A smorgasbord of authentic travel experiences, South Africa can be a hundred vacations rolled into one. From big-game safari to vineyards and Rainbow Nation culture, the edge of Africa has it all. South Africa is difficult to define in a single image and there are some things to do you won't find anywhere else.
With its kaleidoscope of landscapes and experiences, the Rainbow Nation has the most diverse appeal of all Africa's countries. From city to beach to safari to mountains, South Africa offers an eclectic mix as well as offering what many call an “introduction” to Africa. The country epitomizes the rich variety of a continent and the experiences to be discovered, both natural and cultural. Furthermore, a mature and established tourism industry offers the best overarching standards in the whole of Africa.
From cultural tradition to incredible private game reserves, South Africa is the ultimate bucketlist destination. The Rainbow Nation morphs to your mood and everyday can be completely different from the next, whether you want city chic or wilderness and animals. What to do in South Africa has to involve safari, especially if you have never been on a safari before. Contemporary lodges provide comfort and luxury, as you are completely enveloped by a world of elephants, rhinos, lions and more. Luxury safari originated in South Africa and private concessions ensure your wildlife experience is very personal, not ruined by dozens of other vehicles and people.
Kruger National Park is undoubtedly South Africa's safari jewel, covering a gargantuan area that dwarfs some U.S. States. Unfenced boundaries lead into a series of private concessions and reserves, further enhancing the sense of wilderness and diversifying the experience. Away from Kruger, South Africa has the largest collection of private game reserves. While these are small and fenced, they offer a quick glimpse of safari regardless of where you travel in the country. Expect high levels of luxury at these.
The country is home to around 80% of the world's wild rhino population, with the endangered creatures astonishingly abundant around Kruger and the northeast. Big cats are also plentiful and a series of smaller national parks have distinct specialities; for example, the Garden Route's Addo Elephant National Park. While there's lots of choice, you're unlikely to be the only visitors in a park or reserve. Other than exclusive private reserves, you will have to get used to sharing the sights with other safari trucks. Safari rules are relatively lax, making South Africa a great country to experience a huge diversity of safari activities. Marine encounters also feature highly as the country promotes itself as being home to the “big seven” - whales and great white sharks being the additions.
Table Mountain stands majestic above Cape Town’s streets of change and the Cape revels in its hearty mix of nature and culture. Few world cities are as iconic or as beautiful as Cape Town. And few can rival the number of things to do. From a stunning culinary scene to back-mountain hiking trails, Cape Town will keep you active and indulged. In the surrounding Cape Peninsula boutique hotels create seclusion on elegant vineyards and beacges awaits where two oceans meet.
South Africa has divine accommodation. Boutique hotels with stellar Table Mountain views. Wilderness safari camps where you can watch elephants from a private pool. Villas nestled amid the vines or perched on golden beaches. Where you stay is integral to the travel experience and there are so many unique options for your bucketlist. Location is key and the very best accommodations place you centerstage for dream South African experiences.
The Rainbow Nation is a melting pot of cultures that can pull you in so many directions. Xhosa and Zulu traditions help you travel back in time. Surf culture dominates Durban. Johannesburg is a melting pot reflecting Mandela’s post-apartheid hopes. Best of all, the South African people delight in taking you closer. A barefoot San tracker revealing secrets in the bush. Mandela’s former prison guard guiding you on Robben Island. Tasting with winemakers and exploring with rhino conservationists.
South Africa dazzles from so many angles and nature always sets the scene. Stark mountain ranges rise vertically above two blue oceans and rugged savannah provides home for Africa’s great animals. In the cities you will be enveloped by raw African landscapes and a sense of nature’s majesty. When not searching for leopards you can be standing on Table Mountain, exploring almost 3000 km of coastline, or escaping the world on wide open plains. South Africa is a big country and nature is your chance to get away from the everyday, even it's just cruising through on a train.
Distinctive cultures and experiences mean South Africa vacations can be different for everyone. There is no standard route here, certainly not when you can have penguins, whales, diving with sharks, clifftop drives, ostrich riding, township cuisine, and sipping cocktails in a private plunge pool as elephants wander past. And the food! What to do in South Africa is indulge!