South Africa continues to be a benchmark of diversity across the world. The country has a wide range of sports arenas, art galleries, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Furthermore, South Africa’s natural beauty makes it worth visiting. Its breathtaking landscapes comprises of canyons, mountains, and arid semi-desert areas. The country is blessed with twin coasts that are an incredible complement to its biodiversity.
South Africa is one of the most ethnically rich countries on the continent of Africa if not the world. Due to this, there are around 11 official languages spoken throughout the country. This makes the human culture of South Africa just as diverse as the experiences that wait for you here.
The experience you have in South Africa depends on your choices and preferences. The country offers lush beach getaways, city outings, and unbelievable wildlife experiences. To avoid any confusion as to which places to visit in South Africa, here is some information that might be useful for a pleasant tour to South Africa.
South Africa, as the name suggests, is located at the southernmost end of Africa. It is bordered by multiple African countries — these include Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, and Namibia. Its pristine shores are connected to the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and offer magnificent sunsets.
South Africa stretches over an area of 470,693 square miles. This makes it slightly smaller than twice the size of Texas.
Contrary to popular belief, South Africa has three cities serving as capitals. The city of Pretoria acts as its administrative capital, Bloemfontein is the judicial capital, and Cape Town serves as the legislative capital. You can pick your destination based on what you wish to see and do in this country.
As stated by the CIA World Factbook, South Africa’s population was estimated to be approximately 55 million in 2018.
South Africa employs the use of 11 official languages. These languages are Northern Sotho, Sotho, Tswana, Swati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Xhosa, and Zulu. Zulu is the most commonly spoken tongue. The second common language is Xhosa. These are followed by Afrikaans and English. It should be relatively easy for you to get by in South Africa when it comes to language.
South Africa practices Christianity as its major religion. The 2001 census revealed that almost 80% of the population practices Christianity. The remaining 20% consists of Islam, Hinduism, and other indigenous beliefs, lending to its diverse and secular heritage.
The South African rand is used as the official currency in South Africa.
The climate in South Africa is the opposite of northern hemisphere countries. South Africa experiences summer from December to February. Similarly, winter spans from June to August.
However, weather patterns are different in different regions. Temperatures in the summers go up to 25 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, winter temperatures can go below freezing. This is especially true for the far south region of the country. Therefore, you should pack clothes accordingly.
Ideal time to visit
Traveling to South Africa in every season has its advantages and disadvantages. While there is no bad time to visit South Africa, the best time to visit is subjective. It is based on the places you plan to go and the activities you wish to indulge in.
For example, you are likely to have the best game-viewing experience in the dry season. This dry season starts from May and lasts till September. This is the best time for the activity as animals congregate around water holes.
Another example of this is Cape Town. The city is especially pleasant from November to April, which is the summer season.
Three Key attractions
If you are visiting a country as breathtakingly beautiful as South Africa, you need to know about the best places to visit.
Cape Town: Widely and consistently considered as one of the planet’s most enchanting cities, the scenery of Cape Town does absolute justice to its title. It gains its charm through its magnificent vineyards and picturesque beaches. Cape Town offers you a chance to tour its iconic landmarks and swim with the great white sharks in a single day.
Garden Route: The Garden Route is the beautiful coast on the east side of the country. It stretches from Mossel Bay to Storms River for over 200 kilometers. This route is lined with peaceful seaside towns, magnificent ocean views, and adventure hotspots.
Kruger National Park: Kruger National Park is a two-million-hectares large preserved wildlife sanctuary. It offers a genuine safari experience, with the chance to take a walking safari, enjoy accommodations in luxury camps, and a first-hand experience of Africa’s most iconic animals. Among the various types and categories of fauna across South Africa, the crowning jewel is the Big Five, which includes elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards, and rhinos.