Contributed by Away to Africa
Renowned as Africa’s gateway, South Africa beckons with its rich history, diverse landscapes, and a wealth of activities available all year round. It’s an ideal starting point for anyone keen to delve into the mysteries and marvels of African travel.
South Africa’s history harks back to prehistoric times. Just north of Johannesburg lies a network of caves and tunnels, often referred to as the “Cradle of Humankind.” This World Heritage Site, a major attraction for visitors, has been a revelation for genetic scientists. Numerous fossils and the remains of what’s believed to be the earliest primate have been unearthed here. Adult admission is around $12 USD, with child discounts available.
Experiences in South Africa
South Africa isn’t only about history; it also boasts a vibrant modern entertainment and culinary scene. These elements culminate in two standout festivals on the continent, highlights for many visitors.
The annual Cotton Fest, a springtime celebration of music, is a top attraction. Its latest edition, commemorating the late legend and co-founder Riky Rick, showcased over 100 South African artists over two days.
The DSTV Delicious Festival is a feast for the senses, combining fantastic music and delicious food. This year’s lineup includes Nigerian superstar Burna Boy and R&B legend Babyface. As you enjoy the music, you can sample a range of dishes from the numerous food stalls.
Museums & Historical Landmarks
For quieter pursuits, South Africa offers a wealth of museums. The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg provides a stark reminder of the country’s 20th-century history. Then there’s the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto, a tribute to a South African schoolboy killed during the Soweto Uprising in 1976.
Other noteworthy attractions include Nelson Mandela’s former home and Robben Island, where Mandela was once imprisoned. Don’t miss the Robert Sobukwe Memorial, honoring a key anti-apartheid revolutionary and founder of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC).
South Africa, flanked by both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, offers some of the world’s best surfing. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner, you’ll find suitable programs and locales. The largest waves typically occur from April to August. The Dinokeng Game Reserve offers a chance to view Africa’s iconic wildlife, including lions, leopards, rhinos, and giraffes.
Cycle through the Langa Township for a glimpse into South Africa’s segregated past. Other scenic highlights include Table Mountain, a distinctive landmark overlooking Cape Town, and the vineyard-surrounded city of Stellenbosch.
Where to Stay in South Africa
You’ve decided to visit South Africa and booked your flight. The next step is finding the perfect place to stay. Fortunately, South Africa offers a variety of accommodations to suit every budget.
Villa Del Mar
Villa Del Mar is an exceptional choice for your stay in South Africa. This luxury beachfront villa, located in the heart of Cape Town, offers quick access to city attractions. The villa provides professional housekeeping and access to a private chef, ensuring a comfortable and relaxing stay. Prices start at just under $200 USD per night.
Trendy Loft Apartments
For those seeking to maximize their budget, Trendy Loft Apartments provide excellent value. Priced around $70 USD a night, these apartments may lack some luxury amenities, but they make up for it with their stylish design and location in the city center. Each apartment features modern bathrooms and appliances, offering an attractive and affordable accommodation option.
Kapama Luxury Lodges
For the ultimate indulgence, consider a stay at Kapama River Lodge. As the premium option among a selection of exquisite lodges, it offers a unique “night under the African Sky” experience. The lodge boasts a private airfield, available upon request, award-winning wellness centers, top-tier spa treatments, and proximity to the Kapama Game Reserve. Guests can enjoy two complimentary guided tours per day. This premium experience offers unparalleled luxury and convenience.
Where to Dine in South Africa
Arriving in South Africa without a culinary plan? Here’s a selection of notable restaurants that have earned acclaim beyond the country’s borders. Additionally, while you’re there, we recommend staying alert for local gems and hidden culinary treasures.
Whether you’re a seasoned fine dining aficionado or a casual food enthusiast who enjoys culinary shows with a bowl of instant ramen, La Colombe is a must-visit dining destination in South Africa. To secure a table at any of their seven restaurants, it’s advisable to make reservations months in advance. While their menus may vary throughout the year, their commitment to culinary excellence remains constant. La Colombe is renowned for its innovative cooking techniques, including the use of liquid hydrogen, turning each dish into a piece of art that’s as visually appealing as it is delicious.
Food Lovers’ Eatery
Part of the Food Lovers’ Market chain, the Food Lovers’ Eatery brings the freshness of market produce to a modern dining setting. This eatery is a popular choice among locals, especially working-class South Africans looking for a quick, satisfying lunch or dinner. While the offerings are predominantly local, the menu also features a variety of international favorites, including sushi bars, poke bowls, and an array of salads.
Whether you’re already en route or considering a trip to South Africa, we hope this snapshot of what the country offers sparks your excitement for an unforgettable African adventure.
Away to Africa is a destination management company that orchestrates several travel experiences to Zanzibar, Tanzania, each year. The company also extends leads trips to 14 other countries across Africa, including Ghana, Togo, Benin, Morocco, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Swaziland, Nigeria, Madagascar, Egypt, Senegal, and Seychelles. Their personalized group travel packages encompass accommodation, gourmet traditional food, and cultural tours. An Away to Africa representative accompanies the group throughout the journey, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience 24/7.