Time to escape? The Royal Chundu offers the ultimate in relaxation. Image by Bielle Bellingham

It is no exaggeration when we say that we live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. South Africa has topped the rankings of the world’s most tourist-friendly countries in sub-Saharan Africa and foreign arrivals are soaring. DECO shares our travel guide with our neighbouring landscapes of phenomenal natural beauty.

With the most beautiful and mind-blowing locations right on our doorstep, DECO hops off an SA Express 50-seater jet to take a look at what tourists are raving about and how you can ensure your own epic African adventure.

Our first destination: Hoedspruit

For the ultimate in Safari chic paradise and luxury book in at the Tinstwalo Safari Lodge

Bio: Translating to Hat Creek, Hoedspruit is nestled between the Kruger National Park and the Blyde River Canyon and surrounded by the largest privately owed conservation area in the world as well as mango and citrus farms.

SA Express Flights: One way direct flights from Cape Town from Monday to Friday and on Sundays from R3 000 and R1 600 from Johannesburg all week.

DECO top spot: Tintswalo Safari Lodge for a five star experience. DECO was treated to an exclusive experience, which you can read more about here.

 Next up, bordered by the Swartberg and Langeberg mountains in the Western Cape is: The Klein Karoo

Klein Karoo images by Sanri PIenaar

Bio: The land of diverse succulents, aloe, dwarf baobab trees, towering cliffs and majestic mountains, The Klein Karoo guarantees every photograph will look like a postcard. The annual spring flower bloom attract tourists from around the world as well as the famous Cango Caves west of Oudtshoorn.

SA Express Flights: Fly from Johannesburg to George from R3 600 return, then drive about 50km to The Klein Karoo.

DECO top spot: Tranquil self-catering accommodation at the Watermill Farm

 Crossing the boarder ever so slightly, lets take a look at: Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean images by Megan Schumann

Bio: With SA Express flying direct to Harare from Durban, it would be silly not to make the most of Zimbabwe’s capital city. The five hour drive to the northern tip of Lake Kariba – the worlds largest man-made lake – is without a doubt worth it, with many people stating that you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a house boat experience on Kariba. For a landlocked country, the dramatic landscape, diverse wildlife and safari areas make this a must for everybody.

SA Express Flights: One way direct flights from Durban to Harare from R3 900.

DECO top spot: Visit Kariba House Boats for the ultimate house boat experience.

Cruising north through Zimbabwe, we welcome you to: Zambia.

Zambian images by Bielle Bellingham

Bio: Apart from guaranteed jaw-dropping sunsets daily, Zambia continues to wow tourists and locals alike. From the majestical Zambezi River to the rich culture that is still well-immersed, Zambia holds onto the beautiful rawness of its roots. If you missed the thundering Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, which drop 108m into the Batoka Gorge, then you know what you need to do. Indigenously called Mosi-oa-Tunya, or ‘Smoke that Thunders’, they form the largest curtain of water in the world.

SA Express Flights: Fly to Lusaka from Durban from R8 000 return.

DECO top spot: To have a luxury massage whilst hippos meander beside you, we recommend Sussi and Chuma Lodge for the ultimate paradise as well as the Royal Chundu.

Shifting west over Botswana, nothing beats: Namibia

Namibian images by Eamon and Kerry Roberts

Bio: The beautiful contrast of beaches, desert, wildlife and buildings dating back to the 1907 German colonial-era, continue to have Namibia on the top of must-see destinations. The Land Rover community here will guide you through once-in-a-lifetime desert runs and the salt pans of Etosha National Park will spoil you with game viewings in front of a silver-white backdrop. What are you waiting for?

SA Express Flights: From Cape Town and Johannesburg you can fly direct to Walvis Bay from R4 700 return, and to Windhoek from Johannesburg from R5 000 return.

DECO top spot: Get a 360 degree desert experience at Desert Camp  near the Sesriem Canyon.

Lastly, taking us back over the border to the sunniest place on earth: Sun City

Images by Sun City

Bio: Considered as the South African Disney World to most local children, there is no more dreaming as a holiday at Africa’s Kingdom of Heaven becomes a reality. There is literally something for everyone in the family – from the Valley of Waves water park to live entertainment and gambling, Sun City continues to uphold their ‘unmatched resort experience’ reputation.

SA Express Flights: Fly direct to Pilanesberg from Cape Town from R3 000 and from Johannesburg from R2200 return.

Plane_CRJWith an airline like SA Express there is really no excuse not discover the many hidden gems and explore your home country and its surround.SA Express is definitely fulfilling their vision of being a sustainable world-class regional airline with an extensive footprint in Africa.

To hear what the captain has to say read our interview here.