Capital City: Pretoria
Visa Required for US Citizen: No
Highlights: scenic beauty, game viewing, adventure activities, culture, fine wines & beaches. Great destination for families, couples, small groups and honeymooners who want a variety of activities.
South Africa is one of the most diverse, enchanting countries in the world. It is often called ‘a world in one country’ which does accurately describe this beautiful country. It is a vast land bordered by both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Exotic combinations of diverse landscapes including lush vineyards & snow-capped mountains, beautiful beaches & scenic coastlines, deserts & game-rich national parks allow for an endless variety of adventure activities. In contract to these areas of natural beauty are cosmopolitan cities boasting excellent museums and world class restaurants. South Africa also offers travelers a wide choice of cultural and historical venues as well. Highlights include Cape Town and its surrounding wineland regions, “Big Five” game viewing in the Kruger National Park and the surrounding private reserves, coastal scenic drives along the Garden Route, whale watching and miles of unspoiled beaches.
EASILY combinable extensions might be: Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Mauritius.
SOUTH AFRICA’S WEATHER
South Africa has a mostly temperate and pleasant climate, with lovely warm sunny days most of the year. Being in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to those experienced in Europe and North America. Generally, summer is from November to February and, over most of the country, is characterized by hot weather with afternoon thunderstorms that clear quickly, leaving a warm, earthy, uniquely African, smell in the air. The Western Cape, with its Mediterranean climate, is the opposite and gets its rain in winter. Autumn (or fall) runs from February to April and offers probably the best weather. Very little rain falls over the whole country, and it is warm but not too hot, obviously getting colder as the season progresses. In Cape Town, autumn is fantastic, with hot sunny days and warm, balmy nights. Winter in the higher-lying areas is characterized by dry, bright, sunny, crisp days and cold nights. So it’s a good idea to bring warm clothes. The Lowveld and the Maputaland The coast offers fantastic weather in winter with bright, sunny, warmish days and virtually no rain or wind. The Western Cape gets most of its rain in winter, and there may be a few days of grey, cloudy, rainy weather, but these are always interspersed with wonderful days to rival the best of a British summer. The high mountains of the Drakensberg and the Cape usually get snow – and you can even ski.