Johannesburg, Drakensberg, Kruger Park, Cape Town

Widely regarded as the gem of Africa, South Africa has emerged from its troubled history to become a major player on the world stage. Rapid economic growth and an increasingly democratic culture have cemented the country’s status as a leader in diplomatic and anti-poverty initiatives across the continent. What’s more, it has carved out new roles for South Africa as a tourist destination and host for events like the World Cup. The country’s ascent into the ranks of the BRICS nations in 2010 made it clear how far South Africa had come after apartheid, but, much like the other nations in this bloc, its large economy has far to go.