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South Africa Travel Guide
South Africa is often described as 'a world in one country'. Holidays to South Africa offer the visitor amazing diversity, from the jumble of the gold mining city of Johannesburg in the north, to the sophistication of Cape Town in the south, to the sunny laid back beaches of Durban in the east, and all the mountains, game reserves and picturesque coastlines in between.
South Africa is a melting pot of culture, best described by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as ‘the Rainbow Nation’. Today, people of African, Asian and European descent live side by side, creating a vibrant and intoxicating national culture.
One of the biggest draws to South Africa is that it’s fantastic value for money. From food and drink to accommodation and activities, your euro goes much, much further than it does back home. English is widely spoken so arranging excursions and ordering food are straightforward. Given the extensive range of options available, the only challenge might be deciding what to choose!
Holidays To South Africa – Top Things To Do
With majestic mountains, picturesque coastlines, lush winelands and sophisticated cities, South Africa is a holiday destination sure to enthral and entice visitors. Step off the plane into a welcoming land of cultural diversity where life-changing experiences are pretty much guaranteed. With so many options on offer – what do our travel experts recommend as the best things to do in South Africa?
Even if you are short on time during your holiday to South Africa a visit to Table Mountain is a must. Undoubtedly the most iconic landmark in South Africa, Table Mountain offers unrivalled views of Cape Town and its surroundings.
Take a day excursion to Cape Point, the most South Westerly corner of South Africa and the meeting points of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Home to rolling valleys, beautiful bays and picture-perfect beaches, Cape Point is the perfect place to go to unwind.
A visit to the Stellenbosch and Paarl Valley wineries is recommended for everyone – whether you are a wine connoisseur or not. Aside from spending the day tasting delicious wine, you will also experience stunning scenery and historic villages and there may even be an opportunity to enjoy a chat with some of the local people.
Take a drive along South Africa’s stunning Garden Route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. It’s one of the most picturesque driving routes on earth, the spectacular scenery doesn’t disappoint. Top your visit off with a South African safari and see ‘The Big Five’.
South African Safaris
In Africa, the ‘Big Five’ animals are the African elephant, African lion, African leopard, Cape buffalo and rhinoceros. The term Big Five was originally used by big-game hunters to describe the five most difficult animals in Africa to track and hunt on foot.Thankfully nowadays Big Five is mostly used in reference to African wildlife safaris.
There are many opportunities to get up close and personal with the incredible creatures that call South Africa home. Some of our favourite destinations for South African safaris include the Shamwari Game Reserve and Kariegae Game Reserve. Located in Paterson in the Eastern Cape, the five-star lodges at the Shamwari Game Reserve are an idyllic setting for any safari adventure.
The 10,000 hectare Kariegae Game Reserve allows guests to experience a ‘Big Five’ Safari. The Kariegae Game Reserve is situated on South Africa’s Garden Route and is an 80-minute drive from Port Elizabeth. Located along the coastal route, a stay here would be a perfect way to finish your holiday in Cape Town.
Holidays To South Africa - Driving The Garden Route
If you want something more than just a safari holiday, then you should consider driving the Garden Route in South Africa. This stunning stretch of coastline along the south-east of South Africa is a real ‘bucket list’ adventure. A 10 day holiday starting in Cape Town and ending in Port Elizabeth will really allow you to experience the highlights of the Garden Route.
Spend a few days in Stellenbosch, a university town which is famous for its wineries. Hermanus, on the southern coast of the Western Cape province of South Africa is famous for Southern Right Whale watching during the South African winter. If you’re feeling brave, then you can experience the thrill of a shark cage dive in Hermanus.
Knysna is famous for the magnificent views from Leisure Isle to the Knysna Heads the treacherous entry into the Knysna lagoon. The nearby Knysna Elephant Park is home to relocated jumbo elephant families and is well worth a visit.
Plettenburg Bay is only a 45 minute drive from Knysna, this beach town is extremely scenic and offers fabulous views of the coastline. Must do’s while in Plettenburg include Monkeyland primate sanctuary and Birds of Eden, which is the largest free flight bird aviary in the world.
Visitors driving the Garden Routh in South Africa often start from Cape Town and finish in Port Elizabeth, one of South Africa’s largest cities. Port Elizabeth has plenty of nightlife, entertainment and restaurants for a fun filled few days. If you want to extend the route, The Kariega Game Reserve is an 80-minute drive from Port Elizabeth.
If your preference is to self-drive the South African Garden Route or an escorted tour is more your cup of tea, Travelmood offers both options in our range of special holiday packages to South Africa. Give us a call to find out more.
Best Time To Visit South Africa
South Africa’s summer runs from October until April, making it the perfect destination if you’re in need of some sun during our winter months. The climate is generally good throughout the year, with some areas experiencing over 300 days of gorgeous sunshine. During the South African Summer, the altitude keeps the average summer temperatures below 30°C in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, while the coastal areas are slightly warmer.
South Africa Holiday Offers
The Travelmood team includes several destination experts who can create a bespoke itinerary for your holiday to South Africa. Our travel experts have all visited South Africa and have personal experience of the destinations, attractions and tours that they recommend. As well as creating custom holiday itineraries, we have a great selection of South African holiday offers to choose from so why not call us today and get your South African adventure started!