13 Best South Africa Safari Tours

South Africa truly is a world in one country. It’s home to some of the best private game reserves where Big 5 sightings are almost as regular as clockwork, phenomenal beaches and coastline, and award-winning wines from picture-perfect valleys. With bucketloads of natural beauty and wildlife experiences, a South Africa safari offers some of the best African experiences for first-time visitors, honeymooners, families with children, and solo travellers.

Choosing the best safari in South Africa is like planning a trip around the world – there's just so much to see and do in this beautiful country! To make it a little easier, we’ve rounded up our favourite South Africa safari packages to help you decide. And remember that these are trip ideas only – if you’re inspired, we can tailor-make a special version just for you.

Luxury Trips

Luxury Safaris in South Africa

The Best of Cape Town, Winelands & Kruger

Duration:

  • 11 days

Locations:

  • V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
  • Franschhoek, Cape Winelands
  • Thornybush Private Game Reserve, Kruger

Overview:

This luxury South Africa safari tour starts in Cape Town’s trendy Silo District, an architectural marvel in the V&A Waterfront. Your striking hotel was built in an old elevator portion of an historic grain silo complex above the celebrated Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Then you’ll move to a gorgeous valley within the Cape Winelands for a couple of nights at a sophisticated guesthouse situated on a wine and olive estate. For the last few days on this safari in South Africa, you’ll be in the more than capable hands of Royal Malewane’s expert guides and trackers as you search for the Big 5 deep in the game-rich heart of the Kruger National Park.

Highlights:

  • Views of Table Mountain from The Silo
  • Direct access to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
  • Tailored service at La Residence Vineyard Suites
  • Africa House at Royal Malewane, set in the heart of the Kruger National Park
  • Game drives in a private 4x4

Best for:

  • Multi-generational families

Magical Masai Mara, Kruger & Cape Town

Duration:

  • 11 days

Locations:

  • Masai Mara, Kenya
  • Melrose, Johannesburg
  • Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger
  • V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Overview:

Experience three highly diverse and rewarding destinations on this incredible African safari tour. Start in Kenya’s flagship Masai Mara National Reserve before flying to the Kruger for some of the best Big 5 game viewing. The grand finale to your South Africa safari is in the award-winning Cape Town.

Highlights:

  • Game drives, bush walks and balloon rides in the Masai Mara
  • Personal service and culinary experiences at Dulini River Lodge
  • Big 5 game viewing in Sabi Sands
  • Impeccable service and fine dining at Cape Grace
  • Exploring Cape Town and the V&A Waterfront

Best for:

  • Adventurous and discerning travellers
Food & Wine Tours

Food & Wine Holidays + South African Safaris

Cape Town & Franschhoek's Finest

Duration:

  • 7 days

Locations:

  • Bantry Bay, Cape Town
  • Franschhoek, Cape Winelands

Overview:

Explore the beauty of the Mother City and its scenic wine valleys on this luxury South Africa safari tour. Visit Cape Town's sites and gorgeous beaches, catch the cable car up Table Mountain, then spend three nights in the quaint town of Franschhoek, harboured in a scenic valley within the famed Cape Winelands.

Highlights:

  • Ocean views from the award-winning O on Kloof Boutique Hotel
  • Easy access to Camps Bay and Clifton, Cape Town’s best beaches
  • World-class cuisine at Le Quartier Francais’s acclaimed restaurant, The Tasting Room
  • Franschhoek’s fine boutiques and art galleries
  • Private cinema at Le Quartier Français

Best for:

  • Couples

City, Wine Country, Garden Route & Safari

Duration:

  • 10 days

Locations:

  • Gardens, Cape Town
  • Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands
  • Knysna, Garden Route
  • Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, Eastern Cape

Overview:

This South African safari kicks off in a trendy nook of Cape Town, before heading into the breath-taking Cape Winelands for a stay in the historic town of Franschhoek, South Africa’s fine-food capital. Indulge in gourmet delights and sample some of the finest wines in the world. Continue east along the Garden Route, arguably the most beautiful stretch of coastline in Africa, and spend a few days at a luxury guesthouse with spectacular views of the Knysna Lagoon and the iconic Knysna Heads. Culminate your South Africa safari tour with superb Big 5 game viewing at a sophisticated lodge located in a private game reserve in the malaria-free Eastern Cape – one of the best South African safari destinations for families.

