Top 4 reasons to visit South Africa during summer

South Africa, ever a tourist destination of note, provides one with a true African experience, with its melting pot of dynamic and diverse cultures and traditions to discover, uniquely individual cities and a landscape, wildlife and biosphere second to none.

And although it makes for pleasant and exciting travelling all year round, there’s no question that a South African summer is a glorious thing… Here are some of the top reasons this beautiful country during summertime:

1. Beach Beauties

beach
Photo credit: Campdell Colledge

South Africa has some of the best beaches in the world and although Cape Town and Durban in particular are famed for their beaches, the Eastern Cape and Garden Route regions have some glorious offerings too.

walking on beach
Photo credit: Dan Dedek

If you want to soak up the sun, try Durban’s South and North Beaches; Cape Town’s delightful Camps Bay, Clifton, Boulders and Llandudno beaches and Elandsbay in the West Coast; Port Elizabeth’s Hobie Beach; Jeffreys Bay’s Dolphin and Paradise Beaches; East London’s Gonubie Beach or the Garden Route’s Victoria Bay, Buffels Bay and Mossel Bay.

And of course, whether you find yourself encountering the Atlantic or Indian Ocean, sunny SA, with its oceans of contrast, is known for its surf and, although surfers brave the waters – even of the icy Atlantic, year-round – summer is the best time to catch a wave.

 

surfing
Photo credit: Emma Smith

Surf at Durban’s Dairy beach, New Pier or Cave Rock at the Bluff; Cape Town’s Muizenberg, Kommetjie (Long Beach or the Kom) or if you’re brave enough, the Dungeons of Hout Bay (these produce some of the biggest waves on the African coastline) – or perhaps Jeffreys Bay (or J-Bay, as it’s fondly called) for some super tubing.

2.Game on… in the South African bushveld

safari
Photo credit: Bhubesi

 

Like many African countries, South Africa offers some of the world’s best game watching, with its wealth of long-standing and wonderfully well-loved game reserves, national parks and protected areas, dedicated to wildlife conservation, protection and appreciation.

Of course, everyone will tell you to head to the Kruger National Park – but please don’t forget about some of SA’s other wonderful game reserves.

leo
Photo credit: Safwanah Guman

 

KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern and Western Capes also have several top game reserves and national parks to visit.

South African National Parks (or SanParks) especially offers a wonderful selection of protected, yet public natural spaces, containing a vast number of wild animals, birds and flora to both educate and enchant you, as you discover more about South Africa.

3. Food, glorious food (and wine)

Constantia Glen
Photo credit: Constantia Glen

 

If you are looking for a food experience of note, then South Africa is your place. With so many different cultures and heritage roots, this country is blessed with the best in terms of local cuisine.

Try Durban for its Indian curries and famous bunny chows; Cape Town for its plethora of restaurants and eateries, serving international and local cuisines alike and for its lovely Cape Malay cooking – and of course, wherever you are in SA, you must enjoy a braai (like a barbeque, only better) with locals or tuck into some juicy shisa nyama (meat freshly prepared on an open street fire, often in township areas).

Other local delicacies include boerewors, samosas, rotis, Smileys and Walkie Talkies… see which best tantalises your taste buds and sets your stomach rumbling.

Of course, a trip to South Africa would not be complete without a visit to the Cape Winelands.

Well-known for its fine wine and beautiful wine estates, the Cape is blessed with the best. Wine-producing regions near or in Cape Town famed for their wine estates include: the Constantia Wine Valley, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and even Somerset West.

Further abroad, some two to three hours from Cape Town, small towns, found along South Africa’s iconic Route 62, like Ashton and Robertson are well-known for their wine, while if you head to Montagu, you can enjoy some special Muscadel (or Muscat), which is a red and white grape variety and is usually consumed as a sweet dessert wine.

While you’re visiting these wonderful estates, why not buy some take-home wine, explore a manor house and simply spend a day soaking up the stunning surroundings?

4.Natural beauty like no other

South Africa is a country blessed with some wonderful natural beauty and amazing attractions.

In the Cape, make a point of visiting the famous Table Mountain (a ride up in the cable car is a must but you can also hike up!), Oudtshoorn’s Cango Caves (a labyrinth of beautiful underground caves) and Cape Point, which is one of the most fiercely beautiful places you will encounter anywhere in the world.

