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Bushveld, beaches and bottle upon bottle of world-class wine – succumb to the wild beauty of the “Rainbow Nation” and it will soon become apparent that you’ve found its pot of gold. Cosmopolitan cities and towns spill into the open arms of two oceans, old-growth forests meet with unruly fynbos to carpet an undulating terrain and the sought after Big Five roam the rolling wilderness. A holiday in South Africa comprises all of life’s greatest adventures. Here, Mother Nature is in charge. Taking to the great outdoors is just a way of life. Sugar-white beaches skirt the picturesque shores and range from those populated with sun-kissed South Africans to those left to the charge of resident penguin colonies – and both are as laid-back as each other. Lapping at their toes are some of the world’s most shark and whale infested waters, whilst inland, the secrets of fairytale forests lie in wait to be discovered. Then comes golden hour: whether resting atop a mountain plateau (taking five after a breathtaking hike, obvs) or relishing the red-pink hues as they backdrop an elephant dotted plain, South African sunsets make for those life affirming moments. This is what it’s all about, right?
It’s a place where the past seems so distant, and yet so present. From following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom to wandering a shanty town, realisation and contemplation is crucial to understanding the fabric of South Africa’s vibrancy. But mostly, this is a country defined by its diversity. People, topography, wildlife – you name it and this destination will offer up variety. Think safari thrills and watersports fun meets vineyard indulgence and art gallery saunters, South Africa really does have something for everyone. And that’s not a sales pitch, it’s a promise. One thing’s for sure, this destination’s sumptuous folds will quickly feel like a home away from home. One where the sun shines a little brighter, the air feels a little fresher and life is a whole lot simpler. Nope, we wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t want to leave.
You can’t do South Africa without a stop in Cape Town and you can’t go to the Western Cape without drinking in the delights of Stellenbosch’s whitewashed wine estates. But you’ve also got a safari to tick off, so Kruger is a must and, as the world’s biggest waterfall, the mighty crash of Victoria Falls ranks pretty highly on your list. Then there’s Plettenberg Bay where the water’s get wild, or Mauritius where the sands have never been so tempting. With so much to see and do, planning a trip to South Africa can get overwhelming, but that’s where we come in. Our South Africa destinations have been handpicked so that you can rest assured that you’re making it to the country’s best bits.
The natural beauty of Cape Town’s impressive peninsula setting is offset by its inner-city cool. Taking ownership of a broad cultural spectrum, this city offers everything from hip bars and artisan coffee houses to a unique jazz scene and art galleries aplenty. Not to mention a poignant history that the city is still very much aware of today.Discover More
Hermanus makes a great stop for a day trip, famed for whale sightings from the rugged coastal path. From your Southern Rights to your Humpbacks, the wave-beaten coast that plays host to this busy town, has long proven itself to be one of the best places in the world to watch the ocean’s giants at play.Discover More
It’s home to the dramatic slopes of the Drakensberg peaks, countless world-class hiking trails and a coast so wild that the very fact became its namesake – there are many draws to the Eastern Cape, but not much will beat its main event. Here, it’s all about safari.Discover More
This historical university town is most famed for the wine produced in its surrounding vineyards, of which, there are hundreds – now this is a place where “dry January” is nigh on impossible. A combination of students, locals and tourists make South Africa’s second oldest town quite the bustling hub.Discover More
Long South Africa’s best kept secret, Plettenberg Bay has become increasingly popular with tourists looking for a sun, sea and sand stop-off when tracing their way along the scenic Garden Route. But this isn’t just a beach destination. The rich wilds of Plett’s enchanting inland forests will vie for your attention too.Discover More
Deep in the heart of Southern Africa, straddling the continent’s two Z’s – Zimbabwe and Zambia – there is a definite rumble in the jungle (or rainforest in this case). It’s here, encased by national parks, that the world’s largest waterfall beats its heavy drum. 1,700 m wide and 108 m high, Victoria Falls’ incredible curtain of water is nothing short of mighty.Discover More
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If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed in South Africa, it’s that sweeping views and unforgettable experiences go hand in hand. Think spotting Kruger National Park’s Big Five in the soft light of sunrise, getting in some of the world’s best whale watching in Plettenberg Bay and soaking up the dizzying city-meets-sea panoramas offered up by Table Mountain’s iconic plateau – your Instagram followers aren’t going to know what’s hit them.
Backdropped by the impressive 12 Apostles mountain formation and hugged by the surging Atlantic Ocean, its sands are a favourite amongst Cape Town’s locals – as well as being regularly voted as one of the world’s best. Oh yes, this is a city that knows how to please its sun-worshipers.Discover more
A jagged outcrop cuts into the foaming Atlantic. With its sheer cliff faces, surging sea, and incredible array of flora and fauna, journeying along the Cape Peninsula, towards the famed Cape of Good Hope, is – quite undeniably – a drive of a lifetime.Discover more
For anyone who’s anyone, Clifton is the place to be. South Africa’s most expensive suburb, this stretch of coastline is home to four of Cape Town’s most popular white-sand beaches named First, Second, Third and Fourth – and each have their own distinct fan group.Discover more
Perfectly manicured gardens meet dense forests and unruly stretches of the peninsula’s renowned fynbos, all at the foot of Cape Town’s show-stealing landmark, Table Mountain.Discover more
Protected by Table Mountain National Park, Lion’s Head is the hottest spot in town when it comes to catching that soft light of the rising sun. Stifling yawns, make the 669 m climb at dawn for the most rewarding views – ask any travel blogger and they’ll talk for hours about the magic of witnessing “golden hour”.Discover more
The island has over 500 years worth of stories to tell – get comfy because Robben Island is a journey into South Africa’s history.Discover more
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As it stands, British passport holders aren’t currently required to obtain a visa before travelling to South Africa or Mauritius, but if you’re planning on taking in the wonders of Victoria Falls you may need to acquire a visa. It’s crucial that you make sure it’s the right visa for your travel, that it’s valid for the length and purpose of your stay and that you have at least six months left on your passport from the date you arrive in these specific locations. South Africa can also be strict when travelling with children. Check out the gov.uk website to check all up-to-date entry requirements.
It’s best to see your GP 6-8 weeks before you travel to check which vaccinations they recommend. If you’re planning on a safari in Kruger, it's a low risk malaria area and you may be advised to take malaria tablets.
With its balmy weather and myriad highlights, South Africa is a year-round destination. To make the most of their hot summers, you should travel between November and February – who doesn’t love a bit of winter sun? Whilst if wildlife dominates your bucket-list, make the trip between June and December to catch the majestic southern right whales at play.
The currency that you’ll need to get your hands on before your trip is the South African Rand (denoted as ZAR, or simply R in some cases). Much like back home, tipping in South Africa is considered more of a courtesy than an obligatory requirement. In restaurants, it’s expected that customers will tip between 10-15% of the bill, but unlike back home it’s likely that the experience will be relatively cheap as the cost of living is a lot lower here – dessert anyone?
South Africa, or the Rainbow Nation as it was labelled by Desmond Tutu, is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, with a whole host of diverse cultures all residing in the one country. Today, this means a destination that is widely accepting and generally casual when it comes to etiquette and clothing – but common sense will get you far, like it’s best keep the nudity to designated beaches and so on and so forth. You catch our drift.
This is a largely Christian country with almost 80% of the population falling under this umbrella. Roughly 15% are agnostic and the remaining 5% are largely Muslim, Hindu or Jewish.
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For the adventurous souls. The wine connoisseurs. The wildlife obsessed. And anyone who lives to grab life by the horns.
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