If you’ve ever wanted to see a giraffe up close, touch an elephant trunk, or ride a Jeep on the savanna, South Africa is the place for you. The country also boasts great food, a diverse culture, and an unforgettable history of apartheid and the fight for freedom.

South Africa has something for everyone, but if you’re not quite sure where to start, here are just a few suggestions for your stay.


For the Beach Bums

Do you like long walks on the beach? Fine sand? Body surfing? Dolphin, seal, and whale watching? South Africa has got you covered. Head to Robberg Beach in the southeastern corner of South Africa to enjoy this semi-paradisiacal landscape. Are you more interested in snorkeling and scuba diving? Go to KwaZulu Natal beach instead for some of the best underwater adventuring in South Africa.


For the Adventurers

If you want to feel the rumble of a lion’s roar or experience the adrenaline rush of getting up close and personal with a rhino, head to Kruger National Park on the northeastern side of the country. Kruger boasts one of Africa’s largest game reserves, complete with the Big Five (water buffalo, lions, spotted leopards, elephants, and rhinos) plus many, many others. For bragging rights, spot all Big Five in one day.


For the Old at Heart

Interested in fossils, ancient tools, and the Stone Age? Cruise up north to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Here you can study treasures from ancient civilizations at the visitor center or book a tour with the Sterkfontein Caves, home to world-famous fossils.


For the History Buffs

You can’t visit South Africa without learning about the apartheid laws of the 20th century. Drive to the capital to find the Apartheid Museum, dedicated to telling this history with accuracy and heart. The museum is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and entrance is just $7 for adults and $6 for children and students.

Wherever your South African travels take you, enjoy your trip, or as they say in South Africa, have a lekker time!

—Natalie Tate