Inspiring • Authentic • Tailor-Made

Inspiring • Authentic • Tailor-Made

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South Africa Holidays

Located at the southernmost tip of the African continent, South Africa is young at heart, friendly and vibrantly multicultural. Few places on earth offer such excellent and ethical wildlife encounters; the scenery is beautiful and varied, the history rich and the music, art, food and dance a fusion of everything that’s unique to this most colourful of rainbow nations. With an excellent range of accommodation and modern infrastructure, South Africa is easy to explore and rewarding to visit.

Known for its spectacular coastline, picturesque vineyards and the country’s most vibrant city, the Western Cape is one of South Africa's most glorious regions and gateway to some of the most exciting experiences. Soak up the atmosphere of cosmopolitan Cape Town where you can explore the scenic V&A Waterfront, visit historic Robben Island, take the cable car up to Table Mountain for spectacular views and relax at Camps Bay. Surrounded by vineyards and mountains, the Cape Winelands are another must-see when in the region, with both Stellenbosch and Franschhoek boasting world-class wineries. Hit the road and follow the Garden Route through charming towns and spectacular scenery to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

To the east, you will find the historic battlefield sites and dramatic mountain ranges of KwaZulu Natal – a beautiful and untouched part of South Africa that offers the intrepid traveller something a little different. Further north you will find colourful Johannesburg, the spectacualr Blyde River Canyon and the iconic Kruger National Park which is one of the best places in the world to view wildlife on a safari.

Popular Tailor-Made Itineraries

Your holiday in South Africa

Your holiday in South Africa

Specialising in southern African holidays, our South Africa travel specialists can assist in creating the perfect holiday tailored to suit your exact requirements. Pettitts Travel offer various styles of travel in South Africa including fly-drives, rail journeys, and privately guided tours, however our most popular way to travel in this beautiful country is by car on a self-drive holiday. Hiring a car in South Africa is a fantastic way of seeing the country independently as you are able to comfortably cover long distances and explore off-the-beaten track national parks and towns. Typically our South Africa self-drive holidays will include all accommodation, international flights, car hire and some sightseeing. By booking with Pettitts Travel you will be provided with round the clock support and assistance, and expert travel advice

The itineraries on our website have been designed to demonstrate different routes and provide inspiration for your South Africa holiday. These tours can be adapted and adjusted to meet your specific requirements and wishes. Our Self-Drive: Cape Town, Winelands and the Garden Route is a great option for first-time visitors wanting to experience the wildlife, scenery and wine of the Western Cape, or the Self-Drive: Hidden Treasures of the Western Cape explores more off-the-beaten track destinations such as the De Hoop Nature Reserve and Oudtshoorn, whilst still including the classics such as Cape Town and safari. For something a little different, try our Self-Drive: Mountains and Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal which combines the historical sites, natural beauty and rich culture of KwaZulu-Natal. If you’d prefer not to travel by car and are looking for a more luxurious style of travel, see the Kruger to the Cape by Blue Train itinerary which incorporates a safari in Kruger and a trip on the iconic Blue Train to Cape Town. We also offer multi-centre holidays in Southern Africa, including the 12-day Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls holiday which visits these three must-see destinations of the region.

Places to visit in South Africa

From searching for the big five and admiring the many natural wonders to learning about cultural traditions and the country’s fascinating heritage, South Africa, the rainbow nation, is a diverse country full of exciting experiences. Explore cosmopolitan Cape Town, visit the beautiful winelands of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek or spot wales off the coast of Hermanus as you journey around the Western Cape. Soak up the striking coastal vistas along the Garden Route and explore wild national parks. Learn about the conservation efforts in place at game reserves in the Eastern Cape or uncover the historic significance of the Kwa-Zulu Natal region. Perhaps travel on the iconic Blue Train between Cape Town and Pretoria, or enjoy game viewing in Kruger National Park.


When to Visit south-africa

South Africa is a fantastic destination to visit throughout the year. Located in the southern hemisphere, South Africa's seasons are in reverse to the UK with December and January the height of summer with hot temperatures and the peak time for tourism. South Africa’s autumnal months, May and June, offer warm days and cooler evenings. July and August is the winter where the weather can be chilly in certain regions and sometimes wet. Conversely this is the best time for wildlife safaris, predominately in the north of the country, as well as whale watching off the southern coast. Much like autumn, spring in South Africa offers warmer days and cooler nights and is also an excellent time of year to view wildlife.

Best Times
Good Times
This is a general overview suggesting when to travel in the country. Please note that this may not directly apply to any specific itinerary or region.

Essential Information

flag of South-Africa Capital: Pretoria

Main Language: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans and English

Time Zone: GMT + 2

Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)

Wildlife in South Africa

Wildlife in South Africa

South Africa offers excellent and ethical wildlife encounters throughout the country, making it one of the best places to view wildlife in the world. Located in the northeast, iconic Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves with a high density of the ‘Big Five’ including lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. There are accommodation options when visiting the Kruger from authentic bush camping to luxurious five-star lodges. Both the Western and Eastern Cape are also home to some exceptional private game reserves including Gondwana, Pumba and Shamwari. These resorts also boast a fantastic array of wildlife from the Big Five to diverse birdlife, and tend to be malaria-free. Further east along the coast of the KwaZulu Natal province lies the iSimangaliso Wetland Park – an untouched and protected area which features many lakes housing hippo, crocodile and flamingo, as well as grasslands where elephant, leopard and giraffe live. Sodwana Bay to the north is known for its colourful coral reefs whereas the coastal region surrounding Cape Town such as Hermanus and De Hoop Nature Reserve is known for its teeming aquatic life including whales.

Historic Sites of South Africa

With such a tumultuous and long history, South Africa is not only home to some of the world’s oldest archaeological and human fossil remains, but also significant battlefields and noteworthy museums. To visit South Africa and not learn about its history would be to miss a crucial part of the country’s identity. One of the most well-known historical sites is Robben Island which is located off the coast of Cape Town. Once a notorious prison, Robben Island is best known for its incarceration of political prisoners during apartheid. Its most famous prisoner of course was Nelson Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist who later became the country’s first democratically elected president in 1994. Today, this historical landmark is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well a museum for visitors. To the east in KwaZulu-Natal lies the famous battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift where the Zulus defeated the British during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. South Africa is also home to several excellent historical museums, one of the most rewarding however is the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, which chronicles the history of the apartheid and the struggle for human rights which ended this regime of racial segregation.

Historic Sites of South Africa


South Africa Holiday Review

Just to let you know that we had a fantastic time in South Africa, Victoria Falls and Chobe national park. Everything went according to plan and we stayed in some amazing places. The Blue Train was fabulous - a once in a lifetime experience! The game drives were amazing and we saw lots of wildlife. It was a really good itinerary and I just want to say a big thank you to all of you for organising it for us. You always kept us well informed and the information you provided was second to none. We felt fully supported from start to finish. Thank you!

DM & NB - South Africa - November 2023

Accommodation in South Africa

There is a vast range of accommodation types on offer in South Africa, including top-end hotels with world-class facilities, modest or boutique guesthouses, mid-range hotels, cosy bed and breakfasts, historic buildings, campsites and safari lodges. Often visitors will stay in more than one town or city so may experience different types of accommodations during one holiday. In cities and large towns there is plenty of choice to suit all budgets and personal preferences whereas in smaller towns or rural locations the choice may be slightly limited.

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