South Africa

Safaris, Soccer & Surfing

Nicknamed the Rainbow Nation for its colorful mix of cultures, South Africa is a vast and diverse country with a landscape that ranges from rugged mountain ranges to pristine beaches. Covering over 470,000 square miles, South Africa boasts a plethora of natural wonders, including Kruger National Park up north, a wildlife reserve that spans over 7,500 square miles and is home to the "Big Five:" lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, and rhinos.

West of the park is Johannesburg, a bustling metropolis with a rich history, showcased in the Apartheid Museum. In the east are the Drakensberg Mountains, which have the best hiking trails in the country. Down on the southwest tip is where you’ll find Cape Town, a popular destination and for good reason. It offers stunning views from Table Mountain and other historical landmarks such as Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years.

South Africa's cultural heritage is also evident in its architecture, art, and music. The country is known for its vibrant music scene, with genres such as jazz and kwaito originating from South Africa. The country's eclectic population has also influenced its cuisine, with dishes such as bobotie, a traditional South African meatloaf, and biltong, a type of dried meat, being popular local delicacies. Be sure to get out of your comfort zone and try something new!


  • Cage diving with great white sharks in Gansbaai or Mossel Bay
  • Wine tasting and vineyards in the regions of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek
  • Go on a safari in a game reserve like Sabi Sands, the Eastern Cape Game Reserves, or a national park 
  • Boulders Beach in Cape Town, the famous beach for penguins
  • The Garden Route, a 200-km stretch of coastline, offers towering cliffs, forests, and breathtaking beaches
  • Bo Kaap is a colorfully-painted suburb of Cape Town 

Before You Go

  • Check the South African government's website or with your local embassy to confirm visa requirements before you travel
  • Malaria is present in some parts of the country, so take appropriate precautions and check with your doctor to make sure you have all the medications/vaccinations you need
  • South Africa’s climate varies on the region, but the country generally has warm summers (Dec-Feb) and cool winters (June-Aug). Shoulder seasons can be a good time to avoid crowds 
  • Renting a car is the best way to see the country! 
  • English is the most widely spoken language but since there are a whopping 11 official languages, it still might be helpful to learn some other basic phrases 

Tips and Tricks

  • South Africa uses the South African Rand (ZAR) as its currency. ATMs are widely available, but it's a good idea to have some cash on hand as well
  • It's customary to tip around 10-15% in restaurants, and to tip hotel staff, tour guides, and taxi drivers
  • It's considered impolite to show the soles of your feet or point with your finger, and some areas may have specific dress codes for religious or cultural reasons - something to be aware of 
  • South Africa has a good road network but some roads can be narrow and poorly maintained in some areas. Driving at night is not recommended due to the risk of carjacking and other crimes
  • Take precautions such as not carrying too much cash, avoiding walking alone at night, and keeping valuables out of sight

O' Two Hotel
O' Two Hotel provides luxury accommodation featuring an outdoor swimming pool on the rooftop with panoramic views of Cape Town. Each room boasts a large balcony to soak up the natural beauty of the surrounds.
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Things to do

Check out these activities provided by our partner, Viator. If you’re a Dónde member, purchase these by logging into
Full Day Ultimate Pilanesberg National Park Safari from Johannesburg or Pretoria
The Pilanesberg National Park is home to Africa’s Big Five—lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo.
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Shark Cage Diving and Viewing from Cape Town
This full-day shark-diving experience puts you within touching distance of one of the world’s most feared predators.
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Cape of Good Hope and Penguins Full-Day Tour
Traverse the Cape peninsular in a small group and discover the most dramatic coast in the world.
Learn more


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