SOUTH AFRICA

Diverse landscapes, prolific wildlife and  rich heritage

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HIGHLIGHTS

FAMOUS FOR

Kruger: Highest chance in Africa of seeing all of the Big 5: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo

Madikwe: A heartening conservation success story

Cape Town: Table Mountain, the Winelands, African penguins and the V&A Waterfront

WHEN TO VISIT

Dry SeasonJuly to October

Green SeasonNovember to April

Shoulder SeasonApril to May

*Cape Town’s seasons are reversed. Whale season is August to September.

TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

We’ve put together all the information you need to prepare for your trip to South Africa

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WHY VISIT SOUTH AFRICA

There’s an old slogan that goes ‘South Africa is a world in one country’ and it’s not hard to see why. The balmy Indian Ocean buffets the sub-tropical east coast while the mercurial Atlantic washes up on the west. Cape Town and Johannesburg are world-class cities with every mod con while, surrounding them, are pristine wildlife areas where time has stood still. The sheer diversity of things to see and do here makes it popular with honeymooners, adventurers and multi-generational families. Landscapes range from dense Afromontane forest – home to elephants, jackals, bushpigs, porcupines and warthogs – to the Cape floristic region, which comprises 9 000 species of plants. When spring arrives in about September, they bloom into blankets of intense yellow, orange, purple and white flowers to make an incredible display.

Most safari lovers head to South Africa’s Greater Kruger area to tick off the Big 5. Thanks to decades of conservation work since the 1920s, populations of rhino are greater here than almost anywhere else in the world. Once you have seen a rhino mom protecting her adorable little calf or a crash of rhino males standing their ground in the road, you’ll immediately understand the drive to protect them. The rocky outcrops and tall trees in this region are also perfect leopard country: when you’re on a game drive, look out for the tell-tale dangling tail of a leopard resting in the branches above you!

MEET JOANNE OUR SOUTH AFRICA EXPERT

As a born-and-bred South Africa, I’ve lived in the Western Cape, Gauteng and the Free State. We have so much to offer: you can explore several different ecosystems just within our borders. It’s exciting to go from sub-tropical beaches to adventures the wild Atlantic coast – and the sensational Big 5 game viewing is definitely the cherry on the cake!

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EXPLORE SOUTH AFRICA

ITINERARIES TO INSPIRE YOU

Here are our favourite South Africa Itineraries to inspire you. All of our itineraries can be tailored to meet your specific requirements.

OUR FAVOURITE SOUTH AFRICA DESTINATIONS

KRUGER

You want to see the Big 5? The Kruger is, without a doubt, the best place in the world to see this sought-after collection of impressive animals. In fact, it’s not unheard of to see elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard in a single game drive in this wildlife-rich corner of South Africa. Your chances are so high here because of an excellent conservation ethos and a smaller traversing area so that guides can share – and get to – sightings quickly.

Coupled with excellent lodges in private reserves, the Greater Kruger area is perfect for first-time visitors to Africa.

CAPE TOWN

History, art, food, culture and nature all come together at the foot of Table Mountain and make Cape Town one of the most beloved places in South Africa. Spend your days visiting Mandela’s cell on Robben Island, enjoying the antics of penguins, marveling at Cape Point and strolling through Kirstenbosch Gardens before heading to one of the outstanding restaurants for dinner. Best of all, Cape Town is an easy scenic drive from the Winelands of Constantia, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, where you can savour delicious wines on estates dating back to the 1680s, set in beautiful grounds.

THE GARDEN ROUTE

A magnificent stretch of southern coastline, the Garden Route is ideal for those who want to drive themselves or who are travelling with younger children who need plenty of age-appropriate activities like animal sanctuaries and general outdoor fun. More adventurous travellers can go caving, hiking, sailing, bungee jumping and bridge swinging. Along the way are Knysna (look out for the famous Knysna loerie or turaco – and be sure to try oysters straight from the sea), Plettenberg Bay (with a huge golden beach) and the Tsitsikamma forest, a tangle of trees that could still be home to rare forest elephants.

MADIKWE

This private reserve is proof of what patience and a dedication to conservation can achieve. In the early 1990s, this area was still farmland but the decision was taken to convert it to a protected wildlife reserve. Since then, remarkable progress has been made that showcases nature’s ability to regenerate if allowed the chance. Classic ‘veld’ or sandy grassland, the Madikwe and Groot Marico Rivers support thriving herds of kudu, zebra and elephant as well as predators like lions, cheetahs and packs of wild dogs, themselves an inspiring conservation story as they were brought back from the brink of extinction.

OPTIONS TO EXTEND YOUR SOUTH AFRICA ITINERARY

Here are a few of our favourite options to add to your South Africa itinerary. These extensions are here for inspiration. We know that time is a precious commodity and we can tailor them to meet your requirements.

WHY BOOK WITH BIGGESTLEAF TRAVEL

  • We are passionate about what we sell

  • The most competitive and flexible rates

  • We offer personalised and customised experiences

  • Our consultants specialise in different safari-experiences
  • We have over 10 years’ experience in the travel industry

  • Our quick response and turnaround times

EXPERIENCE SOUTH AFRICA

Want more detailed information or advice about visiting South Africa?
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