South Africa serves as a perfect introduction to the vast continent that is Africa. It is many worlds wrapped up into one. All at once it is a developed country with modern cities and bustling metropolises, and a vibrant changing wilderness, ripe with stunning white sand beaches, national parks, epic mountain ranges and wildlife in abundance. South Africa is distinctly unique and so incredibly beautiful in its diversity.
South africa – A quick view
Time difference: UTC +2 Hours
Flight time: Approx 12 hours
Visa Required: On arrival for British passport holders
Currency: South African rand
Tel Code: +27
Population: 52.98 million (approx)
Official Language: Afrikaans, Northern Sotho, English, Southern Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Recommended Airlines: South African Airways, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, KLM, Air France, Kenyan Airways.
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Scenic South Africa
Take a full Day Pilanesberg National Park Safari, Enjoy panoramic sights over the city from the top of Table….
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Grand Tour of South Africa
Kruger park – Watch out for the famous Big Five animals, including lions and rhinos, roaming freely in their…
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Classic Zambia, Botswana & South Africa Tour from £3,999pp
Watch out for Elephants, giraffes and Cape buffaloes roaming the plains around Chobe River, Enjoy the…..
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South Africa & Mauritius
from £3,899ppMpumalanga via the magnificent Panorama Route. From many well-positioned vantage points one has a ….
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When to go
Best Better Good
Cape Town, the harbour city on South Africa’s southwest coast is urban and complex, busy and modern, but it’s the stunning topography of manmade skyscrapers reaching to the top of the imposing Table Mountain, all beautifully encapsulated by the sparkling turquoise hues of the South Atlantic Ocean that leaves every traveller in awe. Be sure to ride the cable car to the top of Table Mountain to properly enjoy the views of the ocean, the vast landscapes and the city below.
When it comes time to leave the city, pay a visit to the breathtaking depths of Blyde River Canyon, which undulates, twists, drops and turns through Eastern South Africa. There you can enjoy aweinspiring vistas over the incredible river as it cuts effortlessly through lush green hills and the Drakensberg mountains. Wine lovers should visit the university town of Stellenbosch just a short way to the east of Cape Town. This gorgeous town is surrounded by the vineyards of the Cape Winelands and a number of lush mountainous nature reserves. The town itself is surprisingly quaint, its colonial streets lined by large oaks that cast cooling shadows onto the many cafes, boutiques and art galleries that you’ll find there. Moving further east, you’ll pass incredible white sand beaches, rugged mountains, cave systems like those at Cango Caves, lagoons such as Knysna Lagoon and the wonderful Garden Route that runs the length of the south coast, where whales can be seen on their migration from the Antarctic.Don’t miss the otherworldly Storms River in the Eastern Cape, where those that dare can brave the suspension bridge over the roaring river below.
Wildlife lovers should spend as much time as possible in the legendary Kruger National Park – home to the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, buffalos) as well as a diverse and truly wild collection of flora and fauna. The landscape here changes quickly from jagged mountains to arid plains – home to lions and elephants, and wet tropical forests full of lizards and birds. Another option to get closer to the Big Five, is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa – Hluhluwe- Imfolozi Game Reserve which is you’ll find in the heart of Zululand. Thanks to the park’s numerous conservation efforts, it is home to the largest population of white rhino in the world.
The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is another option, and though smaller than the likes of Kruger National Park – all of the Big 5 can be found here. Its location in the North West of South Africa, is also quite convenient if you intend to visit the vast entertainment complex of Sun City, which the park border. It’s a good spot to unwind with a little gambling and a few days spent by the pool.
Points to ponder
South Africans are generally quite laid back when it comes to clothing and fashion – but do exercise caution specifically if you’d prefer not to invite unwanted attention to yourself from over zealous locals. Be sure to cover up if going to any kind of religious monument, church or mosque. Most importantly, dress appropriately for the weather – in the summers, bring clothes that are cool, light and comfortable. We share our knowledge on South African food and South African etiquette
- Cape Town
- Johannesburg & Pretoria
- Kruger National Park
- Plettenberg Bay
- The Kalahari
- The Battlefields