There are a handful of countries that are really high up on my bucket list. Places like South Africa, Mexico, Australia, Colombia… So many places in the world that I still need to explore (or, explore MORE of).
So I've decided to start a new monthly feature on my blog, where I will highlight one of my bucket list destinations and all the things I would someday love to do there.
My South Africa bucket list
The country of South Africa has long been a dream destination of mine. From the gorgeous coastline to the wine country to the savannah where lions roam… I want to see it all.
1. CAGE DIVE WITH GREAT WHITES
Number one on my SA bucket list is definitely cage diving with great white sharks. Each year my desire to do this grows exponentially during Shark Week, when I watch “Air Jaws” specials and see these ultimate predators leap out of the water off the coast of South Africa in pursuit of prey. I want to get with them SO BADLY in order to both learn more about them and feel that ultimate rush as those rows of teeth come straight for the cage.
2. GO ON A SAFARI IN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
As one of the largest game reserves in Africa, Kruger has always piqued my interest. I would love to go on a multi-day safari in this part of South Africa, and hopefully see lots of wildlife. I think I would be most excited to see lions, giraffes, and African elephants, though all of the “Big Five” animals can be seen here.
3. GO TO THE TOP OF TABLE MOUNTAIN
Would I want to hike it? Well… probably not. But I WOULD like to see the view from atop Table Mountain, looking out over the city of Cape Town. Luckily for me, there's a cable car that takes you to the top.
4. ADOPT A PENGUIN
Not far from Cape Town lies Boulder's Beach, which is home to lots of adorable wild African penguins. Yes, penguins. In Africa. I of course would like to go see them at the beach, but would also like to visit SANCCOB, the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds. Here they rescue and rehabilitate sea birds of all sorts, including penguins. You can even here, which I SO want to do!
5. ROAD TRIP THE GARDEN ROUTE
South Africa's “Garden Route,” stretching along the southeastern coast of the country, would be my ideal SA roadtrip. This part of South Africa is supposed to be quite mild climate-wise, and the “garden” part of the name comes from the fact that the coast is covered in greenery and dotted with lagoons and wildlife-filled bays. I would love to take to the road for about a week in this part of South Africa, perhaps staying in a or renting a for a few nights close to a beach.
6. TRY TO RIDE AN OSTRICH IN OUDTSHOORN
The more I read about South Africa, the more I am convinced that it is a land of the craziest animal encounters imaginable. Case in point: a park in Oudtshoorn where you can . It sounds and looks hilarious, and definitely deserves a spot on my bucket list!
7. SEE THE BLYDE RIVER CANYON
It was only recently that I first saw photos of the Blyde River Canyon, which forms the northern part of the . With its red sandstone covered in lush greenery and its sheer size, this place just begs to be seen and photographed!
8. VISIT ROBBEN ISLAND
Located in Table Bay not far from Cape Town, Robben Island was the site of the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years behind bars. I admire Nelson Mandela and what he was able to achieve for his country so much that it only feels right to add a visit Robben Island to my South Africa list.
9. WHALE WATCH IN HERMANUS
Hermanus is a town located on the southern coast of South Africa in the Western Cape. It is best known for the southern right whales that pass through from June to December each year. The swim so close to the shore that you can literally stand on the cliffs in the center of town and see them. Whale watching from land… how cool!
10. LEARN SOMETHING NEW
I'm not sure exactly what it will be, or what will cause it — maybe a ? — but I want to go to South Africa and leave having learned something new. Something important. Something that will perhaps change how I view South Africa. Judging by how hard other travelers seem to fall for this country, though, I don't think this will be very difficult…
So there's my top 10. What else would you add to the list?
*This post was written by me, but brought to you by a third party.