South Africa Safaris

Sample Safaris in South Africa

Many members of staff at Mahlatini are South African and have grown up visiting the many game reserves that the country has to offer. With this expert knowledge we will help and advise you on the best choice of safari for your South African holiday.

Please find below a few sample safaris within South Africa

Below are a set of sample itineraries to give you a flavour of each destinations highlights in terms of properties and attractions. Our travel specialists will listen to your requirements and tailor a bespoke itinerary to match your specific preferences and budget.

Luxury Cape Town, Winelands and Garden Route Holiday  image 1 Luxury Cape Town, Winelands and Garden Route Holiday  image 2

for 13 nightsfrom £1,185 per adult

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • South Africa

This sample holiday is a self drive trip taking in Cape Town, the Winelands region and the Garden Route with an option for a 3 day safari extension at Kwandwe Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape. The accommodation throughout is top class, perfect for those wanting to travel in style.

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
3 nights
Cape Town
2 nights
Winelands
2 nights
Hermanus
3 nights
Knysna
3 nights
Eastern Cape Game Reserves
Luxury Cape Town and Kruger Safari  image 1 Luxury Cape Town and Kruger Safari  image 2

for 10 nightsfrom £2,505 per adult

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • South Africa

This holiday is the ultimate in luxury and combines a stay in Cape Town and the winelands with a safari in a private reserve in the Greater Kruger Park. The Cape portion is a self drive holiday, however, should you prefer to be transferred this can easily be arranged. The safari element is a fly in safari.

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
4 nights
Cape Town
2 nights
Winelands
4 nights
Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Cape Town, Winelands and Kruger Park Safari   image 1 Cape Town, Winelands and Kruger Park Safari   image 2

for 10 nightsfrom £880 pp sharing

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • South Africa

This sample holiday allows the visitor to combine a 10 night stay in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands with a Kruger Safari. This routing, or indeed the accommodation options, is not set in stone, merely an example of how you may like to spend your time. 

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
4 nights
Cape Town
2 nights
Winelands
4 nights
Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Cape Town and Garden Route Holiday  image 1 Cape Town and Garden Route Holiday  image 2

for 13 nightsfrom £450 pp sharing

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • South Africa

This South Africa holiday combines a typical self drive Cape Town and Garden Route trip with an optional 3 night safari in the Eastern Cape at the end. The routing is not set in stone and the accommodation choices provided are simply ideas, we will personally tailor your trip for you.

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
3 nights
Cape Town
2 nights
Winelands
2 nights
Oudtshoorn
3 nights
Knysna
3 nights
Eastern Cape Game Reserves
Kruger Park Walking Safari   image 1 Kruger Park Walking Safari   image 2

for 3 nightsfrom £260 pp sharing

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • South Africa

These walking safaris in the Kruger Park run every Mon-Fri (5 day / 4 night) and every Fri-Mon (4 day / 3 night). Accommodation is in exclusive unfenced tented camps. Each safari is accompanied by one or two experienced and armed rangers and each camp is serviced by a chef.

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
3 nights
Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Cape Town, Victoria Falls & Botswana Holiday  image 1 Cape Town, Victoria Falls & Botswana Holiday  image 2

for 12 nightsfrom £2,365 pp sharing

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • South Africa
  • Zambia
  • Botswana

This twin centre holiday begins in the Cape region of South Africa. From here it is time to experience Zambia's famous Victoria Falls before venturing into Botswana's Okavango Delta and the Linyanti / Savute regions for your safari.

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
3 nights
Cape Town
2 nights
Winelands
2 nights
Livingstone
2 nights
Linyanti & Savute
3 nights
Okavango Delta
Safari, Cape Town & Cruise image 1 Safari, Cape Town & Cruise image 2

for 16 nightsfrom £4,800 pp sharing

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • South Africa
  • Cruise

Combine 3 very unique elements of safari, a Cape Town city break and a cruise on the luxurious Silver Wind.  The 10 nights on the ship will have you explore the Cape coast and the Indian Ocean east coast of South Africa and Mozambique.   

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
3 nights
Thornybush Nature Reserve
3 nights
Cape Town
10 nights
Silversea
Luxury Cape Town and Zimbabwe Twin Centre image 1 Luxury Cape Town and Zimbabwe Twin Centre image 2

for 8 nightsfrom £2,930 per adult

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

 

This sample twin centre itinerary includes a 4 night stay in a luxury hotel in Cape Town, South Africa and this is combined with an exclusive safari in Zimbabwe’s Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve staying at the award winning Singita Pamushana Lodge.

