South Africa Safari Packages, Camps & Itineraries


View our South Africa Safari Itineraries

Or call: 01227 671 154 to speak to a South Africa Safari Specialist.

South Africa Travel Information

  • Overview
  • Ecology & Wildlife
  • When to Travel
  • Useful Information
  • Map

Historically, South Africa was the pariah of the world under its infamous apartheid regime, but caught the imagination of all with Nelson Mandela's release from prison in 1990, followed by the peaceful, first democratic elections in 1994. Since then, it has become one of the top travel destinations, blending elements of both 'Africa of old' with modernity. On one hand, one can escape to wild, remote areas and experience exceptional game viewing and true wilderness. Then, just an hour's flight away, there are modern cities and hotels that compete with the best in the world. With 11 official languages and a diverse range of cultures and ways of life, it is no wonder that Mandela has named South Africans "the rainbow nation".

When it comes to wildlife and scenery, South Africa has a plethora of places to see, including a number of World Heritage Sites and incredible game reserves. One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town is built amongst an entire, unique Cape Floral Kingdom, one of only six Plant Kingdoms that cover the Earth. There are more naturally occurring, different species of flowers just around Cape Town than there are in the whole of North America or the whole of Europe! On the other side of the spectrum are the deserts and arid areas, including the world's first National Park that traverses the borders of two countries, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

The coastline of South Africa is enormous, offering superb scenery, such as sandy beaches and sheer, fynbos-covered cliffs of the Garden Route, as well as amazing wildlife opportunities, from southern right whales breaching off Cape Town to pristine coral reefs on the KwaZulu-Natal Coast. The pride of South Africa's natural heritage is the Kruger National Park. At 2 million hectares and over 300km long, this enormous area encompasses a savannah landscape with 147 mammal species, over 400 bird species and numerous reptiles, amphibians and insects.

This diversity is echoed in its peoples. Ancient rock art is a silent testimony to the vanished culture of the first human inhabitants - the San or Bushman people - and the powerful civilisations of Mapungubwe and Thulamela who traded with Chinese and Arab traders a thousand years ago remain entrenched in the ruins of their rock-walled hilltop cities. Later the subregion became a stepping stone between Europe and the spices of the East, and then its own mineral riches were discovered. At the beginning of the 21st century this is a country filled with a colourful mixture of people and cultures, a heady history and not least, a natural heritage that has South Africans defining their land as "a world in one country."

Situated at the southern edge of the African continent, South Africa is bounded by oceans on three sides, with an interior that has a wonderful assortment of habitats, from lush tropical forests to arid deserts, from mountains to the open savannah of the bushveld.

Much of South Africa's natural wealth can be explored in facts and figures - on 1% of the planet's total land surface it has 10% of the world's known bird, fish and plant species and 5% of the world's mammal and reptile species; the third most biologically diverse country on Earth. Such diversity is due to great variations in climate, geology and landscape. Geologically, the country can be divided into three main regions: A narrow coastal strip that demarcates the edge of the continent for 3 000km, an extensive central plateau reaching 2 000 metres above sea level, and the Great Escarpment whose mountain ranges and hills stand in between the first two. These can be split further into rolling plains dotted with acacia trees and scattered dwellings, grasslands that meet the blue sky at the ruler-straight horizon, enormous brooding peaks of the Drakensberg, and chattering rivers that force themselves noisily through narrow gorges - to name but a few.

At the southernmost point, Table Mountain stands like a sentinel guarding Cape Town and its beaches. The south-western Cape is home to the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the world's six Plant Kingdoms. Its heath-like vegetation, called 'fynbos', is endemic to this area - some 8 000 plant species grow only here, making this one of the most significant concentrations of plant species on Earth. Along the coast eastwards is the dramatic, rocky shoreline where forests grow down steep cliffs to meet spectacular, rough seas crashing on jagged rocks: the Garden Route.

Moving north-east, the straight lines of the arid Karroo with its semi-desert and arid-adapted life give way to the endless, flat grasslands of the plateau, formed millions of years ago when the centre of the continent lifted up. This is the country's economic centre both in terms of grain produce and mineral wealth; some of the world's largest gold and diamond deposits lie deep beneath the unassuming surface.

Around the centre, the escarpment's mountain ranges break the flatness and the land falls towards the coast. These land forms are not just beautiful but are of great importance in the generation of rainfall and runoff; all major rivers have their origins amongst the peaks and precipitous cliffs.

The country's eastern edges - bordered by the Lebombo Mountains (and Mozambique and Swaziland) in the north-east and the Indian Ocean in the south-east - generally receive more rainfall and are covered with savannah bushveld and woodland. This is the site of some of Africa's great conservation and wildlife stories, such as the Kruger National Park, the Hluhluwe Game Reserve where the southern white rhino was brought back from the brink of extinction, and the iSimangaliso (Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park, where the great sea turtles haul themselves up onto the beaches to lay their eggs.

