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South Africa Holidays

South Africa holidays

South Africa holidays offer more than you'd expect, with sandy beaches, exotic safari, and bustling cities to help create your unforgettable holiday. Explore the culture and beauty of this diverse country. With snow in the north and penguins on sunny beaches in the south, South Africa is full of surprises.From the penguin colonies on its refreshing western coast near Cape to its vast northern deserts, South Africa is a nation of exceptionally varied landscapes. The country contains approximately 10% of the world's bird species, and produces many internationally renowned wines at its Constantia vineyard near Cape Town.

Top holiday deals to South Africa

Things to do in South Africa

Beaches

Beach holidays in South Africa are popular along the Sunshine Coast with its surfing, golf, and nature trails. For a more laid-back holiday, the Western Cape around Cape Town and Hermanus offer warm, shallow waters perfect for swimming.

Explore with family

Family holidays in South Africa are fun and fascinating. From penguins on Boulders Beach to giraffes on safari, South Africa is a joy for animal-loving kids. You can even go skiing in June and July to the north of Lesotho.

Safari

South Africa safari holidays are notoriously unrivaled, and are possible wherever you stay as there are nature reserves and preservation areas all around the country. Get up close to amazing wildlife, search for the big five, or even go on a mountain biking safari, all led by experienced tour guides.

Where to go in South Africa

  • Cape Town: With its enviable quality of life, friendly cosmopolitan atmosphere, and memorising natural scenery, Cape Town is almost like the perfect urban landscape with its breathtaking harbour and stupendous mountain views. For one of the finest panoramic views in Africa, take the Cableway to Table Mountain, the most photographed site in the country.
  • Another very popular attraction in Cape Town is the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which celebrated its centenary in 2013 and is famed for its beautiful conservatory and Zimbabwean stone monuments. For excellent budget-friendly accommodation in the city, consider the Antrim Villa or Gordon's Beach Lodge, or book a stay at the luxury POD Camps Bay or the Blackheath Lodge.
  • Pretoria: Visit the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, see the remarkable Neoclassical Union Buildings, and observe the early-19th-century Voortrekker Monument, dedicated to the Afrikaner Voortrekkers. For value-for-money accommodation, consider the Southern Sun Pretoria, or stay at the deluxe, highly sophisticated Illyria House.
  • Johannesburg: Learn more about South Africa's past at the Apartheid Museum, visit the family oriented Johannesburg Zoo or the Gold Reef City amusement park, or explore the Johannesburg Art Gallery, which contains many superb art pieces from South Africa, Europe and other locations across the globe. One of the top-rated high-end accommodation establishments in the city is the 54 on Bath hotel, while the Valverde Country Hotel provides very good value for money.
  • Bloemfontein: Bloemfontein is acclaimed for its Free State National Botanical Garden, and is home to plenty of fascinating exhibition venues, from the modern Oliewenhuis Art Museum to the Anglo Boer War Museum and the National Museum. Book a room at affordable, well-presented The Golf Lodge, or consider the opulent Protea Hotel Bloemfontein.

Things to see in South Africa

Festivals

From food and wine to motorsports, South Africa holidays in 2019 would not complete without attending one of their vibrant festivals. Macufe is an annual festival held in Bloemfontein that displays African art, music and dance. With festivals happening from January to October covering many different genres, you're sure to find something you'll enjoy.

Small town charm

Saga holidays in South Africa often include a visit to picturesque towns such as Knysna. From dolphin spotting to golf, coastal walks to boutique shopping, the pace of life is slower so you can appreciate the environment at your own pace.

Cultural experiences

South Africa aims to respect and teach about the cultures of its ancestors. The Shakaland Hotel & Zulu Cultural Village in Eshowe teaches about the Zulu culture and traditions, including a beer drinking ceremony and spear throwing.

How to get there

Flights to South Africa depart from various airports in London, Manchester, and Inverness and land in Cape Town, Johannesburg, George, and more cities.

Public transportation 

The train is a convenient way to travel around South Africa offering incredible views of the country. The bus is the cheapest way to travel, stick with Greyhound or Baz Bus for the best service.

Typical food and gastronomy 

The traditional cuisine of South Africa is generally food prepared by indigenous people. Popular meals include a maize meal called pap, with a stewed meat gravy and pumpkin. For a tasty snack, try biltong, a dried, cured, and spiced meat popular among locals. Those with a sweet tooth can try the local dessert milktart. South Africa all inclusive resorts serve a variety of cuisines from traditional to international fare.

What is the Best time of the year to visit South Africa?

Easter weekend 2019 in South Africa will be celebrated much like in the UK with egg hunts and plenty of activities for children. October is also a great time to visit South Africa, the weather is a comfortable 16°C and you'll find more wild animals if you go on a safari.

Weather & Climate 

Winter in South Africa is from June to August when the average temperature is 13°C. The summer months are December to March with average temperatures of 20-23°C making it an ideal time to escape winter in the northern hemisphere. You're more likely to find cheap South Africa holidays in the off-season which is between May and September.

Visas and other essential information

Before you leave you must obtain a visitor visa from a South African embassy, mission or consulate in the UK or Ireland. Check the current requirements and fees before you apply for a visa.

Which languages are spoken in South Africa?

English is one of the eleven official languages spoken in South Africa, others include Afrikaans, Sesotho, and Siswati. Signs are usually displayed in English.

Accommodation in South Africa

Holiday packages in South Africa offer you the best deals on flights and accommodation. If you prefer you can book hotels in Johannesburg Cape Town or other major cities in South Africa separately.

Extra tips

With so many great destinations in South Africa it can be hard to choose the right destination. Check out these popular destinations, available for travel from lastminute.com:

A few other places of interest in South Africa:

Visit the vast picturesque Kruger National Park, which is one of Africa's most important game reserves and is known for its significant zebra population. The Tsitsikamma National Park, meanwhile, is noted for its magnificent coastal scenery and is the location of Nature's Valley, one of the most sought-after destinations for holidays in South Africa. In the Royal Natal National Park of KwaZulu-Natal Province, you can also visit the Tugela Falls, which is considered to be the second-tallest waterfall system on the planet, with five stunning waterfalls measuring a collective high of almost 950m.

Be inspired!

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