10 Reasons why you should go on a South African Safari holiday
“South Africa is the most beautiful place on earth. Admittedly, I am biased but when you combine the natural beauty, and the fact that the region is a haven for Africa’s most splendid wildlife, then I think we have been blessed with a truly wonderful land.” – Nelson Mandela
An African safari ticks all the right boxes if you are looking to venture off the beaten track, explore the great outdoors and experience the many thrills that only safari life can deliver.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, travelling seemed like a distant memory we weren’t sure we were ever going to experience again. But, through it all, avid travellers and keen adventurers kept their travel dreams alive in the hopes that we’ll all be able to explore all the beauty, wonder, adventure, and bucket-list worthy destinations the world has to offer once again.
In the spirit of the #DreamNowTravelLater initiative, people were inspired to put together their travel destination bucket-list of where they would like to go when the time came that it was finally safe enough to do so. South Africa ranked right up there with the best of them as it was voted the number one preferred post-COVID-19 holiday destination among travellers and international tourists. In more exciting news, the Kruger National Park was named the 20th most popular travel destination in the world on Big 7 Travel’s list of ‘The 50 Most Popular Destinations For Post-Lockdown Travel’. Which only reinforced the world’s eager anticipation to see, encounter, and experience South Africa’s vast and magnificent wilderness wonders and wildlife in their natural habitat, specifically the Kruger National Park.
While South Africa has no shortage of beautiful destinations to explore, going on a safari getaway in the unspoiled African bushveld should undoubtedly be at the very top of your travel bucket-list!
Here are 10 reasons why you should go on a South African Safari holiday and shouldn’t wait another second! South Africa’s pride and joy is her wildlife heritage after all.
#1 Sensational wildlife sightings: See the Big 5 in their natural habitat
South Africa is one of world’s finest Big 5 and wildlife safari destinations. It is one of the very few places in the world where you are able to see every member of the African Big 5, elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard, in one place, in their natural habitat. South Africa’s pristine Big 5 safari status is largely owed to its outstanding conservation areas and National Parks.
In addition to the iconic African Big 5, visitors can expect to see an incredible diversity of birdlife and wildlife species, including sensational sightings of various endangered wildlife such as the African wild dog, cheetah, sable, and roan antelope. Sightings of Africa’s Little 5, which includes the leopard tortoise, rhino beetle, elephant shrew, ant lion, and the red-billed buffalo weaver, is also something wildlife lovers and eager travelers can look forward to. With such an amazing diversity and abundance of wildlife and birdlife, there is no denying that South Africa is the ultimate safari travel destination.
The South African wildlife magic doesn’t end there! Wildlife encounters in South Africa aren’t solely confined to game reserves, national parks, safari lodges, and conservation areas alone. Travelers can enjoy amazing sightings of hippos and crocodiles on Lake Saint Lucia in iSimangaliso Wetland Park, bucket-list worthy African Penguin encounters at Boulders Beach in Cape Town (along with incredible sightings of the other members of the Marine Big 5, dolphins, Cape Fur Seals, Mola Mola Sunfish, and Southern Right Whales), monkeys in the trees around Durban, and whales along the Cape South Coast year-round. The toughest part is finding enough time to see it all – That’s what a return visit is for!
#2 South Africa boasts diverse landscapes & wilderness destinations
South Africa is a country unlike any other. Boasting a glorious diversity of mesmerizing landscapes, diverse fauna and flora, and an untamed natural beauty that is simply undeniable, there is nothing quite like it.
From the nearly 2 million hectares of unrivalled African wilderness of the Kruger National Park, the stunning tropical bushland and coastline of KwaZulu-Natal, the star-studded skies of the arid Karoo desert, the vast Green Kalahari of the Northern Cape, the abundant coastal fynbos and lush rolling landscape of the Cape Peninsula, and the world-famous savannah teeming with wildlife to majestic mountains, cascading waterfalls, vast and wonderful Winelands, secluded unspoilt beaches (in fact, South Africa, or Cape Town if we’re being more specific, is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world), and captivating coastlines, exploring and discovering South Africa’s glorious and diverse landscapes and wilderness destinations is truly unparalleled.
The only problem is ensuring you have enough time to explore it all!
