Have you been thinking of traveling to Africa but not quite sure of the destination?
Ah well, no matter whether you are interested in backpacking, extreme sports, luxurious safaris or simply delicious food, South Africa is definitely a place you should visit.
Here are some reasons why I fell in love with the country, and you should add it to your bucket list as well!
When we think of African wildlife & the Big 5, there's no way that we can skip the Kruger! With more than 20 South African National Parks, including two of the world's most renowned wildlife reserves - the Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, plus almost as many regional parks, South Africa is a wildlife & eco-destination second to none. From lions to leopards, and pangolins to porcupines - you'll get to experience the game drive of your life in SA and can spend nights under the starlit sky, soaking in the beauty of the wilderness. For those who are adventurous enough and want to experience something more than just game drives, can also opt to volunteer for wildlife conservation at Kruger and spend some days learning more about the flora & fauna of the region. Not just that, but the Addo Elephant Park, which has a huge number of elephants will also be a treat for those who love to see the gentle giants roaming around in their natural habitat. The best part of South African safari is that it's suitable for everyone's pocket - no matter whether you are looking for a luxurious retreat or a budget game drive, you'll find it all here!
Extreme Adventure Sports
Are you a thrill seeker or looking to spice your life up a bit? Let me tell you that all the extreme adventure sports aren't meant for the weak-hearted ones! No matter whether you are looking for something like diving with the sharks & crocs or probably jumping off at the world's highest bungee jumping spot, or maybe riding on an ostrich - you'll find it all here, in South Africa! The Bloukrans Bridge, standing at a height of 216m above the Bloukrans River, is the highest bungee jumping spot in the world and it would be an 'out-of-the-world' experience for sure! If you fancy sky diving, Mossel Bay is your place. Gansbaai, located at a distance of about two and a half hour scenic drive from Cape Town, is known as the great white shark capital of the world and you can go for diving here. With more than 140 adventure sports options giving thrill seekers a serious adrenaline test, South Africa can be rightly termed as the paradise for adventure junkies!
Soaking in the sun by the beaches is something we all love to do, and the beaches in South Africa are just too perfect - unspoiled, exotic beaches, if I may say so! Cape Town itself boasts of the best urban beaches in the world with tropical coral reefs and diving/snorkeling spots. Beyond that, there are beaches where you'll get to spot the colony of endangered African penguins along the Indian Ocean coastline with pristine golden sand. If you're out for a road trip along the Garden Route, then you definitely should stop on the way at Rocktail Bay, which has tropical coral reefs and excellent for diving and snorkeling. The beaches are also apt for surfing and swimming.
In this 21st Century, when the concept of 'traveling' is becoming an enriching experience and more & more travelers are opting for responsible vacations, volunteering abroad surely has become the trend of the time. And being a developing country, South Africa offers ample scope for enthusiasts, who are keen to spend time doing something worthy for the wellbeing of the underprivileged communities, as well as for conserving the flora & fauna of the country. No matter whether you wish to volunteer with the little kids in Cape Town, or be a wildlife volunteer - your contributions will be appreciated much and you'll get to immerse yourself, soaking in the authentic vibes of the land. Volunteering in South Africa will also help you to delve deeper and know about certain social issues that still prevail in the country. It'll definitely turn out to be one of the best experiences ever!
Food & Wine
The land of traditional braai aka barbecue, South Africa can be termed as a foodie's heaven! From a wide variety of exotic meats to great coffee, craft beer & award-winning wines - you're gonna get it all here! Roll up your sleeves and hit the local markets in Cape Town or Jo'berg to diggin' the plates of some delicious street food, or walk into a beach shack for the best fish & chips. Sample the superb sauvignon blanc of the Cape's wine lands, while spending a relaxing day in a vineyard. If you wish to indulge in a gourmet getaway, then head off to the lush hills of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. South African cuisine has a strong European as well as Asian influence, and it would surely make you drool.
Experience A Luxurious Train Ride
Hold your breath, 'coz I'm gonna tell you something that might just surprise you! From Pretoria to Cape Town runs the Rovos Rail, known to be the 'Most Luxurious Train in the World'. It has rightfully earned the tag - 'The Pride of Africa', boosting its vintage coaches, private suites, dining coaches serving delectable cuisines and an opulent décor that exudes old-world charm. It would surely be a pocket pinch for you, but nonetheless, it'll also be an experience that you'd probably relish for life!
Culture, Heritage & History
Known as the 'Rainbow Nations', South Africa indeed is a land of diversities! A nation with 11 official languages, incredible topography from mountains to beaches & jungles, varied flora & fauna, and having 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, South Africa surely is a place worth visiting, at least for once in a lifetime. The warmth of the local people will melt your heart and since everyone can speak English (more or less!), there won't be any sort of language barrier. Explore the nation to know more about its history and how it has emerged to the state where it is now! Explore the 'Cradle of Humankind', known for its unique wealth of hominid fossils. Visit the museums, walk around the cities, explore the hidden gems and make friends with the locals - all of this will turn your South African sojourn into a memorable experience.
These are just a few!
And there are thousands of other things which you’ll get to see & know once you’re here in South Africa. So if you’ve been planning and postponing your adventures, then maybe now is the time to give it a serious thought and get rolling!