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Surf along empty coastlines; hike in mountains; see lions, cheetahs, giraffes, and more in the wild; relax on unspoilt beaches; go whale watching; drink excellent New World wine. From the lush forests of the east coast to the unique flora and fauna of the Western Cape, South Africa offers almost inexhaustible variety and beauty. With Table Mountain as a dramatic backdrop, Cape Town is one of the most gracious and attractive cities on the continent and makes a good starting point for journeys along the scenic Garden Route. Further north, Durban offers great beaches and nightlife, while inland Johannesburg is the country's biggest, most vibrant city. In terms of nature and wildlife, there's a wealth of choice with 20 national parks and three million hectares set aside for conservation. South Africa's HI hostels have been selected for their locations near city centres, by the coast or close to game reserves.