#3 South Africa is filled with incredible & exciting Safari Experiences & Adventures
It’s safari time! Everyone should experience an authentic African safari and game drive at least once in their lives. Going on a safari in any of South Africa’s premium conservation areas, game reserves, or national parks not only gives you the opportunity to tick an unforgettable experience off your bucket-list, but allows you to enjoy and experience incredible up-close sightings of South Africa’s magnificent wildlife in their natural habitat. To make things even more exciting, visitors and wildlife enthusiasts can choose to go on a variety of amazing and equally exhilarating safari experiences and adventures.
When it comes to safaris in South Africa, you can either opt to go on a self-drive wildlife adventure through the South African bushveld or enjoy a thrilling game drive in an open 4×4 vehicle with an experienced and knowledgeable wildlife guide by your side. Besides witnessing the wild and untamed beauty of the South African wilderness, going on an action-packed game drive / safari gives wildlife lovers the opportunity to enjoy thrilling up-close sightings of the renowned and remarkable African Big 5 and several other wildlife and birdlife species, explore off-the-beaten-path routes as your expert guide leads the way, and learn more about South Africa’s vast diversity of wildlife, their behaviors, and natural habitat, as well as its biodiversity and landscapes.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, going on a walking safari is right up your alley! Exploring the South African bushveld on foot encourages you to fully immerse yourself in the experience as you enjoy amazing up-close wildlife and birdlife sightings from a whole new perspective. As the guides are highly experienced, exceptionally trained, and incredibly knowledgeable, they are only too happy to share their wealth of knowledge about the various wildlife, birdlife, and biodiversity of the area with each and every visitor.
Besides these amazing bucket-list worthy safari experiences, guests can also choose to enjoy a variety of other activities and adventures. Some of these adventure experiences include, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, thrilling hiking expeditions, and one-on-one guided safari tours, to mention just a few. You also have the option of an expertly guided and tailor-made private tour, specifically designed to suit you.
On a South African safari holiday, the bush is your personal playground, so be sure to enjoy every single second of it!
#4 A safari holiday in South Africa is the epitome of relaxation, serenity, tranquility & exclusivity
There is nothing more relaxing and soul-enriching than the fresh open-air and spectacular natural surroundings of a safari camp or game lodge in the middle of the South African bushveld. Fresh air, scenic landscapes, wildlife grazing peacefully in the distance, it is pure bliss! From ultra-luxurious safari lodges with spas to treehouses under the stars, the one thing South Africa always offers is privacy, tranquility, and peaceful serenity. Accommodation here is set within the heart of the wilderness and positioned to provide true away-from-it-all indulgence with panoramic views of the wildlife and stunning savannah.
This kind of relaxation and solitude means you can enjoy an open-air bath on your private wooden deck, soak up every second of a glorious South African sunset, or spend the night outdoors under star-studded African skies – the choice is yours! The only ‘interruptions’ you’ll encounter are wandering elephants, curious giraffe or, if you’re lucky, a lion basking in the midday sun.
Going on a safari holiday in South Africa truly gives you the ideal opportunity to break-away from the hustle and bustle, escape the demands of daily life and allow yourself to relax, revitalize and recharge in one of the most beautiful and tranquil destinations in the world.
Further adding to South Africa’s embodiment of serenity, tranquility, and exclusively, as well as one of its many perks and bonus features attracting travelers from across the world, is the fact that it is known for its smaller crowds and less people around.
Unlike many mainstream travel hotspots, cruises, and highly populated resorts and holiday destinations, South Africa’s safari lodges, camps, and resorts are designed to be small and intimate. This is done with the intention to allow guests to feel fully immersed in the African and South African wildlife and safari experience – Because in South Africa, it truly is all about the experience!
Whether you’re enjoying a thrilling game drive, going on an adventure-filled bushwalk, exploring your scenic surroundings, indulging in a delicious meal, lounging by the pool, or even transferring between camps, wide open space is inherent in the African bush. You will therefore not come into close contact with large numbers of travelers, preying eyes, or big crowds at any point during your unforgettable South African safari holiday – with such a degree of privacy and exclusivity, going on a South African safari holiday allows you to fully break away from any and all distractions, achieve a true state of relaxation and sense of internal peace, and escape to what will feel like a whole new world entirely, even if it’s just for a little while. Sounds pretty alluring and irresistible don’t you think?
