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14-Day South Africa Safari Tours

For diversity, you can’t beat a 2-week holiday in South Africa. While the wildlife viewing is superb, few visitors come here for a stand-alone safari. The country’s rich history, vibrant cities and melting pot of cultures make this rainbow nation fascinating to explore. But South Africa’s biggest drawing card is the variety of its landscapes; rugged mountains, fairy-tale forests, grassy savannah and the stark beauty of the desert. The country’s network of 19 national parks and hundreds of other reserves protects a rich mosaic of habitats and a corresponding diversity of animals. Meanwhile, offshore from the beautiful 2,850km coastline, an exceptionally rich marine life inhabits a parallel world.

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1-9 of 9 14-day itineraries, trips, holidays, packages & vacations to South Africa

6 Questions About 14-Day South Africa Safaris

 
 

6 Questions About 14-Day South Africa Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

Is 2 weeks a good amount of time for a trip in South Africa?

“You can easily spend a couple of weeks traveling in South Africa. The landscapes keep changing and there are countless places of interest all over the country. Most visitors will follow a circuit, taking in different highlights along the way. You can mix and match more freely if you use one or several domestic flights. Regardless of how you get around, you can see a fair amount on a 2-week tour. However, time and budget permitting, don’t hesitate to extend with some extra days to slow down the pace and add one or two more stops on your itinerary. ”

1

Can I combine a 14-day South Africa safari with a beach holiday?

“It’s easy to combine a South African safari with some time on the beach. South Africa’s long Atlantic and Indian Ocean coastlines, which converge at the southern tip of Africa, are lined with fabulous beaches. The KwaZulu-Natal coast, with its warm subtropical waters, is most suitable for a conventional beach holiday. Further south, the Eastern Cape, with its rugged coastline, is mostly popular with backpackers and adventure travelers. And the popular Garden Route, with its mountains, forests, lakes and endless beaches along the Southern Cape, is mostly explored on a road trip between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. While these beaches are picture perfect, the mild climate and rough waters make the Garden Route more suitable as a general travel destination. Although the South African beaches don’t lack in beauty, they are relatively unspoiled and there are few resorts offering typical beach-holiday packages. For a real sea-and-sand getaway, you might prefer to add on a few days on the tropical islands of Mauritius or Seychelles.”

2

Where in South Africa should I go on safari?

“The world-renowned Kruger National Park is the obvious choice for a 14-day South Africa safari. While the south of the park has the highest animal densities, the north is much less busy. Alternatively, you can stay a couple of days in one of the private reserves of Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Packages here include five-star luxury accommodation, superb cuisine and guided game drives in open-sided safari vehicles. Further south is the cluster of Zululand reserves. Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve is very scenic and well known for its healthy rhino population. The hides in uMkhuze Game Reserve are popular with photographers. The constant stream of animals coming to drink is phenomenal. Further northwest, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is shared between Botswana and South Africa. The desert landscapes are mesmerizing and the perfect setting for big-cat action. The vibrant city of Cape Town and the winelands feature on many itineraries, and the drive along the Garden Route is arguably the most scenic in the country. This area isn’t known for its wildlife, but there are several good safari options here all the same. Addo Elephant National Park is a Big Five destination. Elephants are particularly relaxed here. Be prepared for some close encounters. There are several Big Five private reserves in the area too. Kwandwe and Shamwari Game Reserves offer superb wildlife viewing in a similar style as at the more well-known Sabi Sand GR. ”

3

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

“The South African winter, which runs from May to September, is generally the best time of the year for wildlife viewing. For most of the country, including the main safari areas, it coincides with the Dry season (the Cape, which sees winter rainfall, is the exception). At this time the lush vegetation shrivels, and wildlife is easier to spot. As the season progresses, water in the bush dries out and animals tend to congregate around rivers and waterholes. Mid-winter, from June through to August, can be bitterly cold though, especially on early morning and evening game drives in open vehicles. Therefore, September, the end of the Dry season, is perhaps the optimum month. Having said all that, wildlife viewing is quite good throughout the year. If you are planning a general-interest tour with some time in Cape Town, the winelands and the Garden Route, you might prefer the warmer summer months from October to April. ”

4

Which animals am I likely to see?

