The top reason to visit South Africa is adventure! Land, air or sea no adventurer or sportsman will be bored! On land South Africa offers spectacular hiking and mountaineering opportunities like abseiling down the infamous Table Mountain; or 4x4 adventure trips through world renowned National Parks like Kruger! South Africa's seas are considered among the top 10 diving spots in the world with thrilling white shark cage diving, and are perfect for a host of other water sports. Finally, why not experience the natural beauty of South Africa's diverse landscape by air: hang gliding, ballooning or parachuting? BUT don't forget there is more to this "rainbow nation" than meets the eye - not only is it fantastic for adventure but it's renowned for its world class wine producing regions and excellent, varied cuisine, a mix of both international and traditional African. And to top it all off with modern, sophisticated infrastructure and year round good weather you can experience all South Africa has to offer in comfort and style! Why not look at our recommendations on places to stay below...BUT don't forget that we can arrange accommodation anywhere, just contact our dedicated Seyexclusive team.
The Pafuri camp, comprised of 20 en-suite Meru-style tents, is situated on the northern banks of the Luvuvhu River, in the 24,000 hectare Makuleke Concession in the northern part of Kruger National Park. As well as opportunities to see 4 of the big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo), the Makeleke Concession is considered a birding hotspot in South Africa and has a fascinating sites of archaeological interest like Thulamela. The camp is made up of Pafuri East and West, the former camp which guests are able to book the sole use of, for a more private experience. The tents at both camps are shaded under a canopy of trees on elevated boardwalks, looking out over the river. Pafuri East has its own smaller private pool while Pafuri West has a large pool overlooking the river.
Rocktail Beach Camp lies, shaded by the lush Maputaland Coastal Forest, with the Maputaland Marine Reserve and World Heritage Site just offshore, a sanctuary for marine life and world class diving/snorkelling encounters with fish, dolphins and even whales! Maputaland, situated on KwaZulu-Natal's north-eastern coast, is a diverse region of forested dunes, wetlands, sandy beaches, woodlands and warms seas, giving guests opportunity to engage in: fantastic birding; hippo watching at the lakes; and beach adventures. The camp consists of 17 en-suite tents (9 standard plus 8 suites). The 8 suites include 7 family, with a shared bathroom and 2 bedrooms and honeymoon suite with wonderful views over the ocean and dune forest. The central camp dining room, bar and lounge has a large wrap-around veranda and raised viewing deck, with spectacular ocean views.
The owner run, Chitwa Chitwa luxury lodge has an unrivalled location on the banks of one of the largest lakes of the exclusive 63,000 hectare Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, which forms part of the greater Kruger National Park. Chitwa Chitwa's distinctive charm is translated into the detailed finishing’s of its accommodation. Natural colours and textures meld to replicate the serenity of the African bush indoors. Great care has been taken to balance unpretentious style with complete comfort in the 8 suites. Each individually decorated suite has its own private plunge pool, framed by a spacious timber deck overlooking the nearby lake - a popular drinking hole for a wealth of wildlife! The lodges communal facilities include a lounge/dining area, sunset deck, curio shop and infinity pool.
The Chitwa House was created by the Chitwa Chitwa Lodge in response to a growing demand for greater privacy and exclusive hospitality. As with the owner run, Chitwa Chitwa luxury lodge the Chitwa House has an unrivalled location on the banks of one of the largest lakes of the exclusive 63,000 hectare Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, which forms part of the greater Kruger National Park. The Chitwa House, with its striking African chic interior, including 2 en-suite rooms and private pool, offers guests a base from which to create their own private safari BUT also still has the benefits of having access to the lodge facilities! With the assistance of experienced house butler and the enthusiasm of a dedicated ranger, guests can enjoy a bush experience tailored to their every whim. The emphasis at Chitwa House is on guests "...setting the pace in their own private piece of Africa."
