Why go to South Africa?

No other country in Africa, and few anywhere else in the world, offer a diversity of attractions to rival South Africa.

South Africa is one of the continent’s finest Big Five destinations. The likes of the Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve have all the amenities and attractions one would come to expect from world-class wildlife destinations. While adjoining private reserves such as Sabi Sand and Phinda rank among the world’s most luxurious venues for all-inclusive guided safaris. Importantly, when it comes to families with young children, South Africa is unique in that several of its most alluring Big Five reserves - for instance Madikwe, Pilanesberg and Addo Elephant National Park - lie within regions that are 100% free of malaria.

lion kruger national park wildlife safari The lion is the king of the Big Five

South Africa is remarkable when it comes to the ‘smaller stuff’. Indeed, some ecologists regard it to be the world’s third most important country in terms of overall biodiversity, thanks to its unusually high level of endemism. The tiny Cape Floral Kingdom, centred on Cape Town, contains something like 5% of the world’s plant species, two-thirds of which occur nowhere else on the planet.

fynbos flora in cape town Fynbos is one of the most diverse species of flora on the planet | Credit: PhantomForest.com

Wildlife aside, South Africa’s 2,500km coast line is one of the most varied in the world. Split between the warm Indian Ocean and cooler Atlantic, it is studded with idyllic sun-kissed swimming beaches, but also embraces everything from the subtropical forested dunes and coral reefs of iSimangaliso Wetland Park to the craggy windswept cliffs of the Cape and Robberg Peninsulas.

cape peninsular south africa safari credit sowetotour.co.za Cape Point in the Cape Peninsula is the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian oceans | Credit: SowetoTour.co.za

South Africa today displays a unique cultural blend of African, European and Asian influences. There’s the brash economic powerhouse of Johannesburg and its altogether more stately coastal counterpart Cape Town, as well as the curry houses of Indian-influenced Durban, and the French vinicultural tradition and Dutch-derived architecture that characterises the winelands around Stellenbosch. Elsewhere, traditional Zulu and Ndebele cultural villages pay homage to the country’s indigenous cultural diversity, as does the incomparable wealth of prehistoric rock art found in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg.

A significant part of modern South Africa’s fascination is the immense progress it has made as a unified nation since the first democratic election was held there in 1994, a progression placed in sobering historical perspective by visit to Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum or Cape Town’s District Six Museum. At the opposite end of the immediacy scale, the three-million-year-long hominid fossil record preserved in the ancient limestone caverns of Gauteng’s Cradle of Humankind has no peer elsewhere in the world.

All in all, South Africa is a country like no other.


Popular South Africa Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates



You might also like

Foodie holidays in South Africa

Carbon Bistro in Johannesburg South Africa’s larger cities have thriving culinary scenes and visitors will find the quality to be very high and prices very affordable by international standards. A celebrated facet of South Africa’s cuisine is the superb variety of good, affordable wine produced mainly in the Western Cape. Cape Town and the nearby Cape Winelands are rightly renowned…

A South African holiday as a couple

There are plenty of romantic getaways in South Africa that are perfect for couples | Credit: Madikwe Safari Lodge Most parts of South Africa are suited to couples. However, it’s easier for couples travelling without children to self-drive (which also helps keep costs down) and ensures plenty of privacy and quality time together. Many couples opt to visit areas like the Garden Route,…

Packing list for a South Africa holiday

Aside from checking any relevant vaccinations and seeking advice about anti-malaria drugs, no special preparations are required for a trip to South Africa. All over-the-counter medications are widely available at pharmacies, but you might want to buy essentials such as sunblock and insect repellent before you travel. Travellers who wear contact lenses might find that their eyes are more…

A relaxed safari holiday in South Africa

Discover the beaches of the Wild Coast in Eastern Cape on a leisurely adventure at your own pace South Africa’s lovely coastline offers ideal conditions for chilling out, catching a tan, taking the occasional dip, and relaxing over a paperback or magazine. Most coastal resorts also boast a fine array of restaurants where seafood and other cuisines can be enjoyed along with fine…

South Africa in February

Turtles begin to nest in February in iSimangaliso. You can track them on a turtle tour | Credit: Thonga Beach Lodge Johannesburg and the highveld is hot by day, warm at night and receives regular rainfall often in the form of afternoon thunderstorms. Cape Town and the Western Cape is hot and dry, cooling down at night. The Kruger Park and surrounds is very hot by day, warm at night…

Vaccinations for South Africa

The one vaccination certificate you may be required to show at immigration is yellow fever, and then only if you arrive from or via the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America. Other recommended vaccinations are tetanus and polio. You could also consider immunisation against hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, rabies, typhoid, cholera and tuberculosis. That said, please ensure that you…

Travelling to South Africa

Almost all visitors from abroad fly to South Africa. The main hub for international flights is OR Tambo International Airport on the outskirts of Johannesburg, but some carriers also operate international flights to Cape Town and/or Durban. The national carrier SAA, operates an extensive network of flights between Johannesburg and a large number of major cities in North and South…

Madikwe and Pilanesberg

Pride of lions in the Madikwe Game Reserve Situated in the blandly-named low-profile North West Province, these two relatively recently-created reserves have grown in popularity in recent years thanks to their family-friendly location in a malaria free-zone and excellent Big Five viewing. Pilanesberg and Madikwe are quite similar in ecological terms, both being situated on the…

Ready to start your adventure?

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2