I have spoken to many people who have been to South Africa. They all have one thing in common: they say that South Africa is not a place you visit – it’s a country you fall in love with. The history and heritage, the beauty and wildlife left an indelible mark upon them; precious memories that never left them.
In my opinion, everyone with a passion for travel should visit South Africa – and autumn is one of the best times to go. Here are five reasons why there is no time like the present to make your travel dreams come true…
1. The exchange rate in South Africa
Visiting the Rainbow Nation is not a massive financial undertaking. It’s a sound travel investment. It’s all in the maths. At time of writing, you can get 19.11 rand to a pound. Rough price guide: A meal for two at a quality restaurant can be between 250–400 rand (£13–20). A bottle of mid-range wine is approximately 47 rand (£2.46).
These attractive exchange rates are the perfect incentive to discover multi-faceted Cape Town. It’s one of the world’s greatest metropolitan experiences, a memorable city-beach destination – whether you’re dining on Victoria and Albert Waterfront, taking snaps of colourful Bo Kaap, sipping cocktails in Camps Bay or riding the cable car to the top of Table Mountain. Cape Town, unlike many, many world cities, is relatively inexpensive.
Sampling the world-class food and drink of the Cape Winelands is also an affordable option – enjoying outdoor eating at its best, relaxing with a full-bodied Riesling among the rolling landscape and rich vineyards of this intoxicating region. All this, and barely a murmur of discontent from your bank balance.
2. The ideal wildlife-spotting season
Our late summer is South Africa’s ascent to springtime. Swap our declining sunny days for their ascending rays of sunshine. Plus, as temperatures rise in South Africa and the rains decrease, water levels fall, while the opportunity to spot the wildlife gathering around watering holes steadily increases. It’s a nature-lovers dream holiday season.
We suggest you spot the Big Five in Kruger National Park – one of the greatest wildlife reserves in the world is waiting for you – so too is the resplendent elephant, the imperious lion, the lean leopard, retiring rhinos and mud-loving buffalos. Combine Kruger with the Lion Sands Game Reserve and stay in/on one of their luxury treehouses for an out of this world African experience.
3. Observe the circle of life
‘Hope springs eternal’, they say, and particularly during the South African springtime (our autumn) when those baby animals take their first faltering steps into the wide and wild South African landscape. Travel during the half-term holidays for a magical family safari holiday and form a natural understanding and appreciation for the natural world upon young, impressionable minds.
Choose a malaria-free safari in the Eastern Cape as the perfect opportunity for you and your loved ones to witness the wild, to take education out of the classroom and to set it right before their eyes.
4. Whales in the wild
This is a peak time to see whales as they migrate from their breeding grounds off Mozambique to the fertile waters of Antarctica. If your dream wish has always been to watch southern right and humpback whales cavorting, breaching, twisting and tail-throwing, travel to South Africa during our autumn (their spring) to fulfil your ambition.
Self drive from Cape Town to Hermanus along the Garden Route and spot these magnificent creatures of the deep perform one of the greatest wildlife shows on Earth.
5. Where is everybody?
Our autumn is the period before visitor numbers to South Africa begin to rise, so yours maybe the only 4X4 vehicle as far as the eye can see. Be entranced, not only by the landscape, but also by the splendid isolation and exceptional service offered by your safari lodge, created for your pleasure like a scene from Hollywood movie.
Cape Town inspiration
For more exciting destination ideas, browse these Cape Town pages and start planning your next adventure.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
Sign up to our newsletter
Receive the latest travel inspiration and destination news.
How we tailor make your holiday
The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.