Travel

Travel Guide to South Africa: Travel Information

Why do you think people travel to South Africa?

Plenty of sunshine…maybe the wildlife?

Well, South Africa is blessed with open beaches, tall mountains, and an abundance of wildlife.

Everything from the big game in the Kruger National Park to Winelands and beaches in the Western Cape. Approximately 3,5 million visitors to South Africa each year, soaking in the scenic beauty and nature reserves.

Its diverse landscape ranges from green plains to dry desertland to coastal shrubland and big blue oceans. You can spot lions, sharks, and even penguins.

South Africa is host to vibrant city life in the shape of Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. The cities offer cultured neighborhoods, praised vineyards, exciting nightlife and excellent dining options to treat the traveler in you.

Often called the Rainbow Nation, South African society is a lesson in peaceful coexistence. It houses European, Indian and African communities along with over a dozen indigenous tribes.


Fun fact: South Africa has 11 official Languages.


Everything from food to music to fashion to its architecture reflects this diversity.

cape town south africa

History of South Africa

South Africa is haunted by the past of apartheid imposed upon the local people by European colonizers. South Africa held its first democratic election as recently as 1994, where anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela come to power as the first president of free South Africa.

To understand the fabric of South Africa, you need to learn the painful history that is part of the nation’s identity.


Find out more: Visit Robben Island just off the coast of Cape town or one of the museums in Johannesburg to learn more about the past.


Despite the history, apartheid is still apparent in South African society with its substantial socio-economic differences between the white and black South African people. The country currently fights with the wrongs of corruption, dishonesty, controversy, and crime due to a weak government.

south africa history

Dramatic Landscapes

Most of South Africa’s stunning landscapes vary from towering mountains to endless coastlines. It is impossible to draw up a list of every beautiful natural landscape it has to offer in a short paragraph. However, the places you shouldn’t miss out on are –

  • Lisbon Falls – The 94-meter high waterfall drops to a beautiful gorge and is a breathtaking sight to see.
  • Cathedral Rock, Eastern Cape – This well known magnificent natural wonder is a free-standing rock formation with a hole through the middle. There are are also many other lesser-known spots in the area like rock pools and waterfalls
  • The Drakensberg Amphitheatre – The Amphitheatre at Drakensberg is nothing short of a geographic wonder. Its cliff face offers awe-inspiring views of the surrounding natural beauty.
  • Tsitsikamma National Park, Garden Route – The massive Garden Route National Park encompasses over 80 kilometers of stunning coastal reserve from indigenous forests, dramatic coastline, and the Otter Trail.

drakensberg

Outdoor Adventure

South Africa has a broad range of outdoor adventure. You can take your pick from hiking, diving, rafting, snorkeling, wilderness trails among a variety of other activities.

Kruger Park offers wilderness trails. You can enjoy elephant back safari at Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve and Kapama Game Reserve. Head over to Pilanesberg Game Reserve for hot air balloon and quad bike rides.

The Bloukrans River Bridge is the highest commercial bridge bungy at 216 meters above the Bloukrans River. Hike up Table Mountain or canoe down the Orange River, South Africa’s longest river.


Did you know: Table Mountain is older than the Andes, the Alps, the Rocky Mountains and the Himalayas. ohfact.com


The Garden Route contains various reefs for you to snorkel or scuba dive inside. Surfing is typical in South Africa with many top rated surfing hotspots like Jeffrey’s Bay (voted 2nd best wave in the world), the Wild Coast, Durban in KwaZulu Natal and Dungeons (Hout Bay) make spending hours on a surfboard a must!

south africa outdoor adventure

Wildlife

South Africa hosts over 20 national parks. The Kruger National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are two of the world’s most famous wildlife reserves. South Africa is a unique wildlife travel destination and one of the continents best safari destinations.

You can spot more than 600 elephants just one hour’s drive from the coastal city of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. Currently, the 3rd largest park in South Africa. Addo Elephant National Park provides sanctuary to a diverse set of wildlife including more than 400 Cape buffaloes, over 48 endangered black rhinos, a variety of antelope species, lion and spotted hyena.


Fun fact: In South Africa the big five animals are the lion, leopard, elephant, buffaloe, and rhino


Safaris are also offered in Addo National Park, with its infrastructure containing waterholes, rest camps, picnic sites, and roads to allow visitors’ maximum exposure to its wildlife.

addo national park south africa

Africa’s weak currency makes it an excellent travel destination for backpackers. There are plenty of work opportunities for travelers to earn a quick buck while they explore the country. South Africa has its fair share of problems like petty crimes and high levels of corruption.

However, its natural beauty and cultural diversity make it a hot travel spot among travelers. If you want to cut costs further, consider staying in tents and renting a car to travel around.

Although restaurants are on the cheaper side, you can also cook your own food. Come and experience the magic of South Africa. What are you waiting for, better days?

Still not convinced? Then leave a comment and we’ll give you some insider recommendations!

I moved abroad after graduating from university to pursue a career in online marketing and consequently fell in love with traveling. I currently reside in Berlin working for an online marketing company. When I’m not working or creating content, I’m probably out with some friends, watching movies, listening to music or working out!

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