South African Travel: From Backcountry To Metropolis

South Africa has so much variety to offer visitors that it is difficult to define in a few words. One can travel from isolated bushveldt to cosmopolitan city in a few hours. A safari can be followed by a visit to the spectacular coast and on to the magnificent Drakensburg mountain range. Activities ranging from game drives to shark dives are all part of the South African experience. South Africa is a country that truly has something for everyone.

South Africans national parks and reserves have been splendidly managed for decades and visitors are likely to observe most of southern Africas animals in these parks. In addition, there are many private game reserves providing five-star accommodation and personalized service rivaling any resort in the world. From backpacking to ultimate luxury, you will find what you are looking for in South Africa.

Some of our favorite places:

1. Kruger National Park is Africas oldest game reserve and is one of its largest at nearly 2 million hectares. You are likely to spot all of the “big five” in this park.

2. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal is renowned for its white rhino conservation program.

3. Itala Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natals rugged northern region offers not only spectacular game viewing but contains some of southern Africas most unique geological features.

4. The Drakensburg Mountains are a must-see while in South Africa. Its magnificent peaks and valleys can be accessed by car, foot, mountain bike or horse and visitors can see many of the rock paintings that its ancient inhabitants have left behind.

5. Tsitsikamma National Park is a unique mountainous coastal ecosystem and one of the worlds largest marine reserves. Watch dolphins surf the waves, take a hike along the rocky coast, and watch whales while camping on the beach. The Otter trail, a 10-day hike along the coast, has a waiting list of months, and is named for the shy creatures that feed along the shores of the park.

6. South Africas beaches range from the tropical east coast to the cold-current west coast. If you want to get a tan while watching penguins, a visit to the Cape Peninsula is the place to be.

7. Cape Town is one of the worlds most beautiful cities. Dine at one of its many fabulous restaurants and take in the nightlife in the shadow of Table Mountain, then take a cable car to the top of the mountain for lunch the next day.

8. The Western Cape is famous for its wineries and quaint Dutch architecture. Begin your wine tour in Stellenbosch and visit as many wineries as you can (preferably while someone else drives!)

Whether you plan to spend a few days or a few weeks in South Africa, you will find what you are looking for!

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