One of the top countries to visit in Africa, South Africa is full of adventure, history, wildlife and great food. Here are my top ten reasons you need to visit South Africa.
Are you a thrill seeker or looking to spice your life up a bit? Then South Africa is the place for you. Whether you are interested in going Shark Cage Diving, Paragliding off of a mountain over a capital city or blokarting down by the beach then South Africa is definitely the place you should visit.
There are many countries where you can go on safari but there is only one Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in the world. (Which also goes into Mozambique and Zimbabwe along with being in South Africa). You can either drive through the park on your own or take private tours. There are also many lodges that you can stay over night at giving you the opportunity to do many game drives and see some of the magnificent animals on safari like those in the Big Five.
Not just in any country can you go to the beach and expect to see penguins but in South Africa you can. There is a colony of 3,000 penguins that live in and around Boulders Beach in Cape Town, South Africa. Also if you are so inclined you can visit SANCCOB a sea bird rehabilitation centre with the majority of its residents being penguins and you can arrange for a private behind the scenes tour. You might get a chance to pet Rocky the resident rock hopper penguin and you can even adopt a penguin! You aren’t allowed to take it home though sadly.
4. The Blue Train
One of the most luxurious trains in the world, you can take a 27 hour train ride from Pretoria to Cape Town or in the other direction. The rooms vary from having two single beds to a full bed and some even have full sized bathtubs while others include standing showers. Each section of the train has its own butler, there is a turn down service, the appointment only gift shop sells diamonds and there is a cigar lounge with of course an open bar.
South Africa is famous for its wines with the majority of the vineyards being located just outside of Cape Town. There are many vineyards and wineries that you can visit for lunch, enjoy tasting menus, take tours and of course purchase some fabulous wines.
There are no language barriers in South Africa as almost everyone speaks English and the country as a whole has 11 official languages. You might actually be surprised to find out that not only does everyone speak English but many are bi-lingual, tri-lingual or can speak even more languages.
If you like learning about history then this country has a story that you would be amazed to learn about. South Africa has a large tumultuous history and is one that people should learn about and understand if visiting. In Johannesburg you can visit the Apartheid Museum, Liliesleaf Museum and the country’s Constitutional Court to educate yourself on its past.
Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and the largest city in the world not located by a river, ocean or lake. A neat fact about this city is that it also has 10 million trees (more trees than people) and is home to the biggest man made forest in the world. Known for great food and shopping it is also home to the continents biggest airport and is where many people begin their trips in South Africa.
South African cuisine has a lot of outside influences like from Europe and Asia from colonialism times. They have some of the tastiest meats in the world and venture outside of the typical beef and pork. Ostrich is found on many menus as is springbok and if you are lucky you might even get to enjoy Kudu. They enjoy a good BBQ aka braii and one of the meats I liked most was biltong, which is similar to beef jerky. South Africa is also big on beer production with their SAB World of Beer tour in Johannesburg said to be the top tourist attraction in the country.
10. Cape Town
One of three capital cities in South Africa, this seaside city is beautiful and picturesque with a great backdrop of the famous Table Mountain National Park. South Africa’s top tourist destination has lots of beautiful coast lines and beaches near by, many whale watching tours, amazing scenery, and it has a walkable waterfront area with tons of great restaurants and shopping and more.
Have I convinced you to visit yet? Was there anything I missed? Please add it to the comments below.