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South Africa

A land of diversity in every aspect from its people to its weather, South Africa is the destination for… well, everybody. Giving you a taste of Africa’s authentic rural communities, thriving urban hotspots and everything in between, a luxury holiday in South Africa is guaranteed.
 
The country is split into nine varied and drastically different provinces, all of which offer a wonderful opportunity for luxurious travel. Starting at the tail end of South Africa, the Western Cape Province is one of South Africa’s most popular destinations. It is the centre of cultural tourism in the country, offering a wealth of vineyards, beaches, art galleries and Michelin eateries that have visitors coming back again and again.
 
If you have been known to enjoy a glug or three of vino, you’re definitely going to want to make the Western Cape a feature on your African bucket list. Encompassing 21 locales on its route, the world-famous Cape Winelands encompass more than 100 vineyards, including internationally recognised venues such as Chamonix in Franschhoek, Muratie Wine Estate in Stellenbosch and the Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek. Most of the estates offer more than a good bottle of grape juice though – micro-breweries, five-star restaurants, horse-riding tours, tasting sessions and other fabulous vineyard activities are just waiting to be discovered.
 
Cape Town, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch are among some of the hottest visitor spots in the country and it’s not hard to see why. Snap-happy visitors will be whipping out the camera every few steps to capture iconic sights like Table Mountain. The legendary peak is a magnet for daring mountain-scalers with its stunning vistas, national park and range of visitor amenities.
 
But it isn’t all cityscapes and refined shopping expeditions in this wondrous corner of the world – adventure seekers can have their fill of exciting expeditions in the Eastern Cape which is awash with wildlife reserves and game spotting opportunities. Brave the elements for a night in the open-air at the Shamwari Game Reserve in Port Elizabeth or get nose-to-trunk with some of the peaceful inhabitants of the Addo Elephant National Park.
 
For family fun with a dash of culture, head up the coast to KwaZulu-Natal. Its celebrated Zulu heritage is reflected in traditional fashions, rustic markets and community centres that keep the Zulu culture very much alive and present in the region, particularly in the city of Durban – an ideal spot for a day with loved ones. Shaka Marine World, a waterpark that comprises the fifth largest aquarium in the world, is a haven of recreational activity for families with on-site restaurants, shops and exciting water rides.
 
All of this and more you’ll discover throughout South Africa’s nine provinces, from the luxury safaris in Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga to the Diamond Coast (literally) in the Northern Cape. No two moments of any stay will be the same in this huge, multi-faceted and enchanting landscape but don’t take our word for it – go on, get going. Once you’ve had a taste of Africa it will be in your blood forever.

 
WINGED BOOTS WISDOM
 
One of the best ways to travel Africa is by car, not only because the country is vast but because so many of its secret locations, hidden gems and buried treasures aren’t easily accessible by public transport. And what better excuse to hit the road than a trip along the magnificent Garden Route? This coastal drive stretches from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape and is the country’s equivalent of Route 66 (although most locals would argue that it far outstrips the legendary American roadway). Some of the very best beaches, national parks, rivers and railways in South Africa are scattered along the way, giving you the opportunity to sample a little bit of everything the area has to offer.
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Good to know

  • Time difference: UTC +2
  • Currency: ZAR
  • After Dark Destination: Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar, Cape Town
  • In A Word: Breathtaking

Best Time To Travel

Average Temperatures
Jan: 20°c   Feb: 20°c   Mar: 19°c  
Apr: 16°c   May: 14°c   Jun: 12°c  
Jul: 11°c   Aug: 12°c   Sep: 13°c  
Oct: 16°c   Nov: 17°c   Dec: 20°c  

Location

South Africa Articles

South Africa In A Nutshell

Life’s A Beach
  • With more than 1,700 miles of coast, South Africa is home to some of the best and most exclusive beaches in the world. A particularly recommended spot for ultimate seclusion and hypnotic vistas is the lesser-known Coffee Bay which is half a day’s drive from Durban in the Eastern Cape and makes for a perfect overnight stop. Pristine beaches aren’t the only things on offer at this location – the geographical marvel known as the Hole in the Wall can be found here, too.
     
