Top 10 South Africa Safari Tours Not to be Missed!

Whether you are looking for a Big 5 safari, romantic bush & beach getaway or a family-friendly safari; South Africa is that one destination where you can find exactly what you are looking for.Boasting a subtropical climate, South Africa offers an unforgettable stay all year round, with every season bringing about change in the bushveld and consistently good game watching.South Africa is blessed with more than 20 national parks and several privately owned game reserves - each with a unique landscape and various fauna and flora species. With so many options, it is not uncommon for travelers to feel overwhelmed when deciding which safari is right for them.Since safaris in South Africa are our expertise, we have put together this list of the “Top 10 South Africa Safari Tours.”These pre-packaged tours visit iconic destinations such as the Kruger National Park, Cape Town, Greater Kruger Park, KwaZulu Natal, Garden Route, Madikwe, Sun City and Mozambique.Each tour has been carefully put together to include some of South Africa’s best hotels and lodges, transfers and experiences not to be missed! But should you not find what you are looking for, our team of travel experts can design an itinerary best suited to your needs.

Best Luxury South Africa Safari Tours

1. Cape Town, Winelands and Sabi Sands

male lion at Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp - South Africa Safari Tours

The Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve offers some of the best lion sightings in Africa, with a few male lion coalition groups traversing the Sabi Sands reserve.This unforgettable 9 day tour explores three of South Africa’s most loved destinations, starting off in the Mother City of Cape Town - known for its breathtaking scenery, majestic mountains, rolling valleys and pristine coastline.

Consistently voted as the “Best City in the World” by the UK Telegraph, Cape Town offers travelers the opportunity to explore the cobbled streets, learn about the fascinating Capetonian heritage, savor international cuisine and award-winning wines, dive with sharks and mount the iconic Table Mountain.

Visiting the Franschhoek Valley, travelers experience the workings of a wine farm, with a stay at the oldest Cape Dutch home in the region. Enjoy wine tastings, tea rituals, and garden to table dining experiences.The Sabi Sands is an exclusive game reserve, where one has the opportunity to explore the African bush in open safari vehicles and on foot. Well known for its big cat sightings, Sabi Sands is considered one of the best places in Africa to see the Big 5 and most of the birdlife seen in Southern Africa. Exceptional comfort and personalized service are all part of the experience at Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp.

2. Cape Town & Kruger National Park

Aerial view of One & Only Cape Town Hotel

The One & Only Cape Town Hotel is one of South Africa's most luxurious hotels, commanding spectacular views of the magnificent Table Mountain and the marina.

In just 11 days, you can experience two famous destinations that are recognized internationally for their warm hospitality and one of a kind experiences.Starting off at the award-winning One & Only Hotel in Cape Town, travelers are in the perfect location and have plenty of time to explore several of Cape Town’s top attractions; including Table Mountain, the V & A Waterfront, Robben Island, Franschhoek, Boulders Beach, Chapman’s Peak and Hermanus.

A short flight away brings one to the Lowveld region which is home to the Kruger National Park and surrounding private game reserves that share an unfenced border. The lack of fencing provides plenty of game viewing opportunities in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve - a destination famous for its ultra-luxurious lodges and up-close encounters with the Big 5, Cats and other fascinating wildlife.Heading into the northern reaches of the Kruger, the final stop is the Timbavati Game Reserve - home of the Big 5 and only remaining white lions living in the wild. It is here that one will feel at one with nature, staying at an authentic tented camp that nestles in a remote and untouched area of the Timbavati.

Both reserves deliver when it comes to a Big 5 safari, offering guided dawn and dusk open-vehicle game drives that are led by some of the best rangers in the country; along with guided bush walks, bird watching and bush dining experiences.

3. Kruger Park and Cape Town

Cheetah sighting at Tintswalo Safari Lodge - South Africa Safari Tours

Cheetahs are one of the most endangered big cat species in Africa but thrive in the Manyeleti concession where the open savannah is most favorable to them.

The first three days of this 6-day tour are spent in the privately-owned Manyeleti Game Reserve - an extension of the Greater Kruger Park. Spanning across 23 000 hectares, the Manyeleti concession has more than 200 kilometers of gravel road to explore and only seven lodges occupying the area. This tour offers a private safari experience in a pristine wilderness that is inhabited by the Big 5 and other various animal species. You will have the opportunity to explore the reserve in open safari vehicles and on foot, which is a great way to spot the smaller wondrous creatures and learn about the various flora.

