From big cats to charismatic penguins, majestic elephants, and speedy cheetahs, South Africa is home to a diverse range of wildlife. If a safari is on your bucket list, South Africa's wildlife will exceed your expectations. But South Africa is more than just its wildlife. It is also home to stunning beaches that are popular destinations for tourists and locals alike. If you want to escape the crowds, the coastline is dotted with secluded beaches that make for a perfect getaway
South Africa is a country with a rich history and vibrant culture. The country is so big that it has three capitals, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Pretoria. It also has 11 official languages, including Zulu and English. South Africa wasn't officially colonized until 1652, but cave paintings have been discovered that date back some 75,000 years. Cave paintings are not the only historic discovery in South Africa. Some of the best fossils of early dinosaurs have been found in the Karoo region in the Western Cape. In fact, it is estimated that almost 80% of the dinosaur fossils found to-date were found in the Karoo!
South Africa has been home to many different cultures throughout its history. As an essential stop along trade routes, South Africa quickly became a melting pot of cultural influence, including architecture and design. In Cape Town, these influences are very prevalent. Stately Victorian-era homes-turned-hotels are scattered throughout the city. Modern era buildings are also beginning to transform the skylines around the country as South Africa continues to develop an architectural style that is all it's own.
south African Cuisine
When you travel to South Africa, you'll probably notice biltong as a popular menu item, especially as an appetizer or snack. The practice of drying meat has been around for centuries. Biltong, specific to South Africa, was first created by the local indigenous tribes over 400 years ago. The traditional South African recipe includes creating a rub of rock salt, pepper, coarsely ground coriander, and vinegar. The meat is then air-dried and cut into thin slices and ready to be enjoyed.
If you want you to enjoy your morning coffee or tea like a local when in South Africa, be sure to order it with mosbolletjies. This traditional sweet bread is very similar to a brioche, and its origins date back to French settlers in South Africa in the late 1600s. Mosbolletjies are made from leftover grape paste.
Surveys have found that going on a safari is the number one bucket list item for travelers. Safaris can be just a day trip or they can be multi-day luxury dream trips
No animals are more famous than the Big five. Originally a term coined by hunters, the Big Five include the elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, and leopard. There are few places left where you can see all five of these magnificent creatures living in their natural habitat, but South Africa provides visitors this unique opportunity.
Kruger National Park is the most popular safari spot in South Africa and one of the largest national parks in the world. The southern region of the park is more wooded and lush and has the largest concentration of wildlife.
Just an hour's drive from Port Elizabeth is the Addo Elephant Park. As the third-largest park in South Africa, it is home to over 600 African elephants, as well as black rhino and antelope. As the oldest big game reserve in Africa, Hluhluwe Umfolozi should be on every traveler's bucket list. It's a popular Big Five park where visitors can view wildlife up close from the comfort of a safari vehicle.
The Palace of the Lost City in SunCity
The Three Rondavels
The suspension bridge in Tsitsikamma
Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve
Nelson Mandela Bridge
As long as your license has your picture on it, you can legally drive around South Africa. Driving in the country isn't that difficult.
The roads are paved, well-maintained, and not confusing for tourists to navigate.
Depending on where you go in South Africa, you may experience a temperate, subtropical, desert, or Mediterranean climate.
November through March is when most of the precipitation happens unless you're in Cape Town. Cape Town receives most of its precipitation in the winter months; June, July, and August. The best time to travel to South Africa is during the dry season, May to September.
The standard electrical frequency in South Africa is 50 Hz, while the standard voltage is 230 V. The sockets and plugs in the country are
either type D, M, or N. It is wise to bring a voltage converter as well as an adapter. Using your appliances or electronics in South
Africa isn't recommended unless they share the same voltage.