Destinations, Travel Inspiration, Travel Planning

April 18, 2023

Discover the Unparalleled Beauty of South Africa

South Africa, located at the southern tip of Africa, is known for its mix of cultures, stunning landscapes, and rich history. It attracts visitors with its beautiful beaches, wildlife-rich national parks such as Kruger National Park, and lively cities like Cape Town, known for its dining, shopping, and natural beauty. The country also boasts the scenic Garden Route, famous for its coastal views, forests, and lagoons, offering a glimpse into South Africa’s diverse natural attractions. 

The country is not just about natural beauty; it also offers a wealth of cultural and historical experiences. From the blend of African, European, and Asian influences in its music, art, and food, to important historical sites like Robben Island and the Apartheid Museum, South Africa provides insight into its complex past. The food and wine scene, featuring local favorites and the vineyards of the Western Cape, adds to the country’s appeal, making it a place where visitors can enjoy both the natural world and rich cultural heritage.

My husband and I visited the country in the spring of 2023 for an incredible 10 days, and we packed it all in from the very beginning. We hiked Table Mountain, visited the picturesque Winelands, where we enjoyed the famous South African Pinotage, went shark cage diving, and, of course, spent some time in the bush on safari. I’ll be honest: going to South Africa really wasn’t high on my radar or my travel list before this work trip came up, but it’s been on my list to revisit ever since we left. I highly recommend making the journey, and there are non-stop flight routes from Atlanta – Cape Town, so it’s pretty convenient for those who are looking for an easier option than connecting through Europe. 

When To Visit:

The best time to visit South Africa depends on where you plan to go and what you want to do. Here are a few general guidelines:

  • If you want to visit the Western Cape (including Cape Town) and enjoy the beach and outdoor activities, the best time is from November to February, when the weather is warm and sunny.
  • If you want to go on safari in one of the national parks, the best time is during the dry season (May to September), when the animals are more visible and easier to spot. If seeing the newborn wildlife is on your radar, visiting at the end of November and into December is perfect for spotting the “bush babies” on safari.
  • It’s worth noting that South Africa is a large and diverse country, and the weather can vary significantly depending on where you are. You may want to consider the weather patterns in the specific region you plan to visit for more specific information.

What To Know:

  • Currency: South Africa uses the South African Rand (ZAR) as its official currency. It’s advisable to exchange some money into ZAR before arriving or once you land, at banks or currency exchange offices. While ATMs are widespread, particularly in major cities and tourist hotspots, and credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and large stores, carrying some local currency is useful for smaller transactions and in areas less frequented by tourists.
  • Transportation: South Africa offers a range of transportation options suitable for visitors, enabling them to discover the country’s diverse landscapes and attractions. Renting a car is a common choice for those who prefer to navigate on their own schedule, and remember, driving is on the left-hand side of the road here.
  • Language: South Africa has eleven official languages, including English, Afrikaans and nine ethnic languages, of which Zulu and Xhosa are the most widely spoken. English is commonly used in business, politics, and the media, making it accessible to many international travelers. English is prevalent in signage, menus, and tourist areas, facilitating straightforward communication for visitors. However, engaging with the country’s eleven official languages and local phrases can greatly enhance your experience of South Africa’s rich cultural diversity.

South Africa Itinerary Highlights:

  1. Cape Town:
    This vibrant city is nestled between mountains and sea and is known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The heart of Cape Town, with its dynamic mix of modern life and historical depth, is a place where visitors can explore everything from the bustling V&A Waterfront to the tranquil Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. The iconic Table Mountain provides a dramatic backdrop for the city and offers breathtaking views from its summit. Cape Town’s diverse neighborhoods, such as the colorful houses of Bo-Kaap, dot the surrounding area.

Kruger National Park:
As one of the world’s most famous wildlife reserves, Kruger National Park offers an unparalleled safari experience. Spanning across millions of hectares, this vast park is home to an impressive array of wildlife, including the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros). Visitors can embark on guided game drives, walking safaris, and even hot-air balloon flights to witness the park’s diverse ecosystems and its inhabitants in their natural habitat.

Cape Winelands:
Just a short drive from Cape Town, the Cape Winelands are renowned for their breathtaking scenery and world-class wines. This region is dotted with picturesque towns like Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl, each with their own unique charm and history. Visitors can indulge in wine tasting tours, savor gourmet dining experiences, and stroll through vineyards set against the backdrop of the rolling Simonsberg and Helderberg mountains.

Looking to learn more about the best time to visit, or plan an itinerary specific for your travel wants and needs? Contact me today to begin planing your perfect South African vacation! 

Share this post

Here you will find the latest travel tips and destination spotlights to help inspire you to keep dreaming about your next vacation.

Travel TIPS

Cline Travel Co. Blog!

welcome to the


Travel planning

120+ Breathtaking Pages of Travel Inspiration  
in Virtuoso, the Magazine 

Get inspired by my go-to source for trending destinations and gorgeous properties around the globe: 

Grab This Freebie