When you sit down and plan out your next holiday, or your next adventure, there are a lot of places in the world that might grab your attention. You might be attracted to the smells of Paris – freshly baked goods, fine wines. You might opt for the history of London, where every alleyway has a story. You might head to the Far East and experience the hustle and bustle of the big cities like Tokyo and Beijing. It can be a real headache, with so many great options presented to you, where do you go?

Here’s one for you. Not many places have such a mix of rich culture and history as South Africa does. With incredible animals on show, landscapes that make it seem as if you’re on an alien planet and culture to take in around the clock, South Africa is certainly a destination that you should consider.

South Africa has an incredible story behind it; fought over by the Dutch and the British Empire, the land was torn into multiple pieces, and when those two colonial empires left, the government struggled to stitch everything back together. A terrible period of Apartheid went unchallenged for many years until the great Nelson Mandela helped to smash it. What’s more, it’s been home to people like the Khoisan for thousands of years. You don’t get more history than in South Africa!

Where can you stay? You can also find plenty of game reserves – resorts based on large stretches of land like the Manor House in the Samara Private Reserve in the east. As usual, the big cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town are the primary destinations and offer hotel chains like Tsogo Sun and Protea Hotels alongside the usual Hiltons and Hyatts. If you’re heading out to adventure on a safari – one of SA’s main attractions – you’ll ideally want to stop in a game reserve.

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Food and drink? Amarula Cream Liquor and Rooibos Tea are two of the favorites, but South Africa is also famous for its wine – which is pretty cheap! You might partake in Braaivleis (meat roasted in the open) which is much as social activity as it is a meal! Bunny Chows (bread with lamb or goat curry) are also incredible. Restaurants like La Colombe and The Test Kitchen are also highly praised as ‘experiences’ combining local cuisine with international gastronomy. You aren’t exactly out in the sticks when you’re in SA – especially not if you’re in Cape Town!

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As for things to do? Apart from the typical safari and sightseeing, you might go whale watching in Hermanus or you could climb the majestic Table Mountain outside of Cape Town. If you want a white-knuckle experience – head to the border with Namibia with a tour group and raft on The Orange River. History buffs might want to take a trip out to Robben Island as well.

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South Africa is an incredible place to visit, and as long as you’re smart; you’ll be safe. This jewel of the world is worth experiencing.

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