South Africa is a treasure chest of unforgettable scenery, from lofty mountains to sun-baked deserts and dramatic coastlines washed by the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Its game viewing is among the best in Africa. Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth are the four major cities. Only Johannesburg is not a coastal city.
South Africa Cruises typically stop at Cape Town, where there are two main piers used for cruise ships. Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with the flat-topped Table Mountain at the back and the Atlantic Ocean in the foreground. Cape Town has a relaxed atmosphere, lots of very good restaurants, and excellent shopping facilities. Cape Town is only about an hour's drive from the Cape of Good Hope, and also, if you go inland, it is only about an hour's drive from the world-famous Cape Winelands around Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek.
Port Elizabeth is another usual port of call on a South African Cruise. Port Elizabeth is located some 770 kilometers (480 miles) east of Cape Town at the end of the picturesque Garden Route. The city is one of South Africa's major tourist destinations and many come to enjoy the fine beaches in and near the city. Just 73 kilometers (45 miles) away is the exclusive, private Shamwari Game Reserve which is home to the "Big Five" of Africa. Nearby there is also the Addo Elephant Park, dedicated to the preservation of the Eastern Cape Elephant and the Cape Buffalo.
Further to the north is Durban, a modern, sophisticated and stunning city of over three million people and thereby the third largest city in South Africa. Durban is located on the shores of the Indian Ocean, has great beaches, and is also home to Africa's best managed and busiest port. Durban is the gateway to the Zulu Kingdom of KwaZulu Natal, and Zulu is the most common local language in Durban.