We've put together a guidebook with everything you need to know about South Africa. Written by our specialists, it details destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send you a link by email which will allow you to download your own copy.
The Cape – comprising Cape Town and the Winelands – is one of the biggest attractions for visitors to South Africa and has much to offer. Here our South Africa specialist (and former Capetonian) Annie gives her top five experiences for those looking for something new.
One of the best ways to take in the spectacular scenery that South Africa has to offer, rail travel couldn’t be further from a daily commute in the luxurious surroundings of Rovos Rail and the Blue Train. Here we give you the lowdown on what to expect and what separates these two outstanding experiences.
One of our South Africa specialists, Jen, recently saddled up for an exciting riding safari taking part in game census week at Ant’s Hill in the malaria-free Waterberg region of South Africa. Read on for more about Jen’s experience and all you need to know about exploring South Africa on horseback…
From the premier game viewing of the Kruger and malaria-free options in Madikwe and the Eastern Cape, to riding safaris in the Waterberg and getting off-the beaten-track in the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve – there is truly something for everyone. Here we give our lowdown on all that South Africa has to offer safari-wise – now all you have to do is decide which one(s) will suit you best!
South Africa and Mauritius couple superbly for a safari and beach holiday or honeymoon. Whilst South Africa offers both world class safari and cosmopolitanism, Mauritius encapsulates the very essence of laid-back island life. Start your adventure on the plains of one of South Africa’s many game rich national parks, spending your days on safari, tracking the Big Five and sipping on sundowners, before exploring the country’s vibrant cities or impressive coastal routes. A short flight to Mauritius takes you to another world of sugar white beaches, kaleidoscopic reefs and a verdant green mountainscapes. There, you can choose to do as little or as much as you like, whether it be soaking up the island’s unique Creole culture or whiling away lazy days under the shade of a leafy palm. The ultimate safari and beach combination for a year-round adventure.
This off-the-beaten-track itinerary is perfect for those searching for an authentic, scenic and cultural adventure as well as some independence that only a self-drive holiday can offer. Explore the historic KwaZulu-Natal for a truly unique experience of South Africa.
Self-driving in South Africa is how a number of people decide to travel as it tends to prove a more adventurous and affordable option, as well as giving you the freedom to explore. Self-driving is a hugely rewarding way to travel and appreciate the always stunning and ever-changing scenery. Here we give you our tips for taking to the open road.
Contemporary Cape Town hotels, beautiful Cape Dutch wine estates and luxurious private game lodges, all combine to make South Africa the perfect honeymoon destination. Here we give our top ideas for making South Africa the perfect honeymoon destination for you.
The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s premier wildlife destination and is one of the biggest attractions in this diverse country. Those wanting a luxury safari experience away from the crowds tend to favour the private concessions and here we give our guide to these.
Known as the Mother City, Cape Town has it all – history, culture, gastronomy and breath-taking scenery. Here we give you the low-down on our top Cape Town experiences and homes-away-from-home…
South Africa is without doubt the most family-friendly country in Africa and offers a wide-range of experiences to suit all ages and interests. From an exciting malaria-free safari to exploring the beautiful Cape to the warm Indian Ocean beaches along the Garden Route, we can help you put together the perfect holiday for your family. Here we give our rundown on our favourite spots for families to get you started.
With beautiful scenery, stunning beaches, outstanding wildlife and a favourable exchange rate, <a style="color: #f2b618;" href="https://www.imaginetravel.com/imagine-africa/holiday-destination/south-africa" target="_blank">South Africa</a> is the perfect setting for an African wedding. Whether for a host of guests or a private affair between just the two of you, here are our Top 3 wedding destinations in South Africa.
We asked Charley Boorman, the charismatic modern-day adventurer, travel writer and motorbike enthusiast about his travels to Africa and particularly South Africa...
