11 Reasons Your Next Trip Should Be to South Africa

By Tessa Juliette, POPSUGAR

Trying to decide where your next epic vacation should be? Stop researching because I have your answer: South Africa. Many travel trends have been pointing to South Africa as a country you can't miss in 2018, and I'm so glad I listened. While many destinations claim to be perfect in every way and have something for everyone, South Africa actually delivers on those promises.

I recently traveled to Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Kruger National Park, experiencing firsthand just how breathtaking South Africa truly is. Here are 11 reasons to book a flight to South Africa ASAP.


The Landscape

If you can, travel to a few different regions in South Africa. The stunning country is teeming with different landscapes at every turn that are just waiting to be explored. Cape Town's crystal-clear waters and soft-sand beaches quickly turn to a sprawling city and then to towering mountains, while Kruger National Park's landscape (and animals) quickly changes every 20 kilometers or so, cycling through mountains, bushy plains, and tropical forests.



[post_ads]All over the country, you can do amazing and also easily accessible hiking. Cape Town, in particular, has a variety of trails right in the city that provide incredible views with minimal effort. Lions Head only takes about two hours to complete, and Table Mountain has a cable car if you want to skip the climb and enjoy some hiking trails at the top.


Perfect Climate

Don't forget that South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons are flipped. But even if you choose to go in the dead of Winter or at the peak of Summer, you should be fine. South Africa ranges from a Mediterranean climate in the south to a subtropic one in the north. Most of the country has warm, sunny days and cool nights year-round.



Stunning Beaches

One of South Africa's — Cape Town's, in particular — most alluring features is its many stunning beaches. Whether you are sunbathing on the sand or simply relaxing at one of the many beachfront bars, you really can't go wrong.



[post_ads]And speaking of beaches near Cape Town, you can't miss the South African penguins. Located only an hour outside of Cape Town is one of the only places in the world where you can hang out and swim with wild penguins.


Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is one of Africa's largest game reserves. The park stretches over 7,500 square miles, making it larger than New Jersey! This natural reserve holds a high density of wild animals, including the sought-after big five: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalo.



Safaris on a Budget or in Pure Luxury

[post_ads]One of the best things about South Africa is the wide choice of accommodations. This especially holds true for safaris. Kruger is one of the cheapest places in the world to experience a true safari, or you could choose to stay at one of South Africa's many private lodges.

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in Sabi Sands Private Reserve is a popular choice, and for good reason. You can watch animals drink from the watering hole right from your plunge pool, or if you're brave enough, stay the night in one of its open-air treehouses.


Adrenaline-Pumping Activities

Want to paraglide off a mountain in the morning and cage dive with great white sharks in the afternoon? You got it. South Africa has adrenaline-pumping activities at every turn.

Here's a short list of other things you can do in South Africa:
  • Get charged by wild elephants in Kruger (this really happened to me!)
  • Horseback ride in the wetlands
  • Bungee jump in Tsitsikamma
  • Trek the Northern Drakensberg Traverse



Whale Watching

Spotting these gorgeous creatures is fairly easy in South Africa. Many tourists don't even plan a trip and simply see them while hanging out on a beach or sipping a drink at a bar. Hermanus, especially — only 90 minutes outside of Cape Town — has some of the best land-based whale watching in the world.


Luxury Is (Relatively) Affordable

Budget traveling to South Africa is extremely easy to accomplish, but if you want to stay somewhere luxurious, you can also do that without breaking the bank. South African prices aren't too high, and the US dollar goes a long way there. In Cape Town, I specifically recommend 21 Nettleton. Situated on a hill, the morning views are incredible and something I will never forget.



Wine-Lovers' Paradise

If you pay $4 for a bottle of wine back home, you probably expect something rancid . . . or consider it a sure-fire way to wake up with an awful headache. Wine in South Africa is not only delicious but also ridiculously cheap. A bottle of good wine will cost you around $4 to $8. I'm serious.

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Travel Magazine: 11 Reasons Your Next Trip Should Be to South Africa
11 Reasons Your Next Trip Should Be to South Africa
Budget traveling to South Africa is extremely easy to accomplish, but if you want to stay somewhere luxurious, you can also do that without breaking the bank.
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