Country guide South Africa

The allure is evident. Vivacious cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban offer a cosmopolitan way of life that's not too dissimilar to the likes of major European cities, as well as the opportunity to escape to gorgeous beaches, meet people from all walks of life and discover some of the nation's varied wildlife.

Sights and Attractions

Long stretches of white sandy beaches, rugged mountains and rolling red dunes characterise some of South Africa's enchantingly diverse vistas. Although the country is haunted by its troubled past, it continues to charm millions of people each year, who come to the nation seeking a lifestyle centred on adventure.

On days off you can come face-to-face with sharks, paraglide over stunning beaches, or hike up Table Mountain. If, however, you prefer to take it easy, a day spent exploring the spectacular natural wonders of South Africa help ensure that no two days will ever be the same.

Restaurants and Cafes

South African Cuisine is varied to say the least. Dishes range from either authentically traditional, international or an eclectic fusion of the two. In this sense, all tastes, whether adventurous or safe, will be catered for.

Whether it's a simple snack, generous meal or a luxurious treat that you're pining for, you'll be able to find a rich selection of world-class restaurants in all the major cities, offering you some of the finest dining experiences possible. In particular, Jordan Restaurant in Stellenbosch and DW Eleven-13 knock up excellent interpretations of their exquisite fusion cuisine.

If, however, you want to get a real taste of South African culture, then you'll have to visit a traditional, authentic eatery, but finding such eateries amidst a sea of afro-international diners can prove quite difficult. AmaZink in Stellenbosch gets our nod of approval as a particularly distinguished venue, serving up tasty local favourites like Potjiekos – a hearty stew, among other local specialities – which will allow you to truly immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine.

Shopping

If you, like the South Africans, have a die-hard passion for shopping, you're in for a real treat!

Modern shopping complexes such as Somerset Mall in Cape Town and the Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Durban house cinemas, restaurants and hundreds of independent boutiques and speciality stores. Fortunately, such complexes can also be found in every major city, meaning you'll never be too far away from fulfilling your style needs.

You can also spend your spare time perusing through many of South Africa's fascinating craft and flea markets. You can explore crafts from all over the continent and come across real gems and unique treasures or discover an assortment of handmade clothing, fine jewellery, trinkets and delightful food to sample. Both types of markets offers endless amounts of amusement and the opportunity to mingle with the locals.

Travel

South Africa is a large nation. One that needs a well-oiled transport infrastructure in place to ensure that travel to, from and around the country is as simple and hassle-free as possible.

Driving is by far the best way to discover the beautiful terrain of this wondrous nation and well-maintained and signposted roads help aid this experience. Driving also provides the only way in which many of the country's rural attractions can be explored.

Other excellent modes of transportation include bus and rail. These methods are particularly great as not only can passengers conveniently get from A to B, but they can also choose to travel in style. The Blue Train and Intercape buses, in particular, provide users with comfort and luxuriously opulent finishes. However, in spite of the added extravagance they are still the slowest methods of transport.

For commuters with no time to waste, the option to travel swiftly from city to city via a selection of domestic flights at a number of the country's airports is an attractive alternative. Some airports also provide international travel offering commuters with easy access to other parts of the world.

Currency zone

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