South Africa Tours & Budget Overland Safaris
Take one of our South Africa Tours to see Southern Africa’s most diverse countries. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is neighboured by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. South Africa is made up of 9 provinces with a population of nearly 84 million people of varying cultures and religions. It holds true to its unofficial name ‘Rainbow Nation’. With 11 official languages and 3 capital cities (Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein) it is unlike any other country in the world.
South Africa is hard to beat when it comes to sheer diversity of landscapes and experiences. From the south western Cape coast, where penguins bask on beaches, to the red sand dunes of the Kalahari Desert, the peaks of the dramatic Drakensberg mountain range to the lush forests of the Garden Route, this is a country of magnificent natural splendour. Added to its natural riches, which include wildlife such as the famous Big Five, South Africa also offers cosmopolitan, exciting cities that are home to the many different cultures that make up the Rainbow Nation.
Why go on a Budget South Africa Tour?
Mother Nature truly blessed South Africa when it comes to sheer, untamed beauty. Rugged mountains, torrenting waterfalls, arid and vast deserts, shimmering lakes, marsh-like jungles, huge wetlands and never-ending coastlines – you are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to visiting this country.
Cape Town is located in the Western Cape bordered by both the Indian and Atlantic oceans. A visit to this premier holiday destination offers magnificent views of Table Mountain, to lazy days exploring the Cape winelands and afternoons soaking up the sun on the beautiful beaches. Enjoy an evening out on the town, a spot of shopping or dinner at restaurants specialising in both local and international cuisine.
Johannesburg is also known as the ‘City of Gold’ or ‘Joburg’ and is the largest city in South Africa, located in Gauteng it is South Africa’s smallest province. It is the commercial and industrial heart of South Africa and, home to the Apartheid museum containing an important part of South African History.
The Kruger National Park is the most famous National Park Reserve and largest in South Africa covering an area of 20 000 square kilometres, it is home to the ‘Big 5’ and a variety of wildlife including zebra, antelope, giraffe, hippopotamus and crocodile. The ultimate destination to kick back and soak up the wilderness on an South African wildlife safari.
The Garden Route is the most scenic route along South Africa’s coastline with quiet beaches, magnificent forests and wildlife. Popular South Africa tour highlights include Addo Elephant National Park, Tsitsikamma National Park, Route 62 and the Cango Caves of Oudtshoorn. In addition to our South Africa Overland Tours, we offer a variety of budget safari tour packages in South Africa.
South Africa has an incredible diversity of destinations and experiences to offer travellers. Most people who travel to South Africa for the first time visit a national park – Kruger National Park being the most popular – and spend time in Cape Town, a beautiful culture-filled city with world-class attractions, excellent restaurants, the ever popular V&A Waterfront, historic Robben Island, and a host of nature activities to do in the ocean and on iconic Table Mountain, before doing a road trip on the Garden Route, a 300-kilometre stretch of coastline blessed with stunning scenery – golden beaches, forests, lagoons and lakes, mountains and rolling hills – where you can do whale watching, hike one of South Africa’s best slack packing trails and surf.
Beyond those key destinations, there are many other places to explore – and you’d need more than a few holidays to fit them all in. In the Western Cape province, you’ve got the beautiful wine producing areas of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek with their quaint little towns, dramatic mountains backdrops and picture-perfect vineyards complete with centuries-old farm buildings, the windswept beaches of the West Coast, the rugged Cederberg mountains – one of the best hiking areas in the country – and the Karoo, a semi-arid area of huge horizons and charming villages.
The Eastern Cape has some of the country’s best beaches on the Wild Coast, a rugged and undeveloped stretch of coastline with tropical forests and isolated stretches of sand, as well as some world-renowned surf spots, with Jeffrey’s Bay drawing surfers from around the globe for its perfect waves. Addo Elephant National Park is the best place to see elephants – with more than 450 of them – while the southern Drakensberg and the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area provide incredible hiking opportunities in pristine mountain scenery, and the magical ancient forests of Tsitsikamma, which form part of the Garden Route National Park, is one of South Africa’s outstanding natural places.
KwaZulu-Natal is a popular province with travellers for its varied attractions, which include the laidback coastal city of Durban, fantastic beaches all along the coastline where you can surf, snorkel and dive, historical battlefields where you can learn about the bloody battles of the 19th century Anglo-Zulu war, and the lovely Midlands Meander, an 80-kilometre stretch of road between Pietermaritzburg and Mooi River that takes in a rolling countryside of hills and misty valleys populated with amazing restaurants, small craft breweries, wonderful little pubs, gourmet farm stalls and artisanal food producers. The Drakensberg lies partly in KZN, and offers South Africa’s most dramatic mountain scenery for hiking and climbing, while Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park and iSimangaliso Wetland Park are fantastic safari destinations.
