Best for travel in South Africa
South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park is populated by big game. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.
Between sea, mountains and wine walks, the Rainbow Nation has many assets to offer to travelers, such as superb panoramas, good weather and magnificent wildlife to admire. The safari is a must-see attraction, to be carried out in one of the country’s many reserves.
THE TOP 10 CITIES YOU HAVE TO DISCOVER
Heading to the end of the world with the sublime city of Cape Town, called “the mother city”, which remains a must to discover in South Africa. A city with multiple natural attractions such as the Table Mountain which dominates the city or the Cape Peninsula and the Cape of Good Hope, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Culture is also present in Cape Town with the Robben Island prison island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for nearly 27 years, or the latest Zeitz MOCAA museum which is the largest museum of contemporary art on the African continent.
Cape Town also has many districts that are worth a visit, such as the colourful Malaysian district of Bo-Kaap, the tourist and unmissable Waterfront or the creative district of Woodstock with its street art, trendy market and art galleries. Between sea, mountains, city and vineyards, the Cape Town region offers other possibilities of escapism such as the city of Simon’sTown with its Boulders beach where colonies of Cape penguins have chosen to live or the beach of Muizenberg to learn to surf and discover the famous colorful houses by the sea.
ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK
Welcome to the third largest park in the country, located east of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Addo National Park was established in 1931 to save the last elephants in the region from extinction. Today there are nearly 400 elephants and other mammals that can also be observed such as black rhino, buffalo, various species of antelope, a wide variety of birds and in recent years some lions. The national park also has a marine reserve where it is possible to see the “Big 7” with the southern right whale and the great white shark.
In the UNESCO World Heritage Site uKhahlamba-Drakensberg National Park, which borders Lesotho, you can explore majestic mountains and other natural wonders of great beauty. The Drakensberg is a mountain range, culminating at about 3,500 meters above sea level, home to nearly 300 species of birds and no less than 50 species of mammals. The region is also ideal for good hiking, such as on the hiking trails of the Kamberg Nature Reserve or Giants Castle where you can observe paintings illustrating the daily life of the San people and even swim in waterfalls and natural pools.
THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Do you dream of going on safari on your organized trip to South Africa and tracking the “Big 5” in one of the world’s largest wilderness sanctuaries? It’s possible in the northeast of the country, not far from the Mozambique border, five hours drive from Johannesburg, in the Kruger National Park.
Go on safari for one or more days in South Africa’s largest reserve with a total area of more than 20,000 km2 by self-drive or alongside a ranger. You will follow in the footsteps of thousands of mammals and birds that live there in complete freedom.
From the city of Cape Town (about 2 hours drive), you will take one of the prettiest scenic roads in the region, the R44 (the “Clarence Drive”), which leads to the capital of whales, the city of Hermanus. It is here, more precisely in Walker Bay, that the whales come to reproduce and give birth between June and November.
During this period, you will be able to observe them from the waterfront or aboard a boat to live a surprising and memorable moment. If you like thrills, head to Gansbaai (located 30 minutes drive from Hermanus) where it is possible to cage dive with white sharks in the Shark Alley Marine Corridor (between Diver Island and Geyser Rock) which is the sharks’ territory. In addition, in the hinterland there are many vineyards where you can have a wine tasting and learn more about South African wine.
THE GARDEN ROUTE
The Garden Route is an emblematic road, also called the mythical “Route 62”. It runs along the coastline and crosses beautiful and varied landscapes between sea, mountain passes and countryside, from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. Over nearly 850 km long, the Garden Route offers many charming stages to discover as the world capital of the ostrich, known as Oudtshoorn to meet a little closer the great bird in the world.
There are also the caves of Cango, or the seaside towns of Mossel Bay and Knysna with its beautiful lagoon and its nature reserve of Featherbed as well as the bay of Plettenberg with its miles of sandy beaches and its nature reserve of Robberg Nature which promises beautiful hikes with beautiful panoramas of the ocean and sometimes even sea lions.
The Cederberg region is an area north of Cape Town offering breathtaking scenery and many outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, etc…
You can discover the Cedeberg with its hiking trails, rooibos farms and tea factories and even historical sites to follow in the footsteps of the Bushmans to discover the rock art. It is also a region that invites you to slow down, have a good time in a sublime natural setting, facing the mountains, spend a day in the open air and finish under a memorable starry sky.
THE NATURAL PARK OF ISIMANGALISO AND SAINT LUCIA
The ISimangaliso Natural Park, located on the coast of the city of Saint Lucia, in the province of Kwazulu-Natal, east of the city of Durban, is a park classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The region of Saint Lucia is home to a unique and preserved ecosystem between beaches, swamps and mangroves, savannah and forests. The coastline is wild with a water temperature of around 25 degrees Celsius. Large marine mammals, such as whales, dolphins, turtles, as well as hippos and Nily crocodiles have made their home (off Sodwana Bay). These can be observed during a boat safari in the St. Lucia estuary.
Johannesburg, also called “Joburg”, “symbol of the new Africa” is a city steeped in history that is becoming, over time, a trendy, surprising and moving city!
Johannesburg is a modern city with its many unusual, fashionable and historical districts. Between art galleries, shopping malls, museums and exhibitions, markets and trendy restaurants, the city of Johannesburg is home to districts not to be missed such as the cultural district of Newtown (former industrial zone) with its theater, its historical museum, the MuseuMAfricA, or the trendy districts of Braamfontein or Maboneng.
THE HLUHLUWE-UMFOLOZI RESERVE
In the heart of the Kwazulu-Natal region, the land of the Zulus (Zululand), and close to the iSimangaliso Park stands the country’s oldest reserve, the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Reserve. Here you can experience one or more days of safaris in your own vehicle or in a park vehicle accompanied by a park ranger. You will then be able to follow in the footsteps of the “Big 5” and also observe the highest concentration of rhinos in the world in the heart of a green landscape and remarkable savannah hills!
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