South Africa

  South Africa  

South Africa: Lively Cities and Safari


The cities of South Africa are always animated and buzzing… Cape Town instils vigor in you…as do the cheerful locals; the nightlife is fantastic and this cosmopolitan jewel will keep you wanting more. The Cape of Good Hope--the southernmost point of the African continent, which Bartholomew Diaz sailed around over 500 years ago--still retains all its mystery and beauty.

Overlooking Cape Town, Table Mountain, so-called because when clouds come in over the city, they spread across the top of the mountain like a tablecloth, can be seen by air or land long before you hit the city. A trip to South Africa wouldn't be complete without a safari in Kruger National Park, a world-renowned sanctuary of wild nature. And Drakensberg, close to Lesotho, provides some of the most magnificent vistas on the planet.


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Fast Facts About South Africa

Spectacular African sunset with Baobab and Giraffe
  • Population: 48,601,098
  • Capital: Pretoria
  • Language: English, and many native languages
  • Location: At the southern tip of Africa
  • Coastline: 2,798km
  • Climate: Mostly semiarid, subtropical along the east coast; sunny days, cool nights
  • Country Code: 27
  • Time Zone: GMT+2



The Secrets of South Africa’s Cape Peninsula

Most people visit Cape Town, South Africa’s Mother City, for the breezy beaches, decadent vineyards, and picture-postcard views of Table Mountain. The appeal is easy to see. But if you focus your stay solely on Cape Town, you risk missing out on all the secret attractions along the scenic Cape Peninsula, stretching out to the south of the city.


The Giantess and the Big-Headed Midget

On December 8, 1852, the people of the French city of Lyon lit candles in their windows to celebrate the raising of a statue of the Virgin Mary on the city’s Fourvière Hill. Now, more than 160 years later, this tradition has grown into the annual Festival of Lights, which sees the streets of Lyon lit up by more than 70 artistic light displays from December 5 to December 8. Millions of visitors arrive during the festival to take in these ornate, creative works, as the windows, fountains, and trees of Lyon light up with every color imaginable.


South African Giants, Eiffel’s Secret and more…

September is a special time in the South African town of Hermanus. The end of this month heralds the arrival of giants just offshore, as the southern right whales return to mate and reproduce. You can get amazing views of these 50-ton behemoths from your hotel room, or catch one of the many chartered boats for an even closer look. Right whales are famously friendly and will often approach boats…a trait that made them an attractive target for the whalers of old. The waters off Hermanus are home to another, more terrifying denizen of the deep: the great white shark. And this is one of the best places in the world to get up close and personal with this awesome predator…from the safety of a cage, of course. For around $110, you can even get a cameraman to film your dive for you.


Festivals Around the World: Museums by Night and Antelope Hunting

Begin the month in Scotland’s Spey Valley where, as part of “Whisky Month,” the Spirit of Speyside Festival runs from May 1 to 5. Tastings, workshops, and even a guide on how to properly photograph a “wee dram” of whisky are all on the schedule.


Ski Jumps and Caribbean Crab Racing: Festivals Around the World

Not the safest religious tradition we’ve ever heard of, but the Fire Wheel Festival in Sinca Noua, located near the city of Brasov, Romania, does sound like quite a sight. Celebrating the start of Orthodox Lent on March 3, the village asks its young men to roll hay wheels to the top of a local hill before each wheel is set alight. What follows is a true feast with music, drinking, and dancing.


The Secret to Making Good Money from Almost Any Country You Choose

Imagine living in Europe, Africa, or Australia and earning a living while traveling around and discovering the continent. Sounds too good to be true? Well this is exactly what I have been doing for about six years now. I started off in Africa because I had always wanted to go on a safari but could never afford it.


Chase Summertime to These Snow-Bird Escapes

Winter is nigh in North America. Bitter cold, ice storms, flurries, and blizzards are on their way. These are the months spent indoors, staring out at grey skies, pining for spring. But there are places where the sun is shining right now, temperatures are going up, and it’s already beach season.


Take a Different View of the World—And Get Paid for it

I love to travel. And I try to live like a local when I visit new places. Of course, it takes time to discover how the locals live. Some people are really good at doing research before they arrive. I prefer to scout out my new neighborhood and figure things out as I go along. One trick that makes this both fun and rewarding is to carry a camera. Putting the camera up to my eye slows me down and helps me see the details.


Houseboating in Berlin…And More

If you’re looking for a laidback lifestyle in a tropical paradise then Roatan, the largest of the Honduran Bay Islands, fits the bill. Just a two-hour direct flight from Houston or Miami it’s the kind of place where dressing up means wearing flip flops.


My Two Favorite Photos from South Africa

In South Africa last month I spent more than 26 hours on safari, took more than 700 pictures and gained 10 pounds. I’ve always liked photography as a hobby because it’s active.

Africa The World’s Best Long-Term Investment

Africa: The World’s Best Long-Term Investment

It’s probably one of the last places most North Americans would think about investing, but the single best investment you make for the next decade could be to buy Africa. There are important reasons why African stocks are set to richly reward buy-and-hold-style investors. But the main reason is simply this: Africa is where the growth is. The continent’s economy has been growing at about 6% over the last decade. And it is expected to match that pace over the next several years.

Wine, Whales And Safari In South Africa

Wine, Whales and Safari in South Africa

Nestling under Table Mountain’s massive sandstone bulk, often draped in a wispy “tablecloth” of cloud, Cape Town is South Africa’s most attractive city, enjoying a Mediterranean climate with dry, hot summers and cooler winters.

The Best Places to Spend December in the Sun

The Best Places to Spend December in the Sun

Snow, sleigh-bells, mistletoe—or the beach? Christmas doesn’t always have to mean a gaggle of relatives, too much eggnog, and bulky winter coats. This year, why not relax in a hammock, with a cocktail and the soothing sun?

Help rebuild the Great Wall of China...and other volunteer adventures in the natural world

Help rebuild the Great Wall of China…and other volunteer adventures in the natural world

The world’s longest man-made structure—stretching more than 4,000 miles—China’s Great Wall also ranks among the World’s 100 Most Endangered Sites. Beyond its restored areas—those that are most-visited by tourists—hundreds of miles lie in disrepair. Volunteer vacationers are sought to help clean and rebuild sections of the wall where restoration projects are already underway.

A good life in the Third World

A good life in the Third World

In this issue we present our annual Quality of Life Index. The U.S. looks like a pretty good choice for retirees. That’s good news, now that the collapsing dollar makes the rest of the world so much more expensive. Still, Vicki and I choose to live abroad. We’re Americans, but since 1981 (except for brief periods in Austin, Texas and in Las Vegas in the 1990s), we’ve lived overseas. Why? We have a spirit of adventure, the key to a quality retired life abroad.

Africa's growing demand for cheap housing

Africa’s growing demand for cheap housing

Why look at Africa as an investment destination? Because it’s the last remaining emerging market investment frontier. If you missed investing in the Philippines in the 1980s and the Southeast Asian “Tiger economies” in the 1990s, this might just be your last chance to get in on a ground-floor opportunity.

Get Cooking

Get Cooking

Learn how to produce mouth watering culinary delights with our selection of cookery schools from around the globe.

Six of the Best--Epic Drives

Six of the Best–Epic Drives

Six of the most stunning drives from around the world as selected by International Living

Four Extreme Adventures In Cape Town

Four Extreme Adventures In Cape Town

South Africa is known for its world-famous safaris, but in Cape Town, you’ll find a fun-filled roster of activities for the more active or extreme. Join Laura Sheridan as she takes you through Four Extreme Adventures In Cape Town.

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