Best of South Africa
Johannesburg & Cape Town, 3 game drives in Kruger and a private conservancy, plus a bush walk; stay in upscale hotels throughout.
|Style||Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||February – December 2023||Group Size||16 travelers max|
|Themes||Active, History & Culture, Grand Tours, Nature & Wildlife|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, escorted South Africa tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.|
|Already booked?||Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.|
Check prices & book now
Get updates about this package
Explore deeper into South Africa on our comprehensive Best of South Africa small group escorted tour. Begin your tour in cosmopolitan Johannesburg, South Africa's largest metropolis, also know as "Egoli" or City of Gold. Then head north to begin your safari in Karongwe Private Game Reserve, where you'll embark on a late morning bush walk with an experienced ranger. Continue your game viewing in Kruger National Park, one of the world's oldest and most famous game reserves. Rest assured, you'll have ample opportunities to spot the Big 5! Finally, end your tour in scenic Cape Town, exploring the city's vibrant neighborhoods, storied past and incredible cuisine; then look down on it all from the top of Table Mountain. Your ticket is pre-purchased, so you won't spend hours waiting in line to buy one. Want even more?
Extend your stay with a visit to the majestic Victoria Falls. See our Best of South Africa with Victoria Falls 2021!
- Round-trip flights from New York via wide-bodied jet service, including taxes & fees
- Flights, ground transportation and transfers within South Africa
- 10 nights in superior first class and deluxe hotels
- 19 meals: 10 breakfasts, 4 lunches, & 5 dinners, including welcome and farewell dinners with wine
- Professional English-speaking tour directors
- Comprehensive touring program and safaris, including entrance fees
Why you'll love it
- Visit South Africa's largest and most populous city, Johannesburg, and learn about the country’s poignant past at Liliesleaf Farm and the Apartheid Museum.
- Experience a close-up look at daily life in the bustling neighborhood of Soweto.
- Come face-to-face with lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, buffalo and more during 2 game drives and a bush walk in Karongwe Private Game Reserve and a full-day game drive in Kruger National Park.
- Enjoy the jaw-dropping view of the Blyde River Canyon, one of the world's largest canyons, during your drive along the astonishing Panorama Route.
- Bask in the scenic and historic highlights of beautiful Cape Town, including a trip to Table Mountain by cable car.
- Explore Cape Point including Hout Bay, Boulders Beach and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Itinerary at a Glance
- 1 Depart USA
- 2 Arrive Johannesburg
- 3 Johannesburg
- 4 Johannesburg & Karongwe Private Game Reserve
- 5 Karongwe Private Game Reserve
- 6 Karongwe Private Game Reserve & Kruger National Park
- 7 Kruger National Park
- 8 Kruger National Park & Cape Town
- 9 Cape Town
- 10 Cape Point & Cape Town
- 11 Cape Town
- Optional Excursion: Half Day Stellenbosch Winelands
- 12 Depart South Africa
Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices, with flights
per person, double occupancy*, including Instant Savings discounts
Departs U.S.: Thu, Nov 10, 2022
Finishes: Mon, Nov 21, 2022
Nov 10 – Nov 21
Departs U.S.: Thu, Dec 8, 2022
Finishes: Mon, Dec 19, 2022
Dec 8 – Dec 19
Departs U.S.: Thu, Jan 19, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Jan 30, 2023
Jan 19 – Jan 30
Departs U.S.: Thu, Feb 2, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Feb 13, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Feb 2 – Feb 13
Departs U.S.: Thu, Mar 2, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Mar 13, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Mar 2 – Mar 13
Departs U.S.: Thu, Apr 6, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Apr 17, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Apr 6 – Apr 17
Departs U.S.: Thu, May 11, 2023
Finishes: Mon, May 22, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! May 11 – May 22
Departs U.S.: Thu, May 25, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Jun 5, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! May 25 – Jun 5
Departs U.S.: Thu, Jul 6, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Jul 17, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Jul 6 – Jul 17
Departs U.S.: Thu, Aug 17, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Aug 28, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Aug 17 – Aug 28
Departs U.S.: Thu, Sep 7, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Sep 18, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Sep 7 – Sep 18
Departs U.S.: Thu, Oct 19, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Oct 30, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Oct 19 – Oct 30
Departs U.S.: Thu, Oct 26, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Nov 6, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Oct 26 – Nov 6
Departs U.S.: Thu, Nov 9, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Nov 20, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Nov 9 – Nov 20
Departs U.S.: Thu, Dec 7, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Dec 18, 2023
Book by Thu, Dec 15, 2022 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Dec 7 – Dec 18
If you want a few extra days to explore on your own, we may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers, for an additional charge. Ask us about prices and availability when (or after) you book. More information Want to extend your trip?
