South Africa is perhaps the most versatile of all the African destinations, offering a wide variety of activities and landscapes to visitors. It is also one of the more easily accessible African countries, with a good road and air network and relatively few remote areas. Whether you are looking for an adventure holiday deep in the bush or are in search of a gentler introduction to Africa, the facilities available make it easy to tailormake your ideal South Africa vacation.
Situated at the tip of the African continent and surrounded by two oceans, South Africa boasts breathtaking scenery, quaint coastal villages and cosmopolitan cities that can all be combined with a truly exhilarating Big Five South African safari.
Consistently voted as one of the top tourist destinations around the world, South Africa is home to one of the world’s biggest nature reserves, the renowned Kruger National Park, as well as one of the most beautiful and scenic cities, Cape Town.
- Toast the sunset from the flat top of Table Mountain.
- Follow nocturnal wildlife on exhilarating spotlit night drives, in South Africa’s Big Five wilderness areas.
- Devour fresh oysters by the two dozen in Knysna.
- Discover South Africa’s historical battlefields, and track black and white rhino in KwaZulu-Natal.
- Float silently over the Pilanesberg in a hot air balloon.
A wide variety of accommodation can be found, from five-star hotels to guesthouses, game lodges, “bed and breakfasts” and safari camps. In the cities there are also award-winning boutique hotels and spa resorts. It is strongly recommended that you reserve all your accommodation as far in advance as possible.
Summer is from October to April and winter is from May to August. Summers tend to be quite hot, with daytime temperatures hovering around 30ºC (86ºF). For beach holidays and bird watching, summer tends to be the preferred time to visit. Winter is the best time for game viewing, as temperatures are lower, wildlife tends to concentrate in areas where water is available and the bush is less dense, improving visibility. Winter temperatures during the day are around 15ºC (59ºF) and nighttime temperatures can fall to as low as 0º (32ºF). Snowfalls are rare but occasionally occur on the higher mountains.
South Africa is a great family destination, although you will be required to produce your children’s birth certificates and other documentation when entering the country, so be sure to check with your travel agent and prepare ahead of time. There are activities for children of all ages and plenty of adventure for the whole family. During the summer months, the beaches are wonderful for children of all ages and numerous adventure activities like boat rides and cruises, horse riding, surfing, hiking and many others are offered. Many safari lodges allow children but it would be wise to check with individual lodges for requirements regarding children.
South Africa also boasts a number of game reserves that are not situated in malaria areas and you can plan your safari to only include these if you are not keen on taking prophylactic medication.
Summer (October – April)
Winter (May – September)
Rainfall varies regionally.