South Africa has all of the features thattravelers long for in a vacation destination: fine weather, gorgeous scenery, great beaches, modern accommodations and superb cuisine.
The southern tip of Africa also offers anexotic array of once-in-a-lifetime adventures, from off-roading on a safari to diving withgreat white sharks.
It’s hard to name another holiday destinationthat offers as much variety.
Here’s a look ash the best places to visitin South Africa.
Blyde River Canyon Blyde River Canyon is the second largest canyonin Africa, after the Fish River Canyon, although it is much greener due to its lush subtropicalfoliage.
Walking treks through the rich diversity offlora and fauna filled canyon offer views of magnificent escarpments, waterfalls andancient geological phenomenon.
Visitors have the opportunity to encounterall five of South Africa’s primates here, as well as hippos and crocodiles near thewetlands of Swadini Dam.
Cape Winelands The fertile valleys of the Cape Winelandsare surrounded by majestic mountains, sleepy villages, fruitful orchards and some of thelushest scenery in South Africa.
Visitors can follow the Wine Routes of theCape to visit the vineyards of the country’s finest winemakers, whose sherries, ports, brandies and intriguing whites and reds are world famous for their delicate flavors andsavory palatability.
Addo Elephant National Park Located in the Eastern Cape region of SouthAfrica, the Addo Elephant National Park is one of the country’s larger parks.
The Park is famous for its elephant populationthat has a special, brownish skin color due to the red soil.
Amongst the elephants other animals, likeostriches, antelopes and warthogs can be seen.
As part of the park’s expansion, a groupof lions and a group of spotted hyenas have been introduced to the park in 2004.
Hermanus Located on the southern coast of Africa nearthe Garden Route, Hermanus is famous for its shore-based whale-watching.
The sheltered, shallow waters attract southernright whales that migrate to the region each year to mate and breed.
A 6 mile long cliff-side walk with built-intelescopes and benches offers visitors plenty of opportunities to view these social animalsas they raise their flukes in the sea breezes.
Whale-watching boat tours are available aswell.
Durban South Africa’s second-largest city, Durbanis located on the eastern coast.
Durban’s subtropical climate, scenic beachesand close proximity to Johannesburg have made the coastal city a popular vacation destinationfor South Africans.
The English Colonial architecture that oncedominated the city has been enlivened by a mix of Zulu murals, Islamic mosques, Hindutemples and Christian churches.
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve As the only park under a formal conservationeffort in KwaZulu Natal where you can see the Big Five – lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinoceros – the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve offers visitors wildlife viewingopportunities second to none.
Wildlife enthusiasts may enjoy the vast expansesof native plants and native animals during guided walks, self-guided drives, or opt fora thrilling viewing experience by boat along the Hluhluwe dam.
Garden Route The Garden Route is a scenic stretch of thesouth-eastern coast of South Africa.
It extends from Mossel Bay in the WesternCape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape.
The name comes from the diverse vegetationencountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast.
It includes some of the best places to visitin South Africa including Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley.
Drakensberg The Drakensberg is a mountainous region thatforms the boundary between South Africa and the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, and offerssome of the country’s most awe-inspiring landscapes.
The name ‘Drakensberg’ is derived fromthe Dutch, meaning “mountains of the dragon”, which truly captures something of the mountain’sotherworldly atmosphere.
Kruger National Park Covering a wide stretch of bush and savannahin the northern reaches of South Africa, Kruger National Park borders the countries of Mozambiqueand Zimbabwe.
For its dense animal population and the varietyof its flora and fauna, the park is considered the jewel of South Africa’s extensive parksystem.
Numerous well-kept tarred and gravel roadshave made the park a favorite choice for self-driving expeditions.
Cape Town Located on the southwest tip of South Africa’sWestern Cape Province, Cape Town is the most popular tourist destination in all of Africa.
The metropolis enjoys a mild, Mediterraneanclimate, a well-developed infrastructure and a spectacular natural setting.
Cape Town’s center is located in a relativelysmall area between Table Mountain and Table Bay.
The city also serves as a home base for exploringnearby attractions, including the region’s many diverse beaches as well as the rollinghills and valleys of the Winelands.