South Africa’s Top 5

South Africa is famed for its wildlife safaris and thrilling encounters with the “Big 5” – elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino. But there are also other amazing experiences to be had in South Africa, which is now visa-free for Kiwi travellers! Here are our “Top 5” South African experiences.

Boutique Johannesburg
Jozi to it’s locals, this city is emerging as a vibrant and multi-cultural place to visit. Colourful street art is painted on buildings and gentrification is evident in trendy new loft apartments. A tour of Soweto is a vital history lesson, and the foodie scene is world class. One of our favourite places to stay is The Peech Hotel in the leafy suburb of Melrose, a truly boutique property with chic style and lush gardens.

The Kalahari
Get out of town into a vast landscape of sweeping desert vistas – the Kalahari is an ancient place of timeless beauty, and a very different safari destination. One of the best places to see cheetah and charming meerkats, you can also spot the more elusive species such as aardvark and pangolin. A stay at The Motse in the Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve is the ultimate safari experience – exclusive luxury paired with exceptional service and incredible wildlife.

Captivating Cape Town

With its spectacular Table Mountain backdrop, Cape Town is a sophisticated city deserving at least a few days stay. Head out to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, check out the stunning beaches along the coast to the Cape of Good Hope, a World Heritage Site. Dining options and the nightlife are world class. We love to stay at the luxurious Cape Grace hotel on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront – what’s not to love about free chauffeur transfers within a 10km radius of your hotel!

The Cape Winelands
The Cape Winelands is a cluster of beautiful villages and towns within easy reach of Cape Town, famous for world-renowned wines and a rich history of French and Dutch settlers evident in the local architecture.  Most vineyards offer tastings (the pinotage is to die for), and there’s a hop-on, hop-off wine tour by tram and bus – a really leisurely way to enjoy the local area!  Just a couple of our favourite estates are Grande Provence in Franschhoek and Delaire Graff, in the beautiful Stellenbosch mountains.  Divine.

A Private Safari Experience
It’s a given that you will want to go on safari in South Africa, but we’d urge you to think seriously about heading for a private game reserve – avoid the crowds, get that true wilderness feeling, and enjoy some of the best guides and rangers in the business. A great example is andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge, its sumptuous decor a sublime contrast to the wild surroundings which are home to prolific wildlife. Another favourite is Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge. Sculpted into a slope of the earth, it has been described as the most environmentally sensitive lodge in Africa.  Gourmet cuisine and plunge pools aside, it really is ALL about the incredible wildlife encounters!

So there it is – wildlife, scenery, food and wine, history, culture, top class hotels and game lodges, and we haven’t even mentioned luxury train travel! South Africa is truly an amazingly diverse country.

Click on these related travel ideas:

Private Safari Lodges
Cape & the Winelands
Kalahari & Cape Delight
About South Africa