Custom South Africa Tour

Explore South Africa's wealth of adventure activities - from safaris to vineyard tours to cosmopolitan cities - tailored to your interests. South Africa's private reserves offer safaris crafted to families in a welcoming environment.

Country Information

South Africa

Custom South Africa Tour Navigator Series

(Countries Visited)

South Africa


(Interest Type(s))

Romantic Getaways

,

Sustainable Travel

,

Safari Tours

,

Adventure Travel


(Tour Length)

Varied Days


Tour Highlights

Starting at: $9,750

About South Africa TravelBigFive_Frog_Icon web

Cape Town, Cape Winelands & Cederberg Mountains: Cape Town sits in the shadow of Table Mountain.  It has a unique multicultural personality that is an amalgamation of Indonesian, French, Dutch, British and German settlers, Bushman and Khoi tribes and the Bantu tribes from the north.  From this energetic mix comes a city alive with possibilities for the traveler to explore from the stylish shops of Victoria & Alfred Waterfront to the colorful Malay Quarter’s narrow streets and original buildings, many with facades dressed in vibrant hues. The city‘s history unfolds around every corner:  the Castle of Good Hope, built in 1652, city center’s 18th-century buildings. Natural attractions abound, such the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point, with its captivating panoramas of two oceans – the Pacific and the Indian.  The coast offers wildly scenic landscapes, fishing villages and Boulders Bay with its quirky colony of African penguins. Kirstenbosch Garden is enchanting.  Cape Winelands encompasses classic wine estates and well-dressed villages of oak-lined avenues set against the backdrop of the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch form the heart of the Cape Winelands.  Franschhoek is also noted for some of the top restaurants in the country.  Cederberg Mountains and nature reserve north of Cape Town are noted for dramatic rock formations and San rock art.  Found in the caves and overhangs of the area, some of these rock and cave paintings may date back to about 400 BC.

Eastern Cape & KwaZulu Natal: These two provinces offer an array of activities from trekking to big game safaris to beaches.  The Eastern Cape encompasses the evergreen Tsitsikamma Forest, the rugged Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area and the arid Great Karoo.  Pleasant year-round weather, miles of beach and easy access to a wide range of water sports make this a natural destination for outdoor enthusiasts.  KwaZulu Natal supports two natural areas:  the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites and considered wetlands of international importance.  Phinda Private Game Reserve is situated in subtropical northern KwaZulu Natal, with close proximity to the warm Indian Ocean.  It is an awardwinning game reserve with a strong focus on conservation and community involvement.  KwaZulu Natal also has the unspoiled beaches of Maputaland, culture and history of the Natal battlefields.

Garden Route: The Garden Route travels through both the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces.  On its journey between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, it edges along the Indian Ocean coastline where mountains crowd the shoreline, creating dramatic plunging cliffs.  And, miles of uncluttered beaches invite leisurely walks.  The route meanders through historic towns, alongside lakes and rivers into Tsitsikamma National Park, with its views of the muscular coastline. Ecosystems along the route range from a coastal plateau in a fertile area of lush greenery at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains to the edge of the Klein Karoo, a semi-arid region with towering mountains and gorges.  Oudtshoorn is the center for ostrich farming.

Kalahari Private Game Reserve: The Kalahari is not actually a desert, but rather a large semi-arid sandy savanna in southern Africa extending 900,000 square kilometers/350,000 square miles, covering much of Botswana, parts of Namibia and South Africa. The Kalahari is approximately 60 million years old, and supports more animals and plants than a true desert. There are small amounts of rainfall. Animals that have adapted to the extremely dry conditions in the Kalahari include meerkats, gemsbok (a large member of the antelope family), and the Kalahari lion. The Kalahari’s endemic wildlife species have adapted to survive many days without water, or to obtain water from plants. Reptiles also live in the Kalahari, including Cape cobras, puff adders, and rock monitors. Migratory birds and mammals can be found in the desert when adequate water is present. Kalahari Private Game Reserve in the Kalahari grasslands of the Northern Cape is the largest private game reserve in South Africa, and the historical home of the San Bushmen people.

Luxury Trains: South Africa is the home of two award-winning trains that offer unsurpassed luxury travel reminiscent of another era.  The Blue Train and Rovos Rail are each unique in their own way.  Rovos Rail offers a romantic, intimate experience with an ‘old style classic feel’ while the Blue Train offers similar luxury but with modern touches such as television in the rooms.  It’s a journey into a timeless world of grace, elegance and romance, where spectacular scenery stirs your imagination and luxurious comfort soothes your body.  Sit back, enjoy and relax!  Both are exceptional, so the choice is yours.

