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Top Trip Memories

  • Spotting the Big Five – lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and Cape buffalo -- while on safari tour in Kruger National Park.
  • Riding a horse through Kwa Madwala, a private game reserve near Kruger, while gawking at zebra, giraffes, and other big game.
  • Taking in the panorama from the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, preceded by a thrilling cable car ride up.
  • Touring the prison and jail cells where the late president Nelson Mandela was held on Robben Island near Cape Town during the apartheid era.
  • Discovering a surprising piece of the country’s racial past at the District 6 Museum in Cape Town, which documents the history of an area that was fully integrated until going “white only” in the 1950s.
  • Journeying to the Boulders Penguin Colony outside Cape Town for an up-close view of African penguins molting on the beach.
  • Getting a real taste of local life touring one of the townships in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town.
  • Marveling at mountains, forests and waterfalls along the Panorama Route, one of South Africa’s most famous scenic drives.
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Tour Tips

  • South Africa is a big country, rich in attractions and activities. Allow at least a week and preferably two for your first tour – which will only whet your appetite for more.
  • South Africa train travel tours can be a highlight in itself. Tour companies can organize excursions on a restored steam train, Rovos Rail, travelling between Pretoria and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, as well as between Pretoria and Cape Town. Or ride the luxurious Blue Train, which rides the rails between Pretoria and Cape Town, and Pretoria and Durban.
  • Consider tours that include the world-famous annual run (from May-July) of millions of sardines along the east coast of the country in the KwaZulu-Natal region. The sardines cause a feeding frenzy that attracts thousands of sharks, dolphins, whales, birds and other ocean predators.
  • While most of South Africa is malaria-free, it is present year-round in Kruger National Park and the low-lying areas of northern KwaZulu-Natal. Travel operators can arrange safaris in many malaria-free game reserves, such as Madikwe or Pilanesberg in North West province, the Waterberg in Limpopo, or private reserves in the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape.
  • Looking for an unusual “lodging” adventure? If you’re customizing your trip, ask your travel provider to arrange an overnight stay in a cave in the Drakensberg mountains. Marble Baths Cave, Sherman’s Cave, Spare Rib Cave, Nutcracker Cave and Sleeping Beauty Cave are just some of the caves that allow such stays.
  • South Africa is known for its flora as well as its fauna – the country’s Cape Floral Region contains a fifth of the flora on the African continent. If you like viewing plant life, look for tours that include visits to gardens, forests and nature preserves.
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South Africa Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.7 out of 5

100%

recommend

1,108 Reviews

  • Excellent 804
  • Great 291
  • Average 10
  • Disappointing 2
  • Terrible 1

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.7
  • Guide
    4.7
  • Activities
    4.7
  • Lodging
    4.7
  • Transportation
    4.7
  • Meals
    4.7

Tour Reviews

South Africa Trails of the Garden Route

South Africa: Trails of the Garden Route

5.0
April 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
The tour was excellent. The walks were all different and the planning was fantastic. Our guide Eugene was great and had a huge amount of knowledge to share with us. Toulei our driver was also excellent. Apart from being a great driver he brought a positive spirit to the group every day.
Walking into the Cape Point carpark after 6 hours of hiking with the final destination always in sight, but so far away, was incredibly satisfying.

Excellent. A great guy, with so much knowledge to share and so much patience for us all. Thank you Eugene

Carry extra water on the Alexandria Trail, especially if it is hot. You will need it.

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South Africa: Trails of the Garden Route

South Africa: Trails of the Garden Route

5.0
April 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
An energetic hugely enjoyable trip along the southern coast of South Africa. Lots of walking, some quite strenuous, game drive and viewing, with some wine and beer tasting as well. A real insight into this delightful country with its beautiful landscapes and friendly diverse peoples.
There were many, but reaching the top of Table Mountain and walking out onto the very tip of Africa at the Cape of Good Hope probably came top of the list!

Eugene was an amazing resource for us. Every question we asked, be it about the flora, fauna, countryside, food, traditions politics etc. he always had an informed and informative answer which he was delighted to share. He has a genuine love for his country and wanted us to understand why.

Make sure you are fit, there are some long hard walks (interspersed with gentler days on the coach, or tasting wine!)
There is one night when the group hikes to a refuge to spend the night, this involves carrying a sleeping bag, just for that day. When we went it was very warm and a liner with maybe a warm top and leggings would have be perfectly adequate and saved lugging a sleeping bag around for the whole holiday. (All be it in the back of the trailer after the night out)

A super holiday, with better than usual accommodation which was a pleasing surprise. Going to the southern hemisphere in our winter is always a good idea and this trip ticked all the boxes for us: active, interesting, comfortable, safe but with a certain degree of challenge thrown in

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Johannesburg to Cape Town AZJ

Johannesburg to Cape Town

5.0
March 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
The game drives were fun as we never knew what we would come across, e.g. white rhinos crossing the road and elephants with calves... There were beautiful national parks but different highlight(s) every day with ever-changing scenery - amazing views e.g. at Cape of Good Hope and panorama from Table Mountain. Swaziland was charming.
Seeing hippos play-fighting in Lake St Lucia.