Highlights:

  • Exploring Cape Town, Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront
  • Fine dining and award-winning wine estates in Stellenbosch
  • Sunset boat cruises on the Knysna Lagoon
  • Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, a member of Relais & Chateaux
  • See the Big 5 in a malaria-free private game reserve

Best for:

  • Couples and honeymooners
Family Vacations

Family Safaris in South Africa

Malaria-free Madikwe & Cape Town

madikwe_safari_lodge-2

Duration:

  • 6 days

Locations:

  • Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
  • Gardens, Cape Town

Overview:

This South Africa safari tour starts in the fabulous Madikwe Game Reserve, a private wildlife sanctuary located in the malaria-free north of South Africa. Madikwe Safari Lodge is ideal for a family safari in South Africa, offering babysitting services and kids’ game drives. The Mother City will be your last stop on this safari in South Africa, staying in the heart of Cape Town just off its vibrant Kloof Street.

Highlights:

  • Stay in the heart of Madikwe, South Africa’s biggest malaria-free reserve
  • Separate wing at Madikwe Safari Lodge for families with children
  • Age-appropriate activities like kids’ game drives and guided bush walks
  • See the Big 5, predators and over 350 bird species
  • Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront and Cape Town’s beaches

Best for:

  • Families with children

Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route & the Big 5

Duration:

  • 14 days

Locations:

  • Gardens, Cape Town
  • Franschhoek, Cape Winelands
  • Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route
  • Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, Eastern Cape

Overview:

One of the best South Africa safari packages for independent-minded and adventurous families. Designed as a self-drive adventure, it showcases South Africa's awe-inspiring southern coast from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. Experience Cape Town’s beautiful attractions; stay at one of South Africa’s greatest culinary-orientated accommodations in a picturesque wine valley; drive along the superlative Garden Route and explore its secret beaches; and cap this family tour with an unforgettable Big 5 safari in South Africa's malaria-free Kwandwe Private Game Reserve.

Highlights:

  • Mount Nelson Hotel’s child-minders and large garden
  • Award-winning cuisine of The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais
  • Babysitters, special menus and children’s beach activities at The Plettenberg
  • Kwandwe Ecca Lodge’s luxurious and spacious family suites
  • Big 5 and cheetah sightings in malaria-free Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Best for:

  • Families with children

Family Fun in Cape Town, Winelands & Kruger

Thornybush_game_lodge_kids-activty

Duration:

  • 11 days

Locations:

  • Gardens, Cape Town
  • Franschhoek, Cape Winelands
  • Thornybush Game Reserve, Kruger

Overview:

Set yourself up in self-catering comfort in Cape Town's fashionable Gardens neighbourhood. Enjoy the Mother City's incredible natural beauty and explore her famous sights like Table Mountain and Cape Point. Then travel to the heart of the Franschhoek wine valley to sample some of the region's finest vintages. Bring your South African safari adventure to a close at Thornybush Game Reserve, adjacent to the world-famous Kruger National Park. Enjoy twice-daily game drives, interpretive bush walks and moonlit dinners served under the stars – the perfect end to a family safari in South Africa.

Highlights:

  • Visit Table Mountain, Cape Point and other sites at your own pace
  • Gourmet cuisine in the Cape Winelands
  • Unrivalled Big 5 game viewing in Kruger
  • Kids activities like tailored walks with rangers, baking, and arts and crafts

Best for:

  • Families with children

More About Safaris in South Africa:

Solo Trips

Safaris in South Africa for Solo Travellers

From Bush to Beach in Style

Duration:

  • 12 days

Locations:

  • Singita Private Concession, Kruger
  • Sandhurst, Johannesburg
  • Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique

Overview:

This sensational solo trip combines a South Africa safari in Kruger National Park with a pristine tropical island hideaway, one of the best South African safari vacation packages if you want to combine bush and beach. Begin your adventure tracking the Big 5 from a sophisticated, Afro-chic retreat in the foothills of the Lebombo Mountains. Then be whisked away to a beautiful private island concealed within Mozambique’s remote Quirimbas Archipelago.

Highlights:

  • Singita Lebombo Lodge, a sophisticated retreat overlooking an active waterhole
  • Game drives and guided nature walks in Kruger
  • Spa treatments at Lebombo Lodge
  • Azura @ Quilalea, an exclusive resort on a private tropical island
  • Snorkelling and diving in the remote Quirimbas Archipelago

Best for:

  • Seclusion seekers

The Ultimate Golf Trip

Duration:

  • 10 days

Locations:

  • Leopard Creek Country Club, Malelane
  • Durban Country Club, Durban
  • Champagne Sports Resort, Drakensberg
  • Humewood Golf Club, Port Elizabeth
  • Fancourt Country Club, George
  • Oubaai Golf Course, Garden Route

Overview:

Step inside your elegant suite on Rovos Rail, the world’s most luxurious train, and journey across the alluring tapestry of South African landscapes. This is a great solo tour if you’re an avid golfer, as you’ll stop to play on some of the best courses in Africa like Leopard Creek, the Durban Country Club and Fancourt Country Club. You'll also have opportunities to go on thrilling game drives in some of the best South Africa safari destinations.

