A Quick Guide to South Africa

South Africa is magic.

A place of misty forests, majestic mountains, meandering rivers, and rolling savannahs and serene national parks, kept wild and free for the indigenous animals, South Africa has absolutely everything one could want from a holiday destination. There is so much history to explore here, including old architecture, and museums full of the stories of people we will never get to meet but who have shaped our world and way of life. There are cities, with their award winning restaurants and hidden cultural hubs, best explored as a part of a city tour. And there is more wilderness than you could possibly imagine.

A trip to South Africa can feel like visiting 6 different countries all at once. With the sheer diversity of landscapes, cultures, villages, towns and cities, and with every part of the country feeling so different to the next, many visitors to South Africa choose to take part in a variety of tours. By doing so, they can ensure that they have truly seen and experienced everything that this unique destination has to offer.

South Africa

  • Population Size: Roughly 56 Million
  • Official Languages: Swati, Venda, Ndebele, Sotho, Pedi, Zulu, Xhosa, English, Afrikaans, Setswana, and Tsonga.
  • Land Size: 1.22 Million Square Kilometres which is twice the size of Texas or the size of France and Spain combined.
  • Politics: A multiparty Democracy

When is the best time to visit South Africa?

South Africa is, according to locals and the many visitors who arrive each year, blessed with the best weather all year round. While the winters do get quite chilly in parts and there is the occasional snow fall on some of the mountains around the Cape, for the most part the sun is always shinning.

If weather is a factor that you really feel will affect your holiday experience, there are two ways to work around it. You can travel during those months which are considered the overall best time to visit, or you can plan your trip based on the area you will be visiting.

The best time of year to travel to South Africa is between the months of May and September. These are the cooler, winter months, and with the exception of the Western Cape, these months are drier than the summer months, when the rainfall returns in abundance.

Between the months of September and April, the days are long and can get exceptionally hot, especially in the safari areas in the North East of the country. The upside about travelling in the summer, if you can happily handle the heat, is that the land takes on an intense green and the sunshine has that tropical look. Summer days in the summer rainfall areas generally end with a spectacular thunderstorm, which is a really something to behold.

Top Attractions and Activities

It is hard to choose the best things to see and do when visiting South Africa, because there are just so many options, but to get a better idea about what you can expect and what to add to your South Africa holiday, here’s a couple of great options.

  1. Go to the Western Cape

From the most exciting and interesting Cape Town tours and holidays, to spending a day or two visiting all of the different winelands that are in the region, a trip to the Western Cape is a must and will also be a fairly good starting point for your South Africa holiday.

Some of the top attractions in the Western Cape include Table Mountain, the Bo-Kaap, and Cape Point.

  1. Go on Safari in the Kruger

The Kruger National Park is an absolutely iconic destination. So popular and well-known is the park that the word safari is almost synonymous with the Kruger. One of the best ways to visit the park is to sign up for a Kruger Park safari. These guided tours will take you to some of the best wildlife areas in the park, almost guaranteeing the best animal sightings, including the chance to spot the Big 5.

  1. Go to the Karoo

An arid and hauntingly beautiful place, with its flat landscape, wild animals, and the burst of colourful flowers that come to life in the spring, the Karoo is not on every tourist’s radar but absolutely should be. Along with being just an utterly breath taking place to visit, the Karoo also has plenty of small towns to explore and quite a few interesting attractions to see.

  1. Go to the Drakensberg

South Africa’s majestic mountain range, which starts in the Western Cape and stretches all the way up into the lush green province of Mpumalanga, the Drakensberg is a must-visit especially for those who want to hike while on holiday. These mountains are among the oldest in the world and they are quite the sight, making a trip to the Drakensberg an equally good idea if you are an avid photographer.

  1. Go to the Garden Route

South Africa’s very own natural garden, of sorts, the Garden Route is full of indigenous forests, small towns and some of the best coastal views. The route covers quite a long stretch and all along the way there is something interesting to see and to experience. Some of the top attractions include the Tsitsikamma, the Storms River Suspension Bridge, the Knysna Heads and the Knysna Forest.

Travelling to South Africa

When travelling to South Africa for the first time, some like to embark on a solo drive, but the best way to really get into the experience would be to book a South Africa guided tour, and we have some of the best packages for you.

  1. The Enchanted Garden Route Tour

Taking on an adventure of a lifetime, this tour takes guests on an intrepid 6 night, 7 day scheduled tour through the beautiful Garden Route. The tour starts and ends in Cape Town and along the way guests visit the many villages in the area, they will stop at a working ostrich farm, and they will enjoy a spot of whale watching. This holiday covers a bit of everything, making it the ultimate Garden Route tour.

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  1. The Kruger and Panorama Breakaway Tour

A trip to South Africa that doesn’t include a Kruger Park safari is a trip wasted. With this epic adventure tour, guests get to experience not only the best of the Kruger National Park, but they also have the chance to explore the nearby Panorama Route, a spectacular part of the province of Mpumalanga, characterised by waterfalls, forests and mountains, as well as a few small villages. This 4 day tour packs a whole lot of punch and guests are guided into some of the best parts of the Kruger, those areas where wildlife is abundantly seen.

