As a South African, now living abroad, I am incredibly surprised at just how few people identify with the country as a choice holiday destination. I do believe South Africa is one of the best holiday destinations in the world and has tremendous value for your buck.
Therefore, I am authoring this article for all my friends abroad, and for all South Africans. I hope to inspire not only those abroad but also South Africans, to explore this beautiful African country.
The links to the rest of the parts in the series are published at the end of this article.
Let’s get going! These are my reasons why you should explore South Africa. Combined with plenty of fabulous and uniquely South African experiences, it sure is a country worth visiting.
There are more than 700 camping sites in or near popular parks or reserves!
That said, the ultimate must be the Kruger Park camping experience. Leave Johannesburg’s city lights behind you to sleep under the stars after a day’s game viewing. It is one of those experiences that stays with you for life. Not to mention the chats and laughter around the campfire. Find out about more amazing camping experiences…
May to October is the most suitable for wildlife safaris in the northern part of South Africa. With less rainfall in this period, it is easier to spot the Big Five. It is believed that the Big Five got the group name because they were the most difficult to hunt. Namely, lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant.
If you think Africa has no nightlife, you’re sadly mistaken. And, if you think South Africa has no nightlife, you’re far off the mark. The country is not just about fascinating wildlife, top-of-the-range beaches, exquisite views, 4×4 adventures, challenging hikes, amazing wine, and… You’ll find some of the best theatre productions, entertainment shows, club scenes, quaint pubs, and non-so-quant pubs. This is a country that enjoys its food and wine and knows how to party. It has vibrant nightlife in all the major cities.
Europeans and citizens from the United Kingdom have almost no jetlag. The country’s time zone is two hours ahead of GMT.
Fly into O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, King Shaka International Airport in KwaZulu Natal, or Cape Town International Airport in the Western Cape. The latter was voted Africa’s Leading Airport 2020 by World Travel Awards. Together with King Shaka International Airport in Durban, the two airports have been named Africa’s best in the 2020 Skytrax World Airport Awards.
There is no shortage of discoveries in this magnificent country. UNESCO World Heritage Sites are spread across the country and you’re sure to enjoy at least one of not all ten!
Each year South Africa makes a habit of walking away with plenty of World Travel Awards, highlighting what tourists can expect from its beautiful landscapes, hospitality, and exhilarating experiences. Since it’s far too many to list here, I invite you to have a look at all the hot spots in South Africa in terms of tourism and hospitality.
I don’t believe it when people say money is not important. Have you ever heard the super-rich say it’s not important? No, because without it, one can’t enjoy the pleasures of life. So, with all that said and done, I can safely say that in South Africa you will get value for your Euro or US Dollar. That is, to mention just a few. In February 2021 one British Pound Sterling (GBP) could buy you just over 20 South African Rand (ZAR). Nothing to sneeze at!
Check out the latest exchange rates at Exchange Rate Guru.
There is no need to travel with excessive cash in your wallet. ATMs are readily available all over the country.
By the way, Cape Town was voted as one of the Top 10 cheapest global travel cities by Trip Adviser in 2013. South Africa remains a competitive choice when it comes to affordable holidays.
South Africa is the only place in the world where two Nobel Prize winners lived in the very same street. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu lived in Vilakazi Street in Soweto, Johannesburg. The Tutu House is not open to the public. However, the famous Nelson Mandela house is open to the public and a trip to Vilakazi Street is an absolute must. In short, this is also where you can buy quality African souvenirs and get to taste African cuisines. For example, Phutu pap, makwanda, or tincondza (chicken feet), and boerewors (sausage).
The country has eleven official languages, and so it is rich in cultural diversity. Have you heard about The Rainbow Nation? Just like a rainbow with many different colors, the country has different tribes. Subsequently, each has its indigenous culture and tradition. A visit to Lesedi Cultural Village is a unique showcase of the African environment.
At the Cradle of Humankind, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll find out about the fossils found here over two million years ago.
In the Western Cape at Robben Island, you get insight into South Africa’s late president Nelson Mandela’s 18 years imprisoned on the island. By the way, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.