South Africa is an incredible destination in so many ways - it is the kind of destination that will touch all of your senses in a myriad of ways, and once all is said and done you probably won't be the same again. Our incredible diversity is a key attraction - from the deserts of the Kgalagadi to the lush green forests of Tsitsikamma to the unspoilt beaches of the Wild Coast to the vibrant nightlife of Cape Town - we really do have it all.
South Africa is mercurial in nature, one moment you'll be exploring the origins of ancient man, the next you're cage-diving with Great White Sharks and the next you're drinking traditional beer in a lively township shebeen. South Africa really is a destination where you can experience it all, more.
South Africa is located, as one might expect, on the southern tip of Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, the Indian Ocean on the south and east. Along its northern border, from west to east, lie Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, and to the northeast are Mozambique and Swaziland. Wholly-enclosed by South Africa, and situated in its eastern central plain, is the independent kingdom of Lesotho.
Almost all of South Africa's 472,000 square miles (1.2 million sq. km.) lie below the Tropic of Capricorn, and the country is geographically composed of three primary regions: an expansive central plateau, a nearly continuous escarpment of mountain ranges that ring the plateau on the west, south, and east, and a narrow strip of low-lying land along the coast. Most of the central plateau (and most of the country) consists of high (4,000-6,000 ft/1,220-1,830 m), rolling grassland known as highveld. The highest points of the mountainous escarpment are found in the stunning Drakensberg (dragon's back) Mountains, where the tips of dragon's back can exceed heights of 10,000 ft (3,050 m).
In the northwest, South Africa's Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, one of the continent's largest game reserves, extends into the red sands and scrub grasslands of the great Kalahari Desert. In the northeast, the highveld plateau descends to the Bushveld and Limpopo River basins. The Bushveld comprises South Africa's extensive savanna, in which is found the country's marvelously rich and diverse game reserve, the world-renowned Kruger National Park.
Although South Africa's climate varies considerably across its various regions and environments, temperatures remain comfortable throughout the year. The best time to visit for safari is between May to August, when there is less rain and much less dense vegetation, making animal sightings far more frequent.