South Africa

TRAVEL GUIDE

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Everything about Africa that stirs the imagination is concentrated in its southernmost country. Lions freely roam vast game reserves such as Kruger National Park, vineyards stretch across the Cape Winelands, and mountains cascade into the sea along miles of beaches. In addition to dream safaris and romantic honeymoons, South Africa offers modern cities with thriving arts and dining scenes. South Africans are welcoming, and the country’s emergence from a turbulent past pro­vides a dramatic history lesson and the promise of something new every time you visit.

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Cape Town and Peninsula

A favorite South African topic of debate is whether Cape Town really is part of Africa. That’s how different it is, both from the rest of the...

Johannesburg

Johannesburg, or Jo'burg, Egoli ("City of Gold"), or Jozi, as it is affectionately known by locals, is the commercial heart of South Africa...

Durban

Durban has the pulse, the look, and the complex face of Africa. It may have something to do with the summer heat, a clinging sauna that soaks...

Kimberly

Kimberley was born in the dust, dreams, and disappointments of a rudimentary mining camp that grew into a city of grace and sophistication in...

Stellenbosch

You could easily while away a week in this small, sophisticated, beautiful, and absolutely delightful town. South Africa's second-oldest municipality...

Paarl

Paarl takes its name from the granite domes of Paarl Mountain, which looms above the town— paarl is Dutch for "pearl." The first farmers settled...

Kruger National Park

Visiting Kruger is likely to be one of the greatest experiences of your life, truly providing ultimate "Wow!" moments. You'll be amazed at the...

Little Karoo

The landscape of the Little Karoo—austere, minimal, and dry—stands in stark contrast to the Garden Route. In summer it resembles a blast furnace...

Sabi Sands Game Reserve

This is the most famous and exclusive of South Africa's private reserves. Collectively owned and managed, the 153,000-acre reserve near Kruger...

East London

The gateway to both the Wild Coast and Amatole, East London was built around the mouth of the Buffalo River, which forms South Africa's only...

Knysna

Knysna (pronounced nize -nuh) is one of the most popular destinations on the Garden Route. The focus of the town is the beautiful Knysna Lagoon...

Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay is South Africa's premier beach resort, as the empty houses on Beachy Head Road (known as Millionaires' Mile) during the 11...

Franschhoek

Franschhoek (French Corner) takes its name from its first white settlers, French Huguenots who fled to the Cape to escape Catholic persecution...

Umhlanga

Umhlanga's village charm and lovely beaches have entrenched it as one of the most sought-after vacation destinations for locals and foreigners...

Hermanus

Pristine beaches extend as far as the eye can see, and the Kleinriviersberg provides a breathtaking backdrop to this popular resort, the Overberg...

Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn has been famous for its ostriches since around 1870, when farmers began raising them to satisfy the European demand for feathers...

Grahamstown

Although billed as a city, Grahamstown looks more like an English village than anything else—if you discount that alter ego of most South African...

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth, or PE, may not have the range of attractions found in Cape Town or on the Garden Route, but it's a pleasant town that's worthy...

George

About 11 km (7 miles) from the sea, George is the largest town and the de facto capital of the Garden Route. Although the surrounding countryside...

Addo Elephant National Park

...

Upington

Home to about 74,000 residents, Upington is a thriving agricultural center on the north bank of the Orange River. In the 1870s a Koranna (a...

Swellendam

Beautiful Swellendam lies in the shadow of the imposing Langeberg Range. in 1745, it is the third-oldest town in South Africa, and many of its...

Simon's Town

Picturesque Simon's Town has many lovely old buildings and possibly the peninsula's best swimming beaches at Seaforth and Boulders, a gem that...

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

If you're looking for true wilderness, remoteness, and stark, almost surreal landscapes and you're not averse to forgoing luxury and getting...

Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay's main attractions are an excellent museum complex; several beautiful historic stone buildings (some of which are exceptionally well...

Clanwilliam

Although the town itself is uninspiring, it's no surprise that half the streets are named after trees or plants. Clanwilliam is at the edge...

