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Vacations in South Africa: these are the most beautiful places

While it's cold and dark here in Germany, the sun is shining in South Africa. When we have winter, summer begins on the other side of the globe. This makes South Africa a popular travel destination, especially from December to February. We have been to Cape Town and the surrounding area ourselves and have collected our best tips for you 

South Africa: The 5 most beautiful places and routes 

With an area of around 1.22 square kilometers, South Africa is three and a half times the size of Germany. There are countless places that are worth seeing and great experiences that you should definitely not miss. 
Which are our favorites, we tell you here: 

#1 Cape Town 

Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and breathtakingly beautiful mountains, which are bathed in magical light from late afternoon onwards, lies Cape Town. South Africa's second largest metropolis after Johannesburg is considered by many to be the most beautiful city in the world. It is the only city with over a million inhabitants that is located directly next to a national park, is surrounded by two oceans (Atlantic and Indian) and has whales and dolphins right "on its doorstep".

To make the most of this uniquely beautiful location, we recommend accommodation in the Green Point, Sea Point and Camps Bay districts - i.e. close to the water. Here you wake up every morning with a view of the sea and can then decide: Do I want to spend my day relaxing on the beach, would I rather head into the city center or visit one of the surrounding wine regions? It is the diversity of Cape Town that will give you countless memories. 

What you should definitely do in Cape Town:
  • Enjoy the 360° panorama on Table Mountain
  • Hike up Lion's Head at sunrise (in a large group please)
  • Drive to Bo-Kaap
  • to Clifton 4th Beach
  • tasting many delicacies at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market
  • a wine tasting in Stellenbosch, Paarl or Franschhoek 

#2 Garden Route 

If you like long road trips, you will love the Garden Route. Officially, the route along the N2 only starts in Mossel Bay. However, if you have flown to Cape Town, you can also start your journey on South Africa's most famous road from here. You should plan around 10-14 days to Port Elizabeth and back. The more time you have in your luggage, the more relaxed your road trip will be, taking you along the coast - on sections that couldn't be more varied. So, start the engine and go. 

The best stops on the route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth:
  • via the Chapman's Peak Drive to the Cape of Good Hope (more on this later)
  • Whale Watching in the "Whale Capital of the World" Hermanus
  • hike to the Klipgat Caves in De Kelders
  • at the southernmost point of Africa in Cape Agulhas and gaze to the "end of the world"
  • walk through endless dunes with a view of the turquoise sea in De Hoop Nature Reserve
  • in Mossel Bay on the fantastic St. Blaize Hiking Trail
  • rent a kayak in Wilderness and experience nature from the water
  • marvel at the unique lagoons in Knysna
  • take a swimming break in Plettenberg Bay
  • hike in Tsitsikamma National Park
  • learn to surf in Jeffreys Bay
  • from Port Elizabeth to Addo Elephant Park 
From Port Elizabeth, you can then take Route 62 back to Cape Town. Here, for example, you can pass through Oudtshoorn and visit an ostrich farm or - before you arrive back in Cape Town - spend another night at a winery in Franschhoek

#3 Cape of Good Hope with Boulders Beach 

The shorter road trip alternative to the Garden Route is a day trip to the Cape Peninsula. From Cape Town, set off by car in the direction of Hout Bay. This is where the Chapman's Peak Drive starts - probably the most beautiful panoramic road in the world, which winds along the coast 150 meters above the sea and reveals the next breathtaking view of bays, cliffs and the sea around every bend. It is around 44 kilometers to the Cape of Good Hope. 

On arrival at the Cape, you can take your souvenir photo at the famous wooden plaque, enjoy the boundless view over the ocean and discover the unique fynbos vegetation with wild orchids and proteas. 

Two more highlights await you on the return journey: make sure you stop off at Boulders Beach in Simons Town. The beach is a natural area for numerous penguins, who waddle across the sand, swim in the sea and also like to pose for photos. In Muizenberg, you can then soak up the relaxed lifestyle of many surfers. Sit down in one of the many cool cafés, watch the surfers and enjoy the famous colorful beach huts. 

#4 Kruger National Park 

An area the size of Rhineland-Palatinate, 180 different mammals and amphibians, 500 bird species, the Big Five in the wild - Kruger National Park is probably one of the most beautiful and exciting places in the world. Since it was founded in 1898, the aim here has been to protect the diversity of the country and give animals a safe home. 

You can either drive through South Africa's largest game reserve yourself in your car or go on safari with a ranch ranger. We recommend booking a tour: 

You take a seat in one of these typical jeeps, sit a little higher up and can relax and look left and right instead of concentrating on the road. At the same time, you will learn lots of exciting and interesting facts from the ranger and always get the best tips on which direction you should look in order to spot the animals. 

#5 Durban 

After Johannesburg and Cape Town, Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and is still a real insider tip. Here you can experience a pulsating cultural mix like no other place. The atmosphere and architecture is characterized by Zulu, colonial and Indian influences - and when it comes to food, you will also discover an incredible mix of diversity here. Durban is also known as "Surfer's Paradise" and for its many other outdoor activities. No matter where you go, there is always something going on in the fresh air. You'll encounter joggers, inline skaters and people on mountain bikes. And of course, you can also get active. Durban is perfect for a sporty vacation.  

One last tip: Be sure to drive out to the Valley of a Thousand Hills and explore the landscape and nature here. 

More inspiration from Africa and Cape Town 

Are you absolutely in love with the continent of Africa? Then a trip to Namibia might be something for you Here we have put together a safari road trip through the country for you.

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