South Africa sits on the tip of a beautifully diverse continent. Unfortunately the 54 individual countries that make up the 12 million square miles of Africa are lumped into a small group of stereotypes and misconceptions in the minds of many would-be travelers.
Some of the best holiday destinations in South Africa are unique not only to Africa but truly unique to the world. From the most over-the-top luxury safaris to family-friendly beachside resorts, this country offers activities to explore for every traveler that they couldn’t find anywhere else on Earth.
Discover 5 Unique Experiences When You Travel South Africa
1. The longest wine route in the world.
If you think Italy, France and Spain are the go-to destinations for discovering a new vintage, think again. South Africa has the oldest wine industry outside of Europe and the Mediterranean with its own red wine grape varietal called pinotage. Its climate is ideal for producing South African wines from Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet. The world’s largest wine cellar, KWV Cellars, covers nearly a full square mile and sits along the longest wine route in existence stretching across 530 miles of picturesque vineyards.
2. Home to the world’s most luxurious passenger train.
With 19,000 miles of railway track, it’s no surprise that South Africa has set the bar for world-class train travel, pairing modern amenities with old world luxury for a one-of-a-kind experience. The Rovos Rail boasts guest sleeper cars that rival the Ritz in gilded romance, multiple dining cars, elegant 5-star cuisine, and serves the finest wines that South Africa is known for. The dress code for the train is smart casual with cocktail attire, jackets, and ties encouraged for dinner seatings. In the “spirit of a bygone era” the use of mobile phones and laptops are confined to cabins and there are no radios or televisions on board. The Rovos Rail has a number of itineraries to choose from that include safaris, waterfalls, and private game reserves.
3. South Africa boasts the ultimate rush for adrenaline junkies.
With the highest commercial bungee jump in the world (710 ft.), the third largest canyon in the world (Blyde River Canyon), second largest waterfall (Tugela Falls, 3,110 ft), and for advanced divers South Africa is home to Wondergat, an underwater cavern where you can reach depths of 230 feet and see spectacular rock formations. South Africa is one of the only countries where visitors can fall, dive, and climb some of the most breathtaking and diverse terrain on the planet. These are thrills you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
4. The Kruger National Park nature reserve supports the greatest variety of wildlife on the planet.
South Africa ranks #3 in the highest level of biodiversity in the world. At Kruger National Park, an area roughly the size of the state of Massachusetts, you can see 859 different animal species. That’s more animals than North and South America combined! If you’d like to catch some ocean life as well, South Africa is also home to the best land-based whale-watching in the world from the coastline of Hermanus, Western Cape.
5. South Africa is thought to be the birthplace of the human race.
The country’s rich history provides plenty of sights for the wandering history buff. The Sterkfontein Caves in Gauteng is the site where the oldest human skeletal remains were found (3.5 million years old). Fossilized footprints were found at Langebaan Lagoon, Western Cape, in a sand-dune-turned-rock. The 117,000 year-old fossils are the oldest known footprints of an anatomically modern human. Additionally, the world’s oldest crater (2.02 billion years) in Vredefort is also the largest at 186 miles wide. These incredible sights are worthy of any traveler’s ‘bucket list.’
These are only five of hundreds of unique experiences that can be found within South Africa. For more tips, ideas, and advice for seeing all there is to see, visit us at westcuratedtravel.com.