Luxury Holidays in South Africa

South Africa is an exhilarating and often spectacularly beautiful destination, sometimes described as 'a world in one country' because it has everything from deserts and forests to savannahs and mountains, beaches and islands, game reserves and vibrant cities. We'll help you pick and choose where to go and what to do on a truly original tailor made holiday.

Isabel, Louise Fitzgerald and Ra are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Cape Town is the ideal place from which to begin an exploration of the south, starting with its own attractions of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens and Robben Island.
  • The wildlife - our favourite spots include Kruger Park and KwaZulu-Natal, better known as the kingdom of the Zulus.
  • The Western Cape is a mecca for wine and food enthusiasts; makers and chefs take a serious approach to producing the best and a very relaxed approach to entertaining.
  • South Africa is the only country in Africa where you can go on safari without taking malaria pills; perfect for families (and babymooners!).
  • You'll barely cross a time zone, making a week-long luxury holiday (or even a long weekend in Cape Town) absolutely do-able due to zero jetlag.

More on luxury holidays in South Africa...

The rumours are true… South Africa really is one of the most, (bold statement alert) if not the most stunning and varied countries on the planet. It is a country to suit all luxury travellers.

There are few better places to see Africa's wildlife or enjoy excellent restaurants and local wine, beaches, sports of all descriptions, whale-watching, flowers, diamonds, train journeys... the list goes on.

Did you know

  • In 1905 the world's largest diamond, the Cullinan, was found in South Africa
  • It was Africa's first country to host the Football World Cup in 2010
  • The country has 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu
  • It has the highest bungee jump in the world, at 710ft
  • It is the second largest exporter of fruit in the world
  • It is rated number three in the world for providing safe, drinkable tap water

The team at Original Travel has travelled the length and breadth of South Africa in search of luxury holiday perfection, staying at the best lodges and trying out the best activities (and wines). Our favourites include the Kruger Park and adjoining private game reserves, which are easily combined with those in KwaZulu-Natal, the kingdom of the Zulus, where some of the fiercest battles of both the Anglo Zulu and the Boer Wars took place under the peaks of the dramatic Drakensberg Mountains.

Cape Province, stretching the length of the southern coast, has a marvellous Mediterranean climate at is most agreeable for luxury holidays between December and April. Its capital, Cape Town, is the ideal place from which to begin an exploration of the south starting with its own attractions of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens and Robben Island, then along the Wine Route and further still into the Great Karoo or east via the Garden Route.

South Africa is a great destination for couples, solo travellers or families (owing mainly to it being malaria free). The safari experiences, which are somewhat overlooked compared to other African counterparts, exhibit wide varieties of wild game and stunning landscapes, especially in the likes of the Eastern Cape and Sabi Sands game reserve. However if you are short on time and fancy a quick getaway, Cape Town and the Winelands are ideal for a long weekend of wine, walking and whales. At risk of sounding like a broken record, South Africa can cater for all, making it a perfect destination for a tailor made experience.


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Original Highlight

South Africa saw some brutal fighting during the Boer and Zulu Wars and it’s fascinating to tour the battlefields and find out more. Rob Caskie’s description of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift is a moving experience, to put it mildly.

Ra, Original Traveller

A note on price

South Africa’s USP is the sheer variety of experiences it offers (from food and drink to diving to safari), which makes it tricky to provide guide prices. A luxury holiday combining Cape Town and the Winelands could cost around £2,000 per person, while upgrading to the best hotels and combining that with a top end safari could add a few thousand to the bill. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 22°C / 71°F
  • Rainfall — 2cm / 0.8 inches
  • Water Temp. — 19°C / 66°F
Language

Afrikaans

Currency

Rand

Visa Requirements

Not required however, you must have two facing clear visa pages in your passport (in addition to any amendment/additional pages you have at the back of your passport).

Religion

Christian

Food & Drink

Bobotie – curried minced meat baked with an egg based topping

What to pack

Good walking shoes and a swimsuit for those many beautiful beaches!

Flight from London

11:30 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +2 hrs


Top picks for South Africa

The pool at Bushmans Kloof, luxury hotel in South Africa

Bushmans Kloof

The Winelands and Cape

Tucked away in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, Bushmans Kloof offers the freedom to cycle, walk and enjoy outdoor activities surrounded by spectacular rock formations and seasonal rivers.

Where to stay

Grootbos

Grootbos

The Winelands and Cape

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a five-star 4,200 acre reserve overlooking Walker Bay, just east of Hermanus on the Cape coast. The reserve has eco-friendly objectives at heart and your visit directly contributes to the conservation efforts of the Grootbos Foundation.

