South Africa is a year-round destination, so we’ll be able to find a safari to suit your timing. Sabi Sands, a private game reserve bordering Kruger National Park in the north-eastern corner of the Rainbow Nation, provides fantastic sightings of the big five as part of a real off-the-beaten-track experience. But the accommodation is anything but rough-and-ready: Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, for example, provides a modern take on colonial furnishing, exceptional service and a vantage point on a hill near a watering-hole.
Alternatively, search for big cats in the malaria-free Kwandwe or Madikwe reserves, or head far off the tourist trail into the Kalahari for sightings of desert-adapted wildlife and nights beneath a sky spangled with stars. With two weeks to play with, you could start your journey staying in one of Cape Town’s best boutique hotels then visit a vineyard in the verdant valleys of South Africa’s gable-punctuated winelands before spending a week on the trail of big beasts. Or you could recharge your batteries sprawled on a beach in Mozambique before surfing the adrenaline highs of a South African safari.