From the big game safaris to the penguin-patrolled white beaches, you’ll find a rich variety of places to visit in South Africa. This is a country of dramatic contrasts, which you can appreciate in its full glory along the Garden Route, a drive that takes you from the valleys of the lush Winelands to Cape Town’s craggy coastal cliffs. And that’s still just a fraction of all the things you can see here.
Things to do
With 2,500km of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the many beaches in South Africa never end. Watch the sunset at Cape Town’s Bloubergstrand Beach, try bodyboarding at Durban’s North Beach or get away from it all on the secluded, coppery sand of Sodwana Bay in KwaZulu-Natal. When you’re not swimming, sailing, diving and windsurfing, try shark diving to get exhilaratingly close to those great whites. Shark Alley is one of the top cage-diving destinations in the world and you don’t have to be a qualified diver to try it.
The country’s transition from divisive and unjust apartheid to a democracy with Nelson Mandela as president is one of the most remarkable events of the 20th century. South Africans are rightly proud of their leader and you can visit memorials to Mandela everywhere, from his modest house in Johannesburg to Robben Island where he was jailed for 18 years. With its fascinating mix of cultures and tribes, it’s no surprise South Africa is called the Rainbow Nation.
South Africa is known for its fantastic safaris, but the whole country is also an exhilarating adventure playground. To get your heart racing, you can plunge from the world’s highest bridge bungee, fly on the fastest zip line in the world, or take a hot air balloon over the plains. And if you’re into golf, you’ll want to try your hand at Legend Golf Resort in Limpopo, home of what claims to be the world’s most difficult hole. You can only reach the tee of The Extreme 19th, at the top of Hangklip Mountain, by helicopter.