CAPE TOWN: Great for families, couples and friends, solo travellers and LGBTQ+ travellers. Highlights of Cape Town include hiking to the top of magnificent Table Mountain; beach days at Camps Bay; witnessing African penguins at Boulders Beach; seasonal whale watching; visiting Cape Point; vibrant city culture and food scene.
GREATER KRUGER: Great for honeymooners, couples, families, solo travellers and groups. Highlights of the Kruger include sensational and up-close Big 5 game viewing; ultra-luxury safari lodges and conservation focused, private reserves and conservancies.
WINELANDS: Great for couples, friends, honeymooners and families. Highlights of the Winelands include farm-to-fork style cuisine; touring wine estates and wine tasting experiences; hiking, biking and horse riding trails and exploring charming towns with Cape Dutch architecture.
KWAZULU-NATAL: Great for adventure seekers, families, couples and friends. Highlights of Kwazulu-Natal include exploring varying landscapes like savannah, forests, beaches and mountains; enjoy year-round sunshine, easily combined safari and beach experiences and immersive Zulu culture.
GARDEN ROUTE: Great for couples, solo travellers and adventure seekers. Highlights include Plettenberg Bay's beautiful beaches; seasonal whale watching; breathtakingly scenic hiking trails and zip-lining in Tsitsikamma's Indigenous Forest.
WHALE ROUTE: Great for families, couples, friends and honeymooners. Highlights of the Whale Route include Hermanus Whale Festival; cosy seaside charm; shark cage diving; surfing and seasonal whale calving.
MADIKWE & THE NORTH: Great for families with young children and groups. Highlights of Madikwe include exploring diverse habitats like open plains, woodlands and rocky outcrops; conservation activities; malaria-free Big 5 game viewing and specialist family-friendly safari lodges.
BEST TIME TO VISIT SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa covers a vast expanse with a coastline spanning from the Atlantic to Indian oceans. This scale means South Africa is truly a year-round destination, with hot summer months perfect for exploring the outdoors and the drier winter months offering prime game viewing in safari regions. To ensure you have the best experience possible, it's important to time your journey around how you want to spend your days, what you want to see, what kind of safari experience you want, and of course what kind of weather you want to enjoy.
PEAK SEASON - November to March: South Africa is in the southern hemisphere making these the summer months and attracting the most visitors. It is also when locals take their extended holidays to travel within the country and school holidays fall during these months too. Enjoy long, sun-filled days when the beaches are busy, festivals take place and the cities come alive.
MID-SEASON - April to May and September to November: These are the respective Autumn and Spring seasons in South Africa, where visitors enjoy milder temperatures and less busy attractions. September to November is also a great time to visit the Western Cape for whale watching.
LOW SEASON - May to September: Typically considered low season for visitors to South Africa as the Western Cape is experiencing their Winter weather. However, certain regions are basking in ideal weather (with cold mornings and evenings), especially for safari including the Eastern Cape, Greater Kruger, Madikwe and the Northern Cape. The KwaZulu-Natal region also experience mild, enjoyable winters where you can still enjoy time at the coast.
South Africa is home to the Big 5 and sightings are most prolific in the Greater Kruger area. You can see iconic wildlife like elephant, leopard and lion, alongside rare wildlife like pangolin and African wild dog. The oceans surrounding South Africa as also rich in marine life, boasting populations of whales and sharks. See our 'Best Places to See Animals' travel guide for more information.
How long should I stay in South Africa?
How long you visit depends on what you want to do, your style of travel and where you want to go. To make the most of your time in South Africa, we would typically recommend a minimum of 12 days.
How much does it cost to travel to South Africa?
How much your South Africa trip will cost depends on where you go, when you go and where you stay. See our ‘How much does an African safari cost’ travel guide for more information on safaris, or get in touch with our travel experts who will be happy to help plan the perfect trip according to your budget.
What is the currency in South Africa?
The South African Rand (ZAR).
How safe is it to travel to South Africa?
As a travel destination, the risk of violent crime to visitors in areas of tourism interest is generally low. Just like if visiting any global developing country, it is important to adhere to guidance and safety precautions like not walking around at night and using legitimate forms of private transport.
What vaccinations do I need to travel to South Africa?
Vaccination requirements when travelling to South Africa depend on where you are travelling from and your passport nationality. Mahlatini clients receive a comprehensive booking pack which will advice all entry requirements for your South Africa trip, but we always recommend researching ahead of time. It is worth noting some of South Africa’s safari areas, like the Greater Kruger, require anti-malarial medication.
Trips To Inspire
Whether it’s a bucket-list adventure, a milestone celebration or simply a much-needed escape, experience the magic of South Africa with this inspiring selection of favourites for every type of traveller.