If you’re itching for an escape from the USA, then consider a trip to South Africa.
With its rich history and breathtaking landscapes, The Rainbow Nation is a tourist haven.
It’s one of the largest countries in Africa, but with so much geographical terrain and cultural diversity, where do you begin?
Start with these four must-see spots — they’re tailor-made for the trip of a lifetime.
1. Cape Town
Cape Town is undoubtedly the most popular tourist destination in South Africa.
Home to the white-sand beaches of the Cape Peninsula, rolling hills and valleys of the Winelands and incredible cliffs of Table Mountain, The Mother City’s landscape is made to be explored.
Other interesting sites include Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years and the beachside farmers markets and the V&A Waterfront mall, where you can shop til you drop.
For more ideas on things you can do in Cape Town check out this article from In Africa and Beyond.
2. Table Mountain (national park)
Table Mountain is named so because of its distinctly flat top and its iconic shape dominates Cape Town’s skyline.
There’s an aerial cableway on the mountain open to the public and cable-cars complete a 360-degree rotation of the mountain, providing magnificent views all the way up and down.
Tickets for the cableway are available worldwide from the Table Mountain website.
Bloemfontein, meaning ‘fountain of flowers,’ is commonly known as the City of Roses due to the wealth of these particularly pretty floral specimens on display.
An annual rose festival has been held here since 1976 —this event takes place over three days in October and attracts thousands of visitors from across the world.
With epic floral displays and fun gardening competitions, the Rose Festival is a must for any nature lover.
Johannesburg (also known as the City of Gold) is the second largest city in Africa and, despite being a relatively new city (founded in 1886 during the Gold Rush period), has quickly gained prominence as a global hub.
With over 10 million trees, Johannesburg is home to the world’s largest man-made forest, so there are plenty of serene spots.
And when you’re tired of tree bathing, fill your belly and slake your thirst with traditional shisa nyama (a form of barbecue) at local restaurants and refreshing beers and spirits from underground shebeens (speak-easy style bars).
There are super sites for history buffs too — including Mandela House, the former home of Nelson Mandela.
Traveling to South Africa
You’ll find good deals on flights to SA from most major US airports on comparison sites like Kayak.com.
But don’t forget to plan your route to the airport in order to get there feeling as calm and collected as possible.
Travelling on public transport with luggage is stressful, so to avoid feeling anxious and frustrated, travel in your own vehicle and find airport parking at Looking4.com — there are cheap deals for locations from Phoenix to Philadelphia.
These four must-see spots will make your South African adventure unforgettable.
Where else in South Africa is worth a visit? Please share in the comments section.