Six reasons to visit South Africa

With the South African Rand at an all time low, now has never been a better time to visit this majestic country. South Africa is a land rich in natural beauty and diversity and offers something for everyone, no matter which province you visit – from wildlife enthusiasts to sun worshippers to foodies and wine connoisseurs.

History and Culture

Although a relatively new country, South Africa has much to offer in terms of history and culture. If you’re interested in history, visit the many museums (such as the Bo-Kaap museum in Cape Town), take a trip to Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years or visit the battle sites of the Anglo-Boer and Anglo-Zulu wars in KwaZulu Natal. For the culture buffs, book a show at the theatre,  go to a music concert or visit an art gallery. South Africans love going to outdoor music concerts (well, they are blessed with mostly good weather afterall.). In Cape Town you can go to ones at Kirstenbosch and in Durban the Durban Botanical Gardens has outdoors concerts by the lake. Take a picnic!

Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robben Island

Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island

Magnificent beaches

South Africa’s coastline stretches for over 2,500 km. That’s a lot of beaches. The Indian Ocean runs all the way from KwaZulu Natal to the Cape and then the Cape also has the Atlantic Ocean, so expect some beaches to have pretty chilly water. If you’re in the Cape, be sure to visit Cape Agulhas, which is the southern-most tip of Africa and is where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Be sure to visit Boulders Beach if you’re in Cape Town and see the penguins.

Penguins at Boulders Beach in Cape Town

Penguins at Boulders Beach in Cape Town

Majestic mountains

Cape Town’s Table Mountain is, of course, iconic but South Africa has many more beautiful mountains. The Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal is a fantastic place to stay, hike, fish and relax. Another truly breathtaking mountain range in KwaZulu Natal is the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Then there’s the Swartberg range in the Western Cape. In fact, here’s a list.

Award-winning wine

Although many old world wine connoisseurs may turn their noses up at South African wine, the numerous Gold awards prove that when it comes to wine, South Africa is most definitely on the map.  Pay a visit to the winelands of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, which are about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. Or, if you’re really pressed for time visit Cape Town’s Groot Constantia – the oldest vineyard in South Africa, dating back to the 1600s.

Chocolate and wine tasting at Laborie in Paarl

Chocolate and wine tasting at Laborie in Paarl

Rich marine life

From Dolphins in KwaZulu Natal to penguins, seals and whales in the Cape, South Africa’s marine life is second to none. There are also diving spots, aquariums and uShaka Marine World in Durban.

Safari

A trip to South Africa would not be complete without going on a safari. From luxurious tented safari camps in the Kruger National Park to private game reserves with rooms by a waterhole, you are truly spoilt for choice.

So…have you booked your flight yet?

Here’s why Cape Town is the jewel in South Africa’s crown.

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12 Comments

  1. August 21, 2015 / 6:25 am

    All excellent reasons, Kirsty. I visited the Cape (we stayed in Nordhoek) and Stellenbosch in 2008/9 and it was magical. Just waiting until the littlest is a bit bigger to make a return trip. Our best find on our trip was Silvermine Nature Reserve, with a stunning reservoir where you can swim. Absolutely gorgeous and deserted. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvermine_Nature_Reserve

    The food was to die for everywhere we went too (even for a vegetarian). Happy memories.

  2. August 24, 2015 / 10:49 pm

    Thank you for this! I’m planning a trip to the Western Cape there in the early Spring next year, so will see how much of this I can get in too 🙂

  3. August 25, 2015 / 12:57 pm

    Definitely a good sign! You will love it. Franschhoek is fabulous! Definitely book a table at Ryan’s Kitchen.

  4. September 24, 2015 / 10:23 am

    Boulders Beach looks amazing. I love wildlife so if I was to ever go that would definitely be a highlight.

    Roxie x
    The Beautiful Bluebird

    • September 24, 2015 / 10:25 am

      It’s such a fun experience Roxie. You can even find penguins hiding under the stairs beneath you!

  5. September 26, 2015 / 12:00 pm

    I would never visit Africa, with whats happening and people killing each other i wouldst just go there and pretend to be tourist. Same after Tunisia, I cant stand people going there sunbathing where people was killed:( I am glad you had an amazing time but there is so much going on there and people in Africa could be helped! 🙁

    • September 26, 2015 / 12:18 pm

      Thanks for your comment Anna. South Africa is actually my home country and I love it. Unfortunately violence happens everywhere – look at 9/11 and 7/7. I don’t think being afraid should stop you visiting a country or an entire continent. In fact, tourism is what brings money into these countries and they rely on tourism. What I would say, is just do your research but on the whole, South Africa is pretty safe – there is no civil war or anything.

      • September 27, 2015 / 11:17 pm

        Yeah I totally understand, but is just I know you cant judge the whole country of certain places but still.. buts saying that I wouldnt go to to many places in the world either. I know tourism brings more money but I watched this programme where its says the money actually goes to goverment! I spend so much on helping and hearing that just put me off s I stopped. If it your home place of course you feel safe. Same where I live, but people feel affraid- but funny this. my friend says she daily hear about shooting in manchester and she wouldnt never move here- and I love this place so i kind of know what you mean but still I wouldnt.

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