SA Beauty
Photo credit: The Travel Manuel

 

In KZN, there’s no doubt that the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park and the Midlands (reminiscent of England’s green countryside) are everyone’s top picks. But Oribi Gorge (a spectacular gorge home to more than 300 bird species and one of the world’s biggest bungee swings), Zululand and the Valley of a Thousand Hills are all worth exploring too.

Then, finally, Mpumalanga province is perhaps one of the most beautiful local regions, and is especially blessed with some awe-inspiring natural attractions.

These include: Blyde River Canyon (the world’s largest green canyon), the Lake District (a grouping of majestic lakes, home to some 20,000 flamingos) and last but not least there’s God’s Window, where one is afforded a truly amazing, panoramic view out across the Lowveld, nearby mountains, rivers and the area’s many waterfalls too.

These are just some of the worthy reasons to visit South Africa during summertime although the favourable exchange rate and glorious, hot weather are always major draw cards too. May your travels to South Africa be safe, wonderful and memorable!

Content Created by Speckled Egg Digital Team.

Top Places To Visit In South Africa

Twelve Apostles

South Africa is an ecologically, cultural and historically rich, vibrant country that is filled with hundreds of amazing places to see and visit. We here at AccommoDirect know how difficult it can be to choose not just your next destination, but also the places to go and see while you’re on holiday, which is why we have put together 27 of our favourite South African places to visit on your next getaway! Comment below and tell us your favourite ‘must-see’ South African locations.

Western Cape

Table  Mountain
Table Mountain

 

Table Mountain
If you are visiting Cape Town, it’s hard not to miss the iconic mountain which in November 2011 was named one of the seven wonders of the world.

Cango Caves
Taking a trip to the Oudtshoorn or the Swartberg region? Then the Cango Caves are not to be missed! The caves are a geological wonder and the extensive tour offered is designed to show it off at all it’s best angles!

The Big Tree at Tsitsikamma forest
The tree is estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old. The tours and walks offer an enchanting and relaxing trip to remember.

Eastern Cape

The Iconic Hole in the Wall
The Iconic Hole in the Wall

 

Addo Elephant National Park
Founded in 1931, the Addo Elephant National Park houses more than 600 elephants as well as other wildlife. Being the third largest park in our country, it would be hard not to give it a miss!

Hole in the Wall
Another great natural occurrence, a pilgrimage to this fantastic site is often on to scratch off a nature lovers bucket list. With a fantastic beach to soak in the sun and get wet!

Baviaans Kloof
As of 2004 it was declared a World Heritage site, it’s no wonder due to the vast areas unspoiled by man sporting marvelous land forms, a diverse array of plants and many kinds of wildlife.

Northern Cape

The Big Hole Kimberley
The Big Hole Kimberley


The Big Hole
Between 1871 and 1914, up to 50 000 miners dug up the hole in a rush for diamonds. Today it is a geological marvel and a great tourist site in Kimberley. There’s more than just history to enjoy here!

Augrabies Falls
Derived from the Khoi word “Aukoerebis” which means “great noise”, the sheer size, volume and sound experienced by the falls is a marvel in it’s own.

Namaqualand Flower Route
With almost 4000 different species of plants, every year offers a different configuration in flowers along the route. Come between August and September to witness this bombardment of color and spectacle for yourself!

Gauteng

Cradle of Human Kind
Cradle of Human Kind

 

Lion Park
First opened in 1966 it has since expanded from being a lions-only attraction. Being able to come into contact with the king of the jungle himself and his cubs, there are great memories to take home here!

Gold Reef City
If you are going to Jozi, one thing you can’t miss is this supreme amusement park. Themed around the gold rush that started in the 1880’s, it offers atmosphere amongst fun and relaxation.

Cradle of Humankind
Housing one of the largest collections of human fossils dating as far back as 3.5million years ago, you will be nothing short of fascinated by our existence on this planet and how far we’ve come.

North West Province

Sun City
Sun City

 

The Lesedi Cultural Village
For a spectacle of traditional African culture, you can visit the Lesedi Cultural Village over night with one of the traditional families that reside there. Giving you a great window into the lives of others.

Sun City
Sun City has won many awards and houses incredible accommodation as well as a plethora of activities to choose from. You can escape ordinary life and feel like you’re living in your own lost city!

