South Africa Tours, Activities, and Day Trips
South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. It is a vast country with widely varying landscapes and has 11 official languages, as well as an equally diverse population. South Africa is renowned for its wines and is one of the world's largest producers of gold. South Africa has the strongest economy in Africa, and is an influential player in African politics. With various sights such as black-maned lions framed against Kalahari dunes; powdery beaches lapped by two oceans; star-studded desert skies; jagged, lush mountains - this truly is a country of astounding diversity. With such variety, South Africa really does have a little bit of everything.
South Africa's landscapes are stunning, from the burning Karoo and Kalahari semi-deserts to the misty heights of the Drakensberg range and the massive Blyde River Canyon. Even in urban Cape Town you need only look up to see the beautiful fynbos, indigenous flora, climbing the slopes of Table Mountain while, nearby, two of the world's most dramatic coastal roads lead to Cape Point and Hermanus. Add the vineyards carpeting the Winelands, old-growth forests along the Garden Route and Tsitsikamma, Indian Ocean beaches and Lesotho's inspiring mountains, and there is a staggering variety to enjoy.
South Africa's ever-changing scenery is the perfect canvas on which to paint an activity-packed trip. Try rock-climbing in the craggy Cederberg, surfing off the Eastern Cape coast, abseiling from Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain, or bungee jumping from a Garden Route bridge. If adrenaline sports aren't your thing, opt instead for a hike: options include multi-day treks through wildlife reserves, dusty day walks in the semi-desert Karoo, catered "slackpacking" trails along the Cape coast or an overnight hike into the sometimes snow-capped peaks of the Drakensberg.
South Africa is one of the continent's best safari destinations, offering the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) and more in accessible parks and reserves. You can drive right into the epic wilderness at Kruger, Kgalagadi and other parks, or join khaki-clad rangers on guided drives and walks. But it's not all about big game sightings - wildlife watching here also teaches you to enjoy the little things: a leopard tortoise ambling alongside the road, a go-away bird chirping its distinctive chant in the trees, or on the coast, an encounter with seals, whales or a great white shark.
And while South Africa certainly has more than its share of scenic spots, exotic plant life, and diverse animal populations, it isn't only about the natural side of things. South Africa also has some big cities that offer great urban atmospheres and more chances for exploration. One of the main cities is Cape Town. It is the legislative capital and seat of Parliament. A world-class city named for its proximity to the Cape of Good Hope. Also within a stone's throw of South Africa's winelands. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, nestled between the sea and Table Mountain, and is a popular summer destination by both domestic tourists and those from abroad. Johannesburg, another popular city, is the economic heart of Africa and the most common entry point into Southern Africa. Upington, another big city located in the arid Northern Cape province, is a good base when exploring the Kalahari desert and the many national parks located in the Northern Cape.
If you want to travel in southern Africa then South Africa is a good place to start. While you can fly into any country in southern Africa, most flights will route through South Africa anyway. South Africa is also a good place to get used to travelling in the region. Of course South Africa is not only a jumping off point, it is itself a superb destination rich in culture, fauna, flora, and history.