South Africa Feature
Kruger National Park
Whether you drive yourself and stay at campsites, as many South Africans do, or fly in to a neighboring reserve for an all-inclusive guided luxury safari experience, Kruger Park delivers the Africa wildlife tableaux of your dreams. See a zebra at a watering hole, a giraffe so close you can touch it, or lion cubs scampering across fields back home to their mothers at dusk.
This part of the country is popular with visitors because it combines history, scenery, seascapes, and culture in spectacular natural surroundings. Spend the day touring the best museums, shopping for crafts at the V&A Waterfront, or browsing the shops around the bustling Greenmarket Square. Watch buskers or sip wine in a contemporary setting, or venture into the Bo Kaap district for an authentic Cape Malay meal.
This is an essential stop to comprehend the scope of the anti-apartheid movement. After a scenic boat ride out of Cape Town's harbor and onto the seas, you'll ride in a bus past scrub and bunnies— the penal colony's current residents—before seeing the actual cell where Nelson Mandela served most of his sentence. Former inmates conduct the tours.
High above Cape Town, looking out over the city, it's just tourists, rock hyraxes, and stunning views. Those with limited time, or limited interest in hiking, can take the cable car to the top. Hardier visitors can hike up and walk down, but be sure to go in groups and bring along a coat for the always changeable weather. Check the forecast in the morning; high winds mean the cable car can't go up.
Cradle of Humankind
Technically everyone's Motherland, this site of fossils, footprints, and evolutionary evidence dates back millions of years and is said to be the place from which our prehistoric ancestors ventured out to the rest of the world. Explore mankind's family tree at the on-site interactive museum, just an hour outside Johannesburg.
Take an organized tour of the largest township outside Johannesburg and learn how the community has continued to thrive despite hardships. Dine in a restaurant near Nelson Mandela's and Desmond Tutu's homes and add a stop in the Apartheid Museum downtown. This is truly the heart of South African life.
Southernmost Point in Africa
Geography buffs will want to stand at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point on the African continent and the place where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean currents collide. Shipwrecks dot the coastline, as do migrant waterfowl, while thousands of wildflowers pepper the landscape between May and September.
Spend lazy afternoons watching the sun pull shadows across peaks that look like they belong on wine labels, and nights sampling savory African, French, or Indian fare. Or slip away to a spa ringed by vineyards growing some of the world's tastiest whites and varietals. Classic Cape Dutch buildings provide the backdrop for historical walking tours in South Africa's oldest university town, Stellenbosch; afterwards relax at a plush inn.
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