South Africa is a land of contrasts where cold, Atlantic swells meet pristine, sandy beaches flanked by breathtaking mountain slopes, and where black-maned lions hunt for prey amongst the shifting red dunes of the Kalahari Desert.
Boasting undeniable natural beauty and a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, this country at the tip of Africa has so much to offer.
Why Travel to South Africa
With so many reasons to visit South Africa, it’s hard to whittle it down to just a few. The sheer diversity of this country is what makes it uniquely exquisite. Everyone from outdoor enthusiasts and adventure junkies to history buffs, culture vultures and culinary connoisseurs will find something to whet their appetite when they travel to South Africa.
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Fun FactsThere are 11 official languages in South Africa, largely due to the indigenous tribal structures and the Dutch and British who later colonised this beautiful country. The languages spoken are English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Venda, Tsonga, Swati, Ndebele and Tswana. J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy was born in the South African town of Bloemfontein in 1892. He moved to England when he was just three years old, never to return to South Africa again, but his son visited the quaint town of Hogsback in the Eastern Cape which boasts waterfalls, forested mountains, meadows and grassy plains. It is rumoured that this magical town served as inspiration for Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
About South Africa
South Africa has become an increasingly popular destination with travellers, largely due to the favourable exchange rate for European and American visitors, and its incredible value for money. With world-class food and wine, breathtaking natural beauty and diversity of fauna and flora, travellers of all persuasions will find something to suit their taste.
Many travellers choose to enjoy a safari vacation at one of the many national parks or private reserves, explore the historic cobbled streets and museums of Cape Town, dine on delicious cuisine in the Cape Winelands or take a road trip along the exquisite Garden Route.
South Africa’s two main cities, Cape Town and Johannesburg, serve as the travel hubs for most attractions and activities for travellers. Cape Town is a world-famous destination, famed for its breathtaking natural beauty, world-class beaches and surf, and the iconic Table Mountain. The surrounding mountain ranges of the Cape Winelands make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Johannesburg is South Africa’s youngest city but
Conservation in South AfricaAbundant in natural beauty, a large concentration of wildlife and hundreds of kilometres of shoreline, South Africa’s marine and wildlife conservation programmes are second to none. Many run out of hubs such as Cape Town, with the famous 2OceansAquarium serving as an education resource and rehabilitation centre for many injured or sick marine animals. Other organisations are based at many of the private game reserves around the country and work hard to protect the endangered black rhino, lion, leopard and other threatened species.
When to Travel to South Africa
South Africa is a year-round destination as its weather is varied. The Mediterranean climate of the Western Cape region makes for warm summers, ideal for beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts, while the winters are cool and mild. The best time to visit Cape Town and its surrounds is from November to April while July through September is popular with travellers keen on whale watching. In the northeast corner of South Africa near the Kruger National Park, the winters are mild and dry, creating ideal game viewing opportunities as water holes are scarce and the dry bush allows for easy wildlife spotting. Johannesburg experiences summer thunderstorms while its winters are mild and dry. The coastal city of Durban boasts ideal weather all year round with mild winters where locals don shorts and t-shirts. Temperatures inland are more extreme with hot and dry summers and cold winters.
Accommodation in South Africa
Visitors in South Africa are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing their accommodation. From campsites and backpackers’ lodges to self-catering and luxury accommodation, like the iconic Silo Hotel in Cape Town, there is something suit every taste and every budget. Spend your time soaking up the history of the City of Gold, relax in natural surroundings at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve or jump from one town to the next along the Garden Route.
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Things to do in South Africa
A trip to South Africa isn’t complete without a visit to the iconic Kruger National Park, where travellers can spot the Big Five, take a game drive or guided walking tour or simply relax and unwind in the rugged beauty of the African bush.
What would South Africa be without its rich and diverse culture, evident in the exquisite culinary influences? Hailed as the culinary capital of the Western Cape, Franschhoek is a food lover’s dream. Nestled in a quaint valley, surrounded by breathtaking mountains lined with vineyards belonging to some of South Africa’s finest wine farms, there is no better place to taste delicious wines paired with world-class cuisine than in this little ‘French corner’ in the Cape Winelands.
If getting outside and exploring the outdoors is your thing, South Africa is an adventure enthusiast’s playground. Bungee jump 2016m (709 ft) from one of the world’s highest bridge bungees at the Bloukrans River Bridge, or explore the World Heritage Site of the Drakensberg Mountains’ ridges, ravines and table tops by foot, soaking up the awe-inspiring beauty of this spectacular mountain range. Cruise along the scenic Garden Route, venture through the iconic Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Cape Point Nature Reserve and visit the world-famous African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
The Mother City of Cape Town is an absolute must on your South African vacation. Photograph the colourful houses and characters of Bo Kaap and summit the world-famous Table Mountain, or visit Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island. Travellers seeking a little more adventure can soak up the sights from above on a tandem paragliding tour.
Travel to South Africa
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