If watching the World Cup on televsion put you in the mood for a holiday to South Africa, you are not alone. Interest in the country has greatly increased as those returning from
their visits raved about the country's natural beauty and the friendliness of its people. Before you plan your holiday to this diverse country follow these Top 10 tips and ensure your holiday adventure is one to remember, for all the right reasons...
1. Research the range of diverse experiences on offer well in advance of your planned departure dates to make sure you choose a holiday that meets your specific requirements. Indulging in a spot of escapism by reading up on your preferred locations and looking at photos is a wonderful way to whet your appetite.
2. Read Jock of the Bushveld by Percy Fitzpatrick before you travel. This iconic book is the first real book that almost every English-speaking South African parent reads to their children. With plenty of adventure combined with baboons, leopards, crocodiles, heroes and villains this easy read will warm you for your visit to Africa.
3. Go on Safari! A visit to South Africa wouldn't be complete without a visit to one of its mesmerising game reserves. The largest and most famous reserve is the Kruger National Park, similar in size to Wales and situated in the North East of South Africa. The Sabi Sands is arguably the best location for a luxury safari within the Kruger.
4. Splash out on your accommodation in South Africa as the favourable exchange rate with the South African Rand means you will need significantly less spending money compared to other destinations.
5. For most of us, we save all year round for our annual summer holiday. For financial peace-of-mind, make sure you only book with a travel company who is properly licensed e.g. by ATOL or TTA to ensure you are 100% protected.
6. Purchase your travel insurance before you book your holiday as you are generally entitled to a full refund if an unforeseen event prevents you from travelling.
7. Don't waste precious days of your all-too-short holiday sitting on a plane, especially if you are travelling with children. Take one of the many overnight flights to South Africa and enjoy your holiday from the moment you land. South Africa is no more than 2 hours ahead of GMT.
8. Don't take any risks – check with your GP at least 2 months ahead if you and your family require any specific vaccinations for the countries that you plan to visit. There are a number of malaria-free safari destinations if this is a particular concern – speak to an expert travel consultant who will advise you.
9. Travel off-peak to secure excellent rates if you are not restricted by school holidays. It may mean you can enjoy a luxury, 5-star experience, previously considered to be out-of-reach.
10. And most importantly of all... Only entrust your travel planning to a reliable, expert tour operator who has in-depth knowledge of your chosen destination.