A country of diversity with 11 official languages, South Africa's variety has a little bit for every traveller.
Fantastic game viewing with a very well established and refined tourism industry offering many options.
Kruger National Park and its excellent adjoining private reserves, such as the Timbavati, Klaserie and Sabi Sands private game reserves offering fantastic game viewing.
The vibrant, beautiful city of Cape Town and the surrounding Wine Lands.
Excellent malaria-free game reserves like Tswalu and Madikwe make South Africa an excellent destination for families.
Be on the lookout along for Whales on South Africa's stunning coastlines and the Garden Route
South Africa is undoubtedly one of the continent's top holiday destinations. Its infrastructure and transport networks make a huge country easy to navigate and opens up numerous destination types to a single trip.
The majority of the country experiences rain in the summer (Nov-Mar). Temperatures are hot and humid at this time of year but the landscapes are lush and green. High season for big game viewing is the winter (Jun-Oct). Vegetation is low and the wildlife is generally drawn to the few remaining water sources. Mornings and evenings can be cold at this time of year so warm hats, gloves and layered clothing is advisable.
The Western Cape, including Cape Town is an exception to this and enjoys a fairly temperate, Mediterranean climate, warm and dry in their summer (Oct -Apr), wet and cool in their winter (Jun-Aug).
The game viewing can be spectacular and a photographer's dream with the Greater Kruger National Park being the top safari destination and home to all the big five (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Black and White Rhino and Buffalo) as well as a great many antelope species such as Bushbuck, Implala, Greater Kudu, Blue Wildebeest, Steenbok, Nyala and Waterbuck to name just a few. Hippo, Wart hog are also present, as are the much sought after African Wild dog, Honey Badger, Cheetah and much more.
There are many options for your South African safari from your choice of lodges and the availability of self-drive safaris. It would be easy to find yourself in a heavily populated and mass tourism area if you are not careful. But with some good planning you can avoid these operations and enjoy a top quality and more intimate safari.
A very high standard of guiding can be found in South Africa and a good range of activities can be experienced such as morning, afternoon and evening drives and some good walking safaris. If you are particularly keen to go on a walking safari however, the lodge choice again is important with some lodges offering walking safaris which are more sedate walks around the immediate lodge grounds/area and can be fine for a taster, but if you really want to experience the bush on foot heading to a lodge offering lengthy walks is important.
Cape Town is a real gem of a city nestled around and between the famous Table mountain, the ocean and Lion's Kop (Lion's Head). Trendy and fun with a vibrant nightlife and attractions such as the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Robben Island and othe fabulous and well worth a visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Cape Town is also a fantastic base from which to visit places like Simon's Town and the African penguins at Boulders Beach. Venturing inland, you could visit the wine lands and sample some of the finest wines and also some fantastic food too.
Alternatively you could rent a car and drive southeast along South Africa's rugged coastline and the Garden Route. Keep your eyes open for Southern Right Whales in season (Jul - Nov is best). Driving the Garden Route with overnight stops along the way, you can see some lovely little coastal towns and the exquisite Tsitsikamma National Park and Storms River, where you can spot Bushbuck and maybe even a Cape clawless otter or the stunning colored bird, the Knysna Turaco.
If multi-day walks appeal to you, you'll find a fun trek along the coast from Mossel Bay which we like called the Oystercatcher Trail, walking along the beach and coast line and spending your nights in little cottages along the way.