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South Africa Tours & Trips

South Africa Tours
South Africa Safari Vehicle driving on road with elephants nearby
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See the stunning sights and safari sensations of South Africa in one of the planet's premier gap year destinations. The country is bursting with amazing things to do and is a must-see for any intrepid explorer! Take in the dizzy heights of Table Mountain, the gorgeous glories of the Garden Route, go safari-crazy in the African bush or visit the ostriches in Oudtshoorn. Get your pulse racing with a bungee jump or swim with the great white shark...Try an adventure package for the complete thrill-seeking experience. Our South Africa trips are the holy grail for any animal lover; volunteer on an amazing range of conservation projects and get up close and personal with mischievous monkeys or charismatic cheetahs. Discover this country’s addictive magic on our South Africa tours and you'll be hooked in no time!

Read more in our South Africa Travel Guide.

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South Africa Facts

Capital City

Cape Town

Currency

South African Rand (ZAR)

Language

English

Dialling Code

+27

Plug Type

Type N

South Africa Highlights

Old blue car parked in front of bright pink and lime green houses with bannisters and wooden doors, Cape Town

Cape Town

Where better to begin your journey around the “Rainbow Nation”? Centred around the formidable Table Mountain and sweeping coast, Cape Town is packed with vibrant scenery. Between the glistening waterfront, the colourful street of Bo-Kaap, a tree canopy and wildlife hotspots just outside the city, there are countless activities you can plan here.

Safari 4WD vehicle on road for game drive, surrounded by lush wildlife outside park, taken from vehicle, South Africa

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is a fascinating destination for those interested in wildlife and archaeology alike. South Africa’s biggest and oldest national park is an experience unlike any other, from the big game sightings to the countless rock artefacts dating back to prehistoric mankind. Discover it all on an epic safari drive.

Emerald forest with sundrenched hills above, a tree with pale wood covers the right side, Garden Route South Africa

Garden Route

The Garden Route whisks you through dramatic scenery - featuring ancient forests, steep mountain passes, curved coastlines and the country’s finest beaches. Its name comes after the lush vegetation you encounter on this epic journey into the wild. The Garden Route is a nature paradise; no wonder it is the most famous road trip on the continent!

Sunrise over a broad curved mountain top with rocky cliffs and lilac grey clouds in the blue sky, Table Mountain South Africa

Table Mountain - Cape Town

Cape Town’s defining feature is none other than Table Mountain: a steep hill with a flat top as if it were made for overlooking the city. Table Mountain’s vistas are spectacular as you can admire Cape Town from every angle. And as a national park by itself, it’s no surprise that Table Mountain is one of the world’s new seven natural wonders.

Lioness lying on dry grass next to tree in the shade, Big 5 Animals South Africa

The "Big 5" Animals

South Africa is a premier destination for game drives and there is a good chance of spotting all the Big 5 animals! These are lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and African buffalo. South Africa is also home to record-breakers like the world’s biggest land mammal (the African elephant), reptile (the leatherback sea turtle) and bird (the ostrich)!

Beautiful emerald vineyard rows with hills and blue mountain in the distance on a cloudy day, Stellenbosch South Africa

Stellenbosch - Garden Route

Escape to the sun-drenched valley of Stellenbosch, where you will discover rows of vineyards each more glamorous than the next. Soak up the enchanting scenery with a glass in hand as you get well-acquainted with all the flavour varieties. Don’t leave Braai traditions behind, because for the world’s best barbecues, South Africa comes out on top!

Two penguin's holding hands and forming heart shape on rock with penguin shadows in the distance, Boulders Beach South Africa

Boulders Beach

Animal lovers cannot miss out on this next highlight. Boulders Beach is already beautiful with its pristine white sand, gentle waters and secluded location. But it’s the penguins (also known as “jackasses”) who call this bay home that makes it a South Africa essential. Just smile and wave, boys!

Emerald vista with curved rocks clad with jungle landscape and intersected by wide winding river, Panorama Route South Africa

Three Rondavels - Panorama Route

The Panorama Route is packed with scenic vistas, and the Three Rondavels just may be our favourite. Named after its twin boulders that resemble traditional huts, the striking Blyde River Canyon is one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets. The jungle-clad, epic boulders with a winding river in the distance are a view to remember.

South Africa Travel Advice

Row of vibrant huts to the left on white sand beach with pale blue sky and people in the distance, Cape Town

Climate & Weather

South Africa’s climate is split between Mediterranean weather near Cape Town and subtropical weather elsewhere. Located south of the equator, its winter falls from May to September, and its wetter summer months from October to April. South Africa has fairly dry weather overall with sunny days and colder nights.

July and August are the coldest months with average temperatures in Cape Town at around 17℃; meanwhile, January and February is when South Africa is at its hottest, with an average of 26℃. The east coast is relatively warmer throughout the year, with a difference of about 4℃.

Beautiful leopard sitting and facing the left on a sunny grassland, South Africa

Best Time to Visit

For cooler weather and game drives, the best time to visit South Africa is from May to September. If you want to go whale-watching, the ideal time to visit is from July to November. Peak season in South Africa is from November to March because of the Christmas and Easter breaks; the weather is hot and dry at this time of year in the Cape area, while Kruger National Park sees a few tropical rainstorms.

