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Guide to Planning an African Safari


Photo: Kyungduk Kim

Culture & Wildlife: South Africa

Highlights: Kruger National Park in the northeast, flanked by the private lodges and conservancies of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve; the vineyards and restaurants of the Cape Winelands region; Cape Town and Johannesburg, historical and cultural centers.

Post-apartheid, South Africa established itself as the continent’s blue-chip destination. Safari lodges and companies, such as Singita Private Game Reserves, Londolozi, and &Beyond, brought luxury to the major game regions, while Cape Town and the surrounding winelands became a jet-set playground. But intimate retreats are now enticing travelers to make cultural side trips to lesser-known areas of the country. Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, a 16-room lodge a three-hour drive north of Cape Town, is in a wildflower-filled setting where Bushman rock art sites date back 10,000 years. Two hours south of Cape Town, the 27-room Grootbos Private Nature Reserve arranges trips to see the Marine Big Five: whales, dolphins, sharks, seals, and penguins. Just northwest of Johannesburg are the caves of the Cradle of Humankind, a paleontology UNESCO World Heritage site. Adventurers can also head to Zululand, where Fugitives’ Drift Lodge, the house of late historian David Rattray, offers tours of 1879 Anglo-Zulu War battlefields.

When to Go: year round

Top Operators:
African Travel 8 days from $3,195.
&Beyond 8 days from $4,135.
Cape Insights 7 days from $5,062.
Passage to Africa 7 days from $3,000.
Rates are per person, based on double occupancy.

Safety Note: Travelers should be cautious in Johannesburg, especially around the city center. Your hotel can advise you on the best way to get around.


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