The Republic of South Africa is one of the continent’s political success stories, as well as its crown jewel. It boasts top-notch wildlife areas, gorgeous coastlines, tremendous cultural diversity and—unlike almost all other African nations—top cultural attractions, culinary and vineyard delights that carry a developed world, almost European feel in the verdant region surrounding Cape Town.
South Africa has a little of everything for everyone. Travelers go for the game, for the beaches, for the culture, and some go exclusively for European caliber food, wine and deluxe accommodation at bargain prices.
Adventure Travel Highlights
From teeming game reserves like Kruger NP to the wineries along the Cape’s Garden Route, adventures for all tastes await the intrepid traveler.
South African experiences include:
- Cape Point – where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet
- Cape Town, South Africa's 'Mother City'
- Fine wines of the Western Cape
- Spectacular views of Blyde River Canyon
- The enchantment of the Lesotho highlands
- The gentle giants of Addo Elephant NP
- Cape Town’s Table Mountain
- The Kingdom of Swaziland
- Kruger NP and many other nature preserves
South Africa is a sizable country, occupying the whole of the southern tip of Africa. Lesotho is an enclave within it, while to the north lie Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe from west to east. On the eastern flank are Swaziland and Mozambique.
South Africa is home to 50 million nationals and 5 million illegal immigrants, thanks in large part to the decimation of Zimbabwe. It’s a diverse nation, with the continent’s greatest European and Asian populations, as well as many tribal nations. There are no less than 11 official languages. English is the fifth most spoken, with Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans taking top spots.
Climate and When to Go
Any time is a good time to visit South Africa, but June to September are ideal for hiking and wildlife watching, as it is cooler, drier, and thirsty beasts congregate around watering holes. If you’re traveling during the summer, winter or Easter holidays, it’s wise to book well in advance—especially for the Garden Route.