Kruger National Park may be the most popular attraction in Mpumalanga, but the small province has a wealth of other treasures and things to do, from the dramatic scenery of the Blyde River Canyon (Africa’s second largest canyon) and the Sudwala Caves, the oldest caves in the world, to the historic gold mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest, and a ton of adventure activities including forest canopy zip lining, quad biking, gorge swinging and rock climbing. The best way to take it all in is by driving the Panorama Route, a road trip through the province that includes stops at Bourke’s Luck Potholes – cylindrical river rock formations – God’s Window – a breathaking view point from the edge of a mountain escarpment – the Blyde River Canyon and mountaintops of the Three Rondavels.
The Northern Cape is one of South Africa’s least visited provinces, and yet it has much to offer travellers. There’s the harsh but beautiful Richtersveld Ai Ais Transfontier Park, which spans Namibia’s southern border, where you can 4×4, camp and canoe along the Orange River as it takes you through spectacular desert scenery, the Mars-like landscapes of Augrabies Falls National Park, where you can see South Africa’s most dramatic waterfall, the photogenic landscapes and wildlife of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which, with its 4×4 routes, vast area and its unpaved roads, feels wilder than any of the country’s other parks, and the colourful carpets of wild spring flowers that bloom in early spring in Namaqua National Park.
Limpopo Province, South Africa’s most northern region, is best known for its wildlife. The northern part of Kruger National Park, the beautiful and under-visited Pafuri area, lies in the province, as well as Mapungubwe National Park, which not only conserves animals such as elephant, lion, rhino, leopard, cheetah and wild dog, but also protects Mapungubwe Hill, the site of a lost kingdom dating back to the Iron Age. The Soutpansberg and Waterberg mountain ranges have fantastic hiking trails and reserves home to wildebeest and giraffe, while Magoebaskloof is a mountainous area of misty indigenous afro-montane forests where you can hike, mountain bike, zip line and abseil.
Johannesburg, in Gauteng province, often gets overlooked by travellers, who may fly in to the city but often don’t spend any time there. South Africa’s biggest city may not be as beautiful as Cape Town, or offer many outdoors attractions as Durban, but Joburg has charms of its own, coupled with a bustling non-stop energy and a cosmopolitan population that hails from all over the continent. Spend a few days in Joburg and you’ll discover fantastic art galleries and fascinating museums that tell the story of South Africa’s past, hip revitalised downtown areas that are home to the city’s creatives, wonderful green spaces in botanical gardens and urban nature reserves (the city has one of the world’s largest man-made forests, with 10 million trees) and Gold Reef City, a theme park with fun rides and historical tours that look at Joburg’s gold mining origins.
When you visit Joburg, be sure to make time to visit the Cradle of Humankind, which is a short drive from the city. This World Heritage site is where some of the world’s oldest hominid fossils were excavated in the Sterkfontein Caves. You can tour the caves with a guide and see replicas of the famous fossils at the nearby Maropeng Centre.
Top 10 places to Visit in South Africa
- Cape Town (14 Things to Do in Cape Town)
- Kruger National Park
- Drakensburg Mountains
- The Garden Route
- Stellenbosch and Franschhoek Winelands
- Blyde River Canyon
- Oudtshoorn (The Cango Caves)
- Wild Coast
When is the Best time to go on a South Africa Tour?
South Africa has a wide variety of climates, so deciding when to visit depends on where in South Africa you’re planning to explore.
If you’re going on safari, the best months to visit South Africa are the winter months of May to September, which is the driest time of the year in most of the country. The lack of rain means that animals congregate at waterholes, and the vegetation is sparser, which makes spotting animals easier. The autumn months of April and May and the spring months of September and October are best for mild temperatures. These spring and autumn months are also ideal for hiking all over the country.
If you love sun, surf and hiking up our glorious mountains then touring during our Summer months in the around Cape Town are the best time to visit with temperatures in the 25 to 30 degrees range. These are from December to March. A heavy rainfall and average temperatures of 14 to 16 degrees can be expected from June to August.
The Kruger Park area experiences heavy Summer showers from December to March.
Their Winter dry period is from May to October where the animals tend to congregate around the waterholes which makes for beautiful wildlife viewing as they drink and splash around in the water. During the winter months, Cape Town experiences most of its rainfall for the year, so if you are after the sunny beaches of the Mother City (as Cape Town is nicknamed), then it’s best to visit in summer from November to April (although be prepared for the crowds over the December school holidays).
