Discover a world in one country where rich and varied colours, cultures and traditions come together in this vibrant Rainbow Nation. A rich variety of experiences, adventures and attractions await visitors to this diverse county at the southern tip of Africa. Stroll through the rich Winelands, explore rolling plains alive with varied wildlife, soak up the different cultural experiences or travel to the southernmost tip of Africa, where two oceans meet and the unmistakable shape of Table Mountain casts its level gaze over the city of Cape Town.
South Africa is known for its rich spectacular scenery and natural landscapes, from the soaring mountain peaks of the Drakensberg mountain range to the endless vistas of the Karoo. Walk through dense and ancient forests or stroll unspoiled coastlines, the surroundings will sooth or thrill you and make for a remarkable backdrop to your travels.
A well-established safari destination, South Africa offers game lodges and National Parks that cater for all budgets, from luxurious private game lodges with impeccable service and cuisine to affordable rustic self-catering huts and cottages at the rest camps of various National Parks. Whether on foot in the company of an experienced guide, in your own rental vehicle or on an open safari vehicle, the wildlife encounters that South Africa has to offer will add up to safari adventures that will exceed your wildest expectations.
Spectacular wildlife encounters are not limited to the land – South Africa offers magnificent marine life experiences as well. The adventurous souls can sail beside a whale, go eye to eye with wild Tiger sharks and cage dive with Great White sharks whilst those less adventurous can be charmed by urban penguins or enjoy the magic of watching newborn turtle hatchlings make their bid for life in the ocean.
For those who wish to soak up the history and culture of the country, there is are many different experiences to choose from. Learn more about the struggle for independence and the more recent struggle for democracy in Tshwane (Pretoria) and Johannesburg. Listen to the tales of bygone battles on the Battlefields of Kwa-Zulu Natal or enjoy a vibrant and entertaining dinner at a cultural village.
South Africa has a very varied climate from one region to the other. In general, the best months to travel are the winter months when game viewing is an important part of your holiday – especially for the inland parks. The Cape area experience winter rainfall and for parks in that area, the opposite would be true with regards to game viewing. The best time for a Cape beach holiday would be from November to March.
More or less all of the rest of the country, including popular destinations like the Kruger National Park, have heavy summer thundershowers from December to March. The winter months, from May to October, tend to be dry.
Note that the months of June to August tend to have very cold mornings and evenings and it is better to change to accommodated options when in mountainous areas like the Drakensberg.
English is widely spoken, major languages include isiZulu, IsiXhosa, Sepedi, Setswana, Sesotho, Afrikaans and Xitsonga.
Capital Tshwane (formerly known as Pretoria)
Currency ZAR – South African Rand, 1 Rand has 100 cents
Try these local delicacies:
Biltong and “droëwors” is salted dried meat with traditional spices – a favourite among South Africans while watching rugby games.
Bobotie is a dish of Malay decent served with yellow rice, sambals, coconut, banana slices and chutney.
Boerewors is a great sausage to compliment a braai (BBQ) and the famous boerewors rolls with a salsa is a great handheld snack.
Koeksisters are a deep-fried twisted pastry soaked in syrup and a favourite dessert in this country.