It is a beautifully diverse country that boasts spectacular capes and lagoons, mountains and rolling hills, and even one of the most hostile deserts in the world – Kalahari. Whether you are looking for a safari adventure during winter months or just a peaceful summer holiday, this country has plenty to offer including some of the world’s best golf courses, fine art and culture, gourmet food and quality wines.
Cape Town is a wonderfully cosmopolitan city definitely worth visiting, and we recommend that you stay there for at least a few days. There is a spectacular range of fabulous hotels, renowned for exquisite service and a plethora of restaurants serving delicacies from different parts of the world. The city boasts many great places where you can eat, drink and shop, but exploring the surrounding area is even more fun. The beach and surf towns nearby are very similar to the suburbs of Sydney, which is why this part of the country is ideal for a summer holiday. You can also organise a day trip to Cape Peninsula where you can see a land-based penguin colony.
Johannesburg is the biggest city in South Africa and has plenty of things to see, including the Apartheid museum and important archaeological sites. You can also visit the township of Soweto and see the Hector Pieterson Museum commemorating the Soweto Uprising of 1976, as well as Nelson Mandela’s house. Johannesburg is very close to some of South Africa’s premium game viewing sites, so it is a great starting point if you want to explore wildlife. The city is absolutely stunning during autumn and winter with lots of sunshine, mild temperatures and very few rainy days, which is also perfect for safari.
From relaxing on the beach to riding in a hot air balloon, there are plenty of things to do in the coastal city of Durban. It is a popular holiday destination and depending on your budget, you can stay at a luxury hotel overlooking the ocean or find an affordable bed and breakfast accommodation. Durban has a superb range of restaurants specialising in international cuisine, but it is also a great place to enjoy Indian food.
South Africa is the meeting point of the cool Atlantic and warm Indian Ocean, and there are magnificent beaches where you can swim, surf or explore underwater life. If you want to discover some of the best lagoons, we suggest that you follow the famous Garden Route that stretches 200 km from Mossel Bay to Tsitsikamma. The landscape varies from sandy beaches and lush forests to rolling hills and beautiful mountains, but sea villages such as Knysna are ideal for couples looking for the perfect summer holiday experience. Beaches are sensational with lush tropical vegetation and colourful flora and fauna. The best time to go is during the summer months, from November to February.
With warm, sunny weather year round, the city of Durban is also a great holiday location. Beaches have public amenities, lifeguards, shark-proof nets and beacons to indicate safe swimming. Famous Umhlanga Rocks Beach is only 15 minutes away from Durban and it features luxury hotels, amazing restaurants, bars and night clubs, while Bronze Beach is much quieter and is a preferred location for couples looking for an unspoiled secluded spot to enjoy swimming and sunshine. Down the South Coast there are some fantastic Blue Flag-rated beaches like Margate, Trafalgar and Hibberdene. The Eastern Cape is also a popular holiday destination for couples and families looking for beautiful beaches and we think Aloga Bay is one of the best spots in this part of the country.
If you choose South Africa as your holiday destination, don’t miss the opportunity to visit some of the game reserves and see spectacular wildlife that includes leopards, rhinos, lions, elephants and buffalos. This country was one of the first ones to introduce family friendly safaris and has a superb range of accommodation options from private reserves with beautifully appointed lodges to safari camps.
From Kruger National Park, which offers various accommodation possibilities and even self-drive safaris to remote game reserves up in the north, there are many locations that provide fantastic photographic opportunities. You can even visit the Kalahari Desert, close to the border with Namibia. It has unique landscapes and astonishing wildlife, but also offers luxury accommodation for couples who want to be spoiled by attentive staff and enjoy a premium alfresco dining experience, surrounded by perfect wilderness.
If you want the ultimate safari experience, the best time to visit South Africa is from June to August. With cool and dry weather, winter is the best game viewing season that offers amazing animal sightings. However, if you prefer to go during the wetter spring and summer months, the best time for safari rides is after the rain when animals come out of their shelters.
For couples looking for a truly incomparable dining experience, Winelands is the top destination and the best time to go is during spring and summer when nature is in full bloom. This region boasts some of the best restaurants in the country and offers delicious menus paired with superb locally produced wine. South Africa produces about 3% of the world’s wine and has about 2.000 varieties and 13 wine routes to explore.
If you want to indulge yourselves in the gourmet delights of the Winelands, you can make a day trip from Cape Town which is only an hour away, or stay at one of the stylish inns or luxury hotels in the area. The village of Franschhoek is renowned as the gourmet capital of South Africa and it boasts spectacular wine estates, bistros and restaurants, while Wellington is best known for its brandies.
The hotels and restaurants in South African multicultural cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg cater for everyone’s tastes and serve dishes from almost all parts of the world. From famous European meals to Asian fusion and authentic African food, there are many flavours to explore and big cities are the best place to embark on an exciting gastronomic journey.
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