Luxury Safaris South Africa

We have been designing personalised luxury safaris in South Africa for our guests for 30 years. Our Travel Specialists are ready to craft the perfect South African safari holiday for you.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

By choosing to experience a safari in South Africa you will be exploring the only sub-Saharan African country that has malaria-free safaris and all of them are easily accessible. Thanks to the size of the country, South Africa offers a variety of experiences to suit your safari wish list. This makes South Africa an ideal safari destination for honeymooners, families, seasoned safari-lovers and first-time safari goers

Alongside breathtaking days spent game-spotting, our South Africa luxury safaris allow you to combine hiking, kayaking, fishing, and horse-riding across jaw-dropping plains. You can also sharpen your skills with photography lessons, allowing you to perfectly capture your trip.

When’s The Best Time to Go on Safari in South Africa? 

With game reserves located across the country, you can enjoy a South African safari holiday throughout the year. Tell us when you want to go and we’ll design your itinerary to showcase the best that South Africa has to offer at that time of year. Start planning your safari here.

South Africa’s summer months fall between November and March, so we generally advise going during this period. This is ideal for families keen to book one of our South Africa luxury family safari itineraries during the Christmas and Easter holidays. However, the Christmas period is our absolute favourite time to go.

The exception to the rule is Greater Kruger which can be incredibly hot and humid during the summer. It's also more likely to rain then, causing the vegetation to be lush and the animals harder to spot. Instead, the best weather in Kruger is between May and October.

Let Scott Dunn Plan Your South African Safari

We have been sending guests on safari since 1995 and in that time we have built close relationships with the leading safari lodges and hotels in South Africa. We work with the best safari guides at each of the game reserves and know that they will give our guests an outstanding safari experience. Our team are regularly in South Africa maintaining those relationships and ensuring the levels of service that Scott Dunn expects for our guests.

Whilst we have suggested itineraries on our website we very rarely book those exact itineraries. Every Scott Dunn safari is uniquely designed for each guest. We take the time to understand your preferences and bring together all the elements that our experienced team believe will offer you an exceptional South Africa safari holiday.

We can offer access to private game reserves where you can explore with highly knowledgeable trackers and experienced guides.

Our Guests Have Said:

“The entire journey was smooth going. The accommodations were fantastic and the service we received was beyond our expectations. The guides on ground are professional and very knowledgeable and play an advisory role. Very impressive. They were also flexible in timings. We will definitely look to Scott Dunn for our next holiday. Thank you to Gwen for planning this holiday in such a short time and for the efficient communication regarding the trip. It is a holiday we will remember for a lifetime.” Mr N. PF - Jan 2024

“Tom was wonderful to work with from start to finish! He listened to what we wanted and planned the most incredible honeymoon. All transfers to and from the airport were organised seamlessly which put us completely at ease. Couldn’t recommend Tom and Scott Dunn enough.” Ms A. MG - Apr 2024

“Everything was just about perfect for us on this trip. We loved the hotels, the service, most of the restaurants we ate at, many recommended by your team. The safari experience was incredible! Definitely one of the best travel experiences we have ever had. We feel like everything we told Matt we wanted and expected he heard and made happen.” Mr M. V – Apr 2024

How long should I go on Safari for?

Although the game reserves are extremely accessible by car or airplane, we tend to recommend a minimum of four days to really make the most of your stay and give yourself enough time to relax on safari in South Africa.

A popular itinerary includes four nights on safari, five nights in Cape Town and two nights in the Winelands. But if you’d like to experience different safari landscapes during your South Africa tour, you might consider flying between locations and spending at least three nights in each reserve.

Another consideration is what you’d like to do while on your South Africa safari. Four days might feel long enough if game drives are the highlight for you, but there are so many incredible experiences to be had that extending your stay will bring with it a wealth of opportunities. If you’re planning a family safari in South Africa, consider how many days your kids will be happy sitting in a jeep spotting animals before they get fidgety.

Our South Africa specialists are on hand to discuss your travel preferences, interests and group and will draw on our network of contacts and wealth of experience to design an itinerary highlighting the best of South Africa’s travel experiences.

The Best Safaris in South Africa 

Our Africa Destination Manager has shared five exceptional South African safari holiday destinations to help you decide which experience will fulfil your wildest dreams.

