• South Africa Safari Highlights

  • South Africa Safari Highlights

An in-depth safari covering two of the very finest private game reserves in a country famous for them

Days: 8 | From: $6,950/per person

  • Includes accommodations at best in class luxury safari lodges
  • World class safari destinations with top safari guides for ultimate game viewing in exclusive private reserves

Discover the best of South Africa's safari experience through the big game and unique wilderness of two top private reserves in the Kruger National Park region. You'll track the Big 5 with an expert guide as you sit atop an open safari vehicle. Hand-picked luxury safari lodges in the best game viewing locations. Also see historic Johannesburg.

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Talk to a Vaya Africa Specialist
1 (844) 881-1305

We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

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At a glance

  • Johannesburg
    2 nights: Arrive to Africa. Explore the art, history and culture of South Africa's fascinating largest city with a private guide
  • Greater Kruger National Park
    3 nights: Connect with wild nature as you've never seen it on safari in a premier private reserve in the Kruger region
  • Sabi Sands Game Reserve
    3 nights: World renowned game viewing and luxury safari lodge accommodations in the famous Sabi Sands Reserve

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

Customize this trip
1 (844) 881-1305

Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome to Johannesburg

Arrive to Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic hub. This city bursts with art, history, and culture and is a great place to add some extra time to explore. “Joburg” combines a modern, metropolitan sophistication with historic townships, creating an ambience that has given life to some of South Africa’s greatest icons and creative minds. Your private guide will be waiting to transfer you to your boutique hotel set in the lush, upmarket suburbs of town. (Flight schedules generally dictate that two nights at the beginning be spent in Johannesburg at the beginning of the trip; your travel advisor will review all of these details with you for the best possible experience.)

Accommodations: The Residence, 2 nights

A warm welcome always awaits you at The Residence, located in the historic suburb of Houghton and representing compelling tranquility in the otherwise fast-paced city of Johannesburg. This luxury estate is conveniently located to allow access to the city itself as well as a variety of nearby attractions. Whatever your day may entail, rest assured – you will savor your return. Sumptuous luxury rooms and suites all offer unique boutique décor for the utmost comfort during your stay.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 2:

Highlights of Johannesburg Private Tour

Spend the day with a passionate, private local guide who will reveal the city’s incredible history, vibrant markets, heritage architecture, and emerging art and food scene. Enjoy a personal, immersive experience that delves into the history, politics, culture, traditional and contemporary art and textiles, high end shops, and graffiti and street art of this often overlooked city.

Accommodations: The Residence, 2 nights

Day 3:

Fly to the Kruger Area: The Safari Begins

Members of a pride of Lions seen on a safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Fly to the Greater Kruger National Park, home to several private reserves, luxurious lodges, and some of the world’s premier safari game viewing. With over 2 million hectares of pristine wilderness, the Kruger’s biodiversity sustains numerous species of game and birds. This is the real Africa, away from the hectic pace of life and home one of the world’s best concentrations of wildlife. Your destination is the Makalali Private Game Reserve. From the classic big game such as lions, to the nervously twitching herd of impala after a night of predator action, to the wild dog cavorting in a pack along a dusty tack, or a herd of elephants who appear out of the bush and then silently vanish back into the landscape, this safari destination has it all.

Accommodations: Garonga Safari Lodge, 3 nights

Garonga Safari Lodge is an exclusive camp ideally positioned in the greater Makalali Conservancy, west of the Kruger National Park. Garonga’s philosophy is to offer a distinct, relaxing and holistic wilderness experience allowing you the time to reflect and find inspiration in nature.

The camp reflects the surroundings of the bush's textured earthy colors and clean lines have been incorporated with fine linen to ensure pure comfort. This is truly a "Safari for the Soul". Located on a private nature reserve that boasts the Big 5 and guests are encouraged to take part in the insightful morning and afternoon game drives - the heart of the Garonga experience. You may also try your hand at a host of other activities on offer, or you can do simply nothing at all, lazing in the hammock with a good book while watching the wildlife, or taking a dip in the pool.

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 4:

A full day on Safari

Enjoy your first full day on safari at a private reserve. Head out for your morning game drive as you watch the sun rise and the African bush come to life. The early morning hours are a prime time to spot wildlife, listen to bird calls, and connect with wild nature.

Spend a leisurely afternoon back at camp, relaxing or enjoying your lodge’s amenities, then you’re off for another exciting game drive, led by your expert ranger and tracker.

Accommodations: Garonga Safari Lodge, 3 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 5:

The Safari Continues

Explore the bush and enjoy the offerings at your luxury lodge. You will always have the option of two game drives a day, and in the afternoon you may choose to go for a guided walk with an armed ranger, take a dip in the pool, treat yourself to an in-suite massage, or simply partake in an “armchair safari” from your private deck.

