South AfricaSouth Africa

Few places on earth offer such an alluring variety of gorgeous scenery, historical relevance, modern cities, and world-class wildlife viewing. While words may begin to describe the thrill of seeking out game in a private reserve, or the peaceful moment at dusk as the setting sun silhouettes Table Mountain against a purple sky, nothing beats witnessing all of it firsthand!

Tours & Packages

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Small Group Tour A Taste of South Africa
Scenic and historic Cape Town then 4 game drives in Entabeni Safari Conservancy; optional extension to Victoria Falls
from $2799 w/ Flights 8 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Best of South Africa
Johannesburg & Cape Town, 3 game drives in Kruger and a private conservancy, plus a bush walk; stay in upscale hotels throughout.
from $4099 w/ Flights 12 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Best of South Africa with Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls, Johannesburg & Cape Town, 3 game drives in Kruger and a private conservancy, plus a bush walk; stay in upscale hotels throughout.
from $5698 w/ Flights 15 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Highlights of Southern Africa
3 countries, 3 icons: Cape Town, jewel of South Africa; Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe with Zambezi River cruise; 4 world-class safaris in Chobe, Botswana; 1 day in Nairobi
from $3399 w/ Flights 11 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Incredible South Africa with Rovos Luxury Train
Johannesburg, 4 safaris in a Private Game Reserve, 2 nights aboard Rovos Luxury Train & Cape Town.
from $7399 w/ Flights 12 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Incredible South Africa with Rovos Luxury Train and Victoria Falls
Johannesburg, 4 safaris in a Private Game Reserve, 2 nights aboard Rovos Luxury Train, Cape Town and Victoria Falls.
from $8948 w/ Flights 16 days
per person, double occupancy*

Trip Reviews

Check out independent, verified reviews from real travelers on Feefo.

Highlights

  1. Kruger National Park Safari

    Lion family, Kruger National ParkTake a journey, beyond the familiar, on an unforgettable South African safari. Throughout the diverse landscape, Mother Nature reigns supreme. South Africa is home to more than 1,100 unique species of bird and mammal! Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves, offers visitors the chance to glimpse an incredible ecosystem as well as rare or endangered animals. The reserve is home to the Big 5: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes as well as cheetahs, giraffes and more.

  2. Johannesburg

    Johannesburg skylineKnown in Zulu as eGoli or “Place of Gold,” Johannesburg is the second largest city in Africa (after Cairo, Egypt). The city was founded in 1886 after gold was discovered in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range. Today, with a bustling night life and exploding restaurant scene JoBurg or Jozi (as it’s known to the locals) is a fantastic place to eat and drink, shop, and explore! It’s also known as the largest man-made urban forest in the world as the city’s government has planted more than 10 million trees to date in the bustling environment. Stops you can't miss (that are featured on our tours!) include: a tour of Soweto (short for Southwestern Township), the Apartheid Museum, and Lileslie Farm, were you will experience a first-hand account of the time when Nelson Mandela lived under an alias, and the events and circumstances leading up to the raid which ultimately led to his trial and incarceration on Robben Island. 

  3. Cape Town

    Camp's Bay, Cape TownCape Town, founded in 1652, is rich with history and culture. Notably, Nelson Mandala made his first public speech following his release from prison on the balcony of Cape Town’s City Hall. Tens of thousands of visitors each year take the short ferry trip to Robben Island, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to witness the place where Mandela served 18 years behind bars. In addition to touring the small prison island, visitors to Cape Town should make a point to indulge in the city’s vibrant food scene including some of the world’s best restaurants, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for shopping and entertainment, and hike one of the city’s adjacent natural parks.

  4. Table Mountain

    Table Mountain, Cape TownOverlooking Cape Town, Table Mountain’s dramatic and towering landscape draws thousands of tourists each year. At its highest point, this geological masterpiece, one of the world’s “New Seven Wonders of Nature,” rises 3,563 feet above sea level! Amazing vantage points can be accessed via the Table Mountain Cableway. Or, for the more adventurous traveler, Table Mountain boasts the world’s highest abseil (rappel) at 367 feet! In addition to stunning views, this diverse and bountiful ecosystem features more than 2,200 species of plants—many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Many of the plants species, found only in South Africa, have delicate or fine leaves and are referred to as “fynbos” foliage, which means “fine bush” or “fine forest.”

  5. Blyde River Canyon

    Bourke's Luck Potholes, Blyde River CanyonEvery inch of Blyde River Canyon’s 16 miles offers visitors a unique and unparalleled peek at the dramatic beauty of South Africa. Blyde is the third largest canyon in the world (behind the Grand Canyon in the U.S. and Fish River Canyon in Namibia), third deepest canyon in the world, and the greenest canyon in the world! From breathtaking views of rolling mountains, the Three Rondavels, God’s Window, and Bourke’s Luck Potholes, to the diversity of life that inhabits the canyon, including some primate species only found in South Africa—this is a must-see!

  6. Cape Winelands

    Cape winelandsNestled among South Africa’s mountains is a network of sweeping green valleys perfect for vineyards! The Cape Winelands, as this region is known, offers visitors an amazing opportunity to sip unique vintages, such as Pinotage, among rows of neatly planted grapes…set against a striking backdrop! Wine production here goes back to the late 1600’s. Today, quaint farmsteads dot the valleys and historic towns like Franschoek (known as South Africa’s foodie capitol), Paarl, and Groot Drakenstein provide endless opportunities to shop, dine, and drink!

