Our TV Crews have spent a lot of time in South Africa on various projects. Shows like Karma Trekkers, Let’s Shop, WTF! and more have always benefited from the country’s rich landscape, diverse culture and friendly peoples. After each trip we always return home with great memories and so we wanted to compile a list of some of the best features of this magical destination. We’d love for everyone in our community to find a reason to visit South Africa.
1. With frequent, direct flights now available, it is easier than ever to get to South Africa
South Africa is becoming increasingly accessible to Americans as more and more airline companies begin offering cheaper, direct flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg. In years past if you wanted to visit South Africa you would usually have to fly through Detroit to Amsterdam and then down to South Africa. This trip is standard 25-30 hours in length. With new direct flight routes, these lengthy trips have been dramatically reduced.
For example, Delta Air Lines flies direct to Johannesburg from Atlanta (ATL) leaving daily from Atlanta in the early evening and arriving in Johannesburg the next day, in the late afternoon. A 16 hour flight, Delta has a good quality product with slightly more leg room than average. Their business class is a quality flight with good food and great service.
South Africa also has airports of high international quality and standards, making getting into and out of the country that much easier.
2. English is spoken everywhere
Beautiful, diverse South Africa has eleven official languages, a primary one of which is English, spoken by nearly everybody. If you speak English, communication here is not an issue, and you’ll find it easy to enjoy this country from talking to the locals, to asking for directions or ordering food.
3. A respect for nature & biodiversity
While modern in every way, South Africa maintains and respects all of the elements that make it South Africa, permeated with vibrant and diverse culture with the wild African bush at its back door.
Although South Africa has less than 1% of the world’s land surface, it has 6% of the world’s known mammal and reptile species and 10% of the world’s plant, fish, and bird species. There are a total of six different floral kingdoms in the world, one of which is located wholly in South Africa. The Cape Floral Kingdom exists only within the southwest portion of South Africa’s Western Cape, making South Africa the one country in the world that has its own floral kingdom. This region incorporates over 9600 plant species, 70% of which are wholly unique to South Africa, existing nowhere else on the planet.
Another surprising biodiversity fact is that South Africa has penguins; the Jackass Penguin is endemic to South Africa, these cuties can be found at Boulder Beach in Simonstown, just outside of Cape Town.
4. Kruger National Park is one of the best places in the world for viewing African wildlife
Located in the northeast part of South Africa along the Mozambique border, Kruger National Park, established in 1898, is one of the nation’s oldest and largest game reserves.
This region offers the rare opportunity to immerse oneself in an authentic experience, with lions, elephants, birds, reptiles and other animals for which Africa is famous. Covering nearly 8,000 square miles and boasting an incredible array of species (147 types of mammals, 507 types of birds, 114 different reptiles, 336 species of trees, 34 kinds of amphibians, and 49 types of fish) this park is sure to amaze.
5. South Africa is a foodie’s paradise
Capetown and the surrounding vinelands are known for their culinary delights, along with some great restaurants in Johannesberg and other smaller towns. Restaurants such as Reuben Riffel’s One & Only and Luke Dale Robert’s Test Kitchen have put South Africa on the map, along with a plethora of resorts known for their superb dining experiences; The Table Bay, for example, is a luxury resort in Cape Town, situated to take full advantage of Cape Town’s stunning backdrop of the working harbor, Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, their Conservatory Restaurant is a venue known both for the flavors and the views.
And for the wine lovers out there, South Africa’s Cape Wine lands have around 560 wineries. Included in the Cape Wine lands region is Route 62, considered the longest wine route in the world. Regions like Elgin are producing exceptional quality wines. Almenkerk Wine Estate make outstanding Chardonnay and Syrah in small batches. Experiences for your taste buds abound in South Africa!
Oh, and …
6. They’re cool
South Africa is the only country in the entire world that has voluntarily abandoned its nuclear weapons program and we think that’s pretty awesome.
So what’s on your list of why South Africa is a great place to visit?