Activities

Nature Discovery

Southern Africa is one of the last places of accessible wilderness, it has an astonishing variety and density of wildlife, amazing landscapes and world-class natural features. Especially the establishment of transfrontier parks that link the wildlife migration routes across borders is a very positive development.

If you are wondering where to start your Southern Africa journey, South Africa makes a great kickoff for the region. You can also tour Botswana’s wildlife-rich savannah grassland, trek around Namibia’s deserts and vast open landscape, experience the beautiful and untouristed sites in Zimbabwe, ….or just enjoy the multitude of African pleasures and treasures in South Africa. 
 
One of the main highlights of South Africa is the Krugerpark of course, it is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and offers an astonishing variety and number of animals.
You can also go and enjoy animals at close range in one of the game parks around the Kruger Park.  In Marloth Park for instance you will get close encounters with zebra, kudu, monkeys, warthogs, ….
From there you head for the Blyde River Canyon : here you can admire the deeply carved canyons along the Panorama Route and the Waterfalls Route, hike through the ravines, go trout fishing or just enjoy the charming gold mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest. If you have to go back via Johannesburg, go first for a few days to the Magaliesberg mountain range or to the Hartbeespoort dam area and go visit some of the animal sanctuaries where you can interact with white lion, cheetah, elephant, bushbabies/monkeys, reptiles and snakes, … before going back home.
 
Cape Town  or ‘The Mother City’ is another one of SA’s trump cards, you can easily spend one week or more here. There is so much to do and even more to see. Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Chapman’s Peak, Saldanha Bay, Cedarberg and the Ceres area are just a few of the sites well worth a visit. 
Cape Town can also be the starting point of an exploration of the Southern Cape, through Hermanus - where between June and November you can be woken by the whales blowing at night or see them while having a coffee in one of the restaurants or even better, while walking along the 12 km long cliff paths. You can make a stop at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of Africa before venturing to Oudtshoorn – known for the Cango Caves, the crocodile and ostrich farms. From there on you get to Mossel Bay, the westgate to the Garden Route. All along this magnificent stretch of coastline and mountains, you will find rivers, lakes and lagoons, beaches and forests, all the way to the Storms River Mouth in the east. Don’t forget to stop in Knysna or Wilderness, go look for elephants in the Addo Elephant NP or try and spot whales, dolphins, seals and otters in the Tsitsikamma National Park. And if your trip is nearing the end you can take a flight back home from Port Elizabeth, also referred to as ‘The Friendly City’.
 
If you have enough time for a mega trip (3 to 4 weeks) you can get to Cape Town, enjoy the many exciting highlights there for a few days, discover the winelands and head then north for Namakwa to see the fabulous flower display in spring (August/September). Cross into Namibia and head to Fish River Canyon. Keep going direction Keetmanshoop, Lüderitz, Mariental - if you have time make a stopover at Sossusvlei - and head north again to Windhoek to enjoy the last few days of your trip. 
 
Watch out if you go to Namibia : if you have been there once, it is likely you will want to go back again (and again) !!! 
 
If you are stuck for time you can start with a short exploratory trip of 10 to 12 days to Namibia but you will need at least 2 to 3 weeks to even start discovering the extraordinary landscape and enjoy some unique wildlife experience to the full.
You can start your holiday in Windhoek, drive to Swakopmund where you can discover this charming coastal town on foot, go for nature drives in the Namib dunes with an experienced guide and learn all about the secret desert life, explore Walvis Bay and the lagoon, go on one of the many boat tours and watch pelicans, dolphins and hundreds of seals. Then you can track north to the Skeleton Coast (magnificent coastline, shipwrecks, desert wilderness, ..), travel west to Damaraland with its wild open spaces, make a stopover in Twijfelfontein (one of the most extensive galleries of rock art in Africa), continue towards Etosha NP with its great wildlife-viewing sites. After a few days you can head back to Windhoek or if you have enough time venture out into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the southeast in Botswana.
 
Another exciting tour takes you to Botswana and Zimbabwe (one to two weeks). If you get to Maun you can go for one day or several days on a mokoro (dugout canoe) trip in the eastern part of the Okavango Delta, drive with a 4WD in the Moremi Game Reserve or let a local guide show you around, you can join a fly-in safari to the Inner Delta (mainly top-end luxury lodges available). The Okavango Panhandle has several 2WD accessible campsites and offers more affordable safari and mokoro trips and fishing expeditions.
 
When you get to Victoria Falls you can easily spend a week there. Close to the Falls is a beautiful game park with many animals migrating freely to and from Hwange. Nearby Victoria Fall you can also enjoy an elephant back safari or get a close look at a crocodile at one of the crocodile farms. Excursions to Hwange NP or Matos NP can also be organised from Victoria Falls (self drive or guided tours).

Adventure/Active Holidays

Wherever you decide to go, Southern Africa is the home for adventure seekers .. but adventure comes in many forms. Want to bungee jump ? Fly over the fantastic Victoria Falls ? Go white water rafting ? Sure, no problem. You can choose from various locations.

Cultural Encounters

Incredibly rich in cultural diversity, every Southern Africa’s nation has its own distinct heritage, although the countries share many common characteristics.

Rock art created by the San people is the one artistic asset that can still be seen today in many Southern African countries. Some of the best examples can be seen in Botswana (Tsodilo Hills), in Namibia (Twyfelfontein) and in South Africa (Giant’s Castle/Drakensberg).

For those who are interested in more contemporary historical facts it will be difficult to choose where to go : every major city has several museums, interesting architectural sites and buildings,… In Johannesburg and Cape Town visitors can go on a guided tour to the townships or can be accompanied by experienced guides to jazz clubs, clinics, schools, …  Other interesting tours can include a visit to Cultural Villages to encounter Zulu or Xhosa culture, to the Malay Quarter, District Six or Robben Island in the Cape Town area. Durban tours offer insights into the Indian community and nearby townships. An interesting outing for families is a visit to Shakaland where you can see traditional Zulu customs, crafts and culture. Many battles were fought in SA and battle tours are becoming increasingly popular. Shaka and his Zulu warriors versus the British soldiers, the Boer War, Blood River are just some of the names you will hear when joining the trail guides.

A visit to Cape Town will not be complete if one does not go out into the winelands. The typical Cape Dutch tradition can still be seen in many of the farmhouses on the Wine Route and in historical towns such as Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, …Wine tasting is possible in the graceful Cape Dutch manor houses like Groot Constantia, Boschendal, Nederburg, …

Every town has of course also many colourful open air craft markets and flea markets.

Namibia is one of the last countries inhabited by a few remaining bands of Bushmen, they can be best visited in the company of a local guide.

The characteristic Himba are the only ones of Namibia’s indigenous peoples who still live exactly as they have since they migrated down from Angola and settled in remote Kaokoland in the far north of Namibia. By far the safest and most interesting way to experience the area and the settlements is to travel with a knowledgeable guide.

In the towns you can see that the combination of the German colonial era and Namibia’s extreme climate resulted in a curious but effective style of building : to the late 19th century style buildings features like veranda’s were added to provide cool outdoor space. The best examples can be seen in Lüderitz, Swakopmund and Windhoek.