Options & Fees
|Best of South Africa|
|Nov 10, 2022; Dec 8, 2022||$749|
|Jan 19, 2023; Feb 2, 2023; Mar 2, 2023; Apr 6, 2023; May 11, 2023; May 25, 2023; Jul 6, 2023; Aug 17, 2023; Sep 7, 2023; Oct 19, 2023; Oct 26, 2023||$799|
|Nov 9, 2023; Dec 7, 2023||$849|
So that we can offer you the best deals, our packages are, like most hotels and cruises, priced based on double occupancy rooms or cabins. We charge solo travelers an extra fee to cover the extra costs of single occupancy rooms or cabins. (Consider: if you booked a $200/night hotel room solo, you would pay the $200 yourself; but if a couple booked the same room, each one would pay only $100.) But you only pay extra for the rooms or cabins, nothing else, including meals, sightseeing, tips, etc. Why are single rooms more?
Flights & Departure Cities
|New York City (NYC)||included|
This package includes round-trip flights from the city listed above.
Want to fly from another city? We can arrange flights from most major cities. Ask us for a quote for flights from your preferred city when (or after) you book, and we'll get back to you with the price and availability within 3 business days. Of course, you can also book your own connecting flights. More information
Day 1 Depart USA
- Depart New York on your overnight flight to Johannesburg
Day 2 Arrive Johannesburg
- Arrive in Johannesburg, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel
- This evening, meet your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner
Sandton Sun or similar DinnerFull Day ItineraryArrive today in Johannesburg, South Africa's largest and most populous city. Upon arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. En route, enjoy a panoramic orientation tour of this cosmopolitan city, affectionately referred to as "Jo'Burg" or "Jozi" by the locals. Check in at your hotel and enjoy the balance of the day at leisure.This evening, get to know your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner with wine.
Day 3 Johannesburg
- See what daily life is like in the Soweto neighborhood
- Learn more about the rise and fall of apartheid at the Apartheid Museum
- Visit Maboneng district
Sandton Sun or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
This morning, embark on a fascinating tour to Soweto (short for Southwestern Township), a sprawling metropolis on the outskirts of Johannesburg, for a close-up look at daily life in this bustling neighborhood, the most prominent black urban settlement in Africa and the center of political campaigns aimed at the overthrow of the apartheid state. On the way, drive through the residential suburb of Rivonia, continue past the Hector Pieterson Memorial, Regina Mundi Church, where many secret underground meetings took place, and the former residence of Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Nelson Mandela. Later, visit the Apartheid Museum for an in-depth historical look at the system of extreme racial segregation that plagued South Africa from 1948 until 1994, when it was finally dismantled. Later, visit the Maboneng district, an innovative urban neighborhood filled with urban art galleries, chic restaurants, and unique office spaces for creative, like-minded people. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 4 Johannesburg & Karongwe Private Game Reserve
- Depart for Karongwe Private Game Reserve
- Afternoon game drive in the Karongwe Private Game Reserve
Shiduli Private Game Lodge or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
Depart Johannesburg this morning for a scenic drive to your lodge in the Karongwe Private Game Reserve. The Reserve teems with an abundance of game, wildlife, and diverse vegetation. After check-in, you'll have some time to freshen up before an afternoon game drive. Return to the lodge in time for dinner.
Day 5 Karongwe Private Game Reserve
- Early morning game drive in open safari vehicles
- Bush walk with an experienced local ranger
Shiduli Private Game Lodge or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After an early morning wake-up call and a fresh cup of coffee or tea served with rusks, a traditional South African biscuit, head out in open safari vehicles for your African bush game drive. Search for the Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo - and some of the smaller fascinating creatures such as chameleons, scrub hare, and more. Return to the lodge for a full breakfast.
