If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa
Lions and penguins, traditional African cultures and Western creature comforts, all the Big Five on one morning’s game drive, some of the best food and wine on the planet - all that is South Africa. From metropolitan Cape Town to safaris in the Kruger area, from hiking in the Drakensberg to scenic drives and boat rides along the Garden Route, come and see why this place has been called “The world in one Country”.
When to go
The best time for a wildlife viewing safari in the north-east of South Africa is the dry season between April and November. Travel to South Africa's south coast and Cape Town can be done year-round, but it gets cool in July and August.
Greater Kruger Area
The density, diversity and sheer numbers of wildlife in Kruger and the adjacent private game reserves are almost beyond belief. Game drives and guided game activities are the order of the day here and best enjoyed at the private game reserves.
Towering cliffs, imposing natural amphitheatres and thundering waterfalls make the Drakensberg a range unique in the world. Ancient Bushmen rock art and some spectacular vistas and hiking trail make this an area not to be missed by anyone with more than a passing interest in South Africa.
Forest-clad hills rolling down to a spectacular coastline, beautiful lagoons and beaches along with jaw-dropping scenery make this one of the most popular areas in the country.
Well-known for its great wines but less so for its spectacular mountains and vistas, the wine lands near Cape Town should be one anyone's itinerary. Pretty towns like Franschhoek and Tulbagh will complement stops at a winery or two.
Known as The Mother City, Cape Town lies hemmed between beautiful beaches and Table Mountain. A true melting pot of Asian, African and European cultures this is the place you'll find great restaurants and bars, a sprinkling of interesting museums and markets, and a vibe all of its own set within beautiful surroundings.
The best way to see wildlife is from your vehicle, driven by your guide who will explain everything about the animals you encounter.
Private Game Reserves
These privately protected areas strictly control visitor numbers, making your safari experience an intimate one. You are virtually guaranteed to see the Big Five. Lodges vary from simple to luxurious and your stay will include all meals and a variety of game activities. South African safaris do not get better than this!
Offered within private reserves, game walks are a unique and thrilling way to get up close to animals and see critters and spoor you would otherwise miss. Your armed guide and tracker will keep you safe.
Night drives give you a totally different perspective on wildlife. Watch the night come alive as hundreds of nocturnal critters forage and roam through the bush.
South Africa offers some of the best and most scenic hikes in the world. From the spectacular Drakensberg to the enigmatic Garden Route, Table Mountain and the Cederberg, the trails are yours to choose.
Knysna Lagoon cruise
Whether you take the ferry to beautiful Featherbed Nature Reserve or a sundowner cruise, the lagoon will impress you. Meanwhile, enjoy a glass of wine and some fresh mussels.
Shark cage diving
Need an adrenaline boost? Look no further than the town of Hermanus near Cape Town where you can come eye to eye with great white sharks from the safety of a cage.
Glorious wine and food
Boerewors, malva pudding, chakalaka & pap, melktert and biltong are local favourites. Visit a winery and have a traditional Cape Malay lunch with bobotie on a patio overlooking sweeping vineyards and towering mountains. This is why you came to South Africa!
Former prisoners will show you around the island where political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, were incarcerated, all the while preaching a message of hope and redemption.
Sunset at Table Mountain
Hike or take the cable car up Table Mountain, bring a picnic, and enjoy the stunning views overlooking Cape Town and the Atlantic.
Drive South Africa
Tour code: JDSA
Why we love this trip: a great trip featuring all the highlights of South Africa
Places visited: private game reserve in Greater Kruger, Port Elizabeth, Knysna, Garden Route, Swellendam, Cape Agulhas, Hermanus, Wineland, Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, Robben Island, Table Mountain
Signature Experiences: game drives, walks and night drives, hiking, lagoon cruise, optional shark diving, winery visits, scenic drives, Robben Island, Table Mountain
Length: 14-16 days
Accommodation: Safari lodge, hotels
Included meals: all breakfasts, all meals while on safari
Transport: open safari vehicle in game reserve, flight, car or van for the south; trip can be guided or as a self-drive
Departures: daily private departures
Customizable? Yes, price on request
Price: self-drive from US$2995, guided from $4500
World in One Country
Tour code: JWIO
Why we love this trip: an in-depth look at the very best South Africa has to offer.
Places visited: Johannesburg, Panorama Route, Kruger NP, Swaziland, Hluhluwe, Drakensberg, Lesotho, Garden Route, Wine lands, Cape Town & surrounds
Signature Experiences: game drives, hikes, scenic drives, tribal experience, boat cruise, winery visit
Length: 20 days
Accommodation: safari lodges, hotels & chalets
Included meals: 19 breakfasts, 2 dinners, 2 lunches
Transport: safari vehicle
Departures: Set small-group dates
Customizable? Yes, see Drive South Africa
Price: Small group departures priced from $2725
Walking & Wildlife
Tour code: ETZS
Why we love this trip: hiking in the spectacular Drakensberg along with a discovery of the varied wildlife of Kruger
Places visited: Panorama Route, private game reserve, Kruger NP, Swaziland, St. Lucia, battlefields, Drakensberg
Signature Experiences: game drives, game walks, hikes, boat cruise, hike to the world's second tallest waterfall
Length: 15 days
Accommodation: log cabins, chalets, permanent tented camp
Included meals: all breakfasts, 14 lunches, 11 dinners
Transport: foot, boat, van and 4WD
Departures: set small-group dates
Price: Small group departures priced from $2890