As one of the few tour operators with a base in both the UK and South Africa and a host of native team members- we know the real South Africa better than most. Expert local knowledge, insider tips and long-standing relationships with leading properties are just some of the reasons why we create the most authentic and distinctive South African journeys.
South Africa is known as 'a world in one country' which is why many of us choose to return. With most travellers ticking off two or three of SA's must-see regions in their first visit (Cape Town, Winelands or the Kruger), we have hand picked some of our favourite destinations and experiences which are perfect for those who want to dive deeper into South Africa and experience a more off-the-beaten-track, authentic journey.
With various malaria free safari locations and lodges with expert family guides, South Africa is the perfect place for younger wildlife enthusiasts to experience the wonder of safari.
For Big 5 game viewing and activities designed specifically for children, we recommend KwaZulu-Natal, Madikwe region and Waterberg plateau. Still very much hidden-gems, these safari areas benefit from lesser tourism numbers than the Kruger, but still boast excellent game-viewing opportunities and indulgent, yet family-friendly, lodges and camps.
Chances are if you have previously been on a safari in South Africa, you visited the Kruger National Park, but this doesn't mean you've seen all there is on offer. Rediscover untouched and remote areas, offering a more exclusive experience. Perhaps being one-to-one with mother nature in a Lion Sands Treehouse as you spend the night elevated over the bush, falling asleep under the star-filled sky to the chorus of your wildlife neighbours. Or explore the KZN region on foot or horse back under the watch of your expert guides from your Phinda lodge.
The largest private game reserve in South Africa, Tswalu Kalahari is a magnificent expanse of pristine wilderness. One of the most remote and exclusive safari experiences, only 30 guests at any one time are permitted to stay inside the reserve assuring absolute privacy and the chance to have the Kalahari all to yourself. The perfect combination of incredible diversity of wildlife and indulgent accommodation with impeccable service.
Wildlife enthusiasts are spoilt in SA as it is home to not only the Big 5 on land but the Marine Big 5 - Southern Right Whale, Great White Shark, Cape Fur Seal, African Penguin and Dolphin.
Experience some of South Africa's most impressive scenery in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. Rediscover South Africa in this area of outstanding natural beauty, boasting crystal lakes teeming with fish, a diversity of wildlife, including otters and eland, and skies ruled by eagle-eyed raptors. Characterised by scenic grandeur, the Drakensburg boasts activities that will satisfy the most adventurous of us - mountain climbing, horse-riding, hiking trails and there's around 35,000 San Rock paintings to satisfy the cultural appetite.
One of our favourite places to celebrate the more undiscovered beauty of the Western Cape is Grootbos. Tucked away between mountain, forest and sea, conservation is at the heart of the experiences in this pristine wilderness. Explore the unique fynbos-filled land with botanical tours and horse-back rides; witness the Marine Big 5 in their natural habitat on a marine safari or watch it all from above on a scenic flight taking off from Grootbos' own private airstrip.
South Africa has a rich and turbulent history, which is showcased with passion and sensitivity in many museums and historical sites across South Africa. While these sites are definitely worth seeing, if you have been to South Africa before chances are you have already ticked off the most popular, such as Robben Island. But there is still a wealth of cultural activities to do that give a real feel for the soul of South Africa.
Cape Town is the most iconic city in South Africa and usually a stop on a first time visit to SA. Beneath the usual tourist hot spots, Capetonians have a rich culture of music, art, food and a love of the outdoors. With an office based in Cape Town and a South African co-founder, we have local expertise and insider tips on the best spots in Cape Town to truly immerse yourself in Capetonian culture. Explore the trendy Woodstock neighbourhood, packed with funky art galleries, local brewery bars and delicatessens. Or, take time out to visit the Kirstenbosch Open Air Cinema, watching a classic movie in an outdoor, picturesque setting.
Cosmopolitan Durban is sometimes overlooked in favour of Cape Town, but it is a cultural hub with an unmistakable Asian feel, reflected in its marketplaces and cuisine. Set along an Indian Ocean coastline, Durban is a window to the outstanding aquatic life and a wonderful destination to soak up the SA lifestyle in a vibrant city. Art lovers can choose from the city's many art galleries, including Etchings Art Gallery which boasts collections from both established and new artists. Or, history enthusiasts and horticulturalists alike will be thrilled with a visit to Durban Botanical Gardens, Africa's oldest surviving botanical garden featuring a collection of pre-dinosaur, living fossil plants.
Johannesburg , Jo-burg or The City of Gold - whatever you choose to call it, this spirited city has much to offer cultured travellers. From distinctive cuisine, historic sites, galleries, museums and more, it isn't difficult to find enriching experiences in Johannesburg. Neighbourgoods Market is a source of speciality foods, goods and an authentic way to be inspired by the energy of the city. Or, immerse yourself in the history of Soweto with a township tour learning about how the area has become a vibrant, trend setting place of historic significance.
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