Despite being threatened by increasing population numbers and development, many game reserves and national parks dot the country, protecting some of its 243 mammal, 900 bird, 370 reptile and 220 fish species and its more than 20 300 species of flowering plants. Each reserve or concession serves a vital role in helping to protect a small piece of this immense, picturesque and life-filled land.

The weather in South Africa is generally pleasant throughout the year – warm to hot days, and cool to warm nights. During our winter months however (May to September), it can get very cold at night and in the early morning, particularly when on safari, so we would like to suggest that you pack accordingly – very warm clothing including an anorak/winter jacket, a beanie (woollen hat), scarf and gloves are recommended.

January to March is the peak of summer and the rainfall season in most of the country. Days are normally warm with afternoon cloud build up and possible showers although these are usually short-lived. Wildlife can disperse during this time in search of new grazing. The Cape Province has it’s rainfall in the winter months so it can be hot, dry and windy at this time.

During April to May morning temperatures start to drop and the evenings are cooler. Rainfall is limited and as the free-standing waters dry out, wildlife start to congregate more at perennial water sources.

The early part of June is very cold in the mornings and evenings, occasionally even dropping below zero, and winter lasts until August. Days are normally sunny and pleasant with occasional cold snaps, and windy spells towards the end of this period. Game viewing can be excellent in the dry winter months in some areas. The Cape can experience lovely sunny but cool weather during this period. It is also the rainy season in the Cape so some days can be quite wet and windy.

Spring starts in September with all the vegetation coming into leaf and days are much warmer with the occasional cool evening and morning. From October we experience very warm sunny days with warm evenings. Some rains are experienced sporadically, though larger showers can be expected usually only around December. Wildlife sightings can vary depending how early the rains have started.

Despite regional differences, South Africa’s climate is generally mild throughout the year. Snowfall is limited to the highest mountain peaks and it is a relatively dry country with a mean annual rainfall of 502 millimetres.

Visa

Any applicable visas and/or relevant documentation are your responsibility. You must also be in possession of outward travel documents and have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay.

Credit Cards

MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted throughout the country, whereas Diners Club and American Express are accepted to a lesser extent.

Sightseeing

In many areas of South Africa (e.g. Johannesburg, Cape Winelands, KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields, Mpumalanga), there are optional tours available. Please contact your travel consultant for further details, however, we do recommend that these are pre-booked to avoid disappointment.
Map of South Africa

We can book any property in South Africa. Call: 01227 671 154

A selection of our South Africa safari camps:

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  • Bayethe is a splendid stone walled & thatch roofed Lodge with a large deck area overlooking a waterhole. There is a
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    Bayethe Tented Lodge

  • Nestled in the unspoiled bush of the Sabi Sand lies a stylishly intimate game lodge – Chitwa Chitwa. Originally a private
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    Chitwa Chitwa

  • Appreciate the natural beauty and cosmopolitan charm of this unique region from Cape View Clifton, where function and aesthetics blend
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    Cape View Clifton

  • The gentle murmur of the Indian Ocean is a constant lullaby. Close to the city of Durban in South Africa’s
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    Days At Sea

  • Rocktail Beach Camp, set back in the lush dune forest, has 17 en-suite rooms, seven of which are family suites
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    Rocktail Beach Camp

  • Camp Jabulani is a perfect translation of the African bush. An open-plan dining room and lounge merge with the wooden
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    Camp Jabulani

  • Hidden amongst a grove of ancient milkwoods, discover a place where time stands stil. A place for contemplation and adventure.
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    Lagoon Lodge

  • Within a decade, Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse has earned global renown as a romantic gourmet getaway. Nestled in the heart of
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    Cleopatra Mountain

  • Sculpted into a slope of the earth, Earth Lodge’s organic architecture awakens the senses with a masterful use of texture,
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    Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge

  • Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse, near to Cape Town, is a boutique hotel situated on a working farm with a 4000 hectare
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    Bartholomeus Klip

  • From its stunning clifftop position in the town of Hermanus, Birkenhead House enjoys exhilarating ocean views and close proximity to
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    Birkenhead House

  • Located in the heart of the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Africa on Foot offers guests the opportunity to experience a
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    Africa on Foot Camp

  • HillsNek is an intimate family-run lodge is set on the banks of the Bushman’s River with a breath-taking vista of
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    Amakhala HillsNek

  • Bloomestate surprises by its eclectic design which blends in the natural spacious grounds. This modern guesthouse is owner managed and
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    Bloomestate Retreat

  • Situated 112 kms from Port Elizabeth airport Cape St Francis is considered either the gateway or the exit to the
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    Cape St Francis

  • Seated at the foot of the Warmwaterberg Mountain Range in the heart of South Africa’s Little Karoo, Sanbona pays tribute
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    Dwyka Tented Lodge

  • Woodbury Lodge is spectacularly set against a cliff above the Bushmans River valley. It offers an intimate and tranquil experience
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    Amakhala Woodbury

  • Expect to discover the world’s most exceptional accommodation, art, design, food and wine in one of the most exceptional natural
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    Delaire Graff Lodges

