Addo Elephant National Park
Elephants are easy to spot in this park in the Eastern Cape, which is also home to black rhino, buffalo and antelope. The elephant section was proclaimed in 1931, when only eleven elephants remained; today there are more than 450. Enjoy guided game drives, and horse, hiking and 4x4 trails.
Johannesburg's excellent and moving Apartheid Museum tells the story of racially segregated South Africa. Your entrance ticket comes in "white" and "non-white" versions, determining which entrance you're allowed to use. The story is told through photographs, artefacts, newspaper clippings and film footage.
Boulders Beach penguins
A large colony of endearing African penguins make their home on a protected part of Boulders Beach in Simonstown, near Cape Town, and a small entrance fee lets you get up close and personal. Do take care when driving there - sometimes they waddle across the roads.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
This extraordinarily beautiful landscaped garden, created by Cecil Rhodes in 1895 on the lower slopes of Table Mountain, is dedicated to indigenous plants and flowers, particularly those unique to the Cape. Sunday evening concerts in the summer make a perfect venue for sundowners.
Learn about the wars between the Zulus, Afrikaans and British (1830-1902) by exploring the frontline in northern KwaZulu-Natal: an area of rolling grassland and rocky hills, marked by graves, memorials and monuments.
Panorama Route, Mpumalanga
At the top of the spectacularly scenic Blyde River Canyon in the northern Drakensberg are waterfalls, dramatic mountains, plunging cliffs and gorges. Blyde River Canyon, God's Window and the astonishing Bourke's Luck Potholes are highlights, along with the Pilgrim's Rest, a restored gold rush town.
A short ferry trip from Cape Town takes you to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists were jailed. Tours are conducted by former political prisoners themselves for an accurate account of life at the time.
This scenic drive takes you through the Breede Valley and charming little towns of Tulbagh, Worcester, Wellington and Ceres with their fine old buildings, quaint museums, stunning scenery, vineyards and fruit orchards.
Spring flowers in Namaqualand
The arid Namaqualand region explodes with colour between mid-August and mid-September, when wild flowers blanket the landscape. The West Coast National Park is one of the best places to see the phenomenon.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
Cape Town's main hub, the V&A Waterfront is a beautifully restored old Victorian harbour. It houses masses of shops, a craft market, an excellent aquarium, cinemas, a jazz club, bars and restaurants.
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