Wine region near Stellenbosch looking at Simonsberg in South Africa

Explore: South Africa

With its vast deserts, towering mountain ranges, pristine beaches and wildlife-rich national parks, South Africa boasts some of the most beautiful and dramatic natural landscapes – many of which are Unesco World Heritage sites.

Holidays to South Africa

Its geographical diversity means there’s a holiday to suit everyone right here: from wild safaris to cultural city breaks and indulgent wine tours.

South Africa is also perfect for road trips, with the famous Garden Route delivering spectacular seascapes and charming coastal towns. Alternatively, the Stellenbosch routes take you deep into wine country – where each stellar view is served with a glass of fragrant, world-class nectar.

South Africa’s geographical diversity means there’s a holiday to suit everyone right here: from wild safaris to cultural city breaks and indulgent wine tours

Where to go

South Africa is perhaps the continent’s most family-friendly safari destination – with Kruger National Park providing Big Five encounters aplenty, but with negligible risk of malaria. For the ultimate wildlife holiday, combine your safari with a spot of whale watching: at Hermanus, on the Garden Route, humpbacks and southern right whales come so close to the shore, you can watch them from dry land.

Whether you’re wildlife watching, road tripping or wine tasting, chances are your South Africa holiday will start in Cape Town – so set aside a few days to discover this fun seaside city. For starters, hike (or catch a cable car) to the top of Table Mountain for panoramic city views, and take a trip to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for eighteen years. It’s a moving, informative introduction to South Africa’s tumultuous history.

When to go

The time of year to visit will depend on the type of holiday you are after. Safari opportunities are good year-round, but accommodation at the national parks is more expensive in December/January and Easter. For beach holidays, South Africa is sunniest and driest between November and March.

Read more about South Africa

A row of bright coloured houses in the Bo-Kaap in Cape Town.
Best way to see Cape Town
Cape Town experts Justin Fox and Alison Westwood show an unseen side of the city, from unique collections of Japanese carvings to a street-art safari
12 of the best city views in the world
From Barcelona's picnic-friendly panorama to New York's dizzying skyscrapers - we've picked our favourite city skylines
Best city parks in the world
Sightseeing is easy if you know where to beat a retreat in these full-on weekend cities. We’ve found the best green escapes
View of Menton from the harbor , Menton, French Riviera, France
What are the best holidays for one or two weeks?
Save money on two-week holidays with these latest offers – exclusive to Times Expert Traveller and our preferred travel partners
Wooden boats in the sea at sunset, Phuket,Thailand.
Best destinations for winter sun
Hunting for a winter sun destination that goes beyond beach holidays in the Canary Islands and Cape Verde? Here's where it's the perfect time of year to visit...
Sounding Humpback Whale.
Where are the best places to see whales in the wild?
They're the giants of the deep – as mysterious as they are magnificent. To see whales in the wild, set your sights on these destinations
Dubai Jumeirah beach, Dubai Marina
Where are the world’s best stopover cities?
Want to break up your long haul flight, beat jet lag, and get two holidays in one? These are the savviest stopover cities
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway in Cape Town
How to visit Table Mountain
With its tantalising views of wildlife and winelands, the summit of Table Mountain hints at the rich experiences that South Africa has to offer