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6 Reasons This Stunning African Country Is Having Such A Successful Year With Tourism

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When most people think of the countries making travel headlines, their minds immediately go to fairytale destinations like European cities or sunny Caribbean escapes. 

While plenty of these classic destinations saw incredible growth this past year, there’s one country in particular that may surprise you with its recent accolades. 

South Africa has had a wildly successful year with tourism, establishing itself as a can’t-miss destination and earning a place on many travelers' bucket lists. 

Read on to discover the 6 reasons 2023 was a stand-out year for South African travel:

Signal Hill Sunset View Cape Town South Africa

Record Tourist Arrivals

According to the Western Cape Government’s monthly tourism report, over 2 million travelers passed through Cape Town International Airport’s international terminal between January and October of 2023. 

This figure marks a full recovery in post-pandemic tourism, beating out pre-covid record numbers.

Americans are flocking to this emerging destination; numbers show the USA was Cape Town’s second-largest tourism source market during the first half of 2023.

Woman Hanging Outside Car Window Looking At South African Mountain

Increased Flight Connectivity Makes Travel Easier Than Ever

Airline seat capacity reached 1.8 million seats this past year, with South Africa adding an additional 23 new flight routes earlier this year.  

Among 2023’s added connections were flights to Washington and New York through United Airlines. 

In addition to increased international connectivity, South Africa’s Airlink recently added direct flights 3 days a week between two of the region's top tourist destinations.

For the first time ever, travelers can now fly directly from Kruger National Park to the world's largest waterfall, Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls Rainbow and Sunset View

It's An Excellent Snowbird Destination

As winter descends on much of America and we anxiously await for any appearance of the sun and warmer temperatures, South Africa is experiencing its summer. 

With wall-to-wall sunny days and temperatures reaching the upper 70s in the Cape, South Africa makes a very appealing escape. 

The next few months are among the best for soaking in Cape Town’s world-class beaches. 

Opportunities for live music, culture, and art abound as the summer season comes alive in the country's cities. 

Cape Town offers plentiful New Year’s opportunities, including the Full Circle NYE Festival. 

Cape Town Colorful Row Of Beach Huts

Unmatched Nature and Wildlife Viewing

South Africa is one of the best countries in the world for the adventure experience of going on a safari. 

The rare opportunity to see breathtaking wildlife in their natural habitat is reason enough to explore this vibrant country. 

The popular Kruger National Park offers the opportunity to see lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants, and rhinos in a stunning natural setting.

From its glittering coastlines to rugged mountainscapes and pristine beaches, South Africa has unparalleled landscapes to explore. 

Whether you're dying to check a safari off your bucket list or are simply craving a relaxing beach day–this country has it all.

elephant in the road

2023 Honored South Africa With Multiple Awards

South Africa had a memorable year, winning multiple awards across different categories and ceremonies. 

Its star city, Cape Town, received the prestigious title of Best City in the World, while the overall country was honored as Best Country in the UK’s 2023 Telegraph Travel Awards. 

The 36th edition of Conde Nast’s Readers Choice awards spotlighted the colorful capital as having 14 out of 15 of East and Southern Africa’s best hotels. 

Rounding it all out, Cape Town was named Africa’s leading Destination at the recent World Travel Awards ceremony.

Aerial View Of Cape Town, South Africa

The Lively Cape Town

Perhaps one of the biggest factors that brings tourists to this country is its magnetic capital. 

Cape Town is one of the most visited cities in Africa, and it's easy to see why. 

The city is a dynamic blend of culture and history, framed by mountains and long stretches of golden beaches. 

Known for having some of the best wine in the world, a colorful food scene, and iconic mountain and ocean views, this city has something for every traveler

Beach and Twelve Apostles mountain in Camps Bay near Cape Town in South Africa.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Sunday 31st of December 2023

Smoke and mirrors. Absolute BS. 65+ homicides a day. Failed state. Travel at your own risk ⚠️.


Friday 5th of January 2024

@BeLieveMe, 65 homicides a day is very low for an entire country. I was there in October and it was beautiful.