1. Go on a wildlife safari The main reason tourists visit Africa is surely to witness the amazing wildlife! Indeed, there is almost nowhere better to do this than South Africa with a variety of both public and private game reserves. The primary game area is the greater Kruger which incorporates a large national park as well as a number of private reserves with accommodation that ranges from self-catering to six-plus star including many activities such as bush or game walks, balloon rides, horse-riding as well as the more traditional game drives. 2. Find out about the origins of man at Maropeng Johannesburg is the main airport hub of South Africa. It is actually the main port of call for the whole of Southern Africa and is a more ideal route from Australia to East Africa. In this way, most tourists touch down in Jo-burg at some point during a visit to South Africa; thus it is not necessary to go far out of one’s way to visit the fascinating exhibition of Maropeng. This exhibition focuses on the development of humankind and our ancestors over the past few million years. Based in the cradle of humankind (so named because of evidence found locally which seems to indicate that mankind in its current form emerged here) a visit to Maropeng is a sensational and unique day trip! 3. Have a cultural experience by visiting a local village Depending on where your trip takes you, there are a number of local villages from which to choose a genuine “cultural” experience. Justicia in the Sabi Sands arranges visits from at least one nearby lodge where the villagers welcome visitors with open arms, anxious and proud to reveal their way of life. Another worthy cultural experience is a called Emzini, a township located near Knysna on the picturesque garden route. The tour offers an opportunity to meet many locals, savour their wares and even arrange a new hairstyle! Visit the brightly illustrated, Nigerian Restaurant and receive a very warm welcome at the Paula Whitney Pre School. A friend of ours even had the luck to participate in a wedding! 4. Explore one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Cape Town While in South Africa, take time out from your game viewing to savour at least some of what this beautiful city has to offer. Cape Town is a city with a small radius with most attractions (and there are a whole host of attractions) within an hour’s drive. These include the picturesque winelands, the dramatic coast (where you can witness the meeting of the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans and see for yourself the boundary line stretching the whole way to the horizon) and history aplenty. There is even adventure — starting with a climb of the iconic Table Mountain (the more sedentary can take the cable car) to the more extreme of white shark diving. 5. Visit a sanctuary Sanctuaries are dotted all over South Africa. My personal favourite is the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre which started as a rescue centre for orphan cheetahs and has now morphed to include may other creatures, great and small including a recent orphaned rhino. But be careful not to support “supposed” sanctuaries that do not treat their charges well or, for example, supply the canned hunting industry. Lions that have been habituated to human contact as cubs such as those raised in petting zoos or used in “walks with lions” type encounters generally cannot be returned to the wild and so must either remain in the sanctuary or become fodder for the hunting industry. Unfortunately the latter is usually the case. Other sanctuaries that are on Destinations Africa’s recommended list include Mahololo in Mpumalanga, Tenikwa which is just outside Plettenberg Bay and Addo Elephant Park which is close to Port Elizabeth and is the third largest park in South Africa. In Summary South Africa has a great deal to offer and with the local currency, the South African Rand, weak against most first world currencies, offers the best value for money for a wildlife safari. We’re passionate about Africa; it’s in our blood and we’d love the chance to show you the real Africa — the Africa with a difference!