No wonder that every Briton, at least once in their lives, considers booking flights to Johannesburg and spending their winter holidays experiencing the majestic grandeur of the desert, which is obviously a completely different experience given that Europe lacks deserts. South Africa is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa. It is a wonderful country with a varied landscape that includes jagged mountains, brilliant grassland, subtropical forest, and spooky dessert. From classic safari adventures in the Kruger National Park to coastal vacations and city living in Cape Town, South Africa has it all.
The spectacular natural environment and interesting activities are complimented with exquisite luxury accommodation that is both elegant and comfortable. Expect exceptional service and facilities like onsite spas, gyms, and award-winning restaurants.
Another benefit of planning a vacation to South Africa is the favourable exchange rate against various international currencies. As a consequence, luxury is far more affordable than you may imagine. We must add that now is the time to book your flights to Cape Town and enjoy early morning game drives, thermoses of hot tea, rusks, campfires, starry skies, and orange-streaked sundowners.
To save you the time and effort of assessing the benefits of various accommodation options We've scoured the country for the cheapest locations to escape to the bush, from true budget busters to luxury accommodations at reasonable costs. Here is our list of 10 affordable safaris in South Africa, in no particular order.
The Budget Busters
Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve (Howick)
There are three simple but well-appointed guesthouses offered in the heart of the Midlands, all with breath-taking views of the verdant Umgeni Valley. The cottage for the couple is wonderfully appointed, with a walk-in shower, dining table, and complimentary amenities. The three-bedroom cottage accommodates up to six people and is nestled between two streams. The cottages have a braai area, daily housekeeping, and free on-site parking.
Mbizo Bush Camp, iThala (KwaZulu-Natal)
Cheap rustic boscage camping is available in the habitat. For a total of eight individuals, Mbizo Bush bivouac provides two 4-bedroom apartments, each having two bedrooms. Each unit comes equipped with a hot and cold shower as well as toiletries. A braai and campfire area is maintained by onsite personnel. A game ranger can take you on guided bush treks. You could spot a leopard, rhinoceros, or elephant if you're lucky. Ithala is located on the south bank of the Pongola River, roughly midway between Durban and Johannesburg. This reserve is an extra bonus.
This camp, which overlooks the Ncence River, provides perfect privacy. It comprises five two-bedroom flats and three hot and cold-water restrooms with flush toilets. The shared lounge/dining room/kitchen space is located atop a sun deck and braai area that provides excellent game watching.
Addo Elephant Park (Eastern Cape)
The country's third-largest park offers a wide range of activities, including the chance to watch whales from the park's shoreline portions. Elephants, lions, spotted hyenas, Cape buffalo, and the flightless dung beetle are just a few of the animals that can be seen. Low season rates are available between May and September during the dry season. From October through March, high season pricing is in effect, especially during school holidays.
Witsand Kalahari Nature Reserve
At Witsand, you may experience the rugged and secluded beauty of the Kalahari. You'll see desert antelope and many birds, as well as be awed by the raw grandeur of the red and white undulating dunes. The deluxe, self-catering chalet rates start at R1,350 per chalet and go up from there. The camping spot is only R230 for two persons if you wish to sleep under the stars.
Affordably Valued Luxury:
Mavela Game Lodge (KwaZulu-Natal)
Consider Mavela Game Lodge if you're looking for a top-notch luxury tented camp safari that won't break the bank. For a romantic touch, they offer an all-inclusive package as well as private bush meals.
Daily guided game drives in an open 4x4, daily meals, early morning coffee, full English breakfast, high tea, and a three-course gourmet dinner are all included in the ultimate luxury bush experience, as well as all-day tea and coffee, local beer, wine, spirits, and soft drinks.
Mount Camdeboo (Eastern Cape)
This beautiful Karoo game farm, located east of Graaff-Reinet, is waiting for you. Camdeboo is a Khoisan term that means "green hills or lakes" in English. Over 60 creatures, including rhinos, cheetahs, and giraffes, can be seen in the park. Your stay at Mountain Camdeboo includes three daily meals, game drives, guided bush walks, stargazing, refreshments during game drives, and cheetah tracking.
This private lodge in Addo Elephant Park offers breath-taking views of the Zuurberg Mountains. It is certainly a fantastic experience to stay here. Bush picnics, giraffe tracking safaris, candlelight dinners, gourmet breakfasts, and more are available!
Plett Game Reserve (Garden Route)
This game park, one of the region's largest, combines the Garden Route's natural beauty with an exciting safari experience. This family-friendly resort is a great place to stop along the Garden Route.
Buffalo Thorn Lodge (Pilanesberg)
The Pilanesberg National Park, conveniently located near Johannesburg, provides a great nature getaway from the city's rapid pace. Up to 10 people can stay at the magnificent Buffalo Thorn Lodge in Pilanesberg's Black Rhino Reserve. The self-catering lodge offers certified ranger-led morning and afternoon wildlife drives, as well as coffee, tea, and firewood, as well as a fully equipped kitchen, kid-friendly pool, hot tub, open fire barbeque, and gas BBQ. A stay of at least two nights is required.
That concludes our list of 10 affordable safari vacations in South Africa. Let us know which one is your personal favourite! Stay up to date on cheap flights to Cape Town deals, promotions, travel tips, and more by signing up for Reliance Travels' newsletter.
Eureka at Science Bono Discovery Centre
The Science Bono Discovery Centre, which has won several travel and education awards, will capture your children's imagination and instil a lifetime love of science in them. It is housed in a renovated power station on the junction of Miriam Makeba and President streets in Newtown, Johannesburg. The Market Theatre and the World of Beer are also local Newtown attractions. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Adults pay R60, while minors between the ages of three and sixteen pay R40. Admission is free for children under the age of three.
Getting your adrenaline fix at the Orlando Towers
The world's first bungee leap between two cooling towers took place here. The 25-meter rock climbing course (R48 per person) and group paintball (R200 per person) at the bottom of the western cooling tower are two of the cheapest adrenaline junkie sports available. The bungee leap costs R630 per person if you want to invest a little extra and are prepared for the adventure. The cost per person starts at R48.
Wits Origins Centre
This one-of-a-kind museum pays tribute to humanity's origins while also displaying fascinating rock art. This lovely museum may be found on the University of Witwatersrand's campus. Take a trip through time that spans over 80,000 years and is brimming with ancient art and culture. At the Wits Origins Centre, audio tours are offered. On this occasion, public talks are conducted at night. Between 10:00 a.m. and 17:00 p.m., every day. The initial cost per participant is R40. A “test your own DNA” tour is available for those prepared to spend a little extra.
Now that you know about some exciting things to do in Johannesburg for under R200, it's time to book your flight and visit this buzzing metropolis. Sign up for the Reliance Travel newsletter to learn about cheap flights to Johannesburg and other nearby places.