The East Coast offers year-round sunshine, and a very mild winter with warm ocean temperatures so if you can’t pick and choose your time, anytime is a good time!
Kruger National Park is the country’s flagship game reserve, and one of the best places to see wildlife. The park’s massive 25 000 square kilometres are home to a remarkable diversity of animals in big numbers, including the the Big Five – buffalo, rhino, elephant, leopard and lion – as well as many other mammal species, such as hippo, giraffe, zebra and cheetah, plus 500 bird species.
There are also 40 other parks and reserves spread across the country, and each have something different to offer in terms of wildlife. In the Northern Cape, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (which also spans Botswana) is famous for its massive black-maned lions, and is a good place to spot cheetah and see meerkats, while the herds of elephants are the main attraction at Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape. In northern KwaZulu-Natal, near the Mozambican border, iSimangaliso Wetland Park offers the best of land and ocean animals in a reserve where you can see elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo, as well as whales, dolphins and turtles.
There are many chances to get up close and personal with South Africa’s wildlife, whether it’s joining a ranger for a walking safari in a reserve to see animals such as elephants on foot, snorkelling with seals, diving with cow sharks and swimming with penguins in Cape Town, doing a boat cruise to see whales in Hermanus, walking with elephants in the bush, or experiencing the Sardine Run underwater – an annual migration of millions of sardines swimming up the east coast of South Africa followed by sharks, whales and dolphins.
10 reasons to travel to South Africa
Not many countries can compare with South Africa when it comes to sheer diversity of natural landscapes. Desert, mountains, forests, and rugged coastlines – South Africa has it all.
South Africa is one of the best places to experience the continent’s wildlife, from lions and elephants to cheetah and rhino. Whether you want to live in luxury in a five-star lodge in a private reserve or camp under the stars in a national park, drive in an open-sided 4×4 or walk through the bush, there are enough different ways to see and experience wildlife to suit every traveller.
South Africa, a country with 11 official languages, is a truly multicultural nation. Tourists can learn about South Africa’s different cultures by doing things like a city township tour, a Cape Malay cooking class in Cape Town or a tour of Indian restaurants in Durban, learning about how to track animals from the San people in the Kalahari or by visiting one of the many cultural villages in the country, such as Lesedi Cultural Village near Johannesburg, where you can experience Ndebele culture through song, dance, story telling and traditional food.
South Africa has just about every outdoors activity you could think of! Take your pick from: bungee jumping off of the world’s highest bungee bridge, walking on foot in Big Five territory, white water rafting, skydiving, sea kayaking, sand boarding on coastal dunes, 4x4ing in the desert, mountain biking, climbing, paragliding, swimming with whale sharks, kite surfing and zip lining.
South Africa’s cities are destinations in themselves. Cape Town, the most popular place for tourists in the country, is where European and African heritage meet in history, architecture, food, culture and music. The city is one of the most beautiful in the world, with an amazing location sandwiched between iconic Table Mountain on one side, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Cape Town really has it all: outdoors activities galore (ranging from hiking up the mountain and paragliding to surfing big waves and diving with cow sharks), wonderful restaurants, cafés and bars, great shopping, historical sights and scenic winelands to explore a short drive from the city centre. On the east coast, Durban has a welcoming laidback atmosphere, golden sand beaches and surf spots right in the city and the best Indian food this side of the subcontinent. Johannesburg, the country’s financial capital, is permanently abuzz with energy and offers fun nightlife, trendy restaurants and friendly locals.
South Africa has a long, complex and fascinating history, and there are lots of ways of engaging with the past as a tourist. In Cape Town, a top attraction is a visit to Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were incarcerated during the Apartheid years, in KwaZulu-Natal, there are the historic battlefields, where the bloody skirmishes between the British and Zulu warriors took place in the 19th century, and in Johannesburg there’s the excellent Apartheid Museum, where you can spend several hours in learning about the country’s years of racial segregation, as well as Constitution Hill, the site of Apartheid-era prisons where Nelson Mandela and Gandhi were jailed.
Food and Wine
South Africa is heaven for gourmet travellers, with its cuisine a mixture of different cultures and influences from all over the globe, as well as fantastic fresh produce ranging from venison and seafood to fresh fruit and vegetables. There are award-winning restaurants all over the country that serve innovative dishes, farm stalls along roads where you can stock up on local produce and homemade snacks, and wines from world-renowned vineyards.
With nearly 3000 kilometres of coastline spanning the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Indian Ocean to the east, South Africa is one of the world’s best beach destinations, offering hundreds of picture-perfect stretches of sand, as well as globally renowned surf spots and incredible snorkelling and diving opportunities with everything from sharks and whales to dolphins and turtles.