  • Want to visit a beach that sets itself apart from all the others in a wonderfully fun way? Grab your costume and your camera and hotfoot it down to Boulders Beach in the Western Cape. Odd as it may seem in this warm-weather environment, Cape Town is in fact home to what Capetonians affectionately call their ‘city slickers’ and what the rest of us know as… penguins. A unique breed, the African Penguins have taken over this stunning seaside terrain and now provide ample photo opportunities and animal interaction for locals and tourists alike. Better yet, the beach is only partially restricted from the public (to protect the penguin nesting grounds) so you can even swim alongside the water-loving birds for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
     
  • For a more traditional but high-end beach experience, you have to visit the four beaches of Clifton in the Western Cape. The beaches are separated by various boulders and are named Clifton one, two, three and four – very original but to the point. The area is incredibly diverse as Clifton two is frequented by Cape Town’s elite while Clifton one is the hot spot for dog walkers. Whichever of the beaches you choose, you’ll be surrounded by snow-white sands, refreshing turquoise waters and blazing sunshine. Only a few steps away you’ll find the Clifton strip which is home to an abundance of the city’s best bars and restaurants.
Adventure Awaits
  • Only for the brave, the most stomach-leaping, heart-pounding, exhilarative thrill the Eastern Cape offers is undoubtedly the Bloukrans Bridge – or rather the bungy-jump rope that hangs from it. The highest commercial bridge jump in the world, your bravery will be tested to the limit with a drop of more than 200 metres into a river canyon. Those who aren’t keen on taking part can sit in the nearby bar and enjoy the otherwise tranquil and stunning vistas while they watch their fearless friends from the pub’s TV as they dare to take the leap.
     
  • Like the views from the top but would prefer being securely attached to something? Then the Storms River Canopy Tour in the Eastern Cape is a must. With all the thrill and none of the fear this abseiling adventure is a wonderful experience for solo travellers, couples and families with children aged seven and up. Remember to bring a camera as you are going to want these fabulous sights on film!
     
  • Experience the true meaning of a close encounter with the Western Cape’s abundance of shark diving packages. Far from the shallow waters of its unparalleled beaches, lies Cape Town’s secret treasure – the marine world. Home to many rare and exotic sea creatures, by far its most infamous is the great white shark, with whom you could soon be dropping in for a chat. With companies offering 100 percent safety rates and fabulous travel awards, take on this thrilling challenge and re-enact South Africa’s answer to Daniel in the Lion’s den.
     
Don't Forget Your Kit
  • Attention all surfers, it’s time for you to wet-suit-up, because the water awaits. With so many pristine beaches and cross-current oceans, South Africa has fast become one of the world’s best destinations for watersports, particularly in the Eastern Cape where famous spots like Jeffreys Bay attract hundreds of festivals, competitions and great waves for you to enjoy. So, buckle in and get ready, because the surfs up.
     
  • What better way to spend some quality time together than with a kayaking tour of South Africa’s breathtaking Orange River? Located in the Northern Cape, these active tours last up to four days with a bus to carry you home at the end. Take some time out to float lazily down the sparkling currents of this great waterway, led by experts who will cook you gourmet river meals every day, entertain you by the fireside in the evenings and teach you all about the fascinating landscape. Highlights of this trip include sleeping each night with nothing between you and a million stars, sifting for semi-precious stones in on the riverbed and ‘nappy runs’ through the white-water rapids.
     
  • If you want the joy of watersports without all the hard work, then try your hand at a spot of diving. South Africa offers some of the world’s premier diving locations right across all of its coastlines but for guaranteed good weather and heaps of fun there’s only one place you need to head to – Sodwana Bay. Perched on the edge of the Indian Ocean in KwaZulu-Natal, this stunning location offers diverse marine life, unbeatable views and mild weather all-year-round.
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