The seven reasons to choose South Africa for your safari demonstrate how the country pairs miles and miles of outstanding wilderness and game reserves with sensational natural beauty.
Remarkable national and private wildlife parks and reserves deliver quality safari experiences that include sightings of the Big Five, a plethora of other game, and incredible birdlife.
As one of the best safari destinations in Africa, with breathtaking scenery, idyllic lodgings, and the opportunity to combine city and beach escapes, every kind of traveler can find and pair the ambiances they desire when choosing the country for a safari.
From sprawling national game parks to dramatic private reserves, South Africa’s safari destinations are varied, each offering a similar yet unique wildlife experience.
The country’s national parks are founded in history and legend, years of wildlife conservation maintained among contrasting landscapes of grasslands, watering holes, and mountain ranges, offering a diverse wildlife experience. Travel tar and gravel roads that run for miles in closed or open vehicles in search of the Big Five, other game, and rich birdlife.
For something a little more intimate, embark on a safari adventure in a private game reserve, where the world seems to disappear as space and stillness are the order of the day. Open savannas, rocky outcrops, and forest ravines set the scene for animal sightings from the comfort of an open vehicle or on a walking safari with highly qualified guides.
Highlights: Kruger National Park • Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve • Timbavati Private Game Reserve • Thornybush Game Reserve • Kapama Game Reserve • Madikwe Game Reserve • Pilanesberg National Park • Welgevonden National Park • Addo National Park • Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park
Travel styles vary from person to person and the same can be said for the national parks and private game reserves in South Africa. Quality safari experiences abound no matter where you stay, but having a choice as to where and how you spend your nights under the African sky is all part of the adventure.
Larger hotel-style lodges provide a sense of resort-in-the-bush comfort for those looking for a non-secluded or remote option. Boutique lodges set deep in the bush with few rooms all privately positioned give a sense of exclusivity. From stand-alone villas complete with a sole-use game-drive vehicle and butler to luxury en-suite tents dotted in the bush, commonly referred to as “glamping”, all styles of accommodation bring to life an authentic African experience, vibrant in color and context.
From greetings upon arrival to intimate dining experiences, friendliness, and the professionalism of the lodge staff, no matter where you choose to stay in the bush you are assured of leaving with a true sense of wow.
Highlights: Luxury Canvas Tented Lodges • Chalet-style Boutique Lodges • Hotel-style Lodges • Mobile Tented Experiences • Treehouse Escapes
Known as the Mother City, Cape Town presents visitors with an opportunity to play, discover, and experience a variety of adventures in one of the most beautiful settings in the world.
Mountain meets ocean as an impressive coastline shares restaurants, hotels, cultural exhibits, and some of the most amazing scenery the African continent has to offer. Shopping playgrounds are scattered throughout the city bowl and surrounds.
Walk through gardens, neighborhood wineries, and embark on adrenaline-filled adventures that take place on rocky surfaces or in crisp waters that lap white beaches. End your days watching a breathtaking sunset from a sailboat or promenade stroll.
Highlights: Table Mountain • Kirstenbosch Gardens • Hike Lion’s Head • Camp’s Bay Beach and Restaurants • Chapman’s Peak • Boulders Beach • Cape Point • V&A Waterfront • Green Point Park • Groot and Klein Constantia • Sunset Catamaran Cruises • Rappelling and paragliding • Shark-cage Diving and Whale Watching
The perfect pairing of safari and sand awaits any visitor to South Africa, with outstanding wildlife destinations scattered throughout the country and a coastline boasting long stretches of beaches.
Spend a few days in one of the country’s top national or private game parks, with days filled with animal-focused adventure, open skies, and dramatic landscapes. Unwind in unique accommodations in the quiet African bush, then follow through with downtime on a picturesque beach or idyllic island off the east coast.
Days on safari are adventurous and exciting, and taking this energy to a different spot after your wildlife encounter, before heading back to the rush of the real world, is the perfect way to round off your South African safari experience.
Highlights: Camps Bay • Plettenberg Bay • Hout Bay • Dolphin Coast • Umhlanga • Mozambique • Seychelles • Mauritius
The French Huguenot village of Franschhoek, the historical town of Stellenbosch, and several surrounding wine-producing regions make up the popular Cape Winelands.
Step onto wine estates and into tasting rooms set among vineyards to discover some of the Southern Hemisphere’s most delicious varietals. Enjoy views of the majestic Helderberg Mountains and embrace the stillness of an early morning on a Franschhoek farmstay.
Spend your day visiting one outstanding winery after another, some intimate and full of charm, others boasting magnificent grounds with gardens, galleries, and picnic spots that enhance any visit.
Highlights: Franschhoek Wine Tram • Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek • Stellenbosch Architecture • Art and Wine combinations • Paarl • Wellington • Elgin • Helderberg Hiking Trails • Babylonstoren Vegetable Gardens
The southern countries of the African continent boast breathtaking scenery, safari adventures, beautiful beaches, and a plethora of activities. Your journey does not need to end after your South African safari, with a wide range of extension trips on offer.
Awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage sites, adrenaline-filled activities that range from bungee jumping to white-water rafting, microlight flights over water and wildlife, and cultural discoveries that warm the heart, there are many reasons you should extend your Southern Africa stay.
Landscapes that unveil animals and birdlife, romantic boat rides down a glistening river, red-hued sand dunes that captivate at sunrise, and tribes excited to share local life with you. These are just a few of the reasons to consider adding any of the surrounding destinations, all just a couple of hours away by air, to your South African safari.
Highlights: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe • Livingstone, Zambia • Chobe, Botswana • Okavango Delta, Botswana • Maputo, Mozambique • Sossusvlei, Namibia
Knowing you are about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime is thrilling and options to do so in a malaria-free zone offer peace of mind.
The excitement of viewing animals in their natural habitat from an open vehicle or by foot, time spent by rivers sipping sundowners or lazing near an inviting swimming pool watching elephants at play a few feet away are experiences that simply cannot be described. They have to be experienced. Malaria-free game parks and safari reserves invite you to do just that with one less concern.
Throughout South Africa national and private wildlife havens exist in regions where malaria is not prevalent, offering peace of mind for those safari-goers who list this as an important factor when choosing where to go. The risk is low during the optimal game-viewing seasons, but it is good to know there are options available.
Highlights: Madikwe Game Reserve • Addo National Park • The Eastern Cape Private Game Reserves • Sanbona Wildlife Reserve • Phinda Game Reserve • Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve • Welgevonden Game Reserve • Pilanesberg National Park • Marataba Private Game Reserve
South Africa has often been referred to as a World in One Country and this rings true on many levels. Safari options are outstanding in location and styles, with accommodation options available to suit every safari-goer.
With the opportunity to extend your wildlife adventure within the country to surrounding Southern African gems, it makes perfect sense to consider South Africa for your next safari adventure.
From capturing the essence of game drives to extending your stay to enjoy a pristine beach, find inspiration for your South African adventure with our South Africa Tours and Vacations sample itineraries.