Situated at the tip of the African continent and surrounded by two oceans, South Africa boasts breathtaking scenery, quaint coastal villages and cosmopolitan cities that can all be combined with a truly exhilarating Big Five South African safari. Consistently voted as one of the top tourist destinations around the world, South Africa is home to one of the world’s biggest nature reserves, the renowned Kruger National Park, as well as one of the most beautiful and scenic cities, Cape Town.
Safari Game Drives
Think safari and you’re likely to conjure up adventure-filled fantasies of game drives through pristine African wilderness, encountering magnificent wildlife such as elephant, lion or buffalo along the way. Set out in an open 4×4 safari vehicle in the company of a ranger and tracker team, who will attempt to track your favourite animals. While wildlife is the biggest drawcard for most travellers, the guide and tracker teams are also equipped with a wealth of knowledge about the area’s vegetation, including the traditional and medicinal uses of various plants. Birding enthusiasts can ask their guide to identify birds that are specific to the region as well as notable migrant species.
Guided Bush Walks
A guided nature walk is a magical alternative to a Big Five game drive. This adventure makes full use of all your senses, allowing you a deeper connection with the African bush. Strap on your boots and feel the wild grasses crush beneath your boots as you follow your expert guide into the pristine, untamed landscapes of the region. Be mesmerised by the morning sunlight as it dances in dew drops delicately sprinkled on flourishing vegetation. Smell nature in its purest form and be enchanted by the chorus of wildlife surrounding you.
Photographic safaris present guests with the unique opportunity to capture its four-legged residents through the frame of a viewfinder. Set out on an intimate safari that promises close-up wildlife encounters, with plenty of opportunity to take photos of the reserve’s beautiful inhabitants. Discover a whole new perspective with expert guides eager to provide tuition and instruction.
Rhino Notching Experience
Experience the rare opportunity to participate in a rhino notching experience at &Beyond’s Ngala and Phinda Private Game Reserves. Witness the darting of a rhino, and assist the veterinary team in notching the sleeping rhino’s ear for research and security monitoring, before releasing it back into the wild. Both Ngala and Phinda are committed to ensuring the survival of Africa’s rhinos and, as such, we implement best practice research and management practices.
Rhino Conservation Safari
Live the life of a rhino conservationist over a three or four-day Kwandwe safari that allows travellers to participate in the much needed and thrilling rhino-darting and notching programme. Rhinos are darted so that microchips can be inserted and their ears notched for identification purposes, enabling experts to track and identify these magnificent horned animals. The humbling programme is essential and greatly aids in the preservation of an endangered species that is hunted mercilessly, illegally and without reservation.
Elephant Collaring Experience
Guests will have the opportunity to participate in &Beyond Phinda’s elephant conservation project, witnessing an elephant capture and darting, and assisting in the changing of the sleeping pachyderm’s radio collar. Phinda is committed to ensuring the survival of Africa’s elephant herds and, as such, we implement best practice research and management practices. Seven elephant herds on the reserve have been collared to assist with monitoring and tracking their movements. The collars also play an essential part in Phinda’s immunocontraceptive programme, aimed at managing the elephant population in the reserve to maintain optimum levels.
Mountain Biking in the Bush
If you’re more comfortable on two wheels than four or even if you’re just looking for a more adventurous way to explore the rugged landscape of the Sabi Sand or Kruger National Park, the ideal answer is a mountain biking trail through the nature reserve. Available on Singita Boulders, Singita Ebony Lodge, Singita Lebombo or Singita Sweni Lodge; the bike rides set off just after breakfast, taking advantage of the cooler morning hours. This is true off-road wildlife viewing at its best.
Hot Air Balloon Safari
Embark on a safari from above, in the comfort of a massive, weaved basket, securely attached to a billowing balloon. The hour-long flight hovers over the lowveld sector, in the west of Hoedspruit, Limpopo. Pass over a lush patchwork of farms and fine vineyards, dotted around sprawling private nature reserves that edge towards the magnificent Drakensberg Escarpment. The range creates a natural border, efficiently forming the perimeter for various provinces in the country, and includes several natural features, such as the Blyde River Canyon.
