A trip to South Africa is the vacation of a lifetime, especially if you treat yourself to a safari experience. Tourism has increased substantially in South Africa over the last 20 years since the Apartheid, and the country is now one of the best destinations on earth to visit for its combination of safari and rich cultural experiences. Whether you’re a first timer or a veteran, it can be difficult planning a trip to South Africa, and it can be even more difficult finding the right company to take you on this adventure of a lifetime. Let smarTours’ travel experts help make your decision easier and more seamless. Here are our recommendations on what to look for in a South African vacation and Safari from accommodations to South African safari animal favorites!

The “Big Five” Safari Animals and Kruger National Park

The main draw for any South African Safari is the wildlife. Snapping a picture of a family of elephants up close and personal or spotting a lion mid-hunt is something you will remember and cherish for a lifetime. Before you make your travel arrangements, you’ll want to make sure your itinerary is comprehensive and allows you to visit one of the most incredible game reserves South Africa has to offer, Kruger National Park. Home to 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds, and 147 mammals according to the South African National Parks Official Website, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares is one of the largest and most sought after game reserves in the world. If you’re looking for the “Big Five” safari animals, Kruger National Park is the place you’ll want to be!

image: South African Safari Wildlife

Cultural Opportunities

While wildlife is often the main attraction, it’s by no means all that South Africa has to offer. There is also a wealth of cultural opportunities. Spending time in the cities of Cape Town or Johannesburg at either end of your safari can show off what mainstream South African culture is like today; even a single afternoon of touring can really broaden your appreciation of South Africa. Participating in planned activities such as visiting the Apartheid Museum or Table Mountain or one of the 100 art galleries in Cape Town are great additions to your itinerary. Beyond the major cities, if you’re looking for an eye-opening cultural experience, travel to Zululand, home to some of the most famous of the African tribal peoples. Our travel experts also recommend traveling to Dumazulu Village where you can experience the everyday life of the Zulu tribe, witness traditional customs such as tribal dancing, spear making, and a ceremony of beer drinking!

Guidance on Health and Safety Questions
South Africa is still developing in many ways. Even though it is a stable country, you’ll still need to take some health precautions into consideration before traveling to South Africa. For example, you’ll need to know what medications and/or immunizations are recommended before embarking on your trip. Your tour company should be able to discuss health and safety concerns openly with you and advise you on everything to prepare for, although ultimately you may want to rely on the guidance of your personal physician.


Some tour operators offer authentic experiences which include sleepless nights in tents, other operators offer accommodations at expensive and overpriced resorts far away from the game reserves, which aren’t authentic enough. Rather than entertaining accommodations at either end of the spectrum, our travel experts at smarTours recommend a middle ground by staying in lodges near the park which offer affordable deluxe accommodations and an authentic experience all in one!

With smarTours® there to guide your way, you can see everything that you want to in safety and comfort. So make the most of your African journey and contact us today!


Have you gone on a safari in South Africa? What was your favorite moment?