If you’re seeking for a great summer adventure, head down to South Africa as the country offers the best beach holidays between September and February. Enjoy the warmth of the Indian Ocean and all year round summer weather in the province of KwaZulu Natal. The province also boasts with two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park in St. Lucia that contains Africa’s largest estuarine system, over 500 bird species and decades old coastal dunes as well as endless beaches that stretch from Maphelane in the south to Kosi Bay on the Mozambique border, the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park in the Wild Coast, which encompasses South Africa’s highest mountain range.
The Western Cape is provides the best in nature viewing, with the deep blue waters of the cold Atlantic as well as diverse vegetation and numerous lagoons and lakes along the Garden Route. There are many hidden gems along the route that can only be discovered once you stop and soak in every stop.
There’s an array of accommodation available in South Africa, from luxury hotels to backpacker accommodation. When in the Wild Coast in KwaZulu Natal, the Wild Coast Sun hotel is a popular choice among visitors. Rooms start at a price of $158 per person per night. When in the Western Cape on the Garden Route tour, it is best to stay in George, which is the main centre of the Garden Route. Enjoy your stay at the Garden Villa Bed and Breakfast from $49.
A visa is required before entering the country, and can be applied for at your nearest South African mission or consulate. For more information, visit the South African Department of Home Affairs. Also note that a full unabridged birth certificate is required when travelling with children under the age of 18. For more information, see the South African Department of Home Affairs information leaflet. Travellers from certain African states can enter the country with only a passport. Those countries include Botswana, Namibia (90 days per year), Tanzania (90 days per year), Zambia (90 days per year) and Zimbabwe.
Things to See and Do in South Africa
There are lots of things to see and do in South Africa. From national parks and wildlife reserves to historical sites there are amazing places to visit in South Africa;
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa covering 20,000 square kilometers and is divided in 14 different zones. The 8 main gates are the Paul Kruger, Numbi, Malelane, Crocodile Bridge, Punda Maria, Orpen, Phabeni, Phalaborwa and Pafuri.
All the Big Five game animals – Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino, Lion and Leopard – are found at Kruger National Park, which has more species of mammals than any other African Game Reserves.In the park one can find a large population of different species of birds, some are residents, others non-breeding migrants. Eagles, hippos, giraffes, wild dogs, hyenas, warthogs, snakes, zebras, many different species of antelopes and many other more wild animals are resident at the Kruger Park.
Kruger National Park offers some of the most Luxurious lodges starting from 5 star accommodation at quite high prices to 4 and 3 star which offer luxury with more basic accommodation. The San Park which is a government organisation, has lodges scattered all around the park with basic accommodation but very reasonable prices. All lodges offer game drives and walks for game viewing. It is highly recommend a minimum of a 2 night stay in a 5 or 4 star private game lodge for an unforgettable and realxing experience.
Hluhluwe and Umfolozi Game Reserves
Hluhluwe has been a game sanctuary since 1897 and has recently been combined with the Umfolozi Game Reserve to form South Africa’s third largest game park. The park has a huge variety of game including black and white rhino, lion, buffalo, elephant, kudu, impala, nyala and hippo.
Kalahari Gemsbok National Park
Proclaimed a National Park in 1931, this semidesert park is wedged between Namibia and Botswana in the far north of the Cape Province. About half the size of the Kruger National Park, this arid area was once home to Bushmen and a wide variety of animals. Species commonly seen include lion, cheetah, gemsbok, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, springbok, eland, leopard and hyena.
Pilanesburg National Park
The fourth largest national park in southern Africa (212 square miles) is only 70 miles west of Johannesburg. The park is malaria-free and has a mild, dry winter climate – ideal for game viewing. The park has healthy populations of cheetah, zebra, giraffe, springbok and sable antelope. Bird watching is excellent with over 300 species recorded.