Top 5 South Africa destinations
South Africa is a hugely popular holiday destination for a number of reasons. We challenge you to find anywhere on the planet that can offer a safari experience comparable to that South Africa can provide, not to mention a diversity of landscapes that are as vast, or uniquely beautiful.
When you immerse yourself in the beauty of the Cape of Good Hope, spot your first rhino from an open top safari vehicle, breathe in the clean, pure air at the top of Table Mountain, or eat a meal underneath that enormous African moon, we fully expect you to fall in love with the place. An emotional attachment to South Africa is practically guaranteed.
Thanks to the leading tour operators that we partner with, here at Aspen Travel, we’re confident we can give you the holiday of a lifetime in South Africa; one that includes expert travel guides, luxury overnight stays and hassle-free journey transfers. Today we’re looking at our top 5 tours to this fascinating part of the globe, with a view to inspiring you and helping you gain an understanding of exactly what makes South Africa so special.
The best way to experience sweeping African vistas is not from the air, but via the window of a luxury train carriage. This way, you won’t miss a glimpse of the land you cross between destinations. Watch enthralled as you pass the mighty Karoo scrubland, grasslands and the majesty of the Cape Winelands.
The famous Blue Train travels from Pretoria to Cape Town and what a sight you’ll see. Formal 5 course meals, cocktails a-plenty and a comfortable bed will be provided during your 27 hour journey, as you watch wildlife from your deluxe railed accommodation. Stop offs are possible along the Garden Route, Victoria Falls and Kimberley; a renowned diamond-mining town.
2.Tour of Cape Town and the surrounding area
Once you’ve reached Cape Town via the Blue Train, you’ll find plenty to entertain you. This is a city that boasts impressively modern, cosmopolitan areas, full of shopping and dining opportunities, as well as a setting of extreme natural beauty.
You’ll spend several nights in the city, using a luxury hotel as your base to explore the waterfront, markets and aquarium, before venturing out with an English-speaking tour guide to explore the Cape Peninsula. Here you’ll visit the Cape of Good Hope and make sure you keep your eyes peeled for zebras and baboons. On your way you’ll pass forests and the vineyards of the South African Winelands, not to mention huge stretches of sandy beach.
Trips up Table Mountain by cable car, or a boat ride out to Robben Island are heartily recommended before you embark on the next part of this tour, which is self-drive in a hire car, which will be delivered to your hotel. Your itinerary will be provided and it’s up to you how long you spend on your journey each day, spending time in the places that interest you. You’ll visit the rugged mountains of Stellenbosch, the hot natural springs of Montagu and the Wilderness National Park in Knysna, which houses spectacular wetlands; home to a huge variety of species. Taking a boat trip here is also a magical experience and one which should bring you closer to the flora and fauna.
Each night, you’ll arrive at your luxury hotel accommodation, where you’ll be expected and welcomed. Your trip will end in Port Elizabeth, where you’ll drop off the hire car and fly to Johannesburg to begin your journey home.
3.16 day tour of South Africa
For the ultimate in South Africa discovery tours, why not take part in a magical journey into the wilds of the Kruger National Park, a famously renowned safari holiday destination, where you’ll have every chance of seeing the Big 5 species in their natural habitat. An experienced guide will take you in a 4WD vehicle to see rhinos, elephants, buffalos, leopards and lions. A highlight of this particular excursion is having the opportunity to feed the elephants!
Although game drives will make up a large part of your trip, you’ll also explore some of South Africa’s most exciting cities and natural landmarks. You’ll enjoy shopping in the luxurious malls of Johannesburg, before heading to Pretoria; the capital city of the region, where you’ll visit historic towns set in lush, subtropical surroundings. Here, in the forest-covered mountains, you’ll have the chance to look around the area as part of a hike, or mountain-biking tour, with the option to do some fishing, pot-holing, or take a boat past the majestic Tufa Falls.
After Pretoria, you’ll make your way over to the formerly British territory of Swaziland to peruse the craft markets and admire the incredible views over the Ezulwini Valley, as well as have a look around traditional African huts in Zululand.
The sugar cane fields and cosmopolitan centre of Durban is next on your itinerary. You can shop, dine and marvel at the golden sandy beaches in the area, before catching a flight over to Port Elizabeth with a view to exploring the Garden Route highlights, including the Tsitsikamma Forest and Knysna Lagoon.
With more wildlife-spotting opportunities in store, you’ll see Cape Mountain tortoises, blue cranes and antelopes in the Featherbed Nature Reserve, South African ostriches in the abundant ostrich farms of Oudtshoorn and whales from your touring boat off Cape Town. Lovable seals will no doubt be on display at the Cape Point Nature Reserve, as will the infamous penguins of Boulders Beach. Your epic African journey will end in the Cape Winelands, where you’ll sample some of the finest local tipples.
4. Cox and Kings cultural tour of Kwa-Zulu Natal
With its emphasis on gaining an insight into the Zulu people and their homelands, this 16 day tour will take you on a journey through the South African past and present. You’ll visit the historic Zulu battlefields, where vicious fighting between British, Boers and Zulus took place and get to know the landscape of the area, along with its native wildlife. It’s a fascinating eye-opener for anyone interested in this period of history.
At the beginning of your trip youll fly into Durban, before heading over to the Drakensberg Mountains, taking in the landmark site of Nelson’s Mandela’s capture on the way. After spending a couple of nights in luxury accommodation with a stunning backdrop, you’ll tour the battlefields, searching for crocodiles and hippos in Hluhluwe, discover Johnannesburg and enjoy plentiful wildlife drives and walks in Kruger National Park; one of the very best destinations in the world for seeing the Big 5 in their natural habitat. Numerous spa and relaxation days will be included in your trip, giving you the opportunity to unwind, or explore the surrounding area at your leisure.
5. 8 Day tour of the Kwa-Zulu Natal
If you need to fit your epic tour of Durban and the historic battlefields into a shorter space of time, an 8 day tour is also possible. You’ll see many of the highlights of the longer, 16 day tour, but without additional spa and relaxation days. It’ll be an exhilarating and enjoyable whirlwind tour of the area.
If you’re interested in visiting South Africa without compromising on luxury, please get in touch with the Aspen Travel team. We are a trusted booking partner for many leading South African tour operators and the all-inclusive packages we can provide will include flights, transfer, accommodation, reliable and professional English-speaking tour guides and managers, as well as all of your meals. We can help you find the best deal for the dates you want to travel and answer any questions you may have about itineraries, accommodation and anything else you might need to know. Please get in touch to find out more.