4. Wildlife and Guiding: The wildlife of South Africa is fairly similar to the rest of the African safari destinations. Depending on where you go will influence what you see entirely. If you want to see specifically leopards, you should go to the Sabi Sands, if you want to see Elephants you could look at Addo, if you like cheetahs I would suggest Phinda, if you want to see Pangolin (rarest and most wonderful creature on the earth) go to Swalu in the Kalahari. I am a secret birder and therefore would go to somewhere secluded on the panorama route. It is important that if you have a specific interest in a particular animal then let your consultant know and they will find the perfect lodge for you. The guiding is South Africa is of a specific standard that you rarely find anywhere else. South African guides are FGASA trained. This is a very long and hard course that requires serious dedication. Therefore, guides in South Africa are often a little bit nerdy! They spend their time off exploring the nature of different areas with fellow guides rather than going home to see their despairing families. They know far more than we think. Geology, astronomy, taxonomy, animal behaviour and history of human habitation is just a few of the niche things you should ask your guides about when on safari. Annoyingly they know it all, but in a nice way. One of my favourite safari experiences was when I had just seen a leopard and her cub playing around in a tree as the sun went down. On the drive, back to the lodge the guide stopped and told us a story about the stars that were out in force. A wonderful reminder of how safari isn’t just about the wildlife.
5. Cape Town, The Dream City: Cape Town is a huge attraction to anyone. A buzzing city full of young people starting new and exciting companies. The city has a feeling of excitement reverberating all around. From Table Mountain to the penguins on Boulders Beach, the surfing to the wineries, the shops on the waterfront to the gardens of Kirstenbosch, Robben Island to Kloof Street, it has a compendium of awesome activities for everyone who visits it. There are so many ways to explore this great city. I believe one of the best ways is just talk to a local and see where is fun and avoid the crowds. There are plenty of secrets left over.
6. Scrummy Food: What we often find an issue with Africa tourism is that we book people into a very good safari destination and yet the food is below par. The wine list is a little limited. Well, this doesn’t happen in South Africa. They are so up to date with modern cuisine. They are leading the charge with healthy, fresh and adventurous foods. This is all backed by the great wines of Franschoek, Stellenbosch, Constantia and so many more. South African wine is taking the world by storm. Good wine and food is available throughout the hotels, lodges and camps at a good price.
Why South Africa? It’s wonderful and fun for anyone. Some people are snobby about South Africa and it’s commercial tourism. I think this is a huge credit to the country. The tourism is efficient and everyone who visits loves it and goes back. That’s why we, the British travel consultants, sell it more than any other African country.