All main centres in South Africa and many smaller destinations are accessible by air, with services provided by various carriers including British Airways/Comair, South African Airways and South African Express. We can book your internal flights with your international tickets. However, a network of low-cost carriers also operate such as Kulula, 1time and Fly Mango which can be booked direct and offer very competitive rates.
Transfers in other countries are generally by road although in The Seychelles Islands a boat or light aircraft trip may be required to reach your final destination.
Federal Air operate a selection of shuttle flights from OR Tambo Johannesburg straight to air strips within a variety of Game Reserves such as Madikwe. Please note aircraft are generally small and luggage restrictions apply.
Driving in South Africa can be an experience in itself, with journeys such as the Route 62 and Chapmans Peak Drive. However, when creating your itinerary we will endeavour to keep drive times to a minimum. We appreciate that parents know best how long their children will be happy to spend on a car journey, so please do let us know!
Our car hire partner in South Africa is AVIS. From experience, we can say they offer the most reliable service. Contract, delivery / collection and one way hire fees (for example, you can hire a car from Cape Town but return it to Port Elizabeth) are included but additional driver charges are payable locally.
Forward facing Baby Seats as well as Booster Seats are available, but must be reserved and paid for in advance. Please ask for a staff member to show you how to fix the seat correctly, but you will have to do this yourself for liability issues. If you are taking your own car seat, we would advise checking with AVIS that this can be used in your chosen car type.
A GPS system can also be hired locally. However, you will need to collect and return personally to a branch of AVIS.
The cars we suggest below all have air conditioning, as South African daytimes can be very sunny and warm, even in Winter, and are dual or manual transmission. We have selected a combination of classes to cater for different space requirements. Please see our Car Hire Rate Sheet for information about prices and insurance.
Car hire can be arranged by our partners in the Indian Ocean and Middle East on arrival, although this is also pre-bookable with us should you prefer. We do not recommend self driving in North Africa.
We would recommend a private transfer to your hotel on your arrival in all our destinations. Distances are not generally great between City centres and airports and so this cost is reasonable. In South Africa for a small fee of around £15, AVIS will bring the hire car to your hotel when you require it.
We would also recommend a private transfer to more remote Game Reserves, as a wrong turn can add hours to your journey and you will not require a car during your stay at a Game Reserve, unless you plan to self-drive in a National Park.
As an alternative, we are also able to provide a private tour guide and driver, which could be an affordable and enjoyable solution, especially if you are travelling in a larger group.
Taxi’s are plentiful and good value, although always insist the meter is turned on. They do not ‘cruise’ and must be booked from a rank or your hotel.
A number of coach operators such as Greyhound and Intercape Mainliner offer inter-city services in South Africa.
The Blue Train and The Pride of Africa run by Rovos Rail, are luxury hotels on the move and operate routes varying from a few days (e.g. Pretoria / Cape Town) to considerably longer, some crossing international boundaries within Africa. However, parents are discouraged in bringing their children, although we can make enquiries should you be travelling as a couple.
Spoornet, the national rail company, operates passenger services between some main cities under the name of Shosholoza Merl. Sleeping compartments for 4 or 6 and coupes can be booked and meals are served. Children under 4 travel free, whilst ages 5 – 11 pay 50% of full rate.
A 4 star ‘Premier Classe’ service has also been launched, on the Pretoria, via Johannesburg to Cape Town route. Please note that whilst there are private sleeper cabins, toilet and bathroom facilities are shared. Whilst families are also welcome, sleeping compartments are for up to two adults and one child (3 bunk beds) and so larger parties would therefore require two adjacent compartments.
The Shongololo Safari Express travels at night whilst guest sleep, and during the day passengers go on organised excursions. There are several tours to choose from such as the Good Hope linking Cape Town and Johannesburg and also shorter trips which you could combine with self-drive. Children are allowed on the train, as long as they are old enough to enjoy the day excursions, and are charged at 60% of adult rate.
The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe steam train passes through glorious scenery on the Garden Route on its journey between Mossel Bay and George and then on to Knysna (although the latter section is currently closed due to maintenance). Departures are dependent on time of year.
Spier Vintage Train Company has regular trips though beautiful vineyards direct to the estate from Cape Town in gleaming vintage carriages.
The Apple Express leaves from Port Elizabeth for a trip through the Countryside on its 61 cm guage track.
The Banana Express was originally used to transport sugar cane and bananas to the coast and now this narrow-guage steam train runs along the KwaZulu-Natal coast up to the plantations in one and a half hours and on to Paddock, taking a further five hours.