South Africa offers all types of holidays from excellent safaris to the beautiful beach holidays suitable for all types of visitors especially honeymooners.
South Africa is situated at the southern tip of the African continent and shares its borders with Namibia in the northwest, Botswana & Zimbabwe in the north and Mozambique and Swaziland in the northeast.
South Africa is fondly called ‘The Rainbow Nation’ due to its transformation after the fall of apartheid. Since then, South Africa has increasingly become the destination of choice for all types of travelers from family holidays, Weddings & Honeymoons to Conference & Incentive and medical procedures.
South Africa is the most value-for-money safari destination in Africa.
Best time to visit South Africa:
South Africa is a great African country to visit all year round offering great wildlife safaris, culture, awesome scenery with mountains for the more athletic and beaches if you are just wanting to relax in summer. Throw in the fantastic wine and fine cuisine and you can see why South Africa is such a popular tourist destination.
South African safaris are best during the winter months (May to September) and usually it is a cheaper time of year for accommodation. Temperatures during the day are usually warm (around 20ºC) but the evenings do get chilly. Rainfall in the north is mostly in the summer (Kruger area).
Cape Town, the Garden Route and Eastern Cape are the best to visit during the summer months (October to March). Rainfall is low during the summer.
If visiting Cape Town between mid-August to mid-September, a visit to see the flowers of Namaqualand when the desert terrain transforms into a spectacular carpet of flowers - great self-drive option situated outside of Cape Town, stretching up into the Northern Cape.
Kwa-Zulu Natal (Durban, Hluhluwe and St Lucia) are on the east coast and offer year round warm waters (Indian Ocean) for swimming at the beaches. The climate here is fantastic and winters are very mild.
Please bear in mind, the South African holiday season/school holidays (mid December to late January, April and July) and coastal areas and Kruger can become very busy.
South Africa is divided into 9 provinces:
Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo Province and North West Province.
The Western Cape is a year-round holiday destination, offering activities for all types of tourist. It is probably most famous for its main city, Cape Town and of course Table Mountain, The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (V&A), The Cape Winelands (just outside Cape Town), Hermanus (whale watching & Shark Cage Diving) and The Garden Route (from Heidelberg to the Tsitsikamma Forest and the Storms River).
The Eastern Cape is the second largest of South Africa’s provinces. The main city in the Eastern Cape is Port Elizabeth. The Eastern Cape offers activities for all ages and interests. From the arid desolate Karoo to bungi jumping at Blaauwkrans bridge (highest in the world) or a safari at Addo Elephant National Park & Shamwari. Nelson Mandela was born in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.
The Northern Cape borders Namibia & Botswana. Kimberley is the biggest city of the Northern Cape and is also known as ‘The Diamond Capital’ of the world. The town’s most famous attraction is the Big Hole and the adjoining Kimberley Mine Museum. The Kalahari is an enduring mystery. Its rugged sun-drenched landscapes and endless horizons evoke memories of a land before time. One of the most beautiful areas in the world is Namaqualand in spring, famous for its spectacular wild flowers, unparalleled anywhere.
The Free State is known as ‘Flower Country’ and its capital is Bloemfontein, literally meaning ‘Flower Fountain’. From the soaring sandstone formations in the Golden Gate National Park to the charming artist’s haven of Clarens. The Free State is a great area to explore if you are interested in history of the last real ‘gentleman’s wars’.
Kwa-Zulu Natal is South Africa’s playground boasting spectacular beaches, year-round sunshine and never-ending fun and activities. Durban is the capital of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Kwa-Zulu Natal offers it all. From Africa’s busiest port, wildlife in the safari game parks up the north coast, to the magnificent Drakensberg Mountains in the north.
Gauteng is home to South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg. Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. Johannesburg is called ‘Egoli’ which means City of Gold. There is a lot to do in and around Johannesburg such as a visit to Soweto or the Apartheid Museum, Lesedi Cultural Village, Maropeng & Sterkfontein Caves – Cradle of Humankind.
Mpumalanga, means place of the rising sun, borders Swaziland and Mozambique. It is home to the southern region of the Kruger National Park and has many other attractions such as: Panorama Route – God’s Window, Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Pilgrims Rest, Three Rondavels and many more.
Limpopo Province is a destination which offers rich wildlife, scenic splendor and a wealth of historical and cultural haunts. Home to the Kruger National Park(Northern section- about 80%), it also is the land of Mapungubwe, site of South Africa’s first ancient city, now a World Heritage Site.
North West Province is close to Gauteng and its most well known attraction is Sun City & The Palace of the Lost City, only 187km’s from Johannesburg. It is also home to the malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park and the Madikwe Game Reserve which both offer excellent safaris.