From arid desert landscapes to exotic beach havens, modern bustling cities to game-lodges and national parks, South Africa is an exhilarating mix of untamed nature and cosmopolitan coastal towns.
Scenery apart, however, South Africa’s appeal for those seeking a generous slice of hedonism along with their sightseeing lies in the exceptional quality of its hotels and restaurants. Visitors to the country are ‘guests’ and the generosity of this term is manifest in the luxury and diversity of accommodation available. Whether you want a secret tree-top lodge, a romantic safari tent or an exclusive coastal retreat away from the city, this melting pot country gives liberally of its bounty.
Very few cities have a mountain in such close proximity and Table Mountain is well known for its hiking trails, many of which form part of the Table Mountain National Park. Cape Town’s geographical position makes it an ideal holiday location, whether for a long weekend taking in the city sights (including the dramatic Cape peninsular and the stunningly beautiful Cape winelands), or as the leisurely entrée into a longer vacation taking in a safari or two and exploring the famed Garden Route.
Spend a few days ashore travelling up the Garden Route, making sure to stop at the Tsisikamma National Park which is bounded by the Tsitsikamma Mountains to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south. Though the Garden Route continues westward beyond Knysna for some distance, the prettiest stretch of the route ends at the glorious beach of Brenton-on-Sea. Unless you plan to whale watch at Hermanus, turn northwards at George and head through the jaw-dropping Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn, capital of the Klein Karoo. As you travel west, the grand bare bones of the mountains gradually give way to vivid verdant splashes of colour.
- See the enchanting colony of African Penguins at Boulders Beach, Cape Town.
- It is well worth visiting the coastal town of Hermanus, for guaranteed sightings of Southern Right whales between August and November.
- Snorkel, dive and horseback ride along the magnificent 25 mile long beach in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
- Enjoy the golden sand beaches along the Golden Mile, Durban.
- Explore the beautiful Knysna Lagoon on a trip of the Garden Route.
- Marvel at the magnificent views of the Eastern Cape Region coastline that plays host to beautiful beaches, waterfalls and untouched forest land.
- Any visit to South Africa beyond a few days should include a safari. Most big game is located further north and the world-renowned Kruger National Park in the region of Mpumalanga offers a remarkable range of wildlife and a fantastic variety of accommodation.