South Africa offers an endless variety of sites and activities, and choosing where to go just may be the most difficult part of your trip. Beaches, cities, mountains and wild African plains all form part of the country that many people consider one of the continent?s most beautiful.
Some of the best beaches are near Durban, on the north-eastern coast. The water in this port town stays warm year-round, and Durban itself is well-equipped to handle those who come to its sandy shores. South of here is the Shipwreck coast, where lonely, pristine beaches can be reached on foot. In the south part of the Western Cape is another great stretch of coast?the Garden route. Beautiful forests line the area, and it?s a popular place for water activities.
For city slickers, Cape Town is a must-see spot on any tour of South Africa. Equal parts European and African, its culture, nightlife and the looming mountain forming the city?s backdrop combine for an unforgettable experience. Johannesburg, the country?s largest city, is another popular stop, if only because most international flights stop here. Check out the funky music scene, though be aware of street crime.
One of the best places to see wildlife in Africa is Kruger National Park along the Mozambique border. Lions, hippos, giraffes, leopards and elephants could all make an appearance here. The Royal Natal National Park is another place to spot fauna, though it?s more likely that you?ll be impressed by the diverse flora and by the Rock paintings made here thousands of years ago. To see antelope and a variety of smaller game, like foxes, hyenas and jackals, head to the large Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Bird watchers will enjoy the parks too.
Though driving and hiking through the parks are the most common ways of exploring them, both mountain biking and mountain climbing are becoming increasingly popular. Royal Natal offers some world-class climbing opportunities. Other adventure sports?from bungee jumping to hang-gliding to ostrich riding?are available here too.
The Western Cape attracts the lion's share of foreign tourists to South Africa. It’s a region of majestic mountains, colourful patchworks of farmland set in lovely valleys, long beaches and, further inland, the wide-open landscape of the semi desert Karoo. The diverse cultural backgrounds of its inhabitants give the province a cosmopolitan flavour with a rich diversity of arts, culture, music, a buzzing nightlife, excellent wines and superb cuisine. Its capital, the City of Cape Town is a jewel and the Garden Route and the Overberg are popular coastal tourism areas. Other major cities include Stellenbosch, Worcester, Paarl, and George. View Western Cape accommodation and mini guide...