01 February 2018
South Africa has so much for intrepid travellers to discover. You will find so many memorable holiday experiences in this unique long-haul destination, from exciting safaris to thrilling adventure sports, vineyard tours and city breaks.
South Africa is one of the most convenient long-haul destinations for British travellers. Although it is situated 11 - 12 hours away by plane, it’s only two hours ahead of the UK, so jet lag won’t be an issue. It has opposite seasons, making it an ideal winter sun destination, and English is commonly spoken, so you’ll find it easy to get around. You can also secure real value for money in South Africa, a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs R450.00 (approximately £26).
Discover some of the most popular regions in South Africa, where you’ll find so much to do…
You can enjoy a range of exciting adventures in Gauteng, South Africa’s northernmost province. Its main city is Johannesburg where there’s so much to see and do; enjoy a cocktail in the lively bars of the Design District like Moloko, tour art galleries in the Maboneng Precinct or check out the nearby Sterkfontein Caves, known for their fossil discoveries. Gauteng’s other major city is Pretoria, whose itinerary-worthy landmarks include its 19th century church square, the Union Buildings which serve as South Africa’s seat of government and the Wonderboom Nature Reserve. For a truly unique experience, bungee jump off the 100-metre high suspension bridge based at the graffitied Orlando Towers!
Mpumalanga features so many fantastic attractions to visit, including Kruger National Park, the iconic game reserve where you can meet the ‘Big 5’ animals on safari. One of Mpumalanga’s most notable features is the incredibly deep Blyde River Canyon, known for its steep vegetation-covered walls. You can engage in a range of active pursuits in Mpumalanga including bird watching, trout fishing, white water rafting and waterfall abseiling, or explore the 240 million-year-old Sudwala Caves. There are also some incredible geological formations to see while staying in this province, including the Three Rondavels and the Bourke's Luck Potholes!
The coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal is a magnet for intrepid travellers. The area is a centre of indigenous Zulu culture; visit tribal settlements in Eshowe where you can learn about these peoples’ traditions. Embark on thrilling game drives at the 960-square metre Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, which is home to lions, rhinos, leopards, buffaloes and wild dogs. Spend the day in the city of Durbin, home to the uShaka Marine World theme park, the Suncoast Casino and the Umgeni River Bird Park. With pristine shores like Durbin’s North Beach, as well as the iconic table top-esque peaks of Drakensberg, new adventures can always be found here.
There’s so much to see and do in cosmopolitan Cape Town. Its premier attraction is Table Mountain, where you can ride an aerial cableway or view intriguing wildlife like lizards on an invigorating hike. The city’s trendy area is the Silo District based on the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, where you can dine at chic eateries such as the Michelin-starred ‘The Yard’ Indian restaurant, and visit elegant fashion houses. This is an ideal place for families, with attractions such as the Two Oceans Aquarium where your kids can meet penguins. While you’re in Cape Town take a boat out to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and learn about the Anti-Apartheid movement.
You can explore South Africa by renting a car, hitting the open road and driving along the country’s iconic ‘Garden Route’. Covering 300 kilometres, this route takes you from Cape Town, along the south-west coast to Storms River on the Eastern Cape. Stop at Franschhoek and tour famous wineries like the boutique Moreson vineyard, which is famous for its Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Spend time in the visually-arresting region of Knysna, where you can trek through dense forests, relax on golden sandy beaches, boat on the legendary Knysna Lagoon and go bungee jumping! Other sites to explore on this route include Oudtshoorn – known for its ostrich farms – and Plettenberg Bay, where you can go whale spotting and trek through lush forests.