BIG FIVE ADVENTURE
Best for: A first-time safari
DURATION: 10 days ROUTE: Cape Town • Winelands • Greater Kruger WHEN TO GO? Any time – but for dry weather and moderate temperatures, May and September–october are best
The Big Five aren’t the be all and end all. Africa has other large, charismatic creatures that are just as interesting – giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas and gorillas, for example. But seeking out the animals that topped the danger lists of big game hunters (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo) will get your first safari off to a flying start.
South Africa offers lots of options for both independent and organised safaris, from budget to blowout, with good accommodation, roads and flights, well-managed reserves, and fabulous food and wine.
First, treat yourself to a few days in Cape Town and the Winelands, sinking your teeth into the sophisticated farm-tofork food scene, basking in the glow of some contemporary art or warming up your wildlifewatching skills in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and at the African penguin colony on Boulders Beach.
Next, fly or drive to Kruger for a classic safari in one of Africa’s prime wildlife-watching regions. Whether you stay in a simple lodge in Kruger National Park or an exclusive camp in the adjoining Sabi Sands Reserve, unforgettable sightings are practically guaranteed. Some visitors tick off the entire Big Five in their first afternoon.