Adventure Safaris In Africa

5 Top Destinations for a Holiday in South Africa

holiday in south africa
Written by Teresa Mwangi

You can bet your last bottom dollar that a holiday in South Africa never disappoints. In simple terms, it is immersive on all tourism fronts.

With 62 million people and measuring 471,445 sq miles (1,221,037 sq kilometres), there is something for every wanderlust. From the best of Africa’s wildlife safari, sceneries, and beaches to luxurious lodges and hotels; you have it all.

Culturally, you would want to take a year-long break and learn more about the four major tribes in South Africa. They are:

  • Venda
  • Shangaan-Tsonga
  • Sotho
  • Nguni (encompassing Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi and Ndebele)

In addition, taste their traditional food after a safari hunting escapade. Truly, there is more than one reason to add a safari to South Africa to your bucket list.

What Does a Holiday in South Africa Offer?

Kruger National Park may be a popular wildlife safari destination in Africa but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. This article highlights in depth what makes up a holiday in South Africa. Below are the best places to spend your vacation in the land of the Zulu people.

Wildlife Safari

Topmost visited attractions in Africa

Topmost visited attractions in Africa. Photo/

Kruger tops the list of a wildlife safari in the South and it is deservingly so. Its huge area of 7,523 sq miles (19,485 sq kilometres) gives it such an iconic diversity in terms of wildlife and landscape.

It is the largest game reserve located in the Northeastern side of the country. What’s special about this globally popular park? Wildlife and dramatic landscapes. Lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, buffalos, zebras, antelopes, jackals, wild dogs, warthogs among many other wildlife species live here.

The park also has huge South African rock pythons often seen strangulating prey in the grassland savannah. Moreover, there are over 500 bird species in Kruger and innumerable insects to support their existence. Further, the woodland savannah, open savannah bushveld and mountains cream a game safari in the park.

Surprisingly, roads across Kruger National Park are well-tarmacked with lots of dining options such as the iconic and luxurious Kruger Shalati. These facilities enable tourists to enjoy a self-drive game safari or opt for a guided tour at any time of the year.

Although Kruger is popular, it is not the only place to enjoy wildlife scenes in Mzansi. Here are four other fascinating game reserves you can visit each with a unique offering.

  1. MalaMala Game Reserve – privately owned with lots of Big Five to sight
  2. Sabi Sands Game Reserve – also owned privately with exclusive accommodation and stunning sights of the big five
  3. Phinda Game Reserve – best to spot cheetahs
  4. Kgalagdi Transfrontier National Park – desert wildlife and photography

Winelands Visit

A perfect holiday in South Africa should include a visit to at least one of the major wine-producing regions. South Africa is the eighth-largest wine producer in the world and its winelands are mainly in the Western Cape/Province. Thus, you can head out to the following eight regions famed for their wine production.

  • Franschhoek
  • Stellenbosch
  • Paarl
  • Breede River Valley
  • Breedekloof
  • Robertson
  • Wellington
  • Constantia

Stellenbosch. Photo/India Outbound

Scenery Safaris

This Southern African country has dramatic sceneries from every end. Her coastlines are intrinsically captivating, while its wild side has a fascinating blend of lush greenery and complements of open grassland and woodland savannahs.

Still, you won’t see any charming scenery if you skip the four major breathtaking sceneries in Mzansi.

  1. Table Mountain
  2. Drakensberg Mountains
  3. Blyde River Canyon
  4. Cederberg Mountains

Cultural Tour

South Africa is one of the greatest African countries with a rich history over and above the Apartheid struggle. In your next visit, check out Robben Island where the late Nelson Mandela was jailed for 27 years.

Next, take a tour of Cape Town and enjoy the scenes on Long Street and the Bo-Kaap neighbourhood. The latter is popular for its culture, blending Indonesian, African and Malaysian influences.

Subsequently, learn more about South African history at the District Six Museum, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and at Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands. More importantly, book a date for a tour of Soweto Township famed for shaping the anti-Apartheid struggle.

Shopping and Party Life

Saint Champagne Bar and Lounge

Saint Champagne Bar and Lounge. Photo/ Cape Town Magazine.

Shopping and partying are integral aspects of a holiday in South Africa. Some of Africa’s best and biggest shopping malls are spread across major cities and towns. From Sandton, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban; you can shop for anything you want.

As for partying, Cape Town undoubtedly has the best nightlife. There are over 30 places to wind down a night in style. Enjoy the native sounds of Amapiano, Gqom, Kwaito, Maskandi and hip hop.

What is the Best Month to Travel to South Africa?

Different months have different things to offer based on your safari preferences.  Below is an illustration of what to consider when planning for a holiday in South Africa.

Month Best time for Bad time for
November to March Whale watching Wildlife safari
April to May Wildlife safari Whale watching
June to August Wildlife safari Whale watching
Whale watching Hiking and other outdoor activities Wildlife safari


How Expensive is South Africa Holiday?

Several factors determine the ultimate cost of your vacation in Johannesburg or another place within the country. Among them is the season – peak or off-peak – your budget, choice of accommodation, mode of transport etc. All of the above determines how much you spend on your holiday.


A holiday in South Africa is a dream for many people. There are a lot of game safari escapades, sceneries to see and a culture to experience.

About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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