Given the sheer scale of South Africa, totalling some 471,443 sq mi in fact, it is these vast dimensions that allow the Rainbow Nation to possess some of the most varied travellers’ retreats in the world.
While the versatile Cape Town may represent the most celebrated destination in South Africa in terms of her heavy presence on the front of holiday brochures and African travel website splashes – quite rightfully given the presence of the jaw dropping Table Mountain – the country also boasts holidays for the adventurer in the form of safaris in the Kruger National Park, historical types in the form of Johannesburg and sub worshippers in the form of Durban with her long stretches of golden sands.
With specific destinations appealing to differing tastes, we thought we would line up two potential destinations on holidays to South Africa, place them head to head and judge them on their individual merits.
Durban – A beach enthusiasts’ dream
South Africa’s third largest city is ideally located alongside the waters of the Indian Ocean on the country’s east coast, enjoying a subtropical climate which is perfect for South Africa holidays centred around themes of relaxation.
Referred to as the Golden Mile, Durban’s beachfront is the jewel in the crown of her offering and a generously sandy beach separated by numerous groynes is adjoined by an array of water sports – with skilled surfers advised to head to South Beach – while amenities such as the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World and the uShaka Marine World aquarium line the esplanade.
Durban is great for travellers looking to base themselves around the beach, with many attractions located within walking distance from the Golden Mile.
Pretoria – A cradle of history
Unlike Durban, South Africa’s executive capital will certainly appeal to those encapsulated by the Rainbow Nation’s history, culture and traditions.
Often described as Johannesburg’s quieter neighbour, the Jacaranda City possesses countless museums and galleries to explore detailing the city’s intriguing past. Formerly housing the headquarters of the Apartheid regime and then overseeing Nelson Mandela’s inauguration in 1994, the city is perfect for those looking to take away a greater knowledge and insight from their African adventure.
Pretoria contains many prestigious looking buildings, varying between the Art Deco and British Colonial styles, with the Union Buildings – the aesthetically impressive site of the South African presidency – offering fascinating views across the city from the beautifully terraced garden grounds which are open to the public.