South Africa is a hugely diverse travel destination, with many different offerings, landscapes, activities and attractions. Here are our top 5 must-visit places for those wanting to travel to South Africa:
1) Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park, spanning across parts of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, is widely considered one of the top national parks in Africa. The park boasts Africa's 'Big 5' - lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants and rhinos, as well as a plethora of other predators and herbivores. The best time to visit the Kruger would be in the dry winter months, from May to August, when the bush is less dense and water sources are scarce. The park is also well known for leopard and African wild dog sightings in certain areas.
2) Cape Town
Cape Town is fondly known as the 'Mother City' of South Africa. One of the most popular attractions is the famous Table Mountain - amongst the most photographed attractions in the country. The Table Mountain National Park, which also contains the Cape Peninsula, is part of the UNESCO Cape Floral Region World Heritage Site, as it is home to many unique species of flora and the unusual fynbos vegetation. Cape Town city also offers a variety of activities, cultural experiences and fantastic restaurants.
3) Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve
This reserve, which lies on the edge of the Kalahari desert, in the Northern Cape region, is South Africa's largest privately protected game reserve. This area showcases a highly unique and diverse landscape of red desert soil, arid savannah flats and the Korannaberg mountains. The reserve is particularly special as it provides a safe haven for a large population of black rhino. Visitors should look out for the black-maned Kalahari lion, cheetah, roan antelope, springbok, oryx, buffalo and kudu. Some lesser-known species to be spotted in the area include aardwolfs, pangolins, aadvarks and black-backed jackals, making for extremely memorable and rare sightings.
4) Cape Winelands
Stellenbosch and Franschoek are two popular destinations in the Cape Winelands, situated just outside of Cape Town. These regions are well known internationally for their excellent wines, which are produced by local wine farms. Guests visiting the area can expect to visit multiple vineyards, enjoy wine tastings, tours of the cellars, appreciate the historical Cape Dutch architecture and delight in delicious meals, cheeses and other locally produced treats.
5) The Garden Route
The Garden Route runs along the southeast coast of South Africa, for approximately 200km adjacent to the warm Indian Ocean. From Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape, travellers on this route can expect magnificent coastal views, interesting flora and fauna, unique towns and thrilling activities - including one of the highest bungee jumps in the world at Bloukrans Bridge.