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Country guide South Africa

When you think of South Africa, you think of wild animals roaming freely in their natural habitat, you think of the vast natural beauty on offer, and then you are reminded of its deeply troubled past. But it's these factors, plus a thousand more that attract millions of visitors each year.

Things to do

The nation invites you to bask in its glorious beaches, explore its remarkable, diverse landscapes and savour some of its spectacular cuisines. With vibrant multicultural cities like Johannesburg to get lost in and breathtaking towns like Prince Albert to retreat to, there is no shortage of places to call home.

Once here, you should get out and explore the famed game reserve, Kruger National Park, or the jaw-dropping vantage point of God's Window in Mpumalanga. As the adventure capital of the world, thrill seekers can partake in countless adrenaline-inducing activities like bungee jumping and cage diving - and with tons more attractions on offer, you'll be truly spoilt for choice.

Places to eat

Many view South African cuisine with a sense of trepidation, mostly because they are anxious about the unfamiliarity of the dishes on offer. But in reality, the cuisine is as diverse as its people. In this sense, the nation caters for all manner of tastes with its exciting assortment of food.

Major cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town reflect this wide variety of choice. So whether you want to challenge your taste buds with fried termites, savour traditional delights like Biltong (jerk beef) or prefer the comforts of western cuisine, you'll find no shortage of restaurants, street vendors, and esteemed venues that specialise in traditional, global or fusion cuisine. Durban, in particular, is famed for its sizzling hot Indian curries.

Having said that, the joy of moving to another country is immersing yourself in the culture, so lose your inhibitions and explore as much as you possibly can!

Shopping

South Africa has been hailed as a shopper's paradise. With numerous shopping centres like Canal Walk in Cape Town and Highland Mews in Mpumalanga, the most seasoned and curious of shoppers can traipse through its grounds in search of the latest wardrobe essentials as well as enjoy the entertainment and food on offer.

Aside from pleasing fashionistas, the nation also caters towards those on the hunt for unique, indigenous wares. Craft markets offer you the chance to explore items handcrafted by artisans all over the continent, while flea markets have stalls packed to the brim with exquisite jewellery, clothing and trinkets.

Through these markets, you get the chance to get a real taste of South African culture, walk away with absolute bargains and find real hidden gems - what more could you ask for?

Getting around

The public transportation system in South Africa is remarkable and although the lengthy distances can seem discouraging, the well organised and maintained networks offer a seamless travel experience.

The best way to travel around South Africa is by car. Roads are well-maintained and signposted and the spectacular scenery is second to none. It also provides the only avenue with which national parks and other hidden tracks can be explored.

Another excellent way to get from A to B is by rail and bus. They both cover some of the most amazing vistas throughout the country and commuters can decide whether they want to travel in economy class or prefer to travel in style. If the aforementioned modes of transport are not available in certain cities or areas, minibus taxis can normally be found.

However, if you're short on time, domestic flights can quickly connect you to your desired location, and if you wish to get in and out of the country, international airports in Johannesburg and Cape Town will help transport you to other parts of the globe. But unless you book in advance or get a non-direct route, flights won't come cheap.

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