Pilgrim's Rest

The charming (although very touristy) village of Pilgrim's Rest—also a national monument—dates back to the 1870s gold-rush days when it was...

Wilderness

Wilderness is a popular vacation resort for good reason. Backed by thickly forested hills and cliffs, the tiny town presides over a magical...

Kleinmond

The sleepy coastal town of Kleinmond (Small Mouth) presides over a magnificent stretch of shoreline, backed by the mountains of the Palmietberg...

Tulbagh

Founded in 1743, the town of Tulbagh is nestled in a secluded valley bound by the Witzenberg and Groot Winterhoek mountains. A devastating earthquake...

Springbok

The capital of Namaqualand is set in a bowl of rocky hills that form part of the Klipkoppe, a rocky escarpment that stretches from Steinkopf...

Somerset West (Helderberg)

Somerset West, nestled at the foot of the Helderberg Mountains, is just 30 minutes from the center of Cape Town and close to Gordon's Bay and...

Kalk Bay

This small, fascinating harbor, which shelters a weathered fishing fleet, takes its name from the seashells that were once baked in large kilns...

Darling

Darling is best known for three draws: its beautiful wildflowers; its sensational performer, Pieter-Dirk Uys, otherwise known as Evita Bezuidenhout...

Langebaan

Probably the most popular destination on the coast, Langebaan is a great base from which to explore the region, and the sheltered lagoon makes...

Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Also known as the Motlatse Canyon Nature Reserve, this breathtakingly beautiful 71,660 acres of red sandstone mountains, gorges, and grassland...

Montagu

Montagu bills itself as "the Gateway to the Little Karoo," and its picturesque streets lined with Cape Victorian architecture lend this some...

Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel

Drive through the small agricultural town of Malmesbury and over the Bothman's Kloof Pass to these twin towns named after Jan van Riebeeck,...

Richards Bay

Founded in the 1880s during the Anglo-Zulu colonial wars, Richards Bay was named after British Rear Admiral Sir Frederick William Richards,...

Robertson

Robertson was founded primarily to service the surrounding farms, and it retains its agricultural and industrial character. The town largely...

Storms River

Although it's a small, isolated village, Storms River absolutely buzzes with activity. A hotel, a couple of guesthouses, and a few backpackers...

Augrabies Falls National Park

The Khoi, early pastoralists who lived in this area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans, called these falls Aukoerabis (Place...

Bredasdorp

This sleepy agricultural town has a certain charm, as long as you don't catch it on a Sunday afternoon, when everything's closed and an air...

Phinda Private Game Reserve

Where Phinda excels is in the superb quality of its rangers, who can provide fascinating commentary on everything from local birds to frogs...

Paternoster

Paternoster is a mostly unspoiled village of whitewashed thatch cottages perched on a deserted stretch of coastline. The population here consists...

Pilanesberg Game Reserve

The 150,000-acre Pilanesberg Game Reserve is often called the Pilanesberg National Park. It isn’t actually a South African national park these...

Hazyview

Named for the heat haze that drifts up from the fruit plantations and bush in the surrounding area, Hazyview is a bustling little town. Situated...

Londolozi Game Reserve

Since its inception in 1974 (it was a family farm and retreat before that), Londolozi has become synonymous with South Africa's finest game...

Djuma Private Game Reserve

This 17,297-acre reserve sits right up against Kruger in the northeast corner of the world-famous Sabi Sand Reserve. Expect classic bushveld...

Worcester

You're unlikely to linger in Worcester, by far the largest town in the Breede River valley. It's often termed the region's capital by locals...

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

Renowned for its conservation successes—most notably with white rhinos—this reserve is a wonderful place to view the Big Five and many other...

Table Mountain National Park

Nowhere else in the world does an area of such spectacular beauty and rich biodiversity exist almost entirely within a metropolitan area. Large...

Ladysmith

Ladysmith, dating back to the middle of the 19th century, became famous around the world during the South African War, when it outlasted a Boer...

Mthatha

Mthatha is largely poor and overcrowded, and a little dilapidated, though it’s certainly not boring. Most people don't stay here beyond making...

