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  • South Africa
  • Best of South Africa

Best of South Africa

13 Day Escorted Tour

South Africa, Africa
Intermediate Pace

This tour offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Big Five on safari at the famous Kruger National Park, soak up the unforgettable scenery along Chapman's Peak Drive, explore cosmopolitan Cape Town and discover the beautiful Winelands region.

2022 Dossier

2023 Dossier

Tour Highlights

  • Drive to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point
  • Explore the Wineland towns of Stellenbosch & Franschhoek
  • Tour of Knysna Featherbed Nature Reserve
  • A full day game drive in Kruger National Park
  • Free time in the port city of Cape Town
Number of nights


Day 1
UK to Cape Town

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight via Johannesburg to Cape Town.

Day 2
Cape Town


On arrival the following day, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 3
Cape Town


Embark on a fantastic full day tour around the Cape Peninsula. Joining one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world - Chapman's Peak Drive - travel to the World Heritage Site of The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and then on to Cape Point where the mighty Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. You will also visit the beautiful marine protected area of Boulders Beach where the sandy shores are home to a breeding colony of over 2,000 endangered penguins.

Day 4
Cape Town


This morning enjoy a city tour of Cape Town. This city is a rare cultural gem, resulting from the amalgamation of different nationalities and indigenous tribes which will be explored during the tour. Enjoy an afternoon of leisure, take an optional excursion (payable locally) including a breathtaking helicopter ride over Cape Town and Table Mountain or take the cable car ride to the top of Table mountain, the flattopped monolith that dominates the city's skyline commanding stunning views. Alternatively for a more relaxing experience, visit the West Coast Ostrich Farm on a half day tour.

Day 5
Cape Town to The Cape Winelands

Breakfast & Dinner

Today, tour the breathtakingly beautiful Cape Winelands, first stopping at the town of Franschoek, then onto Stellenbosch. Take some time to explore these delightful towns before enjoying a cellar tour and wine tasting at the award-winning Boschendal Estate.

Day 6
The Cape Winelands to Knysna

Breakfast & Dinner

Take a scenic drive into the heart of the gorgeous Garden Route and into the picturesque coastal town of Knysna. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

Day 7

Breakfast & Lunch

This morning, take a ferry across Knysna lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. Stopping at some magnificent viewpoints, your guide will describe the area's fauna, flora, history and shipwrecks followed by a leisurely-guided walk around the area.

Day 8
Knysna to Port Elizabeth


Depart for Tsitsikamma, a section of the Garden Route famed for luscious forests and dramatic coastlines. Visit a Protea Farm to see South Africa's national flower, before travelling onward to Port Elizabeth, a city known for its laid-back coastal ambience and bold colonial architecture.

Day 9
Port Elizabeth to Kruger

Breakfast & Dinner

Fly from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, where you will be transferred to the town of Mpumalanga. Your retreat within this idyllic space will serve as the perfect base from which to explore Kruger National Park.

Day 10
Kruger National Park


Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the tour; a guided safari drive in Kruger National Park. One of the biggest, oldest and quite simply one of the best wildlife parks in the world, Kruger boasts the greatest variety of animals including the famed Big Five.

Day 11


Today is at leisure alternatively, or alternately take part in one of our optional excursions (at a fee) including a second 4x4 experience into Kruger.

Day 12
Kruger to Johannesburg


Today, travel along the magnificent Panorama Route, one of South Africa's most stunning scenic drives. With awe-inspiring vistas, the route follows the impressive Blyde River Canyon, before arriving in the city of Johannesburg.

Day 13
Johannesburg to UK


Enjoy a short sightseeing tour of the city, with a stop at the Apartheid Museum for a fascinating insight into South Africa's cultural struggles. Later in the afternoon, head to the airport for your scheduled flight back to the UK. If you have booked the Victoria falls extension, then you will fly today and take the city tour at the end of your extension.

