Now often referred to as the ‘Rainbow Nation’, South Africa has started to gain a reputation as a hot holiday destination in recent times. Since the 1990s, it has worked to improve its image and people feel free to explore its wonders on a summer holiday now in a way they didn’t before.
There is certainly plenty worth exploring. South Africa offers the visitor a rich blend of beauty, historical interest and the latest in modern nightlife excitement. There is so much to see and do in the country that having a list of the best options will help you to make the most of your trip there.
That is why we have decided to detail some of the top places to visit in South Africa.
Any visit to South Africa simply has to take in its most prominent city. Cape Town is one of those places – like Paris and Rome – that can genuinely take your breath away with the beauty of its architecture.
It has the four beaches in the Clifton suburb that are so warm and golden you will be tempted to laze away the entire holiday there, but do not give in to that temptation. A visit here must also take in the atmospheric outdoor markets and the Zeitz Museum of World Architecture.
South Africa is making a name for itself with its wine these days and the Cape Wineland estates are something not to be missed if you are a connoisseur of the grape. Then finish off your Cape Town trip by either hiking or taking a cable car up to the famous flat top of Table Mountain.
Rio Casino Resort
People do not associate South Africa with casinos in the way they do with Las Vegas and Macau, but the Rio Casino Resort can match anything they have to offer. It is among the biggest gaming venues in the entire Southern Hemisphere, measuring 266,330 sq ft.
If playing online casino games has given you a taste for the excitement of slots or roulette, then this is the place to indulge that further. Opened twenty years ago, the Rio Casino was originally named the Tusk Casino Resort.
It can be found in Klerksdorp, a city within the North West Province. The slots games are located inside the Escapades Theatre and there are 274 cutting-edge titles.
Table games are not neglected either. The Rio has tables for poker and blackjack as well as roulette wheels.
People with cash to burn can play the high-stakes games in the Salon Prive, while those with more modest budgets can take a break from the games by enjoying live comedy and cabaret shows.
Safari in Kruger National Park
Some people prefer to get their thrills from the natural world instead. If that applies to you, taking a safari in Kruger National Park will deliver the goods.
This huge park has a mythic feel to it and will truly immerse the visitor in Africa. It is home to buffalo, leopards, rhinos, lions and elephants among other creatures and what better way could there be to see them than on safari.
There is the option of a group or single-person trip, depending on whether you are holidaying with friends or not. The park even offers a romantic honeymoon safari to let newlyweds spend their first days together on a journey of discovery and adventure.
This is the other city that should be at the top of your list during a South African trip. Johannesburg has a vibrant nightlife, with the Majestic Bar and Shakers Cocktail Bar just two of the friendly places to spend an evening.
It also has cultural appeal, with plenty of boutiques and art galleries dotted around Maboneng, 44 Stanley and Braamfontein. Among them are some reminders of the country’s dark past, like the Apartheid Museum, but that should not be forgotten.
The inner city of Johannesburg has undergone a serious process of regeneration in recent years, making it far from its formerly bleak image. The mix of the historic and modern that this city reborn has to offer puts it among the country’s key attractions.
The Garden Route
The Garden Route is the name for an area covering more than 200 km that runs from Stormsrivier to Mossel Bay. That entire stretch of land is among the most beauteous to be found anywhere in the world though.
It includes Robberg Nature Reserve and Tsitsikamma National Park as well as the ostrich farms of Oudtshoorn and Knysna with its Featherbed Private Nature Reserve and Heads. Essentially it is one of the best journeys to make for those who wish to wallow in the beauty of South Africa’s natural landscapes.
It is possible to cover the Garden Route by car, but speeding through it that way is a waste. The best way to drink in one of the true wonders of South Africa is by taking it at a much more leisurely pace.
That will allow for stopping at points of interest. Indeed it would be entirely possible to devote the trip solely to this stretch of land.
It is scarcely surprising that the world is discovering South Africa again, when there is so much to appreciate there. Whether you prefer a city holiday of bars and clubs or a nature adventure, this country can provide it.