Highlights of South Africa


Veda Reddy, Planetwildlife CEO


“Whether you love safaris, adventure, cities, beaches, mountains, history, culture or all of the above, you know there’s always a wow moment lying around every South African corner” - South Africa Tourism. The above summarizes South Africa perfectly. I spent 15 ‘wow’ days in this beautiful country and beauty just can’t be described in words.

Cape Town and around

On my first trip over to South Africa with family, Cape Town was the first stop after a long flight from India. I spent one wonderful week in this beautiful city. Over the week in Cape Town, I visited the V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain, Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Beach, Robben Island, Bo-Kaap, Cape Winelands (Stellenbosch & Franschhoek). Stunning sceneries, great lifestyle and friendly people make Cape Town stand out from all those excellent places around the world. I loved Cape Town so much I couldn’t leave!


Oudtshoorn - famous for its ostrich farms.

The drive from Cape Town to Oudtshoorn (pronounced oats-horn) was absolutely beautiful. It’s located in the Swartberg mountains, and the views as we drove through them were incredible. On arrival in Oudtshoorn, we visited the Cango Caves (Cango - the place of water). What a spectacle! It is full of stalactites and stalagmites, some of which have been dated as being 850,000 years old with the newest ones being 'only' 250,000 years old. We saw the 7-meter tall stalagmite called Cleopatra’s Needle. The fantastic acoustics in the cave made it a natural concert hall for orchestral performances, until the 1990s when it was stopped due to people vandalising the caves for stalactite souvenirs.

Next day, our first stop was Cango Ostrich Farm. We went on a guided tour of the farm where we saw all aspects of ostrich farming & ostriches! We had the opportunity to feed and meet the ostrich up close. One can even ride the Ostrich at the end of the tour. Next, we visited the Cango Wildlife Ranch and Conservation centre. It was basically like a zoo where you can see a huge variety of animals including Africa’s spotted king, the cheetah. From the slithering snake to the majestic lion, you will find all you want here. To add to the thrill element, you get to pet a few animals - one of the most interactive and exciting activity here.


Knysna - jewel of the Garden Route

Our next stop was Knysna. It is located in an attractive lagoon, with great accommodation and restaurants, and is the gateway to the surrounding countryside. We enjoyed beautiful views of the lagoon as well as Knysna from the Eastern Head. The Western Head is a privately-owned nature reserve called the Featherbed Nature Reserve. Turning our attention to the town, Knysna is surrounded by hills and mountains covered in lush vegetation. The main street has small boutiques and shops, and the lively waterfront is home to many restaurants and bars where you can dine while watching the sunset over the Heads. The craft shops and flea markets are a good to stroll around. Adrenalin junkies can try the Bungy Jump – Bloukrans Bridge – approx.70 kilometres from Knysna, is the highest bridge Bungy jump in the world.


Kruger National Park - for the safari lovers

We flew to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, and decided to self drive in Kruger. The last 4 days were very well spent at Kruger National Park, which is located in the northeastern part of the country. It’s almost 20,000 square kilometers and bordered by Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Kruger is about the same size as Israel, in case you were trying to picture how large this natural reserve is! The park has 21 rest camps and 15 designated private safari lodges. We stayed at 3 different camps inside Kruger : at Satara in a bungalow a few feet from the fence where hyenas liked to take walks early mornings, at Berg-en-Dal in a 2-bedroom cottage along the river where elephants took mud baths and at Lower Sabie along the Sabie River where we could see hippos and buffalo just outside the tent.

Our days in Kruger started at 5:30 am and finished at 6 pm. I never enjoyed driving as much as I did in Kruger. We had an incredible time spotting the Big Five (African elephant, Rhinoceros, African lion, African leopard and Cape buffalo) and soaking in the raw, natural beauty of South Africa. We also came across impalas, warthogs, baboons, kudus, vultures, wildebeests, springboks, ostriches, crocodiles, hippos, zebras, giraffes, just to name a few.

On our last morning we had a scrumptious breakfast, got our bags ready and packed up the car for the drive back to Mpumalanga airport. As I left the Park, I promised myself that I would come back to this magical world again!

You may also like :

Planning a trip to South Africa? Our Africa experts will guide you throughout and help you plan a perfect trip! For more travel information about South Africa, email to travel@planetwildlife.com.