About South Africa
South Africa is a top tourist and business destination. Tourists, both international and local, enjoy the unbeatable natural assets that SA has to offer – amazing scenery, outstanding beaches, abundant wildlife and weather that is holiday friendly year round. For the locals, there is no place like home!
From tropical escapes to blue flag beaches, rolling mountains and ancient deserts, winelands and bushveld, our biodiversity is unending. Home to over 1200 bird species and a huge variety of wildlife – all inside our borders. Choose from a wide spectrum of safari destinations from the very affordable state owned National Parks to the myriad of private game reserves, many of which drop you right into the lap of ultra luxury and uber service.
The diverse culture of our Rainbow Nation makes meeting the people an exciting experience – South Africa is a country with eleven official languages – each of which is the tongue of eleven unique cultures, with their own history and community values. Art, food, music and lifestyles all reflect this rich tapestry.
South Africa is packed with attractions and never ending things to do. ShowMe brings you information on all the attractions, events and things to do in over 450 towns across the country, whether you are a visitor or a local.
From an economic point of view, it is the rich mineral resources that kick-started our modern economy. Our mining industry has been a world leader, enabling a host of manufacturing industries. The agricultural sector has always been well-developed and South African wines, fruit, vegetables and meat are exported world-wide. The success of the economy has resulted in an excellent infrastructure of roads and facilities that back up the very buoyant tourist industry.The South African economy is a major player in Africa with strong fiscal management and a busy Stock Exchange.
South Africa is also known for our advanced medical facilities and private schools and visitors to SA will enjoy the first world shopping and world class golf courses.
The excellent weather makes outdoor activities like golf, rugby, cricket, fishing and any other sport you can think of (except snow-based of course) accessible year round. And if you feel like chilling, the beautiful beaches are just for you.
South Africa’s largest cities, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban, each offer their unique ambiance. Just as interesting are the smaller towns, quaint rural villages and the urban townships, reflecting the rich variety in our culture.
As you can see, the main difficulty facing the tourist is what to see and do. The choice is limitless. You could spend two months or longer, and still have experiences waiting in the wings.
We have written up some time-based itinerary guidelines to help guide the first time visitor to this wonderful, exciting country.
Planning your first trip to South Africa?
It is very important to know that SA is a large country, and some of the main attractions are quite far apart. Though linked by air, it would be difficult to plan a first time visit of less than 10 days – 14 to 21 days is a much better option.
A broad outline of a good itinerary would be 4 days in Cape Town; 3-4 days to drive to Port Elizabeth from Cape Town via the famous Garden Route which is not only scenic but the hub of golf in South Africa; 1 day to fly from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg; 1 day to drive to Kruger National Park via the scenic Mpumalanga highlands; 3 days in the park; 1 day to drive back to Johannesburg and depart from the airport. 14 days in total. (You can also fly from Johannesburg to spots close to or in the parks).
If you are short of time, then rather than go to the Kruger Park, you can visit the Addo Elephant Park or any of the other big 5 parks around Port Elizabeth and then fly to Johannesburg for your return – this will save 2 days of travel. 12 days in total. Alternatively, you can skip out the Garden Route and fly directly to Johannesburg and then on to the Game Reserves where you will be able to spend the time gained.
If you have more time, then from the Kruger Park you could drive to Swaziland 1 day; 1 day in Swaziland; drive to Kwazulu-Natal and spend another 5 days visiting parks like Ndumo, especially if you are a birder, the nearby Tembe Elephant Park with the largest free-roaming elephant herds in South Africa, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the first World Heritage Site in South Africa and the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve. Follow the very popular Dolphin Coast to end up in Durban. Fly back to Johannesburg.
Another option would be to fly from Johannesburg to Durban on your return from the Kruger area. From Durban you can drive to the Drakensberg. The Drakensberg Region is all about the spectacular mountains, deep valleys and the beautiful landscapes at the foothills. The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is a World Heritage Site and virtually covers the entire region. There are numerous nature reserves within the Park, each with their own distinct character from marshlands to soaring peaks.