#5 A South African safari getaway is the perfect family-friendly holiday
Are you looking to go on a fantastic and fun-filled family getaway? Look no further! South Africa is one of the best countries to go on a family-friendly safari holiday. It can be incredibly challenging to find a travel or holiday destination that specifically caters to families and offers enough activities to keep the kids entertained, all while being an easily accessible location – South Africa fits the requirements perfectly! The area is almost entirely malaria-free, boasts an exceptional range of National Parks, conservation areas, and game lodges with premium facilities, as well as amazing children play areas and child-friendly activities, experiences, and fun safari adventures.
Many of South Africa’s game lodges also offer Junior Ranger programs in which children learn more about Africa’s wildlife and biodiversity as well as how to track animals. This gives the little ones the unique opportunity to have a whole lot of fun, while learning all about South Africa’s wildlife in the most exciting way.
#6 South Africa’s accommodation options are diverse, endless, and exceptional
South Africa boasts an endless variety of accommodation options, perfectly suited to every holiday, getaway, or safari experience. From exclusive villas, boutique hotels, ultra-luxurious safari lodges and 5-star resorts to one-of-a-kind lavish treehouses in the heart of the South African bushveld, luxury cave suites, authentic tipis, and world-class eco-friendly tented suites, there is no shortage of amazing accommodation options to choose from.
Whether you’re planning the perfect safari holiday with the whole family, a romantic getaway in the South African wilderness, or a thrilling and jam-packed safari adventure – South Africa has just what you’re looking for.
Did we mention that it comes paired with bespoke private safari expeditions, unparalleled wildlife sightings and encounters, and personalized safari experiences and adventures explicitly tailored to suite your specific needs, wants, and desires – It is YOUR glorious South African safari holiday after all.
This provides you, along with your chosen travel companions, with a truly bespoke and one-of-a-kind South African safari holiday, transforming it into a once-in-a-lifetime, never-to-be-forgotten experience.
#7 An abundance of beautiful wide-open spaces & wonderful year-round climate awaits you in South Africa
Fresh air, nature and wide-open spaces should undoubtedly be three of your top travel pre-requisites. Not only does South African safari travel allow you to break away from the hustle, bustle, and large crowds, it provides you with ample fresh air, magnificent natural surroundings, and stunning wide-open spaces where wildlife roam freely and openly.
Most travelers, whether local or international, are looking to go on a holiday where they can enjoy beautiful open spaces, nature, the scenic outdoors, and a range of memorable, magical, and never-t-be-forgotten bucket-list worthy experiences and adventures. When it comes to vast open spaces and natural scenic beauty you definitely can’t beat South Africa – that’s a fact! There truly is nothing quite like being in the heart of the African bushveld, breathing in the fresh air of the protected wilderness, and feeling one with Mother Nature.
To make things even better, South Africa is blessed with a glorious and beyond wonderful year-round climate. Regardless of what time of year you choose to visit South Africa and its wide selection of sought-after National Parks, game reserves, conservation areas, and safari lodges, you are guaranteed an unforgettable and beyond exceptional experience. The low humidity, countless hours of warm and wonderful sunshine, mild winters, lovely year-round day-time climate, and pleasant evening temperatures, makes a safari holiday or any South African getaway an all-around enjoyable experience.
South Africa boasts a tropical climate in its low-lying areas located in the northern part of the country along the borders of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and a subtropical climate in the eastern coastlands and the lowveld of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal. In the eastern interior or highveld of South Africa (where Johannesburg is situated), summers are rainy and warm with mild winter days.
On the other hand, the coastal lowlands around the glorious, beautiful, and vibrant Cape Town is known for its amazing year-round mild Mediterranean climate. Summer in Cape Town is all about being sun-kissed, salty-haired, and beached-out as you enjoy every sensational second of its blue-skied, stunning sunshine-filled summer weather, late sunsets, and blissful beach days spent on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Winter transforms Cape Town into a lush green nature-loving paradise, perfect for adventuring and exploring.
The Cape Town spring season is widely known as the Mother City’s vibrant flower season; It’s the time of year when the weather is lovely all-around, and the city transforms into a glorious floral escape covered in magnificent Cape wildflowers that stretches far beyond what the eye can see. Last, but certainly not least, Autumn – this is the time of year where the weather is perfect for just about everything.
Cape Town’s weather and year-round climate truly is the gold standard, with every season offering something extraordinary, exciting, and unique to explore and experience.
