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  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • Chris Packham Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

Hout bay view from Chapmans Peak Drive,Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa Holidays

Reborn as the ‘Rainbow Nation’, this enthralling country offers culture, wildlife, landscapes and history – all as varied as the country itself.

Few places offer as much diversity as South Africa. Vibrant Cape Town and the magnificent Kruger attract the most attention, but South Africa is dotted with private reserves, boutique properties and activities for all ages. History and culture sit side-by-side with dramatic landscapes and prolific wildlife, making for a destination that requires more than one visit for many.

Male Lion, South Africa
South Africa
Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

Some ideas for your South Africa holiday

  • Explore chic and cosmopolitan Cape Town, a buzzing city dominated by Table Mountain. Then set out on a self-drive trip through the Cape, staying at boutique properties
  • Take a horse riding holiday through the Waterberg, on well-schooled horses through diverse terrain. This dramatic landscape can easily be combined with the islands of Madagascar
  • Spend three days at Fugitives Drift and learn about the bloody battles at Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Listen to gripping accounts of the battles, against the backdrop of the Drakensburg Mountains
  • Have an adventure with the whole family. Track cheetahs on foot in the semi-desert of the Great Karoo and meet the meerkats of the Kalahari
  • Experience some of the best whale watching in the world off the Hermanus coast. Spot whales from your room at Birkenhead House.
Chameleon, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

Some ideas for a South Africa self-drive

  • Drive the picturesque Garden Route, along the ocean-dashed Cape
  • Combine vibrant Cape Town with the quiet vineyards of the Winelands
  • Revel in the springtime flowers of Namaqualand and the desert of the Karoo
Walking, Pafuri, South Africa
South Africa
game drive with leopard, South Africa
South Africa
Kalahari Reserve, South Africa
Kalahari Reserve, South Africa
Kalahari Reserve, South Africa
Kalahari Reserve, South Africa

Some ideas for a South African safari

  • Experience a Big Five safari in the incomparably vast Kruger
  • Explore the dramatic landscapes of the malaria free northern reserves
  • Meet the meerkats of the Kalahari on a family-friendly safari

Explore South Africa

  • Cape Town
  • Kruger National Park
  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Cape Winelands
  • Madikwe & The Waterberg
  • Eastern Cape Game Reserves
  • West & Northern Cape

Experiences

Make the most of every moment in South Africa. Create an itinerary brimming with these truly unforgettable moments.

Cycle Namaqualand

Cycle through colourful Namaqualand daisies, exploring the landscape of the Cederberg.

Junior Rangers

Join the Junior Rangers programme at Tswalu Kalahari, perfect for young children.

Aardvark Safari

Head out on an on-foot aardvark safari at Samara Game Reserve, searching for these fascinating and unusual creatures.

Malaria-Free Safari

Explore the dramatic landscapes of these northern reserves, which are considered to be free from malaria.

Horse Riding

Take advantage of some of the best horse riding in South Africa, in The Waterberg.

Madikwe Safari

Once barren farming land, this area now teems with species. Set out on game drives, in search of lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, buffaloes and more.

Kids’ Activities

Take advantage of the countless kids’ activities on offer at Madikwe’s lodges. These include treasure hunts, t-shirt painting, clay building, survival skills and bush memory games.

uThando Community Projects

Visit one of uThando’s many community projects and meet local South African children, supported by a donation included in every booking.

Cape Town Adventures

Explore the city and its surrounds, with options to hike, paddle board, kayak, cycle and more.

Snorkels with Seals

Snorkel with playful seals off the waters of the Cape, in Hout Bay.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Jackie Devereux

I was born in Zimbabwe. With a dad who was in the police force, we moved from place to place. I have always been passionate about travel. My grandparents mentioned that our ancestors set off from the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia – looking for better cattle pastures. They ended up settling in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, in the Great Zimbabwe area.
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Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management. My desire to see more led me to work as a guide for AndBeyond, first in South Africa, then in Tanzania as the company expanded. Here, I lived and worked in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro, guiding and running safari camps.
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Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.
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Frequently asked questions about South Africa

When is the best time to go on safari in South Africa?

The best time to spot wildlife in South Africa is during the cool, dry season, when water is scarcer and vegetation less thick – making animals more predictable in their behaviour and easier to spot.

Thanks to its contrasting climatic zones, South Africa can claim to truly be a year-round safari destination. Between May and September, the east of the country experiences its dry season, meaning that this the best time to go on safari in the Kruger, Madikwe and the Waterberg.

In contrast, the Cape experiences its dry season between August and May, making this the best time to visit the private reserves found in this region.

What's the best way to travel around South Africa?

There are plenty of options when it comes to travel in South Africa. If you want to link a safari in the Kruger or Sabi Sands with elsewhere, then a good network of internal flights make this simple. Or, if you prefer to travel more traditionally, then there are several luxury train options to chose from, with options to continue into the rest of Southern Africa. Alternatively, if you like more flexibility,  you can drive yourself – this is perfect if exploring the Garden Route or the battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal.

When is the best time to see whales?

Southern right whales migrate past South Africa’s southern coast between June and November, calving between July and August. Some of the best land-based whale watching in the world can be found in Hermanus and the surrounding area, where whales often pass within a few hundred metres of the shore.

What should I wear on holiday in South Africa?

For travel along the Garden Route, you can wear what you would on a European beach holiday. You may need to dress up in a hotel/restaurant or if you choose to go out into town. South Africans like to look smart, so take something suitable to wear to fit in. If your holiday is more adventurous, then pack cotton layers such as T-shirts, a light fleece, shorts and a pair of long or zip-off trousers in muted colours. These will be important, as cold nights swiftly change into sweltering days. Socks are good with closed shoes at night to keep bugs at bay.

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An excellent holiday well organised with personal help from Illona. Always available to answer my questions. Everything worked like clockwork whilst in South Africa.

South Africa

I know from previous experience that Illona knows the country very well, and that is why I let her make the judgements about where best to stay, and I even change my mind about places, based on her advice. I get the photographs I want, because of this expertise and so it really adds value to my holiday. The advice was more than vindicated on this latest trip.

South Africa

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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Why Steppes