Hartbeespoort Damn Snake & Animal Park
For a relaxed day amongst beautiful surroundings, you can also see some of South Africa’s greatest snakes as well as animal handling in action. A must visit for someone going to the North West.

Mpumalanga

Gods Window
God's Window

 

God’s Window
Definitely one of the most incredible views in the whole of South Africa, the name is very fitting. On a clear day you can even see as far to the Lebombo mountains on the border of Mozambique.

Kruger National Park
Probably the most popular game reserve in South Africa. You can be sure to witness the big five here as well as South Africa’s most beautiful wildlife. You can’t say you’ve seen Africa’s real side once you’ve come here!

Lowveld National Botanical Garden
Remaining green through out the year due to heavy rainfall, you are sure to witness lush plants and over 2000 different species of flora. This is one sure way to reconnect with nature!

Kwazulu Natal

Howick Falls
Howick Falls

 

Drakensberg
It only makes sense to visit the tallest mountain in South Africa while you’re in Kwazulu-Natal. With a plethora of activities to choose from, your visit will be anything but dull.

KZN Battlefields
Don’t be fooled by the picturesque landscape as the history involves the bitter conflict between Britain and South Africa. You can dive back into our past and enjoy some of the history that has built our country today.

Howick Falls
A principal tourist attraction of Kwazulu-Natal, it is a must see, not only for the luscious scenery and majestic waterfall, but the history that surrounds.

Limpopo

Sunland Baobab
Sunland Baobab

 

Warm Baths Bela Bela
Bela Bela was built around the natural hot springs in the area, giving rise to the resorts and natural baths you can enjoy.

Alpha Omega Cave
What makes this cave different, is that it’s man made and basically an entire art piece. Inspired by the holy spirit there is much to enjoy and be observed by the tours that run here.

Sunland Baobab
This popular tourist attraction is well deserved as a unique and magnificent artifact of nature. Due to hollowing in the tree dating as far back as 1650AD, there has been a pub and wine cellar established in the tree for your enjoyment.

Free State

Tiger Canyons
Tiger Canyons

 

Oliewenhuis Art Museum
With a large array of historical and contemporary art pieces, you can enjoy a casual visit to soak in the artworks and relax. A must visit for those in the Free State!

Tiger Canyons
As an attempt to introduce a self sustaining tiger population out of Asia. This offers a unique outlook on nature outside our beautiful country, as well as personal walks with the Tigers which is sure to be something magical!

Anglo Boer War Museums
Believed to be the only one of it’s kind, it offers a peek into a unique part of South Africa’s history with very knowledgeable staff who are sure to tell you all you want to know about the Angle Boer War as well as where to find the battlefields.

5 Most Romantic Places In South Africa

With Valentine’s Day practically upon us, we couldn’t help but think of the most romantic destinations in our gorgeous country. We came up with 5 places that are not only offer gorgeous scenery and views, but are also best enjoyed when you’re with someone special!

                                                Kruger National Park

Get away from the Hollywood cliches for one of the most authentic African experiences. At Kruger National Park you and your partner could find a myriad of activities from safari drives, to elephant riding, helicopter flights and simple walking trails. Apart from witnessing the legendary beasts our country has to offer, there is literally nothing stopping you from keeping the love wild!

                                     Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

For those admirers of the sheer beauty and looking for incredible scenery, Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is the place to be. By making it the setting of your romantic adventure, whatever it is you choose to do will be accompanied by the magic of nature. Apart from the various activities like hiking trails and helicopter flights you could visit the renowned God’s Window for the most sought after views in South Africa. By all means the perfect time to snap that photo or sneak that kiss!

                                                     Hartbeespoort Dam

Get closer to water for a more relaxed and quiet getaway with your partner. Sit back and bask in the moment with a relaxed boat ride, or surrender to beautiful views in the cable car. With a large variety of options from guest houses, hotels and spas – You can find exactly what you looking for. With a little something for everyone, it’s no wonder Hartbeespoort Dam is one of the most popular holiday destinations in South Africa!

Paternoster

What could be more romantic than an old fishing village on the West Coast? Take an atmospheric trip to Paternoster with that someone special and make the most of the coastal surrounds and activities. Apart from it’s obvious charm, it is also known for it’s warm locals who will make sure the vibe on your trip is never spoiled. Take a walk on the beach and enjoy a sunset together or go kayaking, there’s even a Nature Reserve close by if you seeking a stroll through nature. Paternoster is surely something not to miss!

