Epic destinations in southern Africa that will have you itching to travel

Lifestyle | Travel

There’s a wide world to discover out there, but long haul travel doesn’t come cheap. And whether you’re heading to Venice or Venice Beach your South African passport is going to require an expensive visa before you can even start to choose between aisle and window.

Our advice? Stick closer to home and discover the wonders of southern Africa.

Looking for the grandeur of a magnificent waterfall? Less than two hours out of Joburg you’ll be marveling at the magnificent Mosi-oa-Tunya, ‘the smoke that thunders’. But there’s more to Victoria Falls than admiring the cascades. The area is known as Africa’s Adventure Capital, with everything from bungee jumping to white-water rafting to helicopter-flips on offer. Of course there’s also the wonderful wildlife of nearby Hwange National Park.

If it’s wildlife you’re after it’s hard to top our own Kruger National Park. It’s nearly the size of Wales and is one of the world’s oldest national parks. You’ll find tented camps, lodges and guesthouses to suit every budget and remember that the dry winter season is an ideal time for safari, with wildlife flocking to the waterholes.

 

From Kruger it’s just a short hop across the border to Mozambique. The capital, Maputo, dishes up superb food, a rich history and remarkable architecture. It’s a city on the rise, and well worth a few days of exploring. Make sure you factor in some beach time. Inhambane is ideal if you’re self-driving, while the likes of Vilanculos (for Bazaruto) and Pemba (for the idyllic Quirimbas Archipelago) are all served by direct flights from Johannesburg.

If you’re pressed for time, a short break to Sun City is the answer. Recently revamped to the tune of R1 billion, this much loved resort has something for couples, friends and honeymooners. Don’t miss out on some time splashing about in the Valley of the Waves.

For a taste of authentic seaside splendour Cape Town, the Mother City, ticks all the right boxes. Revel in the art and creativity of Woodstock, soak up glorious sunsets from the Camps Bay strip, or delve into the delicious fine dining of the Cape winelands.

Looking for wide-open spaces? From the towering dunes of Sossusvlei to ancient rock art at Twyfelfontein, Namibia boasts some of Africa’s most remarkable landscapes. End off your outdoor adventures in the quirky town of Swakopmund, a slice of Bavaria against the rolling Namib Desert.

Pack your bags and take your pick – southern Africa delivers a word of adventure right on your doorstep!

 

Richard Holmes is a travel, lifestyle and food journalist based in Cape Town.

 

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