Subtropical South Africa is blessed with a warm, temperate climate and is famous for its abundant sunshine, making it perfect for travellers who want to see the country’s natural attractions and experience outdoors activities. South Africa is a year-round destination, with some part of the country remaining warm and sunny throughout the winter months.
South Africa remains a budget-friendly holiday choice for travellers coming from Asia, Europe and North America, with excellent accommodation options, activity options and top-notch restaurants at affordable prices.
Food and drink
South Africa’s cuisine is as diverse as its population. Travelling around the country, you’ll get to taste everything from spicy Indian curries and fragrant Cape Malay stews to meaty African stews and dishes influenced by Dutch and English settlers. While there’s delicious seafood from South Africa’s two coastlines, meat is a national staple, and is eaten with almost every meal. You’ll often find venison on the menu, such as kudu, warthog or springbok.
Most South Africans – no matter their culture – love a braai (barbecue) – where meat, fish and vegetables are cooked over a wood or charcoal fire. Potjiekos is also popular – meat or seafood stews cooked in a potjie, a three-legged cast iron pot over an open fire. Pap (maize porridge) is the most common accompaniment to braaied meat or potjie stews, as is stewed vegetables such as spinach and butternut.
Some dishes to look out for include bobotie – a dish of spiced mince and a savoury custard topping which has its origins in 17th century Indonesia and was brought to South Africa by the Dutch East India Company – chakalaka, a dish from the townships, which is a simple but tasty tomato-based vegetable relish made with curry powder, onion, garlic and baked beans that’s served with barbecued meat and stews, and the classic boerwors roll (or boerie roll) which is a thick spiced sausage cooked on the braai served like a hot dog in a white bread roll, often with fried onions and ketchup.
South Africa is one of the most renowned wine producing countries in the world, and most of its wines come from the vineyards of the Western Cape. You’ll be able to drink great (and well-priced) South African wines all over the country, but if you spend time in Cape Town make sure to visit some of the wineries situated a short drive from the city to sample the wines where they are made. In recent years, South Africa’s craft beer scene has really taken off, and now the country has countless micro breweries producing award-winning beers.
Tours to South Africa:
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Countries Visited South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland Starts Cape Town Ends Cape Town Group Size Max 20 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU ACM0464 Tour Style Accommodated
This is a unique action-packed circular route accommodated adventure tour from Cape Town to Victoria Falls and then back down along South Africa’s coastline ending back in Cape Town.
Experience them all by a range of exhilarating adventure activities that will pump you full of African adrenaline. Come and experience the most popular overland route (Cape To Vic Falls) and then add on the South Africa route with all its highlights (Kruger, the Coastline, and amazing wildlife).
Countries Visited South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Starts Johannesburg Ends Cape Town Group Size Max 20 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU ACS0412 Tour Style Top Seller Accommodated
This Tour of South Africa is an exciting trip filled with culture, wildlife, adventure, walking, mountains and beaches.
Countries Visited South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland Starts Cape Town Ends Johannesburg Group Size Max 20 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU CAS0434 Tour Style Camping
This Tour of South Africa explores South Africa’s unbelievable scenery, wildlife and the kind and welcoming people who call this country home.
Countries Visited South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho Starts Cape Town Ends Johannesburg Group Size Max 12 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU SGCS0420 Tour Style Camping Small Group
Explore South Africa’s beautiful scenery, wildlife and the kind and welcoming people who call this country home. This budget, adventure-packed camping tour takes you to the very best South Africa has to offer.
Countries Visited South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland Starts Johannesburg Ends Cape Town Group Size Max 20 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU CAS0460 Tour Style Camping
This Tour of South Africa is a budget, adventure-packed 20 day camping tour takes you to the very best of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
Countries Visited South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho Starts Cape Town Ends Johannesburg Group Size Max 20 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU ACS0434 Tour Style Accommodated
Explore South Africa’s beautiful scenery, wildlife and the kind and welcoming people who call this country home. This budget adventure-packed tour takes you to the very best of what South Africa has to offer.
Countries Visited South Africa, Lesotho, LesothoSwaziland Starts Johannesburg Ends Cape Town Group Size Max 12 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU SGCS0403 Tour Style Camping Small Group
This Tour of South Africa is a budget, adventure-packed 20 day camping tour that takes you to the very best of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
Countries Visited South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho Starts Johannesburg Ends Cape Town Group Size Max 12 Age Range 12 – 65 Years and older SKU CAS0611 Tour Style Camping Small Group
Why book this trip?