Following an exhilarating safari experience, you travel to the beautiful city of Cape Town where you will have the next three days to explore various historical attractions, fascinating museums, pristine beaches, the iconic Table Mountain and century-old vineyards.This tour is best suited to travelers who seek a private luxury getaway with intimate lodges and hotels that will ensure every need is taken care of.

4. Cape Town to Durban Rail Journey

Rovos Rail Cabin

Luxury train travel is a unique way to experience the hidden gems of South Africa whilst enjoying fine dining at its best and other luxury touches found in hotels across the country.

If you love to travel off the beaten track then this 7-day luxury steam train rail journey is one not to be missed. The tour begins in the bustling city of Cape Town and travels through the countryside of South Africa before ending in the warm and friendly coastal city of Durban.

Highlights on this tours include the picturesque Cape Winelands, the semi-desert region known as the Great Karoo and the scenically beautiful Valley of a Thousand Hills. The train stops in quaint little towns before visiting the exclusive Nambiti conservancy where one has the opportunity of getting up-close with the famous Big 5 and at least 40 other wildlife species. The journey ends in Durban where one can spend some time on the beach and indulge in the local cuisine.

Best Self-drive South Africa Safari Tours

5. Cape Town and Garden Route

whale sighting in Hermanus

Hermanus is considered to be one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world with plenty of viewing points and daily boat trips during whale season.

Feel the wind in your hair as you drive along the southern coastline of South Africa for 15 eventful days. The journey begins in the vibrant city of Cape Town where you will have an opportunity to visit top attractions such as Boulders Beach for up-close views of African Penguins or hike up Table Mountain for the most spectacular views of Cape Town.

You then travel to the Franschhoek Valley where you will spend some time exploring century-old vineyards, sampling award-winning wines, cheeses, hand-made chocolates and decadent cuisine. Leaving the countryside behind, you travel to the quaint coastal town of Hermanus - a destination known for its incredible land and water-based whale watching.

The Garden Route is one of South Africa’s most loved routes, boasting gorgeous scenery and unforgettable experiences. You have the time to explore at your own pace before reaching the exclusive malaria-free Gondwana Game Reserve where you will spend some time with professional rangers on open-vehicle game drives in a quest to find the famous Big 5.

The second to last stop on this self-drive tour is Plettenberg Bay - a lively coastal town that is known for its beaches, nature reserves, hiking trails, ocean adventures and surrounding forests. The final destination on this tour is Port Elizabeth where you can enjoy watersports such as windsurfing, fishing and scuba diving or visit the Kragga Kamma Game Park for up-close encounters with cheetahs.

6. Kruger National Park and KwaZulu Natal

Game drive at Rhino Post Safari Lodge

An afternoon game drive is not perfect until drinks and snacks are served in a scenic location where you can admire the sunset.

Have the best of both worlds with this 9-day bush & beach self-drive tour. The journey begins in a private concession of the famous Kruger National Park, offering luxurious accommodation and exclusive safari experience with some of the best opportunities of seeing the Big 5. From open-vehicle game drives at dawn and dusk to night drives, guided bush walks and phenomenal bird-watching experiences; Rhino Post Safari Lodge ensures a memorable and rewarding stay.

A short flight away, your next stop is the warm and friendly city of Durban, where you will have two days to unwind on the beach, go diving or have some fun at Ushaka Marine World. Durban offers some of the best curries and seafood, so be sure to dine at some of the local restaurants and tantalize your taste buds.

Jumping into your rental vehicle, you head to Phinda Private Game Reserve - a hidden gem in KwaZulu Natal that boasts gorgeous 5-star lodges and private safari experience. Phinda Game Reserve is home to all members of the Big 5 and other rare wildlife such as cheetah and wild dogs. You will explore the bushveld with some of the best rangers in the country and have an opportunity to visit a local Zulu village, go on night turtle drives (seasonal) and track black rhino on foot.

Best South Africa Safari Tours for a Quick Getaway

7. Sabi Sands Safari

Treehouse at Lion Sands Private Game Reserve

The Lion Sands Private Game Reserve offers more than just game drives and bush walks. Guests have the opportunity to truly enjoy the sights and sounds of the bush with an overnight stay in one of Africa's most romantic treehouses.

