We are open tomorrow from 10:00 am. Call 020 7590 0797
Lions, Kruger

South Africa's Game Reserves

World-beating Big-Five safaris

South Africa safari holidays


From headline-grabbing icons to thousands-strong roaming herds of game, South Africa’s endless swathes of protected wilderness promise exceptional wildlife viewing. And, whether you're a first-time visitor hoping to tick off the Big Five or seasoned safari veteran looking to step off the beaten track in search of rare black-maned lions and pangolins, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Our safari specialists have visited all the parks and lodges we recommend, the best of which are listed below. Have browse, then give us a call to start planning your South African safari adventure.

Kruger National Park

This magnificent 20,000 square-kilometre national park and its surrounding private reserves provide some of the continents very best game viewing. Home to 147 species of mammal and more than 500 species of birds, it’s a region that offers unrivalled opportunities to see the Big Five and stays in some of the country’s most luxurious safari lodges. 

The private reserves surrounding Kruger National Park – Sabi Sands, Ngala, Thornybush and Timbavati – are the setting for some of South Africa’s most luxurious safari lodges. They also provide some of the country’s best safari experiences, with classic game drives, walking safaris and even overnight sleep-outs providing opportunities for up-close encounters with lions, leopards, elephants and more.

Game drive from Ivory Lodge, Kruger National Park

Madikwe Game Reserve

Located in South Africa’s Northwest Province, which shares a border with neighbouring Botswana, Madikwe Game Reserve offers malaria-free game viewing and the chance to see rare African wild dog along with elephant, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, springbok, white rhino and more than 300 bird species.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Also malaria-free, the stark landscapes of the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, just north of Swellendam in the Western Cape, have been home to the San tribespeople for centuries. Wildlife here is plentiful and includes the Big Five, but the star attraction has to be its resident pride of white lions.

Eastern Cape Game Reserves

Counting Amakhala, Shamwari, Kwandwe and Kariega in their number, the reserves of the Eastern Cape are among South Africa’s most popular, and with good reason. Here, you can combine malaria-free, Big Five game viewing with luxurious lodge accommodation, all conveniently located at the far eastern end of the Garden Route.

andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve

To the east, in KwaZulu-Natal, the andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is a birder’s paradise, home to an incredible 415 species, while the neighbouring iSimangaliso Wetland Park has fewer crowds and a diversity of habitats that are home to everything from hippo and white rhino to turtles, crocodiles, whales and dolphins.

Tswalu Kalahari

Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, and, with just 30 guests allowed in at any one time, it’s the place to go to escape the crowds.The dramatic desert landscapes provide a genuine wilderness experience. While it’s no Kruger, visitors can still expect to see black-maned Kalahari lions, cheetahs, meerkats, rare pangolins, raptors and desert black rhinos.


Read more

Special offers in South Africa's Game Reserves

The Oyster Box, KwaZulu-Natal

South Africa with Red Carnation Hotels

12-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,045 pp incl. flights


Early booking offer – Save up to £1,385pp
Book by: 31 May 2024

Enjoy nights at three of South Africa's finest hotels as you stay right on Cape Town’s picturesque coast, enjoy a wilderness retreat in the Cederberg Mountains and relax at a beachfront hideaway in Durban.

South Africa safari holiday ideas

Aerial view of Knysna, Garden Route, South Africa

Highlights of South Africa

16-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,005 pp incl. flights

This is the perfect introduction to South Africa. A spectacular drive along the Garden Route will see you link Cape Town’s beachside charms with the country’s finest vineyards before ending with an all-inclusive Big-Five safari.

Pool, Motswari Game Lodge

Classic Cape, Blue Train and Safari

16-day tailor-made holiday from £5,645 pp incl. flights

Follow in the tracks of kings and presidents with a trip aboard the stunning Blue Train, its 19th-century luxuries linking Cape Town with an all-inclusive Big Five safari. Return from expert-led game drives in a private reserve to four poster beds and gourmet meals.

Selati Camp, Sabi Sand

Cape to Kruger by Rovos Rail

14-day tailor-made holiday from £7,825 pp incl. flights

Travel in sheer opulence on the self-styled "Most Luxurious Train in the World" as you swap Cape Town’s beach-framed urban sophistication for a Big-Five safari on an all-inclusive private reserve.

Thornybush Game Reserve, South Africa

Cape, Wine, Garden Route & Kruger‬

13-day tailor-made self-drive & safari from £4,965 pp incl. flights

Take in all of South Africa’s premier destinations on one trip, linking Cape Town with the historic Winelands, ending with an all-inclusive Big Five safari on a private reserve in Kruger National Park.

See all itinerary ideas

Where to stay in South Africa's Game Reserves

Dulini River Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Dulini River Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Contemporary safari lodge

The luxurious safari lodge, Dulini River lodge is located in the western sector of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve under a leafy evergreen thicket, ebony trees and upon the banks of the seasonal Sand River.

andBeyond Kirkman's Kamp, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

Kirkman’s Kamp, Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Historic safari lodge

Boasting a true and authentic feeling of African history, Kirkman's Kamp is located high on a ridge, offering incredible views that span across the Kamp.

Forest Lodge, Phinda

Forest Lodge, Phinda Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

Contemporary safari lodge

Set in a rare and beautiful sand forest, the dense canopy ensures privacy and a calming atmosphere of Zulu Zen. Located between the Mkuze Game Reserve and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, it is home to unique wildlife, over 380 bird species and the marine diversity off the nearby coast is said t…

&Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ngala Tented Camp, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

Traditional tented camp

With the ‘Big Five’ habituating the landscape, this safari lodge is located in the centre of a game rich country. Guests are invited to embark upon exciting game drives in specialised safari vehicles, accompanied by expert rangers to maximise the safari experience.

See all places to stay

Where to go in South Africa's Game Reserves

Eastern Cape Game Reserves

With an outstanding range of private concessions and award-winning private game reserves and lodges offering the opportunity to spot the Big Five, the Eastern Cape game reserves are a major draw for visitors.

Cape Winelands, South Africa, Africa

Western Cape Game Reserves

African wildlife has been successfully reintroduced into the reserves of the Western Cape and they now offer an excellent safari destination, along with the beautiful flora of the Fynbos Floral Kingdom and the Cape Winelands and coastal whale and shark spotting.

Cheetah, Phinda Reserve

Kwazulu-Natal Game Reserves

The reserves of KwaZulu-Natal boast lush green terrain thanks to the area's coastal rainfall pattern. The woods, wetlands and grasslands combine with mountains, rivers, marshes and pans to create a rich environment, abundant with diverse wildlife.

Lion cubs of Kruger National Park

Kruger Game Reserves

The Kruger game reserves offer some of South Africa's most prestigious game viewing, with a host of luxury lodges and plenty of free roaming wildlife - especially Big Five. Ngala Private Game Reserve was the first private reserve to be integrated in the Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand Game Reser…

See all places

South Africa's Game Reserves articles

Best Food and Wine in the World

The best food and wine holidays in the world

From nectorial white wines to ambrosial game meats, we have hand-picked our favourite food and wine holidays around the world, including highlights from South Africa, Chile and France.

Romantic hotels around the world

With love in the air, what better time to take a look at some truly romantic hotels from around the world? Whether you're searching for a romantic escape, honeymoon paradise, once-in-a-lifetime getaway or simply some quality time with that special someone, these properties are guaranteed to impress.

Meet our South Africa's Game Reserves experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0797

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0797 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

Visit us in our London office

Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 50 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation

Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected