Ali Al-Suleiman gives a tour guide to South Africa

If you are looking for a destination that combines gorgeous wildlife, diverse landscapes, stunning coastlines, and vibrant culture, look no further than South Africa. With a wide range of destinations to visit – comprising vast grasslands, sandy beaches and popular cities like Cape Town and Goe Berg – the country offers plenty of adventure for every type of traveler.

One ardent explorer who fell in love with South Africa is Ali Al-Sulaiman. Born in Saudi Arabia, Al-Sulaiman started his career as a doctor in Europe, but yearned for more adventure in his daily life and career. His passion for wanderlust eventually led him to London to pursue his passion for photography and travel.

“I love medicine and the rewarding feeling I get every time I help a patient. However, the practical part is static and doesn’t allow me to be creative,” Traveling, on the other hand, has filled my life with passion and drive.

Now, doctor-turned-content-maker passionately explores beautiful places around the world while filming his adventures all the way in front of the camera. Among the many places he has ventured into, South Africa has proven to be one of the all-time favorite destinations due to the cramming of good food, people, adventure, and nature.

To help you make the most of your next trip to this to-do list site, Al-Suleiman shares his guide to South Africa below.

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Ali Suleiman

Why South Africa?

South Africa simply has it all. Beautiful weather, numerous beaches, great food, breathtaking safari experiences and friendly people! It’s hard not to fall in love with this country! Also, you can never get bored there as there are many activities from hiking, surfing and horseback riding on the coast to trekking in the bush! Therefore, it is a must visit, especially for those who want to relax, enjoy the breathtaking scenery and escape from the hectic lifestyle.

South Africa Travel Guide
Ali Suleiman

What is the one thing every first time visitor to South Africa must see or do?

Every visitor needs to feel the wild side of South Africa and spend a night in the bush. One of my favorite experiences has been sleeping under the stars in a tree house, down the gorgeous sheer cliffs of the Waterberg in Marataba. An elephant visited me in the middle of the night, and two lions roaring at the bottom of the tree woke me up at two in the morning. These are unforgettable moments that everyone should go through.

However, if you are in Cape Town, you should definitely meet the penguins at Boulders Beach. Ancient granite boulders protect it from wind and large waves, making it ideal for swimming. If you want to get up close and personal with the penguins, head to Foxy Beach. Just don’t get too close – these beaks are very sharp

South Africa Travel Guide
Ali Suleiman

A city in South Africa with the best food scene?

I really love Cape Town’s food scene. There are plenty of small cafes and bistros all around, and many of them serve excellent fresh seafood – some are right on the beach with a nice view. I would suggest trying the Cousins ​​Trattoria, which is excellent authentic Italian cuisine. My favorite meal was their signature dish, tagliolini stirred in a wheel of Parmigiano.

There are also many excellent restaurants for those who enjoy fine dining and fine dining. My favorite in Cape Town is La Colombian, which has a Michelin star. The tuna dish is legendary and the passion fruit curry is one of the most memorable dishes on the tasting menu.

South Africa Travel Guide
Ali Suleiman

Best location in South Africa to spend time in nature?

Bloubergstrand Beach has stunning views of Table Mountain and the coast. It is the perfect place to stroll and watch the sunset. It is also an excellent site for surfers and kite surfers.

South Africa Travel Guide
Ali Suleiman

Best outdoor excursion or adventurous activity to do in South Africa?

Personally, my favorite outdoor activity is horseback riding on Nordhoek Beach. White sandy beach as far as the eye can see. Absolutely beautiful, calm and breathtaking! Great trip on the beach with well controlled horses. It is also perfect for a picnic.

South Africa Travel Guide
Ali Suleiman

Coolest hotel or place to stay?

It’s hard to mention just one place because South Africa has so many places that exude its beauty. If you’re in Cape Town, Villa Obsidian and Llandudno Rock Villa are my two favorite places to stay by far. Villa Obsidian is rented through CapeConcierge, located in Clifton, my favorite area of ​​Cape Town. The villa is located just a few steps from the beach and has an amazing view of the Twelve Apostles.

As for the Llandudno Rock Villa, it is an architectural masterpiece located in the natural rocky outcrop of Llandudno’s gorgeous beaches. Sitting by the fire and watching the sunset was one of the highlights of my recent trip to Cape Town. With uninterrupted sea and mountain views along with luxurious design, this villa gave me peace and harmony.

However, if you plan to experience the wilderness, my two favorites are:

Underside Venda Rock Lodge. Perched on a cliff, with wrapped views of the Lebombo Mountains, this lodge is the ultimate safari destination. With only six intimate suites, each has a plunge pool and a platform for viewing rare wildlife. A true paradise, quiet and relaxing. It is the most romantic hostel I have ever stayed in.

Ali Suleiman
South Africa Travel Guide

In its exclusive location, Marataba Mountain Lodge is secluded within the Waterberg and surrounded by Marakele National Park. Only five eco-private suites open onto a place famous for its gorgeous scenery and thriving wildlife, including the endangered black rhino.

In the same private game reserve, Marataba Safari Lodge is a collection of ultra-exclusive luxury tents. Where rich red mountain rocks meet lush green plains. I remember getting out of my tent in the morning and watching an elephant pass very close by and soon after the baboons. I felt very connected to nature. I also loved relaxing in the pool lounge area with the cool breeze and gentle chirping of birds while the antelopes roamed around the pool.

South Africa Travel Guide
Ali Suleiman

Best time of year to visit?

If you are visiting Cape Town I would suggest going from March to May or September to November. These shoulder seasons feature enviable weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices. If you are going on a safari, the dry season is from May to October. The grass is shorter and therefore has a better view of wildlife viewing. However, I purposely went there in late November (rainy season) and loved the green grass just as shown in my photos.

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