South Africa is celebrated, first and foremost, for its incredible natural beauty. It has some of the most varied and extreme environments in the world, from iconic Table Mountain and the acacia-studded plains of Kruger National Park to the tropical beaches of KwaZulu Natal and the sweeping emptiness of the Kalahari Desert.
top-rate safari destination and many visitors come here to see the Big Five –
the collective term for the big-bucks players of wildlife spotting: elephant,
rhino, buffalo, leopard and lion. But there are numerous other equally
interesting animals, birds and marine life species and the choice of excellent
parks and reserves across the country virtually guarantees sightings.
Being outdoors is very much a way of life here and you can try hiking and surfing, or opt for one of the booming adrenalin sports such as bungee jumping or scuba-diving. South Africa’s history is compelling too, from the early hunter-gatherers to the arrival of the Europeans, the Boer War and the more recent breakdown of Apartheid, reflected in the cave paintings, colonial architecture, lively townships, moving battlefields and contemporary museums.
The country’s vibrant cities are home to a fascinating mix of
cultures, religions and ethnicities. There’s the fast-paced sophistication of
Johannesburg and Tshwane (Pretoria), the steamy humidity and spicy Indian
influence of Durban, or the spectacular setting and quirky beach-side hedonism
of Cape Town. These have numerous exciting urban attractions as well as the
best eating and shopping opportunities on the African continent.
In short, the choice of destinations, activities and itineraries is virtually inexhaustible, so careful planning is needed to make best use of your time. South Africa has more to offer than you could ever hope to manage in one trip.