South Africa could win you over on looks alone. With golden beaches and dramatic cliffs, South Africa turns its spectacular setting into much-loved tourist attractions: the towering Table Mountain, penguin-occupied Boulders Beach, and acres of wilderness in Table Mountain National Park are just a few. Despite lingering signs of colonialism that include shantytowns and Robben Island Prison—where Nelson Mandela’s cell exists—this rising star’s mood is undeniably upbeat.

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