South Africa is of of the most popular tourist destinations in the African continent, attracting millions of visitors each year. It is hard not to see why, with such a diverse landscape, culture and environment there is something for everybody in South Africa.
Kruger National Park
South Africa’s Mother City
Cape Town is home to the world-famous Table Mountain and Robben Island. With an international airport and busy port, the city is a bustling metropolis that is particularly popular with international travellers for its cultural mix, urban sophistication and stunning scenery.
The Big Five jewel in South Africa’s crown
The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s premier Big Five national park and is exceptionally well set up for tourists. You can expect good roads and an excellent choice of accommodation to suit all pockets. Winter months (May to September) are best for game viewing while the summer months (October to April) are best for birding.
Lazy days in wine country
The Cape Winelands offer unexpectedly lush scenery and the opportunity to sample excellent wines and superior dining in restaurants, many of which are on wine farms. Don’t miss a visit to the university town of Stellenbosch and nearby Franschhoek. Hikers will also want to lace up their boots and get out into the spectacular mountains of this region.
Lakes, forests and secret lagoons
This route takes visitors up the south-east coast from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape, past spectacular coastal scenery and through indigenous forest surrounding the beautiful town of Knysna. End your Garden Route trip with a visit to the Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth, where you are guaranteed good sightings of these lumbering giants.
The Garden Route
Kgalagadi National Park
Scuba Diving Sites in South Africa
Thanks to its coastal rainfall pattern, &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve enjoys a lush green environment that contains seven distinct ecosystems. &Beyond Phinda is often referred to as ‘Seven Worlds of Wonder.’ This fascinating variety of landscape and vegetation shelters an abundance of wildlife, including not only the Big Five but many rarer and less easily spotted species, such as the elusive cheetah or the scarce black rhino.
With only a handful of lodges sharing an area of 23 000 hectares, and expert rangers and trackers in search of prime wildlife sightings, guests are assured an exclusive game viewing experience. Adding to Phinda’s wildlife charms, the marine diversity of nearby Sodwana Bay on the coast is easily accessible, with scuba diving, fishing and even turtle watching only some of the adventures available from &Beyond Phinda.
Madikwe Game Reserve is currently the fifth largest game reserve and is also one of the lesser- known parks in South Africa. This makes it a hidden- gem as it is regarded as one of the best conservation areas in Africa and offers the Big 5 in a 680 km2 park (750 km2 including newly incorporated privately owned land). The park offers a number of luxurious lodges as well as community lodges in a malaria- free zone.
The Big 5 is represented in the park and you are likely to spot a lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo during your stay. During your visit you will also have the rare privilege of possibly seeing the highly endangered African Wild Dog.
In 1994, a small group of six wild dogs were introduced into the park. This founding group has seen a challenging introduction into the park with rabies outbreaks, territorial clashes and encounters with some feisty lions.
Despite the odds, current day Madikwe has a thriving wild dog population with three hunting packs roaming the park. The dogs are somewhat accustomed to safari vehicles offering spectacular photographic opportunities. Madikwe Game Reserve’s conservation efforts to protect the ‘painted dog’ are in place to help conserve this majestic diminishing species.
Where the red dunes and scrub fade into infinity and herds of gemsbok, springbok, eland and blue wildebeest follow the seasons, where imposing camel thorn trees provide shade for huge black-mane lions and vantage points for leopard and many raptors... this is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park.
An amalgamation of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa (proclaimed in 1931)and the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park comprises an area of over 3,6 million hectares – one of very few conservation areas of this magnitude left in the world.
Red sand dunes, sparse vegetation and the dry riverbeds of the Nossob and Auob show antelope and predator species off to spectacular advantage and provide excellent photographic opportunities.
Kgalagadi is also a haven for birders, especially those interested in birds of prey
South Africa offers a multitude of different dive sites and experiences.
In the Cape you can cage dive with Great White Sharks form Gansbaai or Simonstown, other shark experiences include diving with blue sharks and Makos.
Hermanus doesn't just have whales to offer, there are sublime coral reefs too. Anybody with an interest in macro subject matter such as nudibranchs cannot miss out on diving Hermanus!
The yearly extravaganza of the Sardine run takes place along the east coast and is a must see for avid divers.
Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks are massively popular diving areas. Here depending on the time of year you can see Whale shark, humpback whales, tiger sharks, bull shark, regged tooth shark, turtles and a myriad of tropical fish.
To the north you have Sodwana Bay...beautiful tropical waters.