Located at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa offers the traveller a world-class combination of wildlife, food and culture. Offering golden beaches, a sprawling savannah, the famous Table Mountain and a countless number of private and national wildlife parks, South Africa is popular as a gateway destination for the African continent.
Whilst the bustling capital city Johannesburg is a worthwhile destination, most tourists prefer the safety and beauty of Cape Town to the south. The stunning beaches of its third city, Durban are also popular with both locals and tourists.
However, it is still Cape Town where most tourist itineraries start and finish. The beautiful Victoria & Albert Harbour, the Table Mountain cable car and the nearby National Botanical Gardens at Kirstenbosch all offer fantastic experiences.
Further from Cape Town, the famous vineyards of Constantia and Franschhoek and the Wine Trams are within easy reach for day-trippers. Other notable attractions include; the penguin-strewn beach at Boulders Bay, Robben Island Prison where Nelson Mandella was incarcerated, and the visitor centre at Cape Point.
We cannot try to summarise South Africa without making mention of its very many public and private wildlife parks. Kruger National Park is perhaps the most famous, but many of the private parks also offer the classic “Big Five” experience and cater from modest to luxurious budgets.
The appeal of the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and rhinos) draws tourists throughout the year, and with some careful research will no doubt leave a lasting impression.
Culturally, South Africa is a melting point of communities, tribes and former colonial towns earning South Africa the popular nickname of “the Rainbow Nation”. South Africa has 11 official languages and more than a dozen tribes, and a long history of religious tolerance as evidenced by the colourful and historic streets of its Muslim neighbourhood Bo Kaap. The food ranges from spicy Indian-inspired dishes to the national dish; Brai which we discuss in greater detail in our cuisine section.
Whilst inequality, petty crime and corruption remain rife in South Africa, the natural and cultural beauty on offer still makes this a must-visit destination.