South Africa

South Africa is our current long-haul destination of choice. We’ve been 4 times in the last few years. Here’s why we keep going back.

  • It’s a truly beautiful country and very easy to access with self-drive car hire.
  • There’s only an hour or two time difference: you’re flying due south.
  • Flights prices have increased forr 2013 but still very convenient for Manchester — Air France is flying to Cape Town three times per week — overnight both ways with hardly any layover time.
  • Accommodation is excellent – the level of design, style and service is amazing for the price.
  • Dining is very good value and often creatively presented.
  • People are very friendly and encourage you to have a good time.
  • If you keep your wits about you and heed advice regarding when and where to be out and about, you should have a great vacation.

Check out our destinations, accommodation, dining and places of interest that follow an easy itinerary.

Also check-out our suggestions for Namibia, the country adjacent to South Africa, but with a fraction of the population — it’s also a wonderful vacation experience.

Introduction

It’s a big country. So we’ve only seen a small part of it and focussed on the bits that we consider most appealing to us. Our main focus has been the Western Cape province – we’ve investigated the wine growing areas in some depth – and we’ll be doing more of this for our 2012 trip. We’ve also ‘done’ most of the Garden Route and we’ve enjoyed going to Cape Town and it’s environs a few times now.  So take a look at the overview below and dream of sunshine and a glass of wine.

The Western Cape

The Western Cape is like a big banana leaning to the left, with a coastal strip all-around backed up by mountain ranges. Beyond the province the great Karoo desert stretches into Botswana to the north and Namibia to the north west. It was the first part of South Africa to be ‘discovered’ by Europeans, initially by the Portuguese and then settled by the Dutch and then by British colonialists. Hugenots also emigrated to the Cape and helped establish the wine making culture. The capital of the province is Cape Town. The Cape weather is described as ‘mediterranean’ and makes a wonderful respite from the cold winters of northern Europe.