Day Visitors Area in Kruger National Park

Top 3 things to do when visiting South Africa

A luxury holiday to South Africa will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable trips you undertake in your lifetime. Offering an intoxicating mix of picturesque beaches, stunning national parks, vibrant cities and awe inspiring wildlife South Africa is, in my opinion, 5 holidays in one, or to put it another way you’ll see more in a two week trip to South Africa than if you took a month elsewhere.

Here are my top 3 things to see on your South African holiday…

Day Visitors Area in Kruger National Park

Whale spotting at Sunset

Hermanus is known for its never ending beaches, ample fauna and of course for the whales that descend on the region between August and November every year. It is also the only town in the world with a whale crier who blows his horn whenever he spots one of these majestic creatures; it’s no surprise then that this small town is the whale watching capital of South Africa, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

For a truly memorable experience head to the seafront at sunset and watch the whales frolicking in the water, an unforgettable sight.

Stay a night in Kruger National Park

With 2 million hectares of land and covering an area larger than the country of Israel, Kruger National Park is home to nearly 150 different species of mammal, most famously the Big Five which adorn the photo albums of every visitor who has stepped foot in this beautiful national park.

Aside from the game drives that offer a once in a lifetime chance to see big cats, the array of native fauna and over 500 species of birds, Kruger is also a place of great historical interest, with bushman paintings and archaeological sites sharing the landscape with the animals for which the park is more well known.

For a truly captivating experience spend a night in the park and enjoys views over the Luvuvhu River as you awaken to the sounds of Mother Nature at her very finest.

Visit the Battlefields

A visit to the Battlefields is a must on any trip to South Africa, if only to understand and appreciate the legacy of the battles that took place here. Located in the Kwa-Zulu Natal region are the sites of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 and the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 – 1902.

A guided tour is highly recommended in order to enhance your visit; listen intently as your knowledgeable local guide takes you to the foothills and fields of the area, offering tales of the local men who fought to defend their land against British forces. Visit Isandlwanan where the native Zulus fought off the far more advanced British army with just simple muskets. You’ll also journey to Rorke’s Drift where 100 British Soldiers fought and defeated 4,000 native Zulu Warriors, losing just 17 men in a remarkable battle.

As you walk past the small graves and lone forts it’s hard to imagine that this most beautiful of areas, one which has now been designated a national park, was once the scene of some of the bloodiest battle in South African history.

Bird's view of Cape Town

A tour around Cape Town

Bird's view of Cape Town

One of the largest cities in South Africa is Cape Town which has a rich history and culture. While travelling around the city you will come across a lot of open land stretches comprising of desert roads and the African wildlife, making it an excellent setting for an exciting adventure – it is one of the most popular African city destinations boosted by its vibrant colours of life and culture, an excellent tourism network and its wildlife. By hiring a car in Cape Town you will be able to travel independently, gain the freedom to explore the outskirts of the city and absorb all the vivid natural beauty that the place has to offer.

New and old

The city is a good mix of both the old and the new architectural designs. It is an assortment of various ethnic communities that have contributed in their own way to its 300 year-old history. The “city bowl” includes the corporate area with numerous Victorian and Edwardian buildings which have a slight hint of the Cape Dutch architecture too.

A walk down Long Street will bring you to the remains of the old town. You will find cobbled lanes leading up to the Greenmarket square.

If you want to learn more about the city’s past then you should visit the District 6 and BO Kaap museums. The ancient remains of the early Dutch and British rule are found in the Good Hope Castle Fort, established on a huge open area. Other places or buildings of prime attraction include the President’s residence and other Government buildings.

Getting around by car

Car hire here is very easily available. The best prices are without a driver of course, so make sure you have a sat-nav to guide you around if you pick this option. You’ll need an international driver’s license if you are not from South Africa. Don’t forget to hop over to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated. There is a museum there: Ferries depart from the V&A Waterfront.

The Victoria and Albert Waterfront

From Robben island, make your way to the Victoria and Albert Waterfront which has been re-structured recently. The Victoria and Albert Waterfront is located at the heart of Cape Town’s harbour, between Table Mountain and Robben island. With exquisite views of sea and mountains, this waterfront is South Africa’s most visited destination according to the Sovereign Publications.  With plenty of shopping opportunities and over 80 restaurant venues, a day won’t be enough for you to take it all in.

More major tourist attractions in Cape Town

The iconic Table Mountain

Table Mountain – An icon of Cape Town, this mountain stands in the aptly-named Table Mountain National Park, rising to a height of 1,086 meters and draped in a curtain of clouds most often.

Cape Point – This is situated at the end of the peninsula at a distance of about 80 km from Cape Town itself. Also known as Cape of Good Hope, it is an extension of the land that teases the treacherous sea.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – This garden is spread over 528 hectares of land and lies at the feet of the Table Mountain. There is a large variety of bird population and wildlife to spot.

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