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my trip to... south africa

Top tips

by plunging canyons, cascading waterfalls and the seemingly endless Lowveld plains. Visitors who are prepared to venture beyond Kruger will discover the stunning Panorama Route, which maps out some of nature’s most dramatic terrains. From the Blyde River Canyon to Bourke’s Luck Potholes to the appropriately named God’s Window, each offers a new frame of the Drakensberg Escarpment and makes stopping off along the way essential.

When to go May - September is the prime time for game viewing. It’s South Africa’s summer time so it will be hot, but vegetation is dry which makes for better photos and more frequent animal sightings. Beat the crowds Kruger National Park can feel overcrowded with safari vehicles, so suggest that clients spend a night in a smaller reserve as an add-on. They will leave feeling they have had a more authentic experience.

Johannesburg

I’ll admit, I had mixed thoughts on Johannesburg, however I found myself being wowed by the mix of history and colourful streetlife. Of course, you have to have your wits about you, but as I walked the streets as part of a Past Experiences

From left: Blyde River Canyon; women dancing by Eleanor Muller; Orlando Towers, Johannesburg; Ribola Art Route; Mtomeni Camp

street art tour, I was overwhelmed by the vibrancy of the graffiti, the rawness of the street musicians and the sense of community from projects such as ‘iwasshot in Joburg’, a photography project designed to keep young people off the streets. And no visit to Joburg is complete without a day spent in Soweto, once home to Nelson Mandela and the scene of the harrowing Soweto Uprising in 1978 when thousands of students were gunned down in a protest for equal rights. The day became emblematic in South Africa’s struggle against apartheid. It may have had a turbulent recent past, and has many modern day problems to work through, but South Africa’s raw appeal remains as strong as it always has. It’s a place you leave knowing that one day you’ll come back. Some countries you just can’t resist – and South Africa is definitely one of them. 

Make time for culture South Africa has eleven official languages, including English, which is widely spoken. The different ‘tribes’ and cultures make for a range of diverse experiences, so make time for a tour of the Modjadji Cycad Reserve, watch a rain dancing ceremony or visit salt harvesters at Baleni, doing a traditional Tsonga activity dating back 2,000 years.

Where to book it

Acacia Africa offers a seven-day Kruger, Swazi & Beach overland itinerary from £425pp, with the additional option of an Adventure Pass from £120pp. Starting in Johannesburg and ending in Durban, this package is offered as a camping or accommodated tour and includes transport, accommodation, most meals and the services of a tour leader/driver. The price excludes international flights. acacia-africa.com

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Selling Travel June 2018  

The world in one magazine Cover Story: Latin Moves, plus how to sell... Israel • Ireland • South Africa • River Cruising • Vietnam & Cambodi...

Selling Travel June 2018  

The world in one magazine Cover Story: Latin Moves, plus how to sell... Israel • Ireland • South Africa • River Cruising • Vietnam & Cambodi...