All the reasons to visit South Africa

All the reasons to visit South Africa

Do you already have plane tickets to visit South Africa? Are you considering where to go for your next trip? Consider South Africa! These are all the reasons you should visit South Africa.

Check out some other Southern Africa posts to inspire your next trip

Kruger National Park

Reason number one you should visit South Africa is Kruger National Park! Kruger is nestled in northeast South Africa. It’s one of the most well-known national parks on the continent — and for good reasons. You can find the Big 5 here at Kruger. There are phenomenal opportunities to do safaris every day. And you can do this affordably by camping out in tents under the stars, or more luxuriously by sipping morning coffee overlooking the waterhole.

After living in southern Africa for 2 years, this was one of the highlights of my times there.

National Parks

Okay, so continuing on. There are other National Parks in South Africa besides Kruger. There are so many to see. The experience of seeing magnificent animals in their natural habitat is one of the most magical travel experiences you can have.

With that said, I strongly encourage you to do your research on animal welfare. I think it’s very important to understand your role in visiting various parks.

Diverse topography

When someone asks me my favorite country I have ever been, it’s hard to decide! But South Africa is one of the countries that comes to mind. There is so much to do here. This is partly because of the diverse topography of this country.

South Africa has rugged coastline, mountains for hiking and skiing (yes, there’s snow!), desert, rolling hills, and so much more. It’s a huge country that offers everything that you might want.

With that said, you don’t need to be an adventurous traveler. You could simply just soak in the beauty of the varying landscapes.

Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the world’s “must-see” cities! It sits on the ocean with rugged coastlines. It has so much history to explore, wonderful welcoming people, some of the best wine in all of Africa, and so much culture.

You can find fabulous food, fun summer events, and tours galore for learning about the history of South Africa/Cape Town.

Desert

Like I mentioned above, there is desert in South Africa. When you think of South Africa, this is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But remember it neighbors Namibia! So if you want to experience desert, travel to the western part of this beautiful country.

Beautiful Coastline

I think I mentioned this like 5 times already…. But the coastline is BEAUTIFUL!! Southern Africa (ie. Cape Town) has a more rugged and mountainous coastline. But eastern South Africa has a beautiful flat coastline where swimming is so common.

I have great memories hanging out on the white-sand beach in Durban.

Amazing people

Having the opportunity to live in this part of the world for 2 years, I can honestly say that the people here are so wonderful. No matter where you’re traveling you will always be able to find someone that can help you, that you could spark a conversation with, or that might become your new best friend.

I definitely recommend participating in a couple tours from your hotel or backpackers when you’re there. You will be able to find opportunities to go on tours and get to know people who you may not have otherwise.

History that shouldn’t be forgotten

While the history of South Africa is tragic and unspeakable, I am a strong believer in learning from our past. I think it’s really important to understand the history of this country so that we don’t repeat. You will see elements of the history in today. The culture and attitude on race is similar and different from that in the United States.

Skiing

I bet you don’t think of this when you think of South Africa! But it’s true, there are the Drakensburg mountainous that offer great downhill skiing.

If you want even more snow, you could consider visiting the tiny nation of Lesotho.

So many languages!

While English is widely spoken in South Africa, you will find different languages all over the country. Each state has it’s own language. My personal favorite is siZulu! I may be bias because it is very similar to siSwati (from their neighboring country of Eswatini). After speaking this for a couple of years I am nostalgic when I hear some siZulu being spoken.

Watch some of Trevor Noah’s comedy and you will hear it 🙂

While there are similarities between the different languages, each one is different. Some people speak more than language, others may not. But this is a unique aspect of South Africa that you will not find if you just stay in the U.S.

Durban

Durban itself is another reason to visit South Africa. This was one of my favorite places to visit when I was living in Eswatini — it was just a few hours drive away. In Durban you can find white sand beaches with a beautiful board walk, pebbled with many different restaurants and bars. Durban is also known for its food — particularly it’s Indian food (read my next reason to visit South Africa).

“Bunny chow” is a signature dish in the Durban area. It’s a loaf of break with the some of the insides taken out to make room for an Indian curry. It’s kind of like a bread bowl!

Indian food

Like I started staying above, you must visit Durban! When you’re in Durban, you will find some of the best Indian food! Did you know that Durban has the largest diaspora of Indian people (outside of India). You can find some fabulous restaurants in Durban to try a bunny chow. Or you could find some other Indian food while you’re here.

The Big 5

I’ve already mentioned this, but it’s worth it to mention again. If there’s one reason to visit South Africa it should be to see the Big 5 animals. The “Big 5” are elephants, leopards, lions, black rhinos, and African buffalo. But you can also spot giraffes, cheetah, and so much more!

The amazing wine and beautiful wineries

South Africa is known for it’s wine, particularly in the region around Cape Town. If you’re in the Cape Town area, you could organize a wine tour around Stellenbosch. There is a strong history of wine here. Many grapes grow so well in this region!

One of my favorite memories of traveling around South Africa is spending a day visiting wineries around Stellenbosch. The wine is delicious! It’s a great way to spend a day with your girlfriends, solo, or with a spouse.

Penguins!

The final reason you should visit South Africa is penguins! In the southern most part of South Africa (outside of Cape Town) you will find African penguins!

Where else can you see penguins in Africa???!

These are all the reasons you should travel to South Africa. I’m sure I’m missing many though. Because there are so many reasons! I highly recommend making it a priority on your travel bucket list.

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