Later, set off on foot for a bush walk with your experienced ranger, who will teach you some bush skills such as animal tracking as well as bird and plant identification. Return to your lodge to relax and enjoy the facilities.
Day 6 Karongwe Private Game Reserve & Kruger National Park
- Drive along the awe inspiring Panorama Route
- Stop at Graskop Gorge and take the lift to the forest below
- View the spectacular Blyde River Canyon
- Arrive this afternoon in Kruger National Park
Kruger Gate Hotel or similar Breakfast & lunchFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, relax on a scenic journey through the Limpopo province. Stop for breathtaking views of rolling mountains, verdant valleys, the Three Rondavels, Bourke's Luck Potholes, and God's window. Next, stop at Graskop Gorge, and descend 51 meters along the face of the gorge into the forest below. Wooden walkways and suspension bridges meander along a 600-meter trail through the indigenous forest with interactive exhibits. Later, view the Blyde River Canyon, one of the world's largest canyons. En route, enjoy lunch at the ever-popular Harries Pancakes.
Continue to your hotel, located just outside the Kruger National Park. On arrival, check in at your hotel, and take some time to relax in the beautiful surroundings.
Day 7 Kruger National Park
- Full day game drive in open 4x4 safari vehicles in Kruger National Park
- Special Boma Dinner
Kruger Gate Hotel or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After an early morning wake-up call, depart for an exciting full-day safari in open 4x4 safari vehicles into the Kruger National Park, one of the world's most famous game reserves. You'll see the ever-present impala and be on the lookout for wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, and many other types of antelopes.
This evening, enjoy a special Boma Dinner.
Day 8 Kruger National Park & Cape Town
- Early morning transfer to the airport to board flight for Cape Town
- Balance of evening at leisureFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, leave the bush behind as you transfer to the airport for your flight to Cape Town, a beautiful jewel nestled between stunning Table Mountain and a dramatic coastline. Cape Town is a modern, bustling, and vibrant city boasting gorgeous scenery, fabulous restaurants, hotels, and beaches, bursting with history and culture. Upon arrival at Cape Town's airport, you will be transferred to your centrally located hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the evening at leisure.
2022 groups will stay at Taj Cape Town & 2023 groups will stay at The Capital 15 on Orange
Day 9 Cape Town
- Witness the scenic and historic highlights of Cape Town on a half day panoramic city tour
- Weather permitting, ascend by cable car to the top of Table Mountain
- Get hands-on and create your own bead and wire art souvenirFull Day Itinerary
This morning, enjoy a panoramic tour of Cape Town showcasing this vibrant city's scenic and historical highlights. Weather permitting, travel by cable car to the top of Table Mountain, Cape Town's most striking landmark and recently announced as one of the world's New Seven Wonders of Nature.
(If the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is closed due to maintenance or inclement weather, visit Signal Hill instead)
Continue through the Malay Quarter (Bo-Kaap). Lined with brightly colored houses and decorative mosques, this historic neighborhood was founded by formerly enslaved people from Malaysia, whose Islamic culture gives the area a distinct character and contributes to Cape Town's rich cultural diversity. The final stop on your tour is the lively Cape Town Waterfront, where numerous restaurants and entertainment options abound.
Visit Streetwires, an artists' collective and social enterprise that recruits unemployed people and trains them as wire and bead artists. Established in 2000, Streetwires began with the idea that something as dynamic and imaginative as wire art should have a supportive and sustainable business structure to boost the craft. Watch master artists at their craft, and then spend some time with them learning how to create two of your bead and wire art keychains.
Spend the rest of the afternoon leisurely to become better acquainted with Cape Town.
2022 groups will stay at Taj Cape Town & 2023 groups will stay at The Capital 15 on Orange
Day 10 Cape Point & Cape Town
- Full day excursion to Cape Point including a cruise along Hout Bay
- Visit Boulders Beach and see the African jackass penguins
- Afternoon tour of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
- Remainder of the day at leisureFull Day Itinerary
A full-day excursion to Cape Point begins this morning with a cruise along Hout Bay, where you'll see the seals of Duiker Island. Enter the nature reserve that covers the southern part of the Peninsula, and drive through the unique scenery towards Cape Point. Travel by funicular railway to Cape Point, where you can take in stunning views of the Cape of Good Hope.
