South Africa is often dubbed as ‘a world in one country’ and for good reason. Full of stunning landscapes, remarkable wildlife, and balmy beaches make it one of the best holiday destinations, for everyone who wants to re-discover the beauty of this planet.
With so much to choose from and vast amounts of information readily available it pays to plan, try taking a look at a guide by A&K’s luxury travel to South Africa. First up, you need to decide the best time for you to plan your visit.
Autumn Is The Best Season To Visit
From March to May the temperature will average around 25 degrees during the daytime but might drop slightly during the night, so be prepared and pack a light jacket with you. Trading European spring for South African autumn, will, therefore, mean escaping the chilly winds of early spring and swapping them for some fun in the sunshine.
It is also the season when wine harvesting starts around the Southern Hemisphere so it might be a good idea to make some time in your schedule for the famous Cape Winelands harvest festival where you can sample anything from Sauvignon Blanc to Pinot Noir. Read below for more information.
You Can Drink A Lot Of Good Wine
If you are a big wine lover, you can’t leave South Africa without tasting the authentic, local wines. Travelling just a half an hour drive outside Cape Town will get you to one of the largest winemaking regions in South Africa, where a bottle will cost you a little bit more than £3.
But it doesn’t have to finish with just one bottle. Estates in that area are large and can offer not only a fine dining experience to go with your glass of red but also cosy accommodation in thatched cottages overlooking the picturesque wine valleys. The best plan is to rent a car and travel independently, paying a visit to a few of the established vineyards such as Babylonstoren or Franschhoek. Don’t forget to call them in advance to book a place where you could rest after all that wine- tasting!
You Can See The Big Five Animals
Whilst there is plenty of natural reserves, not all of them can offer you the same quality of experience. Eastern Cape has the most acclaimed, malaria-free private game reserves, that offer both safe and fun trips into the African wildland. Together, the sanctuaries there have managed to bring back and restore continuity of some of the most endangered and rare species such as elephants, that you can watch at the National Elephant Park.
Other successful projects include the reintroduction of lions and leopards to their natural habitat, which is the agenda of the Born Free Big Cats game reserve, which could also be visited on your way to the Eastern Cape.
Not only this will be the once in a lifetime occasion to see the Big Five, but perhaps, also the one that might change your entire outlook on life, and the way you care about the environment, and animals.
Make Sure You Bring Your Wetsuit
There are plenty of great coastlines around the world, but only some of them can compete with surfing experience that you will get in South Africa. With beautiful coastlines, and an environment perfect for absolute beginners, South Africa is the best place if you want to get your feet on the surfboard. So, forgetting your wetsuit might really hurt this time!
The top surfing destinations are Dungeons and Jeffrey’s Bay that are famous for their high quality of waves, and rich surfing traditions. Yet the unrivalled winner, when it comes to spectacular surfing scenery, is surrounded by the large granite boulders – Llandudno, in the Western Cape. No not Llandudno in Wales! Less than 50 km away from Llandudno, at Big Bays waves are great for those whose surfing skills are still in infancy. There are plenty of fish in the sea!
Don’t Trifle With The Real Dangers
Table Mountain is the most recognizable, most prominent natural landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town. Loved but tourists and all nature lovers, the mountain can be conquered by either a cable car or a regular hiking trip, offering in return unforgettable views and solitude.
But with the rugged terrain, unpredictable weather, and of course a long way up (1086 meters) the hike might be quite a challenge even for those in a perfect shape. So before, you hit the road and push yourself physically, it is good to assess your abilities first. Although the views will always look better when they have earned, it sometimes pays off to choose safety over adrenaline.
Same rules will apply to your adventures in the wildlife reserves and game parks. It is never safe to alight from your vehicle in places other than designated rest camps or picnic spots. Wild animals can be extremely dangerous, and the mere fact that you happen to share the terrain together that day, might not be enough to stop them from attacking you. Despite their cumbersome, or even docile appearance, trying to approach them, or hanging your limbs out of the window, is not a great idea.
If you were considering visiting South Africa now is your chance to finally go.
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