Safari in South Africa

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Lions in Kruger Park

Overview

by Cindi LaRaia

A world in one country.

South Africa in my view is a wonderful first country to visit in Africa if you are a little confused on where to go and if you have any trepidation about visiting Africa. 'It is so diverse and rather civilized' is how I describe it, if you look at the map, it is huge.

Here is how I recommend your first visit to South Africa;

1, Fly to Johannesburg you most likely need to over night here after your long flight as the flights to the Kruger go early in the day.

2, Fly to the famous Kruger National Park, there are different areas to view game here, I would start with 2 nights in the middle area called the Timbavati, then transfer (all done for you) to the Sabi Sands Game Reserves in the south of Kruger for 2 or 3 nights. This area is undisputed at the cream of the crop for game in the Kruger, this is where you are almost guaranteed to see the Big Five in all their glory. The top of the line in luxury safari lodges are here also, however we have a some lovely lodges that fit a less pricy budget.

3, If budget and time allow, I recommend flying down from Kruger to the Phinda Game Reserves, they have several different lodges here and the cheetah viewing in parts of it is out of this world.

4, Zulu land is full of culture and wonderful people, if you are a historian, the 'Battlefields' are a fabulous must see during the era of Shaka Zulu the great Zulu warrior as he protected his tribe from the invading English and Dutch Boers. I recommend reading every book from beginning to end of Wilbur Smith about the Courtney Family, he is a great novelist and historian!

Stellenbosch5, Cape Town is very European and cosmopolitan, this is a great place to end your visit in South Africa with winelands touring in the Stellenbosh area, Cape point and the penguins at Boulders Beach, Simons town, Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens are a must and the lovely waterfront where the shopping is to die for! I recommend ending here so you do not have to lug your treasures around the game reserves.

You can self-drive in South Africa with relative ease if you have been before, however I recommend we put your holiday in the hands of our award winning Southern Africa Tour operator where you will be met and greeted upon your arrival and never left on your own. Your safely and stress free enjoyment is what we propose and fulfill, even in your wildest dreams!

Other highlights include the beauty of the Garden Route along the coast of South Africa; the Greater St Lucia wetlands in northern KwaZulu-Natal for fishing and a more relaxed area to hang out. Rocktail bay is our favorite area for Scuba Divers, a plethora of marine life makes it's way here at different times of the year, mating ragged tooth sharks, humpback whales and leatherback turtles nest on the beaches!

Spring flowers for photographers in Namaqualand and the Western Cape, this is a country you come back to.

And lastly, South Africa is often called the "Rainbow Nation", a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and later adopted by then President Nelson Mandela. Mandela used the term "Rainbow Nation" as a metaphor to describe the country's newly developing multicultural diversity after segregationist apartheid ideology. The country's socially progressive policies are rare in Africa, for example, by 2007, the country had joined Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada, and Spain in legalizing same-sex marriage.

DID YOU KNOW? South Africa is home to some of the most ancient and beautiful art in the world, the rock paintings of the ancestors of today's Bushman or San. It is also the scene of a host of vibrant and challenging contemporary artists producing new & important work.

Featured Destinations

Explore the Kruger National park on a true African adventure safari, Mala Mala game reserve is one of many wonderful south African game lodges for wildlife, relax on a train journey through the Cape's Garden Route or sample the wines on a Stellenbosch Wine estate.

Travel to South Africa is renowned for its wonderful scenery however, few are prepared for the diversity of terrain that ranges from lush, verdant forest to misty mountain ranges, from glorious golden beaches to wildlife-rich bushveld, from arid desert to fertile wine land. Much of South Africa's charm lies in the breathtaking beauty of the its landscape.

The Kruger National Park

Established over a century ago, the Kruger Park and resorts today comprises over 5,5 million acres of game-rich African bush - a wilderness area larger than Massachusetts, Wales or Israel. Taking a wildlife safari through this magnificent park is a life-dream come true.

