If you have never been to South Africa you may have an unrealistic idea of what the country is actually like, I know I did. There are no wild animals roaming around the streets (well not in Cape Town anyway!), you do not need to wear a bullet proof vest as some journalists would have you believe, and it is not a destination purely designed to accommodate backpackers.
The Western Cape of South Africa is chic, cosmopolitan and charismatic, and if you enjoy the finer things in life such as luxury hotels with five-star service, excellent New World Wines, fine dining venues, and unique travel experiences, then you will be pleasantly surprised at just how much this magnificent country has to offer.
Like fine wine, travelling through South Africa is not something to be rushed, and while many tour operators try to promote a 14 or 16-day “Grand Tour”, I cannot see the point in rushing around this beautiful country only to return home more exhausted than when one left!
South Africa is a place to relax, unwind and savour the natural beauty that surrounds you, enjoy the luxurious hotels, exquisite dining venues, and of course, sample some of the many locally grown wines in vineyards that will simply take your breath away.
Then there are the wild animal encounters to think of. Many of us visit South Africa to go on a safari, and while the Kruger National Park may be the most recognised reserve, there are many other Game Reserves doted around the country that one could enjoy, such as those in the Malaria free zone of the Eastern Cape. A short hop from Cape Town, nestling at the end of the infamous Garden Route, the Eastern Cape has numerous elegant Lodges where one can enjoy life’s little luxuries while being surrounded with the bush and wild animals.
The South African service and hospitality is second to none, and the friendly locals make it easy for visitors to feel right at home in their country, which is perhaps why South Africa is a place to revisit over and over again, until you uncover every hidden gem!