New Zealand will arguably prove South Africa's least imposing opposition of the past 12 months, but wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers has insisted they won't rest on their laurels come January's two-Test series.
The proud recipients of the number one ranking on the back of series triumph in England earlier this year, the Proteas later successfully defended their title thanks to a one-nil victory over Australia this month.
The Black Caps, meanwhile, have endured series losses to Graeme Smith's men in March, the West Indies in July, India in August - and a draw with Sri Lanka in November.
The New Zealanders' lack of success in 2012 has left them languishing toward the bottom of the ICC rankings, above only Bangladesh, and some seven positions lower than next month's opposition.
"We have to play as well as we played in Australia to showcase the fact that we are number one in the world in Test cricket," said de Villiers. "And we also want to do well at home."
"We understand that we are the favourites and we should win if we play good cricket. We've got the mental advantage but we still have to play well. The New Zealanders are one of those teams that when they get it right, they are hard to beat."
An Achilles heel injury has ruled veteran spinner and former captain Daniel Vettori out of the tour, while batsman Ross Taylor has withdrawn from selection after being sacked as captain.
"Dan is one of the biggest threats in their team so not having him is a big blow. They've also had a few upsets to their Test team, so they are still finding their feet - but they are more dangerous in T20s and ODIs," added de Villiers.
The tour gets underway next week Friday, with the the first of three Twenty20 Internationals - and will be followed by two Tests and three ODIs.