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  1. The Kruger to Coast Tour

An exciting tour that starts in the Kruger and ends in the tropical island-like country of Mozambique, this 4 day trip is a great way to experience the best of both worlds. Guests can look forward to spending sometime relaxing in Kruger, spotting all sorts of interesting animals during a game drive, and then the tour turns in a beach holiday of sorts.

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  1. The Safari, Wine and The Mother City Tour

A tour that will take guests from one side of the country to the other, guests are in for a real treat and a full South African experience when they book the Safari, Wine and Mother City package. This is a self-drive tour, which means guests are guided by a pre-booked itinerary but aside from that, they have the freedom to really explore all of the beautiful scenery and attractions the route has to offer.

This tour begins in Johannesburg, continues onto the Kruger National Park, and then heads down to the Cape.

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  1. The Pioneer Walking Trail

Something a little different, this walking tour will bring guests really close to nature, as they walk from one bush lodge to the next, getting up close to nature along the way. This tour is an adventure in every sense of the word and a great way to have unique kind of safari. This particular walking tour takes place in Gondwana Private Game Reserve.

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Planning Your South Africa Holiday Trip

The success and enjoyment of any holiday starts and ends with the planning. And to minimise the amount of work you have to do and stress that you have to endure, booking a packaged South Africa holiday can be the better option.

At ATC Travels, we have a selection of some of the most interesting, relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable holiday packages. Our tours are designed to go well beyond the conventional South African holiday packages, as we like to make sure that our guests get to experience what they expect to see when visiting South Africa and at the same time have a truly unique holiday which includes some lesser known attractions.

All of our South Africa holiday packages can be booked directly via our website and you can also contact our team today to discuss the sort of holiday you want to have, and they can curate the perfect trip or help you find the best tour for you.

South Africa in a minute

South Africa Tours

Black Mamba Experience

Spend time with a specialized all female poaching unit.

Cape Art Tour

Visit places and spaces that art lovers will enjoy and immerse themselves in, from Graffiti to Bushman paintings.   

Cape Town, Safari & Victoria Falls

A two country adventure, taking you from beautiful Cape Town, onto a Safari and ending in Victoria Falls.

Cape Winelands Golf Tour

Welcome to South Africa!   Destination: South Africa   COST FROM ZAR 11 520.00 per person sharing INCLUDED 4 Nights

Enchanted Garden Route

This 6-night and 7-day scheduled tour takes you around the famous Garden Route in South Africa. Departing and finishing in

Family Slow Travel - Self Drive

Welcome to South Africa! This vast country is undoubtedly one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places on earth.

Garden Route & Addo Adventure

Affordable and family friendly, this quick tour is the perfect addition to a stay in Cape Town.

Gourmet Cape & Winelands Experience

Welcome to South Africa! This vast country is undoubtedly one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places on earth.

In-Style Country Combination Tour

Planes, trains and boats – all these wonderful adventures to see three Southern African countries.

Kruger & Panorama Route Breakaway

Kruger & Panorama Breakaway All safaris start before sunrise, Mpumalanga means the place of the rising sun and is the

Kruger Park Safari Fly-in

This is a great add-on to a tour in-and-around Southern Africa. Three nights at a safari lodge, with a one-way

Kruger to Coast

Welcome to South Africa! This is a lovely trip that takes you in the African Bush and ends off on

Kwa-Zulu Natal Family Self-drive

Welcome to South Africa!   Destination: South Africa   COST Minimum 2 Pax FROM ZAR 15 265.00 per person sharing

Kwa-Zulu Natal Golf Tour

Welcome to South Africa!   Destination: South Africa COST Minimum 2 Pax ZAR 9 815.00 per person sharing INCLUDED 4

Kwandwe, Cape Town & Tswalu

A luxurious getaway, incorporating the Garden Route and Safari.

Low Carbon Footprint Tour

Low Carbon Footprint Tour Welcome to South Africa! This vast country is undoubtedly one of the most culturally and geographically

Luxury Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Winelands & Safari

Luxury Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Winelands & Safari Immerse yourself in South Africa’s heritage of good food and

Luxury Garden Route & Safari

A luxurious getaway, incorporating the Garden Route and Safari.

Malaria Free Family Safari

A great safari for the family where malaria is not a concern

Motorcycle Garden Route Explorer Tour

A unique way to experience all that Cape Town has to offer, as well as travelling through the Garden Route,

Pioneer Walking Trail

A walking trails camp where you walk from lodge-to-lodge in the care of your experienced trails team.

Private Collection-Bush & Beach

Private Collection-Bush & Beach If travel destinations with few people are what you are looking for, then this is the

Rovos Rail - Cape Town to Pretoria

Rovos Rail - Cape Town to Pretoria Embark on a luxurious journey from Cape Town to Pretoria onboard Rovos Rail,

Rovos Rail - Pretoria to Victoria Falls

Rovos Rail - Pretoria to Victoria Falls Without a doubt, this is the most luxurious way to travel between Pretoria

Safari, Wine And The Mother City

Safari, Wine And The Mother City Traversing various areas within South Africa this classic itinerary introduces you to the incredible

Taste of Nature

This vast country is undoubtedly one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places on earth. Fondly known by locals

Whales & White Lions

Seasonal whale watching in Hermanus, combined with a safari to a reserve that has white lions.

Zulu Safari and Pearly Beach

Welcome to South Africa! Incorporating two countries, enjoy a safari and a beach experience on this tour.   Destination: South