No more excuses: The South African Rand is at a historic low, meaning there’s never been a better time to visit this dazzling, diverse destination. With year-over-year savings as high as 27.34 percent, you can save a huge amount on safaris (if your outfitter charges in rands) or a trip to the country's moust famous cities. Even flights to South Africa are more affordable than ever. And every tourist dollar you do spend helps the country develop, leaving its troubled political past further behind.
When it comes to picking an itinerary, you’ll find South Africa is one of those countries where the hardest thing is deciding what not to do. Of course there’s quirky, attractive Cape Town, with its dynamic food and design scenes; there’s the classic Garden Route, with its striking lakes and lagoons alongside the Indian Ocean; eclectic Durban, with its waterfront promenade—the Golden Mile—and Africa-meets-Indian cuisine; and the renowned safari camps of Kruger National Park, where most visitors easily check off sightings of the Big Five.
But South Africa is about much more than these touristy blockbusters. Get off the beaten tourist track, preferably with your own rental car (the country’s roads are incredibly safe and easy to drive on) and you’ll discover a more relaxed, old-fashioned side to the country. From whitewashed villages along the Atlantic to the red sands of the Kalahari and secret valleys beyond the touristy Winelands (you'll still have plenty of wine, with the added treat of historic homesteads, nature reserves, fragrant lavender farms), here is our selection of the country’s definitive, don’t-miss experiences.
Whether it's your first trip to South Africa, or you're returning to see the country like a local—not driven by typical guidebook recommendations—the value of the rand is one excellent reason to book your trip now. And we're giving you ten more, just because.