South Africa Tips For Travellers: How To Make The Most Of Your South African Adventure

These South African tips come to you in partnership with Fred.\ Discover. In this series of tips we explore some must-see sights you should consider if thinking of visiting.

How To Make The Most Of Your South African Adventure

‘The Big Five’, Table Mountain, wine and great whites… these are just some of the images conjured up when thinking of South Africa. It’s often hard to choose which of the country’s star attractions you should make time for when planning a trip here – but thankfully, there are many tours available that enable you to see all of these and more, as well get an insight into parts of South Africa that you may not have heard of before.

Travelling South Africa by rail is a fantastic way to ‘see it all’, and combining this with a land tour or the obligatory wildlife safari really will enable you to see this fantastic country at its best!

We take a look at some highlights of the Rainbow Nation that you can visit with our friends at Fred.\ Discover as part of their Cape Town to Victoria Falls luxury rail trip.

The Historical Village of Matjiesfontein

Established in 1883 as a ‘health resort’ thanks to the fresh Karoo air that was believed to cure lung problems, Matjiesfontein has welcomed such guests as Rudyard Kipling and Sir Winston Churchill’s dad to its streets. The village’s main hotel, the Lord Milner, is said to be haunted by the ‘playful’ ghosts of the Anglo-Boer war, while its museums are home to an impressive collection of vintage cars and Victorian memorabilia.

Matjiesfontein Milner Hotel

Matjiesfontein Milner Hotel

Kimberley’s Extraordinary Big Hole

Not as strange as it first may seem, the Big Hole is actually an open pit and underground diamond mine in Kimberley, South Africa. It is disputed to be the largest mine excavated by hand and, whilst operations ceased here in 1914, you can still visit the Mine Museum to learn all about the diamond rush that took this area by storm in the 1800s. The museum gives you an insight into what the town would have looked like back when people came from far and wide to try and uncover their fortune. There’s also a replica of the rock they were all looking for and a viewing platform from which you can look down into the Big Hole itself.

Big Hole Kimberley South Africa

Big Hole Kimberley South Africa

The Penguins Of Boulders Beach

Cape Town is such an intriguing city with so much to do that there’s always a reason to return in the future. From the Table Mountain cable car to the various different wineries of the cape, the activities are as diverse as the people you’ll meet. One thing that will appeal to animal fans, though, is the chance to see some of Cape Town’s cutest residents down on Boulder Beach. A breathtaking boardwalk will take you right through a colony of African penguins as they waddle around you and return from the sea with fish in their mouths. Not the typical wildlife encounter you would expect in Africa.

Penguins Of Boulders Beach

Penguins Of Boulders Beach

The Natural Beauty Of Pretoria

Pretoria is home to a few spots which demonstrate the beauty of the city and indeed the whole of South Africa. The endangered Jacaranda trees stand proudly on the side of the streets, adding a striking purple hue to their surroundings thanks to their vibrant blossoms. Across town, in the Wonderboom Nature Reserve, a 1000 year old fig tree stands surrounded by daughter seedlings that have grown to create a peaceful shaded area spanning 50 metres across. Incidentally, Pretoria is also home to the longest urban road in South Africa, the perfect place to see a different side of the city and learn of its often turbulent past.

Fred.\ Discover is currently offering an exclusive Cape Town to Victoria Falls 15-day adventure, including a trip on the ‘most luxurious train in the world’, with Rovos Rail. It’s a great way to see many of Southern Africa’s highlights in one trip.

Rovos Rail Steam Engine

Rovos Rail Steam Engine

Watch my video of the remarkable Rovos Rail and trip I took on the train a few years ago:


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Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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