My Recommendations for Visiting South Africa

My Recommendations for Visiting South Africa

Written By: Sofia

A few years back, I went to a travel convention and one of the vendors was doing a spotlight on South African wines. Perplexed and interested why this winery was showcasing South Africa, I decided to sit in on a presentation and quite truthfully was blown away by how beautiful and unique South Africa looked. I decided to talk with one of the vendors and after a lengthy conversation my mind was totally made up -- I was going to South Africa on my next travel excursion.

Now, I am the type of traveler that will look up only the basic information on a destination and just show up with my luggage and talk to locals to figure out what I should do, but because I had never been to South Africa before I wanted to make sure that I was at least hitting some of the most notable destinations during my two-week long trip. It’s so easy to forget South Africa – and it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world! It features a diverse range of climates and topography. When I think of Africa, I’ve often just thought of the Sahara desert – I couldn’t be more wrong.

The diversity of the geography makes it so highly appealing-- whether it’s the beaches near the Indian Ocean or the city landscape of Cape Town, nearly everyone can find something to do in South Africa. After my first trip, I knew that I would be coming back more and more because it is truly too much to see and do for only one visit.

GET ADVENTUROUS WITH YOUR FOOD CHOICES!

When I travel to new countries, I like to be somewhat adventurous with my food choices. As a standard rule, I never eat anything on a holiday that I could get home; but with South Africa, it’s really not that hard to find new and unique food items. In fact even though I consider myself to be quite adventurous, there are still many things that I was a little squeamish about trying -- mostly fried caterpillar and crocodile meat, which is something that I can probably do without trying!

On the other hand, there were a lot of delicious South African dishes that I highly recommend you try. Some of the local items included biltong, which is a type of salted and dried meat, to bobotie, which is an alternative version very similar to English shepherd’s pie. There were also handmade sausages that were grilled on open fire pits, which were exceptionally delicious.

Even if you’re not that adventures of an eater, you will find quite a variety of cuisines and global flavors in South Africa. That means if you like your hamburgers or Pad Thai, then you’re definitely in luck because restaurants do offer those universally traditional dishes. One of the things I found fascinating was just how much diversity there was in the culinary world of South Africa. On any given street in Cape Town or Johannesburg, you could find a Chinese restaurant next to a French restaurant or even an Indian restaurant or a fusion of all different types of cuisines -- it was quite interesting and fusion options from creative chefs definitely caught my attention.

GO ON A SAFARI

Of course, Africa is known for it game reserves and safaris -- South Africa being one of the most popular. There are quite a network of roads that take you through mountains and valleys and allow you to just get out on the open road and provides such a stunning sight for those who want to see some of the oldest and most historic destinations in the entire world. On a safari, you’ll see some of the most breathtaking animals in their natural habitat, so it is definitely recommended – of course when you’re in Africa you need to go on a safari!

VISIT MUSEUMS

Johannesburg and Cape Town both have their fair share of museums and cultural attractions. Art museums showcase contemporary and historic art, while the museums highlight the long and often controversial history of South Africa. For anyone traveling to a new country, it’s always a good idea to visit the museum and get an idea of the past and present state of the destination.

South Africa, between its major cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, in addition to many of the small villages surrounding each of the cities has a plethora of food, shopping and activities that meet all budgets. Whether you want to enjoy a luxurious experience or something more affordable South Africa offers it all.

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