November 12, 2013 | By Doreen Lopez
I recently returned from South Africa, and I have to say it was one of my favorite vacations. If South Africa is not on your bucket list, I urge you to consider making it the top of your list!
When you think of Africa…a safari vacation is probably the first idea that comes to mind. South Africa has so much more to offer. There are iconic cities such as Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. You will find scenic beauty at every turn, stunning beaches, sporting lands, adventure, and the colorful diverse culture. Of course most astonishing is the African Safari: Kruger National Park being the most famous game park and home to the “big five” the Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, and Rhinoceros.
South Africa is truly a ground-breaking destination. Since 1990 South Africa’s share of international tourism arrivals has more than quadrupled. South Africa is exotic, but accessible with more than 30 international airlines flying into all 10 principle airports. No visa is required for U S citizens, just a valid passport. South Africa has a superb infrastructure, and a great variety of accommodation options – farm houses, luxury lodges, and trendy and chic 5 star Virtuoso resorts can all be arranged. South Africa offers gorgeous year around climate, and runs on the Rand. It is a great value for the tourist.
There are 9 provinces for you to discover, each offering incredible geography and diverse culture and experiences. Each province is like a country within a country. South Africa offers: UNESCO World Heritage Sites, both Natural and Cultural. Struggle Tourism: Robben Island, the Apartheid Museum, a day in SOWETO, the Hector Peterson Memorial. Thrill Seekers: Shark Diving, Kite Surfing, Para Gliding. Sports: Golfing. Entertainment: World class shopping, theatres, art galleries, glorious spas, and the best known cuisine. Interests: over 600 wineries, photographers. Rail: Ride the rails – the famous Blue Train, or the luxury Rovos Rail – from Pretoria through Johannesburg to Cape Town.
As you can see there are many reasons South Africa is one of the fastest growing long haul destinations in the world. I have to say it was one of the most beautiful, unforgettable places I’ve visited. The energy and rhythm of South Africa is altogether thrilling, the natural and cultural legacies are inspiring, and the experiences are limitless; ideal for any traveler.