There are many reasons to want to travel to and around South Africa. The stunning natural beauty; the many things to do in our bustling cities; our big game; and so much more. And some incredible experiences that are quite unique to our part of the world, too. Experiences that you won’t easily find elsewhere. Here are five of those experiences.
A 360-degree cinema in the middle of the bush
One of Africa’s first commercial 360 cinemas opened in the heart of the iconic Kruger National Park at the Kruger Station last year. The KRUGER 360 Cinema is built like a cylinder with a 360 wrap-around screen inside that gives guests an immersive viewing experience, no matter which way they are facing. Viewers will sit on chairs that swivel and rotate in order to give them the full 360 experience. Movies screened at the cinema run during the operational hours of the Kruger Station and focus on conservation stories. It’s a special experience as you would be very hard pressed to find such a high-tech entertainment experience in another safari location or nature reserve.
Climb one of the New7Wonders of Nature
By definition, you can see six other Wonders of Nature, of course. But Table Mountain, with its flat top beauty, is in the middle of a bustling city, whereas the rest of the New7Wonders all require a bit of a trip to get to. Halong Bay in Vietnam, for example, requires a boat cruise in order to really appreciate the stunning area. The incredible Igauzu Falls in Brazil also requires some careful planning. You can access it from Buenos Aires in Argentina or from Rio de Janeiro. From either of these cities you would then need to fly or take a bus to Iguazu, and then drive to see the falls. Table Mountain, on the other hand, is accessible to almost anyone staying in or visiting Cape Town and can be viewed without much effort at all. Getting to the top will require booking tickets for the cable car – which offers spectacular views of both the mountain and the city below – or hiking up the mountain, the latter of which is free.
Explore the biggest man-made urban forest in the world
You might be surprised to hear that the biggest man-made forest in the world is in the city of Johannesburg. With over 10 million trees dotted around the city, the City of Gold looks a lot like a rain forest when viewed from the air. And, if viewed at the right time, it’s filled with colour as the Jacaranda trees, imported in the 1800s from South America, light up the streets with purple.
Experience the Big Seven all in one place
You’ve probably heard of the Big Five – the lion, leopard, black rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo. These can be seen in a number of different parts of Africa. The Big Seven, however, is a bit different as the additional two animals – the Southern Right whale and the Great White shark – are best spotted in South Africa. In fact, in just one trip to and around South Africa, you could tick every Big Seven animal off your list.
Have the best whale watching experience
This one is a bit cheeky as you can whale watch from a lot of places around the world, but the best viewing is definitely in South Africa. Many whale pods swim through and past our waters during their mating seasons. In fact, whale watching is so big here that towns such as Hermanus have dedicated whale festivals to entice visitors to the area.