A land of contrasts, South Africa is home to both cosmopolitan cities and wild savannas. Our Director of Product Development, Lael, spent 17 days exploring both sides of this remarkable country on our South Africa: A Journey of Discovery tour. Here, he recounts the highlights.
South Africa is an incredibly diverse country with many ethnic groups, languages, and cultures. Each of its cities has a unique story to tell, from the large Cape Malay population of Cape Town to the historic townships of Port Elizabeth.
Out of all the cities we visited, Cape Town was my favorite. It’s built against one of the most beautiful, unique backdrops in the world—surrounded by water and with Table Mountain towering in the background. Cape Town is also a cultural hub, with great food and vibrant nightlife.
What struck me most about South Africa’s national parks was how diverse their landscapes are. Whether it’s the Mediterranean environment of Table Mountain National Park or Tsitsikamma National Park’s wild, Indian Ocean coastline, the range of experiences here is astounding.
The wildlife viewing in the country’s protected areas is also impressive, no matter which you visit. In the smaller game reserves, it’s easy to see a wide variety of animals in a short amount of time. But for me, one of the most memorable experiences on our safari took place in Kruger National Park, where we spotted three leopards, including a cub, all in one day.