Malaria-Free Game Reserves and Grootbos Nature Reserve: Some of South Africa’s private game reserves have the benefit of being malaria free, important to families with young children or women who might be pregnant. Madikwe Game Reserve, for example, has lodges that include special safari activities for children such as learning to identify animal tracks. Game viewing includes lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and cheetah, Cape hunting dog, spotted hyena, giraffe, zebra and antelope. Grootbos is a private reserve renowned for its ecotourism and sustainability practices. It is spectacularly situated on the fynbos- and forest-clad hills of Walker Bay. Land-based whale watching is good here in season, generally May to December depending on species. The reserve’s Cape Fynbos Kingdom is a flora biodiversity hotspot with more than 740 different species of plants. Grootbos Nature Reserve has promoted its beauty, interpreted its intricate stories, and developed projects focused on conserving this exceptional natural region.

Private Game Reserves: Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, covering 19,485 square kilometers/7,523 square miles. Adjacent to Kruger are several leading private game reserves including Sabi Sands, Timbavati and Thorybush, which offer excellent game lodges and classic safari experiences.  They share open boundaries with Kruger, which is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere, an area designated by UNESCO as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve.  Each private reserve has its own distinctive style and personality, but all are powerful models of sustainable tourism in action.  The lodges and camps operate using environmentally friendly practices that help reduce any negative impact on the environment. They seek to insure conservation of biodiversity and preservation of the cultural heritage that includes benefits to the original local people.

 

Best Times to Travel to South Africa

  • Most of South Africa is subtropical, with temperatures warmed by ocean on three sides of the country, and the altitude of the interior plateau.  The best time to travel depends on your interests.
  • Spring lasts August to mid-October. Flowers are best seen August and September. Southern right whales migrate to the bays of the southern coast July to November.
  • Summer, mid-October to early March, is hot and sunny, with afternoon thunderstorms that clear quickly.
  • Autumn, mid-March to April, is a favorite time to visit when temperatures are comfortable.
  • Winter, May to July or August, in the Northern provinces is dry and sunny, with crisp days and cold nights;  but Cape Town is cool to warm with the possibility of rain.  May through August is the prime time for spotting game, when the foliage is less dense.  The high mountains in Drakensberg sometimes see snow in winter.

Suggested South Africa Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg is South Africa’s industrial and commercial hub.

Day 2: Johannesburg / Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Sabi Sands has premier viewing of Africa’s wildlife including the big five - elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and lion.

Days 3-4: Sabi Sands Game Reserve
The rhythm of safari life encompasses morning and afternoon games drives, guided bush walks, and bird watching.

Day 5: Sabi Sands Game Reserve / Kalahari Private Game Reserve
Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve in the Kalahari grasslands of the Northern Cape is the largest private game reserve in South Africa, and the historical home of the San Bushmen.

Days 6-8: Kalahari Private Game Reserve
Activities include game viewing, star gazing, exploring ancient rock paintings, and visiting and learning about colonies of engaging meerkats.

Day 9: Kalahari Private Game Reserve / Cape Town
Cradled by Table Mountain, Cape Town has immense charm and historical interest as well as a unique multi-cultural blend.

Day 10: Cape Town
Cosmopolitan Cape Town. Table Mountain, Cape Peninsula, Castle of Good Hope, Malay Quarter, Robbin Island are all on the menu.

Day 11: Cape Winelands
The Cape’s famous Winelands includes the historic towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek as well as wine tasting at local wine estates.

Day 12: Cape Peninsula
Cape Peninsula region features scenic Chapmans Peak, Cape of Good Hope National Park, the unique Cape Fynbos vegetation, and famous Cape Point Lighthouse with its stunning sea views.

Day 13: Cape Town / Depart

 

 

Custom Travel Options

Malaria-Free Game Reserves and Grootbos Nature Reserve (4 days)
South Africa’s private game reserves offer a variety of options to experience a classic big game safari, even with young children. Grootbos Nature Reserve is spectacularly situated on the fynbos- and forest-clad hills overlooking Walker Bay. Excellent whale watching can be done from land, sea or air.

Garden Route (4 days)
Historic towns, lakes, rivers, dramatic cliffs and beaches dot the route along the Indian Ocean before it turns inland.

KwaZulu Natal (3 days)
It is called the garden province and is the home of the Zulu nation, and offers a variety of excursions.

Private Game Reserves (4 days)
These game reserves play a vital role in the health of Southern Africa’s wildlife lands while providing quintessential big game safaris.

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  Approx. $750 - $3,000 per day.

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