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Luxury South Africa Safari

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An A&K South Africa safari combines and unveils the intricacies of this fascinating land, where Europe meets Africa in sophisticated cities, landscapes and mountains dazzle, and plains teem with wildlife.

On a South Africa safari, explore the famous greater Kruger area with access to the best private game reserves that boarder the famed national park, such as Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, where you enjoy opportunities to spot the rare “Big Five” on morning and evening game drives. Experience the African bush at its most tranquil exploring other private reserves far from the main tourist areas, such as Timbavati Private Game Reserve and Thornybush Game Reserve, where you may venture out with an expert tracker on an unforgettable photo safari. No matter which park you visit on your South Africa safari, rest each night in the region's most luxurious lodging options and enjoy top-notch service and delightful surprises, such as sundowners set deep in the African bush.

A&K South Africa safaris are also a cultural experience, taking you beyond its vast stretches of wilderness by revealing the country's historic charm and social diversity. Visit the lush Cape Winelands and its iconic Dutch settlements, including Stellensbosch and Franschhoek. On an A&K South Africa safari journey, cosmopolitan Cape Town and the seaside city's many attractions are yours to discover, including Table Mountain and the nearby Cape Peninsula, which you may explore on a full-day tour that also reveals the penguins of Boulders Beach and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. For a safari experience that encompasses the best of South Africa's natural beauty, rich history and modern-day elegance, allow A&K to show you the way.

South Africa Map

Best Time To Go
May - November
Climate Charts
Time Zone
ET +7 hours
Flights
Cape Town (CPT); Johannesburg (JNB)

A&K's Recommended Luxury Journeys to South Africa



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Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is the best time to visit South Africa?

    The best time to visit South Africa for a wildlife safari is from May to September during the South African winter season, when northern game reserves like Kruger National Park are at their driest and wildlife congregates around water sources, making for superb wildlife encounters. The shoulder season from September to November is also a great times to visit with still-pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

    The best time to visit South Africa for a wildlife safari is from May to September during the South African winter season, when northern game reserves like Kruger National Park are at their driest and wildlife congregates around water sources, making for superb wildlife encounters. The shoulder season from September to November is also a great times to visit with still-pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

  • What are the best game reserves in South Africa?

    Some of the best game reserves in South Africa are adjacent to or tucked within the borders of world-renowned Kruger National Park. These include Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, Timbavati Private Game Reserve, Thornybush Private Game Reserve and Kapama Private Game Reserve — all exclusive private reserves defined by breathtaking scenery spanning mountains and savannas, affordable and luxurious accommodations, and amazing opportunities for encounters with Africa’s Big Five wildlife, including lions, leopards and elephants. Near the border of Botswana, Madikwe Game Reserve is another incredible location for a South African safari experience, one that uniquely combines the bushveld and the Kalahari as a setting for cheetahs, African wild dogs and all of Africa’s Big Five.

    Some of the best game reserves in South Africa are adjacent to or tucked within the borders of world-renowned Kruger National Park. These include Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, Timbavati Private Game Reserve, Thornybush Private Game Reserve and Kapama Private Game Reserve — all exclusive private reserves defined by breathtaking scenery spanning mountains and savannas, affordable and luxurious accommodations, and amazing opportunities for encounters with Africa’s Big Five wildlife, including lions, leopards and elephants. Near the border of Botswana, Madikwe Game Reserve is another incredible location for a South African safari experience, one that uniquely combines the bushveld and the Kalahari as a setting for cheetahs, African wild dogs and all of Africa’s Big Five.

  • What are the best places to visit in South Africa?

