South Africa is the best of both worlds: it is Africa with its beautiful scenery, glorious weather and relaxed attitude, which manifests itself in the people who are friendly and easy-going; it also has a modern infrastructure making it an easy country to visit with plenty to see and do and plenty of ways to get around.
With a vast network of excellent roads, South Africa is road trip country. Domestic flights are also dirt cheap if you're not into the whole mixtape, padkos, back roads, one-horse town meander and want to get straight to the action.
Cape Town: to the backdrop of Table Mountain, Cape Town's white beaches and café culture, world-class restaurants, working harbour, urban nature reserves and vineyards have earned this African city a season ticket to all the "World's Favourite City" polls.
Kruger National Park: featuring great diversity, exceptional resource management and some of the finest safari lodges in the world, the Kruger Park is the grand-daddy of many game reserves in South Africa.
Garden Route: packed with an assortment of attractions from family beaches, charming seaside towns, forests and fynbos and the Karoo hinterland, the Garden Route is made for relaxing holidays.
Garden Route Safari: at the eastern end of the Garden Route are a clutch of genuine, big five game reserves in pristine wilderness areas offering excellent lodges, first-rate guides and the cherry on top: malaria-free safaris.
Cape Winelands: if the game reserves are the eastern bookend of the Garden Route, the Winelands are the western bookend. And what a bookend with charming country towns, beautiful nature reserves and of course the ever-so-picturesque vineyards.
South Africa has many many more attractions and if you want to explore beyond the highlights: Malaria-free big five safaris in Madikwe and Pilanesberg; Sun City; The Namaqualand Flowers; the Drakensberg Mountains; Phinda Game Reserve and Kwazulu-Natal; the West Coast; Richtersveld Nature Reserve and many more.
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There is something soothing about row upon row of grapevines be they in winter green or summer russet. It may be their rhythm and sense of order; the shape of the land enhanced or the calming effect of lines converging in the distance. In any case, time slows down in Cape wine country and that's all the more to enjoy your time here.
Ah, the Garden Route. Rivers, lakes, lagoons, vineyards. 300km of the south east coast of South Africa. Indigenous temperate forest, pine plantations and thick fragrant bush. Rocky coves, sandy bays. Do you like the phrase ‘coastal vista’? Hmm. Well, you’ll hear it, see it, damn, you’ll be shouting it by the end of this jaunt. You’re gonna see a whole lotta lovely views. Super sea. Super whales. Super sand. So much super it’ll make ya cry.
Garden Route Safari
If you've been doing your South Africa safari research, and that's why you're here, you'll be thinking along the lines of a Kruger National Park safari followed by a few days on the beach in Cape Town. But, you'll be saying to yourself, there's an awful big distance between those two places and I've heard malaria is a nasty piece of work.
Namaqualand and Northern Cape
Dry. Arid. Remote. Stretching 1000 kilometres along the West Coast, this thirsty patch of Planet Earth is a biodiversity hotspot. Incredible. Rich in minerals and swathes of unspoilt vastness. A different kind of beauty. And then, suddenly, for a few short months Namaqualand sheds its desert cloak and darling buds burst through the sand and granite. Thousands and thousands of petal clad carnival queens vying for the sun. Their survival remarkable. The Namaqualand flower route is a natural phenomenon and world famous.
Humans like perfection. Humans like shiny things. Like the common magpie myth we covet, squirrel and parade. And what could be more gorgeous, more glittering, more regal than gold. We trade it, wear it, damn it we even eat it. So when gold was discovered here in the late 1800s people rushed in. Pickaxes a ready. The world’s largest gold rush had begun and South Africa would never be the same.
Swaziland (Kingdom of Eswatini)
Still under rule by decree of the King, Swaziland is one of the last true monarchies in the world. A country wedged between South Africa and Mozambique with a small economy but with a number of game reserves and a huge traditional culture so unique, it has fast become a popular tourist attraction.
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Look. There. Miles in the distance. What is that? It sure ain’t no fire burning. No smoke on the water. It’s mist. Deep, deep, misty mist. With the river running through it. But it’s no babbling brook. No siree. It’s so noisy the Kololo called it Mosi-oa-Tunya, ‘the smoke that thunders’. Sheesh, what a racket.
Zimbabwe is a small country and its diverse attractions are packed into short easy drives or even quicker, easier flights. Expect beautiful waterfalls and rivers, exceptional wildlife safaris and spectacular scenery from classic African plains to vast river valleys, mystical hills and misty mountains.
“I highly recommend you use Namibia Tours & Safaris if you're planning a visit to this country. Great logistics, great value, really personal service. Very fun to work with!”
“I feel that Edward is honest, extremely helpful, and a true professional. I will recommend this company and Edward's expertise to anyone heading to Africa. A perfect trip!!”
“We had an 18-day private guided tour (Namibia, Botswana and Vic Falls) organised by the NTS team. Our consultant Wilmari was amazing both in preparation to and during our travel. Responsive, personable and diligent she put together an excellent itinerary.”
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“Namibia Tours and Safaris and their consultants are the best. Ulrike, our consultant, helped us over a 2 year period to plan our 4x4 Safari details. She had the patience of a saint and the insight and knowledge of a true local.”
“Chantelle did a fantastic job in organizing our self-drive trip through Namibia. Nothing was too much hassle and Chantelle was so helpful and responsive throughout the whole process.”
“Having tried to organise this trip myself I was very appreciative of the knowledge and support given by Ashlee who could not have been more supportive.”
“The organisation and response from the initial contact was fast and flawless thanks to Bonique our tour consultant. Her recommendations were perfectly tailored to our needs with a lot of foresight and local knowledge.”
“The service and help we got from Tessa was fantastic, as a result we had a tremendous trip and loved everything in Namibia.”
“Janine from NTS proposed us a great trip that suited our needs and wishes finding the right accommodation and great places. We had a wonderful stay and it was nice to meet with her in Swakop. Definitely recommend!”
“I have no words to express my gratitude to Carmen Scott and all the NTS team for their excellent work. Keep it up and all the best!”
“I cannot find any hassle or negative point for the organisation of this trip. Outstanding material, good accommodation, simply perfect. What a great company!”