Getting a taste of South Africa's top attractions
South Africa boasts several cities, islands and parks ideal for the beauty-seeking traveler. Home to world-famous attractions, cultural hubs and idyllic views, this region is the perfect location for solo vacationers, families or couples, providing plenty of things to do for a variety of visitors.
The country has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years as tourism agencies and attractions garner their attention toward providing better accommodations for travelers. Additionally, large cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg have seen booms not only in their populations, but in their business influences as well, drawing further attention to the area.
Now is the perfect time to consider a vacation to this region, as visitors can experience a blend of engaging and popular activities while they get a glimpse into the culture of the country. There are several stops travelers should take during their stay, including the region's most popular tourist attractions.
Embark on a safari at Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is home to one of the most diverse and exciting groups of animals in the entire world. Elephants, zebras, giraffes and lions can be observed in their natural habitats, providing an exciting adventure for adults and children alike. According to the park's website, the park spans nearly 5 million acres, allowing visitors to have an authentic look at hundreds of plant and wildlife species as they thrive in their natural habitats. Specifically, those embarking on a safari in this area can see 147 species of mammal, 507 birds, 114 reptiles, 49 fish, 336 trees and 34 amphibians - a combination no other site in the world can claim.
Several habitats geared specifically toward one group of animals can be viewed, such as the Mopane Savannah or the Sabie/Crocodile Thorn Thicket. Travelers who are looking to interact with one species in particular can benefit from specialized tours, which direct tourists in the general vicinity they are most likely to see animals. In addition to the exotic animals, this park allows travelers to view ancient archeological sites from centuries ago, including cave paintings and areas once inhabited by the Masorini.
Journey through Johannesburg
The city of Johannesburg is ideal for travelers looking to immerse themselves into the culture of South Africa. Not only is the area home to stunning landscapes, but it also houses attractions for people of all ages. The city is well known for its expansive shopping opportunities, restaurants replete with local flavor and entertainment accommodating to all preferences.
One of the most famous attractions in Johannesburg is Gandhi Square, an area of town dedicated to the social activist. While some of Gandhi's most famous movements took place in other areas, the square reminds residents and visitors of a time during which he helped citizens of Johannesburg protest against campaigns that treated them differently due to their race. Although Gandhi left the city near the beginning of World War I, he remains one of the most important influencers in its history, and Johannesburg honors him through both the dedication of the square and a large statue that sits in its center.
Spend a weekend at the Cape
Named the No. 1 "Place to Go" in 2014 by The New York Times, Cape Town, South Africa, has exploded in popularity in the last several years. The region saw an influx of visitors following the passing of Nelson Mandela at the end of 2013, but it has retained travelers through its ability to reinvent itself. Recently named the World Design Capital, Cape Town has placed a great deal of emphasis on the arts, becoming a hub for innovation and creativity in the region and attracting a great deal of crafty individuals. The city continues to see record growth with regards to technology, architecture and business, and as more travelers venture to the area to get a taste for the adventure, Cape Town will continue to boast impressive numbers.
Travelers who enjoy visiting up-and-coming cities may also look into visiting Bangkok, which has seen a boom in interest from vacationers looking to enjoy Asia travel. Travel and Escape reported that the city was the third most visited in the world in 2013, bumping London from its spot. According to the source, experts predict that more tourists from Russia and China will flock to this city in the next several years, cementing its spot as one of Asia's most attractive regions.