It’s brilliant news – as of 3 June 2021, United Airlines started operating direct flights between Newark, New York & Johannesburg, South Africa. This allows vaccinated U.S citizens to visit South Africa without worrying about quarantine on the return home.
Now that’s an incentive for a trip to Africa!
Below we’ve earmarked some of the highlights of the trips we do.
VISIT BOULDERS BEACH AND SWIM WITH THE PENGUINS
(Western Cape, 45 mins from Cape Town city center)
The best time to visit Boulders Beach is in summer (Nov –April) so you can swim with the penguins. Ideally, it’s always best to get there in the morning while the world is just waking up.
The beach is quiet and tranquil at this time and you can grab a coffee to beat the slight chill of the ocean. The penguins are relatively relaxed, very noisy and when you walk the boardwalk, you’ll notice, very smelly! Swimming with them darting underneath and around you is a thrilling experience. Boulders is also home to a Kelp Forest, very near to where the now famous ‘My Octopus Teacher was filmed.
FLOAT UP IN A HOT AIR BALLOON AND WATCH THE SUNRISE
Another early morning excursion is the famous Bill Harrop’s Balloon Ride. Johannesburg boasts some of the best ballooning weather in the world. This is likely due to it’s temperate climate and sunny days. There is something quite special about slowly rising above the earth. It’s slower than expected yet breath-taking at the same time. The bonus is, you only need half a day to experience the ride, so if you’re stopping over for a night in ‘Joburg’ make sure you book in this super excursion.
VISIT THE GREENEST CANYON ON EARTH
The Blyde River Canyon is a 36-mile long canyon and the world’s 3rd biggest. It’s awe-inspiring and has many places to visit in the Canyon including the aptly named ‘God’s Window’. It’s the perfect pit stop en route to Kruger especially for photographers or nature lovers – the area is a richly biodiverse spot, home to crocodiles, hippos, and every primate known to man. For nature lovers, this is a must-do when visiting South Africa.
SPOT THE BIG 5 FROM AN OPEN-TOP VEHICLE
The joy of South Africa is that it offers a plethora of game reserves, leaving one spoilt for choice. The Pilansberg National Park is ideally located close to Johannesburg, where guests can spot the Big 5 in their natural habitat. Set inside an alkaline volcanic crater (one of three in the world), expert guides and rangers will be able to fill you in on all information about the birds, animals, and geography of the region, not just the Big 5. Enjoy sunrise coffee stops with your ranger and friends or savor an African sunset from a spectacular lookout spot.