I’ve been twice to South Africa, in 2012 and then in 2018 in honour of Nelson Mandela’s centenary. I’ve visited Johannesburg including Soweto, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, as well as Kruger National Park. I’d love to see more of Port Elizabeth in particular … I hear there’s amazing dolphin spotting there!
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:
- For Forbes, Mark Mandela Day by planing a trip to commemorate human rights.
- Featured in this piece simultaneously published by MSN and Reader’s Digest:
- I’ve been to 60 countries but these 6 changed me forever (MSN version, a slideshow).
- I’ve been to 60 countries but these 6 changed me forever (Reader’s Digest version, all on one page).
- Including South Africa’s Addo Elephant National Park, for Reader’s Digest, 8 of the most endangered elephants in the world. My mentions of Thula Thula, a game reserve near Durban, South Africa, didn’t make it into the final version, but the elephants there mourned the death of a human who saved them. Check out their website for stories and books written about the incredible elephants there.
- For USA Today, Culture in South Africa.
- For USA Today, History of Sun City, South Africa.
- For Talk Travel, South Africa’s 2019 Travel Indaba, about the continent’s biggest travel show, in the city of Durban.
- Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela (for Talk Travel, July 2018 issue, also on pages 10-11 of this Issuu version).
- For Boutique Travel, Five not to be missed hotels for food lovers, including Cape Town’s Table Bay Hotel (plus Panama City’s The Bristol, and — yes really — even a Mexican all-inclusive resort, Hotel Xcaret Mexico).
- 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.