One of our clients recently described South Africa as “the world’s best kept secret” and we can only agree! There are good connections from Christchurch via Sydney or Perth to Johannesburg with Qantas and South African Airlines, and it’s a year-round destination, with great lifestyle options in the summer – it’s a very ‘outdoor’ country like NZ , and wonderful safari opportunities over our winter months.
Capetown ranks as one of our favourite cities and it is not hard to see why. Stunning Table Mountain offers breathtaking views and an opportunity to exercise your legs if you fancy a walk or cycle up and down. Beautiful beaches flank the city and you can go to Cape Point and see the two oceans meet and visit the penquins at Boulder Bay. Expect outstanding and great value dining matched with excellent wines when you eat out. A favourite spot is the thriving waterfront area which is home to a wide range of excellent hotels, apartments and some excellent shopping. Stay for 4 to 5 days, perhaps in an apartment or hotel near the V&A Waterfront, but be warned – this will only scratch the surface of this very cosmopolitan city.
Only two hours out of Capetown and you are in the heart of the wine region at Stellenbosch and Franschoek and at the start of the famous Garden Route. An excellent area to self drive, you can enjoy four or five days along the route through to Port Elizabeth. Visit Knysna and Outshoorn, stop at Plettenburg Bay for a swim.
South Africa is renowned for some of the best game parks in all of Africa and you can expect to see a huge range of wildlife. Kruger is a favourite for the locals, they just pack up the car and drive straight into the park. But if you want to get up close and personal to the wildlife that means you have to leave the tarsealed roads behind. If you only have a few days for your safari then choose a private game reserve and go out on morning and afternoon drives – you will be amazed at what you can see in just a couple of days.
Namibia – From its rugged mountains and the world’s oldest desert Namibia is a land of contrast and diversity. It’s become a popular ‘second time to Africa’ destination for Kiwis and the scenery is so dramatic it’s become a firm favourite for photographic groups looking for a tailor-made photo safari.
It’s probably most famous for the towering red sand dunes at Sossusvlei where you’ll find red sand dunes which tower 300m from the valley floor – if you are feeling fit, the real challenge is to actually climb one of them – the vastness of the dunes will amaze you.
Namibia also has bizarre desert flora and fauna, the vast Fish River Canyon and the beautiful Himba tribal people – in short, it’s a little known gem. The nomadic Himba tribe in the Opuwo area still live a traditional life with little contact with the modern world. They are well known for their ochre body painting and are very friendly but shy.
Etosha National Park is certainly one of Africa’s most beautiful wildlife parks with wonderful game viewing, and different from most other Southern African game parks as the heart of Etosha is dry for most of the year and therefore home to desert dwelling wildlife. If you see piles of what looks like old tyres, look closer as it may well be a rare desert plant.
A fabulous way to explore Namibia is by way of a fly-in safari. You get to explore the highlights of Namibia’s vast deserts and wild coastline, including the dramatic and very remote Skeleton Coast by both air and land.
We love arranging private guided safaris as the local guides are superb and ensure you get the best possible experience, but If you prefer to travel independently, it is also very easy to do your own self drive holiday in Namibia as the roads are excellent.