Similar to most other African countries, South Africans are very proud of their country, friendly and welcoming. There are people who live in shanty towns and small functional homes, walking miles to/from work and school each day which will tugs at your heartstrings.
South African food is exceptional and comparatively reasonably priced as well as the wine in restaurants and bars which is inexpensive to the UK standards. The places of interest such as the big hole, Table Mountain, maropeng and scenery of South Africa are really remarkable.
You will surely not regret leaving the cities and visit the adjoining countryside to experience all that South Africa has to give. You are assured a wonderful time with many memories which can be treasured forever if you take the same safety measures that you would if you were travelling in big cities at home. In this article we would briefly elaborate on some interesting places and destination you might want to visit in South Africa and the best time to go.
You can choose to visit the Winelands which should be less than an hour drive from Cape Town so you can stay in either Cape Town area or Winelands, or divide your time in both areas. Franschhoek has many superb quality restaurants, that you can base overnight especially the foodie but in order not to be disappointed, do book a table well in advance.
Camps Bay is an exciting place to stay. In the Cape Town area If you are young at heart and love to experience the beach and restaurant/night-life.
A day at the V&A Waterfront to comprise a visit to the Robben Island Prison, where Mandela was imprisoned and taking evening meal and drink at the waterfront observing the sun set. At least a day visit to the many wineries, and adoring nice-looking towns like Franschhoek & Stellenbosch as well as a Visit to Table Mountain en-route and a full day exploring the peninsula to Cape Point are all ways you can easily have a minimum of 3 days stay in Cape Town.
The queues for tickets build fast, so go early in the morning (8.30am) to avoid any inconvenience if you want to go to the Table Mountain and then the cable car to the top. There are facilities such as bathroom and a shop/restaurant. Cape Town is windy and the cable car will not function if the wind is too strong so it is important to check in advance.
There are nice towns to stop at along the route. In case you stop along the way, Cape Point is a full days touring from Cape Town. There are nice towns like Simonstown and Hout to stop at along the route where you can stop to see the very delightful African Penguins on the beach at Boulders Bay with an entry fee.
Without experiencing a Safari for at least of 2 nights, a visit to South Africa is complete. At (5.30-6am) and (4pm) early morning and a late afternoon respectively, you can partake in a game drive. Stopping for drinks and a snack is usually included in Each drive which is about 3hrs but no toilets so to avoid going “outside”, go before you board the land-rover.
The early morning game drive for a lie in, the early morning game drive can often be the most thrilling and greatest light for taking photographs so it is recommended not to be lured to neglect it. The game reserves adjacent to the Kruger National Park are among the best known across South Africa. If you will provide your own food or eat in a camp café, Kruger can definitely be your destination for a safari.
There is an improved comfort and services offered by the private reserves at a higher charge. The most luxurious are pretty costly. Safety measures should be taken against malaria in these zones but there are other good national parks and private reserves outside the malaria zones as well.
The Garden Route situated in the eastern part of the Western Cape is a highly known tourism experience. It will appeal to tourists with the time to discover and appreciate an unstructured expedition of the small towns.
Before heading on through the mountains via Robertson (do visit the Graham Beck Winery) and Barrydale (wonderful destination to stop for lunch), Calitzdorp (visit Boplaas Port winery for a unique experience), staying overnight in Oudtshoorn for a night or two, to experience the Ostrich capital of South Africa and the Cango Caves, then you can visit the Winelands (residing overnight for a couple of days) if your trip starts in Cape Town.
Between the towns of Wilderness, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, straight on to Port Elizabeth is the “real” Garden Route. Knysna has a charming waterfront space with boat and eco tours to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, waterfront eateries and shops.
If you would love to watch whale, experience wonderful beaches and nice restaurants then look no further than the Plettenberg Bay. These towns also provide elephant sanctuaries where you can up close with the animals and are also good places to stay to enjoy all that the zone has to give.
The period to watch whale is before the month of November/December. A great place to whale-watch is the town of Hermanus (a day journey from Cape Town) because the community is on the opposite side of the bay, De Kelders.
If you want to visit the Anglo-Boer-Zulu battlefields, allow 2-3 days to visit Kwa-Zulu Natal (a 3.5hr drive from Durban Airport to Dundee/Ladysmith) and be informed that many are down dirt trails so make sure you book a trip with a local registered battlefield guide (extremely recommended), or rent a tough car as they all drive 4×4 vehicles and know all the best places for back road vantage points etc.
Comparatively, Dundee is a “nicer” town to stay to Ladysmith. B&B/Lodge offering food is a better option to staying in the center of towns for a better total experience. Entry fee of 20 Rand is charged by Most of the battlefield sites and it will be best to bring water/picnics if you can since they usually have no amenities aside a toilet.
For those anticipating their first journey to South Africa, this should confidently give you a flavor of what to look out for and what to do, so have a great period in this different and thrilling country. Choose a suitable vacation package to South Africa. And start planning on a trip to South Africa