Scenic Helicopter Flight
Choose to drink in the magnificent scenery of South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains on a picturesque helicopter flight. Leave your lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve or Kruger National Park and set off by car to rustic Hazyview, nestled among rows and rows of banana plantations.
From here, you will climb on board a helicopter and set off on an exhilarating scenic flight that swoops over deep and mysterious gorges and soars through lush valleys bursting with vegetation and colour. The craggy landscape below marks the edge of the escarpment of the Drakensberg Mountains. The flight will linger above one of many cascading waterfalls, allowing you to photograph the tumbling plumes of water as they plunge and foam on the rocks below. Enjoy the magnificent views from the spot known as God’s Window, where the craggy escarpment opens out onto a wide panorama of the landscape below.
There’s no better way to get a glimpse into real African life than by visiting one of its rural communities. A trip to one of the villages surrounding the the reserves provides a glimpse into the challenges, hopes and dreams of this local community in a way that not only educates but also inspires.
Sleep Under The Stars
A treehouse wishing to get closer to the night sounds of Africa without sacrificing any of their creature comforts can do little better than a night in one of the treehouses at Lion Sands. Ideal for the hopeless romantic or for anyone who simply wishes to reconnect with the earth, the treehouses are securely constructed above the ground with glass walls that provide panoramic views of the bush, as well as a safe and luxurious vantage point from which to watch twilight slowly turn to night.
The PanOrama Route
One of South Africa’s most prized landscapes, travelling through the breathtaking scenery of the Panorama Route is an absolute must if you are visiting Mpumalanga. Enjoy a self-drive or guided tour through the historic region, stopping at landmarks such God’s Window, the Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Pinnacle, and the world’s largest green canyon – the Blyde River Canyon. Discover fascinating geological formations, towering mountains and deep canyons, plunging waterfalls, meandering rivers, caves and flourishing flora. This is a photographic and nature enthusiast’s dream destination.
Indian Ocean Scuba Diving
Diving the reefs off South Africa’s east coast at Sodwana Bay allows you to experience a portrait of marine diversity, with over 1 200 species of fish and spectacular coral formations set in warm and clear tropical waters. Ideal for divers of all abilities, dives can be tailored for all guests who hold an Open Water 1 NAUI or PADI dive qualification have dived in the last six months. The tropical waters of Sodwana Bay are home to an abundance of marine life, boasting more than 80% of all the world’s marine classes. Swim past lemony yellow butterflyfish, powder blue triggerfish and citron-spotted whale sharks.
Turtle Nesting Adventure
Each year, during the southern hemisphere summer, between November and January, enormous leatherback and loggerhead turtles emerge from the Indian Ocean at Sodwana Bay to lay their precious eggs in the sun-warmed sand, as they have done for hundreds of millions of years. Set out on a thrilling night-time adventure along a stretch of 16 kilometres of tranquil beach, set to the background of the harmonic sounds of foamy waves rushing in to shore. With only the beam of your flashlight, the cold light of the moon flitting between wispy clouds and the distant flash of the lighthouse to guide you, search for these gentle animals as they ride the waves to shore to dig their nests at one of Africa’s last key nesting sites.
Shark Cage Diving
Sail out to the notorious Shark Alley, home to the largest population of great white sharks found in the world. The alley is a narrow channel of water that runs between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock, boasting well over 50 000 Cape fur seals that entice the great whites to scan the depths and the surface in eager anticipation of easy prey. This adventure is ideal for thrill-seekers, shark aficionados and nature enthusiasts. For those who wish to remain on board, the great whites remain in clear view from the viewing deck, barely under the surface of the foamy sapphire water, often drumming their large noses against the boat’s exterior and even breaching during the summer season.
Scenic Helicopter Flights
Explore the Cape Peninsula from a unique perspective and marvel at the impressive vistas of a towering Chapman’s Peak and shimmering coast of Noordhoek Beach before circling over Sun Valley, False Bay and the Constantia Winelands. An extraordinary, breathtaking experience awaits you on either. For an exhilarating view of exquisite natural beauty head high in the skies and ogle the vast, stunning landscapes below.
Private Yacht Charters
Set sail on the spectacular azure seas and surrender yourself to absolute extravagance on board a majestic yacht. As you glide through the liquid deep marvel at flawless coastlines and rugged green mountains, recline on deck with the golden rays caressing your body, revelling in the good life.