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
4 nights
Cape Town
4 nights
Malilangwe Reserve
Cape Town and Namibia Self Drive Holiday  image 1 Cape Town and Namibia Self Drive Holiday  image 2

for 13 nightsfrom £1,605 pp sharing

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • Namibia
  • South Africa

Experience the highlights of Namibia visiting Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland and Etosha National Park before flying to the fabulous city of Cape Town where you spend the last 4 nights.

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
1 night
Windhoek
2 nights
Sossusvlei & the Namib Desert
2 nights
Swakopmund
1 night
Damaraland & Kaokoland
2 nights
Etosha National Park
1 night
Okonjima
4 nights
Cape Town

Contact Mahlatini for your personalised Safari to South Africa

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Where to go in South Africa

In the past wildlife had been protected in national reserves but private game reserves started to spring up in the 1990’s to cater for the demand for the 'Big 5 safari' experience. Now you can experience a quality safari in almost any part of South Africa.

Usually the area you chose is determined by season and what other aspects of the country you want to incorporate in your trip. For example, if you are doing a self-drive Cape Town and Garden Route holiday and you want to add on a safari, the most accessible region would be the Eastern Cape. This malaria-free area boasts famous game reserves such as Shamwari, Amakhala and Kwandwe and offer great opportunities to see all the Big 5 animals (lion, buffalo, rhino, elephant and leopard).

If you are heading to the warm Indian Ocean beaches of Durban and KwaZulu Natal and you want to incorporate a safari, then there are numerous national parks and private game reserves offering game viewing of a very high standard. The most popular of these private reserves are Phinda and Thanda.

If Sun City is the focus of your trip you can incorporate a safari at its neighbouring game reserve Pilanesberg. Families in particular are drawn to the game reserve of Madikwe, approximately 4 hour's drive from Johannesburg. This is largely because is it a malaria free game reserve.

If you are only visiting South Africa for a few days before flying on to another destination you may choose the Welgevoden Reserve due to its close proximity to Johannesburg.

It is the the Kruger Park, however, for which South Africa is most known. The the Kruger Park is one of THE best places in the country, and indeed Africa, for sightings of the Big 5. It is also the oldest game reserve on the continent having been established in 1898. The Kruger area itself is divided into the National Park and the private game reserves forming the Greater Kruger on its western borders. The National Park can be visited by anyone in their own or hired vehicle whereas the private reserves offer exclusive ranger led safaris.

All safari areas in South Africa are offer excellent game sightings and the staff at Mahlatini will best be able to advise you on which experience would best suit your requirements.

Contact Mahlatini to arrange your safari holiday to South Africa

When to go on a Safari in South Africa

The great thing about a safari in South Africa is that there is no ‘bad’ time to go. As is the case with safari across Africa, the dry season which runs from June to September generally is the favoured time to travel. This is because the grasses are lower and animals tend to congregate around water sources, making them easier to spot. During the winter months in general you can expect chilly mornings and evenings but very warm and sunny days. The added advantage of doing a safari in South Africa during these months is that, unlike the rest of Africa these months are South Africa’s low season making the trip more affordable.

The summer months do bring rains with them but these are generally welcome afternoon showers. With the ‘green season’ comes the birth of the baby animals and the migrant birds start to arrive. The bush is full of life and by no means is your safari experience diminished. Temperatures can be very hot during these months; however, most safari lodges have air conditioning and fans. The months of Oct to Mar are generally the high season for all safari lodges in South Africa.

Contact Mahlatini to organise your safari holiday to South Africa

What to Expect on Safari

On the whole, most safari lodges in South Africa work under the same format. The per-night rate includes twice daily game drives, all meals and some include drinks as well. Every morning starts with a wake-up call around 5:30am (depending on the time of year). After a quick cup of tea or coffee you will meet your driver guide and other guests and climb onto your open 4x4 vehicle to start your morning game drive. These game drives normally last approximately 3 hours during which time you will also stop for some hot drinks and snacks en route. Mornings and evenings are the best time to try to catch sightings of the animals so ensure that you have your binoculars and cameras at the ready. Some vehicles also come with a tracker guide who will sit at the very front of the vehicle looking for animal tracks. Most South African guides will have radios and will communicate with other guides in the area to ensure you do not miss out on the best sightings.