Andrew Rattray is one of the leading battlefields guides, having succeeded his father as the guide at Fugitives’ Drift, the lodge his parents began in 1989. His father, David, tragically died in 2007, but was well known for his tours and lectures about Zulu history and culture – a mantle which is now carried by Andrew. We asked him a little about life as a battlefields guide…
After living in beautiful Cape Town, our South Africa specialist Annie was looking for a new experience, and where better to head than KwaZulu Natal. Filled with breath-taking scenery, Zulu culture, history and wildlife – KwaZulu Natal is off-the-beaten-track in South African terms and well worth a visit, particularly for return visitors.
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
Cape Town, South Africa
Best for: Family, Imagine Favourites, Culture History
The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is the grande dame of Cape Town. Standing out thanks to its distinctive pink hue, exceptional service and sumptuous luxury, this Cape Town institution has been one of the best places in town to stay since 1899!
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8870
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is regarded as one of the most exclusive and elegant addresses you could choose to base yourself at in Cape Town. We love the traditional grandeur that it exudes, which rightly earns it its reputation as one of Africa’s top hotels. More akin to an English country house, with the expansive grounds and 198 rooms it is hard to believe that you are in the centre of cosmopolitan Cape Town here.
Set in the heart of Cape Town, pretty much equidistance between the Table Mountain Cableway and Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is only a short distance from Cape Town’s exclusive beaches at Clifton and Camps Bay. The larger size affords the Mount the chance to cater for a variety of clientele from honeymooners to families. With a complimentary shuttle service to the V&A Waterfront, the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is the perfect choice for those wanting the convenience of easy access to Cape Town’s most famous areas, whilst staying in a secluded and private environment – the back entrance of the hotel also opens out onto fashionable Kloof Street.
With 198 rooms and suites there is no denying that Belmond Mount Nelson is one of Cape Town’s larger hotels, but with the dedicated staff providing professionally slick, yet friendly service you could be forgiven for thinking it is a much smaller establishment. There are a variety of room options ranging from superior rooms to suites. A small number of interconnected rooms are available for families, whilst the secluded and private garden cottage suites are our top recommendation for honeymooners. All rooms have televisions with DVD player, iPod dock and WiFi. There are also two swimming pools with the Oasis Pool geared towards families, whilst the Cottage Pool has a more secluded spot and is reserved for over-16s.
One of the most famous features of the Mount Nelson is its afternoon tea which is not to be missed, whilst there are two excellent restaurants – Oasis offers a bistro menu whilst Planet provides a fine dining experience. The Librisa Spa offers rejuvenating treatments and for children there is the Nellie & Nelson Activity Centre offering a whole range of activities for children aged 3 to 12 whilst those aged 12-18 can relax in the Teen’s Lounge home to an Xbox, Nintendo Wii and entertainment system. This is truly a home away from home for all ages.
When to go
Cape Town is a year-round destination, with its driest months running from November through to February where skies are generally clear and the sun is shining, and temperatures range from 15°C to 35°C (59°F to 95°F). The winter months run from May to August, the weather is cooler, at around 7°C to 18°C (45°F to 65°F), with the wettest month being June with around 93mm of rain falling and the odd thunderstorm making an appearance.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8870
Things to do
Bay Harbour Market
Bay Harbour Market is situated on the water’s edge in an old fish factory in Hout Bay Harbour. The market boasts more than 100 stalls selling a huge variety of local produce from arts and crafts to fashion, jewellery and authentic South African food.
Hike up Lion's Head
The 1-2 hour hike up and down Lion's Head in Cape Town is an easy hike for the walking-fit. Day or after-sunset hikes give you fantastic views over Cape Town, Table Mountain, Atlantic and Camps Bay areas.
Quirky Cape Peninsula
Spend the day speeding around the Cape Peninsula in a vintage WWII side-car! Wind your way along the coastal roads towards the Peninsula towns and beaches where shops, restaurants and wildlife await for an unforgettable day.
Horseriding on Noordhoek Beach
For a unique day out in Cape Town, take a horseback ride along the five-mile long, picturesque Noordhoek Beach. Noordhoek is the longest beach in Cape Town and has spectacular views of Table Mountain and the Chapman's Peak.
