There are so many countries in Africa and so many different ways to experience this vast continent, but if you're looking for a blend of ancient and modern history, culture, wine, art, and Big 5 Safaris without as many vaccinations or guides and guards needed we highly recommend South Africa.
With one of the major African hub airports, chances are you'll pass through Johannesburg, in which case getting out for a bit in this unique city is a rewarding stop over. The Cradle of Humanity site is a cave exploration in to some of the earliest human bones every discovered, or visit the hometown of both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, and spend some time taking in the powerful Apartheid Museum. While some may have safety concerns about this capital, it's crime against tourists is similar to that of any major city. If you'd visit Chicago you can visit Johannesburg.
Cape Town & Wine Country
Once you've reached the very bottom of the continent there is a whole world of options. Cape Town's city center has recently renovated several of its museums into show pieces for Art of the African Diaspora and complicated Colonial history of the region. Specialty museums around the Diamond and Gem Industry, a curated botanical garden and famous Table Mountain are just a few of the draws, along with a hip edgy art and music scene. Within a short drive, white sand beaches and resorts look out into the South Atlantic Ocean or head inland to an incredible wine region where centuries old Dutch farmhouses sit tucked into vineyards and the vibe is more luxury spa and fine cuisine.
A Dazzle of Zebras or a Parade of Penguins
Its AFRICA so of course the wildlife is going to be a draw. South Africa safari parks sit in a Malaria-Free zone so you have less to worry about there. Lodges and Reserves range in size and speciality and are found across the whole country so if you're not looking to add another flight don't worry. But South Africa is also home to it's own breed of penguin and they nest along the southern Coast, so when you're going to see the famous Cape Point, a quick stop to visit these guys should be high on your list. Ostrich Farms and wild baboons also dot the Southern Landscape making it a wildlife lover's dream within a short drive from downtown.