Here is a list of the 7 best value-for-money tours that your typical South African family would enjoy. A guided tour of these popular destinations offers guests a different perspective because you’re in the company of a knowledgeable guide who’ll share interesting information on what makes the places you visit so special.
It’s an opportunity to experience the rich cultural heritage of the area and learn more about the country.
Extensive urban renewal projects have breathed new life into parts of the inner city of Johannesburg like Newtown Precinct and it’s now the “in” place to be on weekends. If you’re hesitant to explore the historic landmarks of Johannesburg on your own, a 4-hour day tour with a leading tour operator is the perfect option.
The glorious Nelson Mandela Bridge takes you into the busy central business centre to places such as Telkom Tower in Hillbrow which was the tallest structure in Africa until 1978; the Jazz Walk of Fame which is a long granite strip with the names of nine of South Africa’s finest jazz legends engraved on it; and Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown Precinct which was formerly an important meeting place during the apartheid era and is now a vibrant weekend destination.
The tour ends at Constitution Hill which is an iconic living museum showcasing the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy.
Soweto isn’t only a tourist destination for international travellers. It’s become the new place to visit for a delicious meal at one of the many vibrant restaurants on the famous Vilakazi Street and an opportunity to visit iconic landmarks that shaped South Africa’s history.
A 4-hour tour of Soweto takes you to Orlando Towers which offer a panoramic view of the city; Vilakazi Street which is famous for being the home of two Nobel Prize Winners, the great Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and historical attractions such as Mandela House, Hastings Ndlovu’s Bridge, Hector Pieterson’s grave at Avalon Cemetery and the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum as well as Regina Mundi Church and a drive past Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, the third-largest hospital in the world.
Enjoy an authentic Sowetan meal at one of the many popular restaurants on Vilakazi Street and soak up the eclectic atmosphere of this cosmopolitan city.
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Pilanesberg Game Reserve is home to the Big 5 and an array of wildlife and birds. It’s an excellent alternative to Kruger National Park because it’s in a malaria-free region with the added bonus that it’s right next to Sun City.
A tour of the Pilanesberg Game Reserve combines the peace and tranquility of the game reserve and the fun and excitement of South Africa’s most popular entertainment destination.
It’s less than a 2-hour drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria so it’s easily accessible for a day visit or you can choose to spend a few nights at one of the popular resorts in the reserve.
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is a favourite place to visit for incredible sightings of the Big 5 and an array of wildlife and birds as well as a chance to relax and soak up the peace and tranquility of the bushveld.
Booking a tour to the Kruger Park as opposed to going there on your own is an excellent option because you’re in the company of a knowledgeable guide and everything from accommodation to interesting excursions are organised for you.
Highly recommended lodge in and around the Kruger Park – Wolwekrans Eco Lodge.
Kruger Park is rich in cultural history and a tour can be tailored to meet your interests. This could include the rich archeological regions in the national reserve or a tour of historic landmarks which showcase the history of the Kruger National Park.
A tour of Cape Town takes you from the vibrant City Bowl which includes a visit to the historic suburb of Bo-Kaap and the trendy V&A Waterfront; along the Atlantic Seaboard which is a spectacular scenic route from Green Point to Clifton and on through Camps Bay to the beautiful fishing town of Hout Bay. It continues to the southern-most tip of Africa and the wild Cape Peninsula.
The trip home takes you through the historic villages of Sea Point and Muizenberg with stops along the way at Boulders Beach to see the largest population of African jackass penguins in Africa and historic Victorian-era landmarks along the winding coastal road.
A Cape Town tour should include the beautiful Cape Winelands which is home to some 200 premier wine estates, all within a 2-hour drive from Cape Town. Other major attractions include a tour to the arid West Coast or vibrant coastal towns on the east coast such as Hermanus and Gansbaai or you could join a tour to the mystical Klein Karoo.
Cape Route 62 takes you on a spectacular tour of the Garden Route which boasts incredible natural wonderlands and quaint coast towns; starting in the beautiful Cape Winelands and ending at the magical Tsitsikamma Forest and Storms River Bridge close to Port Elizabeth.
As the winds of change sweep through Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is once again on the tourist map with an array of incredible things to do and beautiful places to stay. A tour of Victoria Falls offers everything from a guided tour of the Falls which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a spectacular sunset boat cruise on the mighty Zambezi River and adrenalin-pumping activities such as white river rafting, bungee jumping and swinging across the breathtaking Batoka Gorge.
Chobe National Park in Botswana and Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe are close enough to Victoria Falls to combine a fun family holiday with a fantastic safari tour. Accommodation in Victoria Falls ranges from vibey backpacking establishments to the ultra-luxury safari lodges perched on the edge of the marvelous Zambezi River.