South Africa safari in Kruger

A safari drive encountering an elephant

Kruger is a big player in the safari world. Recognised for its world-famous conservancies with their abundance of wildlife, this is archetypal Big Five territory. It's especially known for the elusive leopard, which can’t help but show off here. You might be lucky enough to see multiple in one day. Along with the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, cheetah, African wild dog and buffalo, there are hundreds of animal species to be seen.

Although Greater Kruger is a National Park, it's surrounded by smaller private game reserves, most of which have no fences between them and the rest of the park, allowing the animals to roam freely and giving guests spectacular game-drive opportunities. It feels like you really are in the wilderness, the landscapes are beautiful and the luxury safari lodges are among the best in South Africa.

One of the most magical things you can do while on safari in South Africa is sleep out under the stars. Several of Kruger’s lodges offer this as an experience, usually in a treehouse with the sights and sounds of the plains around you. You’ll also be treated to night drives and bush walks where you can get thrillingly close to the animals.

Eastern Cape

Two rhinos eating grass

The Eastern Cape is a great choice because of its proximity to Cape Town and the Garden Route, alongside its malaria-free game reserves. It's therefore extremely popular for family safari holidays in South Africa, so the luxury lodges are geared towards this and, you’ll find amazing kids clubs and family accommodation options here. The landscape is defined by Karoo vegetation, with lots of succulents and low scrub bushes which makes it very different to other South Africa safari experiences.

Nevertheless, you're still in Big Five territory and the Eastern Cape is well known for rhino sightings. The flatter landscape also makes this region fantastic for mountain biking and bush walks, as well as the traditional game drives.

Madikwe and North West

Wild dogs in a pack

Madikwe is one of the most remote safari destinations in South Africa. This gives it an air of exclusivity and a private feel. Relish spying the Big Five among the clay-thorn bushveld, red savannah setting and riverine forests, as well as catching sight of cheetahs, wild dogs, giraffes, zebras and endangered cape vultures. Madikwe is another malaria-free safari option, making it popular with families too.

Also in the North West is the Waterberg region, where you’ll find the Marataba Game Reserve in Marakele National Park. This is famous for dramatic mountain views, as well as hiking trails or quad biking that will lead you up close to animals. Particularly passionate about sustainability, this game reserve has a luxury conservation camp where guests can get hands-on experiences like rhino notching and game counting during an unforgettable South Africa safari tour.

South Africa safari in the Kalahari

Meerkats peering into the distance

The region is best known for its black-maned lions and is where you're most likely to see the endangered pangolin and black rhino. Plus, you can also see colonies of meerkats and typical desert species like hyenas, wolves and desert foxes. Unlike the traditional sandy colours that you find on the Botswana side of the Kalahari, the South African side is much greener.

Experiences in the Kalahari include helicopter rides, camping out under the stars, junior ranger programmes and wildlife conservation. We can arrange a meal at the exceptional Klein Jan restaurant in the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve from Michelin-star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen. He describes the dining experience as storytelling, as guests move between locations sampling a menu that celebrates his Afrikaner grandmother's Dutch-influenced farm cooking.

The Kalahari offers a truly luxury South African safari.

KwaZulu Natal Safari South Africa

A cheetah on high alert

When it comes to safari locations, it doesn’t get much more eclectic than KwaZulu-Natal. Set on the dramatic Elephant Coast, it sits between the turquoise Indian Ocean and the majestic Drakensberg Mountains. As a result, the area has a rich biome. From impressive mountains to unique sand forests and a striking coastline, KwaZulu Natal brings together safari, sea and surf like no other. It's perfect for anyone seeking a coastal element to their South Africa safari tour.

You'll be able to observe the Big Five, rare marine species and the suni antelope, the latter of which are rarely spotted elsewhere in Africa. Game drives, walking safaris and mountain hikes are all available, making it the ideal place for an active holiday. You can also visit local battlefields to uncover the military history of the Zulu and Boer wars.

We highly recommend Phinda Game Reserve, nestled in the Ubombo Mountains and flanked by golden beaches; conservation lies at the heart of this reserve. Make your safari tour in South Africa extra special with experiences such as witnessing the majestic loggerhead and leatherback turtles laying their eggs in Sodwana Bay between November and January.

