Highlights of South Africa
Go in search of the Big Five at Kruger National Park, savor delicious wines in Stellenbosch, explore the iconic Garden Route and spot pods of whale in the inky-blue Indian Ocean on our South Africa small group tours. Here are just a few of the highlights.
Go in search of the Big Five in Kruger National Park on our South Africa Wildlife tour or Family Safari and Beach Adventure. Kruger is a vast wilderness, home to over 140 mammal species, as well as over 500 bird species and a diverse range of scenery from riverine forest and desolate savannah grasslands, to mopane woodland and prickly thorn thickets. Rise before dawn and climb into the safari trucks for a game drive through the park. As the sun casts its rays over this protected natural landscape, look out for buffalo and antelope drinking from the nourishing waterholes and giraffe grazing on the outstretched canopies of acacia trees. Sit patiently as herds of elephant stomp their way across the dusty tracks and follow big cat paw prints in the hope of uncovering a pride of lions or maybe even a cheetah.
The Garden Route
Join our South Africa Garden Route tour or Family Garden Route tour for an unforgettable South Africa adventure. This iconic road trip will take you along the south coast from Cape Town, around Plettenberg Bay and on to Port Elizabeth. Ascend the dizzy heights of Table Mountain in Cape Town, savor the region’s wines in the succulent vineyards of Stellenbosch and visit a colony of penguins at Stony Point. Get the blood pumping with adrenaline-fueled white-water rafting on the fizzing rapids of the Breede River, navigate your way through the limestone caverns of the Cango Caves, and hike into Robberg Nature Reserve to spot dolphin and seal playing in the cold Indian Ocean. If you travel between July and November, you may even get to see a whale or two. Finally, set off on a game drive safari in Addo Elephant National Park in search of elephant, lion, hyena and leopard, and dine overlooking a near-by waterhole teeming with wildlife.
If you’re a wine connoisseur, a visit to South Africa’s Winelands is a must-do. Join our South Africa Highlights Discovery tour to learn how the local wine is harvested and produced and savor some of the best red and white wines that this region has to offer. Stellenbosch has an excellent reputation for producing some of the finest Chenin Blanc, best enjoyed with fresh seafood caught from the nearby Indian Ocean. Or why not try the local Pinotage, a blend of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut, the perfect partner for braai-grilled meat.
Our small group tours to Africa are popular with couples, friends and solo travelers alike. Everyone who travels with us is looking for a fun and authentic adventure, so whether you’re traveling alone, or with company, you’ll be with like-minded people and will most likely make new friends along the way. Your local tour leader will run the every-day logistics, as well as ensure you see all of the must-see sights and the lesser-known hidden treasures on your South Africa adventure vacation.
Best time to go to South Africa
South Africa’s Garden Route is a year-round destination. The high season from November to February brings lots of warm, summery weather, but expect more tourists and large crowds at popular destinations. Christmas is also a great time to visit and the atmosphere in Cape Town is electrifying. Temperatures gradually cool down from March to July, and the nights feel colder, but the upside is that popular sights will be much quieter. Bring the kids here in August for a fun family adventure - temperatures are still warm, with just the odd rainy day - or grab a Springtime break in September or October when the temperatures are bringing to creep up again and the whale watching at Hermanus is at its best.
For the best chance of spotting the Big Five, head to Kruger National Park during the dry season from June to October when wildlife is more likely to congregate at waterholes. The downside is that it will be very dusty and there will be more tourist jeeps out on tracks, so also consider the rainy season from November until May when the landscape transforms into a lush oasis and migratory birds flock here in vast numbers. Newborn animals will begin to appear at the start of the year and, apart from at Easter, you can enjoy quieter tracks and camps during this off-peak season.