A country to inspire
South Africa is well endowed with a wide variety of experiences to explore. From watching the big five in one of the worlds biggest national parks to enjoying a relaxing time at our blue flag beaches to surfing at some of the worlds best super tubes. You can choose to sift through our unmatched cultural and wine routes or you can opt to learn a lot through world heritage sites. You can watch whales doing acrobatics at the worlds whale watching capital or come up close and personal with the great whites or simply take part in any of the endless adrenalin pumping adventure sports that are on offer in the air, sea or on land. All this while staying in some of the top world class hotels or simply living in our equally comfortable award winning alternative accommodation.
To pick the very best out of an array of South African experiences is almost impossible but we did come up with a selection of our favourite top South African experiences.
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a trip up Table Mountain home to some of South Africa's most breathtaking views. Take a guided walk on one of the many routes or simply ride the cable car to the top - it will be one of your lasting memories of SA.
A short cruise from Cape Town's V&A Waterfront by ferry, this legendary island is a must-see on any newcomer's itinerary. This is where Nelson Mandela and his comrades were imprisoned for decades during the Apartheid era. Former inmates will take you on an insightful tour of the prison grounds. This historical island is now a World Heritage Site and a proclaimed nature conservation area.
The Cape Winelands
An experience not to be missed! Acres of vineyards, beautiful Cape Dutch homesteads, and back drop of stunning mountains are home of many wonderful South African wine estates. The Cape Winelands are located just outside the city of Cape Town and offers travellers the opportunity to taste world class wines. Many of the wine estates offer superb food to accompany a glass or two of your favourite wine!
The Garden Route
From Cape Town along the coast to the Tsitsikamma Forest, this 600-kilometre stretch of small towns, wineries, farms and sea villages has been a traveller's delight for more than a century. Take your time, soak in the scenery, stay over in a guest-house, enjoy the cuisine and let South African hospitality take over.
From KwaZulu-Natal to the Wild Coast, from the Eastern Cape to the West Coast, to the trendy beaches around Cape Town, South Africa boasts more than 3 000km of coastline. Pristine beaches, fishing communities, golf estates, luxury hotels and guest-houses dot the landscape as you explore the marine wonderland that is South Africa.
Every Spring (August to September), the Northern Cape comes alive with vast fields of daisies in a natural splash of vivid colour. Fed by winter rains, the flower grounds of Namaqualand are a photographer's delight.
Cradle of Humankind
Declared a World Heritage Site, the Cradle of Humankind west of Johannesburg includes, among its numerous sites, the Sterkfontein Caves, where anthropologist Dr Robert Broom discovered the skull of Mrs Ples, a three-million year-old hominid, in 1936. At the time she was thought to be the closest evidence the "missing link" to be found.
Kruger National Park
About the size of Israel, the Kruger Park is the greatest of South Africa's many national parks which attract a great number of visitors intent on drinking in the wilderness. On guided walks, drives or self-drive, visitors have the best chance of spotting the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo) in this park.
The Drakensberg Mountains
A thousand kilometres of mountain majesty, the Drakensberg (Dragon Mountains) range is the adventure tourist's playground. It is also perfect for nature photography, easy walking and simple relaxation. Full of game sanctuaries, Bushman rock art sites, challenging peaks and cascading waterfalls, the views in the Drakensberg will compete with anything the rest of the world has to offer.
Just South of Johannesburg lies Soweto - the largest of South Africa's townships. This vibrant city is home to some 2 million people and a number of historical sights. A typical visit to Soweto includes a stop at a traditional shebeen (drinking hall), where you can savour local beer, food and hospitality, as well as a visit to the homes where Nobel laureates Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu once lived.