No matter what’s on your travel wish list, South Africa will most likely tick all the right boxes. It is a country of sheer natural beauty, welcoming smiles and friendly people, rich history and cultural heritage, some of the best beaches and accommodation on the planet, and one of the best places on Earth for game viewing. And that’s just for starters…
South Africa offers families, couples, solo travellers and just about any adventurer the perfect introduction to Africa. It’s a wonderful destination for first-timers to the continent and consistently rates among the top holiday destinations in the world. But don’t just take it from us, here are short stories and experiences told by 10 past travellers to South Africa:
1. Mother & daughters visit Cape Town, Madikwe & Victoria Falls
‘The moment you contacted us, our journey began. I had an immediate connection with you, Sasha [Safari Expert at Go2Africa]: the way you wrote all the information started our outstanding experience – the words that you used to describe and detail everything.
I'm telling you this because I want you to know how meaningful it is for the entire journey knowing that there is someone that you can trust.
Planning the itinerary went smoothly. The information was clear. From your way of listening and providing excellent service, we knew that this was going to be a memorable journey. Every single place had its unique experience like landing at the airport and having someone to pick us up.
Everything in Madikwe was memorable and outstanding, starting with the welcoming of the beautiful smiles. The beautiful architecture, the notes on the bedside table, the bottles of water with our names on them… Our wonderful guide Francois, an expert in the game park, taking us to as much as possible. The breath-taking nature with all its inhabitants. Also, on the day of Shira and Noa's birthday, all the staff members came at dinner with a cake in their hands singing, 'Happy, happy, birthday ohula ohuhle…' repeating it with magnificent voices. A memory for a lifetime. Madikwe, we couldn't ask for more. It was absolutely fabulous in every single way possible.
Cape Town, our next destination, also left us enlightened. The Table Bay Hotel was such a warm and luxurious place to be, we enjoyed every moment there. Thanks Sasha for letting them know about the girls' birthday – it was so heart-warming to receive the cake. Cape Town is such a beautiful place filled with a diversity of people, languages, tastes and music with a spectacular view.
The Falls are absolutely spectacular. As I told the girls, this is the glory of creation!
Our entire journey was magnificent. I can't wait for the next travel adventure – it might be to go see the gorillas.’
– Rachel Conforty, Israel
Rachel and her daughters started their adventure in one of South Africa’s largest malaria-free wildlife sanctuaries, the Madikwe Game Reserve, where they spent four days at the family-friendly Madikwe Safari Lodge. They then hopped on a plane and flew to the gorgeous Cape Town to spend six days in the South Africa’s ‘Mother City’, before taking another flight to Livingstone to cap off their unforgettable vacation with four days at a resort a mere 5-minute walk from Victoria Falls.
- Daily game drives in Madikwe, home to the Big 5 and one of the best places in South Africa to see endangered African wild dog
- Discovering the shops and restaurants in the V&A Waterfront
- Exploring the city of Cape Town
- Guided tour of Victoria Falls
2. Wheelchair-friendly adventure in the Kruger, Vic Falls & Cape Town
‘Excellent service, very flexible, responsive and helpful. Had a great time at Table Mountain.’
– Scott Sankey, Canada
Scott and Roxanne spent one night in Johannesburg as a stopover before taking a short-haul flight to Hoedspruit Airport and starting their safari with four days in the prime Thornybush Game Reserve. They then flew to Zambia to spend four days at a luxury hotel with enviable views of Victoria Falls. After flying back to South Africa, their final six days were spent exploring the breath-taking Cape Town.
- Game drives in the private Thornybush to see the Big 5
- Guided tour to see Victoria Falls
- Exploring the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town city and its Winelands
- Riding the cable car up Table Mountain
3. Husband & wife travel to Cape Town & Kruger to celebrate 60th birthday
‘My cousin suggested I contact you [Lauren Johansson] about planning a birthday (my 60th) safari for my husband and I in 2017. She has traveled to Africa several times and suggested South Africa for our first trip. We wanted to spend time in Cape Town and visit the wine country. Then we wanted to travel to one of the private concessions near Kruger. We were interested in the Singita properties because they seem to have a reputation for luxury. They also have nice wine cellars and my husband is interested in wine.
From start to finish, Lauren and Go2Africa were very easy to work with. We planned the whole trip through email.
We gave her our South African budget and she delivered the perfect package, from hotels and transportation to tours. Even when one of our flights was delayed, she was in contact with myself, the driver and the resort. Cape Grace and Singita were both beautiful places to stay. Our flights were very comfortable and well-coordinated. Our tours in Cape Town were top quality.’
– Debbie Simmons, USA
- Discovering the shops and restaurants in the V&A Waterfront
- Exploring the city of Cape Town
- Full-day tour of the renowned Cape Winelands
- Game drives in the Big 5-rich Sabi Sands
- Pampering spa treatments at Singita
4. Malaria-free safari in Madikwe & holiday in Cape Town
‘Lauren was an incredible travel agent. She was extremely responsive to all our questions and created a once in a lifetime vacation for our family.
We'll treasure our memories of Africa for the rest of our lives.
It's such a beautiful country and we had an amazing experience there! We loved the Cape Grace Hotel and Madikwe. We recommend both to anyone visiting South Africa. It was our first time visiting the country and we really loved it!’
– Mary Candelario, Netherlands
- Shopping and dining at the popular V&A Waterfront
- Exploring Cape Town
- Game drives to encounter the Big 5 in the private Madikwe Game Reserve
- Dining beneath the stars
5. Newlyweds spend honeymoon in Cape Town & Kruger
‘My wife and I decided to use Go2Africa’s services and expertise to help plan a wonderful honeymoon. Nicola and Kara helped set up a 9-day adventure package that provided multiple destinations and a full itinerary of experiences. My wife and I can truly say Go2Africa has hands down been the best experience in our lives. In short, the trip was flawless. Not one problem we can recall.
