South Africa trip ideas
South Africa is a land of contrasts, from the untamed wilderness of the Karoo to the glittering skyline of Cape Town.
Visitors are truly spoilt for choice with so many regions to discover, but our specialists have extensive experience here and have carefully devised a range of itinerary ideas to give you a flavour of what is possible and what works particularly well on a tailor-made holiday. These include a tour of the Winelands, a self-drive route through the Eastern Cape and the chance to learn about traditional Zulu culture in KwaZulu Natal.
Ideas for your trip to South Africa
These itineraries are designed to give you some suggestions for what is possible when you travel in South Africa, and they showcase some of the routes that we’ve found work particularly well. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely for you by one of our specialists based on your particular tastes and interests.
Enjoy the museums, restaurants and shops of Cape Town.
Take a cable car up to the top of Table Mountain for incredible views of the city below.
Visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned during apartheid.
Enjoy a full day guided tour of the Cape Point and Peninsula and see the jackass penguin colony on Boulders Beach.
Indulge in fine food to accompany the great wines of Franschhoek and the surrounding vineyards.
Tour the Cape Peninsula with a private guide - explore Cape Point and spot African penguins on Boulders Beach.
Drive through incredible scenery and visit charming towns along the Garden Route.
See whales off Plettenberg Bay (July - November) and spot seals and dolphins all year round.
Enjoy guided game drives on an Eastern Cape safari, looking out for the Big Five.
Take a guided walking tour of Cape Town and visit Robben Island.
Hike or take the cable car up Table Mountain for views over the city, mountains and ocean.
Track wildlife such as elephant, cheetah and wild dogs in Kruger’s Sabi Sand Wildtuin reserve.
See, hear and feel the spray of Victoria Falls from a boat, helicopter or micro light.
Enjoy a shared tour of the magnificent Cape Point and Cape Peninsula.
Take a private tour of Robben Island to learn about South Africa’s apartheid history.
Go wine tasting at the various estates in and around Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.
Enjoy game drives in a private nature reserve, looking for zebra, wildebeest and antelope.
Relax and stroll on the beach in the laid-back coastal town of Paternoster.
Soak up the art and culture of Durban and sample local Afro-Indian delicacies.
Relax at a countryside retreat in the Midlands, taking leisurely strolls along the river.
Find out about the history of the Battlefields, touring the sites with a knowledgeable guide.
Go hiking, horse riding or mountain biking in the Drakensberg Mountains.
Drive along the Panorama Route for incredible views over the Drakensberg Escarpment.
Stay in a luxurious lodge in the private Sabi Sand Wildtuin reserve.
See the Big Five on morning, afternoon and evening game drives in the Kruger.
Head out on bush walks with a knowledgeable guide to learn more about the area's wildlife.
Visit local artisans and sample some of the excellent food on offer in the Natal Midlands.
Follow hiking trails independently or with a guide in the striking Drakensberg Mountains.
Discover the history of the Battlefields area on a guided tour of two battle sites.
Spot the Big Five on morning and afternoon game drives in Zululand Rhino Reserve.
Hike up to the summit of Table Mountain for sweeping views over the city and ocean.
Learn about Cape Town’s chequered history on a private guided walking tour.
Indulge in wine tasting at some of the award-winning estates in the Winelands region and go on a walking tour of the historical town of Stellenbosch.
Take relaxing strolls along Plettenberg Bay’s golden sands and enjoy whale and dolphin spotting.
Spot the Big Five and other wildlife species on safari in Addo Elephant National Park.
Track the Big Five during morning and afternoon game drives in Sabi Sand Wildtuin.
Follow the Panorama Route to Hazyview, taking in valleys, waterfalls and canyons.
Relax on the white-sand beaches of Mozambique’s Machangulo Peninsula.
Have a picnic on a secluded island and go snorkeling, fishing, diving and kayaking.
Track the Big Five on twice daily game drives.
Discover the 350 bird species found within the Kruger National Park.
Enjoy a scenic transfer and marvel at the breathtaking views on the Panorama Route.
Kayak, dive and snorkel in Mozambique's warm Indian Ocean waters.
Explore South Africa's lesser known west coast.
Visit pretty seaside fishing villages.
Drive through mountains, deserts and wild flowers.
Learn about local culture and history with San Bushmen.
Hike the world's second largest canyon.
Enjoy views across Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain and tour Robben Island.
Explore the Cape Peninsula and go wine tasting in the Winelands on two private tours.
Spot the Big Five on a luxury safari in a private game reserve within the Kruger.
Admire one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, visiting Zambia’s Victoria Falls.
Get up close to the Big Five in Kruger.
Enjoy a boma dinner in the African bush.
Relax on Mozambique's idyllic beaches.
Admire the Bazaruto Archipelago's marine life.
Discover Cape Town’s history and culture on a private walking tour and Robben Island visit.
