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10 Reasons Why I Loved South Africa & Will Go Back

tabletop1.   It's hot and sunny during the European winter. And there is hardly a time difference for Europeans so, despite a long journey, you experience no feeling of jet-lag.

2.   Driving the Garden Route we felt completely safe and welcomed. Of course this is still a complicated country and, like anywhere actually, you need to be on the ball as tourists - but we had only positive experiences. There are issues with violence and poverty in South Africa - you see the township shacks built from corregated iron and the gap between the rich and poor is a problem. We were told it is not advisable to walk around in Cape Town at night. So be sensible but don't be afraid to travel in this tourist area.

3.   Almost no bugs and mosquitos despite warm evenings sitting outside. Maleria free zones for safari on the Eastern Cape.

4.   Great, diverse food and attentive service when eating out. We found this extremely good value during our stay having meals for the family of 4 from between £15-£60, even in the top locations. The only meal that was disappointing and expensive was on New Year's Eve at the Waterfront in Cape Town which we had pre-booked before we arrived. We were inside under fierce air-con while all the action was outside so we ate quickly and left.


5.   Amazing exchange rate during our trip - with up to 24 Rand to the £ we could afford to do almost anything we wanted.


6.   Incredible wildlife experiences for every budget. Our self-drive Safari day in Addo Elephant Park near Port Elizabeth cost just £10 each. Along the Garden Route there are many opportunities to get up close to animals. At Oudtshoorn I stroked a cheetah cub and the rest of the family got in the water (in a cage) with a crocodile. Not sure what I think about this interaction for the animals themselves but we were told the income raised from these encounters were supporting a breeding programme. Around The Craggs there are many wildlife reserves and experiences of interest too.

boulderbeach7.   Turquoise water laping white sand beaches. Wow! Note that the Atlantic coast has freezing water but the Indian Ocean beaches (to the East) are warmer - and be aware there can be an issue with sharks. On the plus side (?) you can go cage diving with sharks! More appealing to me - it is possible to go to Boulder Beach and swim with penguins.

8.   Whilst driving the Garden Route we saw mindblowing scenery the whole way. We felt like we had passed through many different countries in a day. I couldn't stop snapping photos from the car as we went along! There must have been lots of rainfall in the couple of months before we got there as everywhere was so flourishingly green and lush and beautiful, despite it being hot and dry for most of our 2 weeks.

9.   QUIRKY ACCOM - One of the reasons I was inspired to travel in South Africa was that I had noticed that this country embraces the Quirky. It was a work trip - honestly! There are so many unique and original hotels and treehouses that adding these made our holiday all the more special.

Click here for unusual South Africa accommodation suggestions.

10. Cape Town. After wildlife, scenery, coast, and the wine district, came the wonder of Cape Town. (I will blog about each part separately). The Waterfront, gorgeous beaches, shopping and dining, sport or adventure experiences, Table Mountain, Robben Island....there is so much to do in this area alone, you could holiday just here....but you would be missing out on so much more of what South Africa has to offer.


2 weeks was not long enough. Such a diverse and interesting, relaxing and fun holiday. I will definately be going back for more.