“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to.” – Richard Mullin
Why visit South Africa
South Africa is worth your visit despite a very long and tiring flight from home. When you are in Cape Town, take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain for glorious city and bay views.
Take a stroll along the vibrant Albert and Victoria Waterfront. It offers great dining and shopping. Enjoy water and mountain views. From the promenade, Table Mountain indeed looks like a table. You can visit museums and Two Oceans Aquarium. Take a ride on the Cape Wheel or go on a harbor cruise.
The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are set against the eastern slope of Table Mountain. These charming gardens offer multiple trails, mountain views and an endless variety of flora. You can walk on your own, but better take the free 90-minute guided tour. You will learn interesting facts about South African trees and flowers.
A scenic drive to the Cape Point will take you through the steep mountains, small coves, and wide beaches. Relish the stunning views of the coastline where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet just three-quarters of the mile east from your viewpoint.
At the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, you will be impressed by the spectacular scenery. You could come close (but please don’t!) to the ostriches nibbling on the seaweed next to the water – they are not afraid of people at all! Remember that they are wild creatures and might be aggressive.
You might glimpse an Eland, a large antelope, or a Bontebok antelope. It is easy to spot Cape Mountain zebras because of their bright stripes. You will also see the baboons. Left by themselves, they are happy to eat whatever they find along the shoreline. But beware, they like human food and sometimes steal it from tourists. It is better to watch the baboons from a distance. They are wild animals and can bite.
If you follow the majestic coastline of False Bay, make sure to stop in Simon’s Town and visit the Penguin Colony. Watch the small African penguins diving into the cold waves to hunt for fish. You can almost touch the penguins while walking on the boardwalk.
Safari is one of the best attractions in South Africa. We advise you to visit two parks – Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe Game Reserve. On the morning game drive in the open safari vehicle, you will be able to see the “Big Five” – elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, and rhino. Many other wild animals are living in these preserves: hippos, zebras, giraffes, crocodiles, antelopes. Your driver/guide will make sure that you watch all this wildlife from a safe distance.
What is the best time of year to go to safari? It depends. During the South African summer (December, January, February), the weather will be warm, and everything will be green. It means that the greenery will not allow you to see as many animals. During their winter (June, July, August), it will be cold and sometimes quite windy. But since many trees will be bare, you might see more wildlife.
From Johannesburg, go to God’s Window. You will find yourself more than 900 meters (almost 3,000 feet) above the ravine covered with the lush forest. It will feel like you are above the whole world. Take one of the numerous hikes. All of them offer stunning views.
What to see in South Africa (top trips & tours)
Kruger National Park – one of Africa’s largest game reserves
Cape town – visit Table Mountain and Cape Point
Cape Winelands – combine the delicious wines with beautiful landscapes
Bourke’s Luck Potholes – area of the unique and otherworldly geological feature
Cape of Good Hope – the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
Where to sleep in South Africa
(select accommodation from the best hotel booking sites)
- HotelsCombined.com (Compare all the top travel sites in one simple search)
- Trivago.com (Find your ideal hotel and compare prices from different websites)
- Booking.com (Over 2,119,000 hotels online. Hostels. Apartments. Motels)
- Priceline.com (Find a lower price, you’ll get a refund 100% of the difference)
- Hotels.com (Book now, pay when you stay)
- Travelocity.com (The price match guarantee. Free changes & cancellations)
- Expedia.com (Sign up for member prices and you could save 10% or more)
- Agoda.com (Guaranteed lowest price on hotels, resorts,
hostels, homes & more)
- HostelWorld.com (Stay in a hostel and meet the real world, not the tourist brochure)
Book your flight to South Africa
Best time to visit
You can travel to South
Try not to walk anywhere in the cities after dark. Your hotel will help you to order a taxi. If you park a rental car, do not leave it without supervision. Ask a “car guard” to watch it for a small tip.