#8 South Africa prides itself on offering an exciting & affordable travel experience
Besides the fact that a South African safari holiday or getaway is filled with magnificent wildlife sightings, unapologetic natural beauty, and unforgettable experiences, it is also very affordable. South Africa has always taken great pride in offering international travelers and visitors’ excellent value for money with quality accommodation options, bespoke tours, and world-class travel experiences.
Depending on the nature reserve, National Park, or game lodge you choose to visit on your safari holiday, many of South Africa’s accommodation facilities, hotels, lodges, and resorts offer guests incredible all-inclusive packages, including accommodation, sightseeing, activities (game drives, game walks, etc), and airport pick-ups.
Going on a safari holiday in South Africa means you get a whole lot more than you bargained for – And with so many beautiful and beyond incredible locations, destinations, and safari lodges to choose from, you’re sure to find a spot that fits your budget just right. South Africa truly has something for absolutely everyone, including any and all types of travel experiences.
#9 South Africa is home to pristine National Parks, conservation areas, and game reserves
South Africa is home to an exceptional variety of pristine conservation areas, National Parks, and nature reserves. Some of these conservation areas and National Parks include the ‘wild treasure of South Africa’ – the acclaimed Kruger National Park – as well as its vast range of magnificent private game reserves like Sabi Sands, Thornybush, Londolozi, MalaMala, Lion Sands, and Dulini; The spectacular Pilanesberg National Park; Highly sought-after Madikwe Game Reserve; Exciting and exceptional Phinda Game Reserve, and the beloved must-visit Addo Elephant National Park – just to mention a few.
With such a vast and wonderful variety of top-tier National Parks, conservation areas, safari lodges, tranquil wilderness escapes, and breath-taking nature reserves, each one offering something unique and thrilling, how do you go about choosing the perfect one for you? Where exactly is the best place to go on a safari in South Africa? Trust us, we get that question a lot.
The simple truth is – it’s entirely dependent on the type of South African safari holiday and travel experience you’re after.
Many travelers make a beeline for the renowned Kruger National Park, the flagship National Park of South Africa, while others prefer to venture off the beaten path and escape to safari camps and nature reserves that are scattered throughout / across the country – ranging from rugged to ultra-luxurious – Your South African safari holiday and adventure, your choice!
One thing is for sure, regardless of the choice you make it promises to be an unforgettable experience in every way possible. Its all this and so much more that has eager travellers, wildlife enthusiasts, avid globe trotters, and EVERYONE in between coming back for more, again and again, to experience everything South Africa has to offer – and we certainly don’t blame them one bit!
#10 Going on a South African safari allows you to explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites & support important conservation efforts
There are several National Parks in South Africa which have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. South Africa is home to no less than ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites, paying tribute to its remarkable and diverse cultural, historical, and natural treasures. South Africa’s World Heritage Sites include: Cape Floral Region Protected Areas; Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park; Vredefort Dome; Barberton Makhonjwa Mountain Land; UKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park; Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs; Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape; Robben Island; Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape; Khomani Cultural Landscape.
These protected areas give travelers, guests, visitors, and wildlife and nature lovers the chance to explore and experience some of South Africa’s most breath-taking natural wonders and acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Sites, see a vast and amazing diversity of incredible wildlife, including endangered wildlife in their natural habitat, witness spectacular and rare birdlife sightings, as well as learn more about the culture and history of these significant sites – it’s a truly enriching experience to say the least.
A South African safari gives you the opportunity to support conservation efforts
Besides enjoying a bucket-list worthy travel experience, and exploring some of the country’s most prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Sites, going on a South African safari holiday also gives you the opportunity to give back at the same time – How amazing is that?
Many of South Africa’s conservation areas and National Parks charge a small conservation fee. These fees are used to support various incredible conservation efforts which are geared at preserving the country’s beloved National Parks, wildlife conservation initiatives and reserves, saving birdlife and wildlife species which are in danger of becoming extinct, as well as supporting several rehabilitation and conservation programs and initiatives.
South Africa also offers guests and travelers the opportunity to stay in environmentally responsible safari lodges, camps, reserves, and resorts. This only further contributes to supporting these crucial and potentially life-changing conservation efforts and initiatives, as well as positively contributing to the well-being and upliftment of local communities and preserving South Africa’s astonishing wildlife and their surroundings.