Cape Peninsula Tour with the kids
The Cape Peninsula boasts warm sands on Clifton’s secluded beaches and trendy cafés in Camps Bay. Explore the stunning Atlantic Seaboard feasting your eyes on rugged coastlines and other unblemished geographic landmarks such as the Twelve Apostles and the impressive slopes of Lion’s head. Explore the village of Hout Bay wondrously framed by mountains before meandering along Chapman’s Peak, precariously aligned along the edge of the mountain. World famous this 9 km route with 114 curves, makes it one of the most magnificent marine drives in the world.
Simons Town is a must see offering gemstone hunting, jewellery sales and the wobbly penguins of Boulder’s that show-off gloriously. Boulders Beach remains the only place in the world where one can get up close to African Penguins.
Private Shopping Tour
There is no time limit set for this excursion. You will be at the helm of your retail therapy expedition that can be booked for a few hours to a few days. This tour will tantalise every sense and acquaint you with country’s most renowned artists, in the privacy of their home and studios, and introduce you to incomparable South African products, brands and expertise. Specialist Shopping Guides make available the most reliable, cost effective ways to send goods back home as well as assist with any further sourcing and purchasing of products and co-ordinating of purchases for shipment.
HIKE Table Mountain
There are a variety of hikes available to suit every level of expertise. Choose to descend on foot, in cable cars or extend your venture up to Maclears Beacon, the highest point on the mountain. Platteklip Gorge offers the quickest way up, whereas the India Venster hike follows a less strenuous route up the face of the mountain, underneath the cable cars. The Lions Head hike, alongside Table Mountain, offers a steep climb with the assistance of chains or a more relaxed one without. No matter the route taken, every hike promises breathtaking bird’s-eye views over the city and coast.
Tour of Robben Island
Declared a World Heritage Site, the 3.5 hour eye opening tour illuminates the country’s tortured history and once prison to its most formidable political heroes, which include Nelson Mandela. The ferry ride departs from the luxurious V&A Waterfront and provides a breathtaking view of the city and Table Mountain in its backdrop. Helicopter and private tours can also be accommodated for more discerning travellers. The island is home to a wide variety of fauna and expertly guided by ex-political prisoners that give chilling experienced tours across the island and the in-house museum.
Specialist Wine TourS
Relish this delicious day where you are treated to superb wines that smoothly caress your palette and delectable cuisine that tantalizes your taste buds. Aside from the gastronomic fare and ambrosial nectar, the spectacular terrain of the wine route is utterly captivating and beautifully appealing.
What better way to spend quality time, than to embark on a fascinating tour delving into the history, legacy, and philosophies of this alcoholic beverage made from grapes, and to celebrate the art of wine.
Winelands Helicopter Tours
Indulge in the ultimate wine tasting experience as you explore three of South Africa’s most celebrated wine regions in style on a private helicopter excursion. Delight in your magnificent day out with sumptuous wining and dining and, what could be more spectacular, than your birds eye view as you soar over the vineyards marvelling at the sublime landscape.
Cycle The Winelands
Cycle through the heart of the renowned Stellenbosch winelands on a fantastic gourmet, wine tasting and eco-biking tour. This full-day mountain biking excursion will take you through the spectacular Devon Valley. Suitable for all levels of experience and fitness, this adventure will allow you to explore some of the region’s finest vineyards and offers a mouth-watering, four-course gourmet and wine pairing lunch at the award-winning Clos Malvernes – voted as the best restaurant in Stellenbosch.
This seasonal tour to the Cape’s wine and whale country will have travellers driving along the heavenly Whale Coast and along the scenic Clarens Drive. Close to the very tip of Africa, walk along the paths that line the cliffs of Walker Bay, which promises some of the best shore-based whale sightings in the world. For those travellers keen to have the wind caress their hair and gentle water droplets settle on their skin, hop aboard a motorised boat and set out to sea to encounter these colossal aquatic mammals on a whale watching cruise. Discover a rich landscape awash with rock sheltered coves, pleasant hiking trails along small belts of natural shrubland, fynbos bush and heathland vegetation, where unspoilt beaches beckoning travellers with their shimmering sands and temperate waters.