Travel // My Top 3 Must-Dos in Southern Africa


I've been noticing various places in Southern Africa on "where to travel in 2017" lists. The New York Times notes Botswana, Travel and Leisure lists Cape Town, and that's just two. With Southern Africa popping up on must-do travel lists and flight deals to Jo'Burg becoming more common, I wanted to share my three must-dos in this part of the continent.

I'll preface this by saying that Africa is overflowing with amazing things and the list of "must-dos" there is endless. These are three specific experiences I had on my recent trip that I'd recommend to everyone heading to this part of the world.


1. Devil's Pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia
During the dry months, the Zambezi River's water level drops significantly and it becomes possible to walk along the waterfall edge and access a "pool" right at the edge of Victoria Falls. After watching some of the videos online of daring people swimming in the Devil's Pool, we decided to sign up to see what it's all about. We were SO nervous leading up to our dip in the pool, but it was well worth it and actually less scary in person! The journey starts with a motorboat ride to Livingstone Island (where David Livingstone first saw the falls). You'll walk along the edge of the falls, jump in for a very short swim to the Devil's Pool and then hop in at the edge of the falls! Due to years of erosion there is a rock wall that prevents you from going over the edge when the water level is low (during high season you would be swept right over!) We spent about 20 minutes in the pool taking photos and admiring the gorgeous view. After your daring swim you're treated to a delicious brunch on Livingstone Island. I highly recommend this insanely unique and adrenaline pumping experience! We booked our tour here.




2. Boulders Beach Penguins, Cape Town, South Africa
I wrote about my amazing experience seeing the penguins of Boulders Beach here. Hanging out with these cute little guys up close and seeing them in their natural habitat was so special it easily makes it onto my list.



3. The Winelands, Stellenbosch, South Africa
The winelands right outside of Cape Town are absolutely stunning. The two most popular areas, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, are definite must-dos for any wine lover. Unfortunately we only had one day, but we certainly jam-packed it! We hired a driver for 12 hours (very reasonable, about $200 USD) and drove all around stopping at various vineyards. I loved visiting Delaire Graff and sipping their signature rosé while overlooking the mountains. Another highlight was a picnic lunch at Warwick Wine Estate. Highly recommend! If you aren't an oenophile, still don't miss this area. The mountain vistas, gorgeous shops and amazing farm-to-table restaurants are enough to fill a few days.



I also highly recommend doing a safari! With so many different safari experiences and locations to choose from, I didn't want to include a specific one in my list here. Check out my post on tips for planning your first safari here.

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