I tried to remain open throughout my journey through South Africa. After having been to the country several times, I had a general idea about what I was expecting and was aware that it was not going to be like other parts of Africa. I was awed by the extent to which the country has advanced and expanded, both in terms of material and socially, in the past ten years. While I was looking at the more prosperous areas and those popular with tourists, the infrastructure is impressive compared to other African nations. Remove the safari element, and I observed South Africa 2006 to be more comparable to Australia and New Zealand than Africa.
Cape Town offers a wealth of excellent accommodation and meals. It is also one of my favorite cities. Combine the Grootbos Lodge it companies in Durban further along on the shoreline, and I believe you’ll have a fantastic two-center experience, mainly when whales are in the vicinity. Knysna and the Garden Route are enjoyable enough; however, nothing that you can get excited about unless you’re attached to high-end food and wine. My top experiences included:
The forgotten part of Botswana that offers a beautiful safari experience.
Wandering around Pafuri in the northern Kruger and the Drakensburg Mountains.
I also discovered breathtaking marine wilderness areas in Rocktail Bay and Thonga Beach Lodge, located in the Maputaland Coastal Reserve.
Let it be South Africa for what it is, and plan a fantastic trip here.
South African gems
Mashatu National Park, just within Botswana, located on the northern edge of South Africa, combines very well with Wilderness Safaris’ Pafuri Camp situated at the highest point of the Kruger National Park. Mashatu is great for big games, and Pafuri is ideal for walking. It is easy to get between both, and a planned route including international flights in 2007 should cost about $3000 per person.
Tanda Tula Camp on the western part of Kruger National Park is probably the most comprehensive camp in the region. Excellent game, excellent tents, great guide and staff.
Rhino Post and Rhino Plains Camps, a bit further to the south, are excellent. The park privately owns them, so there are no hordes of vehicles obscuring the views. You can extend your stay here with Rhino Post as a base station and Rhino Plains to walk. The entire operation is well-run by driven guides and managers.
Rocktail Bay and Thonga beach lodge are situated in one of the last wilderness areas in SA that is unspoiled. The diving is fantastic, and anyone who enjoys sea life and beaches is sure to enjoy this. However, it’s not an idyllic beach getaway. Rocktail Bay is a safari lodge situated by the ocean, while Thonga Beach offers a little more luxury.
Phinda is an excellent option for families with lots of things to do, including excursions to the beach for a day. There are usually many other families to company, and Phinda is an excellent option to combine self-drive alongside Hluhluwe, Fugitives’ Drift, and the Drakensburg.
Durban, situated in South Africa, has become likely to be a major tourist destination as this beautiful city near the sea was brought to the international stage by hosting the World Cup in 2010. The city that was once largely unnoticed is bound to grab the attention of all visitors due to its year-round tropical temperatures, fantastic surf, and stunning surroundings.
Numerous companies offer Durban city tours and cruises that take you around the harbor or out towards the sea in the city. Ushaka Marine World in Durban is among the city’s top attractions, featuring Africa’s largest aquarium and an aquatic park. Ushaka is also just one step away from the suitable Indian Ocean and sunny beaches of the Durban beachfront. Numerous companies offer “booze cruises’ too with dolphin watching.
Most Durban hotels are located in the famous Golden Mile, but many resorts and hotels can be found further north in resorts like Umhlanga or Umdloti. There are plenty of ways to relax and enjoy the sea air. Most hotels cater to kids, with clubs for children and various activities for children to participate in while you unwind.
If you’re looking for an authentic African experience, Tala Game Reserve is just 45 minutes away from Durban However, it doesn’t offer the complete “Big Five.” If you think the Big Five is what you are looking for, then head for Hluhluwe Game Reserve, about two hours to the north of Durban. It is a fantastic safari park that you could easily visit in one day from Durban or stay for several days in a beautiful lodge situated in the middle of the African bush. The breathtaking Drakensberg Mountains and the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho can be easily accessed from Durban.