South Africa is a vast and fascinating destination comprising 471008 miles of wonder for every adventurer. So, the sooner you start planning your trip to South Africa, the better.
Like many nations around the world, South Africa might boast a kaleidoscope of color ratings when it comes to travel at the moment, but vibrant hues are nothing new for the Rainbow Nation.
Things never stay the same in Africa for long, so start priming yourself for the experience of a lifetime right now.
In truth, no list can define South Africa, or Africa for that matter, but here’s a snapshot of why you need to put South Africa at the top of your travel wish list.
Getting Around During Your Trip to South Africa
Most South Africans embrace the bustle of bus or mini-bus travel on their way to work and play, but this type of travel’s only for hardened citizens who know their way around the place.
For everyone else, a car’s the ultimate way to go.
When you hire a car, you can cross this vast country by road, taking in the essence of the changing landscapes with every mile travelled. South Africa’s a country that lends itself to driving if you’ve got time to spare. Distances are vast, and the views melt into each other slowly in this part of the world.
You’ll get as much pleasure slipping along manicured tarmac alongside staggering ocean views as you will bumping along rugged sand tracks while the sun sets on a remote horizon.
For those who want to take in as much as possible during their trip, there’s always the option to use cost-effective, Mango, Kulula, FlySafair Lift, and Airlink flight bookings between major destinations. Many of these airlines fly to almost every destination in the country and domestic flights South Africa offer an affordable and safe way to travel.
While you’re in the air, you’re likely to encounter helpful folks willing to share their advice for your travels, friendly service, and even a humorous in-flight announcement or two.
Exceptional Hospitality and Innovative People
South Africans hold international visitors in high regard, and they’ll pull out the stops wherever you travel. From five-star resorts and hotels to remote bushveld camps, you’ll find welcoming hospitality and good-natured people wherever you travel in this country.
South Africa’s not only the home of a traditional braai – which is different from a barbecue in some intangible way, but it’s also the birthplace of ingenious innovations. Some of these include:
- Computerized ticketing (Computicket)
- Oil from coal (Sasol)
- Pratley’s Putty adhesive
- Automated pool cleaners (KreepyKrauly)
- Heart Transplants (Dr Christiaan Barnard)
- CAT scans (Allan MacLeod Cormack)
- Mine-resistant military personnel vehicles (Casspir)
- The Ubuntu operating system (Mark Shuttleworth)
Yes, Mark Shuttleworth is a son of South Africa, as is Elon Musk, and JRR Tolkien, among many other noteworthy sportspeople, supermodels, creatives, and celebrities.
Trevor Noah and Charlize Theron spring immediately to mind, but you’ll find many others with their roots firmly in South African soil.
This is also the home of record-breaking superstars like Caster Semenya, Natalie Du Toit, and the current world-champion rugby team, the Springboks.
On the topic of animals, South Africa’s natural environment will blow your mind.
Wild South Africa
The Big Five’s a big deal for safari-goers in Africa, yet these famous species represent a miniscule portion of the staggering diversity you’ll encounter during your travels.
South Africa’s also the home of the world’s fastest (cheetah), tallest (giraffe), and largest (elephant) land mammals as well as the biggest bird, the ostrich.
The Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest in the world, but it’s also the richest, boasting the highest concentration of species worldwide. Of course, you’ll also find one of Africa’s largest game reserves here, the Kruger National Park, as well as 21 other national parks and dozens of private reserves.
All in all, there are 299 species of mammal, 840 types of birds, over 500 different reptiles, and almost 24,000 species of vascular plants.
You can explore South Africa’s lush forests, vast savannahs, stretches of bushveld, rocky coastal areas, and semi-arid deserts any number of ways. Guided and self-drive tours, horseback outings, and hiking are all popular ways to spend your time while exploring these diverse landscapes.
Arts, Culture, and Cuisine
South Africa’s history stretches back to the dawn of time at the Cradle of Mankind and Sterkfontein Caves, continues with the legacy of the fascinating San people, and extends past colonization and conflict to modern times.
It’s all documented in some form or other in a host of museums celebrating every nationality, and everyone who’s played their part in this journey. From rough cave drawings to elaborate monuments, you’ll find celebrations of history everywhere.
You can even visit those who still celebrate the old ways in their villages and homes, where you’ll be treated to a hearty welcome and usually an equally hearty meal.
There’s no shortage of fine dining up for grabs either, South Africa boasts exceptional food offerings and is home to the World’s best restaurant for 2019, Die Wolfgat, as well as a host of other award winners.
If you haven’t tried South African wine yet, book your ticket right away and make your Airlink flight bookings to get down to the Cape Winelands. Here,you’ll find internationally renowned vintages, including Pinotage, which was invented in the Winelands. South Africa also has its own brand of bubbly, called MCC, or Méthode Cap Classique – because they can.
If beer, gin, or brandy’s more your style, head for the nearest artisan brewer or distiller – there’s bound to be one nearby.
Things You’ll Never Forget
Every day in South Africa, sunrise and sunset put on a spectacular display of pink, red, and orange hues fading into clear blue skies. When it does rain, you’ll witness some of the most dramatic heavenly pyrotechnics you’ve ever seen.
In the bush, the dawn and demise of each day awakens its own chorus of birds and insects, and the smell of wood fires permeates the air as the day fades. In the evenings, distant murmurings of predators and melancholy songs of the night birds form the backdrop to peaceful slumber under an inky black curtain ablaze with dazzling, yet distant constellations.
Oceanside vacations are accompanied by the gentle susurrations of one of two oceans, or even both, if you’re at Cape Agulhas. While the gentle chink of glasses salutes the end of day.
Try Something Different
Any trip to South Africa boasts surprises in store around every bend.
This vast country has plenty to offer everyone, whether you’re in search of thrilling wildlife experiences, unique interactions, fascinating history, or gorgeous views, you’ll find it here. Why not plan a trip to South Africa and come and see for yourself? The locals might not be able to welcome you with open arms right now, but a good-natured high five, fist or elbow bump will do.