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10-Day South Africa Safari Tours

South Africa is an ideal place for a 10-day safari. With its ever-changing landscapes, it’s an incredibly varied country. It features dramatic mountains, stark deserts, lush forests, endemic fynbos, savannah woodland, a ruggedly wild coastline on the west and idyllic tropical beaches on the east. The country is dotted with 19 national parks and hundreds of other provincial and private reserves. No wonder it is one of the most popular destinations in Africa. Although the wildlife viewing here is as good as anywhere, most visitors want to enjoy some of the other attractions the country has to offer too. Tours to South Africa are therefore usually a mix of wildlife locations and other highlights.

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1-5 of 5 South Africa 10-day holidays, itineraries, trips, packages & vacations

6 Questions About 10-Day South Africa Safaris


6 Questions About 10-Day South Africa Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

Is 10 days a good amount of time for a safari in South Africa?

“Ten days is a great amount of time for a safari, but it would be quite short for a South African holiday. South Africa has a lot to offer and you can easily spend a two- or three-week holiday in this country of contrasts. Contrary to other safari countries in Africa, a typical South African holiday consists of several smaller safaris mixed in with other highlights. The most popular safari destination is Greater Kruger, which is made up of Kruger National Park and the private reserves bordering it. But there are other areas offering excellent wildlife viewing that are worth exploring too. And then there are the mountains, the cities, the scenic coastline of the Garden Route, and much more. You also have to consider that South Africa is a large country, and distances between destinations are usually long. Especially on a road trip, you might want to add a few extra days to your holiday to take in more of what South Africa has to offer.”


Can I combine a 10-day safari with a beach holiday in South Africa?

“Yes, you definitely can combine a 10-day safari with a beach holiday in South Africa. After 10 days of wildlife viewing and sightseeing, you might like to end your holiday with a relaxing time on the beach. Well, South Africa, with its 2,850km coastline, has you covered. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape are perfect for a tropical beach holiday. There are many family-friendly resorts to choose from, as well as more-secluded romantic getaways. The southern beaches along the Garden Route are great in summer but cold in winter. Active visitors wanting to explore, walk or cycle as well as relax enjoy this area most. However, if you are looking for pure island bliss, you might want to hop on a plane to Mauritius or Seychelles.”


Where in South Africa should I go on a 10-day safari?

“There are lots of options for a 10-day safari in South Africa. Most popular is Kruger National Park. This vast ecosystem is about the size of Israel and just a little smaller than Belgium. The south of the park is most accessible, but you could spend extra time and make your way north. As the landscapes and habitats change, so do the animals. Both guided and self-drive safaris are good options in Kruger, but you could consider a few days in one of the bordering private game reserves for a different experience. Here your expert guide will get you close to all of the Big Five in an open-top safari vehicle. Whereas you need to stick to the roads in Kruger, you’ll go off-road in the reserves, so expect some exciting close-up encounters here. This doesn’t come cheap but the whole package with luxury accommodation, gourmet food and outstanding service is worth every cent. The cluster of KwaZulu-Natal reserves is very different. This tropical area with rolling hills and lush vegetation is particularly scenic. Rhino are prolific here and the birding is outstanding. For an off-the-beaten-track safari, you should consider Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Wildlife densities are lower in this desert environment, but the wide-open spaces make for great viewing in a beautiful setting.”


What is the best time of the year for a 10-day safari in South Africa?

“The best time of the year for a 10-day safari in South Africa is from May to September. This is the South African winter, which corresponds to the Dry season in most of the country. The exception is the Cape Town area, which experiences winter rainfall. Water in the bush dries out as the Dry season progresses, and animals are easier to find as they gather around rivers and waterholes. The shriveling vegetation makes animal spotting easier too. Although this is the most productive time for wildlife viewing, you must keep in mind that early mornings and evenings can be bitterly cold in open vehicles. The shoulder month of September is perhaps best as it is the end of the Dry season, but temperatures start to increase a little. If you want to combine your safari with other highlights or time on the beach, you might prefer the warmer summer months from October to April. ”


Which animals am I likely to see on a 10-day safari in South Africa?

