There are very few countries where you can lock eyes with a leopard one day, try drumming and dancing at a Zulu ceremony the next and cycle from vineyard to vineyard the one after. It's this incredible diversity of landscapes, wildlife and culture that makes South Africa holidays so special. You'll find natural beauty on an epic scale - explore rugged mountains, semi-arid deserts, savannahs, the wild Atlantic coastline and Indian Ocean-lapped beaches all in one trip. South Africa is, of course, famously home to the Big Five safari, with some of the world's most exciting animals found in world class nature reserves. Wildlife fans can also go whale watching or brave a swim with Jackass penguins.
Holidays to South Africa
The big five
Safari is the essential South Africa experience: nothing beats the heart-pumping thrill of spying an elephant, lion, leopard, rhino or buffalo for the first time. Big hitter of the country’s national parks, Kruger is home to all of Africa’s famed safari species and many more. Look for cheetahs streaking through the bushveld and watch in awe as a savannah elephant plods past as you explore South Africa’s largest conservation area. Seek out a close encounter with a crocodile or hippo at iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal or meet the meerkats in the wild Northern Cape. Sharing tales of the day’s animal sightings with fellow explorers over a sundowner as the sun sets over the savannah is a wonderful end to a memorable day in the wilderness.
Bush tales and braai
From learning bush survival skills, to sitting in a verdant vine-clad estate sipping on Pinotage and feasting on game charcuterie, few countries have so many experiences to choose from. The winelands are a hotbed of culinary creativity with South Africa’s best chefs celebrating the bounteous local produce with flair, teaming their creations with memorable new world wines. More fine dining awaits in Cape Town and Johannesburg but don’t miss a taste of South Africa’s ethnically diverse cuisine: try bunny chow in Durban and Cape Malay curries in Cape Town’s Bo-Kaap or make friends with locals to join a braai(barbecue).
Best South Africa tours
If you’re a first timer, our Cape Town, Garden Route and Safari self-drive tour allows you to explore its prettiest city and nearby winelands, before seeking out the wildlife in a game reserve. For the seasoned visitor, the Culture, Wildlife and Wilderness in the North tour takes you to the little visited northern province of Limpopo, a must for game viewing, treks into the wilderness and ancient rock art sites.
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