Situated on the tip of the African continent, South Africa has often been described as a world in one country. It has a wealth of natural beauty, pristine wilderness areas, warm and friendly people, cosmopolitan cities and excellent infrastructure – making South Africa a favourite safari destination.
Sitting at the very tip of Africa, the city of Cape Town is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world - and for good reason! A regular on the ‘Top Destination’ lists of worldwide publications, Cape Town benefits immensely from its prime positioning with beaches, forests, mountain trails, wine farms and nature reserves all just a short drive away. The city itself has a very European feel with plenty of sidewalk cafes and pedestrian friendly walkways. Take in some history at Robben Island or the Distrtict 6 Museum after a morning of shopping at the famous V&A Waterfront, then take a cable car up Table Mountain and watch the sunset over the Atlantic before soaking up the vibrant nightlife in the buzzing city center. Cape Town has it all!
A vast and diverse province, the Eastern Cape is the birth province and traditional family land of former South African President Mr. Nelson Mandela. Boasting significant natural diversity, the Eastern Cape is also famous for the internationally renowned surfing town of Jeffrey’s Bay – revered by surfers as having some of the best waves in the world. The province offers great beach and bush combinations with several malaria-free national parks (including Addo Elephant Park), the Southern Drakensberg Mountain Range and the Tsitsikamma forest. The Garden Route begins just outside of Port Elizabeth and offers a beautifully scenic drive up along the coast towards Cape Town.
One of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world; the Garden Route sits between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, as the warm Indian Ocean waters of the Eastern Cape become the cooler waters of the Atlantic in the Western Cape. With indigenous forests, pristine beaches, award-winning golf courses and quaint seaside towns all along the route, it’s no surprise that the region has become so popular with honeymooners and multi-generational families alike. Whether you’re after the high of adrenaline based activities or prefer sitting back and sipping a cappuccino at a trendy beachside café, the beautiful Garden Route will surpass all your holiday expectations.
Formerly known as Hermanuspietersfontein, today the idyllic Overberg town luckily just goes by Hermanus. Just under two hours drive from Cape Town, Hermanus is famous for the seasonal whale migrations and some of the best land-based whale watching in the world. The vibey village center buzzes with cafes and restaurants, all within walking distance of quaint guesthouses and luxury hotels. Adrenaline junkies can get their fix by shark cage diving up the road in Gansbaai, while the more gentile might prefer a walk through the flowers in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Originally a small mining town formed at the beginning of South Africa’s gold rush in the 1800’s, Johannesburg is now the economic powerhouse of Africa. Known as the gateway to Africa, the City of Gold buzzes with an exciting entrepreneurial spirit and energy and is currently undergoing something of a cultural renaissance. With inner-city rejuvenation projects thriving, both the center of town and the outlying suburbs have become safe havens of art, fashion, food, architecture, commerce and entertainment. From shopping malls and art galleries to museum tours and hiking trails, Joburg has got it and then some.
Regarded as one of South Africa’s most beautiful towns and the hub of the Garden Route, Knsyna lies tucked between an indigenous forest and a warm watered estuary and is surrounded by natural beauty on all sides. Situated between Plettenberg Bay to the west and George to the east, Knysna is easily accessible from either. With eclectic art galleries, trendy restaurants and plenty of local craft markets, Knsyna is the perfect town to soak up some seaside culture. The Knsyna Heads - where the estuary meets the ocean – provide ample opportunity for the photography enthusiast while the surrounding beaches are great for both young and old.
Without question one of the most famous National Parks in the world, the Kruger National Park is the pride of South Africa and her people. Established in 1898 and covering some two million hectares, it is home to over 1000 different species of plant, bird and animal life. Boasting all of the Big Five plus a wide range of other magnificent fauna and flora, the Kruger National Park has become a South African institution. With an abundance of accommodation options – ranging from the ultra rustic to the super luxurious – the Kruger National Park can be made to suit every taste and budget.
The traditional home of the Zulu Kingdom, KwaZulu Natal is the land of incredible Mountain vistas, pristine golden beaches, modern infrastructure and excellent game viewing opportunities. Home of the quintessential ‘bush and beach’ safari, the sunshine province knows no winter and offers pleasantly warm weather throughout the year. The Drakensberg Mountain Range is among the most beautiful places in South Africa, with sweeping snow-capped mountains and cascading waterfalls, while the picturesque area known as the Midlands offers history buffs the chance to take a morning tour of the nationally significant Battlefields before tucking in to a hearty lunch at a traditional Zulu village. With a colorfully diverse cultural heritage, Durban is the largest city in the province and enjoys close proximity to a number of excellent game reserves, such as Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park.
Considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Garden Route, the wealthy enclave of Plettenberg Bay was originally discovered by Portuguese explorers who called it Bahia Formosa – the beautiful bay. The town is incredibly popular with both local and international visitors alike and has a holiday feel throughout the year. Miles of sandy beaches and surrounding forests and wildlife sanctuaries perfectly complement the designer stores and trendy coffee shops of the town center. Adrenaline junkies can get their kicks bungee jumping off the world’s highest bungee jump or walk amongst the tree canopies in the Tsitsikamma Forest, while those less inclined can soak up some sun on Plett’s famous Main Beach.
Affectionately known as ‘The Berg’ by South Africans, the Drakensberg Mountain Range is the country’s highest and peaks at around 3000m above sea level. Internationally recognized as an exceptional ecological environment, Drakensberg Park enjoys UNESCO World Heritage Site status due to its pristine natural beauty and significant anthropological importance. Activities range from hiking and horseback riding, to abseiling, white water rafting and fishing, so there is always an outdoor adventure to be had. The beautifully clear rivers and streams of the valleys are filled with amazing fishing spots to discover, while the 800 species of plants and 200 species of bird life delight the senses with their natural charm. There are a wide range of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets, most with superb views of the idyllic mountain vista.
With South African wine enjoying a burgeoning reputation internationally, the winelands just outside of Cape Town are welcoming visitors from all around the world. Found just an hour or two outside of Cape Town, the wine farms of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschoek and the like are flanked by mountains and beautiful countryside. With many farms still retaining their distinctive Cape Dutch style farmhouses, and farmers still practicing the traditional methods of their ancestors, a visit to the winelands is a refreshing break from ‘modern’ society. Some of the South Africa’s best restaurants can be found in these areas, so be sure to book in advance and come hungry!
Simbavati River Lodge Photographic Safaris
Unmatched in the wildlife photographic industry is our specialized photographic game drive vehicle -- based in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve bordering the Northern region of the Kruger National Park. With no fences between the two reserves the animals move freely within more than 20 000 square kilometers of wilderness area. The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is renowned for its great wildlife sightings some of which are the endangered white lion, leopard, wild dog, cheetah and many, many more -- combined with our photographic vehicle, a professional wildlife photographer and Simbavati River Lodge -- it promises to be an unforgettable experience. Our professional photographer will ensure that you benefit from one on one instruction on everything from how to achieve the best position for the ultimate wildlife shot to professional tips on image editing, including both a pre-game drive and post-drive briefing.
Elephant Birth at Simbavati River Lodge
Watch the birth of a baby elephant at Simbavati River Lodge
Rovos Rail, 2013
Rovos Rail, 2014
This is the extended version of our 2013 video and goes into more detail about the services and routes we offer.
We are often asked when is the best time to visit South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Here are our recommendations for when to visit and how to ensure you have a memorable safari. Bear in mind that you can have many days with no rain during the rainy season and during the dry season it can sometimes rain. WINTER SEASON [May to August] The winter months in South Africa are possibly the best time to enjoy your Kruger National Park […]Read more
A small pack of South Africa’s rarest carnivores loped free into the bush in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday, ambassadors of hope for the very survival of their race. The release of 14 African wild dogs into their new home in Tembe Elephant Park, on the province’s northern border with Mozambique, is a significant milestone in the conservation of an animal species whose future has not looked more bleak. There are now only between 350 and 400 of these endangered creatures roaming South […]Read more
Twilight dinner at Singita Boulders Lodge poolFor many, there is nothing more romantic than being out in the wild, listening to the lions call while sipping champagne and watching a glorious sunset. The Game Lodge Index review team have considered the lodges and picked those that combine setting, service and special touches to bring you the list of 10 lodges ideally suited for those romantic experiences. To be romantic, lodges have to offer a magical setting, service that is professional […]Read more
Good wildlife safari photography is not only about composition and camera equipment because you first need to find your subjects before you can even lift your camera. This best five African wildlife destinations list helps you do that. Once you have been going on wildlife photography safaris in Africa for a number of years you begin to realise and recognise that certain areas are better than others for generating good animal picture opportunities on a consistent basis. The ranking is […]Read more
To many people, Africa is little more than a continent of poverty and death. But it’s undeniable that one can also find there beauty. And lots of life. One just needs to know where to look. In this article you’ll see selected photographs of places in Africa that are worth visiting and short descriptions of those places. 1. Bazaruto Island This sandy island belonging to Mozambique offers beautiful views, as well as very clear water. Many people visit the island […]Read more