Since the end of apartheid, South Africa has prided itself on its diversity.

From the rugged Drakensberg mountains, to the vineyards of the Cape, to old-growth forests and beautiful beaches, South Africa’s landscape is ever-changing but always spectacular. Experience wildlife at its most varied in the Featherbed Private Nature Reserve and the world’s first free-roaming private sancturary, Monkeyland. Relax in beautiful and sophisticated Cape Town. And in Johannesburg, take the time to learn about the history of apartheid and pay respect to the brave men and women who fought for freedom and racial equality. You’ll appreciate all the more how far this remarkable country has come in the past twenty-five years.

South Africa Tours

Hand crafted tours for Mature World Travellers

1 Total
Southern Africa Mature travelers affordable escorted small group tours

19 days

Apr, Aug

Southern Africa Tour | Fully Escorted Africa Tour for Seniors

Visiting Botswana, South Africa

Experience as a small group tour for couples and solo travellers, the beautiful landscapes of the Garden route and the unique wildlife at places such as Kruger National Park, Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Chobe Game Reserve. During the program participants will have the opportunity to learn about the culture, the politics and the social issues facing South African people in Soweto and more. How the natural resource managers are caring for their wildlife reserves in the face of land enclosure, climate change and poaching.

From A$10,995 AUD

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Articles about South Africa

Garden Route - South Africa

A history of South Africa for senior travellers

Escorted small group tour of South Africa provides a platform for the senior traveller interested in continuing to learn, whether as a couple or solo traveller about this fascinating country full of history and incredible people and amazing wildlife and stunning scenery. This article provides the background information for senior and mature travellers to begin their small group tour to South Africa.

21 May 20 · 29 mins read
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Southern Africa Mature travelers affordable escorted small group tours

Exploring Southern Africa: The Definitive Guide for Travellers

Exploring Southern Africa Southern Africa, a subregion of the African continent, is composed of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. (The United Nations geographic region of Southern Africa, on…

3 Jan 19 · 12 mins read
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Nelson Mandela Pl. Glasgow

Glasgow; Nelson Mandela Place

How Glasgow stood with the South African Leader Against Apartheid as part of learning about Scotland before joining a small group tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers.

12 Jun 19 · 6 mins read
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Giraffe among savanna in Africa -

Small group tour of a game reserve.

A small group escorted tour of Southern Africa will send visitors away from a safari with wonderful photographs and amazing experiences of wildlife, birds and truly magnificent scenery as the backdrop for stories on any of the South Africa modern "5" to see on a small group journey into the wildlife reserve.

28 May 20 · 5 mins read
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Garden Route - South Africa

South Africa's garden route.

The Garden Route leaves the rich farmland and passes through the Karoo National Park which is a wildlife reserve of semi-desert area covering 750 square kilometres. Bushbuck and Blue Duikers are common in the forested areas, and Common Eland can be seen on the slopes up from the road.

28 May 20 · 6 mins read
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Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa

Soweto for the senior traveler

Soweto a must see for visitors interested in the history of South Africa. An Odyssey Traveller small group package vacation, escorted tour visits Soweto with a local guide who can share the stories of this historic place for mature and senior travellers couples and solo travellers.

27 Jun 20 · 4 mins read
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Touring South Africa

The need to know

Getting around

Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. South Africa has a well-developed bus network and a good road system, so getting around in South Africa is fairly easy. However, the passenger trains in South Africa are relatively slow, so perhaps avoid relying on them as a transport option.

Accommodation

In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our long stay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.

Tour guides

Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Geography, Environment & Weather

South Africa sits at the southern end of the continent of Africa and covers 1,220,813 square kilometres. South Africa has more than 290 conservation parks, and is home to nearly 300 mammal species, 860 bird species and 8,000 plant species. Physical features vary across the country, from the deserts in the west, to the highveld in the centre, and the coastal plain of the north east.

Much of the country is semi-arid and dry. While temperatures can drop below freezing in areas of high altitude, most of the country only experiences mild cool temperatures in the winter months. Temperatures can be quite high during the summer, so be sure to prepare accordingly.

World Heritage sites

South Africa has 10 listed UNESCO World Heritage sites. You can view the official list here: https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/za. Some notable sites include:

  • Robben Island, the former maximum security prison of political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela
  • iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which is made up of around 3,280 square kilometres and home to a diverse array of South African wildlife
  • Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains, which comprise 40% of the Baberton Greenstone Belt, one of the world’s oldest geological structures.

Festivals and Events

South Africa holds numerous colourful festivals and events throughout the year. The Klein Karoo National Arts Festival brings together 100,00 art lovers for a week of dancing, music, cabaret, poetry and films, and features over 200 shows across 8 days. The Cape Town Minstrels Carnival is Cape Town’s showpiece celebration for the New Year, with numerous costumed parades and competitions taking place across the city. The Joy of Jazz festival in Johannesburg is one the biggest jazz festivals in the country, and is not to be missed by any music lovers.

Reading lists

  • Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela
  • A History of South Africa, by Leonard Thompson
  • Jock of the Bushveld, by Percy Fitzpatrick
  • South Africa, by Derryn Campbell

Eating and Drinking

Meat is an important part of the South African diet, with notable dishes including Boerewors (thick beef sausages), biltong (dried and spiced meat), and potjiekos (a stew made out of meat and mixed vegetables). One of South Africa’s most notable social traditions is to gather round for a braai, or barbecued meat. A communal way of having food, braai simply involves cooking meat on an open grill and sharing food with friends and family. South Africa’s multicultural influences shines through in dishes such as Cape Malay curry, and Bunny chow. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, try a malva pudding or a milk tart. Beer is the ocuntry’s unofficial national drink, while many fine wines are produced in the country. For something non-alcoholic, why not try rooibos (redbush tea) or mageu.

