Exploring South Africa
Exploring South Africa
When you visit a country for the first or second time, you want to make sure you visit the top destinations. However, about a third of our foreign visitors come much more frequently, exploring the country more thoroughly. The same is true for local tourists who have the time and opportunity to seek out the special, smaller places.
And that’s how we’ve designed our website: the deeper you delve into it, the more detail you will find.
Provincial summaries try to capture the essence of a province – the handful of things you should not miss when you visit for this first time. Regional summaries take it a level deeper, listing the "lesser" attractions. There are about a half dozen or so per region. With articles on 42 regions, this adds up to quite a long list.
So what should your approach be if you are a first-time visitor to the country, or a local spreading your wings for the first time? Perhaps the best idea is to let the numbers talk…
Cape Town and its extended environs are most popular with international travellers. The V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain’s Cableway, Cape Point, the Winelands, the beaches, the city itself, and the craft and flea markets all get more than half a million ‘hits’ a year. The Garden Route is not far behind. Further inland, visits to ostrich farms make a surprise appearance in the list of most popular experiences.
Wildlife and nature reserves are second highest on the list. The Kruger National Park, nature reserves and game parks in general, and whale watching experiences each get quarter of a million hits or more a year.
South Africa runs the full spectrum from tropical coastal forests to vast arid plains. It has numerous mountain ranges, each with its own special character. It contains one of the most diverse floral kingdoms in the world: the Cape fynbos.
Sandton Square is highest on the list for visitors to Gauteng, along with its flea and craft markets, as well as tours to Soweto.
Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal coastline are popular destinations for beach lovers.
Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you have ticked off the ‘must dos’, there is a wealth of other places to explore. It is not for nothing that a good 10% of the vignettes in the BBC’s popular Planet Earth television series were shot in South Africa or one of its immediate neighbours.
Local tourism reflects similar patterns. KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape are the two most popular provinces by far. The former is a pinch ahead in popularity, most likely because of its proximity to Gauteng, where about one-third of South Africa’s domestic tourists live.
So come and explore with us.