LIFESTYLE NEWS - With expensive Visas and all sorts of regulations for South Africans travelling on a local passport, International holidays can sometimes seem like a pipe dream.
This is unnecessary however as some of the world’s greatest attractions are a simple trip across the border to one of our country’s neighbours.
Here is a list of the absolutely must-see travel destinations literally just outside of SA and the best part is you don’t need a VISA for any of them with a South African passport.
Etosha – Namibia
Etosha National Park is unique in the world. The park’s main characteristic is a salt pan so large it can be seen from space, yet this dry, forbidding environment is also home to thousands of wild animals. The drought conditions cluster the animals around the numerous water holes making game viewing easy and incredibly special. At night the sky is so lit up with stars animals can often be seen almost as clear as day.
As an added bonus the park is accessible by normal cars and is totally malaria free.
Okavango Delta – Botswana
The Okavango Delta is a world heritage site for a reason. A green maze of deep blue lagoons, meandering overgrown river channels and small islands that is all rich with wildlife, the Delta is a unique biome in the heart of the Kalahari Desert.
Explored using either a traditional dugout boat called a mokoro or by more modern motorised cruises, the advice is to get out and take a walk on foot with experienced guides to really experience what this lush part of Africa is all about. Accommodation is usually done in tented camps located throughout the park, giving the whole holiday the sense of being lost in another, ancient, more naturally undisturbed time.
Quirimbas Archipelago – Mozambique
The Quirimbas Archipelago is a chain of 32 islands in the Indian Ocean, just off the northern coast of Mozambique. Most of the islands form part of Quirimbas National Park, which is rich in coral reefs that are home to a spectacular variety of fish. The waters in the area are also home to whales, dolphins and endangered dugongs, making this a nature lover’s paradise.
And it is a paradise. With sandy white beaches, and crystal clear water you won’t find many places more naturally beautiful in all the big beach destinations around the world.
Victoria Falls – Zambia/Zimbabwe
Mosi-oa-Tunya, the smoke that thunders, is such an evocative name, but even this doesn’t give one the true sense of what it is like to stand on the edge of the Victoria Falls. A staggering 1 708 meters wide, the falls are the largest curtain of water in the world. With waters tumbling between 90m and 107m into the Zambezi Gorge there are few views in Africa that can rival the might of this natural phenomenon.
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the falls can be approached both from the Zimbabwean side or the Zambian side, making it a must visit location for either country.
Lake Malawi – Malawi
Standing on the edge of Lake Malawi feels like you are at the seaside, so vast is this lake. The third largest lake in Africa, Lake Malawi accounts for almost a third of Malawi’s total area, and is the lifeblood of the country. Filled with thousands of cichlids found nowhere else on earth the lake makes the perfect snorkeling or diving location.
The people of Malawi are also notoriously kind, and relaxed meaning you start unwinding the second you get there. Stop by for a drink in one of the numerous lakeside bars, or relax on the sandy shore, while at night the stars come out in their hundreds of thousands. It’s a holiday that’s guaranteed to help you forget your crazy life back home.