Intrepid Travel Guide to South Africa
South Africa. It’s a wide, wild country.
“Stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. There’s the deserted Kalahari, Namakwa’s springtime symphony of wildflowers, iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Kruger National Park’s wildlife-stalked savannah and, running through the east of the country and into Lesotho, the Drakensberg. KwaZulu-Natal’s iSimangaliso Wetland Park alone has five distinct ecosystems, attracting both zebras and dolphins.” lonelyplanet.com
Situated at the tip of southern Africa, South Africa is a panoramic1 233 404km². From the desert border with Namibia in the northwest, down the icy Skeleton Coast to Cape Agulhas, then up along the wide beaches and green hills on the coast of the Indian Ocean, to the border with subtropical Mozambique in the northeast.
It’s a gorgeous subtropical region, moderated by ocean on two sides of the triangle-shaped country. This produces the warm, temperate conditions so typical of South Africa – and so popular with its foreign visitors.
Flight time from Singapore to South Africa is about 12 hours. And you gain an extra 6 hours when you land! Here is DirectAsia’s handy guide to making the most of your time.
Things To Do and See
1. Kruger National Park
“Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians – 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Man’s interaction with the Lowveld environment over many centuries – from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela – is very evident in the Kruger National Park. “ South Africa National Parks
• Wilderness Trails
• Game Drives
• Guide Walks
• 4×4 Activities
• Mountain Biking
2. Cape Town
“Cape Town has it all — exquisite beaches, breathtaking scenery and wildlife, world-renowned gastronomy and buzzing nightlife.” huffposttravel.com
• Cable car or walk up Table Mountain – for the sweeping and expansive views of Cape Town
• Cape Penisula Tour – Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point and Boulder’s Beach, home to the African Penguin colony
• Camp’s Bay – Chic beach town below the Twelve Apostles mountain range
• Robben Island – The prison containing Nelson Mandela’s cell of nearly 20 years. Tours from former prisoners
3. Gourmet Food and Wine Tour
“After a few wines, it’s hard to get your tongue around ‘Franschhoek’ and ‘Stellenbosch’. These beautiful places in South Africa’s Western Cape are nestled among table-top mountains, valleys and rolling, vine-covered hills. For keen foodies and wine buffs, a visit here is a must; along with nearby Cape Town. Three days is ideal.” LonelyPlanet.com
• Gourmet brunch and coffee at cafe Haas
• The Test Kitchen, delicious cuisine by local personality chef Luke Dale Roberts
• The R44 road – 30 mins outside Cape Town is lined with farmers’ markets and wineries. Top pick – Terroir
• Babylonstoren – one of the most stunning gardens in the world. With a pretty greenhouse for the best morning tea anywhere.
4. South African Craft Markets
“Spend some time exploring one of South Africa’s bustling street, craft or flea markets. Whether you’re a dedicated shopper or a casual browser, South Africa’s craft markets sell everything from traditional foods, to jewellery, sculpture and clothing. You’ll also enjoy the friendly sellers and colourful vibe.” southafrica.net
You can discover a range of formal and informal markets in towns and cities all over the country. Famous markets include the Rosebank African Craft Market in Johannesburg, Greenmarket Square in Cape Town and the Victoria Street Market in Durban.
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