South Africa

Africa's top tourist destination and home to Kruger National Park

South Africa safari guide

Companies: 489 operators
Tour packages: 444 tours
Parks: 9 parks
Currency exchange
Capital: Pretoria
Population: 44 million
Total area:1,219,912 km² (471,011 miles²)
Languages: English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa
Airports: Cape Town (CPT), Durban (DUR), Johannesburg (JNB)

Recommended vaccinations

Voltage and plug type

Type C (220V)

Type D (220V)

Type M (220V)

Type N (220V)

About South Africa

South Africa is located at the southern part of the African continent and is officially called the Republic of South Africa. It is economically the strongest of all the African nations and is the ninth largest country in Africa by size. South Africa generally has a temperate climate but it has a varied topography that results in several climatic zones. At the northwest of the country lies the Namib Desert and the climate is very hot and arid. As one heads east towards Mozambique, the climate becomes much more lush and humid. With a wide range of climate such as this, it is no surprise that South Africa is home to many types of plants from cacti to baobabs to the montane evergreens of its temperate rain forest. It is estimated that roughly 10% of all known species of plants can be found in this country.

South Africa is also home to an impressive number of wildlife. Visitors to Kruger National Park and the Mala Mala game reserve can see Africa’s big five: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino, as well as many other large animals including: giraffes, hippos, wildebeest, impalas, hyenas and kudu. Kruger National Park is one of the most well-known safari destinations and has a well-established infrastructure for visitors. A whole host of tour operators offer everything from generic game safaris to specialized tours such as photography safaris and mountain biking safaris. South Africa’s large number of international flights to Johannesburg also makes it an easily-accessible safari destination for tourists across the globe. It has more daily flights than any other airport in African and it also serves as a hub to safari destinations to other African countries, with Namibia, Botswana and Zambia being a direct flight away. In addition to its numerous game reserves and safari options, South Africa also provides an idyllic setting for those seeking for a complete holiday experience. From its white beaches to its award-winning wineries and vineyards, South Africa offers families and friends ample choice.

South Africa has a very established and mature safari infrastructure. In general, accommodation and tour prices tend to be higher than those of northern countries such as Tanzania and Kenya, but South Africa also provides more options in tours and in lodging. It is even possible to do a self-drive in South Africa, something that, while available in the northern countries, is not done nearly as much. South African parks do tend to have more visitors than other countries and people who are seeking a true bush experience in a more isolated setting might wish to take this into consideration. South Africa is an excellent safari location for first-timers and well-seasoned travelers alike, and it is recommended that guests take a few additional days when visiting to see some of the additional attractions this country has to offer.

South Africa map
Articles on South Africa

Most safaris postponed to 2021

When: Aug. 31, 2020


COVID-19 and safaris

When: April 22, 2020