While known for its safaris and exotic wildlife, the members of The United States Tour Operators (USTOA) are encouraging travelers to explore six additional reasons to travel to the fascinating destination of South Africa. Africa’s southernmost country offers holidaymakers a diverse selection of experiences within a close proximity, stunning natural beauty, a temperate year-round climate, welcoming local people, a strong current economic value for American tourists, and an unexpected culinary and wine scene.
Following is a sample of itineraries from USTOA tour operator members to inspire a South African vacation now. For more USTOA member packaged travel itineraries to South Africa, or search South Africa in the “Find Your Dream Vacation” section of the USTOA homepage.
- CroisiEurope America’s new ship, African Dream, will be inaugurated December 2017 and will offer a nine-day journey on its Southern Africa: Travel to the Ends of the Earth itinerary. The land, cruise and safari trip will feature land and water safaris, and the opportunity to hear a local storyteller as they entrance guests with the legends of the region. Travelers also will enjoy a traditional dinner under the African skies on Impalila Island. This trip starts at $6,319 per person and is available in December 2017 and various dates throughout 2018.
- Inspiration awaits guests on African Travel Inc.’s In the Footsteps of Mandela itinerary. The eight-day journey through the vibrant “Rainbow Nation” takes travelers through the history of Nelson Mandela’s South Africa with a collection of moving encounters with the people and places he touched. While exploring Nelson Mandela’s legacy, guests also will see the award-winning museum at Liliesleaf, once a secret nerve center of the liberation movement, along with the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. The trip will end with a safari in Kruger Private Reserve. This itinerary is available from $3,095 per person with departure dates throughout 2017.
- Worldwide Traveler is taking guests on a culinary trip through South Africa on its Wine and Dine in South Africa itinerary. Foodies will enjoy a Cape Malay Cooking Safari before heading to the Winelands Region where they will taste wine from local farms Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Guests also will take a Franschhoek Wine Tram Tour and includes visits to Table Mountain, Robben Island and Kruger National Park. The 13-day adventure is available through December 31, 2017, this culinary trip starts at $1,419 per person land only.
- Swim with great white sharks off the South African coast for a bucket list worthy experience during Great Value Vacations’ Coastal Adventure: Shark Cage Diving & Safari. Offering a wide variety of excursions during the 12-night itinerary, guests will visit wineries, stroll through the streets of Cape Town, whale watch and do a shark cage diving tour and safari. This mix of South Africa’s best land and sea activities is available from $3,963 per person for various departure dates throughout 2017.
- Cox & Kings, The Americas offers guests a chance to experience the luxurious side of South Africa on its Southern Africa: Winelands, Safari & Falls private journey. Explore Cape Town, set between two oceans and stunning mountains, before setting out on a game drive in Kruger National Park. Guests also will enjoy a private tour of Victoria Falls and a thrilling helicopter flight along the Zambezi River and over the cascades. Guests can save $1,000 per couple on this itinerary for bookings made September 1 – 30, 2017 with travel completed by March 31, 2018. Prices from $7,345 per couple land only.
- Travelers can soak in the natural beauty of South Africa’s most iconic sites during Ritz Tours’ South Africa Highlights & Safari Experience. Guests will enjoy the splendor of Table Mountain, panoramic views of Cape Town and the country’s dramatic coastline. A trip to the Entabeni Private Nature Reserve will showcase the conservatory’s multitude of landscapes including grassy plains, wetlands and ravines. The trip will conclude with a trip to Johannesburg to learn about the city’s history at sites like the Apartheid Museum or Constitution Hill and the Old Fort Prison Complex. This nine-day trip starts at $1,900 per person and is available on departure dates through the end of 2017.