“You’ll see a large variety of animals on a 2-week safari, without a doubt. Kruger NP alone supports approximately 145 mammal species, 118 reptile species and more than 500 bird species. While you can see many of the main safari animals in different parks, you’ll be able to see different ones too depending on where you go. As far as the Big Five are concerned, elephant, buffalo and lion are regularly seen, but leopard and rhino are a bit more tricky to spot. Leopard is very widespread, but rarely seen. In the private reserves of Sabi Sands, however, these secretive big cats are very habituated, and sightings are pretty much guaranteed. The Zululand reserves are best for the placid white rhino, which is Africa’s second-largest terrestrial animal, while the smaller but more aggressive black rhino is most likely to be encountered in the private reserves of the Eastern Cape. The Big Five aside, it’s the huge variety of animals you’ll encounter in South Africa’s diverse habitats that will make your safari truly special. ”

5

How much will a 14-day South Africa safari cost?

“As most South African tours focus on a mix of activities with a greater or lesser safari element to them, prices for a 2-week holiday are very variable. As a guideline, you can expect prices for a mid-range tour, including a safari, to start at about US$3000 per person, while luxury tours start at around US$5000 per person. South Africa is a relatively affordable destination, and there are many different ways of traveling here. A self-drive safari is a popular and convenient option. If you like to travel independently and you value flexibility, this might work well for you. Even when moving around the country independently, you can still book guided game drives in the parks. The expertise of a knowledgeable guide will definitely add value to your safari. Joining a group tour is more cost effective than booking a private tour, especially for single travelers. However, the biggest factor that determines the overall price of a safari is the level of accommodation. South Africa offers a range of options fitting every budget, including camping, self-catering rest camps, small B&Bs, mid-range hotels and luxury lodges. The most sumptuous lodges are those in private game reserves. They generally offer packages inclusive of game drives, fine dining and sometimes even drinks. I recommend getting a few quotations before booking a 2-week South Africa safari. ”

6

South Africa Reviews

4.6/5 1034 Reviews
Expert
Anthony Ham  –  
Australia AU

Anthony is a photographer and writer for travel magazines and Lonely Planet, including the guides to Kenya and Botswana & Namibia.

South Africa: World-class Safaris
5/5

South Africa is one of my favourite places to go on safari, with all the necessary ingredients for a wildlife experience that will begin your enduring love affair with the continent. Primary among these ingredients is the wildlife....

Full Review

Expert
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
5/5

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...

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Keith Davies  –  
Australia AU
Reviewed: May 21, 2024
Amazing country with lots of different qualities
5/5

We spent time in Cape Town, which is a beautiful city. It has its poorer side, as do all major cities, but is an amazing place to visit. The culture, Table Mountain and the waterfront are some of the highlights. Langa township is well worth...

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T.J. Schwanky  –  
Canada CA
Reviewed: May 20, 2024
South Africa is a country with great cultural and wildlife diversity.
5/5

Due to a flight change, we ended up with an extra day in Johannesburg, so we did a private one-day trip in Pilanesberg Park. The trip was very well organized and our guides were knowledgeable and very entertaining. It was a great way to...

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Nittaya  –  
Thailand TH
Reviewed: May 17, 2024
Nice View, Various Tourist Attraction and Mostly Nice People
5/5

I was told before visiting South Africa that it is a dangerous country. But after visiting for 10 days, I would say it's not true. As long as you always alert, not taking only photos, you will find South Africa is a nice country that you...

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Douglas Ash  –  
Canada CA
Reviewed: May 16, 2024
Ivory Wilderness was Wonderful
5/5

We spent 4 days at Ivory Wilderness camp on the Klaserie River - just south of Kruger I have been on safari many times and this was as good as it gets. Animals everywhere. Lions, leopards, elephants, Rhinos, buffalo, hippo, wild dogs,...

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