Travel Advice and Information for Existing Bookings

South Africa

New for 2023 - Signature Tours

2023 prices frozen until 31 July, so book early to guarantee the lowest prices.

Remember, you're always protected by our Price Promise.

find out more

Experience more with so much included

  • Happy by day two or we'll bring you home with a full refund
  • Tour the legendary Zulu War battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift with a specialist guide
  • Full-day guided safari in the Kruger National Park, one of the world’s most outstanding game reserves
  • Stay in the heart of the gorgeous Western Cape’s Winelands, enjoying a cellar tour and tasting at a 300-year-old wine estate
  • Stay three nights in cosmopolitan Cape Town, one of the world’s most naturally beautiful cities, dominated by the instantly recognisable Table Mountain
  • Explore legendary Cape of Good Hope and Cape Town’s Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
  • Visit Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum, a real must in understanding contemporary South Africa
  • Gaze at the awe-inspiring Blyde River canyon, the third largest in the world
  • Visit Hermanus for the world’s finest on-shore whale watching, dependent on season
  • Enjoy a scenic drive through the beautiful small country of Swaziland
  • Take an internal flight to the stunning Garden Route
  • Stay in hand-picked four-star and three-star hotels with daily breakfast, two lunches and three dinners

The Signature Tour option includes all of the above as well as:

  • Savour the taste of a fruity Amarula, a creamy liqueur made with the fragrant fruit of the marula tree
  • Enjoy a superb dinner at your hotel and then spend time in the company of a former Robben Island prison guard who will share his experiences of time spent with Nelson Mandela
9.1 out of 10  
Read 668 Reviews
At a Glance
Selected departures May to November 2022
3 to 4-star accommodation
Return flights & transfers
Programme of daily tours & visits
18 meals: 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 3 dinners
Expert tour manager
Checked Luggage


South Africans call their homeland ‘a world in one country’. It covers an area equivalent to five times the size of Britain, with a climate ranging from temperate, Mediterranean and sub-tropical to desert; it offers spectacular scenery with arguably the finest wildlife on earth and no less than eleven official languages. South Africa is truly a world-class destination!

Firstly, a more naturally beautiful country would be difficult to find - from the serrated peaks of the Drakensberg mountains, to the contorted and timeless semi-desert landscapes of the Karoo and the forested sea-shores and mirror-like lakes of the Garden Route, the enchanting temperate valleys of the Winelands, the rare proximity to nature found in the national parks and the instantly recognizable symbol of the country, Table Mountain - all under an endless azure-blue sky. Quite remarkable!

Then there is the wildlife, one of the main reasons visitors travel to Africa. One of the finest places in the world to experience this is the Kruger National Park, which is a similar size to Wales. It is exactly how you imagine the African bush to be, as depicted on countless TV documentaries: areas of sweeping savannah, bisected by rivers full of hippos, muddy waterholes lined with animals quenching their thirst, and the bush itself, home to zebra and antelope, studded by immense biscuit-coloured termite hills and towering above it all, instantly recognisable giraffes! The park is home to an incredible 150 mammal and 500 bird species including the ‘big five’: elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo. Game-viewing is an intensely moving experience with nothing preparing you for the waves of emotion inspired by an encounter with these wonderful, almost regal creatures thriving in their natural habitat. Just to highlight the variety of flora too, the Cape Peninsula alone has twice as many plant varieties as Britain, which is 5,000 times bigger. But South Africa is not just about scenery and wildlife, fabulous as it is.

The cities are amazing and highlight the country’s diversity. Brash Johannesburg, city of gold and South Africa’s cultural capital, with skyscrapers of concrete and glass separated by canyon-like streets contrasting with townships on its outskirts. Then there is the ‘Mother City’, Cape Town, overlooked by the vast bulk of Table Mountain and easily Africa’s most beautiful and sophisticated city. It is a real multi-cultural melting pot, with stunning Cape architecture, superb beaches, the best cuisine in the country, fabulous street musicians, mime artists and entertainers adding to its cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Any country is shaped by its past - South Africa more than most with its recent history a constant struggle between the British, Afrikaners, and various indigenous peoples, the Zulus being the most well known. The British annexed the Cape from the Dutch during the 18th century, who then set out inland founding the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. However, with the discovery of the world’s largest gold deposits, British interest flourished! This culminated in the Boer War and unification of the country. We all inevitably associate South Africa with the inhumanities of the old Apartheid system, which needs no explanation.

Our visit to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg takes us on a fascinating, horrifying, humbling and ultimately inspiring journey from the dark days of ‘whites only’ privilege, through to Nelson Mandela’s historic release. Documentary film, texts, sound clips and live accounts recapture life in the old South Africa.

We also visit the famous battlefields of the Zulu Wars, Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift – one a crushing British defeat sending shock waves throughout the Empire, the other a valiant stand of just 140 against 4,000 Zulus. Few tours visit these remarkable sites, a vital and deeply moving part of South Africa’s unique heritage.

The Garden Route in the Western Cape is legendary. With a mild climate and facing the southern Indian Ocean, this unique region encompasses beautiful coastal and mountain scenery. Depending on the time of year, we’ll have the opportunity to travel to the beautiful seaside resort of Hermanus, the best place for on-shore whale watching. We also spend a most enjoyable few days surrounded by the seemingly never-ending rows of vines in fertile valleys, backed by the lofty mountains of the enchanting Winelands.

