When we think of vacations, some of us want to explore new places and try exciting activities, some want to kick back by the beach or meet interesting people with exciting cultures. Then there’s me, who wants to do everything – hike, sleep, drink, read books, talk to the locals and so much more. Interestingly, all this is more than possible in South Africa!
Cape Town is the best place for any type of traveler. It has everything. You can hike and explore Table Mountains or cable car your way to relax and have a picnic at the Table Mountain National Park. Especially for wildlife enthusiasts, Cape Town is full of sights to see. There’s the mind-boggling Two-Oceans Aquarium, where you can see the marine life of South Africa up-close. Not too far away from here, you have Boulders Beach where you can hang out with the cutest penguins and chill at the beach. For even more fauna, proceed to Cape Peninsula and give those adorable seals a kiss from me!
But wait, I promised you diversity in Cape Town and that is what you will get. After a day of tanning by the beach and running around with animals, put on some fancy clothes and head towards Cape Winelands. The valleys full of vineyards are not just pleasing to the eye but to the tongue as well. Experience the best wines the land has to offer and treat yourself to exquisite gourmet cuisine. The art galleries are another bonus to the already awe-striking scenery of the vineyards in winter.
When in Johannesburg, or Jozi as the locals call it, do not miss out on their excellent collection of cafes and museums. Stop by the Gold Reef City for thrilling rides and delve into the history of mining. The magnificent Cradle of Humankind is located about 50 kilometers away from here, which is a great place to visit and has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In addition to these, there’s the SAB World of Beer in New Town, FNB Stadium for the sports fans and Montecasino for your nightlife necessities.
However, tourism in SA is fairly new and still wobbly, mainly due to visa regulation and political issues. The tourism sector of SA grew by 0.2% in 2014 before falling by 6.8% in 2015, as a result. This has been registered as the biggest decline ever experienced in SA in the last six years. It is still a major contributor in boosting the economy and ridding of poverty, making SA a great place to visit. The best news is, in 2016, a record breaking one million tourists chose to visit SA. This progress was first noticeable in 2010, when South Africa hosted the World Cup. Pietro Calicchio, Industry leader of Hospitality & Gambling in SA says, “We forecast that hotel room revenue will grow by 11.9% in 2016 to R15.8 billion. In spite of recent challenges, including the change in visa regulations in South Africa and the contraction of the global economy, the sector has significant potential to create jobs and uplift inclusive economic growth across the continent.” Anticipating this industry growth, major airlines around the African continent are offering great incentives to promote their airlines. Jambojet Limited, a Kenyan airline that started their journey in 2014 have already made their mark by offering low cost tickets and some great incentives on Jambojet online booking.
Talking about only two cities is not enough and I’m restraining myself from turning this into a twelve hundred page essay about countless activities you can do in South Africa. The people are always smiling and helpful with foreigners and they welcome new people into their community with open arms. To every traveler out there, I insist you visit this exhilarating country at least once!