I now, the two choice are not even related by any means. I am currently in Northwest Cambodia and getting to south will require only a 12 hour ride on a sleeper bus. Getting to South Africais a different story. I will probably will require of me to run a better planning such as destinations, best to time to visit, special events, vaccinations, budget, airline, transportation, and so on.
Before we start to travel as a family, one of my dreams was to get to South Africa
. In my workplace before leaving for the sake of this journey, I had a good friend/colleague from South Africa and he used to tell me so many great things about this country. We still may go there as I still remember all the awesome descriptions of the some national parks that in the size of my country, Israel.
With population of about 50 million people where about 80% black African ancestry, South Africa has suffered many conflicts and too much hate. Though there is no way to compare suffering of any country, it is sad to think that Cambodia as well had suffer from civil conflicts just like South Africa.
Choosing the timing
As for South Africa, there is not a better season than other. The season really depends of what we went to do. For example, South Africa’s winter months (June, July, August) – which have the least rainfall, except for the Western Cape with its Mediterranean climate – is a peak time for game viewing as a shortage of water means animals gather at watering holes. Also, for example, hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains is also great all year round. But be aware that in the winter, night temperatures can drop below freezing. So be prepare accordingly. I, myself, do not get along with really cold temperatures and would prefer the dry season.
What about kids
South Africa is a perfect family-friendly holiday destination with much for the kids to see and do – from building sand castles on golden beaches, swimming in the ocean, taking a joy ride in a theme park, spotting wildlife on a game farm or enjoying adventure activities at one of South Africa’s many hotel resorts. I personally prefer to hit places in the peak season but keep in mind that In peak holiday time, when South African families take their annual breaks (April, July and December), coastal resorts offer children’s entertainment programs, movie theaters screen the latest family-oriented movies and there are special stage shows like the annual pantomime at Joburg Theatre in Johannesburg.
Just like some of the Southern America countries I had visited, South Africa requires proof of Yellow fever vaccination. Make sure you carry your international vaccination book with you before departing. We have our everywhere we go and make sure we get it update with every new vaccination we get. Several times I had witnessed travelers being turned around due to lack of vaccination for lack of proof.
Where to go
To be honest, from what I had leaned, this country is damn too big to decide where to go. On one hand, you can focus on certain area and explore by vehicle. On the other hand, you may book several internal flights so you can explore several provinces on your visit. But regardless, here are several of the more popular destinations:
Kruger National Park is Africa’s oldest established wildlife park (1898) and offers one of the best safari experiences in Africa. It’s situated north of Johannesburg and takes about 5 hours to get to by car. It boasts the highest variety of wildlife in Africa which includes the “Big Five“, hippos, crocodiles, giraffe, cheetah and much more. Kruger is also one of the best maintained parks in Africa. The roads are all good quality and there’s no need to rent a 4×4 vehicle. There’s wheelchair accessibility at most lodges and specialized safari vehicles for those with mobility impairments.
is a highlight of any trip to South Africa. The natural beauty of Cape Town makes it one of the most attractive cities in the world. Cape Town boasts beautiful beaches as well as the impressive Table Mountain right in the heart of the city. The restaurants are world class, and so are the wines. Cape Town is also one of the most culturally diverse cities in Africa and has reputation for social tolerance. oh.. and remember to pay a visit to Cape Town Stadium.
The Drakensburg Mountains stretch the entire length of KwaZulu-Natal’s western boundary, about 600 miles. You can enjoy hiking trails, bird watching, game viewing, horse trails, bushman rock art, guided tours, 4×4 trails, quad bikes, golfing, trout fishing, white water rafting, rock climbing and more.
Also, don’t miss the The Karkloof Canopy Tour, Bushman Rock Art, Kamberg National Park, and Royal Natal National Park.
Enjoy this vast land and more importantly, stay safe.
Credit to images by order:
Image courtesy of domdeen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net (South Africa Flag On Hand)
Image courtesy of Hal Brindley / FreeDigitalPhotos.net (A Lion Cub And Her Mother)
Image courtesy of Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net (African Elephants)
Image courtesy of Cecelia / FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Cape Town Stadium)