I was surprised how much Cape Town reminded me of Vancouver — don’t miss this city by the sea if you’re in the region.
Also on your must-see list: a day trip down to Cape Point to see where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans supposedly meet, the jackass penguins near Simon’s Town, and strolling (and eating!) your way through the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. The Victoria and Alfred Hotel is a good choice for a place to stay right on the water in Cape Town (fab breakfast buffets too, where I ate almost enough passionfruit to satisfy me).
A safari is also essential. All my safari tips are on the safari page. The most popular place to see game is Kruger National Park, for good reason. I loved my stay at Thornybush Game Lodge and safaris in their private reserve just on the edge of Kruger. Their staff work hard to show you both the big five and the little five.
My writing on South Africa:
- A South African safari: Can you get TOO close to nature? (for The Travelettes).
- Eating in Cape Town; restaurant recommendations.
- South African cuisine: Smiley (fire-roasted goat head) and other specialties (for World Travel Buzz); includes a recipe for the South African dessert malva pudding.
- Thornybush Game Lodge (near Kruger National Park) (for Luxury And Boutique Hotels).
- The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa (near Cape Town); the ideal place to relax pre- or post-safari.