Leopard drinking from a waterhole at Sabi Sand reserve

Ultimate South Africa One-Week Safari Adventure

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited

South Africa

Places Visited

Johannesburg, Phinda Private Game Reserve, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park...

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Suggested Duration

8 Days

This action-packed adventure is handcrafted to showcase South Africa’s four premier safari destinations. You will indulge in modern opulence and ease into Big Five safaris with two nights in Phinda, then experience the wildlife of the wetlands with a day in iSimangaliso. Truly connect with an untouched animal world with two nights of bush camping in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi. Then, conclude your Big Game Safari in the Sabi Sands, where luxury and intimate wildlife encounters go hand in hand.

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Luxuriate in Phinda Private Game Reserve, which is a place of modern opulence and wild animals
  • Connect with the wilderness during two nights of bush camping in the superb Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park
  • Discover the wildlife of a UNESCO World Heritage site’s wetlands with a day in iSimangaliso
  • Uncover the wonder of Kruger National Park during a two-day, luxury safari in the Sabi Sands
  • Encounter the complete range of South African wildlife, including leopards, rhinos, lions, too many hippos, and over a dozen antelope species
  • Venture on intimate and thrilling walking safaris that will have you up close and personal with the ungulates
  • Experience an ethereal nocturnal world during nighttime game drives

Detailed Description

South Africa has almost a hundred safari destinations, ranging from the superb and authentic to small fenced reserves that are only one step above a zoo. This one-week, South African safari celebrates the country’s premier destinations with four parks and reserves that will create a personal adventure into this ancient wildlife realm. It is the contrast between these destinations that will make your seven days a complete and well-balanced safari experience. You will explore a wide variety of habitats, encounter an incredibly broad range of wildlife, and continue the safari after dark and on foot. From an opulent villa with a plunge pool that is often visited by elephants to authentic bush camping, this one week celebrates what is possible in wild South Africa.

You should note that the pace of this one-week safari is fast, and you will do and see a lot as you travel between the four contrasting destinations. Some travelers may prefer a slower route, but for others, the action-packed program of activities and encounters will provide an exhilarating escape into South Africa’s wildlife promise. Sometimes it will be impossible to believe how close you are to elephants, rhinos, lions, hippos, and others. You do not need to fret or worry because all of these experiences are incredibly safe for you and the animals. At other times, it can difficult to process how many animals fill the panorama, and by combining diverse habitats, you can really start to understand life and rhythm in the bush.

You will begin in Phinda, which is a large, private game reserve that is home to a small number of nearly all of the famous animals. This is a place of luxury and indulgence, where you can enjoy modern comforts while dipping your toes into the Big Game Safari. It is an ideal first-time safari destination because you can encounter the full suite of animals without requiring long drives. This also makes it a relaxed destination to follow the long flight to Africa. Here, you move at a comfortable pace without missing out on anything.

On day three, you will explore iSimangaliso, which is a UNESCO World Heritage wetland that is home to a unique atmosphere and animal cast. You can boat past hippos and elephants, search for strange monkeys, and experience a luscious landscape that is very different from the savannah. iSimangaliso will help to extend your comfort zone. Then, in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, you will go wild with an authentic bush-camping safari. There will be no fences between the camp and the wildlife, but the canvas walls create an evocative impression of the sounds and smells. You can feel the rhythm of a land that is untamed and understand the behavior of different species. Although this national park cannot rival the Kruger for its size, it provides a home for a stunning variety of animals, and the rhino encounters can feel otherworldly.

From Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, you will drive back to Phinda for a safari flight to the Sabi Sands, which is South Africa’s most famous safari destination. Here, there is wildlife abundance and modern indulgence. You can luxuriate in style, and then bump around the bush at night in search of leopards. You can also spend an hour in a spa after walking amid zebras and buffalos. It will prove an excellent final destination, and you can tailor a program of activities to your interests or around any animals that you are yet to experience. Over 48 hours will have you understanding why the Sabi Sands deserves its fame. You will also discover a land that is packed with secrets and surprises. From the Sabi Sands, there is a safari flight back to Johannesburg, where you will connect with your outbound flight.

Interested in browsing some of our travelers’ South Africa tour reviews? Click here for more.

Starting Price

$6,235 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all activities and tours
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip

Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.

Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service

4.94 stars based on 860 reviews.

South Africa Travel Review: Cape Town, Sabi Sand Game Reserve,...
"...we had the best tour guide that showed us all the best...

Reviewed By Cassandra R.

South Africa Safari Travel Review: Sabi Sand Game Reserve,...
"We felt so well looked-after..."

Reviewed By Lauren F.

South African Honeymoon Vacation Review: Luxury Africa Safari,...
"They were extremely responsive with every inquiry (even...

Reviewed By Stephanie G.

South Africa Trip Review: 10-Night Tour of Cape Town, Big...
"The people across the board were so wonderful. From drivers...

Reviewed By Michael G.

South Africa Travel Review: 12-Day Tour of Johannesburg,...
"From the safari accommodations, tour guides, wine activities,...

Reviewed By Nick H.

South Africa Travel Review: Luxury African Safari Honeymoon,...
"Our South Africa honeymoon was by far THE BEST TRIP we...

Reviewed By Katelyn W.

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