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

...

Greyton

The charming village of Greyton, filled with white thatch cottages and quiet lanes, is a popular weekend retreat for Capetonians as well as...

Barkly West

The town of Barkly West, on the Vaal River, was the site of some of the earliest alluvial diamond diggings in South Africa. ...

Timbavati Game Reserve

The 185,000-acre Timbavati, the northernmost of the private reserves, is collectively owned and managed by the Timbavati Association, a nonprofit...

Manyeleti Game Reserve

North of Sabi Sand, Manyeleti Private Game Reserve ("the place of the stars" in Shangaan) covers 59,280 acres that border Kruger, Sabi Sand...

Kamieskroon

Another base for exploring Namaqualand in spring, Kamieskroon is the only place to stay close to Namaqua National Park—unless you’re in the...

Tsitsikamma

Administered as its own park, the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park is a narrow belt of coastline extending for 80 km (50...

Betty's Bay

Betty's Bay, or Betty's, as the hamlet is fondly known, is worth visiting for its penguins and botanical garden. The village is made up of retirees...

Madikwe Game Reserve

Just as leopards and Sabi Sand Game Reserve are synonymous, think of Madikwe Game Reserve and wild dogs in the same way. This is probably your...

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Founded in 1978 at the southern end of Sabi Sand, the multi-award-winning Sabi Sabi Game Reserve was one of the first reserves to offer photo...

Sabie

As you descend Long Tom Pass, the town of Sabie (sah-bee) comes into view far below, in a bowl formed by the surrounding mountains. It's by...

Dundee

Once a busy coal-mining town, Dundee still has straight roads wide enough for the ox wagons of pioneer days to turn in, but today it's just...

Rorke's Drift

From the British perspective the Battle of Rorke’s Drift was the most glorious battle of the Anglo-Zulu War, all the more so because it took...

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Roughly the size of Singapore, this enormous private wildlife reserve supports a free-roaming population of wild animals that were indigenous...

Citrusdal

As you might guess from the name, Citrusdal is a fruit-growing town. It sits by the Olifants River valley, surrounded by the peaks of the Cederberg...

MalaMala Game Reserve

This legendary game reserve (designated as such in 1929) is tops in its field. The first and only community-owned game reserve in Sabi Sand...

Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve

Expect great swaths of pale, creamy sand stretching to far-off rocky headlands, a shimmering, undulating horizon where whales blow. Watch out...

McGregor

Saved from development as a result of a planned mountain pass that never materialized, McGregor is the epitome of the sleepy country hollow...

Kommetjie

A pleasant, somewhat isolated village, Kommetjie has a scenic 45-minute walk down Long Beach that leads to the wreck of the Kakapo, a steamship...

uMkhuze KZN Park

Wildlife—and amazing birdlife—abounds in this 400-square-km (154-square-mile) reserve in the shadow of the Ubombo Mountains. Lying between the...

White River

This pleasant little town is set amid nut and tropical-fruit plantations and is one of the gateways to the escarpment's major sights. Settled...

Thanda Private Game Reserve

One of KwaZulu-Natal’s newer game reserves, Thanda offers a more intimate nature experience than some. Game may sometimes be elusive, but the...

Coffee Bay

The village of Coffee Bay is a bit run-down, but the beaches and the scenery are great. (The surf is fantastic, but don't head out alone if...

Tswalu Kalahari Reserve

Near the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is the malaria-free Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, at 1,000 square km (386 square miles) the largest privately...

Cape St Francis

Weaving its way between beautiful nature reserves, indigenous fynbos, wetlands, plush marinas, and rolling sand dunes, Cape St Francis is a...

Kuruman

If you have a car while in the Kalahari region, it's worth stopping in Kuruman, the hub of a dairy, cattle, and game-farming area. With flat...

Samara Private Game Reserve

...

Singita

Although Singita (Shangaan for "the miracle") offers much the same thrilling Sabi Sand bush and game experiences as other lodges, superb service...

De Rust

De Rust is a sleepy Little Karoo village. The main road is lined with crafts stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and wineshops. ...