The five days in Cape Town were life-changing. The knowledge we took from this trip has us wanting to come back. We visited schools, vineyards, climbed mountains… endless shopping, endless culture and wildlife.
Our tour guides and transportation services were amazing and extremely knowledgeable individuals. Our whale watch and vineyard tour with Justin was absolutely awesome. Justin started the tour as our guide but ended as a family member. Many memories were made and plenty friendships have been formed. We can’t thank you guys and your services enough. We’d be delighted to recommend your brand to any professional I know.’
– Jonathan Agnew
- Local community visits in Cape Town
- Hiking up majestic Table Mountain
- Shopping in the V&A Waterfront
- Whale-watching on the Whale Coast
- Day-tour of the beautiful Cape Winelands
- Thrilling game drives in the Kruger
6. Travellers return to South Africa for second visit
‘This was our second trip to South Africa and, just like the first time, every detail of the trip was executed amazingly! This year we told Mary that we would like to tour women- and black-owned wineries while in Cape Town.
The tour guide from the tour company was amazing and made sure our desires were met and even managed to arrange for us to meet the actual owner of one of the wineries who gave us a private presentation on her business.
Again, I can't speak highly enough of Mary – you give her your wishes and dreams and she makes it happen.’
– Porsha Cills, USA
- Enjoying one of South Africa’s best beaches, Camps Bay
- Full-day tour of the Cape Winelands
- Full-day tour to Gansbaai for a thrilling shark-cage diving excursion
7. Family enjoys Big 5 safari in Madikwe & Sun City
‘We were blown away with Madikwe. Gerhard was a great safari guide and the staff were simply amazing.
The food was like being at a Napa Valley hotel, just over the top. The staff made us feel at home and we felt special.
What we saw was far more than expected and I have to shuffle through 3 000 to 4 000 photos and hours of video, but worth it. Everything was well planned by you and your team. The drivers, Donald, Virgo and Oliver were very polite, professional and informative. It was like our own private safari. Thanks so much for an amazing vacation. Our vacation was well planned with not a moment of time wasted.’
– John Mallory, USA
The Mallory family spent four fun-filled days in Sun City, one of the most popular holiday resorts in South Africa. They topped off their adventure with a 4-day safari in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, home to Africa’s iconic Big 5.
- Swimming in Valley of Waves at Sun City
- Enjoying delicious meals at The Palace of the Lost City
- Daily game drives in Madikwe, a great place to see the Big 5 and endangered African wild dog
8. Memorable adventures in Vic Falls & Kruger for husband & wife
‘Our South African adventure was certainly a memorable one. Got the contact through a friend who visited SA some time back and we were thankful for his introduction.
Pre-trip correspondence was smooth even though we had many requirements and changes to make.
Eventually my wife and I together with our agent, Tatham, worked out our ideal itinerary. This also included some personal phone calls from the agent, despite the time difference to nail down some details. And during the trip, there were no hiccups either. Post-trip, there was a little issue about payment for our car's GPS and that too was smoothly settled by our agent.’
– Ramesh Chandraseharan, Singapore
Ramesh and his wife spent their first three days in Africa at The Kingdom Hotel, conveniently located on the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls, before a grand safari finale in the legendary Kruger National Park.
- Guided tour of Victoria Falls
- Exploring Victoria Falls town’s local markets
- Day and night game drives in the wildlife-rich Kruger National Park
9. Couple celebrates 30th wedding anniversary in style
‘I was looking to book a trip to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary in style and we decided South Africa would be a lovely option.
From the first point of contact and throughout, our agent Shelley Hess got back to us very quickly, made suggestions and gave us options to make sure that our itinerary was the best it could be to suit our requirements. Tailor-made.
Everything was very efficient. We were undecided at first as to whether to book our holiday ourselves as we thought it may work out cheaper, but on contacting Go2Africa found that it worked out about the same – and so it was a no-brainier, really. After all, they know their country best and wow did they deliver!’
– Helen Gray
Helen and her husband travelled to the pristine Sabi Sands Game Reserve, pioneers of the luxury safari concept and home to the Big 5. After five sensational days in the bush, they flew to Cape Town and were transferred to the stunning Camps Bay in an Aston Martin. For the next 15 days, they rented a car and explored the Cape Winelands, the Whale Coast and the beautiful Garden Route – and all the way to a luxurious safari lodge in the Eastern Cape’s Pumba Private Game Reserve.
- Big 5 encounters during game drives in Sabi Sands
- Fine dining and spa treatments at Camps Bay Retreat
- Self-driving through the magnificent Cape Winelands, Whale Coast and picturesque Garden Route
- Game drives and bush walks in the wildlife-rich Pumba Private Game Reserve
10. Family enjoys wildlife & golf safari in Sun City & Cape Town
‘Our itinerary ran on time with no hiccups. Sun City safari was on time and absolutely amazing.
Golf games were very well organised – Lauren tailor-made our package to suit our needs.
Cape Town was amazing.’
– Tessa Barnes, Australia
- Swimming in the Valley of Waves
- Playing golf at the Lost City Golf Course and the Gary Player Golf Course
- Morning game drive in the Pilanesburg Game Reserve
- Exploring Cape Town’s beaches, the V&A Waterfront and Cape Point
Since 1998, we’ve built our business on listening to our clients, which is why we’re happy to share their constructive reviews on Feefo – the most trusted, independent online ratings and review platform. Click here if you’d like to read more short stories from our past travellers on Feefo.
Ready to start planning your unforgettable vacation in South Africa? Get in touch with one of our Africa Safari Experts.