“You are likely to see a big variety of animals on your 10-day safari in South Africa. Where the open plains of East Africa offer a chance to see huge numbers of grazers, South Africa offers more diversity. You’ve got a good chance of seeing the Big Five when spending three or four days in Kruger NP. Even more so in the adjacent private reserves where off-road driving makes sightings easier. Elephant, buffalo and giraffe are common throughout. Of the big cats, lion are easiest to see, but you need a fair amount of luck to see the secretive leopard in Kruger. However, this sought-after cat is the flagship species of the bordering Sabi Sands Game Reserve. There are lots of white rhino in southern Kruger, but the best place to see these endangered large mammals is in the KwaZulu-Natal reserves. What really sets South Africa apart is the variety in antelope species. Look out for the stately spiral-horned greater kudu or the majestic nyala, which is most common in KwaZulu-Natal. The red duiker can be seen scurrying away in coastal forests, while the diminutive steenbok, which freezes when spotted, is common throughout. The list can go on. You’ll probably get to see most animals on your bucket list and lots more.”


How much does a 10-day safari in South Africa cost?

“South Africa is a relatively affordable safari destination. There are options for every budget. As a guideline, you can expect prices for a mid-range tour including a safari to start at about US$1800 per person, while luxury tours start at around US$4500 per person. As most roads and infrastructure in South Africa are quite good, the country lends itself to a self-drive safari. This is an affordable option if you like to travel independently. Then there is the choice of joining a group tour or booking a private safari. The former is usually more budget-friendly. There is a huge choice of accommodation options in South Africa. Lodges and rest camps in and outside the national parks are often moderately priced, but most private game reserves offer a luxury package and are priced much higher. Domestic flights between South African cities are well priced but high-end fly-in safaris where you fly directly to the reserve’s airstrips come with a hefty price tag. I recommend getting a few quotations before booking a 10-day South African safari. ”


South Africa Reviews

4.6/5 811 Reviews
Lizzie Williams  –  
South Africa ZA

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

South Africa is rightly celebrated for its magnificent natural beauty and excellent choice of parks

South Africa has a wonderful range of landscapes, a near-perfect climate, and the choice of destinations, activities and itineraries is virtually inexhaustible. Aside from its beautiful coastline and cosmopolitan cities – both of which I...

Full Review

Philip Briggs  –  
South Africa ZA

Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.

A World In One Country

Marketing hype is best taken with a generous pinch of salt, but a strong element of truth underlies South Africa’s favourite tourist catchphrase: a World in One Country. This is a country of immense variety, so much so that even after 25...

Full Review

Randy  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Mar 23, 2023
Loved it

We did two nights in Kruger with a very experienced guide. Great on details of all animals. Saw many animals, including the Big 5! Then two nights in Sabie Sands. More luxurious and closer to animals because they drove off road. Also saw a...

Full Review

Helena  –  
South Korea KR
Reviewed: Mar 22, 2023
A wonderful country to visit

We were picked up without any issues and arrived at out destination and went on game drives twice a day and it was just amazing seeing animals in their natural habitat, seeing different species of birds and animals at the watering hole was...

Full Review

Elizabeth A. Woods  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Mar 18, 2023
Awesome Journey

Tour Operator was Pembury Tours; Gail was our Representative. Our trip was affected by the flood. Both Timbavati & Sabi Sands were inaccessible. Gail was great in arranging other lodging for us, Simbavati Waterside & Kambaku River...

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Steven Fu  –  
Singapore SG
Reviewed: Mar 16, 2023
Kruger National Park is one of the best safari I have ever been.

The game drive is fun. We have seen many Elephants, Giraffes, Zebras, Kudus , Impalas, spotted some Hippos, Hyenas, Lions as well. Umbhaba Eco Lodge is a nice place to stay, good breakfast, and great lunch options, good dinner buffet. ...

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