It has been said that a traveler's or tourists favorite destination is their next one. Is this the case with you, and are you all set for your next upcoming big adventure? If you haven't finalized the destination why not consider beautiful, distinct, and spectacular South Africa? If you are not convinced, join us in this adventurous photographic and descriptive tour of the wildest of dreamlands, South Africa!
South Africa is a dazzling and diverse country on the southernmost tip of the African continent and is the world's 25th largest land at 1,219,090 sq.km. It has a long and spectacular coastline that stretches more than 2500 KM along the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. It is a nation of about 55 million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions. The country has 11 official languages. Christianity is the most widely (80%) accepted religion in South Africa. South Africa is a diverse country when it comes to weather conditions which vary from region to region.
South Africa at a Glance
- Largest City - Johannesburg
- Legislative Capital - Cape Town
- Judicial Capital - Bloemfontein
- Executive Capital - Pretoria
- Currency - Rand (ZAR)
- Time zone - UTC+2 (SAST)
- Driving side - Left
- Calling code - +27
- Major Attractions - Landscapes, National Park Safari, Outdoor Adventure
How to Get a Visa
Information about the tourist visa for South Africa can be found on the official site of VFS Global. .The processing time depends on your country and region.
When to Visit
South Africa has a warm climate due to being surrounded by oceans on three sides. Because of the varied topography and oceanic influence, a great variety of climatic zones exist in South Africa.
Time to visit
Safaris at National Parks
[ Kruger, Madikwe, Pilanesberg]
Dried Winter months between May-October
Cape Town Beach Holiday
November - March
Cape Whale Coast
[See whales at the south-western cape]
June - November
KwaZulu Natal Coast
Anytime is a good time
Garden Route and Eastern Cape
This attraction can experience rain at any time during the year
What to See?
South Africa has something to offer for everyone. Let's see what's in it for you.
South Africa’s landscapes are stunning from towering cliff faces to awe-inspiring oceanic stretches. It is practically impossible to describe all in one article. So, briefing some of them in the following section.
Table Mountain (Table Top), Cape Town - It is a flat-topped mountain forming a landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town. Table Mountain is one of the most visited tourist destinations. One can reach the top either by cable car or hiking. The place is home to diverse flora and fauna.
The main feature of Table Mountain is the flat plateau approx 3 km from side to side edged by beautiful cliffs.
Cape Point, Western Cape - It is situated in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve within the southern side of Table Mountain National Park. You get to witness hundreds of acres of fauna and flora, towering cliffs and fantastic sea views from the Cape Point.
Cape of Good Hope is a rocky integral part of the Cape Floristic Kingdom which is the most copious of the world's six floral geographic areas. You can reach the top by either taking a cable car or walking the distance of ~3.5kms which can take approximately 3 hrs. The lighthouse at Cape Point is said to be the most powerful on the South African coast.
Do not forget to take the perfect picture once you reach the top!
Chapman’s Peak Drive - It is said to be one of the most scenic drives with beautiful views in the world. Chapman’s Peak is a popular mountain on the western side of the Cape Peninsula, between Hout Bay and Noordhoek in Cape Town.
Garden Route - This 300 km stretch on the south-western coast of South Africa extends from Mossel Bay (a harbor town) in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. As its name indicates, it is full of ecologically diverse vegetation, numerous lagoons and lakes, and vineyards. It has a maritime climate, with mild to warm summers, and mild to cool winters. It has the most temperate climate in South Africa and is the second mildest climate in the world, after Hawaii, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
The Garden Route includes towns such as Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay, Little Brak River, and Nature's Valley; with George as its largest city and main administrative center.
The Cederberg Mountains, Western Cape - The location is situated approximately 2 hrs drive from Cape Town and is the ideal spot for stargazing and exploring naturally beautiful rock art.
Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal. - High cliffs surround this 15-mile long gorge, and the area is ideal for birding while soaking yourself in the beautiful scenery.
Shades of Adventure on Dynamic Landscapes
South Africa’s ever-changing scenery is the perfect canvas to paint your adventure stories. Cage Diving, White Water Rafting, Sailboat, Horse riding, Paragliding, Skydiving, Canoeing, Cliff Jumping, Mountain Biking, Bungy Jumping, to name a few. Here are some of the favorite places to execute such activities.
- The Bloukrans, Tsitsikamma for Bungy Jumping (The world’s highest Bridge Bungy at 216 meters (709 ft) above the Bloukrans river at Bloukrans Bridge. Face Adrenalin has been operating the Bloukrans Bridge Bungy accident-free since 1997.)
- Mossel Bay for Whale Cage Diving
- Cape Town for Skydiving, Mountain Biking
- Cedarberg for White Water Rafting
- The Cango Ranch for Crocodile Cage Diving
Fun at the Beach
South Africa has many beaches for tourists. Here are a few of them.
Boulders Beach - It is a sheltered beach made up of inlets between colossal granite boulders located in South Peninsula, near Cape Town and commonly known as Boulders Bay. It is a popular tourist location because of the African Penguins colony which settled there in 1982. These penguins are only found on the coastline of southern Africa.
Llandudno Beach, Cape Town - Located in Cape Town, it is a beach preferred by surfers, tourists, groups of friends and families. It is best for surfing, beach walks/runs. You have to carry your food while visiting the beach as there are no shops or restaurants here.
Clifton Beaches - 1 to 4, Cape Town - A series of 4 beaches classified based on the type of crowds observed at each. Locals from nearby luxury apartments hang at the 1st beach, the 2nd attracts everyone, a trendy young set makes the 3rd beach the most lively, while the 4th beach is the most family-oriented. Overall, it is best for sunbathing watching people.
“The Big 5” is one of the topmost attractions when it comes to the wildlife of South Africa. It includes African Elephants, Cape Buffalos, lions, Black Rhinos, and leopards. This combination of predator and mighty terrestrial mammals makes for a once-in-a-lifetime encounter of some of the world’s most impressive species. South Africa is home to hundreds of bird species such as Black Oystercatcher, Blue Crane, Cape Parrot, to name a few.
South Africa has 19 National Parks. Let’s briefly check out the most popular ones.
- Kruger National Park - It is South Africa’s most exciting African Safari destination. More information about the types of Safaris and stay options can be found on their official website.
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - It is another large wildlife preserve and conservation area in South Africa. It lies on the border of South Africa and Botswana. The park has abundant and diverse wildlife. It is home to dominant large predators such as lions, African leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas.
- Addo National Elephant Park - It is a diverse wildlife conservatory located near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. In 2018, the highest number of visitors in the park's 87-year history was recorded. The park received 3,05,510 visitors between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018 out of which 55% hailed from international locations.
South Africa has many vineyards spread across Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Eastern Cape that produce a variety of wines. You can spend a day or a half exploring the Vineyards and say ‘Wow’ while you sip on as many as you can!
Top Five Cities in South Africa
No trip is complete unless you get to feel the zeal of the city life of the country. South Africa does have a vibrant city life experience to offer. Here are the top 5 cities in South Africa that should be on your list.
- Cape Town, Western Cape
- Johannesburg, Gauteng
- Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
- Pretoria, Gauteng
- Port Elizabeth
- Save Water. Their water woes are NOT over, yet.
- Be aware of your surroundings, always.
- Download offline maps of places you’re planning to visit.
- Make sure to return to your hotel by sunset.
- Make sure your luggage is safe at the hotel in your absence.
- Be careful while clicking selfies at the peaks.
- Carry ample water, torch, and other hiking essentials if you plan to hike.
- Click awesome pictures :)