02/02/2022
6 Best Luxury Safaris in South Africa

Our curated list of the best South African safari tour packages will take you on an exhilarating journey through some of South Africa’s most prominent safari destinations – Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Cape Peninsula, Garden Route, and Cape Winelands. Each of these destinations offers a stay at renowned resorts and lodges, known for their fantastic taste in décor and amenities.

These are some of the most premium safari destinations in South Africa, each with its own set of attractions and wildlife wonders – from the big five in Kruger National Park to whale watching along the Garden Route – there is so much to explore and experience.

Note: Although the flight fare isn’t covered in the price of the safari packages, you may contact the respective safari tour operators and ask them to guide you in your purchase of flight tickets. Make enquiries and find out if there is an age limit for children. Some accommodations in Africa do not allow children below a certain age.

1. South Africa Spectacular Safari

This 11-day safari adventure promises the very best of South Africa, from the scenic beauty of Cape Town and Boulders Beach, one of the few remaining homes of African penguins, to the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve which shares a border with South Africa’s renowned Kruger National Park. This dynamic tour offers you an opportunity to explore and learn about South Africa’s people and their history, culture, and cuisines,staying at luxury lodges and hotels along the way.

Things to do on this safari

  • Spend four nights at South Africa’s five-star Cape Grace Hotel. Located near the renowned Victoria and Alfred waterfront with beautiful views of the yacht marina, Cape Grace has spacious rooms with lavish marble bathrooms.
  • Explore Cape Town. Drive through the city, taking in the impressive landmarks such as Table Mountain that rises above the city over 1000m above sea level.
  • Visit the spectacular Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, walk through the grand botanic garden, exploring its diverse fauna.
  • End your daywith sundowners at Chapman’s Peak, with stunning views overlooking the imposing Atlantic Ocean.
  • Go on a Cape Peninsula tour, where you will visit the Cape of Good Hope, known for Cape Point Nature Reserve, Noordhoek Beach, Simonstown, and Kalk Bay.
  • Visit Boulders Beach penguin colony, one of the few places in Africa where you can see the endangered African penguins.
  • Spend two nights at Delaire Graff Lodges & Spain the Cape Winelands, a stunning luxury lodge surrounded by gorgeous vineyards, mountains and wilderness, with amenities such as a private plunge pool and lavish spa.
  • Taste the world’s finest wines in the Cape Winelands, which lies at the foothills of the breathtaking Boland mountains.
  • Stay at Ulusaba Rock Lodge, a magnificent resort located atop a hilltop, offering the perfect vantage point to take in the surrounding wilderness against the backdrop of the Drakensberg mountains.
  • Spot the renowned big five animals in Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve together with a wealth of other wildlife and birds.

2. Big Five Safari at Kruger National Park

Located in the heart of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Imbali Safari Lodge offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, ultimate comfort and an immersive African bush experience.

Things to do on this safari

  • Spend your days and nights in the warm and welcoming Imbali Safari Lodge with spacious rooms and traditional décor.
  • Head out on morning and evening game drives in Kruger National Park, one of the best places to spot Africa’s big five: elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard, and much more.
  • At the end of the evening game drive enjoy African sundowners overlooking the bush with stunning sunset views.
  • Feast on delicious African delicacies prepared by the Imbali chefs as you sit around the fire in the evening or pool-side during the day.

3. Cape Town Exclusive Coastal Safari

On this 12-day exclusive safari, you’ll have the opportunity to explore four of South Africa’s extravagant accommodations – the Sea Lion Villa, Vrede en Lust, Morukuru Ocean House, and Leobo Private Reserve. Tailor this safari to your preferences as you pick from a comprehensive list of optional activities ranging from a trip to Robben Island to the tour of Cape Town’s famous art galleries.

Things to do on this safari

  • Spend three nights at the luxury designer villa Sea Lion, located on a mountainside overlooking Bantry Bay and Fresnaye, with amenities including a spacious cinema hall that doubles as a luxury spa, heated turquoise pool, professional-quality gym, and Finnish sauna overlooking the exquisite ocean views.
  • Spend two nights at the Vrede en Lust Wine Estate, surrounded by the picturesque Franschhoek Valley, known for its world-class wineries.
  • Go on a wine safari in the Cape Wineland at DeMorgenzon Estate, where you will witness classic Baroque music being played to the vines, aiding their growth.
  • Visit the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden, which features 60 sculptures that perfectly match the landscape.
  • Experience the thrill of whale watching in South Africa’s De Hoop Reserve from July to November.
  • Spend three night at Morukuru Ocean House, a pristine eco-lodge with breathtaking star gazing.
  • Stay at Leobo Lodge, known for its wide range of activities such as clifftop mountain walk, dirt bike safari, quad bike safari, afternoon mountain safari, river camp excursion, spa treatments, and big five game drive.

