South Africa's diversity is difficult for most countries to match, from the scenic vistas of the Drakensberg Mountains to witnessing waddling penguins on the Cape... it's a tough destination to beat.
With so many great reasons to visit South Africa here are our top 5 reasons to make sure this enticing country is right up there on your must-see travel list!
Some of the most spectacular coastal views in the world can be found in the regions of Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. White sandy beaches and turquoise waters that stretch for miles make these two of the best destinations for sun worshippers and surfers.
And if it’s the highlands you’re looking for and you’re up for some hiking, then the magnificent Drakensberg Mountains is where you’ll want to be, this glorious stretch of mountain range forms the border between South Africa and the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.
Every travellers dream - an African safari
If it isn’t already at the top of your bucket list, then it should be, because no trip to Africa is complete without one! The search for the Big 5 can be almost a walk-in-the-park at Kruger National Park. Well known as Africa's oldest established wildlife park Kruger offers one of the best safari experiences in Africa, and all only five hours drive north of Johannesburg.
Often referred to as ‘the rainbow nation’, South Africa comprises of 11 official languages and a vast range of cultures. Discover the ritual dances of the Zulu’s, which explores the mysterious and ritualistic world of the Sangoma. Learn of Saartjie Baartman, a San woman who has become a symbol of female empowerment and tribal recognition some 200 hundred years after her death, after suffering at the hands of Europeans.
African cuisine varies greatly, from the famous braais (barbeques) to skop (head of cow, sheep or goat). The trademark however is biltong and droewors, a flavoured dried meat. Biltong is traditionally strips of beef marinated in vinegar and spices and hung out to dry, however it can also be made from ostrich meat. Droewors on the other hand is similar dried sausage, commonly made from narrow cuts beef, pork or veal infused with coriander seed and dried quickly in warm and dry conditions.
You’ll never be short of something to do!
Travelling in South Africa you'll find lots to do, it's the perfect destination for families, the adventure traveller or the solo traveller. By day checkout the beaches, museums, mountain ranges, historical sites, national parks and rainforests. Go quad biking, trekking, rock climbing, hang-gliding, water skiing, surfing, cage diving with sharks or how about curios shopping! By night, try some traditional cuisine at the local restaurants and bars, and chat with some locals - it's a great way to get to know a country, far beyond the guidebook.
Ready to experience South Africa yourself? Take a look at all our trips to South Africa to find the one that best suits you.
Play Finders Keepers and win a 12-day tour for two in South Africa! Just like us on Facebook to start playing today! Today's prize will be released at 12pm EST, all you have to do is click on the blimp and the first five players to do so will win an essential in-flight Aesop Jet Set Kit!
Come along and support The School of St Jude in their fight against poverty through education in Tanzania and you could win a Gecko's trip for two to Africa!
Where and when: Thousand Pound Bend, Lonsdale St, Melbourne on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 6:30pm. Tickets are $35 and RSVP is essential. Find out more
Africa on sale!
Take 25% off all Gecko's trips in Africa. Simply book between 27 February to 31 March 2012, and travel by 31 October 2012 to receive the discount. Visit the website for more details.