Highlights:

  • Travel on the most luxurious train in the world
  • Play on six of the best golf courses in Africa
  • Big 5 game drive in Kruger
  • A morning game drive in Mkhaya Game Reserve
  • Tour of an ostrich farm in the Karoo

Best for:

  • Golfers
Honeymoons

South Africa Safari Honeymoons

Romantic Cape Town, Kruger & Seychelles

Duration:

  • 15 days

Locations:

  • V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
  • Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger
  • Morningside, Johannesburg
  • Mahe, Seychelles

Overview:

This is the ultimate honeymoon in Africa. Begin your tour in the continent’s most-awarded city, Cape Town, exploring its rich tapestry of beaches, leafy vineyards and iconic Table Mountain. Then catch a flight to the illustrious Sabi Sands Game Reserve, an untouched and private slice of wilderness alongside the Kruger National Park. After a thrilling Big 5 safari in South Africa, it’s time to escape to the boulder-strewn white sands of Intendance Bay on Mahé, the biggest of the Seychelles islands.

Highlights:

  • Service and fine dining at the award-winning Cape Grace
  • Sensational leopard sightings in Sabi Sands
  • Luxurious safari suites with private plunge pools
  • Singita’s renowned fine dining and exceptional wine cellar
  • Banyan Tree Seychelles’ luxury villas overlooking a private bay

Best for:

  • Couples and honeymooners

The Best of Kruger, Kalahari & Cape Town

Duration:

  • 15 days

Locations:

  • Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger
  • Sandhurst, Johannesburg
  • Tswalu Private Game Reserve, Kalahari
  • V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Overview:

Discover two of South Africa’s best private game reserves: Sabi Sands beside the Kruger National Park and Tswalu on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Sabi offers you some of the best Big 5 sightings in Africa, while Tswalu will shine a spotlight on the more unique and lesser-known African animals like meerkat, aardvark and even the ultra-rare pangolin. Conclude your South Africa safari in the magnificent Cape Town, drinking in the Mother City’s natural beauty and gourmet experiences.

Highlights:

  • Dulini River Lodge, one of the most romantic in South Africa
  • Fantastic Big 5 game viewing in Sabi Sands
  • The Motse at Tswalu, an exclusive and remote lodge on the edge of the Kalahari
  • Tswalu’s rare and unique wildlife like meerkat, aardvark and pangolin
  • Elegant luxury of The Cape Grace

Best for:

  • Couples and honeymooners
Self-drive Vacations

Self-drive Vacations + Safaris in South Africa

KwaZulu-Natal's Bush & Beach

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Duration:

  • 11 days

Locations:

  • Drakensberg
  • Rorke's Drift
  • Isimangaliso Wetland Park
  • Phinda Private Game Reserve

Overview:

Begin your self-drive holiday at the base of the iconic Drakensberg Mountain Range. Continue north into the historic and culturally rich Battlefields region and learn all about the famous colonial battles of the area. Explore the Buffalo River and spot giraffe and zebra in the local game reserve. Then head to the sub-tropical coast of KwaZulu-Natal for a few days of relaxation on white-sand beaches and snorkelling in the clear Indian Ocean. Complete your South Africa safari adventure with fantastic Big 5 game viewing in Phinda Private Game Reserve, one of South Africa's most exclusive and diverse conservation areas.

Highlights:

  • Prepare meals with an award-winning chef at Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse
  • Hiking and horse riding in the Drakensberg
  • Visit the historical Battlefields region
  • Dive with turtles and manta rays in the Indian Ocean
  • Stay at an award-winning safari lodge in a private Big 5 game reserve

Best for:

  • Independent and adventurous travellers
Private Safaris

Private Safaris in South Africa

From Wine Country to the Kruger

Duration:

  • 10 days

Locations:

  • Franschhoek, Cape Winelands
  • Bantry Bay, Cape Town
  • Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger

Overview:

Kick off your private South Africa safari with two nights in the country’s gourmet capital, Franschhoek. Your villa at Le Colonial is located near the centre of this quaint town, giving you easy access to its wonderful restaurants, art galleries and flamboyant French flair. Cape Town is your next stop, with a 3-storey villa at the award-winning Ellerman House offering jaw-dropping views of the azure Atlantic Ocean. Conclude your private South Africa safari tour with three nights at the superlative Singita Castleton, an exclusive-use villa perfectly positioned in one of Africa’s most definitive Big 5 reserves.

Highlights:

  • Le Colonial villa in Franschhoek, South Africa's gourmet capital
  • Fantastic art gallery at the award-winning Ellerman House
  • Tennis courts, swimming pools and cinemas
  • Game drives and walking safaris in Sabi Sands
  • Private chef, tracker and guide

Best for:

  • Families with children

Ready to Plan Your South Africa Safari?

Get in touch with one of our Africa Safari Experts to help tailor-make a South Africa safari tour itinerary that's right for you: