South Africa

South Africa is a large, diverse and enchanting country. Exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture offer the traveller a unique and inspiring experience. Beautiful natural scenery, wildlife parks, long sandy beaches, a great infrastructure and a stable post-apartheid environment ensure a great holiday destination.

Cape Town is rightly famous for its outstanding setting beneath Table Mountain, at the foot of the continent. A few days in this beautiful city is a popular option at the end of a safari. Attractions are plentiful and varied. Visit Robben Island, the infamous island prison that was Nelson Mandela’s home for almost two decades, take the cable car up Table Mountain or tour the Cape Peninsula on some of the most incredible coastal roads in the world. Swim with penguins at Boulders Beach and enjoy excellent hikes at the dramatic Cape Point. Cape Town is a cosmopolitan city and totally enchanting.

Half a day’s drive from Cape Town brings you to any other destination in the Western Cape, including historic towns and vineyard covered mountains in the Winelands and exquisite forested coastline along the Garden route. South of the winelands, Hermanus offers some of the best shore-based whale watching in the world between August and November.

The Western Cape has the longest-established colonial heritage in the country and may feel more European than African. If you are looking for more of an “African” experience then we suggest you start in Johannesburg, perhaps visiting the Apartheid museum and taking a tour of Soweto, before heading out to the Kruger National Park. Kruger is a good destination for a first safari, although its popularity and suitability for self-drives means that it can become very busy. The best option is to stay in one of the private game reserves on its western flank, where guest numbers are limited and qualified rangers take you on game drives.

Of the other wildlife parks, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi in KwaZulu Natal is the best place in the world to see endangered rhinos. The nearby majestic Drakensberg Mountain range offers excellent hiking and spectacular scenery. KwaZulu Natal also features superb beaches and relics of the great battles in South African history. The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site, is a must for birding enthusiasts.

Visit the Northern Cape in August or September and you’ll be rewarded by the incredible annual display of wild flowers that takes place in Namaqualand.

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