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South Africa Safaris, Lodges & Tours

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Adventure Life's South Africa safaris and tours let visitors experience a wide variety of cultural and wildlife adventures. Retrace Nelson Mandela's steps on Robben Island, explore the vibrant cities of Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg, and spot the Big 5 on Safari in some of Africa's most well-known game reserves. From Cape Town to Kruger, and Zulu Kingdom to Durban's Golden Mile, there really is something for everyone in South Africa! Combine your visit to South Africa with a luxury cruise on the Okavango Delta of Botswana for the ultimate luxury African safari. Adventure Life's South Africa experts have hand-picked the best bush lodges, camps, cruises and safari guides to guarantee you'll get the most out of your South Africa trip. Contact us for a free personalized quote.

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South Africa is a land of great diversity, and it's all waiting to be explored by you. The culture, wildlife, and landscapes transform as you cross the sun-kissed horizons of this country. Your cruise will acquaint you with some of South Africa's most intriguing sites, like:
  • Cape Town & Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned and major political events formed part of the country's dim period of Apartheid.
  • Kruger National Park & Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, for a safari to see the big five game animals (rhinos, lions, elephant, buffalo, & leopards). 
  • An authentic Zulu homestead, where this indigenous lifestyle is not only preserved but still in use today.
  • The vineyards of wine country where you can sip world class South African wines.
  • Johannesburg, which was originally a small gold mining community in the 1800s and has since grown into South Africa's biggest city.
  • Along the Rivers & Rails of Africa, including stops in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Victoria Falls)
As the southernmost country in Africa, this is a great place to base an Antarctic Expedition or a trans-Atlantic journey from the capes of South America all the way to those of Africa.
Best Time to Travel to South Africa

Overall, South Africa is an excellent destination year-round. Since it comprises the entire southern cone of Africa, there are significant differences in weather depending on where you are planning to visit.

If you are heading to the coast, September through May are the best months to travel, and June, July, and August can be avoided.

The opposite is true for expeditions in Kruger National Park – the best months to visit are from April – November.

If you are planning a trip to both destinations, consider April, May, September, October, or November.
 
The Wildlife to Watch for in South Africa

Kruger National Park
:
  • Black rhino & White Rhino
  • Buffalo
  • Cheetah, Lion, Leopard
  • Elephant
  • Kudu, Eland
  • Hippo
  • Wildebeest
  • Gemsbock
  • Wild Dog
Stunning South African Cruises

Both ocean cruises and river cruises are accessible via South Africa and a fascinating way to see the African continent.

River Cruises + Safari
After spending a day exploring Johannesburg, take a flight to the town of Kasane, Botswana and board a luxurious river cruise boat like the Zambezi Queen where you'll float through Chobe National Park spotting from your luxury suite complemented with traditional jeep safari excursions. Finish your safari cruise in breathtaking Victoria Falls.

Ocean Cruises
The ports of Cape Town and Durban host an exclusive set of nature-focused expedition cruises along the South African coast and to far off destinations such as the tropical Seychelles, and even the white continent of Antarctica.  
The Best Safari Lodges & Tent Camps of South Africa

While we feature over 30 safari lodges & camps in South Africa, here are a few of our favorites:See all safari lodges & camps in Kruger National Park and the surrounding private game reserves.
Top South African Private Game Reserves & Safari Lodges
South Africa Travel FAQs

Here are some of the basics, see our full South Africa FAQ here.

Do I need a visa to travel to South Africa?
For visits of 90 days or less, US citizens are only required to have a passport with 30 days of validity, but a visa is not required.

Is tipping customary in South Africa?
Tipping between 10-15 percent in most service industries (restaurants, hotels, drivers, guides, etc) is appreciated throughout most of South Africa.

What is internet access like in South Africa?
Of our Africa tours and expeditions, the time spent in South Africa is likely your best opportunity to connect to the internet, especially in cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, which are very developed metropolitan centers. However, once you are in the more rural and remote areas, do not expect to connect to the internet.

Can I use my cell phone while in South Africa?
In the major cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, you can purchase a SIM chip that will work with the local cell towers. However, once you leave these cities, you will be out of range of the cell towers as you plunge deeper onto your African safari. 

Do I need power adapters?
South Africa's 220-240v power uses the South Africa BS-546 outlets, with three round prongs (not the same as Italian or European style!). US devices will require both a step down converter and a plug adapter.

What are the toilets like in South Africa?
Whether you're staying in a safari camp or a luxurious hotel or anything in between, you can count on western style flush toilets and comfortable facilities during your stay in South Africa. Although it is worth mentioning that it is possible that you'll run into squat toilets in certain remote areas on various expeditions.

Can I drink the water in South Africa?
The water in South Africa is not safe to drink. Stick with the bottled water or filtered water given to you free of charge by your tour operator.

Are credit cards accepted in South Africa? Will I be able to find ATMs?
There are more businesses that accept credit cards and ATMs in South Africa than most of the rest of the countries in Africa, but it's still not something you should count on. When you do find an ATM, especially at the airport, take advantage of it to take out some cash that you can use for tips and souvenirs. 

Should I purchase travel insurance?
Definitely! Purchasing travel insurance should come right after purchasing the ticket, just in case. So check out our Once You're Booked page for more information and promotions.

South Africa at a Glance
Population: 
54.3 million

Language: IsiZulu (official) 22.7%, IsiXhosa (official) 16%, Afrikaans (official) 13.5%, English (official) 9.6%, Sepedi (official) 9.1%, Setswana (official) 8%, Sesotho (official) 7.6%, Xitsonga (official) 4.5%, siSwati (official) 2.5%, Tshivenda (official) 2.4%, isiNdebele (official) 2.1%

Land Area: 470,900 mi²

Religion: Protestant 36.6% (Zionist Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%), Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census).

President: Cyril Ramaphosa

Currency: South African rand

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