Meet our South Africa Travel Specialists

Matt Shock

Africa & Safari Specialist

Safari encapsulates everything that I love and yearn for in travel – wildlife, remote landscapes, wonderful people and special memories – and I am so lucky to have been able to form a career around these passions.

What Our Guests Have Said

South Africa Safari Holiday FAQs

  • Which is the most popular safari park in South Africa?

    While most of the safari sites in South Africa promise exceptional wildlife sightings, Kruger National Park is the most famous. The sheer abundance of animals here, including those belonging to the Big Five, makes it a great spot for anyone who hasn't been on safari before.

    That being said, there are many remarkable highlights at each of the safari destinations we cover.

  • Can I book a luxury family safari in South Africa?

    We're proud to offer family safaris in South Africa that your loved ones won't forget in a hurry. Whether you're searching for a tour suitable for teens or much younger children, there are endless activities for them to get involved in. Think helicopter tours, junior ranger programmes and even kids clubs. We strive for one-of-a-kind tours in comfortable surroundings so you can get the most out of the experience.

    You can tailor your chosen tour so that it accommodates any grandparents joining you on your trip. Simply specify any requirements you have when you book.

  • How do I plan my luxury South Africa safari holiday?

    Let us relieve you of all the logistical stresses that come with planning a holiday. When you book with Scott Dunn, you can relax knowing that any tricky admin tasks will be handled ahead of the trip. Simply tell us what you'd love to experience during your South Africa safari holiday and we'll do the rest.

  • How long are your luxury South Africa safari packages?

    Our holidays in South Africa last between nine and 13 nights and many of these include unforgettable safari tours through national parks and iconic game reserves. We can advise you further about any recommendations we have regarding each safari tour.

  • What are the flight times for going on a safari holiday to South Africa?

    You can take a direct flight to Cape Town or Johannesburg from the UK, which takes 11 and a half hours. The time difference is just one or two hours ahead of the UK, depending on when you travel.

    The jet lag will be minimal, so you can get straight out on your South Africa safari with nothing holding you back!

  • What type of accommodation will I stay in during my luxury safari holiday in South Africa?

    Our South Africa tours and safaris are interspersed with comfortable and stylish accommodation that allows you to completely recharge at the end of the day. Think luxury safari lodges and hotels in enviable spots across South Africa that are perfect for Big Five game-viewing. Wake up at your villa in the Madikwe Game Reserve to elephants playing in nearby water or watch hippos from the deck at Chitwa Chitwa in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

    Alternatively, spot animals drinking from the river right in front of the Dulini River Lodge, also on the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Your luxury safari lodge will be among the best in South Africa, fitted with private plunge pools, floor-to-ceiling windows and vast outdoor game-viewing spots you can comfortably sit in for hours. You'll be perfectly placed for animal-spotting wherever you are.

  • Can I visit multiple countries during my South Africa safari holiday?

    Selected safari holidays to South Africa include a visit to another country. This ensures your tour is varied, allowing you to soak up multiple new experiences and sites in one unforgettable trip. After spotting the Big Five in South Africa's world-famous game reserves, you can sink into tropical bliss in Mauritius or explore the Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique.

  • How do I book my South Africa safari holiday?

    Unsure how to book a safari in South Africa? Simply call us on the number listed below or fill out our enquiry form to begin the process. From there, we'll craft a wonderful itinerary that considers your requests and give you a final quote. If you're happy to proceed, you can put down a deposit and count down the days until you can jet away.

Why Choose Scott Dunn for your South Africa holidays?

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Unique to You
Unique to you

  • We listen to your travel goals and craft unique trips that are bespoke to you.
  • We’re with you every step of your life’s travel journey, from honeymoons to family trips and beyond.

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Seamless Service
Seamless Service

  • Global offices in the UK, US, and Singapore for 24/7 seamless service.
  • We offer flexibility if your plans change so you can book with confidence and peace of mind.

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Curated Collection

  • We’ve curated an elevated collection of accommodation, experiences, and guides.
  • Committed to fostering close global relationships to continue bringing you unique experiences.

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Luxury in Every Sense
Luxury in every sense

  • We deliver a sense of luxury that matters most to you.
  • Awarded Condé Nast Traveller’s Top Travel Specialists in the World 10 years in a row.

Call us on 020 3918 9367 to start planning your holiday

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