South Africa is a destination that offers all types of holidays. From excellent safaris to the beautiful mountains and beach holidays. It is suitable for all types of visitors, especially honeymooners and families. Many choose to get married in South Africa and this is a simple process.
Situated at the southern tip of the African continent; South Africa shares its borders with Namibia in the northwest, Botswana & Zimbabwe in the north and Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland) in the northeast.
It is fondly called ‘The Rainbow Nation’; due to its transformation after the fall of apartheid. Since then it has increasingly become the destination of choice. Furthermore, it offers the most value-for-money safari destination in Africa.
Links to South African attractions
The Greater Kruger area includes:
Kruger National Park
MalaMala Game Reserve
Sabi Sand Game Reserve
While visiting the Kruger, enjoy the scenic Panorama Route:
Panorama Route – including Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window etc.
In the ‘Cape’ we have:
Eastern Cape including Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha), Grahamstown, and East London plus also malaria-free game reserves
Garden Route including Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Oudtshoorn, George and also Storms River (Tsitsikamma)
Hermanus for whale watching and Shark Cage diving
Northern Cape including Kimberley. And the Green Kalahari national parks such as Augrabies Falls, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Plus Namaqua, Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, and Tankwa Karoo.
In Kwa-Zulu Natal, we have:
Battlefields of Kwa-Zulu Natal
Phinda Private Game Reserve
The Zulu Kingdom incl. Hluhluwe, St Lucia, Lake Sibaya and Sodwana
The main international airport is OR Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport (JNB):
Johannesburg and Pretoria
For a safari near Johannesburg, visit:
The Waterberg Bioshpere including Welgevonden, Marakele, Lapalala and Entabeni
Madikwe Game Reserve
Pilanesberg National Park
Next to Pilanesberg is the entertainment resort of Sun City
Sun City and The Palace of the Lost City
South Africa Provinces
South Africa is divided into 9 provinces:
The Western Cape is a year-round holiday destination, offering activities for all types of tourists. It is probably most famous for its main city, Cape Town. And of course Table Mountain, The Victoria & 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 Gqeberha (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 wildflowers, 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 the 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 the 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, which means the 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 that offers rich wildlife, scenic splendor, and a wealth of historical and cultural haunts. Home to the Kruger National Park (Northern section – about 80%) and the the scenic Waterberg Biosphere. This includes Welgevonden Private Game Reserve, Marakele National Park, Lapalala Wilderness Reserve and Entabeni Private Game Reserve. It also is the land of Mapungubwe, the 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 from Johannesburg. It is also home to the malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park and the Madikwe Game Reserve which both offer excellent safaris.
Best time to visit South Africa:
South Africa is a great African country to visit all year round. It offers great wildlife safaris, culture, awesome scenery with mountains, and gorgeous beaches. Throw in the fantastic wine and fine cuisine, and you can see why South Africa is such a popular tourist destination.
Safaris are best during the winter months (May to September). This is also usually 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, Madikwe and Waterberg 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 is incredible. This is when the desert terrain transforms into a spectacular carpet of flowers. A great self-drive option situated outside of Cape Town, stretching up into the Northern Cape.
Kwa-Zulu Natal is on the east coast of South Africa. The coastal towns offer year-round warm waters (Indian Ocean) for swimming at the beaches. The climate here is fantastic and winters are very mild. Inland from Durban; it may be a bit chillier in winter. Here you will find the Midlands Meander, Drakensberg Mountains, and Battlefields.
Please note the South African school holidays can become very busy so you will need to book well in advance. This includes mid-December to late January, April, and July.
South Africa Accommodation
Here is some South Africa accommodation. Obviously, there is lots more and we are continuously adding to this site. If you don’t find the property you are looking for, please get in touch.