Johannesburg

This city has ultra-modern skyscrapers contrasting with elegant Cape-Dutch farmhouses. Hi-tech agriculture co-exists with basic subsistence farming yet the enlightened democracy that was fought for so hard has brought wealth to many but has not yet solved all of the country's problems.

Cape Town

With dramatic mountains, lovely beaches and the beautiful sweep of the bay it is easy to see why Sir Francis Drake called it "the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth" Take a romantic train journey for a stress-free journey through the diverse South African landscape. Excellent restaurants, beautiful countryside, the internationally renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, great shopping, and fabulous sunsets - Cape Town is a city that has something for everyone.

Western Cape

This region shares many of the Cape Town's traits. Try the aromatically spiced Cape Malay cuisine, admire the beautiful landscape overlooked by soaring mountain peaks and the graceful Cape Dutch style architecture which lends historic and aesthetic interest to many of the old wine estates with Cape Town tours.

The Stellenbosch Wine Region

World renowned wines are produced in this breathtaking area. Visit small, boutique wineries or larger commercial wine estates. Join the winemaker on a tour of his cellar and sample the best the Stellenbosch has to offer. Treat yourself to a luxury accommodation, Stellenbosch has many to offer along the famous Stellenbosch wine route.

Garden Route

This refers to the strip of land between Stilbaai and Port Elizabeth on the south coast. The resorts are perfect for traditional beach holidays, but there's also excellent walking, watersports, old manor houses, arts and crafts, superb golf courses and birdwatching. Between July and October go dolphin and whale watching.

Safari Packages

South Africa

A Big Cat Safari - 5 Nights/6 Days A Big Cat Safari - 5 Nights/6 Days

Destinations: Sabi Sand Game Reserve or Kruger National Park, Phinda Private Game Reserve
Duration: 5 nights
Accommodation: Safari lodges  


Best of South Africa and Victoria Falls - Africa Discovery Best of Southern Africa

This is a sure winner, it is your first time to Africa, I guarantee you will be back! I highly recommend this itinerary as you can never tire of it, and you will be moved by the sheer beauty and treasures of each area and each specially chosen camp and hotel!

Duration: 13 nights
Accommodation: Safari camps  


North Island Lodge -  Beach Holidays - Africa Discovery Seychelles
North Island Lodge -  Beach Holidays - Africa Discovery Seychelles
Beyond Romance
South Africa, Seychelles

Experience: Honeymoon in Africa
Destinations: Singita Private Game Reserve located in the Sabi Sand Reserve, North Island
Duration: 12 days
Accommodation: Exclusive luxurious camp, beach resort 


Best of Botswana - Africa Discovery The Definitive African Experience, 6 Nights

MalaMala and Mashatu Game Reserves are located in South Africa and Botswana respectively. They are arguably the best destinations in Southern Africa to experience extraordinary wildlife experiences and between them one can expect to see huge herds of elephant, leopard, cheetah, buffalo, giraffe, lion and rhinos - leaving little remaining on the Southern African safari "bucket list".

Duration: 7 days
Accommodation: Luxury Safari camp  
(scheduled departures are available)


Pafuri Walking Trail Pafuri Walking Trail
  • This is the most remote and wild walking experience, offering a sense of wilderness and of history.
  • The area is a true contrast to the rest of the Kruger National Park, with life found here that is nowhere else, from baobab forests to herds of nyala.
  • Its unique scenery includes Lanner Gorge, Crooks' Corner and the Limpopo fever tree forest.

Duration: 4 days
Accommodation: Adventurous safari camps  
(scheduled departures are available)


Rhino Walking Safaris - Africa Discovery Rhino Walking Safaris

Luxury walking safaris in 12,000 hectares of pristine bushveld in the only wilderness concession in the Kruger National Park. Follow elephant paths and rhino trails on foot through this environmentally sensitive area that offers the Big Five as well as a diversity of fauna and flora.

