By Capucine Motte
If when someone speaks about South Africa, you immediately think about wild animals in the middle of the African savannah or if every time someone says to you, “I’m going to South Africa for the holidays” you answer back, “Oh nice, you’re going to go on a safari!” Take a few minutes to read this article and you will understand that it’s a shame to reduce such a beautiful country to only one activity, no matter how incredible it is!
In this country, there is something to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Adults, young and old, couples, families, retirees, athletes, nature lovers, musicians, foodies, everyone—yes I do mean everyone—can find something in South Africa to their taste! It would be tedious to list every place, landscape or activity in the country. However, let’s try to highlight the peculiarities of South Africa to introduce you to something other than a safari!
First of all, you should know that South Africa is a really BIG country, which deserves to be captured differently depending on where you are. Indeed, if you travel in Western Cape, Kruger Park or KwaZulu-Natal, you will see very different landscapes, animals, climates and cultures! It’s certainly relevant to speak of bush but we shouldn’t forget that South Africa also has amazing beaches, mountains, lagoons, dry deserts, and vineyards as far as your eyes can see.
Yes really, you’ll never get tired of this country! If there are landscapes to suit every taste, imagine how many activities there would be for you to do! Let’s start with what seems more obvious: the beaches in South Africa. South Africa is home to two oceans and thousands of beaches. Below the mountains, hidden between cliffs, spreading as far as your eyes can see, it’s up to you to find your small corner of paradise! For those who can’t stand lying on the beach, you have the chance to do many water activities such as surfing or windsurfing, swimming with seals, watching the whales and even shark-cage diving… the list goes on.
For those who love nature, the Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal is the place where you belong. Choose a path and explore this huge nature reserve for several days. You will enjoy a very unique experience in harmony with nature. Or maybe you’re more attracted to Table Mountain? You will definitely enjoy a breathtaking view of Cape Town from the top!
Don’t worry! If you prefer the excitement of the city and cultural visits, the major cities of South Africa—Cape Town and Johannesburg—are perfect for you. Through visiting many museums (the Slave Lodge in Cape Town and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, amongst others), or wandering in the different districts (townships, sea side, CBD, etc.), you will feel the strong influence of history that is still very present in this country.
There is nothing better than interacting with locals, discovering their habits, their ways of life and state of mind to have a truly accurate overview of these cities. Eventually, it’s crucial for you to know that South Africa takes food very seriously! Once again, there is something for everybody: whether you’re at a South African specialties or indulging in some international food (Asian, European and more) in a themed restaurant (jazz, hipster, pub) or in a casual market, you will be completely overwhelmed! This culinary diversity can be coupled with a huge range of excellent wine produced in the Winelands of Cape Town. If you have the chance to visit these vineyards, you will discover wonderful properties that have absolutely nothing to envy from all these castles in Bordeaux (in France)!
There you are. You now have a modest preview of what is waiting for you in South Africa. Go ahead; come discover a country that will blow your mind!
And never forget, going on safari is an excellent reason to visit South Africa – but hardly the only one!