South Africa is everything you’d want from an active-meets-heatwave holiday: extraordinary nature, exotic wildlife and endless adventure, with a rustic vineyard setting that quite often – and wrongly – gets overlooked. It’s also a huge country with heaps to explore; falling below the Kalahari Desert in the north to the whale-spotting coastline in the south. Ahem – bucket lists, are you ready to be written? Discover South Africa’s secrets and check out our guide on what to be seen and be seen in.
What to wear
It’s impossible to visit the country of animal print and not dress in it – we’ve tried. So, in true South African spirit, choose this tunic dress to avoid looking plain on the plains. The fabric is super-soft and stretchy – perfect for hopping in and out of the 4×4. Oh, and the pockets are there to store your camera and sunglasses. As for the accessories? You’ll be doing a lot of walking when on safari, so keep them comfortable – boots and a rucksack are ideal – sunhats optional.
What to do
With a wide choice of activities, it’s more a question of what not to do. Starting in Johannesburg, head to Madikwe on the Botswanian border to begin your safari experience. Hire a lodge near the reserve – although you won’t be spending too much time here – and begin your tour the next day. Anticipate an early rise in the morning and the promise of lots of animals – lions, zebras, elephants and potentially a leopard…or two.
After a full-on couple of days on safari, a well-earned break is most definitely deserved, so travel to Stellenbosch for a wine-tasting experience like no other. Once you arrive, you’ll see there are plenty of wineries to explore. And if you’re more into the drinking rather than the history, Lanzerac Wine Estate is a must. Plus, there’s nibbles.
If your animal instincts haven’t been fulfilled, take a trip to Boulders Rock to see the penguins. Close to another tourist hotspot – Table Mountain, these chilled out waddlers hang out on the rocks and sunbathe on the cool granite. And if you’re jealous of that relaxed lifestyle, take advantage of the family-friendly swimming beach nearby. Sorry, no penguins allowed. After, head to the top of the mountain via cable car and check out the views – we promise you won’t be disappointed.
Finally – if you have time, take the Garden Route. A train runs from Knsyna to George – or take the scenic drive and stop off for some Jerepigo!