Marvellous - Petro was hard-working, fun, patient and more, ably assisted by Andrew, equally good, and both good cooks.

We drove well over 4,000 kms so, some days, long hours were spent in the rather small seats of the minibus but I wouldn't have wanted to miss anything we did see - luckily reference books and drinking water were provided, and stops fairly frequent. It was hot and humid in almost all regions we visited in February (fewer mosquitoes than I'd expected, lucikly) but there would no doubt have been lots more vehicles in the game parks in the dry, high season when there is less vegetation in a few months' time, so pros and cons. A couple of optional walks were tough-ish (I later heard) but I had opted out as there were alternative easier walks to do and nice places to wait.

Nothing special to add - do go!

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Take Me Back to South Africa!

Cape Town & the Garden Route

5.0
March 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
A fantastic holiday from start to finish, our families first trip to Africa.
There were many great moments to the trip. The first nights stay at Avco, the game reserve at Abbo, The BBQ at De Rust. The view from our room at Hermanus, followed by the canoeing and the best breakfast I have ever had.

Justin was a brilliant leader. He took us to loads of interesting places, always in control and so knowledgeable. He was assisted by "gnasher" who also make a great leader.

Go for it! It is a great place to go. Our only tip would be to take a torch which was needed occasionally. Go on a diet before you go the food is fabulous.

Would love to go again, two weeks was not enough in such an epic country.

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Cape Town and Garden Route

Cape Town & the Garden Route

5.0
March 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
What a fantastic trip. Lots to see, scenery, views, birds & animals. The food and weather were excellent too. Accommodation was comfortable, minibus occasionally was a bit bumpy but we were busy taking in all the sights to notice.
We entered the Addo Elephant Park and almost straight away an elephant appeared out from the bushes which we all found amazing. We also enjoyed the optional game Park trip in an open vehicle as you are able to go off the beaten track and get much closer to the animals

Justin our group leader was excellent, nothing was too much trouble, he make out trip stress free.

Just the usual. Take comfortable shoes and clothing as there is the opportunity to do walking and also you do spend a bit of time in the minibus.

Be prepared to share some of the accommodation i.e. Kitchen and lounge, but you do have your own bedroom and on suite.

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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


South Africa Trips & Tour Advice

Spanning nine provinces and eight UNESCO heritage sites, South Africa is a haven for adventure seekers, history buffs, naturalists, wine connoisseurs, and hikers, among many others.

The smallest province, Gauteng, is the most densely populated and hosts a powerhouse of attractions, including Johannesburg (the largest city) and the township of Soweto, site of the anti-apartheid 1976 uprisings. Johannesburg, which was built on the discovery of gold in 1886, hosts the Apartheid Museum, which documents South Africa’s freedom struggle. Just outside the city, the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site contains some of the most important paleo-anthropological discoveries in the world, with 14 excavated fossil sites and 200 unexplored caves.

The "Mother City"

Cape Town, in the Western Cape province and dubbed South Africa’s “Mother City,” is sandwiched between towering Table Mountain and bustling Table Bay harbor. Part of the extensive Table Mountain National Park mountain chain, Table Mountain can be accessed on foot or via the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway – a must on any itinerary. Another “don’t miss” stop in Cape Town, Robben Island, is where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in incarceration.

Cape Town is also known for its beaches, nightlife, art galleries and a wealth of vineyards. Many travel providers include the trip to Cape Winelands on their tours, with wine tastings and gourmet meals on the docket. Cape Town also marks the starting point for tours to the penguin colony at Boulders Beach. Some 3,000 African penguins call the beach home, and you can get close-up views of their daily activities. In spring, southern right whales visit the coastline.

The Western Cape

Many tours take in the Western Cape’s natural attractions, including Cape Point, home to scenic bays, beaches, rolling hills and valleys. Cape Point falls within the Cape Floral region, which harbors nearly 20 percent of Africa’s flora. Along the province's eastern coastline lies the picturesque Garden Route, which stretches from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The perfect end to a Garden Route tour is a visit to the Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth.

South Africa’s main beach scene runs north and south of Durban on the east coast. To the west sprawls the Cultural and Natural World Heritage Site uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, home to Drakensberg, South Africa's largest mountain range and more than 600 rock-art sites, with paintings by the San people who once roamed here. The province is the heart of the Zulu Kingdom.

Kruger for Wildlife

For wildlife spotting, including the Big Five, Kruger National Park (Africa’s oldest) is the place. Tours typically include morning and evening game drives and bush walks -- and often add on scenic drives along the waterfall-and-mountain-laden Panorama Route as well as deep Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest canyons on earth.

With so much to consider, Stride can help take the stress out of proceeding on your South Africa journey. Simply compare what our travel providers have to offer, make your choices, and you’ll soon be on your way to the splendid southern tip of Africa.

Related Guides

Continent:

Africa

Local Attractions:

Kruger National Park; Table Mountain, Amphitheatre, Cape Winelands, Durban beaches, Blyde River Canyon and Many More

Top Activities:     

Wildlife viewing, Exploring Culture & Safari

Similar Destinations:       

TanzaniaKenyaBotswanaNamibiaZimbabweZambia & Uganda

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