Health and Safety

In regional rural areas travel remains a positive experience for the tourist.

As of writing, smartraveller.gov.au advises a high degree of caution when travelling to South Africa particularly in the major metros. Crime is a significant problem in Urban South Africa, so pay attention to your personal security at all times.

Electrical supply

Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. The standard voltage in South Africa is 230V, while the standard frequency is 50 Hz. South Africa uses the Type M electric plug, which has 3 pins in a T-shape. Be sure to have the right adapter with you before you travel.

Tour Reviews

Exceeded Expectations

Participant -16

Southern Africa Tour | Fully Escorted Africa Tour for Seniors

THE TRIP WAS FANTASTIC.

BARRIE ASHTON

Southern Africa Tour | Fully Escorted Africa Tour for Seniors

The drumming experience and the cultural food at the Gold restaurant in Cape Town was fantastic

Participant -17

Southern Africa Tour | Fully Escorted Africa Tour for Seniors

The Victoria Falls were an outstanding treat.

Participant -16

Southern Africa Tour | Fully Escorted Africa Tour for Seniors

Without exception the hotels were of high standard. They were comfortable and clean and had plenty of hot water. Any problem that I had, such as not having the right electrical adapter, was solved quickly and pleasantly.

Participant -17

Southern Africa Tour | Fully Escorted Africa Tour for Seniors

All the guides were good, but I thought Daryl in Pretoria and Johannesburg was excellent. His knowledge of South African history and his passion for his country was impressive. He took us to see places that were important in that history. He does tend to talk too much and run out of time, but he was always worth listening to.

Participant -17

Southern Africa Tour | Fully Escorted Africa Tour for Seniors

FAQs

What is the time zone for South Africa?

South Africa has a single time zone, South Africa Standard Time (UTC+2). South Africa does not observe Daylight Savings.

Is tipping customary?

If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you make sure you tip an appropriate amount for services. Tipping is generally practiced in the restaurants of larger cities, and is customarily done at 10% of the total bill. Hotel staff, tour guides, and coach drivers may also accept tips, as might car park and petrol station attendants.

What is internet access like?

Wifi access is available in most hotels, hostels, cafes and restaurants in major cities. However, internet coverage may be somewhat patchy out in rural or remote areas.

Can I use my mobile phone in South Africa?

Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in South Africa. Many providers will offer a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.

What are South Africa tours?

During Odyssey’s fully escorted small group tour to Southern Africa, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the unique wildlife, the culture, the politics and the social issues facing South African people. How the natural resource managers are caring for their wildlife reserves in the face of land enclosure, climate change and poaching.

Why choose tours for South Africa?

Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across Southern Africa and beyond. We explore Africa’s natural beauty, its heritage, its World Heritage Sites, and famous cities, all with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of South Africa, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people

Where should i go on your South Africa trip?

Odyssey’s tour begins in Cape Point and weave across southern Africa to visit Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia, ride through Chobe National Park in Botswana, and end in Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest urban area and its centre of commerce. In this city, travellers will have the option to extend their holiday to Namibia and Madagascar, also with Odyssey Traveller.

What should I pack for a trip to South Africa?

Many travellers ask us how best to prepare for their Odyssey Traveller programs, seeking out advice on clothing, medication, insurance, among other concerns when travelling overseas. This article shares some of what we have learned from years of accumulated experience in leading small group tours to assist you when travelling overseas what to pack.

How much do South Africa tours cost?

Odyssey’s small escorted tour itinerary to Southern Africa, with prices in your selected currency, can be found here.

What are some interesting things to do on a trip to South Africa?

Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across Southern Africa and beyond. We explore Africa’s natural beauty, its heritage, its World Heritage Sites, and famous cities, all with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of South Africa, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people.

How many days do you need to spend in South Africa?

Odyssey offers a 19-day tour to Southern Africa with a 10-day extension to Namibia. These tours includes all the highlights of southern Africa, including Cape Town, the Namib Desert, Victoria Falls, Kruger National Park, Johannesburg, Chobe National Park and many more “must visit” places and experiences.

When is the best time to visit South Africa?

The best time to visit South Africa to go on safari is the dry season, from May to October. The grass is low, visibility is better and the dry conditions mean you’ll find more wildlife congregating around the watering holes.

What are some common dishes to try in South Africa?

Due in part to its history of settlement and colonization as well as its location on the coast, South-African cuisine has many influences including Dutch, French, Malaysian, and indigenous cultures.

Probably the two most-loved South-African foods are Biltong (dried, cured, and spiced meat and Boerewors (type of sausage made from beef mince, coriander, cloves, and nutmeg, and has a very distinct taste).

What tours in South Africa are taking additional safety precautions?

The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.

Do you need a visa to enter South Africa?

Unless you come from a visa-exempt country, it is necessary to present a visa. Read more here.

Responsible travel tips for South Africa

  • Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although many locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
  • Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  • Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  • When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Museums and galleries are often closed on Mondays. Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Consider contacting your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of South African Rand in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.
  • Respect the local people and the wildlife! Be considerate and ask local people if they are OK with having their photos taken, be polite and courteous.

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