Weather, wine and wildlife – why you’ll love South Africa
For surf, sand and sunshine, South Africa ticks all the boxes. The wildlife and wine tours on offer make for incredible sights and tastes – and the weak rand means your euro will go even further.
Here are 10 reasons we love it.
1. The weather
South Africa is famous for its sunshine. By the start of 2014 the summer will be in full, sunny swing, and the sub-tropical climate of The Western Cape means it’ll stay dry through the summer too.
2. The value
The South African rand has fallen against the euro since May, making South Africa one of the cheapest spots for winter sun. In fact it was runner-up on a recent list of best value long-haul destinations
. In Cape Town, a bottle of local beer will cost you around €1.60.
3. The time zone
As you’re flying north-south, there’s no jet lag. Sleep on the plane and you’ll arrive just two hours ahead of GMT, fresh as a daisy.
4. The wildlife
Everyone should see the African bush at least once in their lifetime. South Africa is the best place in the world for big game. The national parks are renowned, but the experience of a private game reserve will really make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.
5. Robben Island
The former prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his incarcerated years is now a museum, Unesco World Heritage site and one of Cape Town’s must-dos.
6. The wine
Just minutes outside Cape Town is The Winelands; a vast expanse of incredible natural beauty, architectural interest and, as you might imagine, wonderful wine.
7. Cape Town’s beaches
Cape Town’s long, sunny summer days make for perfect beach weather. Luckily, this coastal city has miles of beaches, making it into the top two for Lonely Planet’s best beach cities
. There’s a beach for your every whim – swimming, surfing, relaxing in a secluded cove or enjoying the nightlife in one of the many buzzing beach bars.
8. Table mountain
Another Cape Town wonder, easily reachable from the city. Climbing it is harder than it looks, but there’s also a cable car to get you there with no sweat. Or you could just admire it from a distance – perhaps from a restaurant terrace, as you sample a full-bodied product of from the Winelands.
9. Whale watching
From whales to dolphins, some of the most impressive creatures in the ocean inhabit the waters around South Africa. Spot them from boats or even from land – but make sure you don’t miss them.
10. The garden route
Winding through nature reserves, and sandwiched between the mountains and the Indian Ocean, this is renowned as one of the most beautiful roads in the world. Hire a car and explore it.