South Africa – short "SA" – is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, religions and official languages. It also has ten World Heritage sites proclaimed by UNESCO.
Choosing where to go in South Africa is a bit like selecting which countries to visit on a global tour. Each region is so different, offering a diverse range of experiences and places of interest. Whether you visit the naturally beautiful city of Cape Town and the bottle-green hills of its wine valleys or head out on a Big Five safari in the wild Kruger, a visit to South Africa will tick all the right boxes.
Places to visit
Cape Town, the "Mother City", is a top tourist destination. It is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, a mix of people, culture, and cuisines. It is famous for its harbour, flora and landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point; other must-see places are Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the V&A Waterfront precinct, the Cape Winelands and Robben Island. For the more adventurous, why not try shark cage diving in Gansbaai. Find out more on the Cape Town Tourism website
Johannesburg, "The City of Gold" and short "Joburg", is the largest city in South Africa. Visit the Motsetsi Cave in the Cradle of Humankind, Soweto for a true township experience, Sandton for high-end shopping and the Nelson Mandela Museum. Find out more on the Gauteng Tourism website
The Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Experience safaris, 4x4 trails, tented lodges or premium accommodation. There are game drives to view the famous Big Five or a romantic hot air balloon rides to marvel at the African sunset. Find out more on the Kruger Park website
The Garden Route is a popular and scenic stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa. Mountains crowd close to a shoreline dotted with beaches, bays and vividly coloured wildflowers. A nature lover's dream, the coastline features lakes, mountains, indigenous forests, rivers, and golden beaches. Scuba diving, abseiling, fishing or bungee jumping at Bloukrans Bridge for adrenalin junky. Find out more on the Garden Route website
KwaZulu Natal, the Zulu Kingdom, is a popular and multi-faceted destination. Landscapes such as the Valley of a Thousand Hills and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park offer memorable experiences; the sardine runs take place along the coast. Golden beaches north and south of Durban are a surfers paradise. Find out more on the KwaZulu Natal website
Off the beaten track
If you have been to South Africa before or want to see more, why not try some of these unique experiences:
If you are travelling by road, stop at a local farm stall en route. These are small shops with a café/restaurant offering local produce, crafts and food. If you are in the city, visit one of the local food markets that offer anything from fresh produce to local delicacies and a full meal.
Take a trip to the Karoo, a semi-desert region in the south of the country. Visit the Cango Caves, see the Ostrich farms and go Ziplining.
Book a township tour; most major cities have a range of options available.
For details regarding your visit to South Africa, you might find these links helpful:
Applying for a South Africa visitor visa: see here