South Africa has been called “a world in one country” – a perfect description considering all that it has to offer. Fondly known by locals as the “Rainbow Nation”, South Africa has 11 official languages and its inhabitants are influenced by a fascinating mix of African, Asian, and European cultures.
There is something here for everyone – cosmopolitan Cape Town with world-class restaurants, art galleries, Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, and the nearby beautiful countryside and fine wine in the Cape Winelands; the spectacular scenery of the Garden Route; magnificent whales breaching on the Hermanus Coast; the sunny beaches of Durban; and fascinating historical and cultural sites including the Zululand battlefields, and sites related to the country’s turbulent past as well as its freedom, including Soweto, Robben Island, and the Apartheid Museum.
Above all else, South Africa’s attraction lies in its wilderness areas, with an astonishing range of wildlife roaming freely across massive game reserves such as the famous Kruger National Park and the large private tracts of unfenced wildlife land on its borders, such as the Sabi Sands and Timbavati. For families, the malaria-free Madikwe is a great option, while the remote Tswalu Kalahari Reserve offers the ultimate off-the-beaten-track escape and unusual wildlife such as pangolin and brown hyena.
Because the airport in Johannesburg is a major international hub with flights to nearly anywhere on the continent, it is easy to combine South Africa with other destinations. The most popular pairings are usually with other southern African countries, although East Africa is also possible.