Colours of the Rainbow Nation
South Africa is the third most biodiverse country on earth and the only one with a floral kingdom, found at the southern tip. In a country that has eleven official languages, a multi-ethnic society, and 3 official state capitals, a diverse society is further reflected in the geography. If you’re here to safari, go coastal or visit vineyards, an ecosystem of rolling hills, short-grass savannahs, coastal bays and tropical forest—all of it is ready to be explored in the Rainbow Nation.
The creviced mountainous town of Stellenbosch has more than 350 years of winemaking and 500 plus miles of vineyards. Enjoy a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from the Cape Winelands in a harmonious setting. Move across the short grass plains and spot one of the “Big Five” in South Africa’s oldest and most revered Kruger National Park. Cruise along the coast as you drive the Garden Route with the windows down from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, a startling city with flattop mountain and sloping land that leads to False Bay. South Africa is a country where history, culture, and the wild combine in natural wonder.
The town of Stellenbosch impresses with its Cape Dutch styled buildings and bountiful wineries that have been producing at a world-class level for 300 years. Surrounded by mountains in the Jonkershoek River Valley, a hike up is to open your eyes to the natural beauty that surrounds you. Cool off under a waterfall after a day of outdoor tastings and adventures.
You’ll fall in love with the Garden Route, a 150-mile stretch of road that’s packed with beaches and easily within reach of vineyards. The sandstone cliffs of Knysna Heads, a lagoon, lake, and forest are just some of the stunning nature you can experience on this enthralling drive. Among the scenery you’ll also find diverse wildlife in Garden Route National Park, home to 85 species of mammals.
The forests of Tsitsikamma National Park meet the Indian Ocean, a place where waves crash against cliff faces in dramatic fashion. Whale watch from land after a day spent kayaking between the rocks. If you’re looking for a thrill, a bungee jump from a suspension bridge will fill you with adrenaline. Hike Otter Trail and learn of local flora as you look out and wave at dolphins and porpoises as they swim by.
Ever dream of seeing a pride of lions sprawled across a road kicking up dirt with their tales, or the sight of rhinos locking horns? In the oldest and largest national park in South Africa, luxury safari living with decking, gourmet food, swimming pool, and a night dining under the stars is one full of opulence among 7,700 square miles of park.
One of the world’s largest canyons, Blyde River Canyon is in the northeast of South Africa and averages 750 metres of depth. The canyon stretches 16 miles in length with subtropical foliage, steep cliffs, and a 200-metre waterfall making for a challenging but also enchanting hiking spot. Rise to the top of Three Rondavels—a viewing point that spoils with views of the Panorama Route.
The months of November through March are a popular travel period for many who come to South Africa. The coast tends to be hotter than the interior, with locations such as the mountainous Drakensberg being cooler. Winter occurs between June and September and is dry and sunny. With the drier weather comes better wildlife viewing opportunities as animals feed from watering holes. Cape Town is a gorgeous coastal city where the best of all seasons can come and go in a single day.
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