    South Africa is famously diverse and teeming with iconic, must-see destinations. According to our experts, the best places to visit in South Africa are Cape Town, Johannesburg and the private reserves of Krueger National Park. Along the coast, dynamic Cape Town boasts modern architecture, hip restaurants styled in Afro-chic décor, a cutting-edge art scene and the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood with its Cape Malay culture. Stunning natural wonders surround the city, from towering Table Mountain National Park to Boulder Beach with its African penguins and the rocky Cape of Good Hope; just five miles from the shore, there’s also historic UNESCO-designated Robben Island, where you may visit the prison cell where former President Nelson Mandela was held. In the countryside region of the Cape Winelands, find sweeping vineyards and some of the world’s oldest and most renowned wineries. Another vibrant city, though arguably more on the rise, Johannesburg (“Jo’burg”) is especially rich in history and home to the Apartheid Museum and Soweto, birthplace of Nelson Mandela. Northwest of the city, you may also visit the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO-designated paleoanthropological site. For “Big Five” wildlife and incredible safari adventures, look to the vast expanse of Kruger National Park with its bushveld, granite hills and tropical forests.

    South Africa is famously diverse and teeming with iconic, must-see destinations. According to our experts, the best places to visit in South Africa are Cape Town, Johannesburg and the private reserves of Krueger National Park. Along the coast, dynamic Cape Town boasts modern architecture, hip restaurants styled in Afro-chic décor, a cutting-edge art scene and the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood with its Cape Malay culture. Stunning natural wonders surround the city, from towering Table Mountain National Park to Boulder Beach with its African penguins and the rocky Cape of Good Hope; just five miles from the shore, there’s also historic UNESCO-designated Robben Island, where you may visit the prison cell where former President Nelson Mandela was held. In the countryside region of the Cape Winelands, find sweeping vineyards and some of the world’s oldest and most renowned wineries. Another vibrant city, though arguably more on the rise, Johannesburg (“Jo’burg”) is especially rich in history and home to the Apartheid Museum and Soweto, birthplace of Nelson Mandela. Northwest of the city, you may also visit the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO-designated paleoanthropological site. For “Big Five” wildlife and incredible safari adventures, look to the vast expanse of Kruger National Park with its bushveld, granite hills and tropical forests.

  • When is the best time to see Victoria Falls?

    Easily accessible from South Africa, Victoria Falls sits between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is incredible to see all year round. Arguably one of the best times to view one of the widest curtains of water in the world is from April to June during high water season, when the falls are at the fullest and a dramatic mist cloaks the park. From July to August, lower water levels and reduced spray means better visibility, especially if you’re viewing the falls from Zimbabwe. September to November marks the dry season, when Victoria Falls is at its lowest level. Not to be underestimated, this is one of the best times to capture full, clear views of the falls and the only time to enjoy a thrilling swim in the Devil’s Pool, set at the very edge of the falls.

    Easily accessible from South Africa, Victoria Falls sits between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is incredible to see all year round. Arguably one of the best times to view one of the widest curtains of water in the world is from April to June during high water season, when the falls are at the fullest and a dramatic mist cloaks the park. From July to August, lower water levels and reduced spray means better visibility, especially if you’re viewing the falls from Zimbabwe. September to November marks the dry season, when Victoria Falls is at its lowest level. Not to be underestimated, this is one of the best times to capture full, clear views of the falls and the only time to enjoy a thrilling swim in the Devil’s Pool, set at the very edge of the falls.

  • What is the best way to see Victoria Falls?

    While Victoria Falls can be seen from both Zambia and Zimbabwe, the best way to see the falls depends on the time of year. Zimbabwe offers the best year-round views, with dramatic mist and spray from April to June (when the falls are at their fullest), clearer views from July to August and still-active falls through the fall and winter. Zambia offers clearer, mist-free views from July to August, though the falls here can run dry from October to December. For thrill seekers, the best way to see Victoria Falls is from the Devil’s Pool, which juts out to the very edge of the falls and is only accessible from September to November, when water levels are at their lowest.

    While Victoria Falls can be seen from both Zambia and Zimbabwe, the best way to see the falls depends on the time of year. Zimbabwe offers the best year-round views, with dramatic mist and spray from April to June (when the falls are at their fullest), clearer views from July to August and still-active falls through the fall and winter. Zambia offers clearer, mist-free views from July to August, though the falls here can run dry from October to December. For thrill seekers, the best way to see Victoria Falls is from the Devil’s Pool, which juts out to the very edge of the falls and is only accessible from September to November, when water levels are at their lowest.

