Breathtaking scenery & fascinating history
South AfricaA country of breathtaking scenery and fascinating history, which has emerged from the oppressive politics of the past, South Africa’s cosmopolitan cities and first-world infrastructure have made the country a top choice for travelers to Africa
From the private game reserves to the iconic view of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa offers opportunities to enjoy diverse of landscapes and experiences. South Africa’s safari industry is a lot more commercialized and not as “wild” as other parts of Africa, but it is priced well and there are a handful of destinations off-the-beaten-track.
Cape Town and the surrounding Winelands offer world-class dining, a buzzing café and bar scene, making the region an epicurean’s dream. Cape Town can actually be combined quite easily with some more unique safari destinations and there are now flights from Kenya, Zambia and Botswana.
In short, we recommend Cape Town as a great add-on to your safari, but believe that the “real Africa” is found outside of South Africa in terms of an authentic safari experience.
AccommodationChoose from a selection of world-class hotels in South Africa
Itinerary IdeasContact us to tailer-make your own itinerary for South Africa
Unforgettable ExperiencesExplore and experience South Africa
La ResidenceCape Winelands
Tucked away in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley in the Cape Winelands, La Residence epitomizes luxury and oozes character.
- Each room is decorated uniquely and with elegance, with a great deal of furniture and artefacts imported
- Graceful peacocks roam the grounds, giving the property a timeless luxury feeling
- The property provides transfers to nearby restaurants/wine farms for dining options (of which there are plenty!)
Tanda TulaTimbavati, Kruger Region
Tanda Tula is an intimate owner-run camp, with a highly personalized service offering and the pared down luxury feel of the tents.
- The camp itself is modeled on an East African safari camp and therefore combines some of the traditional safari favorites, along with a more contemporary feel
- The tents are beautifully designed, with Victorian bathtubs, outdoor showers, and private viewing deck with views over the river
- Game activities at Tanda Tula are simple: game drives, bush walks and bush dining
- The iconic “Big 5” are all located in the Timbavati region, so although slightly contrived, successful game viewing is basically guaranteed
GrootbosCape Town's 'Whale Coast'
Approximately 30 minutes outside of Hermanus in a stunning nature reserve setting, Grootbos is a 5* eco-paradise in a unique setting, nestled between the mountains and the ocean.
- Grootbos is a quiet haven away from tourists and shops, yet still contains all the luxuries of a typical 5 star lodge experience
- Close enough to access the whale-watching which has made Hermanus famous (whale season is typically May to December)
- Some fantastic dining options and wine farms in the nearby Hemel en Aarde Valley
- Close to Gansbaai – which is famous for its shark-cage diving activities!
The Clarendon, Bantry BayCape Town
Offering some of the best views over the ocean, The Clarendon Bantry Bay sits atop the cliffs in between Cape Town’s city area, and the famed Camps Bay.
- A 5* hotel which still offers a relaxed experience perfect for families, couples and multi-generational groups alike
- Most rooms offer spectacular views across the ocean, with only the Garden Rooms not having views
- The pool and garden are perfect for relaxation after a busy day exploring the city
- Conveniently located for the beach, restaurants and other Cape Town attractions
Babylonstoren’s Farm Hotel is made up of a range of quaint cottages and is set on the expansive, opulent grounds of the celebrated Babylonstoren Estate.
- Each cottage is beautifully styled – mixing traditional South African farm-inspired pieces with others which are more contemporary
- The property is perfectly located for exploring the Cape Winelands and is basically in the epicentre of the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl wine regions
- You can explore the popular gardens, grounds and dine in the lauded Babel Restaurant and Greenhouse (pre-booking essential!)
Birkenhead HouseCape Town's 'Whale Coast'
Set atop a rocky outcrop, Birkenhead House enjoys a fantastic seaside location and great access to the quaint Voelklip Beach.
- Rooms at Birkenhead are designed in a quirky Louis XIV-meets-Nantucket style, lending an unusual sense of seaside luxury
- Guests can walk all the way to Hermanus village, along the Sea Cliff trail, or relax at the in-house spa
- This is the most luxurious hotel in Hermanus, so for high-end travelers it’s a solid choice
- Hermanus is renowned for its whale watching between May to December and both Southern Wright and Humpback whales call Walker Bay home for almost half a year
Delaire GraffCape Winelands
Delaire Graff is perched at the top of the mountain pass between Stellenbosch and Franschook – two of South Africa’s prime wine regions
- The property enjoys the most phenomenal views in the entire winelands region
- Each room has been decorated by celebrated interior designer David Collins and features a private outdoor area and heated swimming pool.
- Complete with two restaurants, a luxury boutique and a spa, Delaire Graff is a stunning property
- The prices might be considered quite high relative to other South African properties on offer, however, it is a world-class property and on an international comparison, would be considered a bargain!
Manna BayCape Town
Located at the base of Table Mountain, guests enjoy fantastic views of the city lights from this boutique hotel.
- Manna Bay has eight artfully designed rooms each with a unique, if quirky, theme
- Modern amenities ensure a comfortable stay and the central location near the city bowl is ideal if for urbanites
- A delicious high tea is provided for guests each afternoon, as are complimentary city transfers for dinner
- Ideal for fashionable young couples and honeymooners
The One & OnlyCape Town
The One and Only is a decadent luxury hotel with world-class amenities, located in the V&A Waterfront precinct.
- Most suites have impressive views of Table Mountain or the harbour
- The renowned Nobu restaurant is located at the hotel as well as a stylish bar and impressive wine cellar
- This is a large 6* hotel, but for those accustomed to high-end travel, it’s a great choice
Ant’s NestLimpopo Private Game Reserve
Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill are family-owned bush homes offering an impressive selection of game viewing activities ranging from horse riding and mountain biking to bush walks and night drives. A great safari choice for those short on time.
- The owners of the property grew up in Kenya and therefore the properties do have a more traditional safari feel than many other South African properties
- There is a variety of wildlife species on the private reserve, including giraffe, rhino, an array of antelope and some carnivores (including leopard), however, it should be noted that there are no elephant or lion on the reserve
- From horse riding, mountain biking to game drives and walking safaris, there are a range of activities available
Makanyane Safari LodgeMadikwe Game Reserve
Located in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, bordering on Botswana, Makanyane provides a good alternative safari destination for those seeking to avoid the more popular Sabi Sands / Kruger areas.
- The lodge is small – catering to just 16 guests at a time
- Each suite has open-fronted lounges, private sundecks and spacious bathrooms that can be opened to the forest, creating the feeling of really being ‘in’ the bush
- There’s a great infinity pool in the common area, which is important as Madikwe can get quite hot
- Walking safaris are available, and Madikwe is home to the “Big 5” species along with 360 species of bird
- Conveniently located only a 3.5hr drive away from Johannesburg
SimbambiliSabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger Region
Set in the northern sector of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Simbambili is a good option for first-time safari goers – much like most South African properties.
- Each villa has a great outdoor day bed and plunge pool
- Walking safaris are possible,
- Like most of the Sabi Sands, leopard sightings are particularly good and most other species are likely to be seen
Ellerman HouseCape Town
Located on the slopes of Lion’s Head and with expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean, Ellerman House is an iconic boutique hotel with a unique character dating back to its days as home to shipping magnates Sir John and Lady Ellerman.
- The property is home to a phenomenal art and wine collection, beautifully appointed rooms and tiered gardens
- Ellerman House is a consistent favorite among luxury travelers
- Ideally located to explore Cape Town and surrounds, as well as the abundance of world-class restaurants
Singita BouldersSabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger Region
Located within a private reserve surrounded by the Sabi Sands, Singita Boulders offers an incredibly luxurious experience, with a safari experience being somewhat more of a side-focus.
- An incredible spa, gym, restaurant, boutique gallery and divine swimming pool are all on offer
- Mountain biking, bush walks and game drives are available for those who can drag themselves away from the lodge’s luxuries
- The inspiration for Singita Boulders was drawn from surrounding rock formations, lending a raw organic feel to the lodge
- Luxurious fittings and amenities such as 100% linen sheets and private plunge pools set the stage for the similarly premium level of service guests experience at Boulders.
Owned by one of South Africa’s wealthiest families, the Oppenheimers, Tswalu is the largest private game reserve in the country. There are two luxury properties on the reserve in which you can choose to stay in, and in fact, you can actually combine properties for varied experience during a longer stay.
- There more than 70 species of mammals and 230 species of birds (including endangered raptors), at Tswalu, which is also home to the elusive aardvark, aardwolf, pangolin and porcupine
- Also at Tswalu, visitors are likely to see the black-maned Kalahari lions, meerkats, desert black rhino and a range of rare antelope species
- The sleep outs are well-worthwhile in the Malori Star-beds
Majeka HouseCape Winelands
This property is proudly owner-managed and is the ideal base from which to explore the historic town of Stellenbosch and the Cape Winelands.
- Each room has its own personality and are all beautifully designed with a great deal of individualism
- A great ‘in-town’ option from where you can wander the historic streets of Stellenbosch – South Africa’s second-oldest town
- The Cape Winelands are easy to navigate if you self-drive, or we can arrange drivers for you which makes wine-tasting at the various wine farms much more enjoyable!
Walking SafarisVery much a “must-do” on your safari!
You will undoubtedly see an abundance of wildlife from the game drive vehicle, and usually will be interested in the ‘big’ game – lions, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest etc. However, walking safaris are an amazing experience (and will be highly recommended by us!) to truly learn about the ecosystem from the ground up. Your experienced guides will be able to advise you as to how such a small thing as a termite contributes to the larger ecosystem and how without them, everything would be different. Or they may teach you as to how the different bird calls can alert various plains game to danger approaching (ie, predators). You may see big game on your walking safari – but this is certainly not the objective. Your guides will be highly trained and clients’ safety is paramount.
Night Game DrivesExplore after dark!
Much of Africa’s fauna are active in the darker hours, so why not experience a night game drive during your safari? You may be lucky enough to see some of the big cats on the hunt (leopard and lion are particularly active at night), or perhaps see some of the more elusive species such as the porcupine, serval or caracal… Night game drives can vary in length and can often be done till around 10.30pm. Not all camps can offer them, however some areas like Tarangire National Park, South Luangwa National Park and the Maasai Mara Conservancies do offer these exciting drives.
Diving & SnorkelingAn underwater safari!
While some of Africa’s land-based species often get more attention, the sea-based species also offer an amazing wildlife experience. From the world-famed Mnemba Atol off the shores of Zanzibar, to the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park in Kenya and the stunning Quirimbas Archipelago of Northern Mozambique, there’s an abundance of great diving / snorkeling sites.
Depending on the tides and time of year, visitors can also dive with the majestic whale sharks around Mafia Island and off the coast of Mozam.
Horse RidingAfrica on horseback
Whether you are a passionate equestrian who is looking for a multi-day riding safari galloping through the bush, or simply a novice who wants to walk along slowly across the plains, we can arrange riding safaris to suit. There are a range of great properties for riding in Kenya, Botswana and to a lesser extent, in Tanzania.