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What to do in South Africa

Written by
Tessa Van der Walt, Byron Thomas & Angela Thomas

It's no secret that South Africa is brimming with wonderful places to explore.

From tracking predators in the wild to dining at world-class restaurants, it can seem a little daunting despite being incredible.

Our team of experts have pooled their hands-on experience together to curate this overview of what to do in South Africa.

Cape Town
Explore the art scene
Winelands
Private tastings & tours
The Bush
Go on safari
Cape Town city view South Africa

City Scene

Cape Town

See Cape Town‘s Houses of Parliament, the Caste, Greenmarket Square, the Company’s Garden, and if the weather is good, hitch a ride to the top of Table Mountain in the cable car. Meander past the bright houses of the Bo Kaap and get a taste for Cape Malay culture. We can also arrange a helicopter flip which will give you amazing views of the mountains, bays and beaches.

table mountain cable way in cape town, south africa

If you’d like a more intimate experience with those places, avoid the buses and rather go on a private tour of the peninsula as you drink in the astoundingly scenic views from Chapman’s Peak, wind through the fishing village of Kalk Bay, see the penguins sunning themselves in Simon’s Town, and venture out to Cape Point.

Cape Point shoreline

Johannesburg

While in Johannesburg you can explore the city’s burgeoning public art scene, visit a variety of arty shopping complexes and hang out at the coolest roof-top bars and trendy coffee spots. 

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Our local guides can also introduce you to the city’s most important historical and cultural sites. Take time to reflect at the Apartheid Museum, find inspiration in Nelson Mandela’s story and visit the World Heritage Site the Cradle of Human Kind, the world’s richest hominin site.

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Franschhoek, South African winelands

The Winelands

The Western Cape’s extensive winelands can be overwhelming, even to the most ardent wine enthusiast. Our guides are experts of the wine regions and what the different estates offer. A day out with them is entertaining, educational and delicious.

Winelands South Africa

You will get to visit a variety of hand-picked farms and get pointers on where the best places to dine are. A private tour makes for a far more rewarding visit as our guides have built great relationships with the various estates.

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The Silo Hotel, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa.

Cuisine & Cooking

One of the highlights of a visit to South Africa is getting to dine at world-class restaurants. But with many of the highest-rated establishments it’s not simply a case of arriving on the day – tables book up months in advance. Together with your Travel Designer, your dedicated Concierge will find out ahead of time what gets your taste buds tingling and take care of your dinner reservations at some of the hottest spots in town. Whether you’re keen to go on a culinary adventure at one of Luke Dale-Roberts, or you want to be amazed at Chef’s Table or Greenhouse, we’re up to date with the latest dining trends and are ready to make sure you won’t go hungry.

Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa

A gastronomic exploration of South Africa isn’t just about dining out at the finest establishments, though. If you are keen to roll up your sleeves and get to work under the watchful eye of a professional chef, or sit down for a home cooked meal in the community, we can make that happen for you. Far from just grabbing a quick bite on the way to the next tourist hotspot, our guides can introduce you the locals, where you’ll learn about the various cultures that give South Africa such a unique flavour.

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Ostriches in straight line, South Africa

Safari

Just because looking for the Big Five entails immersing yourself in the bush doesn’t mean you must “rough it”. We can tailor your safari trip to suit your needs –  whether you want extreme luxury, or to be both as comfortable and as close to nature as possible. The lodges we partner with can also arrange private game drives for you, with experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the parks and wildlife.

Elephant. Pilanesberg national park. South Africa. December 7, 2014

More than just a trundle out into the bush in the hopes of spotting one of the Big Five, the guides work closely with skilled trackers to increase your chances of unforgettable sightings. From exquisite lodges, to luxury tented accommodation we will help make your visit to South Africa a memorable one.

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On track

Luxury rail travel, for many, is the epitome of indulgence. Watch the changing South African landscape slide by from the comfort of an elegant locomotive coach. The dramatic scenery changes as you power between cities.

South-Africa-The-Blue-Train

There are a variety of routes to choose from, all offering the utmost in comfort and convenience – and we can also arrange stops along the way for you to relax at the seaside or go on safari.

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Tess and her team listened, asked questions, made recommendations and were very flexible throughout our planning process. She put together an amazing experience that far exceeded our expectations. The accommodations were incredible, service impeccable, food excellent and each day surpassed the previous. Absolutely incredible experience.

Pat
Family safari, Kwandwe, South Africa

Whatever you want from your trip to South Africa, our team of expert travel designers are ready to help.

Call 866 862 3031 or