South Africa, an expansive country with endless opportunities to immerse yourself into the fascinating culture, take in the beautiful scenery and learn about the long history of this alluring destination. For a first timer it can be a lot to take in and difficult to decide how best to make use of your time abroad, narrowing down the ‘must-see’ parts of South Africa from such a variety is a daunting task but our favourite sights have been highlighted here as a handy guide.
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is South Africa’s most exciting safari destination with vast landscapes and fascinating African wildlife. The best way to showcase and explore this area is by safari of course. Take a journey into the Mpumalanga province where you can seek out the “big five” – rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard and elephant. Learn about these fascinating wild creatures in their natural habitat and celebrate nature as you witness wildlife flourish unlike anywhere else. First Class Holidays have flexible packages to explore the Kruger National Park, for a shorter visit our ‘Kruger park explorer tour’ is a great 4-day option. For an extended journey ‘The Spectacular South Africa’ is a 15-day trip with Kruger National Park occupying three days of the trip.
East of Cape Town under the Cape Fold Mountains lies a series of valleys known as the Cape Winelands, comprising a collection of farmsteads, little hamlets and towns providing exceptional South African wine to the world. With an abundance of wine estates available your options are endless. No matter your wine preference you will be spoiled for choice including pairings with gourmet meals as the region is rich with fine dining restaurants. Franschhoek is the gourmet capital of South Africa and the best way to explore this area is via the Wine Tram. This famed double decker railway tram leaves from Franschhoek Village and stops at multiple estate wine cellars for an unmissable tasting experience. To whet your appetite, First Class Holidays offer the ‘Franschhoek Wine Tram’ or see our ‘Vine & Dine Tour’ for a day out exploring the town of Eikestad before being taken to six wine estates in the region.
The Garden Route is notably famous for its scenic beauty, it is a 300km stretch of coastline surrounded by spectacular scenery, mountain peaks, indigenous forests, lagoons and lakes. The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests are a mixture of cape fynbos and temperate forest housing over 300 bird species. The Garden Route is part of UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves and is a must-see for nature lovers. For travellers wanting something a little adventurous try First Class Holiday’s ‘Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour’ to get amongst the treetops for an afternoon by zip line. First Class Holidays offer several tours incorporating the Garden Route in whichever style you would like to see it. Our favourite is an eleven-day tour called ‘Discover the Garden Route’ which incorporates Cape Town into your itinerary with additional visits to Oudtshoorn and Knysna, where you will encounter ostrich farms, the Cango Caves and the Featherbed Nature Reserve, this tour really highlights the best of the Garden Route.
Cape Town is one of South Africa’s biggest cosmopolitan and vibrant cities. The city owes its blessings to mother nature for making it a diverse natural wonderland, from the staggering heights of Table Mountain to the dramatic stretch of coastline, it’s no wonder people visit here from all corners of the world. A visit to Cape Town is incomplete without stopping by the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, labelled as the most beautiful garden in Africa. Cape Town’s Robben Island is a site of historical importance for South Africa, documented as the place Nelson Mandela served 18 years of his prison sentence and has since been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Robben Island tours run daily. Location is everything and Cape Town is no exception, there is something for everyone, especially animal lovers, from the penguins down at Boulders beach, to whale sightings taking place as close as the harbour. Prominent landmarks don’t come as big as Table Mountain, famous for its flat top this towering formation overlooks the city of Cape town from a height of 1085m, a perfect vantage point for those wishing to venture to the peak. First Class Holidays have a variety of sightseeing tours and activities across the cape such as ‘Discover the Cape’. This is a ten-day journey allowing three days in the city plus two days in the winelands then south to explore the Grootbos Reserve.
If you have been inspired to visit South Africa and discover some truly one of a kind experiences, Click Here to view a selection of our suggested itineraries.