TRAVEL & ADVENTURE

Why You Should Travel To South Africa

Deepanshi Ahuja, Travel Writer, India

05 February 2018

From beachfront destinations and under-water shark diving to world-class wild safaris and awe-inspiring geologic formations, South Africa is an exciting place to visit, but it’s certainly not the place to lose your head. Culturally, the country is a unique blend of African and Colonial cultures, which have seen some of the most engaging and inspiring political reformations of modern times. From the legacy of Nelson Mandela to the harmonies of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, South Africa is a great place to learn about the past and for cultural immersion.

Below is listing of Africa’s top touring destinations and individual reasons on why you should visit it based on your preference.

1. Zimbabwe’s World Of Wonders

Zimbabwe offers something for every budget, making it a top choice for value guests who want an authentic African experience that is also affordable.

Changes by the local government have stabilized the country’s infrastructure and made improvements that accommodate tourism. Local operators, though, have maintained pricing to bring in guests of every budget level. But far more than price brings thousands of visitors to Zimbabwe every year. The country is home to some incredible bush destinations where rivers meander through dense plant life, and guests truly enjoy the moderate tropical climate. Diverse national parks, from Hwange, Mana Pools, Nyanga, Matobo to Gonarezhou stand ready to lure you into their gorgeous natural beauty and diverse wildlife. Despite the magnificence of Zimbabwe’s protected areas, the country remains a little-known treasure amidst the popular sites in neighboring countries. But the absence of tourists is a windfall for our guests, as you explore the remote areas with a certain sense of isolation.

Changes by the local government have stabilized the country’s infrastructure and made improvements that accommodate tourism. Local operators, though, have maintained pricing to bring in guests of every budget level. But far more than price brings thousands of visitors to Zimbabwe every year. The country is home to some incredible bush destinations where rivers meander through dense plant life, and guests truly enjoy the moderate tropical climate. Diverse national parks, from Hwange, Mana Pools, Nyanga, Matobo to Gonarezhou stand ready to lure you into their gorgeous natural beauty and diverse wildlife. Despite the magnificence of Zimbabwe’s protected areas, the country remains a little-known treasure amidst the popular sites in neighboring countries. But the absence of tourists is a windfall for our guests, as you explore the remote areas with a certain sense of isolation.

2. Rwanda’s Gorillas In The Mist

Experience your very own “Gorillas in the Mist” African vacation in Rwanda! Followed a professional ranger-guide deep into the natural habitat of Rwanda’s mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcans), and you can even pay homage to those who have worked to protect the awe-inspiring creatures.

Dian Fossey, the most acclaimed conservationist who worked with mountain gorillas, is buried in Rwanda. You can also meet some of the local peoples who once poached the animals, but now work to give mountain gorillas a fighting chance to survive and thrive. As Africa’s first national park alongside the bordering Virunga, Volcanoes is home to parts of the continent’s mountain gorilla population. Lake Kivu, one of Africa’s Great Lakes, gives guests a chance to refresh themselves with water-based activities, and the lake is especially noteworthy for its views of Nyiragongo, an active volcano that displays a glow of magma around its rim. Rwanda also offers a terrestrial bush experience, and Akagera National Park offers iconic African wildlife viewing opportunities, such as buffaloes, elephants, hippos and other grazing fauna like topi, bushbuck, impalas, as well as crocodiles, hyenas, leopards and other carnivores. Peer into the dense foliage to catch a glimpse of golden monkeys and chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest. The rainforest is also home to black and white colobus monkeys, and you will not believe how many of the contrasting-color creatures scamper amidst the branches. In addition to being known for its “Thousands Hills”, Rwanda also has a heavy and somewhat tragic history. Visiting the capital city of Kigali gives you the chance to visit the Kigali Memorial Centre. The country’s former unstable history is documented in the many displays and exhibits, including the genocide of more than 250,000 people who were killed in 1994.

3. Tanzania’s Inimitable Experiences

The centerpiece of your dream travel in Tanzania is the experience. From the moment you first touch the native soil, you feel connected to land, animals and people unlike any others on the planet. As an immersion destination, Tanzania is a place where your imagination blends flawlessly with reality.

