South Africa

It’s easy to fall in love with South Africa – it offers much beyond an exciting safari holiday, with wildlife spotting an adventure in itself! Access to pristine beaches framed by lush mountain scenery, culture in abundance, world-class wine, a selection of restaurants to appease even the most demanding foodie, creates a strong contender for that elusive ‘perfect’ holiday. Safaris in South Africa are also ideal for a first wildlife-spotting experience, with malaria-free game reserves offering some superb lodges featuring child-friendly accommodation.

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The Cape is the place to be for wine connoisseurs and gourmands with plenty of award-winning restaurants, many housed in fabulous examples of Cape Dutch architecture and enjoying stunning views.  Nature buffs should try to visit between July and December when you can take a boat trip to see the Southern Right Whales, although the African penguins are present all year – the kind of beach companion children are sure to love.

The Garden Route, a few hours east, is all wild beaches and animal sanctuaries and makes an ideal stop en-route to the Eastern Cape, home to the Big Five and malaria-free. With excellent game reserves to suit every style and budget, whether your preference is an elegant colonial lodge or a more rustic tent by a river, incorporating a safari holiday into your South African itinerary is generally a key highlight.

Kwa-Zulu Natal is a fascinating province; home to fabulous wildlife but also to the historic Anglo-Boer and Zulu Battlefields, as well as the Drakensburg Mountains with some dramatic wild beaches.

North of Johannesburg, those in search of a little glitz should stop off at the famous Sun City Resort, with its wonderful water park.  For some truly excellent game-viewing, there are several options for your next stop – Pilanesberg National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve, or the Waterberg (malaria-free) or Kruger National Park (malarial). Whichever you choose, have your camera at the ready for your South Africa Safari Holiday!

Whilst a safari holiday to South Africa, perhaps across two different Lodges, makes for a great trip in itself, do consider combining with at least  Cape Town which is often represents a good value add on considering the contrasting experiences it offers.  It’s also  worth bearing in mind that regular onward flights to Mauritius and the Seychelles and the option of stop-overs in the Middle East, mean there are plenty of opportunities to create a once-in-a-lifetime multi-country adventure!

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When to go

South Africa is truly a year round destination, whether you are seeking a winter sun or safari holiday with plenty of wildlife viewing.

The Cape has a different weather pattern to the rest of South Africa. Whilst it typically rains elsewhere from November to March, the weather in the Cape is usually hot, sunny and dry at this time of year, perfect for escaping the depths of a British Winter, as long as you bear in mind Cape Town’s famously unpredictable and changeable climes. From May – September the weather becomes cooler and wetter, although it is also a good time to see the migrating Southern Right Whales and of course you are likely to benefit from reduced rates at some beautiful hotels. October/ November is a lovely time to visit with the days warming up, the whales still in situ and stunning spring flowers.

In the northern area of South Africa the heaviest rains fall December to March. Whilst June – September can bring cold nights, you can expect clear blue skies and warming temperatures during the day, with the added benefit that the dry conditions usually provide the best game viewing opportunities as there is less vegetation.

Travel Essentials

Flights: Flights to Cape Town take just under 12 hours, with flights to Johannesburg at 10.5 hours. BA fly direct to Cape Town and Johannesburg whilst Virgin fly to Johannesburg with a seasonal flight offer to Cape Town. There are many other non-direct options via Europe and the Middle East.
Typical carbon emissions for a return flight to Cape Town (Economy) per person: 2.29 tonnes.

Time Zone: GMT+2

Local Currency:
South African Rand

Capital City: Pretoria

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