Before going to South Africa I had heard it was a great place, but it’s never the same thing hearing it as it is living it. Yet, I will still do the same thing – tell you why I loved South Africa and why you should add it to your own travel bucket list.
South Africa is Beautiful
Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula is beautiful. There is great scenery along the coastal areas and there is lots of that. Sharp drops in the coastline, beaches, blue oceans, rocky areas, towns, and wildlife.
I did not visit the Garden Route or the wineries but I hear they are also beautiful. On our train ride we did pass some wineries, and mountainous scenery almost worthy of the 30 hour train ride.
Coming from a suburb of NYC, squirrels are wildlife. Raccoons are dangerous animals! In South Africa it’s very different. There’s the Big 5, Zebra, Baboons, Ostrich and of course giraffes. Yes, many of it is in game areas or parks, but my local “game area” is a petting zoo.
The food is great in South Africa; yes, some of it is a little extreme – don’t think I’ve seen Ox Tail or Kudu on a menu here. But for the price, I had some fabulous meals and even tried Springbuck, which was delicious. I’m more of a casual wine drinker, but found a couple great wines there and even bought some with tall horses (giraffes) on the label.
South Africa has tons of history. It starts with the Dutch coming, then the English, civil war and finally Apartheid. Unfortunately, like most history, it’s sad history. But it adds a certain depth to the country, the type of history that makes a stronger populous.
I’ve been to a lot of places in the world, and the people of South Africa were the most hospitable people I have encountered. Yes, I found a few pushy ones. But overall, everyone had a smile on their face and was happy to help. When they asked how you were doing or if you enjoyed something, they did it in a way where you knew they genuinely cared, and not that they were asking because it was the polite thing to do.
Would I return to South Africa? Absolutely! South Africa is a developed nation, and a good place to start a trip through Africa, you’ll find people and places are very accommodating to Westerners.