South Africa is an excellent destination for those who want a varied holiday, with safari perhaps just comprising a few days of a longer itinerary. Alternatively it is a good option for those who prefer to safari in more comfortable surroundings, or need wifi access and phone reception throughout their safari.
Johannesburg in South Africa is normally the hub for air travel into Southern Africa and so travelers will often pass through South Africa en-route to neighboring countries such as Botswana, Zambia or Zimbabwe for safari. Consequently it is logistically very straightforward to include a few days or more in South Africa at the start or end of a safari elsewhere. Adding a few days in Cape Town – the Mother City – or the Cape Winelands in the Western Cape are popular options, providing a total contrast from your safari experience. Even a one night stop-over in Johannesburg can allow you to fit in a highly recommended visit to the Apartheid museum, art galleries and a tour of Soweto township.
During flowering season the Northern Cape’s Karoo region is a special place for those who enjoy the beauty granted by flowers, with great photographic opportunities. The scenic Garden Route, lying east of Cape Town, is a must-do during whale watching season and divers will be drawn by the sardine run. History also brings you Robben Island – the land of the hero Nelson Mandela – a short boat ride from Cape Town, and the Cradle of Humankind in Maropeng north west of Johannesburg.
There are a myriad of affordable safari options in South Africa, although it is necessary to choose your safari with caution as some of the more popular destinations can be teeming with vehicles – negating any thought of a wilderness experience. If heading to the famous Sabi Sand Reserve adjoining Kruger National Park we would only use one of the top camps such as Londolozi or Singita – otherwise our preference would be for a quieter less well-known reserve.
Direct flights between Kruger and Livingstone in Zambia make it easy to combine a safari in South Africa with a visit to the Victoria Falls. Also, flights from Kruger to Mozambique provide a fabulous bush ‘n’ beach combo. A popular itinerary for honeymooners is to start in Cape Town, then a few days safari in one of the private reserves adjoining Kruger, before ending in one of the beach resorts in Mozambique. An Air Botswana flight between Cape Town and Maun, Botswana, is useful for guests adding a few days in the Western Cape at the end of a Botswana safari.
South Africa generally has a great reputation for hospitality, with fabulous food and wine, often in amazing surroundings. There are plenty of cultural activities on offer, along with more unique activities such as shark cage diving or less adrenalin fueled whale watching. Unique habitats like the fynbos are a great attraction in the Western Cape, along with the ocean views of both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.