Located on the southern tip of one of the most diverse continents in the world, South Africa is a stunning terrain filled with possibilities and adventure. Known for its sandy beaches, beautiful vistas and abundant wildlife, it’s a world-class travel destination that offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Here is your expert guide…
WHEN TO GO
Due to the vastness of South Africa the best time to visit depends on what you want to
do and where:
- Summer is the best time to visit the coastal cities and enjoy the luscious beaches.
- Autumn is the ideal time for inland activities such as visiting world-famous wineries or venturing into nature reserves for game viewing.
- Winter is when the surrounding waters are brimming with more than 37 species of whales and dolphins. Jump at the chance to see African penguins, Cape furseals, black oystercatcher birds and a colorful variety of marine life.
COASTAL CITIES, WINERIES, AND MORE
Cape Town is known for its natural landscape, sightseeing and thriving nightlife. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, this city offers the best of both worlds and embodies the mystique of Africa. Nicknamed “The Mother City,” it is the oldest and most metropolitan area in the south. Prepare to become enraptured, hypnotized and amazed as you explore the sophisticated and sprawling streets.
See: Table Mountain National Park
If there is one thing that you do, this should be it. Named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, the mountain is possibly 600 million years old and is defined by its unusual flat top. Although admiring it can be quite thrilling, it’s more impressive when you are on top of it. Take the Aerial Cableway 3,500 ft above land! Keep your camera handy for picturesque views of the Mother City, Robben Island, and the Peninsula. It’s also a great opportunity to see wildlife, such as rock hyraxes, lizards, butterflies, porcupines, eagles and sunbirds. Lower Cable Station, Tafelberg Road, Cape Town +27 (0) 21 424 0015
Eat: Cape Malaya Cuisine
A melting pot of flavors and influences from Malaysia, England, France and the Netherlands. Try Biltong, the national snack of South Africa. Indulge in this savory homemade jerky which has been cured in vinegar and spices like salt, pepper, coriander, and brown sugar. The result is a delicious gamey treat with African flare.
Durban is a charming coastal city in eastern South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. It’s the third-largest city in South Africa and has experienced a renaissance since the 2010 FIFA World Cup. An exciting cultural hub, its architecture and food is an eclectic mix of African, Indian and colonial influences. It is also home to the Golden Mile, the safest stretch of swimming beaches in South Africa. A perfect place for ocean dipping and people watching as it draws surfers, families and fisherman from surrounding areas.
See: The Beachfront Promenade
If your idea of a good time is a sea breeze and sunshine, this is your destination. Walk along the paved promenade that stretches north from the revamped 2010 FIFA World Cup Moses Mabhida Stadium to Blue Lagoon and then south to Addington Beach. Join the walkers, cyclist and joggers after taking in the stunning views.
Eat: uShaka Marine World
Try the Spicy Chicken, paired with stunning the views and cocktails. Moyo, uShaka Marine World, 1 Bell Street Durban
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
The world’s greatest national park for seeing wildlife. More than 137 mammals and 500
varieties of birds roam freely on these lands. The landscape alone is an expansive 12,107 sq miles. with several roads, guided wildlife activities and accommodations at a great value.
See: Sunset Dam
Extremely convenient because you can park right at the water’s edge. The dam is enlivened with bird life, hippos, crocs, elephants and more. It’s a popular watering hole for fauna and draws animals near and far. In the evening, the resident baboons come out and do a parade that is sure to entertain. The environment is always changing, but it’s a must see.
Eat: Mugg & Bean
Snag a table overlooking the water at Mugg & Bean in Lower Sabie Rest Camp. Situated on the southern bank of the Sabie River. Enjoy a versatile menu while watching game right from your table. Skukuza – Lower Sabie Rd, Mpumalanga, 1350 South Africa ROBERTSON VALLEY
A magnificent destination just 90 minutes from Cape town. Snuggled in a quiet corner of the western winelands, it’s known for wine, roses, lavender, and olive oil. This is one of the countries’ best kept secrets, and perfect for travelers craving a slow-paced rural life.
See: Robertson Winery
Founded in 1941 in a stone church built by the community, this winery has been producing delicious wines for over seven generations. Stop in for a tasting and tour! Robertson Winery, 2 Reitz St, Robertson, 6705, South Africa +27 23 626 3167
Eat: Montange Deli Bonnievale
Sample rich tapenades, local olive oils, sweet jams and scrumptious cheeses while you drink fine wines and brandies. It’s the ideal spot to relax over a platter of La Mont Cheeses with a glass of Van Loveren. Montange Deli Bonnievale, R60, South Africa, www.lamontcheese.co.za, +27 23 615 1929
HOW TO GET THERE
Visit South Africa by land or sea!
Spend 12 days on a South Africa Enrichment Journey including 12 escorted tours and game drives featuring Cape Town, Thornybush Nature Reserve, Johannesburg and Victoria Falls. Includes airfare, taxes, baggage handling and more.
Visit Durban, Cape Town and more on an Oceania cruise with airfare, taxes, pre-paid gratuities, up to a $3000+ Visa gift card and some of the best food at sea.
You can also peruse the more than 30 cruise itineraries that can take you to the African continent.