A visit to South Africa can represent a once in a lifetime experience. However, if all you have of the area are preconceived notions based on perceptions rather than fact, then you could likely do with some help.
The country has had a very turbulent past, but it is in no way a reflection of its present. Believe it or not, traveling around South Africa is quite a bit like traveling around Europe, Australia, and even North America.
If you are going to be staying for less than ninety days, for instance, and if you are from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and quite a few countries in Europe, you will not need a visa according to this Belgian website.
The climate there is quite beautiful for the majority of the year; however, it has been said in many instances that visit during the European Summer is the best time, especially if you fancy going whale watching, on safari, or many other things.