Travel Bureau - Blog: South Africa Ultimate Guide

The ultimate guide to South Africa

Thursday 1 November 2018

South Africa is an amazing and diverse country, which holds within its borders uncountable sights and experiences. Between our very own personal travel experts and our incredible partner, Kuoni, we can ensure that your holiday to South Africa will be a truly unforgettable time – for all the right reasons! Kuoni has a great range of escorted and self-drive tours available or we can create an entirely bespoke itinerary just for you. Not sure where to start? Take a look through our ultimate guide to South Africa to give you some ideas, then give us a call to start planning!

Safari with a difference…

Giraffes in Marakele National Park

With a spectacular backdrop of the magnificent Waterberg Mountains, a safari in the lesser-known Marakele National Park (just an hour’s flight from Johannesburg and malaria-free) is a great alternative to South Africa’s safari giant, Kruger. Surrounded by some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery, you’ll see all of the big five as well as bright kingfishers, wallowing hippos and even a tree full of baboons! The Mataraba Safari Lodge is a beautiful base for exploring this amazing park, sip a G&T on a sunset water safari or spend a night picnicking under the stars in the Thabametsi Treehouse.

History comes alive…

Isandlwana Battlefield, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Kuoni’s KwaZulu-Natal Bush, Beach & Battlefields self-drive holiday will show you a different side to South Africa and is definitely one for the history buffs. Visit the sites of famous battles from the Anglo, Boer and Zulu wars, including Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, which feature in the iconic 1964 film, Zulu. Discover surprisingly wildlife-rich pockets of Zululand such as Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa’s oldest reserve. Once the Royal Hunting Grounds of King Shaka Zulu, the area was declared a reserve in 1894 when a population of southern white rhino, thought extinct, was discovered here. Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks is linked to the town’s historic sugar estate but these days its terrace is the perfect spot to sip sundowners, keeping an eye out for dolphins swimming by.

The journey is the destination…

Franschhoek tram, South Africa

History enthusiasts will also love stepping back in time to take a ride from Pretoria to Cape Town on The Blue Train. South Africa’s answer to the Orient-Express, this beautiful train has transported kings and presidents over the years. Watch South Africa’s changing landscapes drift by as waist-coated waiters serve you fine food and wine – what a way to travel! Kuoni offer even more unique ways to see some of South Africa’s best sights: take a sidecar tour of Cape Town in an old military bike and classic side car; or experience South Africa’s famous Franschhoek wineries by vintage tram, hopping on and off as you trundle through the vine-clad valleys for cellar tours and, of course, tastings!

Culture is King…

Maboneng, Johannesburg, South Africa

While South Africa has a rich history, it’s not all about looking back to the past as the country has a thriving contemporary culture, especially in Johannesburg where art has exploded out of the galleries and into the streets. Take a tour through the city’s vibrant neighbourhoods with a private guide who will lead you through the impressive large-scale graffiti pieces adding colour to the concrete jungle to trendy Maboneng, home of the buzzing creative hub, Art on Main. Eat lunch with the locals in Newton, where some of the city’s best murals can be found, and visit the innovative 12 Decades hotel, where artists are invited to stay in exchange for the artwork which you can see on display here.

All of our experts have visited South Africa themselves and any of them will be delighted to have a chat with you about their experiences and your plans. Give them a call on 0191 285 9321, email holidays@travelb.co.uk or drop by our store at 69 High Street, Gosforth. Browse our blog for more great holiday ideas. 

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