South Africa is full of possibilities. Lose yourself in the deep forests, crevices of culture, and get the drift of history to fall in love with the country. Listen to the call of the wild, dive deep into the clear blue ocean, climb the Table Mountain, and take a high-spirited walk along the wine routes. From casinos to game reserves and white sharks to penguins, the panorama of experience widens each fleeting moment. You have to just surrender before its titanic beauty and enjoy the ride.
#1. Wildlife Safari
What is South Africa without a safari? You don’t feel complete unless you meet its famous inhabitants: African lions, elephants, and white rhinoceroses. Kruger National Park has possibly the largest game reserves in Africa with thousands of leopards, elephants and lions residing at ease. That’s why, a jeep safari in this national park is a must. If you want a stronger dose of adventure, try hot air balloon safari at Pilanesberg National Park. From April to September, when winter has a free run, the withered trees make it easier to spot these celebrity animals.
#2. Wine Tours in Stellenbosh
You should dedicate a day to wining. Those who can go far and deep in search of their favorite wine, would need no inspiration to journey through vineyards and oldest wine routes in the country. Stellenbosh, a town few miles from Cape Town, is where all the action happens. To make things little more dramatic, wind up the trip with a visit to Franschhoek. It is the ‘Gourmet Capital of South Africa’ where world class cuisine is the main draw.
#3. Boulders Beach
Don’t get foxed by the name. It’s not just the granite boulders that define the Boulders Beach. Your focus should be on the African Penguins. Walk down the boardwalks and see these flightless birds from a close range. Some prefer to capture their shots as they waddle around rocky pools and sheltered bays. You may not get to spot the large Emperor Penguins but the Fairy Penguins are a definite yes. Know more about Boulders Beach.
#4. Robben Island
No one can undermine the cultural importance of this World Heritage Site. This prison-island close to Cape Town is believed to have shaped the future of South Africa. It’s a different feeling altogether when former political prisoners take you on a guided tour and offer telling insight into the island’s history. Even today, this tiny island teems with memories of the most important social movement in the country.
#5. iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Coming to South Africa’s first World Heritage Site makes you feel that this place is nature’s favorite child. If you want to see coral reefs, beaches, woodlands, grasslands, estuaries, and lakes in a single location, nothing can beat this 328,000-hectare park. Explore the some of the highest and oldest coastal dunes, dive deep to witness coral reefs, and watch the leatherback turtles by the endless beaches. Interestingly, the name of the park means ‘miracle.’
#6. Table Mountain
You see it in the morning or gaze at it before sundown, this flat-topped mountain looks majestic at any time of the day. Like many visitors, don’t get too worked up about climbing up and down the mountain. If you are not out there to prove a point, then you may drop the idea of hiking up along the Platteklip Gorge route or abseiling down. Instead, settle for the cableway, relish the view of the blue ocean, and, if possible, enjoy the fine dining experience at the restaurant on top. Know more about Table Mountain.
#7. White Shark Cage Diving
Come to Kleinbaai Harbor in the Western Cape Province for your date with the Great White Sharks.
Get into a hi-tech catamaran (locals call it shark-chaser) and sail to Dyer Island. Wear the wet suit, goggles, and get into a steel cage. Get ready to see a shark in the eye. That’s as close as you can be.
At night, South Africa gives you a high. It’s wild and classy at the same time. Long Street, the party capital of Cape Town, is known for its Victorian architecture and wrought iron balconies with the latter reminding you of Old Havana. Get into any of the watering holes, enjoy Amarula on the rocks, and sway to the live Afro-pop music. If you have missed out on trying Jerepigo and Pinotage, dash to Durban. For a Vegas-style night, head to the Sun City Resort and try your luck at roulette. A few blocks away is the Palace of the Lost City Hotel, which is probably the largest theme hotel in the world.
Know more about Places to Visit in South Africa.Published On: Sunday, September 20th, 2015