"Nature and wildlife lie at the heart of the South Africa holiday experience, and a safari is an absolute must."
Touring in South Africa
Nature and wildlife lie at the heart of the South Africa holiday experience, and a safari is an absolute must. A huge range of accommodation offers everything from simple camps to ultra-luxurious lodges, with daily game drives in search of the famous ‘Big Five’. South Africa is also home to arguably the most appealing city on the continent, Cape Town, with its spectacular coastal setting close to the point where two oceans meet. Take in the views from the top of Table Mountain, explore the colourful neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap and learn about Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom on Robben Island.
From Cape Town you can strike out into the winelands for a boozy tour of the sun-dappled vineyards, or watch whales from the shore in Hermanus. Then head east along the coast and explore the lush scenery and stunning beaches of the famous Garden Route, which runs from Mossel Bay to the Storms River. Further east still is the Wild Coast, less visited but arguably even more beautiful, along with the spectacular mountain scenery of the Drakensberg Range. South Africa’s cities tend to live in the shadow of Cape Town, but cosmopolitan Durban is an appealing place to spend a few days, and Johannesburg is starting to shake off its negative image with a glut of high-profile regeneration projects.
Touring Highlights in South Africa
- Cape Town is one of the world’s great cities, laid out at the foot of magnificent Table Mountain. Trace the history of the apartheid period on Robben Island, dine out on the lovely Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and visit the adorable penguins on Boulders Beach.
- Nothing beats the thrill of a safari, and superb game reserves such as Kruger National Park offer the chance to spot the ‘Big Five’: lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalo.
- The Garden Route is South Africa’s most celebrated coastal drive, meandering through a landscape of lush vegetation, stunning beaches and rugged mountains.
- Foodies and wine connoisseurs flock to the beautiful Cape Winelands, where highlights include the gastronomic delights of Franschhoek and the historic architecture of Stellenbosch.
- Durban is South Africa’s third largest city, home to a large Indian community and a lovely waterfront area that benefited from significant investment prior to the 2010 World Cup.
- Learn about South Africa’s difficult recent past at Johannesburg’s excellent Apartheid Museum, or take a township tour of Soweto for a sobering reminder of the divisions that still exist.
- Hermanus is South Africa’s whale watching capital, and you don’t even need a boat to see the resident cetaceans at play, with southern right whales visible from the shore between June and December.
- The beautiful Wild Coast stretches from East London to Port Edward, an untamed landscape of jagged cliffs, unspoilt beaches and ancient forest.
- Some of South Africa’s most striking scenery can be found in the Drakensberg Range, which forms the boundary with the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho.
- Crossing South Africa by train is a great way to see more of the countryside, with luxury options such as Rovos Rail and the Blue Train allowing you to travel in the utmost comfort and style.