If you can, travel to a few different regions in South Africa. The stunning country is teeming with varying landscapes at every turn that is just waiting to be explored. Cape Town’s crystal-clear waters and soft-sand beaches quickly turn to a sprawling city and then towering mountains. Simultaneously, Kruger National Park’s landscape (and animals) quickly changes every 20 kilometers or so, cycling through mountains, bushy plains, and tropical forests.
All over the country, you can do fantastic and also easily accessible hiking. In particular, Cape Town has an array of trails right in the city that provide majestic views with little effort. The Lions Head mountain takes about two hours to finish, and Table Mountain has a cable car if you want to skip the climb and just enjoy the hiking trails at the top.
Don’t forget that South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons are flipped. But even if you choose to go in the dead of winter or at the peak of Summer, you should be fine. South Africa ranges from a Mediterranean climate in the south to a subtropic one in the north. Most of the country has warm, sunny days and cool nights year-round.
One of South Africa’s particularly attractive features is its many sensational beaches.
Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest wildlife reserves. The park stretches over 7,500 square miles, making it larger than that state of New Jersey! This natural game reserve holds a high density of wild animals, including the sought-after big five: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalo.
One of the best things South Africa has to offer is the wide selection of accommodations. This especially holds for safaris. Kruger is one of the cheapest parks in the world to experience an authentic safari. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in Sabi Sands Private Reserve is a popular choice, and for a good reason. You can watch animals drink from the watering hole right from your plunge pool, or if you’re brave enough, stay the night in one of its open-air treehouses.
Spotting these gorgeous creatures is relatively easy in South Africa. Many tourists don’t even plan on going whale watching and simply see them while hanging out on a beach or sipping a drink at a bar. Hermanus, especially — only 90 minutes outside of Cape Town — has some of the best land-based whale watching in the world.