Vintage blue car parked in front of row of brightly painted houses, green, pink, yellow, orange and blue on a sunny day

Customs & Culture

South Africa has 11 official languages (the most in the world), so that should give you a good idea of how diverse the culture is! This fascinating country is nicknamed the “Rainbow Nation” after its melting pot of unique cultures. Generally speaking, South African culture is friendly and less punctual than the UK, so things move at a more leisurely pace here. Tipping around 10 percent here is customary, and if someone is trying to get your attention, they’re more likely to make a hissing noise than shout.

Red and blue british passports

Passports & Visas

British passport holders can stay in South Africa for up to 90 days without needing a visa. There are limits on how much money you can take into South Africa, so check beforehand and keep in mind you will need to declare it at customs if you’re taking more than the amount. To avoid any issues at immigration, ensure your passport has 2 blank pages and is valid for at least 30 days after your intended exit date from South Africa. 

Always check FCDO advice for up-to-date information.

Mini penguin colony on granite rock with rock tower in distance at sunset, Cape Town

Health & Safety

Check at least 8 weeks before your trip that you have any necessary vaccinations, and always travel abroad with insurance. Public medical healthcare can vary, while private healthcare is of a high standard in South Africa.

South Africa can be good for tourists if you are visiting the right areas and preferably travelling as part of a guided tour. Organising reputable taxi transfers are recommended to and from the airport, and outside of tour activities. Travellers are encouraged to check the relevant embassy websites for safety advice and tourism tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Long layers are recommended to keep your skin protected from the sun, wind and any insects. Neutral and earthy colours like browns, khakis and greys are best to blend into the natural environment as much as possible, but try to avoid camouflage clothing as this is reserved for the military. You will want to wear closed-toed shoes like comfortable hiking shoes or even gaiters. Hats will protect you from sunburn, while a warm fleece on hand is good for early morning and evening/night safaris. Many of our South Africa group tours have safaris and game drives included!

South Africa is a dream destination for safaris and game drives. Expect to find penguins, crocodiles, humpback whales, black mamba snakes and giraffes - and that’s without mentioning the legendary Big 5 animals: the African elephant, lions, leopards, rhinoceros and buffalos!

South Africa is nicknamed the “Rainbow Nation”, and its food options are just as colourful. Seafood and steaks are what South Africa is most famous for, and nobody holds a barbecue - aka, Braai - better than these guys do! Taste a combination of African, Asian and European flavours in Cape Town, try curried bunny chow served in a bread bowl (it’s not really rabbit, it’s beef or beans) and fill up on Padkos road food for drives along the South African coast. Don’t forget to try the wine while you’re here; you can even plan a visit to some of South Africa’s finest vineyards as part of the Garden Route.

Flights from London to South Africa usually take 11 hours and 30 minutes direct.

South Africa’s government is divided into three branches, and so there are three cities to represent each one. South Africa’s three capitals are Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (administrative) and Bloemfontein (judicial).

South Africa is a beautiful destination to visit but travellers should expect different safety standards than what they may be accustomed to. Exploring the country on South Africa group tours is one of the easiest ways to make your trip as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible. Your local guide will be an expert in the area and know the best places to visit. For up-to-date information, please visit the relevant embassy websites before travelling. Always do your own research before travelling to any country.

@gap360official | South Africa

Group travellers in south africa at viewpoint
Why your next trip needs to be a South Africa Adventure! 🦁 ⁠...
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Group travellers in South Africa at viewpoint in Garden Route
Customer pictures from our South Africa Big 5 Conservation trip 🦁 @alex_onhertravels ⁠...
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18-30s Group travellers on safari in south africa
With game drives, close-up animal encounters and a trip up the iconic garden route - this is the perfect trip for wildlife lovers 🐘 ⁠...
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Group travellers 18-30 watching elephants near campsite in South Africa
Cape Town to Zanzibar is all about close-up animal encounters 😍 Check out these incredible shots taken by @emily_cowie ⁠...
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South Africa Trip Reviews

4.5
Rating
201
Reviews

Charlotte Barley

The most amazing company ever, changed my life.

Georgina Woolfe

A fantastic and helpful team that makes travelling stress free

Jenna Jones

My highlights were seeing the big five, going to the elephant sanctuary and meeting the most amazing people!

Pia Antonini

Has given me memories that will last a life time!

Vinay Sohal

The game drives whilst at the game reserve were amazing and allowed me to view the wild animals in their natural habitats at close proximity. I also loved the bungee jump, skydiving and shark cage diving which was a part of the…

Abigail Flowerday

Very knowledgeable and always happy to answer questions. Amazing experience, photos don't do the project justice. Met incredible people and learnt so much about monkey behaviour and interactions with primates!

Caroline

Everyone needs to visit the continent. Amazing time in all the countries visited and worth every penny.

Sophie Stewart

Incredible experience, very helpful staff! The accommodation opens out right on to the bush, so we were able to see incredible animals up close at all times. Very much missing bush camp! Will definitely be booking more through…

Philipp Winter

The people and the game reserve there were very good.

Charlotte Butler

Most incredible experience of my entire life.

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