Planning Your Trip to South Africa
South Africa is a country rich in history resulting in an extensive and diverse culture. South Africa arguably has some of the most beautiful landscape available, from the iconic snow-capped Drakensburg Mountains, Cape wine lands, and large game reserves and safari parks offering stunning lodge accommodation and the perfect African wildlife safari. South Africa’s rugged coast to pristine beaches and abundant aquatic wildlife, where if you love to dive, surf, fish or just sun bathe South Africa’s coast offers it all, you can even decide if you would like the warmer Indian Ocean or the ever chilly Atlantic Ocean.
Kruger National Park and the luxurious private safari lodges in the far north east of the country and touristic Cape Town at the furthest south west point of South Africa, it’s a long distance in between. The secret in getting between the two is to take the 2-night Rovos Rail “most luxurious train in the world”. Relax and enjoy the trip between Pretoria and Cape Town and see the diverse country at the same time.
Once in Cape Town we will show you why it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and why the enchanting Cape Winelands has become the gourmet capital of South Africa. We usually make Cape Town the last destination on a South African itinerary, as it’s a relaxed holiday city that’s the cherry on the cake. You may never want to leave – and some people don’t.
South Africa has such a wide variety of things to do and see it may seem impossible to fit it all in. With our consultation we will incorporate exactly what you will appreciate into your time and budget, making sure we tick off all the boxes in your South African ‘to do’ list.
Times to Travel to South Africa
South Africa is so big that it has several completely different climatic regions and a coastline that stretches over 2,500 kilometres. Johannesburg is in the north east and most of the safari areas including Kruger National Park, experience dry winters and summer rainfall. Cape Town has completely the opposite with a Mediterranean climate of cool wet winters and hot dry summers. The whole country has beautiful spring and autumn weather.
Even in wet weather it will rarely rain all day and the sun can’t help coming out at some point.
Weather in South Africa
Winter to Spring:
June-October, this is the best time to go on safari in the north of South Africa, as it’s dry and the bush dies down. Days are warm but nights are cold. Down south in Cape Town you’ll get a completely different experience because it’s cold, wet and stormy. But barely a day goes by when the sun doesn’t appear to brighten your day.
Summer to Autumn:
November-May, the bush gets thick and lush with the summer rains in the north and it’s a lovely time to be on safari as you’ll see new born animals and beautiful landscapes. Cape Town may get a smattering of rain in December, but then settles into a lovely hot dry summer from January to March. This is also the time when the south-east wind blows, which cools things down and gives you a bad hair day!
What to Bring on your Safari
You are likely to experience weather and terrain of all kinds in South Africa, so here’s what to bring:
- A bit of everything! You’ll need the full range probably all in one day; from swimming gear to hiking shoes, from a sundress to a warm jacket. And of course your khaki’s for safari
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sunscreen, hat
- Camera, binoculars
- You will be able to buy anything you need in terms of medicines, clothes, gifts, etc.
- Leave room in your luggage for all the presents you are going to buy in South Africa
Your Health in South Africa
Private hospitals and doctors in South Africa have a very good reputation. Have valid health insurance in case you need them.
World malaria maps show that malaria is present in Kruger National Park and some of the border areas between South Africa and Mozambique and South Africa and Zimbabwe. However, you won’t find any South Africans taking anti-malaria tablets to travel to any of these areas as they consider the risk low. Consult your travel clinic.
Tap water is very good quality in South Africa, but as you won’t be used to it, stick to bottled water.
Moving Around in South Africa
South Africa is almost double the size of Texas and there is every means available to get around this large country. Road are excellent and while there will be some road transfers in your South African itinerary, we prefer to get you around quickly via internal flights or theRovos Rail luxury train from Pretoria to Cape Town.