There is much more on offer here than the wildlife: delight in safari dining that pairs perfectly with nature’s beauty. Exceptional South African wines and several cuisine choices can be enjoyed in a variety of locations, like an intimate private setting lit by lanterns in the bush, or a festive meal around the fire and stories of a traditional Boma.

Accommodations: Garonga Safari Lodge, 3 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 6:

The Safari Continues: Travel to Sabi Sands

Take one last early morning game drive and enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your lodge, then your private driver will be waiting to transfer you south to the renowned Sabi Sands to continue your safari adventure. Passing through local villages set against a stunning mountainous backdrop, this drive is an experience in itself.

Perhaps the best-known of the Kruger area reserves, Sabi Sands is deserving of its many accolades. As it is one of the oldest privately protected pieces of land, the wildlife here has truly had the opportunity to flourish. Most noted for its abundance of leopard sightings, it is home to an incredible variety of animals. Settle into your lodge and get ready for an afternoon drive. A safari in two locations gives you a real diversity of landscape and wildlife – a whole new set of sightings and interactions awaits.

Accommodations: Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, 3 nights

Deep in the bushveld overlooking a waterhole and an open plain, lies a lodge that pulses to the rhythm of Africa’s heartbeat. This is Bush Lodge, steeped in tradition, vibrant and warm, with a history spanning over 40 years, the lodge has earned a reputation of a “luxury home in the bush”, service excellence and effortless personal attention. The traditional safari style showcases a vibrant and eclectic mix of furnishings and décor garnered from all corners of the African continent. Bush Lodge has been sensitively designed to allow ample space to relax, unwind and savor the tranquility of the bush. The two swimming pools and large covered viewing decks overhanging the Msuthlu riverbed are an invitation to cool off in the filtered water or sit in comfort while spotting game at the well-utilized waterhole. An exquisitely furnished lounge, atrium and intimate bar area are perfect meeting places for friends old and new. As an extra indulgence, the Amani spa at Bush Lodge offers the ultimate African Spa experience.

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 7:

Safari in Sabi Sands

Revel in your front row seat to what is sure to be an abundance of exceptional wildlife encounters, as you set out on a series of expertly-guided morning and afternoon game drives. Leopards are the star sightings of this area, which is also home to the remainder of Africa’s Big 5 and a huge host of other wildlife, big and small. The bushveld, forests and rivers of this region are a completely different atmosphere from the Makalali Reserve, allowing for a whole new safari experience.

Accommodations: Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, 3 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 8:

A Final Day on Safari

A family of elephants in Tarangire National park, Tanzania

Hop aboard your safari vehicle and set out on another captivating game drive with your knowledgeable ranger and tracker. During the morning hours, many animals are waking and the bush comes alive with the start of the day. These magical morning hours provide outstanding game viewing and photography opportunities. Typically departing close to the crack of dawn, you will be up before the sun for the best chance at the most active wildlife.

As the day heats up, an afternoon at your luxury lodge is the stuff of safari dreams as you relax and enjoy the surrounding bush.

Accommodations: Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, 3 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 9:

Farewell Africa

Maasai Giraffes (giraffa tippelskirchi) and an Acacia tree on the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

Enjoy a final morning out in the wilderness and breakfast at your lodge before flying back to Johannesburg, where you can connect with your international flight home or continue your onward journey. If you have a long layover, we are happy to arrange additional touring in the city, or a day room to relax before your flight.

More Photos From This Trip

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Choose from a selection of carefully curated luxury safari lodges to ensure this trip fits your exact travel style.

  • Bring the whole family and explore our portfolio of exclusive use safari lodges for the ideal private getaway.

  • Add a night or two in cosmopolitan Cape Town. Known for beautiful beaches and gardens, rugged Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, fine dining and art, this city has it all.

  • Include some downtime for rest and relaxation! Some free time to unwind or have a massage will allow you to feel refreshed and ready for the remainder of your trip. Many of our properties include excellent spas or wellness centers. We can help arrange these services or include properties that offer health & wellness amenities.

  • Extend your trip and visit the mighty Victoria Falls in Zambia or Zimbabwe.

  • Spend some relaxing downtime on the pristine white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean in neighboring Mozambique or Mauritius.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1 (844) 881-1305

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Why Travel with Vaya?

We're TRUE specialists

We’ve not only traveled there, we’ve lived there. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former expatriates with years of experience in the region.

Uplifting service

From the first phone call to after you get back, we're here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.

Thoughtful travel

Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.