Active City & Table Mountain
This active tour of Table Mountain and Cape Town is the perfect excursion for those who love to get up and go on an active exploration. From hiking and cycling, to walking around this vibrant city, you're sure to see all it has to offer.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanical gardens of the world, and thought by many to be the most beautiful garden in Africa. Don't miss out on a visit to this magical treasure of Cape Town.
Cape Town Eats Tour
The Cape Town Eats tour is one for the foodies and those wanting to experience the unique flavours of South Africa and the combination of foreign influences on Cape Town's dishes, explaining much of the culture of the rainbow nation.
The Garden at Babylonstoren
Guests are invited to join in the harvesting, pruning, planting or picking of fruit, herbs, nuts, spices and vegetables. Walks span over three kilometres in the garden and the gardeners would love to give you a guided tour every day.
Surf & Peninsula Tour
Spend a morning surfing off Muizenberg Beach in the warmer False Bay waters, followed by an afternoon tour of the beautifully scenic Cape Peninsula where penguins are aplenty and the ocean seems to stretch on forever.
Cape Point & Peninsula Tour
This full day tour will take you around the beautiful scenic attractions of the Cape Peninsula. From the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, crossing over to Hout Bay and along one of the worlds most breathtaking coastal drives this trip is spectacular.
Classic Car Hire in Cape Town
There are a number of classic cars available to hire in Cape Town. What better way to spend the day than heading off to the Winelands for lunch, or cruising along the cape and up over the mountains in Porshe 356 Speedster or Alpha Romeo Spider?!
Harley Davidson in Cape Town
Is there a cooler way to explore the Cape and wider South Africa than hiring a Harley-Davidson and winding your way along the coastal roads or through the mountainous Winelands? Hire a Harley for a day or two and cruise around the cape.
Penguins at Boulders Beach
There are few places on earth where you can enjoy an experience quite like this. Get up close to the breeding colony of penguins at Boulders Beach on False bay and share their stretch of sand, or even paddle into the sea to swim with them.
Whale Watching Tour
June and November is prime-time whale watching season, these incredible animals migrate to the Western Cape to calve their young. A boat tour is the best way to get up close to these massive mammals as they breach the water.
Cable car trip to the peak of Table Mountain
Table Mountain, at 1086 metres above sea level, forms the impressive backdrop to Cape Town. An impressive natural landmark with a 3km flat plateau at the summit, a cable car trip to the top is the best way to experience its breathtaking views.
Dine at The Kitima Hotel Restuarant
Visit the Kitima Hotel in Hout Bay for its superb Asian cuisine, prepared by experienced Thai chefs in a great atmosphere. We recommend you try their superb sushi.
Great White Shark Diving
Great white shark cage diving is an experience like no other. To get up close to the ocean's number one predator in its natural environment is a humbling experience you will never forget.
Uthando Community Projects Tour
Uthando South Africa is an award winning charity in Cape Town that aims to support a range of community projects from art in schools, dancing and music lessons, animal clinics and a space for the older generation to get together for group projects.
Seal Island is a small island a short boat ride from Hout Bay that is completely inhabited by seals. The island has become a breeding colony for around 60,000 blubbering Cape Fur Seals clumsily bounding around on a rock around 6km out to sea.
Hike or Climb Table Mountain
Why not do something a bit different during your stay in Cape Town, get outdoors and experience some of the best climbing and hiking in the world? Take a hike or rock climbing trip up Table Mountain whilst taking in the breathtaking views all around you.
Robben Island Tour
A short ferry ride from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is the infamous Robben Island, a cultural must-do when staying in Cape Town, this trip gives an insight into South Africa's difficult history, as well as brilliant views across Cape Towns harbour.
Wine Tasting along the Constantia Wine Route
South Africa is well known for its exquisite Winelands and Constantia was one of the first wine-producing areas in the western cape, dating back to the 1600s, spend a day visiting the areas famous vineyards as you take in the beautiful scenery.
Dine at the Test Kitchen
Frequently hailed as one of the best restaurants in South Africa, The Test Kitchen is an award winning restaurant that combines high quality ingredients with a creative flair which means it is often fully booked weeks in advance.