British & Irish Lions chairman Andy Irvine said: "We are looking forward to touring such a wonderful country and playing the World champions on their own turf.
"The tour itself promises be full of challenges in a country where rugby is a real passion but I am confident that the 2009 Lions will acquit themselves well.
"Lions tours are unique events and as such extremely popular. We are expecting tens of thousands of Lions fans to travel to South Africa in 2009 and are certain that every one of them will come back with amazing memories."
SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd MD Jonathan Stones added: "The Lions tour will be a massive sporting event, on a par with Rugby World Cup and is expected to be a huge success. We are putting in place an exciting programme and look forward to hosting this unique team.
"It is anticipated that South Africa will reap significant economic benefits from this tour."
The Lions will play matches in seven cities over a period of six weeks, commencing with a game against the Highveld XV in Rustenburg on Saturday, 30 May.
The tour schedule includes six weekend fixtures and four midweek matches. Apart from the three Test matches, there is also an interesting fixture against the Emerging Springboks on 23 June 2009. This match is sandwiched between the first and second Tests.
The Test matches against the Springboks will take place on 20 June in Durban, in Pretoria on 27 June and in Johannesburg on 4 July.
"It is important to note that two high profile matches have been scheduled in Cape Town, which will allow supporters in that region to see the Lions in action at Newlands," added Stones.
The Lions have toured South Africa on 12 previous occasions, with the first tour to this country taking place in 1891. That historic tour included Test matches at Port Elizabeth, Kimberley and Cape Town.
Since 1891 the Lions have won 16 Tests against the Springboks and lost 21, while seven tests were drawn.
British & Irish Lions Itinerary:
SATURDAY 30 MAY 2009 v HIGHVELD XV, ROYAL BAFOKENG, PHOKENG, NR RUSTENBURG
WEDNESDAY 3 JUNE 2009 v GOLDEN LIONS, ELLIS PARK, JOHANNESBURG
SATURDAY 6 JUNE 2009 v CHEETAHS, VODACOM PARK, BLOOMFONTEIN
WEDNESDAY 10 JUNE 2009 v SHARKS, ABSA PARK, DURBAN
SATURDAY 13 JUNE 2009 v WESTERN PROVINCE, NEWLANDS, CAPE TOWN
TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY 16/17 JUNE 2009 v COASTAL XV, VENUE TO BE CONFIRMED, PORT ELIZABETH
SATURDAY 20 JUNE 2009 v 1ST TEST, ABSA PARK, DURBAN
TUESDAY 23 JUNE 2009 v EMERGING SPRINGBOKS, NEWLANDS, CAPE TOWN
SATURDAY 27 JUNE 2009 v 2ND TEST, LOFTUS VERSFELD, PRETORIA
SATURDAY 4 JULY 2009 v 3RD TEST, ELLIS PARK, JOHANNESBURG