The spectacular Fugitives Drift property, a Natural Heritage Site, overlooks both Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. It allows guests to savour the extraordinary saga of the Zulu War of 1879. Led by the finest guides in South Africa, thought-provoking tours are conducted daily to Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. But with its abundant game and birdlife, there is also plenty more to do in the reserve. The reserve offers accommodation in either the Lodge or Guest House, set well apart from one another and situated in beautiful grounds each with their own pools. The Lodge has a 8 spacious en-suite cottages, each with private verandas affording views over the plains flanking the Buffalo River Gorge; and a recently refurbished larger cottage, re-designed to have 2 en-suite bedrooms and shared sitting room, ideal for families or couples sharing. The Guest House also has 6 cottages with large en-suite bedrooms and private verandas with sweeping views of the reserve and battlefields.
Cape Grace was awarded ‘Best Luxury Hotel/Resort in Africa and Indian Ocean’ at the prestigious Luxury Travel Advisor Awards of Excellence, December 2009. The newly refashioned luxury hotel delivers all the creature comforts you'd expect from world class luxury accommodation and lots of little extras too for all manner of guests - families, honeymooners or just your average holidaymaker. Cape Grace seems to have thought of everything...even a privately owned luxury yacht charter for the exclusive use of their guests! Situated in the iconic centre of Cape Town's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, on its very own private quay, the hotel has Cape Town's most popular shopping and tourist attractions all within easy reach. The hotel's style combines modern luxury with traditional Cape culture, the 121 individually custom-decorated guest rooms and suites bringing "the charm of Cape Town to life".
The Mount Nelson Hotel is one of the most iconic luxury hotels in Cape Town, situated within a sprawling lush garden estate in the heart of the city’s vibrant cultural centre and close to the bustling V&A Waterfront and some of Cape Town’s best beaches. The Hotel boasts 6 individual accommodation wings, each with its own unique character, private gardens and facilities. The 201 spacious rooms and suites, with choice of garden or mountain views, are individually decorated and feature the latest in 21st century conveniences. From fine dining to classic cocktails, the Mount Nelson's 2 Restaurants and Bar are also amongst the very best in Cape Town. Its facilities and activities too are second to none; whether guests wish to relax by the pool or in the spa or keep active in the yoga studio, on the tennis courts or at the golf practice net.
The highly acclaimed Constantia Uitsig is situated on the slopes of the Constantiaberg, in the heart of Constantia’s spectacular wine growing region, a mere 20 minutes from Cape Town and V&A Waterfront. The hotels views are second to none, including Table Mountain, Devil's Peak, False Bay and 3 major wine estates as is its food; with 3 award winning restaurants: Constantia Uitsig Restaurant, La Colombe and The River Café. Constantia Uitsig offers luxurious accommodation in 16 individually furnished en-suite garden rooms. This luxury country hotel is perfect for the upmarket traveller who wishes to deviate from the normal 4 & 5-star international hotel room and experience traditional Cape hospitality in rural seclusion. Constantia Uitsig’s tranquil surroundings, charming service and heartfelt hospitality are only enhanced by its splendid location on a working wine estate!
The Plettenberg Hotel, a 5 star Relais & Chateaux Hotel in the Plettenberg Bay resort, lies on a rocky headland with breathtaking sea, mountain and beach views! But more than fabulous scenery, sightings of dolphins and whales too can be made from hotel terraces. Its 36 luxury rooms and suites are all air-conditioned and offer a truly idyllic and indulgent experience. Its 2 swimming pools, one heated, both visually flow into the ocean below BUT for the more adventurous there are numerous excursions and activities within close proximity to the hotel including Monkey Land, Knysna Elephant Park and Ocean Blue Adventures. Other hotel facilities include an award winning wine cellar, stocked with a selection of the best local wines and available for special occasion private dining, and The Collection Boutique - offering a unique selection of speciality items.
