South Africa is vast, so when planning a visit you’ll need to weigh up what you can and can’t squeeze in. Check out Wanderlust readers' top tips for making the most of your trip...
"South Africa is more than safaris and sauvignon blanc. Start your day in Cape Town by heading down to the V&A Food Market for breakfast."
— Sidrah Arif
"Take the tram from Franschhoek to tour the Western Cape’s wine estates. Boschendal had some of the best food I have ever eaten."
— Gill Bond
"Head to Cape Agulhas – it is well worth the detour on the Garden Route drive. The food in nearby Struisbaai, a cool, artsy small town, is also lovely."
— Jenna Maghie
"Go kayaking in the Knysna River. We went early morning, and saw birds nesting in the banks, monkeys swimming, fish eagles and countless other birds and animals. We were the only people kayaking there. It was completely calm and quiet."
— Saskia Howard
"If heading to Hermanus to see the whales, stop off at Betty’s Bay for its penguins – it’s less crowded than the better-known Boulders Beach."
— Joy Fowler
"Take a helicopter tour in Cape Town. You'll go over the stadium, round Table Mountain, along the coast, and even go as far as the Cape. It was a small helicopter that seated up to five people - it was like flying in a glass bubble - not cheap, but worth every penny."
— Judith Isherwood
"Try a horseback safari. It gets you closer to the wildlife. We went to Ants Nest and had many close encounters with the rhinos."
— John Graham
"Try the cage diving at Shark Alley off Gansbaai – the great whites are amazing.”
— Sharon Spencer
"I recommend you buy a Sanparks Wildcard which enables cheaper visits to over 80 national parks for 365 days. "
— Steve Haley
— David Nicholson
"Take out cash in the airport when you arrive, the exchange rate is usually better than at home."
— Jennifer Cryans
"Make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen and a big hat."
— Andrea Farrar
"Pack for all weathers, one minute it may be scorching hot, the next, heavy rain, be prepared."
— Leanne Smith
"Take a couple of days to visit Lesotho via the Sani Pass – the scenery en route is jaw-dropping, particularly the 27-corner zig-zag 4WD climb up the mountain pass through the clouds to the border, not forgetting to stop off at the highest pub in Africa."
— Ewan Savoury
"There’s a great walk in Hermanus along the cliffs, with just pretty fynbos and cheeky dassies (rock hyrax) for company."
— Tommy Brundin
"To see the real South Africa, jump on the Shosholoza Meyl train in Jo’burg and rattle your way past golden hills, unpronounceable towns and moon-like expanses as you cross the Great Karoo en route to the Winelands and Cape Town."
— Joe Olding
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