Duration: 3 to 5 nights
Accommodation: Adventurous safari camps  
(scheduled departures are available)


Rovos Rail - Train Journey Rovos Rail - Train Journey

World class train journey. Start from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and end in Cape Town.

Duration: 6 days (scheduled departures)
Accommodation: Luxurious accommodation  


Train Journey - The Blue Train The Blue Train

World class train journey. Ultimate in luxury and personal service. Start from Pretoria and end in Cape Town.

Duration: 6 days (scheduled departures)
Accommodation: Luxurious accommodation  

*** Custom Tailor Made Safaris are our specialty, if you do not see a Safari that makes you happy, let us know and we can design the perfect fit for you!***

South Africa Special Offers

A Big Cat Safari - 5 Nights/6 Days A Big Cat Safari - 5 Nights/6 Days

Destinations: Sabi Sand Game Reserve or Kruger National Park, Phinda Private Game Reserve
Duration: 5 nights
Accommodation: Safari lodges  

High Season Rate: Jan 1 - April 30 & Aug 1 - Dec 31 2014, USD $3860.00 per person


FEATURES OF THIS SPECIAL

  • Addition of Little Mombo, Hoanib Skeleton Coast and Odzala.

  • Reduction in rate at Toka Leya and Davison's Camp.

  • Reduction in in guide rates for South Africa and Namibia.

  • No single supplement on accommodation, with the exception of Odzala.

  • No maximum numbers of nights...mix and match!.

  • The Zimbabwe Government implemented a VAT increase of 15% on the hospitality and tourism industry from the beginning of 2015. For our Zimbabwe camps, an increase of 7.5% has been passed on to the consumer, while Wilderness Safaris is absorbing the other 7.5%.

  • Children 6 to 16 years sharing in a family room with full paying adults, pay 50% of the adult rate. Child rates are only applicable at camps with family accommodation.

  • Valid from 1 November 2014 up to and including 31 March 2015. Excludes the festive season from 20 December 2014 to 10 January 2015 for all camps, except Rocktail Beach Camp whose exclusion period is from 5 December 2014 to 10 January 2015.

  • Travel to key areas of southern and central Africa and combine a vast range of complementary experiences.

BOTSWANA

Minimum 6-night stay in one country.

Deception Valley, Central Kalahari Game Reserve: Kalahari Plains
Okavango Delta Land Camps: Little Mombo (Premier), Banoka Bush
Okavango Delta Combination (Land/Water) Camps: Vumbura South (Premier), Jao (Premier), Abu (Collection), Kwetsani, Tubu Tree, Little Tubu, Seba
Okavango Delta Water Camps: Jacana & Xigera
Linyanti Camps: Kings Pool (Premier) & Savuti

NAMIBIA

Minimum 5-night stay in one country.

Sossusvlei Region: Kulala Desert Lodge & Little Kulala (Premier)
Damaraland Region: Desert Rhino, Damaraland & Doro Nawas
Etosha Region: Andersson's & Ongava Lodge
Skeleton Coast / Kunene Region: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, Serra Cafema (Premier)

ZIMBABWE

No combination of camps required, minimum 3 nights.

Recommended in conjunction with Botswana and/or Zambia.

Hwange National Park: Little Makalolo & Davison's

SOUTH AFRICA

Minimum of 3 nights.

Adventures Camp: iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Zululand: Rocktail Beach Camp

ZAMBIA

No combination of camps required, minimum of 2 nights.

Recommended in conjunction with Botswana and/or Zimbabwe.

Livingstone at Victoria Falls: Toka Leya

CONGO

6 Night Odzala package which includes 3 nights at Ngaga Camp, with two opportunities to track habituated Western Lowland Gorilla groups, and 3 nights at Lango Camp, exploring the rainforest, its rivers and Lango Bai via walks, kayaks and motorised pirogues.