South Africa is a traveller's delight. From its energetic cities to the breathtaking expanses of natural beauty and wildlife, South Africa has become one of the most desired destinations to visit, at least once. Wildlife is a big bucket list item with the 'Big Five,' lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and buffalo on everyone's list.
Swim with fierce, great white sharks one day, then watch giraffes, zebras and elephants share a drink at a waterhole the next, or maybe a lion devouring a kill while his pride patiently wait their turn.
The bushveld and birdlife are amazingly beautiful, with over 840 species listed: nature at its best. There are more than a dozen national parks, the most significant being Kruger National Park.
There is also plenty more to South Africa than wildlife. Visiting a village and joining a tour, maybe volunteering for the day, gives you an intimate insight where you'll hear timeless inherited stories, see arts and crafts, and the local way of life.
Self-drive is a great way to get around, and although the distances are long, the roads are excellent, and the beautiful scenery continually varies. The popular Garden Route winds its way up the coast from Cape Town, and camping is popular along the way.
South Africa has some of the worlds most luxurious lodges set in private game reserves and stunning locations. 'The Blue Train' is rated as the number one luxurious train in the world and a great way to experience the diversity of the continent's landscape.
Don't overlook Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, situated on the Western Cape, only half an hour from Cape Town and one of the most scenic, least-known.wine-growing regions of the world. More than 200 wine producers nurture vines that are now winning awards. Quaint towns and Dutch colonial architecture set against a magical mountainous backdrop that is welcoming in every manner. Restaurants, cafes, boutique accommodation, craft beers and bric-a-brac country shopping, entice all visitors.
Cape Town is the jewel in South Africa's crown, and here you can catch the cable car to Table Top Mountain's peak and marvel at the fantastic views, plant, and wildlife but not a trip for those that don't like heights. Its name comes from the clouds that congregate spreading over the top and flowing beneath. After dark, Cape Town boasts a bustling nightlife scene. 'The District Nightclub' has become a hot spot with venues offering everything from hip to strip. The Cocoon Cape Town, on the 31st floor of Cape Town's iconic Absa Building, is where you'll find one of the many fashionable city nightclubs. "Hakuna-matata" is a Swahili language phrase meaning "no trouble" or "no problems," which articulates the delightful nature of the people and landscape of South Africa.
South Africa is an all-year-round destination. Plan your time around varying regional climates and wildlife opportunities for your stay, such as whale watching. The Cape has typically hot, dry weather during summer from November to February. Northern regions may be rainy from November to February, which can be the best time for birding, while the cooler winter months from May to September are considered the best for viewing big game.