South Africa is one of the countries that attract the most attention on the African continent. It’s located at the southernmost tip of the continent, which gives it numerous different ecosystems. It has a large number of safaris, including the Kruger National Park. The Western Cape Province has beaches and many vineyards close to Stellenbosch and Paarl. Also, you can find several cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forests, and lagoons along the Garden Route, and Cape Town, under Table Mountain.
Its capital, Cape Town, is a port location that’s part of the country's west coast. It has cable cars that move slowly to the flat top of the mountain, where you can appreciate a panoramic view of the city, the busy port, and the boats that sail on Robben Island. You should know that Robben Island has the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela was held, and it currently functions as a living museum, being possible to visit it nowadays.
Another representative symbol of Cape Town is Table Mountain. This mountain is located on a flat top and as a curious fact, it appears in the South African flag. It’s a central part of the eponymous National Park and is an important tourist attraction that you can access by cable car. In this place, you can go hiking and also explore many beauties of the city. Since November 2011, it was declared one of the winners of the contest of the seven natural wonders of the world.
You can also relax near Table Mountain by visiting Boulders Beach, a sheltered beach made up of granite rocks. You can locate it in the Cape Peninsula, and you should know that also has the name of Boulders Bay. Here, you can find a very popular tourist point thanks to an African penguin colony that settled in 1982. Although it’s located in the middle of a residential area, it’s one of the few places where you can observe birds like the Spheniscus demersus that are often wandering freely in a protected natural habitat.
Another natural paradise that you cannot forget when you visit South Africa is The Cape of Good Hope. This place is the center of a region rich in endemic flora, despite being the smallest of the biological flora domains of the African continent. It’s exciting to visit it because it has a remarkable representation of shrubs called fynbos, with two varieties, and almost 1,100 plants, of which many only grow in this territory.
You can also take a walk through Kirstenbosch if you want to continue admiring the plant nature. Keep in mind that Kirstenbosch is also the name of a suburb of Cape Town, but in this case, we are referring to the term used by the Boers, which designates the Botanical Garden. It’s the longest of the 8 National Botanical Gardens of South Africa, which are managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute. It has a total extension of 528 hectares with 470 hectares of natural vegetation in the area and 58 hectares of conditioned gardens. As you will notice, it has a lot of vegetation to offer, so it’s a good point if you want to admire greenish scenarios.
But if you want to get deeper into the Safari world of South Africa, then you should plan an escape to the Kruger National Park. This place is the most important animal reserve in South Africa, with 18 989 km². This park has two South African provinces: Mpumalanga and Limpopo. To the north of this place is Zimbabwe and to the east is Mozambique. This park is part of the Great Limpopo Cross-Border Park, a peaceful park linking the Kruger National Park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. The canyons of the Kruger Park have been named a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco.
You can also plan a safari in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This is the third-largest protected area in South Africa; it occupies 280 km of coastline, from the border with Mozambique in the north to Maphelane to the south of the Santa Lucía estuary. In reserves like this one and Kruger National Park, you can meet different species of animals that range from the African Lion to the buffalo, the elephant, the rhinoceros, the zebra, and the kudú.
If you like caves, then you can plan a trip to Sterkfontein, a group of limestone caves of special interest to paleoanthropologists because it has a lot of hominids fossil remains.
You can access these caves if you plan a tour to the Gauteng province, northwest of Johannesburg. You can also find the archaeological sites of Swartkrans and Kromdraai in this area, so you can plan a tour of all these sites and thus learn more about the geology and history of South Africa. Keep in mind that Sterkfontein is a World Heritage Site since 1999 and this area is what we know as “the Cradle of Humanity”.
If you are one of those who enjoy visiting museums, then you can also organize your own experience in museums such as the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, which is a recognized Islamic museum in the area. Other interesting museums are the District Six Museum, which reflects the history of apartheid in the country, and the Iziko South African Museum. The latter has a planetarium and many galleries dedicated to offering information on the country's natural history.
If you want to taste the gastronomy of South Africa, you can take advantage of the hundreds of street food stalls in any corner of the city, or eat in restaurants like FYN Restaurant and La Colombe.
As for the delicacies you can try, there’s the biltong (dried meat made from the mixture of different meat species), Bobotie (meat spiced with egg), the sweetness of the Koeksuster, and the Chakalaka for spicy lovers.
If you travel to this country don’t forget to take a walk through Johannesburg, its largest city, which began as a gold mining settlement in the 19th century. This place is mandatory whereabouts because it has the municipality of Soweto, where Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu once lived. Mandela's former residence is the current Mandela House museum.
Of course, don’t forget to organize in advance the documents you may need for your trip. Among those documents, you must have your passport and the Health Declaration. This last requirement has been useful in many countries, including South Africa because it prevents you from having problems at the airport.
The Health Declaration is useful so that you can preserve your health and that of others, especially in situations of risk such as contagious diseases (especially the Yellow Fever that is common in this country) and natural disasters.
Remember that you can apply for your Health Declaration with iVisa.com, so take this opportunity to apply for your document and enjoy your trip to South Africa.