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The Sunday Times Travel writers Mark Hodson and David Wickers.

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South Africa

Mark and David's verdict:

The aptly-called Rainbow Nation offers a spectrum of different experiences including beaches, game reserves, indigenous heritage, cities and handsome winelands, all readily savoured on a single trip. With overnight flights in both directions and no jet lag, South Africa is also remarkably easy.

Recommended tour operator: Mahlatini

CapeTownLeopardRhinoWinelands

Mahlatini says

South Africa’s Cape has all the ingredients for a perfect holiday. The beaches are pristine, the food is superb and the landscapes breathtaking. The region has a number of sumptuous boutique hotels where friendly service, fine dining and great wines are guaranteed. To top it all off, you can experience the thrill of a safari. Prices are low by European standards and, because the South African Rand has weakened in recent years, the cost of living remains very modest.

  • Natural wonders
  • Self-drive options
  • Tailor made private tours

Our knowledgeable South Africa experts can tailor-make a range of trips for you, but one of the most popular is a two-week self drive holiday. This trip begins with an overnight flight to Cape Town where you will spend four nights in one of the world’s most interesting and exciting cites, rich in history and culture.

There is a plethora of exciting activities to keep you busy during your time in Cape Town such as hiking to the top of Table Mountain for gorgeous views of the city and driving the scenic route to the Cape Peninsula Nature Reserve, stopping off to see the adorable penguin colony at Boulders Beach. We recommend you explore the buzzing, metropolitan landscape of Cape Town, visiting the many fine restaurants, sophisticated bars and charming boutiques.

From here you will spend two nights exploring the picturesque Winelands, enjoying the tranquillity of the mountain valleys and vineyards. For the next half of your trip you will embark on a glorious drive along the Garden Route to Plettenberg Bay. Here you will spend three days relaxing on some of Africa’s finest beaches, soaking up the peaceful ambience while looking out to sea and watching migrating whales and dolphins.

For an epic ending, spend the last three days on safari at the Amakhala Bukala Game Lodge. The list of wildlife you will see across the natural beauty of the African landscapes includes cheetah, giraffe, elephant, buffalo, cheetah and zebra.

This 14-night itinerary includes return flights, fully-inclusive hire of a family saloon car with air-conditioning, all hotels and lodges (breakfast included) during the tour, game drives and all meals on safari.

Explore our full range of suggested South Africa itineraries for more insight and inspiration.

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