Images that once remained frozen in nature magazines now stands majestically before your eyes. Tribal peoples like the hunter-gathering Hadzabe to the pastoralist Maasai that you first saw in heartfelt photographs now share your smile and greet you warmly. Vast landscapes that entice the human mind now stretch for miles inviting you to explore every tree, river, plain and mountain. These experiences await you in the land of Tanzania, one of East Africa’s most incredible destinations. A wilderness trip in Tanzania is where your heartbeat matches the rhythm of the Great Migration in Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro awakens the adventurer that lies asleep inside you. The country is an exceptional wilderness for guests who seek out places that are the off-the-beaten path, away from crowds, from the wildlife battling grounds of Katavi to chimp-habitat highlands of Gombe and Mahale. Places where you bring home untold stories with a renewed spirit and vigor. Tanzania is also one of the few places on earth where you can witness one of mankind’s closest primate relatives — chimpanzees that dwell within the secluded forests by Lake Tanganyika. The country offers a multi-faceted experience that expands beyond the remote outback. Just off the coastline sits Zanzibar Island, an archipelago that is rich in history, culture and all things exotic. Beyond the shoreline, the green-blue waters of the Indian Ocean entice you to delve into the bizarre and fascinating underwater realm of vivid corals and marine life in parks like Mnemba, Mafia and Chumbe. Creatures both great and small live an animated life that shares the predator and prey tale of terrestrial wildlife.

4. Spectacular Architecture

The Painted Chimneys, Ponte City Towers, Carlton Centre, and Hanging Building at Johannesburg are all examples of splendid architecture

The Palace of the Lost City and Spider Bridge in Sun City are worth a visit. The Port and Beachfront at Mossel Bay is one of its kind while the Cape Town stadium is unbelievably awesome. South Africa has what it takes to dazzle its visitors.

5. Beaches Perfect for Swimming and Surfing

Town boasts of the best urban beaches in the world with tropical coral reefs and diving/snorkelling spots.

Furthermore, the city is home to a comical colony of endangered African penguins along the Indian Ocean coastline with pristine gold sand. These beaches are always full of swimmers and surfers. Go kayaking, windsurfing, surf skiing, kite surfing, angling or deep sea diving. Most beaches are dotted with lively restaurants and cafes where you can land up for drinks and food – don’t miss the fresh seafood delicacies! Codfather Seafood and Sushi in Cape Town comes specially recommended.

6. Adventure

South Africa is the adventure capital of the world.

South Africa has a wide range of activities available for the adventure junkie, such as: Bungee jumping, white water rafting, hot air ballooning, abseiling, helicopter rides and flips, canopy tours and shark cage diving to name a few. So if you are looking for something to boost your adrenaline levels whilst on holiday then make sure to include South Africa on your travels.

7. Delicious food

South African cuisine has a lot of outside influences like from Europe and Asia from colonialism times. They have some of the tastiest meats in the world and venture outside of the typical beef and pork.

Ostrich is found on many menus as is springbok and if you are lucky you might even get to enjoy Kudu. They enjoy a good BBQ aka braai and one of the meats I liked most was biltong, which is similar to beef jerky. South Africa is also big on beer production with their SAB World of Beer tour in Johannesburg said to be the top tourist attraction in the country.

South Africa has well developed infrastructure and modern amenities. Cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Knysna, and many other cities in South Africa have the kinds of structures, services, entertainment, restaurants, and offerings you would expect to find in American or European cities.

Despite being the most modern African country, South Africa still offers many of the attractions that draw people to Africa. It is infused with vibrant culture and has the wild African bush at its back door. This is important to understanding why South Africa is such a special place. It has a rare mix of modern development, African culture, outdoor attractions, and untamed wildlife that you will find nowhere else in the world.

8. Good weather

In general South Africa is a very sunny country, with many areas experiencing over 300 sunny days per year. The Western Cape, where Cape Town is located, has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

The interior of the country is generally temperate and the northeast region, where Johannesburg and Kruger Park are located, has sun-drenched, hazy summers. This northeast region, much of which is subtropical, has mild winters with chilly mornings and warm afternoons. This is actually the best time of year for viewing game since the animals love these temperatures.