Optional Activities

  • Stroll through Kalk Bay, a gem on the False Bay coastline, where you might spot the resident seals.
  • Seethe African penguins at Boulders Beach in the Cape Peninsula, home to over 2,000 penguins.
  • Visit picturesque coastal village of Simon’s Town, known for its rich history and marvellous beaches
  • Go hiking at Cape Point, a whale-watching spot, during the annual whale season, where you’ll also see a few of the 26 shipwrecks that fell prey to the treacherous Bellow’s Rock and Albatross Rock.
  • Jump into a cable car to reach the top of Table Mountain for incredible views or join a hike to Maclear’s Beacon.
  • Explore beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens as you walk on the Boomslang treetop canopy walkway.
  • Head over to the Acrobranch Constantia, an aerial adventure course designed for all skill levels.
  • Drive along awe-inspiringChapman’s Peak drive, one of South Africa’s most scenic roads with 144 curves.
  • Discover the region’s wine farms such as the beautiful Eagles’ Nest Wines or go on a Terroir walk at the Steenberg Wine Estate.
  • Head over to Robben Island on a boat trip, explore the island and discover its fascinating history on a guided tour.
  • Browse art galleries such as the Zeitz MOCAA Art Museum, 99 Loop St Gallery, and Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum.

To find out more about the safari package and these optional activities,

4. Moya Safari Villa Kruger National Park

This 5-day luxury safari takes you on thrilling adventures just a short distance away from the famous Kruger National Park. On this safari, you’ll stay at the exuberant Moya Safari Villa, known for its cultural Afro-chic décor, warm ambience and local delicacies made by a talented chef. Safari activities include game drives, boat cruises and cultural excursions.

Things to do on this safari

  • Enjoy a stay at the grand Moya Safari Villa, a luxurious safari lodge located in Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate.
  • Spend a day exploring iconic Kruger National Park in an open safari vehicle, watching Kruger’s diverse wildlife and birds.
  • Go on a tribal excursion at the Nyani Cultural Village, where you’ll learn the history of South Africa through dance, theatre, and tribal drum rhythms.
  • Hike South Africa’s stunning panorama route as you make your way up the Drakensberg Escarpment, climbing to the Blyde River Canyon, exploring the sandstone bedrock formations and legendary waterfalls.
  • Head to Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to see the resident wildlife and learn about conservation efforts as well as visit the Nourish Eco-village, a nearby community centre.
  • Spend a memorable evening on a sundowner boat cruise on the Blyde Dam.

5. Self Drive through the Stunning Garden Route

This self-drive safari through the Garden Route takes visitors on a 14-days escapade where the sky’s the limit. Once you collect your rental car at Port Elizabeth International Airport, you can head over to the first luxury resort, Cape St. Francis, where you’ll stay for two nights. For the rest of the trip, you’ll be transferred to luxury accommodations such as Tsitsikamma Village Inn, Jan Harmsgat Country House,  Whalesong Lodge, Oude Werf Hotel, and Antrim Villa.  This scenic Garden Route safari will also take you into the heart of Cape Winelands.

Things to do on this safari

  • Stay at the Cape St. Francis Resort, a splendid paradise on the Eastern Cape coast, an eco-destination known for its historic Seal Point Lighthouse, tranquil beaches, and long hours of sunshine.
  • Visit Cape St. Francis’s renowned nature reserves: Seal Bay Nature Reserve, St Francis Field Nature Reserve, and Irma Booysen Flora Reserve.
  • At Cape St. Francis, you can explore the canals by boat venturing along the Kromme River, play golf at the St. Francis Bay Golf Club, or go deep-sea fishing on a charter ship.
  • Journey to the Tsitsikamma Village Inn and spend two nights at this stately historical hotel, tucked away in lush forest within the Tsitsikamma National Park.
  • Explore Tsitsikamma’s attractions: Storms River, Nature’s Valley Rest Camp, and numerous hiking trails.
  • Visitors who have planned a trip for July can participate in Knysna’s annual oyster festival that celebrates South African seafood and activities such as bicycling and marathons.
  • Stay at the pristine Jan Harmsgat Country House, a five-star guest house with a working farm that produces fruits, nuts, olive trees, and wine.
  • Jan Harmsgat Country House is an excellent spot for watching black wildebeest, grey rhebok, Springbrook, and ostriches.
  • Stay in gorgeous cliff-top guest house, Whalesong Lodge, overlooking the ocean – the perfect spot for whale watching during the season (July to December).
  • Join a boat cruise at Gansbaai and discover the birdlife on the Klien River.
  • Stay at the marvellous Oude Werf Hotel that offers a selection of rooms, ranging from whimsical to spacious.
  • Visit Cape Winelands fantastic attractions close to your accommodation including the area’s renowned wine estates.
  • On the last leg of your adventure, stay at the stunning Antrim Villa and explore Cape Town to your heart’s content.

6. Wineland Family and Kruger National Park Safari

This 8-day safari adventure packs quite a punch, combining spectacular wildlife safaris in Kruger National Park with wine farm tours and luxury spa treatments. After spending your mornings and evenings on dusty game drives, you’ll appreciate the spa treatments even more. The Franschhoek Wine Valley offers luxury cottages and a myriad of adventure activities.

Things to do on this safari

  • Spend your nights at Kings Camp, a luxury conservation lodge located within the Timbavati Nature Reserve.
  • Enjoy a room that offers spectacular views of the African bush and wildlife while the public lounge overlooks a waterhole, offering an ideal spot for wildlife viewing.
  • Go on guided safari tours and game drives in the Kruger National Park, where you can spot diverse wildlife including the big five.
  • Stay in the renowned Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa, in Franschhoek’s Wine Valley, where you can enjoy pampering yourself in the spa.
  • Check out the nearby activities such as mountain biking, hikes, horse riding, or having a family picnic.

About author

MD and Co-Founder. Born in Zimbabwe, Robin has a long history in Africa, and safaris in general, from running lodges to marketing. He is always on the look out for new ideas and products from around the safari world.

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