With the majority of visitors to Southern Africa arriving into Johannesburg, spending a few days here en route to Botswana or Namibia is worthwhile. Tourism in South Africa is well developed, and while the country doesn’t have the remote wilderness appeal that parts of Botswana or Zambia do, there is plenty to see in the way of wildlife.
The most famous park is the Kruger National Park, but South Africa also boasts the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which it shares with Botswana. The South African side features small and intimate wilderness camps, and the drive to the Botswana side is an exciting 4×4 trail across vegetated dunes.
South Africa also contains some spectacular scenery – from the rugged Drakensberg Mountains, to the arid Karoo and the scenic coastline of the western Cape. Cape Town itself is a popular place to begin or finish a safari trip, and for the ultimate experience, the luxurious Rovos Rail train between Cape Town and Pretoria is a unique way of seeing the country in style.
Between Johannesburg and eastern Botswana lies the Waterberg region, which is an ideal place for those starting from Johannesburg to relax after a flight, being a mere 2 hours drive, or unwind after a self-drive safari.