I am planing a trip to South Africa next year. I need to know about the good places to visit and how is the environment over there. Is there anything I need to know before I make a visit to one of the beautiful place on this planet?
It all comes down to how long you'll be in South Africa - it's a very big country with beautiful landscapes, tons of wildlife and very interesting people and cultures. Also, it depends on what you like to do and see. I'll give you some recommendations based on 2 trips I did there, which we're in total 2 months.
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. When in Cape Town, I highly recommend these places/activities:
If starting you're trip in Cape Town (which I recommend you do) and you have at least a month, rent a car for the whole trip. You'll be free to go anywhere you like, whenever you like. South Africa is pretty safe for tourists (despite what you hear) - just use common sense when making decisions. After Cape Town, drive east towards Betty's Bay, Hermanus and Gansbaai for beautiful landscapes and spectacular whale watching.
From East London to Durban is the rightly named Wild Coast. Small Xhosa villages dot the landscape, which is very rugged and undeveloped. There are loads of great hikes, and if you're travelling between May and July, you might get a chance to see the Sardine Run. Some recommended places to go, see and chill at are Coffee Bay and Hole in The Wall.
A day's drive northeast of Durban is iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which has great hiking, wildlife and the best scuba-diving South Africa has to offer in Sodwana Bay National Park. You can stay at Toad Tree Cabins, right outside the park. Actually, if scuba diving is your thing, head to Vilanculos and Tofo Beach in Mozambique, right across the border, but that adds another 2 weeks to your trip.
Driving through or around Swaziland will get you to Mpumalanga. Head to Sabie and just drive around, doing short hikes, seeing waterfalls and lovely places like Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes and more. The small towns in Mpumalanga like Sabie are great bases for doing trips in Kruger National Park.
Some basic tips on travelling in South Africa:
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