As you can see, South Africa really does have a warm, inviting climate, even during the winter months. Also, because South Africa is located in the southern hemisphere, its seasons are opposite to what they are here in the U.S. This means that our autumn and winter months are the perfect time for basking in South Africa’s warm, summer sun.

9. South Africa’s Inspiring Attractions

The continent of Africa has been touched by cultures from around the world, and South Africa is one of the few places on Earth where you have a truly wholesome experience.

The country excels as a modern destination while sustaining the wilderness experience of Africa’s pristine outback, from Kruger, Sabi Sand, Madikwe to Phinda and Shamwari. South Africa offers striking landscapes and wildlife that engages the minds of photographers and conservation enthusiasts around the world. With an infrastructure that rivals even the most cultured European locations, you are assured the conveniences and utmost service that is expected from a thriving and diversified economy. Cape Town and Johannesburg are international tourist centers, and South Africa often hosts some of the world’s most significant international events, such as the Rugby World Cup, Indian Cricket Premier League and Soccer World Cup. As a discerning South African traveler, you enjoy the many benefits of the country, including developed logistics, accommodation, security and service levels.

These qualities allow you to immerse yourself in heavenly gastronomic tours, high-end fashions, stunning artwork and museum displays, divine shopping and much, much more. South Africa is also home to some of the best wineries in the world, and you can sample many local wines in the beautiful settings of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. Engage with locals during year-round festivals throughout the country, such as Pick-n-Pay Oyster and Wine Mardi Gras, Oyster Festival in Knysna, Taste of Joburg and Franschhoek Bastille Festival. Even our adventurous outdoors guests find plenty to occupy their time with world-class golf, scuba diving, shark dives, hiking, biking and bungee jumping. In South Africa, food is less about consumption and more about savoring delectable morsels that awaken your every sense. The Michelin-rated and starred culinary establishments satisfy every palate in ways that you simply cannot imagine! Add to all of this, the gorgeous beaches of Camps Bay, Durban to Clifton, Sodwana, and you have the idyllic destination for solo travelers, couples, newlyweds, families and groups who desire a wonderful coastal metropolitan experience without being far from Africa’s wilderness country.

10. Botswana’s Unspoiled Treasures

Africa is a treasure trove of ecological gems, and Botswana is by far the shining star of the continent. Prized as the Jewel of the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta is an idyllic oasis that is teeming with diverse botanical and fauna species.

In Botswana, you traverse on vehicle, foot, boats and mokoro amongst paths of wild date palms, mangroves, acacias and other flora that adorn the islands, channels and lagoons. Amidst the vegetation are some of Africa’s most beloved creatures. Buffalos, elephants, reedbucks, impalas, zebras, warthogs, hippos and other herbivores search for grasses, leaves and tender morsels. Camouflaged by the landscape and plant life are lions, leopards, wild dogs, cheetahs, hyenas and several other types of sly hunters. The air is filled with the songs and wingbeats of more than 500 bird species. Best of all, the spectacular setting attracts few visitors due to its high cost, making it a perfect destination for like-minded photographers, boutique guests and those who desire a more private African travel experience.

Botswana is also one of the few outbacks in Africa where you can discover the natural beauty via water-based safaris. Professional guides skillfully navigate the waterways in traditional hand-carved canoes known as “mokoros”. After you spend time in the lagoons, floodplains and channels, partake of some terrestrial excursions, such as a rock art tour of Tsodilo Hills, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site to see over 4,000 paintings by the ancient hunter-gatherer San Bushman. Chobe National Park is a distinct pachyderm destination that is known for viewing huge herds of elephants, and day trip takes you to the majestic Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Linyanti, Selinda, Savute, Northern Tuli, Mashatu, Central Kalahari and other habitats are why Botswana is a favorite location for nature filmmakers, including Dereck and Beverly Joubert of the National Geographic. An array of safari activities and the second largest migration of zebras at Makgadikgadi as well as top-notch accommodations and highly personable service for your travel make Botswana a prime destination in Africa.