South Africa, the most accessible of the African nations (and host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup), provides experiences like no other country in the world. The contrasts of its natural beauty and its tragic past have today created a destination of wonder, exploration, and discovery.

Cape Town (one of the world’s most beautiful cities) and the coastal cities blend elegant restaurants and shops with local anglers and the occasional seal. The famous Victoria and Albert Waterfront and Mariners’ Wharf is an attraction in itself, and the sea offers whale watching and – for more intrepid travelers – diving with Great White sharks.

Inland, the Cango Caves, gold mines, and the Seven Passes Road will astonish visitors, and oenophiles will find delight in the centuries-old wineries surrounded by parks hosting South Africa’s varied flora and fauna. Johannesburg provides famous urban ambience and a chance to see traditional township life in Soweto.

Africa is famous for its flora and fauna, and South Africa presents an amazing variety of opportunities, from the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (one of the most beautiful gardens in the world) to Kruger Park which is home to all of the “famous” African animals.

For people interested in the more “traditional” aspects of South Africa, the Durban area yields insight to the Zulu nation, while Swaziland is a worthwhile side trip to see a king-based culture.

South Africa’s elevation creates a climate hospitable to travel at any time of the year. The dry season (June to September) is prime for safaris and whale watching, while November to March is ideal for centering a visit on Cape Town and its many exciting options.