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A richly diversified country that has grown from strength to strength since its independence, South Africa is a melting pot of landscapes and cultures. A bespoke holiday to South Africa is almost always one's initiation to the African continent – and for good reason.

From lush lands such as the Sabi Sand Game Reserve where you can track herds of wildlife, to towering peaks such as Table Mountain that offer unbeatable panoramic views and the opportunity for private outdoor hikes, to breathtaking coastal attractions on the famed Garden Route, the destination offers a myriad of allures. And with South Africa's reputation for the African Big Five and lodges that cater to all ages, those on the prowl for family-friendly safaris or malaria-free game viewing need look no further.

Delve into South Africa's fascinating past with visits to iconic sites such as Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was previously imprisoned, and the Hector Pieterson Memorial, which commemorates the deaths from past uprisings. On a less sombre note, appreciate the country’s burgeoning art scene at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, an area rich with street art, and at museums such as the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.

Embrace the unique local cuisine, too, on your bespoke holiday to South Africa. Indulge your inner epicurean with private cooking lessons in the wilderness at Singita Sweni, and sniff the casks at boutique vineyards on owner-led visits specially arranged by WONDERGOLANDER, which take wine cellar stops to a new level of intimate.

Beyond luxury safaris, there are other wildlife adventures including the annual sardine run, whale watching in winter and shark cage diving.

Your bespoke holiday to South Africa in the new travel era

WONDERGOLANDER is currently designing mainly luxury safari trips to South Africa, with a minimum of seven nights. This means that you will stay in luxury lodges (4-star levels and above) with all daily scheduled activities and meals included. Lodge rooms typically come with air-conditioning, ensuite flushing toilets, indoor and outdoor showers; some lodges also offer private pools. Facilities in luxury lodges we recommend are modern and safety protocols are strictly adhered to – guests will receive a safety briefing upon check-in.

Luxury safari lodges are typically located within private concession areas and guests travelling in a family or small group enjoy their own game drive vehicle; sometimes couples may share the vehicle with up to four other guests or have the option to privatise their game drive at additional cost. Game viewing is conducted in an ethical manner and there is emphasis on respecting nature and wildlife.

Travel costs have risen significantly due to high demand and limited supply, and pricing fluctuations are not uncommon. For the best perceived value, we recommend trips to South Africa to be designed at least 6 months in advance, particularly if they involve multi-country destinations in Africa. Last-minute arrangements (120 days and under) may result in high premiums or disappointment, particularly during peak periods.

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