South Africa Travel Guide
As one of the best places in the world to go cage diving with Great White sharks, South Africa is a thrill seekers paradise. It is also a land with many game reserves where visitors can take a safari to see the Big 5 up close, free and in the wild. With sweeping vistas, lush forests and many landmarks, South Africa is a great destination choice for your next vacation.
We’ll start this South Africa Travel guide with things to do for the adventurous types, and for that we head to the water. Cage diving with the Great White shark is not for the fainthearted, but it is an exhilarating experience nonetheless. Many tour operators and many different areas in which to dive make this South Africa tourist attraction a tough one to beat.
Pelagic diving with mako and blue sharks (also from the safety of a cage) allows you to also see yellowfin tuna, hammerhead sharks and lots of sea birds. These trips take place further out in the ocean from places like Cape Point. For the real adventurous among South African vacationers, there is diving with tiger sharks and this time there is no cage. South Africa is one of the few places in the world that offers such an activity that takes place off the east coast taking advantage of the warm waters.
Switching gears, South Africa is also a lovely place for natural beauty found on land. In Cape Town, Table Mountain is a landmark offering tourists spectacular views from the top of its flat surface that spans 3km. Visitors can take the cable car or hike to the top to see the views or to spot some of the interesting animals like the mongoose that call it home. Rock climbing and caving are also popular South Africa tourist attractions on the mountain.
The Cape of Good Hope, Clifton Beach, and Boulder’s Beach that a colony of African penguins calls home are also beautiful natural places to explore around Cape Town. For those wanting to see marine life up close but don’t want to go into the water, there is the Two Oceans Aquarium in which the shark feeding times are a big draw. Those wanting to steer clear of the sharks may like the Diamond Museum where centuries of history on the diamond await.
A South Africa travel guide would be remiss to exclude the many national parks and big game reserves that can be found throughout the country. The Kruger National Park is one of the largest reserves in all of Africa and became South Africa’s first National Park in 1926. Each of the Big 5 is found here along with 147 other species of animals and 114 species of reptiles, including thousands of crocodiles. With 21 camps, 2 private lodges and 15 private safari lodges there are plenty of places to stay and take safari tours from.
The Amakhala Game Reserve is found on the eastern cape of the country and is a private game park that offers 4 and 5 star lodges as part of the safari tours it offers. Day and night trips to see the Big 5 are available in this reserve near the Addo Elephant National Park in Port Elizabeth. The elephant park has two loop roads for tourists to traverse and the largest population of elephants in the country. Within the park is the Gorah Elephant Camp where your South African vacation can see you staying in a stately colonial manor house while partaking in an authentic safari experience.
Traveling inland to the country’s largest city of Johannesburg are several important South Africa tourist attractions like the Apartheid Museum where history is on display through photos and videos of that turbulent time. Here visitors can learn about Nelson Mandela like never before. Constitution Hall shows visitors the cells and prisons as well as the Constitutional Court and sheds more light onto the role apartheid has played in the country.
Gold Reef City is an interactive gold mining experience that also has rides and games making it a great place to visit on a South Africa vacation with the little ones. For those wanting an interesting tour, there is the Wondercave with all of its lovely rock formations that also makes a great family outing.
Not far from Johannesburg is the administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria which is home to the Voortrekker Monument which is one of the best known South Africa tourist attractions and one lots of people visit each year. The Rietvlei and Groenkloof Nature Reserves and the Cheetah Research and Breeding Center offer more natural areas to explore.
Durban is worth a mention because of the Natal Shark Board where sharks take center stage on the South Africa vacation and it is also home to the stunning Valley of the 1000 hills area which shouldn’t be missed.
The Western Cape of South Africa is the only place on the planet where visitors can see the ‘Big 7’, the Big 5 game animals plus the Great White shark and whales. This alone is a great reason to choose South Africa on your next vacation.