  7. South African Beaches

    African penguins, Boulders BeachBeautiful blue waters and white sandy beaches are plentiful—and popular with tourists and locals alike! South African beaches provide endless relaxing and recreation all year long. In KwaZulu Natal, known as the “Garden Province”, you can even enjoy the beaches in winter! Cape Town has many famous white-sand beaches, Sea Point and Clifton to name a few. Boulders Beach, formed of inlets between granite boulders, is home to thousands of African penguins. In Hermanus, on the Western Cape in the heart of the whale route, shore-based whale watching delights visitors between June-late October as southern right whales leave the Antarctic waters to mate and calve in the warmer waters of the southern Cape. Hermanus has been called one of the twelve best whale watching locations in the world by the World Wildlife Fund!

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to South Africa? See everything you need to know before you go.

Overview

Capital: Pretoria (executive), Cape Town (legislative), Bloemfontein (judicial)
Population:  49 million 
Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)
Languages:  Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Swati, Tshivenda, Tsonga, North Sotho
Drives on the: Left
Time zone: GMT + 2

Entry requirements

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months after your return date from South Africa.

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter South Africa. However, all visitors are required to have two consecutive blank passport pages for each entry into South Africa. Note that some of our packages include multiple entries into South Africa. You may be denied entry if your passport does not have enough blank pages.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, please see the entry requirements.

For travelers arriving from a yellow fever endemic country, South Africa requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry. (This does not apply to most of our travelers, including anybody arriving from the U.S. or Canada.) Learn more.

More information about passport, visa & entry requirements.

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

Malaria is present in South Africa. Take precautions against getting mosquito bites, and talk to your doctor about taking a prescription medicine to prevent malaria (before, during and after your trip). Also ask your doctor about vaccinations for typhoid and hepatitis A and be sure you are up-to-date with other routine vaccinations like such as measles.

For travelers arriving from a yellow fever endemic country, South Africa requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry. (This does not apply to most of our travelers, including anybody arriving from the U.S. or Canada.) Learn more or locate a vaccination clinic in the U.S.

Find more information about health precautions when traveling to South Africa on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) site.

Weather

South Africa is located in the southern hemisphere and therefore has the reverse season to those of the U.S. The weather is temperate, and even during the winter time you’ll enjoy comfortable temperatures. Average daytime temperatures are in the 60’s and 70’s from April-Sept and in the 70’s and 80’s from Oct to March. Overnight temperatures are about 10-20 degrees cooler.

What to wear

We suggest bringing clothes made of cotton, preferably in neutral colors (especially for game drives). A hat, scarf, sunscreen and insect repellent are also valuable accessories for your trip. If you have two pairs of comfortable (broken in, not brand new) walking shoes, by all means, take both pairs. Since weather can be unpredictable anywhere in the world, and to be sure you are comfortable during your trip and prepared for all types of weather possibilities, we recommend that you carry a small folding umbrella (or poncho) and take with you a light jacket or sweater. Packing to dress in layers is another way to prepare for a variety of weather conditions. Finally, remember that the countries visited on this tour are casual, and comfort should dictate your wardrobe for the tour. Binoculars are also suggested.

Tipping

A small gratuity to your guides and drivers will be greatly appreciated by them. The recommended amount is $6-$8 per person per day for the Johannesburg, Cape Town and safari guides and $4-6 per person per day for your driver and safari game tracker. It is also common to leave a $1-$2 in the room for the maid service. While airport porterage of 1 suitcase per person is included, hotel porterage is not. We recommend a $1 tip to the hotel staff that brings your suitcase to the room. As always, gratuities are an individual expression of thanks and should be based on the level of service provided.

Money & Credit Cards

South Africa’s local currency is the South African Rand. Hotels and some stores in South Africa accept major credit cards; however, for "street shopping" you will need local currency. You will be able to exchange your cash to local currency at foreign exchange bureaus in South Africa, located in malls, airports, and on the streets. Most charge a commission. Hotel front desks will almost always exchange money for you, but the exchange rate is usually not as favorable. We highly recommend you bring crisp, new bills in small denominations; old, torn, crumpled bills may not be accepted. Travelers’ checks are no longer widely accepted.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.

Shopping

Your guides will suggest some favorite shopping places, where the vendors are known, provide good quality merchandise and probably pay some sort of commission from sales to the guide. This should not surprise or offend you, as this is how business is done throughout the world; however, please be aware of this when you shop, especially if you are buying jewelry or other valuable items. If you plan to buy jewelry or other expensive items, be sure to inspect the items before you leave the store. Most stores will not allow you to return or exchange purchased items.

Electricity & Power Adapters

220/230 volts. Plug M. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit before your South African vacation.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Photography

Cameras and video recorders are permitted, and photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will be available in major cities.

Did you know?
  • South Africa has three distinct capitals: Pretoria (administrative and executive), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial). Johannesburg is regarded as the country’s unofficial economic capital! 
  • South Africa’s flag is in the only one in the world with no emblems or insignia and six different colors! And their national anthem is the only one with five languages!
  • Mohandas K. Gandhi (later Mahatma Gandhi) once practiced law in Durban, South Africa. In 1893 he was evicted from a “whites only” train carriage, an incident that propelled his career in politics.
  • South Africans often affectionately abbreviate city names! Locally, Johannesburg is Jozi, Durban becomes Durbs, and Cape Town is warmly referred to as the Mother City.
  • On the same language lines, South African slang is particularly colorful! For example, traffic lights are called Robots and elevators are referred to as lifts. Read more about South Africa slang over on the blog!  

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