See African penguins and stroll through the Kirstenbosch Gardens on a Cape Peninsula tour.
Spend a day wine tasting in the Cape Winelands.
Journey across South Africa aboard the Rovos Rail, visiting lesser-known areas of the country.
End with a Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands Wildtuin private reserve, bordering the Kruger.
Explore Cape Town’s history and coastline and admire the city from the summit of Table Mountain.
Track big game in Botswana and see smaller creatures on a guided bush walk.
Take in the sights and sounds of the Okavango Delta on a peaceful mokoro trip.
Admire the natural spectacle of Victoria Falls from the air and visit nearby villages and markets.
Beach itineraries with a touch of exploration
These trip ideas, from our Hidden Beaches collection, are our answer if you’re looking to relax but still want to explore. Each itinerary combines time at one of our hand-picked beach properties with a few days spent either on safari, taking in a city, discovering the local culture or hopping to the next beach. These itineraries are just suggestions, and a specialist will plan your holiday individually.
Beach + Wildlife or Scenery
Spend an exciting few days on safari in South Africa before flying over to Mauritius for a relaxing week in a charming, boutique hotel.
13 Days from £3,265pp
3 nights nThambo Camp, including Full Board and game drives; 1 night Johannesburg airport hotel; 7 nights Seapoint Boutique Hotel including half board and excursions detailed. Includes flights and transfers.View this itinerary
Beach + Wildlife or Scenery
Enjoy a fantastic safari in South Africa followed by relaxation at the beautiful 5* Constance Le Prince Maurice Resort in Mauritius.
13 Days from £4,465pp
3 nights Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, all-inclusive, including safari activities; 7 nights Constance Le Prince Maurice, including half board and excursions detailed. Includes flights and transfersView this itinerary
Beach + Wildlife or Scenery
A perfect combination of 'Big 5' safari in the Sabi Sands and ultimate relaxation at the Oberoi in Mauritius.
13 Days from £7,155pp
3 nights Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, all-inclusive including game viewing; 7 nights The Oberoi Beach Resort Mauritius, half board. Includes flights and transfers.View this itinerary
Some of our favourite travel guides
South Africa offers some of the continent's premier wildlife destinations, such as the private reserves of the famous Greater Kruger Park. The country is also home to the largest number of places where you have an opportunity to see the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo).View this travel guide
Cape Town is a fantastic, cosmopolitan city with a superb location under Table Mountain. Any trip to South Africa is likely to include a few days here and our specialists can advise you on the many things you can see and do in this iconic city.View this travel guide
South Africa's wine is world-renowned and there are a number of tours you can include in a tailor-made trip of South Africa that allow you to sample these tasty tipples. Our specialists are able to recommend suitable vineyards for you to explore based on your own taste.View this travel guide
The swathe of country stretching from the Kruger Park in the east to the Botswana border in the west is known as Madikwe and the North. It is home to some of South Africa's most dramatic scenery, Johannesburg and Pretoria, and the remote Madikwe Game Reserve.View this travel guide
The annual migration of southern right whales to South Africa’s coast creates a flurry of excitement around Walker Bay, where the whales come to have their young. From boat trips to coastal walks and whale festivals, South Africa specialist Jaanki shares her whale-watching tips.View this travel guide
Within easy driving distance of Cape Town are the valleys of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, also known as the Winelands. If you enjoy a nice Merlot or Chardonnay, our specialists can help you to plan a trip that includes a visit to this area of South Africa.View this travel guide
Whether you’re on a self-drive safari in Kruger National Park or enjoying guided activities in a private reserve, South Africa’s Greater Kruger offers some of the densest wildlife populations on the continent. Safari specialist Andrew outlines your options for a Kruger safari.View this travel guide
The Cape Region is the perfect introduction to South Africa with places such as Cape Town, the Winelands and Walker Bay, where you can see migrating whales. Equally famous is the Garden Route, a scenic stretch of coastline some 300 kilometres long.View this travel guide
Spot the Big Five from your own plunge pool, embark on a tour of Cape Town's harbour aboard a private yacht, or hire your own photographer guide to improve your photography skills; we've plenty of ideas for making sure your tailor-made trip in South Africa is truly luxurious.View this travel guide
For intrepid couples with a sense of adventure, South Africa can be an ideal fit for a honeymoon. South Africa specialist, Toby, discusses the country’s best experiences for honeymooners, from Big Five safaris to wine tasting and scaling Table Mountain.View this travel guide
- South Africa safaris: our guide to the parks & reserves
- What to do in Cape Town
- Wine tours of South Africa
- Madikwe and the North
- Whale watching in South Africa
- Wine regions of South Africa
- Safaris in South Africa’s Greater Kruger Area
- The Cape Region & Winelands
- Luxury holidays in South Africa
- Honeymoons in South Africa