After lunch, make a brief stop to visit the African jackass penguins at Boulders Beach, and then continue to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where you'll have a magnificent display of indigenous South African flora. Return to your hotel late this afternoon and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
2022 groups will stay at Taj Cape Town & 2023 groups will stay at The Capital 15 on Orange
Day 11 Cape Town
- Last day to explore Cape Town at leisure
- Enjoy a farewell dinner and drum performanceFull Day Itinerary
Last day to explore Cape Town at leisure.
2022 groups will stay at Taj Cape Town & 2023 groups will stay at The Capital 15 on OrangeOptional Excursion: Half Day Stellenbosch Winelands
This afternoon, depart to glorious Stellenbosch, in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Take a leisurely drive through this beautiful, world-renowned region before venturing into the wine-making process in a fascinating cellar tour with wine tasting. Then explore the region's fine art galleries, architecture, history, and quaint shops.
Day 12 Depart South Africa
- This morning, enjoy free time for some last minute shopping
- This afternoon, transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight home
- Your memorable South African adventure ends as you touch down tomorrow morning in New York
The Sandton Sun is comfortable, distinguished, stylish, and conveniently located in the heart of Sandton's exclusive business district. The Sandton Sun is seamlessly integrated into the Sandton City Shopping Centre Diamond Walk, where you can shop for global brands such as Gucci, Bulgari, and Louis Vuitton. In addition, the nearby Nelson Mandela Square is easily reached from the hotel. The award-winning Sandton Sun Spa is an oasis of relaxation, rejuvenation, and indulgence amidst the pace of Johannesburg. Enjoy a soothing and healing experience at the hands of professionally trained therapists. The spa's signature treatment, the "Sea Whisperer," is an enchanting fusion of massage styles worldwide, the ultimate offering from a menu designed to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.
Shiduli Private Game Lodge is located in a magnificent game reserve, home to a wide spectrum of wildlife, including over 350 species of birds, the “Big Five," cheetahs and hippos. During downtime, dream away the hot midday hours around the natural swimming pool or enjoy a cocktail at the authentic African Bar. We recommend sipping sundowners at a waterhole while watching the spectacular African sunset—an experience not to be missed!
The Kruger Gate Hotel is set on the Sabi River and offers a variety of pampering comforts set within the remarkable natural wonders of the African wild. Situated less than a mile from the Paul Kruger Gate of Kruger National Park, this hotel provides an ideal location to experience wildlife first hand while enjoying all of the luxurious amenities.
The 5 star Taj Cape Town Hotel captures the history and spirit of Cape Town’s inner city with all the opulence of the East. The hotel is optimally located, opening onto the bustling St. George’s Mall, nearby many of Cape Town’s top attractions and food destinations, along with a multitude of historic hot spots, galleries, and boutiques.
The luxurious Capital 15 on Orange, Autograph Collection, is situated at the foot of Table Mountain and Signal Hill in the upmarket Gardens suburb. The stylish hotel is a few miles away from Cape Town Waterfront. The hotel is nearby many of Cape Town’s top attractions, food destinations, historical hot spots, galleries, and boutiques.
In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.
Reviews & Photos
We love hearing your stories and seeing your photos! Here are some moments other travelers captured on this package. Or check out our entire fan photo gallery.
- What should I know before I go? We've compiled a comprehensive checklist, including information on how to pay your balance due, flights & transfers, packing & luggage, and more.
- Do I need a visa or other documents? Are there any entry requirements? Please review the visa & entry requirements.
- Can I make changes to my trip? Want to upgrade your seats? Depart from another city? Stay a few extra days? Something else? Just ask!
- Can I bring my kids? Are there any age restrictions? To book this package, you must be 18 or older. Your traveling companions must be 8 or older at time of travel.
- Should I purchase travel insurance? Yes! We recommend you purchase travel insurance to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer a plan provided by Travelex Insurance Services.
- What's the fine print? Review the terms & conditions for this package.
- What should I know about South Africa? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
More Common Questions
- Common Questions Answers to our travelers' most frequently asked questions.