Kruger and surrounding area – great value small group South Africa Safari including Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre.
The Garden Route is a popular self drive holiday in South Africa – gorgeous beaches, coastal walks, forests, lagoons, adventure activities and a range of accommodation. Perfectly combined with Cape Town and a safari.
The Eastern Cape of South Africa has a great year round warm climate and a range of malaria free, big 5 and family friendly safari lodges and camps in private game reserves. Ideal as part of a self drive holiday.
Do you dream of galloping along deserted beaches or riding amonst giraffe and zebra? This is an eight day safari combining rides along the Wild Coast of South Africa with the Waterberg Mountains in Limpopo – a fabulous horseback adventure!
Visit these endearing furry creatures and observe their complex social structure in the deserts of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Travel through majestic scenery of South Africa, surrounded by mountains and Cape Dutch colonial architecture plus time to explore Cape Town – a feast for the eyes and tastebuds!
The largest mammals on earth can be seen in many different destinations around the world including South Africa. Getting up close to these wonderful giants is an awesome experience!