  • Place on the Bay Hotel, situated along the beach-front road enjoys an undisturbed picturesque view of the white sandy beaches,
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    Place On The Bay

  • Deserving of every one of its four stars, Safari Lodge sleeps 22 fortunate guests in 11 well-appointed and richly furnished
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    Amakhala Lodge

  • Pafuri Camp lies along a bend of the Luvuvhu River shaded by enormous jackal berry and nyala berry trees. Its
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    Pafuri Camp

  • De Kloof Luxury Estate 5* Boutique Hotel & Villa EST 1801- often described as the hidden Jewel of Swellendam is a
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    De Kloof Luxury

  • Situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, adjacent to the Kruger National Park, Elephant Plains Game Lodge offers comfortable style
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    Elephant Plains

  • Cape Grace has held pride of place on its own quay in the V&A Waterfront for the past 15 years,
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    Cape Grace

  • The colonial-style, Riverdene Lodge at Shamwari Game Reserve offers nine Inter-Leading Luxury Rooms, Rim Flow Pool, supervised Playroom, spacious green
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    Riverdene Lodge

  • Created as a tribute to the unique splendor of the African Wilderness, Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway towers over the landscape,
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    Clifftop Exclusive

  • Quatermain’s Camp is a classic 1920’s style expedition camp modelled on the heyday of exploration, that golden era when adventure
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    Quatermain's Camp

  • Eagles Crag is nestled in a Valley & provides the ultimate Luxury for the most discerning of Travellers. Each of the
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    Eagles Crag Lodge

  • Reed Valley is situated in the farmyard and comprises of three historic en’ suite country rooms, each with separate entrances
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    Amakhala Reed Valley

  • Leeuwenbosch Country House is a gracious colonial country house set amidst beautiful indigenous gardens, offering a family safari experience steeped
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    Leeuwenbosch House

  • Unique, understated elegance in luxury tent accommodation. With mountains as backdrop and a magnificent waterhole at your doorstep, it's the
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    Buffelsdrift Lodge

  • Originally built as the Harbour Master’s private residence in the 1800’s, this grand architectural gem has been transformed into one
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    Dock House Boutique

  • Ellerman House enjoys the finest views of the Atlantic seaboard from its commanding position, just 10 minutes away from the
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    Ellerman House

  • At the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat is an ecological oasis within a roughly
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    Bushmans Kloof

  • Woodbury Tented Camp is a hidden jewels on the Eastern Cape. Tucked into an embracing hillside thicket and overlooking the
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    Woodbury Camp

  • Relax in urban tranquility while a city bussles about you. Packages from: £465pp for 7 nights Bed and Breakfast. Special
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    Colona Castle

  • Deep in the bushveld overlooking a waterhole and an open plain, lies a lodge that pulses to the rhythm of
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    Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

  • Welcome to One&Only Cape Town, South Africa’s premiere urban chic resort introducing an unprecedented level of luxury and style to
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    One&Only Cape Town

  • This spacious 200 square metres open plan apartment offers breath-taking panoramic views over Clifton First Beach and the blue waters
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    No.18 on Clifton First

  • Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world class travel experiences. Exceptional train safaris combine some of
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    Rovos Rail

  • This 5 Star, ultra-luxurious and exclusive property (Villa / Hotel) nestles on the slopes of the Atlantic Seaboard next to the
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    No. 26 Sunset Avenue

  • Bukela Game Lodge is a romantic and secluded safari destination tucked away into indigenous trees and bushes at the top
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    Amakhala Bukela

  • 10 2nd Avenue Houghton Estate is an established, 5 Star Boutique Hotel of superb luxury and effortless style in Johannesburg.
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    No.10 2nd Avenue

  • Set in a leafy, evergreen thicket on the banks of the Sand River, each room at Exeter River Lodge offers
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    Exeter River Lodge

  • Leadwood Lodge is tucked into a well-wooded bank of the Sand River, where jackalberry and leadwood trees lend their shade.
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    Leadwood Lodge

  • The spirit of safari comes alive at historic Kirkman’s Kamp. Step back in time into the gracious early settler atmosphere
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    Kirkman's Kamp



View our South Africa Safari Itineraries

Or call: 01227 671 154 to speak to an adviser.

Tailor-made for you

  •  Your Safari is just that. Each safari we create is built around you and your requirements.

  •  Select your preferred style of accommodation and explore at your own pace.

  •  Co-create your perfect trip with the help of our experts.

Expert Advice

  •  All of our advisers are well travelled and know their areas inside out.

  •  All calls are answered instantly by a destination expert who will help you from start to finish.

  •  Get the most from your time and budget.

Personal Service

  •  The details make the difference. All our accommodation, drivers and guides have been carefully selected by location and service as well as their contribution to conservation or the community.

  •  Our business depends on recommendations. We go the extra mile to give you a trip to remember.

Would you like to make a booking?


We would be delighted to hear from you! Please call any of the numbers below or fill in the contact form with your requirements and we will be in touch.

From the UK

Call: 01227 671 154

From the USA

New York: (646) 513-4227

From South Africa

Cape Town: 021 300 2166