View Full Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Price (per person)
Dates available
January 2023
from £2,399
1 Date
10th Jan - 22nd Jan
February 2023
from £2,299
1 Date
14th Feb - 26th Feb
March 2023
from £1,999
1 Date
14th Mar - 26th Mar
April 2023
from £2,099
1 Date
25th Apr - 7th May
May 2023
from £2,349
1 Date
9th May - 21st May
June 2023
from £3,199
1 Date
6th Jun - 18th Jun
July 2023
from £2,299
1 Date
4th Jul - 16th Jul
August 2023
from £2,379
1 Date
8th Aug - 20th Aug
September 2023
from £2,399
1 Date
12th Sep - 24th Sep
October 2023
from £2,399
2 Dates
3rd Oct - 15th Oct
31st Oct - 12th Nov
November 2023
from £2,499
1 Date
28th Nov - 10th Dec


The hotels listed below are provided for guidance only and final confirmation of your accommodation will be sent to you approximately 90 days before you travel
Inn on the Square Hotel
4 nights
Cape Town, South Africa
More details
The Rex Hotel
2 nights
Knysna, South Africa
More details
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Tour Reviews

Marilyn Collins

03 Mar 20

Cape Town hotel needed some refurbishment but excellent service and food. Knysna - excellent in all respects. Port Elizabeth - very good Hazy View - lovely location and gardens. Rooms were rather basic. Food and service very poor. A superb programme with generally good accommodation and an excellent itinerary managed by a very experienced and effective tour guide. This was our first tour as we are usually independent travellers and were somewhat apprehensive. The quality of our experience means that we will certainly book a further tour with Mercury.

M Lewis

18 Sep 19

Our tour guide Mark was outstanding. His knowledge and passion for South Africa made this trip for us, his attention to detail and care of us was second to home. If you could guarantee a Mark Bayman on every tour. Thank you.

K Holland

06 Mar 19

The SA Garden Route was very good and our tour guide Danny was outstanding. The tour extension to Mauritius and the Jalsa Beach was exceptional in all aspects.

G Wilson

29 Nov 18

Guides were excellent both Danny in Cape Region and Tash in Johannasburg. Their local knowledge was superb and they both ensured that tourists had the best possible experience.

Extend Your Tour

Best of South Africa with Victoria Falls Extension

4 Day Extension



Important Information

British passport holders are not currently required to obtain a visa in order to travel to South Africa. This will be granted on arrival. Further visa advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you to check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding required passport validity.

For clients travelling to South Africa with children under the age of 18: Children travelling with both biological parents must travel with:

  • Valid passport of travelling parent and child
  • Visa, if required
  • Birth certificate listing both parents (note: these must be the original documents, or certified copies of the originals)

A child travelling with just one of the parents listed on his or her birth certificate must also present:

  • Parental consent affidavit not older than 4 months or
  • Letter of special circumstances issued by director-general of home affairs in the event that a parent or parents are incapacitated or deceased and no legal guardian has been appointed as yet.

For full details of requirements for travel to South Africa, please visit dha.gov.za

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Your international flights will be with British Airways. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage and hand luggage that you are permitted to carry one item of hand baggage (Max 8kg - 56cm/36cm/ 23cm) in addition to one small personal item on-board the aircraft. Weight restrictions will be finalized on your final documents. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure. IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. A printed E-ticket is no longer required at check-in, all you need to do is present your passport to the staff at the desk and your boarding pass will be given to you.

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 35. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of the tour, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). It is important that you budget carefully and ensure you have the right form of currency before you arrive in the country. Cash machines will also be available throughout the tour in order to withdraw money in your local currency. In Zimbabwe, multiple currencies are no longer accepted and cash is not available at banks. Therefore we recommend that you take cash in USD, as usual, as this is accepted in hotels and restaurants. Visas and national park fees are payable in USD. Visa and Mastercard use should be restricted to hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. Our local agent discourages the purchase of local currency due to the difficulties with foreign exchange generally, but the local guides will be able to advise you if you do require it.

You will need to take money with you to cover any personal purchases such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £300 - £400 will be sufficient for the durations of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!