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South Africa is a recent addition to the tourist route with the post-apartheid atmosphere buzzing in the ears. It has the best climate to experience wildlife, and its newfound tourist identity means that you can find pretty much anything, from bungee jumping and skydiving to having a chilled drink by the pool. Swim in a cage dangled in front of sharks or visit the island prison where Nelson Mandela was jailed for 18 of his 27 yrs, but beware of high crime levels and Malaria.
South Africa’s infrastructure makes it a great place for visitors. Easy transport in and between the cities by bus, plenty of flights and lots of new, good-standard guesthouses and B&Bs make it similar to the USA and Australia, but without the price tag: the rand fell dramatically in 2001 and has yet to recover. It is also fast becoming a popular destination on the backpackers’ route.
Cape Town is a stunning city. Surrounded by beaches, vineyards and the spectacular Table Mountain, there’s a multitude of activities to choose from; ocean swimming, visiting museums, sailing, whale spotting, swimming with sharks, skydiving or setting off into the wilderness for a few weeks. The Two Ocean’s Aquarium houses over 3000 different species of fish, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates, and is definitely worth a visit. You can get the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain for a spectacular view of the city or you can hike up the mountain. There are some good and easy routes, and the views on the way up are just as stunning as the one at the top. The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve has some amazing and rare wildlife, and really needs more than a days visit to do it justice. If possible, hire a car and walk the reserve, rather than go by guided tour.
Johannesburg is a fascinating city, full of contrasts. The ridiculously rich live side by side with the poverty stricken and homeless. Buses do hop-on, hop-off tours to both the rich and poor areas of the city. Beware of crime in Johannesburg; it’s a dangerous place. Never go out alone after dark, especially by yourself. However, play it safe, and follow the advise of the locals and you’ll find that the city is full of hidden wonders.
Summer is ridiculously hot, so it’s best to avoid travel to South Africa during this time, especially if you want to visit the cities and the lowlands. Winter is mild everywhere except the mountains and highlands where there’s occasional snowfall. In April, July and September the beaches are overflowing with children on their school holidays. The best time, weather wise, is from mid-December to late-January, although this is the peak season, so prices fly up and you’ll need to book in advance.
The beautiful and exciting country of South Africa is waiting for you and other holidaymakers from all over the world. Do yourself a favor and give yourself an experience for life - give yourself a South Africa holiday!
South Africa is famous for its sunshine. It’s a relatively dry country, with an average annual rainfall of about 464mm (compared to a world average of about 860mm). While the Western Cape gets most of its rainfall in winter, the rest of the country is generally a summer-rainfall region.
Read more about the weather in South Africa here…
The South African road infrastructure is excellent, so driving is an option, but be careful. Here are some important information including road map of South Africa