Cape Town & The Winelands
Fondly known as the Mother City, Cape Town is a true coastal metropolis steeped in history and vibrancy, encompassing the iconic Table Mountain, centuries-old architecture, modern design and a buzzing nightlife with phenomenal food and wine. If you’re after a thrill, head 100 miles south-west of Cape Town to the unspoilt coastline of Gansbaai, the best place in the world to get up-close-and-personal with the ocean’s top predator: the great white shark. If shark cage diving isn’t your thing, venture outside of the city to the vineyards of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch and sip on the best wine the continent has to offer.
The Garden Route
This beautiful stretch of coastline is an absolute must-see on any South African safari experience. The Garden Route is a 300 km stretch of the south-western coast of South Africa which extends from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape where Tsitsikamma National Park is located.
Along the journey, you can bungy jump off the Bloukrans Bridge (the highest in Africa), visit Addo Elephant Park (third-largest park in the country) and check out the spectacular sight of the Map of Africa near Kaaimans River Bridge, where the flow of the river has shaped a piece of land, lush with forest and mountains, resembling the African continent.
A slight detour off the route but worth it: head to Cape Agulhas to stand at the most southern tip of Africa where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.
Kruger National Park
A highlight on all safari-goers’ itineraries, this stretch of the country contains some of the most luxurious and modern safari lodges in South Africa. A region known for its lions, be prepared for up-close sightings of these big cats along with other iconic species such as elephant, leopard, rhino, cheetah, buffalo, giraffe, hippo and zebra.
Please note: Kruger is one of the most accessible parks in Africa, resulting in the park becoming overcrowded at times. If you’re after a more exclusive experience, consider heading to world renowned Sabi Sand – considered to be the richest land of wilderness on the continent.
The Great Karoo
The soul of South Africa, the Karoo (a Bushman word meaning ‘dry place’) is a vast, ancient seabed located near the Eastern Cape. A land that’s been home to the large dinosaur reptile bradysaurus, which thrived here over 250 million years ago, the footsteps of Africa’s first people, the Bushmen and the passage of millions of springbok on their migrations across the plains. Some may not appreciate the stark beauty of this desert land, but it’s a place full of wonders for those who do.
The place of the Zulu Kingdom and the land of the sugar cane and bananas, KwaZulu-Natal (known by locals as KZN) gives you a taste of local heritage and authentic African highlights. Home to the sub-tropical coastline of Durban and to The Battlefields Region where 63 battles took place during the 19th century between the Zulus, British and Boers, KZN may be overshadowed by the rest of South Africa. In our opinion, it’s a destination in its own right. Spot the Big Five in the continent’s oldest national reserve, Hluhluwe or head to the less explored region of Elephant Coast where you can track turtles and fish, scuba dive and enjoy a horse ride along the incredible stretch of coastline.
The spectacular Drakensberg Mountain Range, located in KwaZulu-Natal is the highest in South Africa and offers a wealth of activities within its incredible basalt landscape and towering sandstone cliffs. Home to the largest collection of San paintings in the world and endemic plants, the Drakensberg is a dream come true for every hiking enthusiast. Visitors can enjoy guided walks, fly fishing, rock climbing, extreme mountain biking and finish off their day with a swim in the crystal clear (and chilly) rivers.
Madikwe Game Reserve
In complete contrast to the better-known Kruger National Park in so many ways. Madikwe is run as a private enterprise, showing as some might say, the possibility of the private sector to successfully manage wilderness areas such as these. In addition to the excellent game viewing, the truly excellent standards of lodging and the logistical simplicity of arrival, Madikwe is in a position to boast being completely free of malaria.