Lion Sands Private Game Reserve

Situated along the Sabie River, this reserve has one of the best locations in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. All of the lodges overlook the river...

Babanango

The tiny hamlet of Babanango is a major agricultural center. ...

Cintsa

This lovely, quiet little seaside town a half-hour drive from East London is a winner. A nice long beach, pretty rock pools, and a beautiful...

Hogsback

This peaceful and picturesque village is the perfect place from which to embark on some of South Africa’s best hiking trails and experience...

Amazulu Private Game Reserve and AmaKhosi Lodge

Amazulu Private Game Reserve incorporates mountains, wetlands, and savanna and in addition to the Big Five, many other mammals and hundreds...

Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve

...

Alicedale

A tiny settlement west of Grahamstown, Alicedale was once an important railway town. The demise of the steam train, however, sent Alicedale...

Ithala Game Reserve

The topography of this reserve, from mountaintop to deep river valleys, incorporates varied terrain and plantlife, and makes for superior game...

Port Nolloth

Port Nolloth—a lovely drive from Springbok, particularly during flower time—started life as a copper port, but it's better known today as a...

Arniston (Waenhuiskrans)

Although its official name is Waenhuiskrans, and that's what you'll see on maps, this lovely, isolated vacation village is almost always called...

Isandlwana

The name of Isandlwana went down in British military history on January 22, 1879, when the then mighty British Empire suffered a resounding...

Exeter Private Game Reserve

Established in 1937, Exeter, at 160,600 acres, was an original part of Sabi Sands when it was incorporated in the 1960s. Its lodges are now...

Shakaland

If you're interested in learning more about the fierce warrior Shaka Zulu or the Zulu people, this living history museum will give you a glimpse...

Kapama Private Game Reserve

The 32,123-acre Kapama Private Game Reserve, the area's largest single-owned private reserve, here, and it boasts some high-end luxury lodges...

Spioenkop

The Second Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902) (now called South African War) was the biggest, the longest, the costliest, the bloodiest, and the most...

Bulungula

Bulungula is a tiny community near the mouth of the Bulungula River, about a 25-km (16-mile) walk from Coffee Bay's Hole-in-the-Wall. There...

Garies

Garies is a one-horse town cradled amid sunbaked, granite-dominated hills, and one of the best flower routes runs just north of it for 100 km...

Graskop

Graskop (translation: "grass head") was so named because of the abundance of grassveld and few trees. Like so many of the little towns in this...

Griquatown

If you are driving from Kimberley to Upington, make a stop in Griquatown. The town, locally known as Griekwastad, was the center of a 19th-century...

Thornybush Nature Reserve

Situated within 34,594 acres of pristine wilderness, adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park in Limpopo, Thornybush Nature Reserve is set...

Elands Bay

Mention eBay auctions here, and most people will stare at you blankly. But mention the E'bay left-hand break, and you'll get nods of approval...

Mbombela (Nelspruit)

Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit), the capital of Mpumalanga and home of the provincial government, is a modern, vibrant subtropical city of nearly...

Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve

...

Cape Town and Peninsula

A favorite South African topic of debate is whether Cape Town really is part of Africa. That’s how different it is, both from the rest of the...

Johannesburg

Johannesburg, or Jo'burg, Egoli ("City of Gold"), or Jozi, as it is affectionately known by locals, is the commercial heart of South Africa...

Durban

Durban has the pulse, the look, and the complex face of Africa. It may have something to do with the summer heat, a clinging sauna that soaks...

Kimberly

Kimberley was born in the dust, dreams, and disappointments of a rudimentary mining camp that grew into a city of grace and sophistication in...

Stellenbosch

You could easily while away a week in this small, sophisticated, beautiful, and absolutely delightful town. South Africa's second-oldest municipality...

Paarl

Paarl takes its name from the granite domes of Paarl Mountain, which looms above the town— paarl is Dutch for "pearl." The first farmers settled...

Little Karoo

The landscape of the Little Karoo—austere, minimal, and dry—stands in stark contrast to the Garden Route. In summer it resembles a blast furnace...

Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay is South Africa's premier beach resort, as the empty houses on Beachy Head Road (known as Millionaires' Mile) during the 11...

East London

The gateway to both the Wild Coast and Amatole, East London was built around the mouth of the Buffalo River, which forms South Africa's only...

Knysna

Knysna (pronounced nize -nuh) is one of the most popular destinations on the Garden Route. The focus of the town is the beautiful Knysna Lagoon...

Franschhoek

Franschhoek (French Corner) takes its name from its first white settlers, French Huguenots who fled to the Cape to escape Catholic persecution...

Umhlanga

Umhlanga's village charm and lovely beaches have entrenched it as one of the most sought-after vacation destinations for locals and foreigners...

Hermanus

Pristine beaches extend as far as the eye can see, and the Kleinriviersberg provides a breathtaking backdrop to this popular resort, the Overberg...

Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn has been famous for its ostriches since around 1870, when farmers began raising them to satisfy the European demand for feathers...

Grahamstown

Although billed as a city, Grahamstown looks more like an English village than anything else—if you discount that alter ego of most South African...

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth, or PE, may not have the range of attractions found in Cape Town or on the Garden Route, but it's a pleasant town that's worthy...

George

About 11 km (7 miles) from the sea, George is the largest town and the de facto capital of the Garden Route. Although the surrounding countryside...

Upington

Home to about 74,000 residents, Upington is a thriving agricultural center on the north bank of the Orange River. In the 1870s a Koranna (a...

Simon's Town

Picturesque Simon's Town has many lovely old buildings and possibly the peninsula's best swimming beaches at Seaforth and Boulders, a gem that...

Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay's main attractions are an excellent museum complex; several beautiful historic stone buildings (some of which are exceptionally well...

Swellendam

Beautiful Swellendam lies in the shadow of the imposing Langeberg Range. in 1745, it is the third-oldest town in South Africa, and many of its...

Pilgrim's Rest

The charming (although very touristy) village of Pilgrim's Rest—also a national monument—dates back to the 1870s gold-rush days when it was...

Clanwilliam

Although the town itself is uninspiring, it's no surprise that half the streets are named after trees or plants. Clanwilliam is at the edge...

Tulbagh

Founded in 1743, the town of Tulbagh is nestled in a secluded valley bound by the Witzenberg and Groot Winterhoek mountains. A devastating earthquake...

Wilderness

Wilderness is a popular vacation resort for good reason. Backed by thickly forested hills and cliffs, the tiny town presides over a magical...

Kleinmond

The sleepy coastal town of Kleinmond (Small Mouth) presides over a magnificent stretch of shoreline, backed by the mountains of the Palmietberg...

Springbok

The capital of Namaqualand is set in a bowl of rocky hills that form part of the Klipkoppe, a rocky escarpment that stretches from Steinkopf...

Somerset West (Helderberg)

Somerset West, nestled at the foot of the Helderberg Mountains, is just 30 minutes from the center of Cape Town and close to Gordon's Bay and...

Darling

Darling is best known for three draws: its beautiful wildflowers; its sensational performer, Pieter-Dirk Uys, otherwise known as Evita Bezuidenhout...

Kalk Bay

This small, fascinating harbor, which shelters a weathered fishing fleet, takes its name from the seashells that were once baked in large kilns...

Langebaan

Probably the most popular destination on the coast, Langebaan is a great base from which to explore the region, and the sheltered lagoon makes...

Richards Bay

Founded in the 1880s during the Anglo-Zulu colonial wars, Richards Bay was named after British Rear Admiral Sir Frederick William Richards,...

Storms River

Although it's a small, isolated village, Storms River absolutely buzzes with activity. A hotel, a couple of guesthouses, and a few backpackers...

Montagu

Montagu bills itself as "the Gateway to the Little Karoo," and its picturesque streets lined with Cape Victorian architecture lend this some...

Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel

Drive through the small agricultural town of Malmesbury and over the Bothman's Kloof Pass to these twin towns named after Jan van Riebeeck,...

Robertson

Robertson was founded primarily to service the surrounding farms, and it retains its agricultural and industrial character. The town largely...

