Planning a trip to a new country or somewhere you’ve never been before can be incredibly daunting. Where to stay, what to absolutely not miss out on, what to steer entirely clear of, what’s the food like, is the culture welcoming, how extreme will the language barrier be, what’s more, tourist gimmick than authentic experience, how will you get around? So many questions! Luckily you’ve come to the right place to get a couple of them answered.

Here are our absolute top 3 places you must visit if you are planning a trip to South Africa:

3: Head for the Mother City.

Cape Town in the Western Cape of South Africa is a grown-up’s playground, with everything from monumental mountains to glorious beaches to picturesque vineyards. There is something for everyone in this corner of the country. Whether you’d prefer to lounge the days away on the stunning Camps Bay beach followed up with sundowners at famous Café Caprice, or you’re more the artsy cultural type, and you want to hop from museum to art gallery. Even if you are the adrenaline junkie who wants to see new places from every angle by paragliding or horseback riding, Cape Town has it all. Let’s not forget the world-known over wine routes to warm the heart and tickle the taste buds of every budding to expert wine connoisseur. An experience hub and one that no trip to South Africa would ever be complete without.

2: Take on the Garden Route.

Often referred to as the Garden of Eden, the Garden Route is a coastal passage of around 200kms (124 miles) that stretches from the quiet but historic seaside fishing village of Mossel Bay all the way through to the ancient forests of Tsitsikamma in the Eastern Cape. This scenic drive coins its name in reference to its beguiling diversity of wide sandy beaches, lovely lakes and lagoons, shady evergreen forests, and prose studded slopes. A birder’s paradise with opportunities to sight striking avian endemics such as the Knysna turaco, yellow-throated warbler, and the olive woodpecker. This road trip to new memories lane is best enjoyed when split into a few days to make the most of everything there is to see and do. Don’t forget to finish this epic drive with a leap of faith from the world’s highest bungee jumping bridge at Bloukrans or a canopy tour through the leafy height of the Tsitsikamma forest.

1: See the iconic Big 5 at Madikwe Safari Lodge.

No trip to Africa can be called successful if one doesn’t go on safari, and there is no better place to have the opportunity to see the legendary Big 5 than at Madikwe Game Reserve. Have your soul soothed and immerse yourself in nature with a douse of luxury in one of the largest and most exclusive private game reserves in South Africa. Tailor-made accommodation to perfectly suit your needs with our camps, Lelapa, Kopano, and Dithaba, is a unique experience created for each guests’ individual tastes and wants. Read our blog about the Madikwe Soul-stirring experience. If you need help packing your bags for the safari of a lifetime, read our blog on what to bring to Madikwe Safari Lodge; we’ve made it easy for you not to leave anything behind!

Complete the South African bucket list experience and book your stay at Madikwe Safari Lodge today.