Missing Summer? Time to Visit South Africa

Birkenhead House pool

South African Tourism invites you to explore alternative winter escapes this season. With over 2500 km of glittering coastline and with summer on the way, now is the best time to flock to South Africa’s sprawling beaches and take advantage of its outdoor pursuits from safari, water sports, cycling, hiking and more. Below are South African Tourism’s top spots for beach breaks with a twist.

Discover Durban’s Beach & Bush…

Durban’s Golden Mile offers gorgeous stretches of golden sands, sub-tropical sunshine and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. It is a water sport haven where surfers, body boarders and kite-surfers gather to the shores year-round to play in the waves and enjoy the warm temperatures and laid-back lifestyle. Both Durban’s North and South Coast is dotted with Blue flag beaches that are noted for their clean sands and beautiful waters. After a long beach day, retire to sip a cocktail at one of Durban’s prime boutique hotel addresses, The Oyster Box, known for its spectacular ocean views and stylish accommodation. Once you’ve had your fill of sea and sand, head to the bush and explore KwaZulu-Natal’s Big 5 in the nearby Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve which is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa and is a thriving haven for wildlife encounters.

Explore The Northern Cape’s Diamond Coast…

This piece of coastline is off the beaten track. Wild and rugged, the Diamond Coast can be found on South Africa’s Northern Cape. Along the coast, you will find charming locations like Alexander Bay, a previously restricted diamond mining area, which can now be visited on organized tours. Or, if the dramatic shipwrecks along the Northern Cape coastline are more your thing, organized tours and hikes can be arranged for this as well, with a 4×4 trip through the coastal dunes forming part of the shipwreck trail. After you’ve taken in the coastline, plan a visit to Tswalu Kalahari, one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World on South Africa’s largest private game reserve, now protecting over 110,000 hectares of spectacular grasslands and mountains. Discover zebras, giraffes, black-maned lions, and more on a safari by car, foot, or horseback before going back home.

Combine Coast & Winelands in The Western Cape…

The Western Cape is studded with some of the finest beaches including the famed Camps Bay and Clifton Beach near the Mother City. Travelers in the know however can take to Plettenberg Bay. Located along the scenic Garden Route, “Plett” is known for its pristine beaches, picturesque seaside town and its hiking trails along Robberg Peninsula. Those looking for an awe-inspiring marine adventure, can head to Hermanus, one of the the top whale watching destinations in the world. A stay at the intimate Birkenhead House (pictured) is a rewarding experience as the boutique hotel has an exhilarating cliff-top position overlooking the prime whale-watching spot of Walker Bay. The diverse province is also home to South Africa’s famous wine routes in the Cape Winelands. Few places in the world can match the dramatic landscape of Constantia, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, where mountains rise above vine-covered valleys and centuries-old homesteads. Tour the scores of wineries, cellars and dine at the many excellent restaurants in the area. Snag a table at La Petite Colombe – the new foodie’s paradise, which recently opened at Le Quartier Français Hotel in Franschhoek.

No matter what experience a traveler is looking for, South Africa has the perfect coastal holiday for any budget, so pack a swimsuit and sunglasses, and get ready to hit the beach and beyond.

Sample coastal plus packages to South Africa include:

The 10 day Marine and Wildlife Encounter by African Travel Inc, starts from $2,775 for single room occupancy or $6,795 for shared occupancy. This itinerary includes 3 nights in Cape Town, 3 Nights Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, and 3 Nights Shamwari Game Reserve. To reserve call (800) 421-8907 or (818) 507-7893.

The 13 day The Pearl of Africa by Lion World Travel, starts from $3,599 for single room occupancy or $7,399 for shared room occupancy. The trip includes Cape Town and a thrilling safari, combined with a luxurious Rovos Rail train journey and a stop at The Oyster Box in Durban. To reserve call (800) 387-2706.

The 12 day Battlefields, Big Five & Beach by Travel Boecker Adventures, starts from $4,875 per person for shared occupancy. This itinerary includes visits to the historic battlefields of the Anglo-Boer War, hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains and a safari adventure; tracking rhinos on foot and game drives in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, before ending the trip on the pristine shores of the Elephant Coast – Africa’s last unspoilt wilderness beaches. To reserve call (604) 338-9211.

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