The Beach House is situated next to the Plettenberg Hotel's main building, in the Plettenberg Bay resort. Decorated in soft creams and blues with bleached wooden floors, it makes the ideal private getaway, while still having access to all the main hotel facilities. The fully air-conditioned Beach House consists of 2 en-suite bedrooms, large sitting room with fireplace, dining room and small service kitchen. Its main bedroom leads on a sundeck and private pool with spectacular views of the bay and mountains!
The Lookout Villa overlooks one of the world’s most beautiful bays, Plettenberg Bay. This African contemporary villa enjoys a view of magical sunrises, whale breaching in the winter months and pods of dolphins rejoicing the whole year round! The luxuriously furnished villa is comprised of 2 romantic en-suite bedrooms. The main bedroom boasts an incredible view and leads out onto the deck and private pool. Candle and roses are beside beds and in bathrooms adding to the ambience. The open plan lounge and dining room are on a split level, from which you can also enjoy beautiful ocean views. The galley kitchen is well stocked and beautifully designed. The villa is equipped with flat screen televisions and DVD players. In addition guests at the villa have use of all the main Plettenberg Hotel facilities.
The exclusive lodge of Leopard Hills lies on a hill overlooking a natural waterhole and close to the perennial Sand River, in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, adjoining the world famous Kruger National Park. The lodge truly lives up to its name, offering some of the best Big 5 game viewing in Southern Africa, with leopard sighted regularly in the 10 000 or more hectares of the western sector of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The 8 luxurious air-conditioned glass-fronted suites complete with: romantic bathrooms with Victorian ball-and-claw bath, double indoor and outdoor showers, private verandas, private plunge pools, mini-bar and breathtaking views, offer exclusive privacy! But for those that do wish to venture out, the communal facilities at the lodge cater for both the active and those who just want to relax. Excellent game viewing, high service standards, delicious cuisine and a warm atmosphere ensure a most memorable safari at Leopard Hills!
South Africa as a travel destination is exceptional all year round, the warm waters of the east coast making for almost year-round swimming. BUT certain regions are best visited at specific times. Northern parts of South Africa (Kruger, Gauteng, Limpopo) are best during the winter months (May-July) with wildlife and game viewing at its best. Southern parts on the other hand (Cape Town, Garden Route, Eastern Cape) are best during the summer months (Oct-mid Feb).
For special interest travellers its worth taking note that certain seasons are better than others. For those who enjoy spectacular scenery, the floral extravaganza in Namaqualand when the desert-like terrain is transformed into a carpet of flowers, is a ‘must-see.’ It is situated in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces and takes place from mid-Aug - mid-Sept. The southern right whales hang around off the coasts from about mid-Jun - end Oct. Diving is best in most of the country Apr-Sept, and so is the surfing - but that certainly doesn't limit either activity to those times. River rafting is better in the Cape at the end of winter, and in KwaZulu-Natal in the late Nov - mid-Feb. In Mpumalanga and Limpopo, it's less time-dependent. The "shoulder" seasons - spring and autumn - are best for hiking, as summer can be hot over most of the country. In the Drakensberg, summer thunderstorms are dangerous, while there is a good chance of snow in winter. In the Cape, the winters are wet, so hiking can be a bit hardcore. If you're into bird watching, the palaeoarctic migrants arrive around Nov and the intra-African migrants usually by mid-Oct.
SUMMER Oct – mid Feb: Temperatures can reach 28-30 degrees or higher offering beautiful sunny days in summer and Atlantic Ocean breeze brings relief from the heat along the coast. Rainfall is low during this period. If you want to lounge on beaches mid-summer is the best time BUT busy, as local South Africans annual holiday season is in the summer. Most areas however are equipped to handle large numbers of tourists.
WINTER May - July: Winter is mild, except in the highest parts of the country with temperatures a maximum 20-23 degrees. There is very little winter rainfall in the north, so good to visit Kruger, Gauteng, Limpopo for game viewing. It’s also worth noting even in mid winter beaches KwaZulu-Natal warm and sunny. Note that Apr-Jul local school holiday season where the likes of Cape Town, Kruger & Durban are often busier.