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Situated on the southern tip of the African continent, this vast country is diverse in every sense of the word – from its population to its dramatically varied landscapes. While the main draw for many visitors is undoubtedly the national parks, South Africa also boasts incredible beaches, lush vineyards, mountains, deserts and much more. South Africa is also fascinating from a cultural perspective: if you’re traveling through Johannesburg be sure to visit the Apartheid Museum and the Hector Pieterson Memorial, both of which will provide some insight into the country’s often turbulent history.
The country’s three main airports are in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, from which there are scheduled flights to major cities in the United States and around the world. Which airport its best to fly into depends on the type of vacation you're planning. For beach holidays, look for flights into Cape Town from November to March, or to Durban, where the subtropical Kwazulu Natal coast is at its best from April to October. Safaris can be enjoyed throughout the year – Kruger National Park is a one-hour flight (or a four-hour drive) from Johannesburg or, a three-hour flight from Cape Town.
Situated in South Africa’s Western Cape province, Cape Town occupies an incredible setting, with the Atlantic Ocean stretched out in front and a craggy mountain range behind. But there’s much more to this city than just scenery – first-class bars and restaurants, great shopping and excellent art galleries (including the newly opened Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) are just some of the things that combine to make Cape Town a must-visit destination. Although there are so many things to see in the city itself, be sure to venture beyond its confines to take in some of South Africa’s most important sights. Table Mountain is just five miles outside of Cape Town, while some of the country’s most celebrated wineries are under an hour’s drive away.
South Africa is home to some of the world’s rarest and most majestic animals, and seeing these amazing creatures in their natural habitat is an experience you will never forget. The most popular safari destination in South Africa is Kruger National Park, which is renowned as being the easiest place in Africa to spot the ‘big five’ (that’s lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants and Cape buffalo), but don’t discount less well-known parks such as the Madikwe Game Reserve. Outside of the safari parks, there’s still every chance you’ll encounter some of the country’s spectacular wildlife. Cape Town is famous for its population of chacma baboons, who live in and around the city, while the South African coastline is one of the world’s best whale watching areas. Although there are plenty of dedicated boat tours, it is possible to spot these magnificent creatures from the land – the seaside town of Hermanus is particularly famous for its marine life.
Named by Portuguese sailors in the 15th century this rocky promontory on the tip of the Cape Peninsula is a fantastic place to come to take in the beauty of the country. Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its rich and varied flora and fauna, the Cape of Good Hope is largely covered in fynbos, or fine bush, a rare and distinct type of vegetation that is only found on the peninsula. Animals have also made their home on the Cape of Good Hope, and while you’re almost certain to see some of the area’s famous baboons, you might also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of an ostrich or a zebra.
From glamorous resorts with oceanfront bars and restaurants to windswept dunes where you’re more likely to spot penguins and seals than another person, South Africa’s 1500-mile coastline has something for everyone. On the outskirts of Cape Town, Camps Bay and Llandudno Beach draw tourists and locals who frequent the fashionable cafes that look out onto impressive views of the ocean and mountains. In the Eastern Cape province, Jeffreys Bay is a mecca for surfers and nature-lovers alike – dolphins are spotted here year-round and whales appear from July to September.
A safari vacation in South Africa is an incredible experience to share with family or friends. To make your trip even more special, check out our selection of lodges in the Madikwe Game Reserve, and consider combining your safari with a stay in fabulous Cape Town.
Combining beautiful beaches with the charms of a global city, Cape Town has something for everyone, as does our array of luxurious vacation rentals. Designed to make the most of the balmy temperatures and fantastic scenery, ourvillas in Cape Town boast large terraces and indoor/outdoor living areas, and most have swimming pools. Occupying enviable oceanfront spots in upscale beach communities such as Camps Bay and Llandudno, these properties will make your stay in Cape Town feel very special.
Situated in South Africa’s North West province, on the border with Botswana, the Madikwe Game Reserve opened in 1991 with over 280 square miles of bushland, making it one of the largest parks in South Africa. Despite its size, Madikwe has remained under the radar, and since there is no entry for day visitors the park feels very exclusive. Madikwe is home to lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and more, and the park’s expert guides will ensure that you have the best chance of seeing these wonderful creatures. OurMadikwe Game Reserve lodges range from the intimate Morokuru Owner’s House, which is ideal for a romantic getaway, to the fabulous Molori Safari Lodge with its infinity pool, bar, and huge terrace. With space for up to 14 guests, Molori Lodge is built for entertaining against a breathtaking backdrop.