We’ve become an adventurous bunch; not so long ago we were happy lounging around a pool on a cheap-as-chips package deal, but in 2019, the travel pack are a different breed.
While most of us have had a crack at being an influencer (harder than it looks), there’s a gang that anybody who enjoys maximising living can join: the Wanderlusters.
And there’s not many places on Earth that instils such a strong desire to get discovering than South Africa. From ferocious safari-stalking giants to whale-packed waters, pristine beach paradises to rugged, lush mountains – this is Mother Nature’s most magnificent playground.
So, Wanderlusters, let us break it down for you…
1) It’s wildly beautiful
Not only are the South Africans masters at safaris (we’ll get to that) but it is a country packed to the rafters with accessible reserves. Your wanderlust will satiated with a visit to the epic Kruger Park – where you can walk through the bush on guided tours. But a walk on the wild side is possible even away from organised activities; you will be surrounded by nature from the native Black Oystercatcher chirruping in the trees to seals taking a rest from the Great White Shark infested waters off the coast of Mossell Bay.
2) The landscape is picture perfect
You’ll struggle to find a more Insta-worthy landscape. From the titanic Drakensberg range rising out of the mist to the flora-filled view of Table Mountain standing majestically behind the cityscape of Cape Town, you’ll want to take a good gawp at the vista before bothering with your social media.
3) You can see the Big Five
Lions, rhinos, buffalos, elephants and leopards – oh my! And the best bit is that at sites like Kruger and Sabi Sands, they are basically guaranteed to be sighted within a couple of days. High five indeed.
4) Cuisine to write home about
You don’t often hear people boasting about going out for a South African meal, but this rustic cuisine is on the rise. A heady mix of indigenous recipes combined with Indian, French, Dutch, you can dine on dried game (biltong), Cape Malay curry, a cold mixed veg dish (Chakalaka) and a sweet, sticky pudding (malva). Or, go simple and enjoy an al fresco braai – otherwise known as a BBQ.
5) Whale watching is a daily occurrence
Think you’ll need a bigger boat? Forget it, you don’t even need to get in the water. South Africa is one of the only places in the world where you can see the mammoths of the deep jumping out of the surf while you’re on land.
6) The wine is divine
All that adventuring can work up a thirst. Luckily, South Africa knows how to wine and, well, wine its guests. Just half an hour from Cape Town you will find the beginning of the Cape’s wine land – the perfect place for wanderlusters to sip a Sauvignon Blanc as the sun sets over the mountains.
7) The hotels have high standards
By high we mean in the tree tops. Not short on quirky, eclectic accommodation, one of South Africa’s most incredible places to stay is in a tree house at the Lion Sands Game Reserve in Kruger. It’ll be just you, a picnic dinner, a bed with a mosquito night and a two-way radio. It might not be exactly relaxing to try and sleep while the laugh of hyenas fills the air, but it’ll certainly be exhilarating.
9) The locals are phenomenal
To really get under the skin of a culture, you need to live it – and South Africans are passionately proud to show visitors the ropes! Learn every aspect of the country from the people who know it best; from the food created by local chef Abigail Mbalo in her Cape Town restaurant, 4Roomed EKasi Culture, to the adrenaline junkie activities beloved by South African entrepreneur James Seymour, there’s a never-ending supply of patriots who will happily give you tips on what to do, see, eat and enjoy.
10) They drive on the left!
Yes, and the signs are in English. No panicked, lent-over-the-wheel driving here!
11) Breathtaking beaches
So you’ve done your safari, hiked a mountain, roamed free through a nature reseve, it’s time to hit the beach. And South Africa is jam-packed with coastal gems. On the Western Cape, you’ll find Buffels Bay, where turquoise surf laps on to golden sands – and is home to frolicking dolphins in winter and spring. Or, you could have a go at surfing at Ballito beach which boasts a laid-back, festival vibe and is home to the Mr Price Pro surfing competition.
12) Cape Town is just wow
From shark-diving to sunset-soaked meals for two, street art culture to high end boutiques, Cape Town is the epitome of a playground for locals and travellers alike. A must-do while in town is to take a visit to the historic Robben Island, home to the prison that housed many political prisoners under apartheid, including a certain Nelson Mandela. But if you really want to see this city, take to the skies in a helicopter to see the landscape and cultural hotspots from an unparalleled viewpoint.
For more information on your trip to South Africa, click here…
Amazing deals for Wanderlusters
T&Cs apply.Subject to availability. Valid for travel on selected dates between 1 – 31 May 2019. Book by 31 March 2019. Price correct as of 15 February 2019. British Airways Holidays standard terms and conditions and conditions of carriage apply, please refer to ba.com.
Cape Town flights + 5 nights hotel from £699pp
T&Cs apply. Subject to availability. Valid for travel on selected dates between 1 – 31 May 2019. Book by 31 March 2019. Price correct as of 15 February 2019. British Airways Holidays standard terms and conditions and conditions of carriage apply, please refer to ba.com.
Durban flights + 5 nights hotel from £639pp
T&Cs apply. Subject to availability. Valid for travel on selected dates between 1 – 30 September 2019. Book by 31 March 2019. Price correct as of 15 February 2019. British Airways Holidays standard terms and conditions and conditions of carriage apply, please refer to ba.com.
by – metro.co.uk