South Africa’s finest safari destination is the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve adjoining Kruger National Park, which offers outstanding game viewing (it is not unusual to see all of the Big Five on one game drive, plus giraffe, crocodiles, hippos, wild dogs and more!) and contains several of the most exclusive and luxurious top-end game lodges in the whole of Africa. A safari in South Africa is not complete without a visit to Sabi Sands.
There are several good malaria-free options for safari in South Africa, of which our favourite is the Tswalu Kalahari reserve. Tswalu is a secret Eden preserved by great-hearted and happily generous philanthropists. A superb lodge with impeccable service; gorgeous house staff to meet and greet and treat you to their Relais and Chateaux-earning gourmet delights, then your own dedicated guide and bushman tracker to take you, all alone, in the company of your own in-jokes and safari interests, on a private safari looking for the rarer and more elusive animals like pangolins and aardvarks. Their junior ranger programme also makes it the perfect destination for a family safari
The Timbavati and Manyeleti Game Reserves, to the west of the Greater Kruger, are some of our top picks for South Africa. The Timbavati and Manyeleti share an unfenced border with the main Kruger Park and are situated just North of the Sabi Sands. They offer the same excellent game-viewing, but are far quieter in terms of visitor numbers, offering a decidedly better game-viewing experience.
The Kruger National Park. There are private concessions within the National Park that offer brilliant ‘unseen access’ to areas where day visitors to the park are not allowed to go. With exclusive access to these areas, you do not have to worry about day visitor queues and with the ability to off-road you certainly get an excellent game viewing experience.
Phinda Private Game Reserve on the Eastern Coast of the country is a low-malaria destination. Run exclusively by &Beyond, the reserve only has a handful of high luxury and very affordable lodges. With brilliant game viewing including exceptional cheetah sightings, plus incredible birding opportunities, Phinda should not be overlooked.