It’s a lovely small group (max 12) tour if you are wanting to see the highlights of South Africa while hiking, riding along dirt roads and stopping in scenic villages, then this is the tour you want to be on. We cover the beautiful places of Africa such as the Kruger National Park, the Great Karoo, the Addo Elephant National Park, Tsitsikamma National Park and the stunning green Garden Route. Expect long days of travelling, but also many hours exploring and going on adventures through Africa.
The trip starts at 0630am in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town at around 18h00.
Countries Visited South Africa, Swaziland Starts Johannesburg Ends Cape Town Group Size Max 17 Age Range 18 - 55 Years and older SKU ACS0308 Tour Style Small Group Top Seller Accommodated
Why book this trip?
Our 18 day accommodated comfort safari means you can enjoy cosy nights in the wilderness with hot showers using convenient en-suite bathrooms. Exploring South Africa some of the highlights include big five game walks, wine tasting and pony trekking. Expect lots of meals cooked over hot coals and falling asleep to the nocturnal noises of animals all around. A true wildlife experience!
Countries Visited South Africa, Swaziland Starts Johannesburg Ends Cape Town Group Size Max 12 Age Range 12 – 65 Years and older SKU ACS0607 Tour Style Accommodated
Why book this trip?
This tour covers fantastic countries and cities from Johannesburg and Cape Town to the Kingdom of Swaziland. The ever popular Kruger National Park is included in this tour where you can spot the ‘Big 5’, amongst other large beasts. A highlight has to be Knysna where we take a trip to the beautiful Storms River mouth for a walk up the gorge. Hermanus also holds many gems from spectacular whale watching (from June to November) and superb beach-side restaurants and craft markets.
Countries Visited South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho Starts Johannesburg Ends Port Elizabeth Group Size Max 20 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU CAS0459 Tour Style Camping
On this tour you will explore the wonderful landscape, wildlife and warm, friendly people of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. This budget adventurous camping tour explores the very best of South Africa. Experience animals, mountains and amazing culture.
Countries Visited Mozambique, South Africa Starts Johannesburg Ends Johannesburg Group Size Max 12 Age Range 12 – 65 Years and older SKU ACS0601 Tour Style Small Group Top Seller Accommodated
Why book this tour?
This small group (max 12 pax) Beach and Wildlife Safari offers you unforgettable wildlife and the splendid wetlands of Zululand. Experience the culture of the Zulu nation and top it off with Arab influences from the Portuguese and Arab people. Travel by day in the uniquely custom-built trucks perfect for excellent game viewing and stay in suitable en-suite chalets and casitas at night.
You can fly out of Johannesburg airport on the last day of tour, we do a free drop off at OR Tambo / Johanesburg airport at +/-17:00.
Countries Visited Swaziland, South Africa Starts Johannesburg Ends Johannesburg Group Size Max 12 Age Range 12 – 65 Years and older SKU ACS0606 Tour Style Small Group Accommodated
Why book this tour?
The South Africa Walking Tour explores the wetlands, wildlife and sun-kissed beaches of Kwa-Zulu Natal. We cover all the scenic routes such as Pilgrim’s Rest, St. Lucia, the Dundee battlefields and the majestic Drakensberg mountains. A fair degree of walking is involved, so you need to have a good level of fitness. Our guides are well -trained and look forward to taking you on this great South African adventure.
The walking fitness level required:
- The walks in Blyde Canyon, Swaziland and the Drakensberg will be easy to moderate
- We walk on good mountain paths so walking shoes / light boots are sufficient
- Although full days out, the actual walking time is 3-6 hours for 10-22km so a reasonable level of fitness is needed
Countries Visited South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho Starts Johannesburg Ends Port Elizabeth Group Size Max 12 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU SGCS0499 Tour Style Camping Small Group
This South Africa tour (Kruger, Wildlife and Mountains Small Group Safari) covers the landscape and wildlife of Africa.
Countries Visited South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland Starts Port Elizabeth Ends Johannesburg Group Size Max 20 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU CAS0479 Tour Style Camping
This South Africa budget tour taking in Lesotho, Swaziland and Kruger budget adventurous tour explores the very best of South Africa.
Countries Visited South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland Starts Port Elizabeth Ends Johannesburg Group Size Max 20 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU ACS0478 Tour Style Accommodated
This is an affordable 14 Day South Africa Accommodated Tour taking in Lesotho, Swaziland and Kruger budget adventurous tour explores the very best of South Africa.
Countries Visited South Africa, Lesotho Starts Cape Town Ends Durban Group Size Max 20 Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older SKU ACS0427 Tour Style Accommodated
This Cape Town to Durban Overland via Lesotho Adventure is an overland accommodated trip that includes the Garden Route, Drakensberg and Lesotho.