About South Africa
South Africa is a very diverse country with its people, multitude of languages, landscapes, culture, amazing wildlife and teeming cities. It overflows with resources, incredible scenery, and is one of those countries that you can visit over and over again. South Africa can intrigue, fascinate, frustrate or amuse you, but one thing it will never be able to do, is bore you. With its post-apartheid identity still in the process of definition, there’s undoubtedly a wealth of energy and a sense of progress that is firmly in place. One thing is for sure: South Africa is an exhilarating and complex country.
As a travel destination, you will struggle to find anywhere else in the world with its unrivaled beauty and culture.
Why go to South Africa?
Mother Nature truly blessed South Africa when it comes to sheer, untamed beauty. Rugged mountains, torrenting waterfalls, arid and vast deserts, shimmering lakes, marsh-like jungles, huge wetlands and never-ending coastlines – you are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to visiting this country.
Alive with enthusiasm, cultures and nationalities, Cape Town is a bubbling, trendy city where every week there is some kind of event or celebration happening in the city or its immediate surroundings. The weather in a day in Cape Town can sometimes be as diverse as its people. It can get pretty chilly and wet over winter, but even that isn’t even enough to dampen the young-hearted spirit of Cape Town. When Summer hits the streets, the doors fly open and the locals take to the beaches, sundowner spots and majestic mountains.
The list of attractions for Cape Town is endless, ranging from Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, postcard-pretty beaches, Cape Point, the penguins at Kalkbay, museums, theatres, restaurants, nightclubs, idiosyncratic shops (especially in Loop and Long Street), dreamlike vineyards, adventure centres, and much, much more.
Summer is usually the most comfortable month to explore the city, but a wild gale, called ‘The Cape Doctor’, sometimes makes its dramatic appearance, especially during spring. It will literally and figuratively blow you away!
Music, especially live music, seems to be the heart and soul of Cape Town, and if you’re not hearing it in a restaurant, club or pub, you’ll most probably hear it coming from some corner or another as you walk down the street. It gives one a sense of a general ambience that’s open-minded and relaxed. Read more here on 14 Things to do in Cape Town.
Also referred to as Jozi, Joburg, Joni, eGoli (‘city of gold’), or Joey’s, Johannesburg is easily the most populated city in South Africa. It is the provincial capital of Gauteng and is the wealthiest South African province, with the largest economy of any metropolitan area within Sub-Saharan Africa. The city is one of the 50 biggest metropolitan regions in the world, and is the world’s biggest city that is not located on a river, lake or shoreline. Joburg is also the origin of a large-scale gold and diamond trade, due to its location on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand. Though much of the city is urbanised and peppered with big buildings, busy streets and skyscrapers, there is plenty to do and see here. Read more on Things to do in Johannesburg.
Durban is the biggest city in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. It is also the second most significant manufacturing centre in the country, aside from Johannesburg. Durban is also renowned for being the busiest port in the continent, and is seen as one of the major tourist centres because of the city’s beautifully warm subtropical climate and vast golden beaches. If you looking to explore a bit wider then the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho is only a short drive away. Read more on Things to do in Durban
Hermanus is a scenic seaside town situated on the southern shore of South Africa’s Western Cape Province. It is renowned for its fantastic southern right whale watching from June to December, and is a well-loved town for retirement due to its peaceful atmosphere and tranquil scenery. The whales can be spotted from the cliffs in the town from as early as June, and typically vacate in early December. Read more on Things to do in Hermanus.
Are you looking to party? Then find out where the hot spots are with 16 of South Africa’s Popular Festivals and Events. Here are another two great festivals that will take you to see Grahamstown and Knysna.
Best time to visit South Africa
If you love sun, surf and hiking up our glorious mountains then our Summer months in the Western Cape are the best time to visit with temperatures in the 25 to 30 degrees range. These are from December to March. A heavy rainfall and average temperatures of 14 to 16 degrees can be expected from June to August. The Kruger Park area experiences heavy Summer showers from December to March. Their Winter dry period is from May to October where the animals tend to congregate around the waterholes which makes for beautiful wildlife viewing as they drink and splash around in the water. The KwaZulu-Natal coast offers year-round sunshine, and a very mild winter with warm ocean temperatures so if you can’t pick and choose your time, anytime is a good time!
How to get to South Africa
The largest airport in South Africa is OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. There are daily flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Maun(Botswana), Nairobi and Windhoek in South Africa. The airlines that are used from Europe, the US and Asia are: South African Airways, Lufthansa, British Airways, KLM, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian and Emirates.
Facts on South Africa
South Africa has a population of 44 million people with 11 official languages with English spoken widely. South Africa has 3 capital’s namely Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein. The average temperature ranges from 20-30 degrees celcius all year round. It is abundant with attractions.
Full name: The Republic of South Africa
Capital city: Pretoria (official); Bloemfontein (judicial); Cape Town (legislative)
Area:1,233,404 sq km; 476,217 sq miles
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +2 ()
Languages: Zulu (official); Xhosa (official); Afrikaans (official); English (official); Tswana (official); Sotho (official), Southern (official); Swati (official); South Ndebele (official)
Religion: Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and traditional religions
Electricity: 220/230V; 50HzHz
Electric Plug Details: South African/Indian-style plug: 2 circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin
Country Dialling Code: 27
Where to go in South Africa
We all know about the apartheid struggles South Africa faced, but why not Visit the Nelson Mandela Museum and discover the history behind the man who saved the land. You can also visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held captive.
Drinking wine is a popular pastime of many South Africans and we recommend that you Experience the Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch. In the next article you can enjoy Wine, Wine and more Wine in ‘Stellies’.
If the above has not satisfied your curiosity about South Africa, here are Six Reasons to be a Tourist in Cape Town.