This three-day tour provides an elite safari experience in the famous Sabi Sands Game Reserve. The Sabi Sands which neighbors with the Kruger National Park is known for its prolific wildlife and phenomenal cat sightings, particularly of the elusive and beautiful leopard. The Sabi Sands is considered to be one of the best places in Africa to see the Big 5.

You will spend three days at the lavish Lion Sands River Lodge where you will get to discover the beauty of the bushveld on morning and afternoon open-vehicle game drives, along with the option of setting off on foot to seek out smaller creatures and learn about the flora of the reserve. Other activities offered at the lodge include bird watching, bush dining, treehouse sleep-out experiences, hippo tours, astronomy, visits to a local school, spa treatments and wildlife lectures.

This tour is for those travelers who enjoy exquisite accommodations, along with exceptional hospitality and sumptuous cuisine.

8. Kapama Private Game Reserve

leopard sighting at Kapama Private Game Reserve

Every game drive at Kapama is led by a safari team consisting of a professional ranger and a tracker who ensure that guests have the most rewarding safari experience in the Greater Kruger Park.

If you are looking for a private yet affordable luxury safari experience in a Big 5 game reserve then Kapama is the ideal choice. Nestled between the Blyde River Valley and Kruger National Park, Kapama Private Game Reserve spans over 13 000 hectares of pristine African bush that is inhabited by as many as 40 mammal species and 350 migrant and resident bird species. With plenty of predators abound, the safari experience at Kapama is nothing less than exceptional.

Kapama River Lodge offers an intimate setting that is perfect for couples and families alike. The lodge is equipped with top-notch facilities, including a wine cellar, boutique shop, wellness center and a swimming pool.

The safari experience at Kapama includes dawn and dusk open-vehicle game drives, nature walks and once-in-a-lifetime elephant encounters. The more adventurous travelers can also spend a night in one of the romantic sleep-outs in the bush.

Best Family-friendly South Africa Safari Tours

9. Sabi Sands Wildlife, Sun City Resort & Cape Town

Impodimo Game Lodge viewing deck and swimming pool

Explore the best of South Africa in 8-days visiting the home of the big-5, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City, and the breathtaking city of Cape Town.

Your journey begins with a Big-Five Safari in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, known as South Africa's premier game reserve & offering phenomenal Big Five game viewing and frequent sightings of leopard. Enjoy a stay at Ulusaba  - Sir Richard Branson’s 5-Star private game reserve in the Sabi Sands.

You then travel to Sun City Holiday Resort which boasts a variety of dining options, a casino, the famous Valley of the Waves, incredible nightlife, the maze of the Lost City, and a wide range of outdoor adventure activities and family entertainment.

The excitement continues in the mother city of Cape Town, voted consistently by the UK Telegraph as the “Best City in The World”. Discover Cape Town’s gorgeous landscape of pristine coastline, picturesque mountains and century-old vineyards. Cape Town offers travelers a wide range of adventure activities and some of the world's best cuisine.

This tour is ideal for couples, individuals seeking adventure and families.

10. Kruger National Park and Mozambique

Sundowners at the crocodile river - Mjejane River Lodge

With the Crocodile River on its doorstep, sundowners are the highlight of a stay at Mjejane River Lodge - an opportunity to savor gorgeous red-orange sunsets & incredible wildlife sightings.

For travelers seeking an exceptional Big 5 safari and a tropical beach experience, this 9-day tour is the ideal choice.

The tour begins in a private concession that forms part of the world-renowned Kruger National Park. Set on the banks of the Crocodile River, Mjejane offers exclusive open-vehicle game drives on the private concession and within the Kruger. This means that guests get the best game viewing opportunities and up-close encounters with the Big 5.

You then travel onwards to the magical coast of Mozambique where a palm-fringed white sand beach awaits. Machangulo will be your own tropical paradise for the next few days, offering complete tranquility and incredible ocean adventures. It is the perfect destination for couples and families who seek exclusivity, relaxation and a little bit of fun.

It is hard to argue that South Africa is a destination that has a lot to offer and is sure to impress nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers, with its diverse collection of nature reserves and marine reserves. If these tours aren’t exactly what you were looking for then let us help you plan a South Africa Safari getaway that best suits your travel needs.

More Stories from Archive