When it comes to serving up experiences of a lifetime, South Africa is an overachiever. Tick a flight to South Africa off your bucket list and get up close to some of the most extraordinary wildlife in the world. Go cheek to jowl with all your big wildlife crushes in their natural habitat, see the progessive and cosmopolitan cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, or head for the open road - along the coastal cliff tops of the Garden Route through to the Western Cape Winelands, a glass of the best pinotage or constantia in hand.
Flights to South Africa
South Africa has temperate conditions all year around, so any time is a good time to go – although in summer (October to February) conditions can be unsettled with regular hot days and storms. The east is prone to wet weather and it can be cooler than other parts of the country.
Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
At the southern tip of the great African continent, South Africa boasts 3000km, nine provinces and even three capitals: Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Administrative) and Bloemfontein (Judicial). Most people go straight to their safari or Cape Town but that would be missing out on the vast riches of this incredible nation. Start ticking off your bucket list with our guide to the regions.
Johannesburg and Gauteng
Most visitors pass through Johannesburg on their way to Cape Town or their safari, but some of South Africa’s most interesting and authentic experiences can be found here - Soweto, the Apartheid Museum and just outside, the Lion Park and the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cape Town and the Western Cape (including the Garden Route)
Located on the southernmost tip of Africa, the Western Cape is a province of unparalleled splendour. With iconic scenery, beautiful beaches and majestic winelands, it’s without a doubt one of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations. Key attractions include Table Mountain, the Garden Route and some of the best dining and beach spots in the southern hemisphere.
Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park
It’s no wonder that the place with a name meaning “place where the sun rises” is one of the most scenic in South Africa. Home to world-renowned Kruger National Park, the Panorama Route featuring God’s Window and the luxury lodges of the Sabi Sands Reserve, the Mpumalanga province boasts nature’s beauty. Fascinating cultural groups, including the Shangaan and Ndebele, also reside in this province. The ancient lands of Limpopo lie to the north.
North West Province and the Big Five
On this vast grassland dotted with trees and views that stretch to distant horizons, you’ll find two of South Africa’s largest game reserves – the Madikwe Game Reserve and Pilanesberg Game Reserve. There’s also the Vredeort Dome UNESCO World Heritage Site – the world’s largest verified crater.
Eastern Cape and the Southern Drakensberg
Stretching along 800km of pristine Indian Ocean coastline, go there for the world heritage listed snow-capped peaks of the southern Drakensberg, numerous game reserves and lush forests of Tsitsikamma.
KwaZulu-Natal, the garden province of South Africa, boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, lush valleys, beautiful tropical beach stretches and the port city of Durban. One of the fastest growing and most diverse urban areas in the world, Durban is famous for its food, spices and beaches.
Bloemfontein and the Free State
Situated in the heart of South Africa, the Free State offers a mix of colourful cultures, fun urban vibes and a variety of national attractions. The Free State’s capital, Bloemfontein is known for its historic and heritage sites including President Brand Street, the only entire street in the southern hemisphere declared a national monument, and home to the African National Congress (ANC) which was formed in 1912.
Get lost in the lunar landscapes, unique wildlife and rich culture of the Northern Cape. You’ll also find adrenaline and extreme adventure sports and spectacular attractions like the Namakwaland flowers, the Richtersveld Heritage site, Witsand, the Kuruman Eye, Boesmansgat and Wonderwerk Cave.
South Africa has it all – national parks, beaches, big game, modern cities and some of the world’s best road trips – making it difficult to put together any list of must-see attractions. The beaches of Durban, the dynamic city of Johannesburg, cosmopolitan Cape Town with its beautiful location beneath Table Mountain and the 850km Western Cape wine route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth are all contenders. Tick those and add the following to the list:
- See the big five at Kruger National Park
- Visit World Heritage site, Mapungubwe National Park in the Limpopo River Valley
- Drive the famous Garden Route
- Take the trip to Robben Island
- Take a road trip through Namaqualand when the wildflowers are in bloom
- Visit the sprawling town of Soweto
Our top selling tours in South Africa at qantas.com right now…
- 3-Day Kruger National Park Luxury Safari from Johannesburg
- 2-Day Western Cape Safari from Cape Town: Big Five Game Drive and Cango Wildlife Ranch
- Cape Town Super Saver: Cape Point Highlights Tour plus Wine Tasting in Stellenbosch
- Private Tour: Cape Point and Constantia Valley Wine Region from Cape Town
- Cultural Cape Town - Langa and Khayelitsha
Book these or any of our huge selection of tours, activities and transfers with Qantas Activities and you'll enjoy a Price Promise and 1 point per AU$1 spent if you are a Qantas Frequent Flyer.
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The Kruger National Park
Covering nearly 2 million hectares, this world renowned park features 16 ecosystems where you can discover unique forests, brilliant birdlife and traces of early humankind. Make sure you spot the Big Five on a 4x4 game drive or walking safari.
Big 5 Safaris
Referring to the Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhino, Big 5 safaris in Mpumalanga are either within the Kruger National Park or on the neighbouring private reserves such as Timbavati, Klaserie and Sabi Sands, which has the highest density of leopards in the world. Some lodges pride themselves on showing the Big 5 to guests in record time, and you'll even walk away with a certificate.
South Africa has plenty of award-winning safari lodges in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, where travellers can experience bliss in the bush. Nothing is ever too much with luxury on call, impeccable service and cuisine, soothing spas and incredible wildlife encounters. Check out the Motswari on Timbavati Nature Reserve or the Honey Guide Tented Safari Camps, both in Kruger National Park.
Turtle Tracking Safaris in Maputaland
It might not be your typical safari game viewing experience, but an evening turtle tracking safaris along Maputaland’s beaches can be just as rewarding. You’ll be amazed at the sight of marine Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles laying their eggs, or hatchlings emerging from the nest.
Qantas offer flights to South Africa through Johannesburg and onwards across the continent with our partner South African Airlines. If you are arriving by air to any major airport like Cape Town, Johannesburg or Natal, we strongly recommend you pre-book an arrival transfer to pick you up and drop you at your hotel. For less than ten dollars, you won’t beat the convenience and peace of mind.
The best way to travel (and often the most economical) around South Africa is by car. The roads are good and there is affordable car hire and petrol. Bus is an option for travel around the country, but they’re slow and frequently run overnight. Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town all have their own city bus networks, although it’s advisable to get local advice on safe routes before jumping aboard.
If you don’t want to hire a car, another option to see South Africa’s cities and tourist destinations is by tour – an affordable, safe and easy way to get around. If you want to travel on your own, try a Cape Town hop-on-hop off bus, also available in Johannesburg.
Daily flights to South Africa, arriving in Johannesburg
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FLIGHTS TO SOUTH AFRICA
HOTELS IN SOUTH AFRICABook hotels in Cape Town, South Africa
GETTING AROUND SOUTH AFRICA
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Sample a piece of the great African overland journey with your own car hire in South Africa. You can take off on a great drive like the Garden Route out of Cape Town. Qantas Frequent Flyers earn Qantas Points with Avis and Budget.^Book
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