Many people go to South Africa in search of the Big 5… the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo. But have you heard of The Marine Big 5? They are just as intriguing. Mighty whales, toothy sharks and playful seals, penguins and dolphins that live in the country’s coastal waters make up this captivating bunch.
Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, coined the term “Rainbow Nation” to capture the extraordinary diversity of races, tribes, creeds and landscape that characterizes modern South Africa. Getting to know South Africa’s amazing people may be the most enduring memory of any visit.
South Africa’s varied museums are a good place to get a feel for the history of the country and learn more about what makes the people here so special. Here is just a sampling that highlights a few of the country’s many outstanding museums.
The best time to go to South Africa? Anytime between January and December! South Africa has a delightfully temperate climate year-round, so your decision about when to go should rather be based on the types of experiences you would like to have.
If wild animals could sing, they might just be found bellowing the lyrics of this classic Cole Porter song:
“Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above, don’t fence me in… ”
Wildlife needs a whole lot of room to roam. This is especially important during migration, when they trek great distances to find food, water and safe areas to birth and care for their little ones. In the case of the African elephant, their “little ones” are about 200 pounds when born.
Did you hear a very large splash? You bet you did! Your Cape Town Experience includes the thrilling spectacle of whale watching in Hermanus, the Whale Watching Capital of the World. Whale watching in Hermanus is a close encounter of the Hermanus kind, where people and our marine visitors get to know each other up close and personal.
One by one, furry little heads appear above the water’s surface. The critters pop up and down like kids in a bounce house. And they’re having just as much fun.
Wander along a Cape Town beach and you’ll probably see their large, long, unmistakable footprints in the sand. African Clawless Otters are the most widely distributed otter species in Africa. Also known as Cape Otters, these clever creatures are as amusing as they are cute. They are playful and energetic, often swimming, playing with their food and play-fighting just for kicks. You might also catch them basking in the warmth of the sun.
Does the thought of going on vacation inspire feelings of joy? It should! There are nine secrets to a happy vacation, according to the new “Road to Happiness Study,” which quantifies the connection between happiness and travel. Results of the study revealed some key elements of the happiest vacations. We think our range of experiences in South Africa make a perfect fit!
Fly South African Airways from Washington Dulles or New York’s JFK to Johannesburg.
Tip #1: Plan Ahead
When you plan ahead, you get a double benefit: better prices and more availability. A recent CheapAir.com report monitored 4 million flights and found that the average lowest fares surfaced 54 days before travel. And, according to the Road to Happiness Study, 90 percent of the happiest vacationers planned more than a month in advance, leaving plenty of time to savor the delicious pre-vacation anticipation.
Discover why Travel + Leisure magazine named Cape Town the #1 city to visit in Africa and the Middle East at the 2016 “World’s Best” Awards!
African penguins at sunset near Cape Town, South Africa.
Beautiful beaches, breathtaking mountains, world-class cuisine, captivating wildlife, adventures for beginners & experienced thrill-seekers…and we haven’t even mentioned the South African wines or the city’s cultural riches!