This wonderful 16-day tour is designed to highlight South Africa’s truly amazing diversity of cultures, its curious blend of old and new, and its phenomenal scenery and wildlife. You leave with the feeling that the new South Africa, open to the world after years of isolation, is a land of superlatives which cannot fail to impress the welcome visitor!

Your Itinerary

South Africa

Price Includes

The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability (date dependent) at the relevant supplement. Price includes return UK flights - scheduled flights to Johannesburg and from Cape Town, all transfers, 13 nights’ accommodation on bed and breakfast basis, three dinners, two lunchs, all tours as mentioned, porterage of one item of luggage per person and the services of an experienced Riviera Travel tour manager.

Included excursions are: visits to Blyde Canyon, Swaziland, Rorke’s Drift, Hermanus whale watching, Swellendam, Stellenbosch, Franshoek, Winelands, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point, Boulders Beach plus the Talana museum, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Apartheid Museum, Wine Tasting and Cellar Tour, tour of Zulu battlefields and full day Kruger safari and jeep tour.

Classic Tours Information

Along with your experienced and knowledgeable tour manager and local experts, you’ll discover so much on our award-winning Classic tours, offering the best value for money way for you to explore the world.

Our tour managers have been rated as the best in the business for their knowledge and experience and will go above and beyond to ensure every aspect of your holiday runs smoothly – so all you need to worry about is your packing.

Signature Tours Information

Start your tour with a toast to your travels with a glass of Amarula – South Africa’s most renowned liqueur. After a superb dinner in your Cape Town hotel hear remarkable accounts of the life of Nelson Mandela from someone who knew him as both prisoner and president.

Amarula Drink

What's extra on this tour?

This Signature Tour includes everything from the Classic Tour as well as the following:

  • Savour the taste of a fruity Amarula, a creamy liqueur made with the fragrant fruit of the marula tree
  • Enjoy a superb dinner at your hotel and then spend time in the company of a former Robben Island prison guard who will share his experiences of time spent with Nelson Mandela. View dates & prices

What makes Signature Tours different?

Signature Tours give you the option to experience more and are available on over 40 of our European and Worldwide itineraries. Enjoy the more exclusive atmosphere of travelling in a small group of 25 or fewer guests, with up to three enhanced experiences included to help make your holiday truly exceptional. Find out more

Tour Manager Karen on Southern Africa & Costa Rica

Personalise Your Holiday

Make it Your Own

buffalo rock tented camp, kruger national park, south africa


Stay overnight in a tented camp – from £249 per person

Buffalo Rock is located in Kruger National Park and offers a comfortable camping experience in luxury tented accommodation with en-suite bathrooms.  Enjoy an early morning bush walk led by an experienced ranger, who will introduce you to the bush’s natural wonders.  Spend a leisurely morning relaxing or swimming in the pool at a nearby lodge before a spot of lunch at your camp.  In the afternoon you will embark on a sunset safari, and end a memorable day with dinner and fascinating stories around the bushfire. Price is per person based on two people sharing.

Please contact us to add the above experience to your booking.

Locally booked activities

There are several locally booked activities to take part in during your South Africa tour. These include a helicopter flight over Cape Town, Graskop Gorge lift, elephant interaction experiences, microlight flights and more.

Please speak to your tour manager for details.

Rovos Rail train south africa

Discover Even More

Rovos Rail extension

Spend three days on one of the world's most luxurious trains, Rovos Rail, from Cape Town to Pretoria.

Click here to view and book our South Africa with Rovos Rail Extension tour.

Useful Information

Visas & Passports

Irish passport holders do not currently require a visa. However, please ensure that your passport is valid for at least thirty days after the intended return date and there are at least two completely empty pages. Please consult your GP regarding the appropriate inoculations required for South Africa at least a month before departure. The Kruger National Park is considered a malarial zone, although the risk is reduced during the South African drier ‘winter’ months of May to August. Please consult your GP regarding the appropriate medication well before departure and ensure you use a strong mosquito repellent.

If you are travelling to South Africa or transiting through a South African airport with a minor, documentation requirements apply. Please visit the following website:https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa/entry-requirements for more information.

Whilst care has been taken to ensure that the information provided relating to visa requirements is true and correct at time of publication, changes in requirements after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information. Therefore, whilst we strive to provide the most up-to-date information, we strongly suggest that you re-confirm requirements with the relevant embassy prior to application. 


We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitabilty of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.

Fact File

  • Currency: South African Rand
  • Flight time: Approx.  11 hrs 30 mins
  • Languages: English, Afrikaans
  • Time zone: GMT+2
  • Country: South Africa

Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

En route to the hotel in Johannesburg, we spend 2 hours at the Apartheid Museum. 

Arrival airport First hotel location Transfer time Final hotel location Departure airport Transfer time
Johannesburg - O.R. Tambo International Airport Johannesburg 1 hr Cape Town Cape Town International Airport 45 mins

You May Also Like

Couple and train concierge in front of the Pride of Africa Rovos rail train | Pretoria, South Africa
(2 reviews)
18 days starting from £4399pp 
Classic Escorted Tours
Orange sky over Victoria Falls | Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
(109 reviews)
11 days starting from £3399pp 
Panorama of Cape Town from above | Cape Town, South Africa | Solo Travellers
(25 reviews)
16 days starting from £3599pp 
Sunset over Table Mountain from Bloubergstrand beach | Cape Town, South Africa