South Africa is a huge country. With size comes diversity and there are few countries as diverse as this. History buffs will know that the early European settlers – the Dutch, German and French – known as Boers, and the British, clashed with the local Zulu tribes, and then with each other as the discovery of gold & diamonds made them desperate to control these rich lands and the indigenous peoples. European rule continued in the form of Apartheid, which is well documented, but the spirit of the black population was unbroken by years of oppression and the struggle for freedom finally bore fruit in the early 1990’s with the country’s first ever free elections. Modern democratic South Africa offers busting urban success and alongside spectacular natural scenery and offers the visitor a wealth of experiences making it one of
Millington Travel’s most popular South Africa destinations
The most striking thing about South Africa is its natural beauty. The rugged coastline, unspoiled beaches, and spectacular mountains will delight. Iconic Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town is just awe-inspiring, as are the Drakensberg Mountains and Blyde River Canyon, and The Garden Route along the cape is just beautiful. No trip to South Africa will be complete without seeking the Big Five in one of South Africa’s National Parks or private Game Reserves. Hospitality doesn’t get much better either, with charming boutique Inn’s and game lodges, large luxury five-star hotels or luxury tented camps. You can do it all in South Africa. Get around easily by coach tour or self-drive and you’ll be guaranteed a trip you’ll never forget.
Millington Travel’s Top Ten things to see and do in South Africa
- Cape Town – the Mother City and starting point for many. It’s hard to put this city’s beautiful setting into words. Take the revolving cable car to the summit of Table Mountain for views you will never forget.
- Robben Island Museum – Political prisoners were often incarcerated here, including of course Nelson Mandela who was here for 18 years. Today it is a popular tourist destination and World Heritage Site, reached by ferry from Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.
- Whale Watching – get down to Hermanus and take a boat trip to catch the Humpback whale or Southern Right whale on their annual migrations.
- Wine Tasting – Head for Stellanbosch and Franschhoek and sample world class wines. The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a unique way to tour the rolling vineyards of South Africa’s distinguished wine estates.
- The Garden Route – if you can tear yourself away from Cape Town, pick up a car and head East towards Port Elizabeth. Mossel Bay is the start of one of the world’s most remarkable stretches of coastline.
- Oudtshoorn – For a truly memorable South African experience visit an Ostrich Farm and the Cango Caves.
- Boulders Beach – head for Simon’s Town on the Western Cape, and you’ll be treated to the amazing sight of a colony of 2000 endangered African Penguins. Perfect for families the beach is sheltered and safe.
- Stay on a Game Reserve – Lion, Leopard, White/Black Rhino & Buffalo… The large enclosed Game Reserves allow these magnificent creatures to roam in their natural environment while giving you the maximum opportunity to view them.
- The Panorama Route – Drive around Graskop in Mpumalanga Province and you’ll find some of South Africa’s most incredible natural scenery including Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window, and the Three Rondavels.
- The Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal – Rorke’s Drift, Spion Kop.. names that are so familiar, but to visit these areas really is a moving reminder of the battles during the Boer & Zulu wars.
When to go?
The answer depends on what you would like to do. For beach lovers, the hottest time is in the UK’s winter from November to April. The wildlife is at it’s most active in the cooler months of May to October, but if you do visit in the warmer months and take early morning game drives before the sun gets too hot then you’ll be fine. For a touring holiday, anytime is a good time to go.
Food & Drink
South Africa produces some truly world class wines, and a visit to the Winelands is a real treat. Food is a delight too, and portions are generous. Chakalaka is a wonderful spicy vegetable dish. Ostrich is commonly found on menus, and steaks & grills are always popular. South African food has been influenced by European and Asian cuisines so you’ll find steaks and Indian dishes often on the same menu.
Millington Travel absolutely loves South Africa and we are sure you will too so be sure to give us a call when planning your perfect holiday to this amazing country.