Plan the Ultimate Trip to South Africa

View of the beautiful South African coastline from the mountain top.

Has all the drama around the bidding for the Rugby World Cup given you some travel inspiration? Both we and South Africa may have missed out in the end, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on a holiday in this vast and beautiful country. A visit to South Africa really is an experience like no other, taking in vibrant cities, jaw-dropping natural wonders and awe-inspiring scenery. Read on for our tips on getting the best out of a trip to the southern tip of Africa – and don’t forget to take out annual travel insurance before you go!

Cape Town


Perhaps the most beautiful city in South Africa, this bustling metropolis will the host quarter and semi-finals of the 2022 tournament. Cape Town is dominated by the majestic bulk of the iconic Table Mountain, but to get a whole new perspective on it, a trip on the cable car to the top is essential. From here, you’ll have stunning views of the city and stunning white beaches below. If you’d prefer something a little closer to the ground, a drive through Cape Point National Park will take you along the lower slopes of the mountain to the Cape of Good Hope – where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.

For history buffs, the ferry trip to Robben Island will be near the top of their list. This infamous isle is where Nelson Mandela spent decades in prison before becoming the country’s first black president. Elsewhere, Bay Harbour Market is where the hippest CapeTown residents gather to browse the stalls and sip on cooling cocktails and the Kirstenbosch Gardens offers a tranquil refuge from the buzz of the city.

The Winelands


South Africa is, of course, famous for its wine, and north of Cape Town lies The Winelands, where much of the country’s best grapes are grown. The best way to experience this beautiful scenic area is take the tram that winds its way through the Franschhoek Valley, stopping off at one of the many vineyards along the route and sampling some of the region’s best vintages. Even if you’re not a wine fan, the rolling green landscape and tranquillity of The Winelands will take your breath away.

Kruger National Park


When you think of the natural wonders of South Africa, you’re probably visualising Kruger National Park. Extending over 19,485 square kilometres in the north-eastern part of the country, the park is home to the ‘Big Five’ game animals of Africa – the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo – as well as around 500 bird species, 100 reptiles, and 150 mammals including the endangered African Wild Dog. Perhaps the best way to experience the park is by driving yourself. Just make sure to do your research beforehand so you’ll experience the best wildlife the park has to offer – just be sure to bring a map!

The Elephant Coast


If you really want to get away from it all, the wild and wonderful Elephant Coast has a landscape and feeling unlike any other in South Africa. Situated on the eastern edge of country adjacent to Mozambique, this untamed corner of the country boasts stunning white sands and lush tropical forest inhabited by a huge array of wildlife (including elephants of course) as well as the beautiful Lake St Lucia which is South Africa’s largest lake. The area is particularly famous for its sea turtles which migrate to its beaches between February and October each year to lay their eggs.

Feeling Inspired?

Hopefully, our suggestions have provided a flavour of this magnificent country. If you’ve decided to take the plunge and experience all South Africa has to offer, AIB’s Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance will provide perfect peace of mind for your trip.

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is an agent of AIB Insurance Services Limited in relation to provision of general insurance products. AIB Travel Insurance is exclusively underwritten by Chubb European Group Limited. AIB Insurance Services Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.