Paternoster

Paternoster is a mostly unspoiled village of whitewashed thatch cottages perched on a deserted stretch of coastline. The population here consists...

Bredasdorp

This sleepy agricultural town has a certain charm, as long as you don't catch it on a Sunday afternoon, when everything's closed and an air...

Hazyview

Named for the heat haze that drifts up from the fruit plantations and bush in the surrounding area, Hazyview is a bustling little town. Situated...

Ladysmith

Ladysmith, dating back to the middle of the 19th century, became famous around the world during the South African War, when it outlasted a Boer...

Worcester

You're unlikely to linger in Worcester, by far the largest town in the Breede River valley. It's often termed the region's capital by locals...

Kamieskroon

Another base for exploring Namaqualand in spring, Kamieskroon is the only place to stay close to Namaqua National Park—unless you’re in the...

Tsitsikamma

Administered as its own park, the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park is a narrow belt of coastline extending for 80 km (50...

Mthatha

Mthatha is largely poor and overcrowded, and a little dilapidated, though it’s certainly not boring. Most people don't stay here beyond making...

Dundee

Once a busy coal-mining town, Dundee still has straight roads wide enough for the ox wagons of pioneer days to turn in, but today it's just...

Rorke's Drift

From the British perspective the Battle of Rorke’s Drift was the most glorious battle of the Anglo-Zulu War, all the more so because it took...

Barkly West

The town of Barkly West, on the Vaal River, was the site of some of the earliest alluvial diamond diggings in South Africa. ...

Sabie

As you descend Long Tom Pass, the town of Sabie (sah-bee) comes into view far below, in a bowl formed by the surrounding mountains. It's by...

Betty's Bay

Betty's Bay, or Betty's, as the hamlet is fondly known, is worth visiting for its penguins and botanical garden. The village is made up of retirees...

Greyton

The charming village of Greyton, filled with white thatch cottages and quiet lanes, is a popular weekend retreat for Capetonians as well as...

White River

This pleasant little town is set amid nut and tropical-fruit plantations and is one of the gateways to the escarpment's major sights. Settled...

Citrusdal

As you might guess from the name, Citrusdal is a fruit-growing town. It sits by the Olifants River valley, surrounded by the peaks of the Cederberg...

Kommetjie

A pleasant, somewhat isolated village, Kommetjie has a scenic 45-minute walk down Long Beach that leads to the wreck of the Kakapo, a steamship...

McGregor

Saved from development as a result of a planned mountain pass that never materialized, McGregor is the epitome of the sleepy country hollow...

Kuruman

If you have a car while in the Kalahari region, it's worth stopping in Kuruman, the hub of a dairy, cattle, and game-farming area. With flat...

Cintsa

This lovely, quiet little seaside town a half-hour drive from East London is a winner. A nice long beach, pretty rock pools, and a beautiful...

Babanango

The tiny hamlet of Babanango is a major agricultural center. ...

Coffee Bay

The village of Coffee Bay is a bit run-down, but the beaches and the scenery are great. (The surf is fantastic, but don't head out alone if...

Cape St Francis

Weaving its way between beautiful nature reserves, indigenous fynbos, wetlands, plush marinas, and rolling sand dunes, Cape St Francis is a...

De Rust

De Rust is a sleepy Little Karoo village. The main road is lined with crafts stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and wineshops. ...

Hogsback

This peaceful and picturesque village is the perfect place from which to embark on some of South Africa’s best hiking trails and experience...

Arniston (Waenhuiskrans)

Although its official name is Waenhuiskrans, and that's what you'll see on maps, this lovely, isolated vacation village is almost always called...

Shakaland

If you're interested in learning more about the fierce warrior Shaka Zulu or the Zulu people, this living history museum will give you a glimpse...

Spioenkop

The Second Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902) (now called South African War) was the biggest, the longest, the costliest, the bloodiest, and the most...

Port Nolloth

Port Nolloth—a lovely drive from Springbok, particularly during flower time—started life as a copper port, but it's better known today as a...

