South Africa is one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world. An exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture offer the traveller a unique experience. Also known as the Rainbow Nation, it is a country rich in sunshine, blue skies, safaris, wildlife and game parks, long open beaches and a traditional African culture.
Larger than France and Spain combined, South Africa is a bewildering mixture of race, creed, culture and colour.
It is the most southerly country on the African continent and economically and politically one of the most important and influential.
South Africa has become one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
South Africa has every type of attraction you can think of. See mountains, beaches, forests, lakes, waterfalls, cities, villages and famous landmarks like Soweto or Table Mountain – there’s so much! Close Encounters Africa has chosen a selection of the best things to see and do to help you decide between the endless possibilities.
Perhaps one of the most picturesque cities in the world, and the oldest city in South Africa, the vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere of Cape Town make it easy to understand why people love this city so much.
If there was ever a way to remind you, the backdrop of Table Mountain delivers sunsets and skylines throughout the day, making for an uplifting mood in a place that can provide you with everything you want from South Africa. You’ll feel at home amongst the multi-cultural locals and tourists whilst you settle in to the next best thing to home.
The famed trail along the Western Cape has earned its reputation from giving the visitor a consistent tranquil experience.
The lush forest and lagoons of the Garden Route border the perfect white beaches, where you can find an array of fantastic accommodation to suit every type of traveller.
The popularity of the Garden Route is well deserved and as such it’s an easy destination to combine with a safari in one of the many game parks in South Africa.
A natural paradise, Kruger Park offers wildlife enthusiasts encounters with 150 different mammals and over 500 species of birds. Endangered wild dogs can be seen in the south, cheetah and zebra on the plains and giraffe in the wooded areas.
In the far north of Kruger National Park there are also archaeological and historical sites like Masorini and Thulamela, which give insight into the lives of ancient iron-age cultures.
This area is known as the garden province and is the home of the Zulu nation. The region is a kaleidoscope showing you natural wonders, ultra-modern facilities, fascinating glimpses of a multi- cultured people, a history rich in heroic deeds, bloody battles and ultimately, reconciliation- all set against a majestic backdrop of sun, sea, mountains and sky.
From the massive basalt cliffs of its northern reaches to the soaring sandstone buttresses in the south, the Berg – as it’s popularly known – offers a myriad delights to anyone of any age who needs to ‘get away from it all’. Peace and quiet is the catchphrase amid this unsurpassed grandeur where the world’s second- highest waterfall tumbles down a series of breathtaking cascades.
The Eastern Cape boasts a remarkable natural diversity. It is known as the land of rolling hills, endless sweeps of rocky coves and sandy beaches, towering mountain ranges and verdant forests. The main feature of the Eastern Cape is its astonishing coast line and there are numerous towns and resorts you may stay at for great beach action.
Whether you’re in the mood for an informal seaside escape, an encounter with the Big Five on safari, or a choice of scintillating city diversions and rich natural tourist attractions, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in the Eastern Cape.
Namaqualand! 100% big sky country. After the winter rainfall, Namaqualand dons her coat of many colours and for a brief moment, the wild flowers invade the countryside.
See carpets of flowers; fields and fields of different coloured petals! Countless poems, novels, paintings and prose have been dedicated to this annual shower of God’s colour.
In Namaqualand the visitor will find indescribable treasures amongst the wide selection of remarkable fauna and flora.
Choosing the most suitable time of year to visit South Africa depends very much on the activities you have planned for your holiday. The flowers are best in August and September. The ideal time for game viewing is late spring (September and October). The southern right whales can be seen off the coasts from about mid-June to the end of October.
If you’re a birder, the palaeoarctic migrants arrive around November and the intra-African migrants usually by mid-October.
The diving is best in most of the country outside of summer (ie, from April through to September), and so is the surfing – but that certainly doesn’t limit either activity to those times.
River rafting is better in the Cape at the end of winter, and in Kwa Zulu-Natal in the height of summer (late November to mid-February). In Mpumalanga and Limpopo, it’s less time-dependent.
The shoulder seasons – spring and autumn – are best for hiking, as summer can be hot over most of the country. In the Drakensberg, summer thunderstorms are dangerous, while there is a good chance of snow in winter. In the Cape, the winters are wet, so hiking can become harder and you will need quality walking gear.
Of course, if you want to lounge around on the beach, mid-summer is the best time – though everyone else will be there too. And – a big bonus – the beaches of northern Kwa Zulu-Natal are warm and sunny even in mid winter.