Where to stay

The restaurant at Birkenhead House, luxury hotel in South Africa

Birkenhead House

The Winelands and Cape

Birkenhead House is a luxurious coastal retreat perched on the cliffs overlooking Walker Bay, just outside Hermanus – one of the first stops on the ‘Garden Route’ running east from Cape Town.

Where to stay

Luxury Train Journey From Pretoria to Cape Town

Luxury Train Journey From Pretoria to Cape Town

Cape Town

Rovos Rail evokes the style and old age glamour of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express – minus the murder – with subtle modern touches bringing the train into the 21st Century.

What to do

Madikwe & The Waterberg

Madikwe & The Waterberg

South Africa

There are many fantastic safari options throughout Africa, but South Africa's Madikwe and Waterberg region has the added advantage of being malaria free.

Where to go

Reception lounge at Delaire Graff Estate, luxury hotel in South Africa

Delaire Graff Estate

The Winelands and Cape

British jeweller Laurence Graff bought the Delaire estate outside Stellenbosch in 2003, and has expertly combined art, design, food and wine to create a simply stunning hotel.

Where to stay

Aerial View of Cape Town

Cape Town

South Africa

Surely the ultimate 'winter sun' city break from the UK; endless appeal, and minimal time difference.

Where to go

Riding South Africa

Riding South Africa

South Africa

The appeal of South Africa’s horseback safaris is that everyone from the tiniest tot to the deeply experienced riding traveller will find something here.

What to do

Rhinos in cloudy skies

Eastern Cape

South Africa

The second largest of South Africa’s nine provinces is a region of exceptional natural beauty and has so much to offer, particularly for families.

Where to go

Bartholomeus Klip, luxury hotel in  South Africa

Bartholomeus Klip

The Winelands and Cape

A Victorian farmstead on its own 10,000 acre private nature reserve, and at the same time a working wheat and sheep farm, all near to Cape Town and the winelands of the Western Cape.

Where to stay

Discover the Real Cape Town

Discover the Real Cape Town

Cape Town

We strongly recommend taking advantage of some of the excellent privately guided tours that we can arrange during your stay in Cape Town. There is nothing more frustrating than staying in a city and only scraping the surface of what it actually has to offer, particularly a city as vibrant and exciting as Cape Town.

What to do

Ngala Tented Camp

Ngala Tented Camp

Kruger National Park & Sabi Sands

Ngala Private Game Reserve was the first reserve to be incorporated into the game rich Kruger National Park (all 36,500 acres of it), and the tented camp gives guests an authentic safari experience, surrounded by wildlife.

Where to stay

Lion in Kruger

Kruger National Park & Sabi Sands

South Africa

The Kruger is South Africa’s oldest and largest nature reserve, covering an area of 7,700 square miles, roughly the same size as Wales.

Where to go

Vineyards of South Africa

The Winelands and Cape

South Africa

Sample the many delights accessible via scenic drives from Cape Town, from wine tasting to whale watching, and countryside retreats.

Where to go

Makanyane Safari Lodge

Makanyane Safari Lodge

Madikwe & The Waterberg

Makanyane is a luxurious lodge situated in the Madikwe Game Reserve, overlooking the Marico River. Named after the African wild dog in the Tswana language, the lodge is ideally situated in one of South Africa’s premier game-viewing locations - and it is the amazing wildlife of Madikwe that lies at the heart of the experience at Makanyane.

Where to stay

Babylonstoren, luxury hotel in South Africa

Babylonstoren

The Winelands and Cape

The traditional Cape Dutch farmstead of Babylonstoren is slap bang in the middle of the Cape Winelands, within easy reach of Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch and - of course - the world famous vineyards.

Where to stay

Mont Rochelle exterior

Mont Rochelle

The Winelands and Cape

Mont Rochelle is a wonderful boutique set on a hill above the historic village of Franschhoek, surrounded by vineyards and mountains. The property dates back to the 18th century when French Huguenots (many of them winemakers) fled to the Cape to escape religious persecution in France and in 2014, Sir Richard Branson gallantly rode in and gave the place a much needed face lift.

Where to stay

Interior at Hawksmoor, luxury hotel in South Africa

Hawksmoor

The Winelands and Cape

There may be smarter places to stay in the Winelands, but we guarantee none have as much character as Hawksmoor.

Where to stay

We loved every minute. We love diving and are already looking at your book and thinking about next year.

Stuart

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