Alicedale

A tiny settlement west of Grahamstown, Alicedale was once an important railway town. The demise of the steam train, however, sent Alicedale...

Isandlwana

The name of Isandlwana went down in British military history on January 22, 1879, when the then mighty British Empire suffered a resounding...

Garies

Garies is a one-horse town cradled amid sunbaked, granite-dominated hills, and one of the best flower routes runs just north of it for 100 km...

Mbombela (Nelspruit)

Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit), the capital of Mpumalanga and home of the provincial government, is a modern, vibrant subtropical city of nearly...

Graskop

Graskop (translation: "grass head") was so named because of the abundance of grassveld and few trees. Like so many of the little towns in this...

Griquatown

If you are driving from Kimberley to Upington, make a stop in Griquatown. The town, locally known as Griekwastad, was the center of a 19th-century...

Bulungula

Bulungula is a tiny community near the mouth of the Bulungula River, about a 25-km (16-mile) walk from Coffee Bay's Hole-in-the-Wall. There...

Elands Bay

Mention eBay auctions here, and most people will stare at you blankly. But mention the E'bay left-hand break, and you'll get nods of approval...

The Western Cape

Anchored by Cape Town in the southwest, the Western Cape is an alluring province, a sweep of endless mountain ranges, empty beaches, and European...

The Garden Route and the Little Karoo

This region is a study in contrasts. The forested mountain ranges of the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma that shadow the coastline trap moist ocean...

The Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape is South Africa's most diverse province and has some of its best vacation destinations, yet it is perhaps the most glossed...

Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park

In many ways Mpumalanga ("where the sun rises") is South Africa's wildest and most exciting province. Its local history is action packed: local...

Durban and KwaZulu-Natal

Durban isn't slick or sophisticated, but 320 days of sunshine a year entices visitors and locals alike to the vast stretches of beautiful beach...

The Northern Cape

South Africa's largest province, the Northern Cape, is also its least populated. Covering almost a third of the country, its deserts and semi...

The Elephant Coast

The Elephant Coast is bordered in the northwest by the Ubombo Mountains, in the east by the Indian Ocean, and in the south by the Umfolozi River...

Cape Peninsula

The peninsula is a treat for any Cape Town visitor, and a round-trip drive that takes in both the False Bay coastline and the Atlantic Ocean...

Zululand and the Battlefields

Zululand stretches north from the Tugela River all the way to the border of Mozambique. It's a region of rolling grasslands, gorgeous beaches...

The KwaZulu-Natal Midlands

Set amid the rolling green foothills of the Drakensberg, the Midlands encompass waterfalls, lakes, reservoirs, forests, fields, Zulu villages...

Noordhoek

This popular beach community has stunning white sands that stretch all the way to Kommetjie along the aptly named Long Beach. The small bordering...

The Crags

Although technically part of Plett, the Crags is very different. It's rural and forested and is home to a primate refuge as well as a free-flight...

Dolphin Coast

About an hour north of Durban, the Dolphin Coast (North Coast) lies along the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, with lifeguards and shark-netted...

The Drakensberg

Afrikaners call them the Drakensberg: the Dragon Mountains. To Zulus they are uKhahlamba (pronounced Ooka-hlamba)—"Barrier of Spears." Both...

South Coast

Vacation towns like Scottburgh, Margate, Ramsgate, Trafalgar, and Palm Beach dot KwaZulu-Natal's southern coast, which stretches for more than...

Valley of a Thousand Hills

In the early part of the 19th century, before cars were introduced, wagons traveled from the port of Durban up along the ridge of this region...

Cape of Good Hope

Once a nature reserve on its own, this section of Table Mountain National Park covers more than 19,000 acres. Much of the park consists of rolling...

Kruger National Park

Visiting Kruger is likely to be one of the greatest experiences of your life, truly providing ultimate "Wow!" moments. You'll be amazed at the...

Sabi Sands Game Reserve

This is the most famous and exclusive of South Africa's private reserves. Collectively owned and managed, the 153,000-acre reserve near Kruger...

