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Looking for a destination which has a warm climate, miles of beaches, great attractions plus something new and unique to discover? Do you want to tread in the footsteps of giants, and see wildlife which lives up to the name? Would you like all this, then still be able to go back to a luxury hotel? A holiday in South Africa ticks all these boxes and more.
The Rainbow Nation, as it’s sometimes called, is filled with breathtaking natural beauty. This comes in the form of its incredible geological diversity as well as captivating wildlife. It’s home to the Big Five of African safari’s and is one of the best places to spot them. Lions, elephants, leopards, rhino and buffalo all call South Africa home. You’ll get the chance to see these majestic animals in their natural habitat.
It’s also the perfect destination for a luxury holiday. You'll find it filled with incredible tourist spots, ultra-modern hotels and premier resorts. In fact, you’ll love the wide range of attractions that are available to suit every kind of holidaymaker. From those looking for family fun and lovers of the great outdoors, to sun worshippers, foodies, thrill seekers and culture vultures.
From bustling cities like Cape Town and Durban to the splendid game reserves, mountain retreats and picturesque coastline, this is the perfect place to explore. Visit Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa and a fantastic spot for shopping. It was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, with Mandela’s former residence now a museum.
Or if you’re looking to sit back and relax, check out the beaches and spa hotels. Whether you're in South Africa’s exciting cities, coastal drives and national parks, there’s something here to appeal to everyone.
Why not try a tour around famous Victoria Falls, or one of the country’s nature reserves or game parks? It's the best place to spot lions on your own personal safari. Or try a self-drive holiday through the beautiful Cape vineyards. A tailor-made tour allows you to put together all the ingredients you want to include. Just like making a good wine. And don’t miss the opportunity to spend a few days driving the picturesque Garden Route or relaxing in an isolated mountain retreat.
However you spend the time on your South African holiday, you’re sure to create incredible and lasting memories.
From Shamwari Game Reserve on the Eastern Cape to the world-famous Kruger National Park, an unforgettable way to spend your South Africa holiday is on safari. You’ll love the excellent hospitality on offer at one of the many luxury lodges, with their comfortable accommodation and unmatched views.
Game drives are organised each day at dawn and again in the late afternoon just before dusk which is are the best times for seeing the animals. Just like us, they don’t like to be out in the scorching heat. Keep your eyes peeled, as during your trip you’re likely to encounter lions, elephants, rhino, buffalo, leopards, hippos, hyenas, giraffes, zebra, kudu, wildebeest and antelope.
Wines produced in South African are some of the world’s most renowned and respected, and on a holiday to the home of these storied vineyards, a trip to the source is a must. The Winelands stretch from the West coast to the far Northern Cape, with the soil’s rich mineral content giving birth to some of the world’s most highly awarded wines.
Some of the region’s most famous and well-known wine estates such as those along the Stellenbosch or Franschhoek routes can be found here, or the more adventurous of you might seek out the lesser known gems, which produce smaller quantities of vintage product.
The real treat here though is the scenery as you drive through the glorious countryside. It’s spectacular, and if you travel during Summer or Autumn you’ll find the vineyards looking their absolute best. The hills come alive with fantastic greens, yellows and oranges on display as you make your way through this beautiful wine region.
Those with a historical bent may want to take a trip to Robben Island, best known for its most famous inmate, Nelson Mandela. The three and a half hour tour of the island and its prison is a fascinating yet sobering experience.
A 30 min ferry ride from Cape Town brings you to the entrance of the former maximum security prison. Here you’ll learn about its history, from its origin as a leper colony, to its days as a psychiatric hospital and finally prison for political prisoners.
You can see the limestone quarry where anti-apartheid activists spent their time, before moving inside the prison. Here you’ll see the tiny cells, including the one which once belonged to Nelson Mandela. It’s a humbling look into the past of South Africa and a stark reminder of the history of this fascinating country.
No holiday in South Africa would be complete without a trip to one of its thriving cities. From picturesque Cape Town, nestled in the shadow of Table Mountain and the surrounding Winelands, to Johannesburg, a bustling metropolis with its famed cultural and culinary attractions. We suggest driving the picturesque Garden Route, stopping at various villages and towns en route, to explore South Africa’s natural beauty, beaches and wildlife.
Or head to the KwaZulu province for the perfect combination of beach life and nature. Pick your spot along Durban’s ‘Golden Mile’ to soak up the sun, try a little windsurfing, then settle for the evening in one of the city’s fabulous seafood restaurants. Why not escape the city with a stay in the breathtaking Drakensberg Mountains? Pick a luxury mountain lodge, and spend a few days enjoying walking, horse riding and fishing in picturesque tranquillity.
Sun City is a great option for families, where you’ll find 5-star holiday resorts offering something for everyone. Sun City is a resort which boasts everything from water parks to tropical gardens, or more grown-up fun in the way of championship golf courses and fabulous nightclubs and casinos. There’s something for everyone.
South Africa boasts year-round sunshine and a pleasant temperature that is comfortable for both sightseeing and relaxing by the beach. Its situation in the Southern Hemisphere means that South Africa’s seasons are the opposite of those in Europe. It’s also good to note the summer and winter rainfall areas, as these may have an impact on where you choose to visit at the best time of year. If you are interested in safari, the best time to visit is during the dry season between May and October. The Cape and Garden Route are best experienced during the summer months and in particular in February and March.
Time difference: GMT +2 hours
Language: South Africa has eleven official languages - Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu/ However, English is widely spoken in most areas.
Flight time from the UK (London): 12 hours.
Arrival airport: Cape Town International Airport.
Entry details (for British passport holders): A visa is required and can be arranged before departure or at the airport on arrival. Fees apply. Passports need to have 6 months validity beyond your period of stay. It is also advised that you have two blank pages in your passport on arrival. Before you depart, check the latest travel advice at www.fco.gov.uk.
A local Thomas Cook Signature representative will meet you at your arrival airport and escort you to your pre-booked private transfer vehicle. Your travel documentation will contain all contact details should you wish to get in touch with a local representative during your stay. A local Thomas Cook Signature representative will meet you at your arrival airport and escort you to your pre-booked private transfer vehicle. Your travel documentation will contain all contact details should you wish to get in touch with a local representative during your stay.
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