South Africa

South Africa is now one of the world’s top travel destinations. It offers many worlds in one country, from bush to beach, mountains to desert, and sizzling, sexy cities to vibrant local cultures. Add to this mix its reputation as one of the world’s friendliest countries, superb accommodation choices and a favourable exchange rate, and no wonder it’s a winning destination.

South Africa, since 1994, has been one of Africa’s richest, strongest and most stable democracies, with a free press, one of the most liberal constitutions in the world, and an excellent infrastructure.

Located in the southernmost part of Africa with a long coastline bordered by the Atlantic and Indian oceans (Cape Agulhas is where the two oceans meet) and with a wealth of natural resources and eight World Heritage Sites, South Africa, at approximately 1 200 000km2, is the ninth largest country in Africa, about the size of Angola.

Whether visitors are looking to experience some of the world’s greatest game viewing, Cape Town and iconic Table Mountain, the sweeping majesty of the Drakensberg mountains, the glorious beaches of Durban and the Wild Coast, the breathtakingly beautiful Garden Route, exciting cultural villages, or vibrant local markets, South Africa has something for everyone.

A visit to the Kruger National Park will be the experience of a lifetime. Almost two million hectares in size, with park accommodation to suit all pockets, excellent roads, and a world-class environmental record, the sheer diversity and numbers of wildlife are astonishing.

The Big Five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino) are all here in abundance, plus thousands of other animals, birds, reptiles, insects and amphibians. Visitors can stay inside the park at one of the many attractive and well-run camps or choose plenty of other accommodation outside the park. They can drive themselves, take a guided tour, a day or night drive, a walking tour with an armed guide, or just sit at a waterhole and watch the passing parade.

The adjacent private Sabi Sand Reserve, with the highest density of leopards in the world and its famous luxury lodges, is another key destination, as is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park bordering Botswana and Namibia in the north-west of the country, famous for its birds of prey and its predators, including the legendary Kalahari black-maned lions.

South Africa has 19 beautiful national parks, including the famous Garden Route (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, Wilderness) National Park.

Cape Town and Table Mountain are also must-see destinations. Fun, fascinating and fabulous, South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town, is chock-a-block with things to see and do. A trip by cable car to the top of Table Mountain is unforgettable (your clients should choose a sunny day or brilliant sunset), as is a wine-tasting tour of the Cape Winelands.

The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Visitors can shop till they drop at the glamorous V&A (Victoria & Alfred) Waterfront; take a boat ride to the notorious Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid; dine at any one of the Cape’s renowned restaurants; take in buzzing nightlife; check out historical castles and monuments; hike the Table Mountain National Park, which forms part of the unique Cape Floral Region World Heritage Site; or enjoy the breathtaking beauty of one of the world’s loveliest botanical gardens, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

The majestic uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park and its mountain range in KwaZulu-Natal is both a magnet for hikers and also home to one of the world’s finest collections of San rock art, some approximately 2 400 years old.

To go back even further in time, the World Heritage Site of the Cradle of Humankind, some 40km north-west of Johannesburg, is home to the world's richest hominin fossil sites, where 40% of the world's human ancestor fossils have been found, some over three million years old. A visit to the Sterkfontein Caves and Maropeng, the Cradle of Humankind’s award-winning visitor centre, makes for a fantastic day trip from Johannesburg or Pretoria.

Johannesburg has some fascinating go-to places, including the Apartheid Museum; the Constitutional Court with its dazzling display of contemporary art; the visitor-friendly Origins Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand; and many more. A trip on the open-top red City Sightseeing bus will take you to many of its best attractions. There’s also superb upmarket shopping at Sandton City and Rosebank, as well as great flea markets.

Because of its sunny climate, South Africa is an adventure-seeker’s ultimate destination. Dozens of outdoor activities are available, from extreme sports such as bungee jumping, abseiling, climbing, sailing and river rafting, to more gentle pursuits such as hiking, horse riding, golf, snorkelling and scuba diving.

But there’s still much, much more to see and do. South Africa has one of the highest rates of repeat visitors in the world, a statistic that speaks for itself.

The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.