Addo Elephant National Park

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Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

If you're looking for true wilderness, remoteness, and stark, almost surreal landscapes and you're not averse to forgoing luxury and getting...

Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Also known as the Motlatse Canyon Nature Reserve, this breathtakingly beautiful 71,660 acres of red sandstone mountains, gorges, and grassland...

Augrabies Falls National Park

The Khoi, early pastoralists who lived in this area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans, called these falls Aukoerabis (Place...

Pilanesberg Game Reserve

The 150,000-acre Pilanesberg Game Reserve is often called the Pilanesberg National Park. It isn’t actually a South African national park these...

Phinda Private Game Reserve

Where Phinda excels is in the superb quality of its rangers, who can provide fascinating commentary on everything from local birds to frogs...

Djuma Private Game Reserve

This 17,297-acre reserve sits right up against Kruger in the northeast corner of the world-famous Sabi Sand Reserve. Expect classic bushveld...

Londolozi Game Reserve

Since its inception in 1974 (it was a family farm and retreat before that), Londolozi has become synonymous with South Africa's finest game...

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

Renowned for its conservation successes—most notably with white rhinos—this reserve is a wonderful place to view the Big Five and many other...

Table Mountain National Park

Nowhere else in the world does an area of such spectacular beauty and rich biodiversity exist almost entirely within a metropolitan area. Large...

Manyeleti Game Reserve

North of Sabi Sand, Manyeleti Private Game Reserve ("the place of the stars" in Shangaan) covers 59,280 acres that border Kruger, Sabi Sand...

Madikwe Game Reserve

Just as leopards and Sabi Sand Game Reserve are synonymous, think of Madikwe Game Reserve and wild dogs in the same way. This is probably your...

Timbavati Game Reserve

The 185,000-acre Timbavati, the northernmost of the private reserves, is collectively owned and managed by the Timbavati Association, a nonprofit...

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

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Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Founded in 1978 at the southern end of Sabi Sand, the multi-award-winning Sabi Sabi Game Reserve was one of the first reserves to offer photo...

MalaMala Game Reserve

This legendary game reserve (designated as such in 1929) is tops in its field. The first and only community-owned game reserve in Sabi Sand...

uMkhuze KZN Park

Wildlife—and amazing birdlife—abounds in this 400-square-km (154-square-mile) reserve in the shadow of the Ubombo Mountains. Lying between the...

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Roughly the size of Singapore, this enormous private wildlife reserve supports a free-roaming population of wild animals that were indigenous...

Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve

Expect great swaths of pale, creamy sand stretching to far-off rocky headlands, a shimmering, undulating horizon where whales blow. Watch out...

Lion Sands Private Game Reserve

Situated along the Sabie River, this reserve has one of the best locations in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. All of the lodges overlook the river...

Singita

Although Singita (Shangaan for "the miracle") offers much the same thrilling Sabi Sand bush and game experiences as other lodges, superb service...

Tswalu Kalahari Reserve

Near the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is the malaria-free Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, at 1,000 square km (386 square miles) the largest privately...

Samara Private Game Reserve

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Thanda Private Game Reserve

One of KwaZulu-Natal’s newer game reserves, Thanda offers a more intimate nature experience than some. Game may sometimes be elusive, but the...

Ithala Game Reserve

The topography of this reserve, from mountaintop to deep river valleys, incorporates varied terrain and plantlife, and makes for superior game...

Kapama Private Game Reserve

The 32,123-acre Kapama Private Game Reserve, the area's largest single-owned private reserve, here, and it boasts some high-end luxury lodges...

Exeter Private Game Reserve

Established in 1937, Exeter, at 160,600 acres, was an original part of Sabi Sands when it was incorporated in the 1960s. Its lodges are now...

Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve

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Amazulu Private Game Reserve and AmaKhosi Lodge

Amazulu Private Game Reserve incorporates mountains, wetlands, and savanna and in addition to the Big Five, many other mammals and hundreds...

Thornybush Nature Reserve

Situated within 34,594 acres of pristine wilderness, adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park in Limpopo, Thornybush Nature Reserve is set...

Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve

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Fodor's Essential South Africa
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