  • What do I wear on a safari to South Africa?

    Deciding what to wear on a South Africa safari is simpler than you may think and can be narrowed down to few key items. Temperature can fluctuate, so think layers and bring light and breathable cotton or hybrid short-sleeve shirts, sweaters, and a windbreaker or lined jacked. Choose comfy convertible or athleisure pants over jeans and slacks, as well as close-toed shoes you won’t mind getting dirty. You’ll also want to bring a wide-brimmed hat for sun protection, bug spray with a high concentration of DEET, binoculars and a pocket-sized flashlight for any night-time activities. Lastly, because flights to remote locations impose weight limits and most safari camps include laundry service, the most important rule is this: Don’t over-pack. Luggage restrictions are strictly adhered to, and soft-sided luggage or duffels are preferred and often required for storage on safari vehicles and light aircraft.

    Deciding what to wear on a South Africa safari is simpler than you may think and can be narrowed down to few key items. Temperature can fluctuate, so think layers and bring light and breathable cotton or hybrid short-sleeve shirts, sweaters, and a windbreaker or lined jacked. Choose comfy convertible or athleisure pants over jeans and slacks, as well as close-toed shoes you won’t mind getting dirty. You’ll also want to bring a wide-brimmed hat for sun protection, bug spray with a high concentration of DEET, binoculars and a pocket-sized flashlight for any night-time activities. Lastly, because flights to remote locations impose weight limits and most safari camps include laundry service, the most important rule is this: Don’t over-pack. Luggage restrictions are strictly adhered to, and soft-sided luggage or duffels are preferred and often required for storage on safari vehicles and light aircraft.

  • What type of wildlife will I see in South Africa?

    South Africa is one of the world’s greatest wildlife-watching destinations with an abundance of once-in-a-lifetime encounters. Wildlife you may see on a South Africa Safari include all of Africa’s Big Five — lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses and Cape buffalo — but also cheetahs, giraffes, hippos, zebras and more. Along South Africa’s coast, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, you may also see an entirely different breed of wild animals with the “Marine Big Five.” These include southern right whales, bottlenose dolphins, Cape fur seals, great white sharks and African penguins, the star at Cape Town’s Boulders Beach — the only place in the world to view the endangered species.

    South Africa is one of the world’s greatest wildlife-watching destinations with an abundance of once-in-a-lifetime encounters. Wildlife you may see on a South Africa Safari include all of Africa’s Big Five — lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses and Cape buffalo — but also cheetahs, giraffes, hippos, zebras and more. Along South Africa’s coast, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, you may also see an entirely different breed of wild animals with the “Marine Big Five.” These include southern right whales, bottlenose dolphins, Cape fur seals, great white sharks and African penguins, the star at Cape Town’s Boulders Beach — the only place in the world to view the endangered species.

  • What are some of the best luxury lodges in South Africa?

    According to our experts, the best lodges in South Africa are defined by luxury, intimacy and an abundance of unique wildlife encounters. These include: a luxury safari lodge nestled within Thornybush Private Game Reserve; an all-suite lodge overlooking a private stretch of riverfront within Madikwe Game Reserve; and a modern five-star luxury eco lodge fronting both the mountains, forests and Atlantic and Indian oceans for incredible access to rare plant and animal life.

    According to our experts, the best lodges in South Africa are defined by luxury, intimacy and an abundance of unique wildlife encounters. These include: a luxury safari lodge nestled within Thornybush Private Game Reserve; an all-suite lodge overlooking a private stretch of riverfront within Madikwe Game Reserve; and a modern five-star luxury eco lodge fronting both the mountains, forests and Atlantic and Indian oceans for incredible access to rare plant and animal life.

  • Do I need a visa to visit South Africa?

    Holders of U.S. and Canadian passports are not required to obtain a tourist visa for entry into South Africa for stays of up to 90 days.

    Holders of U.S. and Canadian passports are not required to obtain a tourist visa for entry into South Africa for stays of up to 90 days.

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