South Africa – one of Africa’s most varied destinations – is a fascinating cultural melting pot: where once empires collided, now flavours, rhythms and styles fuse. Each day it conjures up new wonders, humour and mysteries. Pour yourself a glass of Pinotage, and let’s take an armchair tour exploring all this country has to offer.
Begin with a few days in Cape Town – arguably the most spectacular setting of any major city. On its handsome Cape Dutch doorstep, you’ll find the Cape Winelands, where a day spent wine tasting will revive even the most jaded palate.
Then head up the East Coast, where whales cavort and oceans commingle, and visit the picturesque towns along the Garden Route. Follow the shoreline all the way to the warm Indian Ocean beaches of Maputaland in northern KwaZulu-Natal – and scuba dive, watch turtles hatch or track rhino in iSimangaliso Wetlands Park and Phinda Private Game Reserve.
From there, head north to Mpumalanga, and spend time in the private game reserves of the greater Kruger, where wildlife tracking has been elevated to an art form. Or visit the adjacent Kruger National Park, which offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Africa.
There are treasures everywhere in South Africa – beneath your feet, some of the world’s richest deposits of diamonds and precious metals; everywhere you look, welcoming smiles and greetings in 11 official languages.
Don’t worry if you can’t fit everything in on your first visit. You’ll be back.