 

                                                               Cape Town

How could we not include Cape Town on our list? With a plethora of variety in anything you can imagine, the Mother City has it all. From stunning beaches to the iconic mountains and buzzing city life, you won’t be disappointed. Have a picnic in the Kirstenbosch Gardens, then perhaps a drink or two on Rohdes Memorial as you watch the moon come up and top it off with a romantic dinner in the city. Cape Town is ready for you to explore!

Top Ten SA Beaches

Lying on the southern part of the hemisphere, South Africa enjoys currents from both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, which meet at the breathtaking Cape Point. The two oceans have given South Africa some truly spectacular beaches that offer a variety of activities, from swimming to surfing to just lying on the beach soaking up the African Sun. We’ve chosen the Top Ten beaches that offer you everything a summer holiday should, and then some!

Clifton 4th

This is the Cape’s most fashionable beach; known for its hot bodies, beach sports and tanners. The turquoise ocean is home to many yachts and surfers and cold water makes it an ideal location to cool-off during summer. For those wanting to stay close by, there are many luxurious accommodation options, right on the  beachfront and a few minutes away from Cape Town’s CBD.

Clifton

Camps Bay

Cape Town’s trendy bay is known for its many kiosks, restaurant and  white sands; which are trampled on with flexing muscled bodies and volley ball beach goers. This is the ideal place to enjoy the relaxation of the cosy beach road restaurants and cafes, and later recline on the white sandy shore and watch the sun set on the ocean horizon.

Camps Bay

Boulders Beach


Located on the Cape Peninsula and popularly known for being the home of the African penguin colony, Boulders offers a warmer shore with rock pools where beach goers can relax and even swim with these flightless birds. This is the ideal family beach for a summer’s picnic.

Boulders Beach

Noetzie Beach


Situated in Knysna, on the glorious Garden Route,  Noetzie Beach resembles what paradise might look like. The beach has a backdrop of lush, green forest hills, which are ideal for a exploring. The safe, warm waters allow beach goers the fun of paddling, swimming and kayaking. And for the romantics, it is here where you can escape to and enjoy a peaceful picnic.

Noetzie Beach

Sodwana Bay

The beautiful jewel on the east coast of KZN is home to the adventurers; who a enjoy  many thrilling activities in the warmth of the  Indian Ocean. These include;  scuba diving, turtle tours and surfing. The idyllic views, and  backdrop of rich green forests also make it a fantastic spot to just laze on the beach with a good book.

Sodwana Bay

Ramsgate Beach


Located on the south of Margate, Ramsgate Beach is for the relaxers; away from bustling city life this where come to just lay on the beachfront and cool down in the water. The beach has a large tidal pool and lagoon, which is a highly-rated life guarding protection zone. You can also enjoy meals and drinks at the beachfront restaurants; whale watching from the decks; and canoeing in the lagoon.

Ramsgate Beach

Santos Beach

Situated in Mossel Bay, beach goers enjoy still waters, as well as  dolphin and whale watching from the sandy beach. The rocky outcrops and the far-side of the beach are home to rock pools full of interesting sea creatures, as well as oyster beds with beautiful ocean views.

Santos Beach

Robberg Beach

Running through Plettenberg Bay, Robberg Beach is the ideal location for group accommodation and beach going satisfaction. There’s the opportunity to spot the ocean’s magnificent dolphins and whales, and take in spectacular views along the shoreline stretch – perfect for long walks, and picnics.

Robberg Beach

Tieties Baai

Tieties Bay is located on the Cape’s Columbine Nature Reserve; home to the last manually controlled lighthouse in South Africa. Beach goers can enjoy a variety of water sports in the area, and camping is allowed right on the beachfront. Make sure you have a spot to watch the sunset – you’ll be mesmerized by the fiery tones, and natural beauty of this picturesque setting.

Tieties Baai

 

5 Summer Beach Tips
– Ensure the beach is safe for swimming
– Take an umbrella along for some shade
– Always use a sun protection cream
– If there are no lifeguards, ensure that children are within viewing sight.
– Keep a lookout for aquatic life – water plants and animals may be dangerous.