Top Ten Reasons To Head To South Africa For Your Next Adventure
Where else can you get lost amongst sprawling rainforests, endless savannah, golden beaches, rolling vineyards, towering mountains, exotic animals, vibrant cities, and people from all over the world? South Africa is THE country of contrasts. Hugely diverse in landscape and culture, The Rainbow Nation offers unique experiences you're unable to find anywhere else. Endowed with a myriad of natural wonders, it's no surprise it's the world's top safari destination, but South Africa is also a delight for foodies, budget travellers, adrenaline junkies, and nature buffs alike. Read on to discover ten reasons why you should travel to South Africa for your next adventure.
1. SPOT THE BIG FIVE ON SAFARI
Don your khakis and grab your binoculars, South Africa is one of the few African countries where you can spot the Big Five (elephants, buffalo, rhinos, leopards, and lions) all in the same day! South Africa hosts some of the world's most outstanding reserves for conservation, including Kruger National Park, Pilanesberg National Park, and Addo Elephant Reserve. Whether your budget stretches to a five-star experience or you're after something a bit more authentic, South Africa's got your back. And it's not just the Big Five! Giraffe, hippo, zebra, meerkats, seals, and penguins all call South Africa home. There's no better country to tick a once-in-a-lifetime safari off your bucket list.
2. INDULGE IN INCREDIBLE FOOD & WINE
You, on a vine-covered patio, mountains in the distance, sipping some of the best wine in the world... sound good? Outside of Europe, South Africa has the world's oldest wine industry, and with more than 200 cellar doors just a few hours from Cape Town, the country is a wino's paradise! Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschoek, and Wellington are the main regions, but fantastic vino can be sipped all over the country.
When it comes to food Cape Town is a gourmet capital, and JoBurg is a hub for specialty coffee, craft beer, innovative restaurants, and local markets teeming with flavour. South Africans love a good braai (aka BBQ), and if you're eager to taste something new, why not order ostrich or kudu? Don't forget to try biltong, the ultimate meaty snack!
3. RELAX ON GORGEOUS BEACHES
Flaunting pristine soft sand and dramatic coastlines, the beauty of South Africa's beaches is undeniable, even if the Atlantic ocean is a little brisk. The most popular beaches are found in Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, but if you're sticking to Cape Town you'll find some gorgeous urban beaches with reach. Definitely check out Camps Bay, a fashionable nook close to the city centre, and Boulder's Beach, home to a 3000-strong colony of cheeky African penguins. You can even officially 'adopt' one! Though you won't be able to bring him home...
4. ACTIVITIES GALORE!
Thrill seeker? South Africa is the playground for you. You can hike Table Mountain, watch whales and dolphins off the coast, paraglide over Cape Town, cycle through the cities, abseil down mountains, skydive from thousands of feet, mountain bike, visit a vineyard or brewery, surf epic waves, face your fears with a bungy jump or shark cage dive, or indulge in a round of golf if that's more your pace. Whatever your preference, age, or budget, there's never a dull moment in SA.
5. MEET FRIENDLY PEOPLE
South Africa is a melting pot of fascinating ethnic and cultural diversity. There are 11 official languages and many more unofficial ones, but with English you can still get by as most locals are bi-lingual, tri-lingual, or more! South Africans are known to smile a ton, have a great sense of humour, and rave passionately about their backyard. The best way to understand their traditions is by immersing yourself in real Swazi culture with a traditional Zulu community stay. There's nothing more beautiful than being camped out in the middle of the wilderness, listening to your host proudly recount stories of their culture over a flickering fire. South African friendliness radiates from within and will leave a lasting impression on you!
6. IT'S A SCENIC PARADISE
Brimming with jaw-dropping scenery, amazing wildlife, geological wonders, and famous landmarks, South Africa is a haven for anyone who wants to feel small against the majesty of nature. Armed with a camera (or just your phone), you can capture beautiful vineyards, exotic animals, and inspiring viewpoints. The Panorama Route, Bo-Kaap neighbourhood, Table Mountain, and Kruger National Park offer instagrammable spots around every corner. You'll be the envy of everyone back home!
7. EXPLORE COSMOPOLITAN CITIES
While you're cruising the savannah or staying with Zulu communities, don't write off the cities when backpacking South Africa! Cape Town is an international metropolis - modern and vibrant, boasting a mixture of African, European, and Asian influences. It's been voted the world's best city and is full of museums, galleries, bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and excellent shopping to fill your days. JoBurg is a similarly cosmopolitan city, full of funky neighbourhoods with unique histories like Soweto, a township once at the epicentre of the civil rights movement. Hop on a bike to cruise around and learn about South Africa's tumultuous past firsthand.
8. ENJOY OUTRAGEOUSLY GOOD WEATHER
South Africa is a year-round destination, with sensational summers and mild winters. Places like Durban average over 300 days of sunshine a year, and even the 'rainy' season is fairly sunny as downfall usually consists of short-lived thunderstorms that quickly clear up, often a refreshing respite from the heat! In general, high temperatures range from around 26 degrees in the summer to 15 degrees in winter. Whenever you visit make sure to pack layers, a jumper for the occasional chilly day, and a rain jacket so you are prepared for everything.
9. GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY
When it comes to tourism, South Africa is one of the best-priced countries in Africa. Everything is priced in the local currency, the South African Rand (ZAR), while most other destinations use $USD which makes them more expensive. Eating out is affordable, so you can enjoy a delicious meal and top-notch glass of wine without the sting of a ridiculous bill, and you needn't break the bank to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime activities on offer. Your dollar gets you further so you can focus on having an unforgettable adventure.
10. GO BACK IN TIME
Figure yourself a bit of a history buff? How far back do you want to go? The oldest human fossils have been found in Africa, the place that first cradled human civilisation. For more recent history you can check out the Apartheid Museum in JoBurg, or Robben Island off of Cape Town where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his incarceration. To discover humanity's ancient origins and learn about one of the most inspiring political reformations in recent times, South Africa's the place to be.
South Africa is the country where you can have every type of adventure! Ready to start planning the trip of a lifetime? We are so excited to announce the launch of INTRO's brand new trip, South Africa Adventure! From Johannesburg to Kruger National Park, Durban to Cape Town, this 12-day small group tour will have you experiencing this list in person - imagine cruising golden savannahs spotting lions one day, summiting the heights of Table Mountain the next. With all internal transport, accommodation, and activities included, plus a bunch of meals, an experienced group leader, and an instant crew of new friends to travel with, what are you waiting for? Check out the trip here!