At around 10am you will be returned to the lodge for a breakfast / brunch. You will spend the middle of the day relaxing by the pool, reading or sleeping. If you are feeling energetic you may decide to go on a bush walk if this is offered.

The afternoon game drive normally commences around 3 or 4pm with tea at the lodge. As the sun starts to fade the bush takes on a different look and excitement starts to build as the nocturnal animals begin to show themselves and the predators become more active. As the sun starts to set your driver will pick a nice spot and allow you off the vehicle for ‘sundowners’. Sundowners are a South African tradition of drinking while the sun sets. Out of a cooler box will come gin and tonics, wines, beers and cool drinks as well as various snacks. Following this, the spot lights will come on and you will be experiencing a true night drive.

Generally you will return to camp around 7 or 8pm where you will experience a lovely meal usually around a camp fire under the stars.

This is the routine normally followed by the safari lodges in South Africa. Some may offer a few more activities such as walks or boat trips. Due to the repetitive nature of the experience we recommend no more than 4 nights in one lodge, unless this is a second or third safari.

Contact Mahlatini to arrange your safari to South Africa

Private Game Reserves

Since the breakdown of Apartheid in the early 1990's, tourists have been flooding to South Africa to explore its natural heritage and interesting cities. In the past wildlife had been protected in national reserves but private game reserves started to spring up to cater for the demand for the 'Big 5 safari' experience. In areas where wildlife had once roamed free, but had then been eliminated to make way for agriculture, farmers saw an opportunity to re-develop their vast farm lands into protected wildlife reserves. These have become the private reserves of South Africa.

National Parks or Reserves can be visited by anyone in their own vehicle as long as a park fee is paid. Many of the national parks have reasonably priced ‘parks authority’ lodges on them which are generally frequented by South Africans or budget travellers. At certain times of the year these parks can become very crowded. There are some private areas known as concessions within some of the national parks where there is restricted access.

The private reserves differ in that they will only allow access to guests staying at their lodges and camps. These are the safaris generally favoured by international tourists. Each lodge will have a concession within the private game reserve in which it may conduct its drives. The advantage of this is that at any one time you will share any game sighting with a maximum of around 3 other vehicles making it a more intimate affair. In private reserves guides can go 'off -road' allowing very 'up close' and personal encounters with the animals. Some private reserves can also conduct walking safaris and night drives as well.

The most famous and in our opinion best of these private reserves in South Africa is the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger. Often people say they did a safari in the Kruger but they actually mean they stayed within the private reserve of the Sabi Sands which borders the Kruger National Park (no fences).

Contact Mahlatini for your personalised Safari to South Africa

Why safari in South Africa?

A few of the many reasons people choose South Africa:

  • South Africa is one of the best known safari destinations in Africa.
  • South Africa is one the best places on the continent for up close sightings of the Big 5 animals (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant).
  • For well over one hundred years South Africans have been conserving their wildlife and natural heritage and have become world leaders in the conservation of endangered animals.
  • A Safari in South Africa can very easily be combined with a city break or a beach stay, allowing for a more diverse holiday experience.
  • The accommodation and service on offer in the country is arguably the best on the continent, with an array of luxury appealing to honeymooners and those seeking an exclusive getaway.
  • Many members of staff at Mahlatini are South African and have grown up visiting the many game reserves that the country has to offer. With this expert knowledge we will help and advise you on the best choice of safari for your South African holiday.

Contact Mahlatini to arrange your safari holiday to South Africa

Customer Review

Honeymoon to South Africa and Mauritius during May 2011

Customer Review

The whole honeymoon was amazing, the highlights were definitely the 4 days safari and probably the wine tasting in stellenbosh.

Rated... 5stars

Signed:

Miss Hanna Ellison

South Africa Factfile

Timezone:
EAT (UTC+2)
Language:
English, local languages
Currency:
South African Rand
Best time:
Year round destination
Flights:
9 hours from Europe
Visas:
Not needed for many Europeans, call for info
Weather:
Click here for weather information

Sample Itineraries

Destinations:
Holiday Type:
Budget pp:
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Kruger Safari Lodges

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