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South Africa

South Africa offers an extraordinary variety of travel options; game reserves, cosmopolitan cities, mountain resorts and pristine beaches. Lions and diamonds, ancient forts and tribal dancing, flickering campfire, the fish eagle's haunting cry.

 

South Africa


Few countries rival South Africa's scenic splendor, rolling farmlands, fertile vineyards, traditional tribal villages and 20th century skylines. It is a country blessed with beauty, spectacular mountains, a prodigious floral kingdom, fishing harbors, broad white beaches all surrounded by a sapphire sea. A coastline dotted with tranquil beaches and charming seaside resorts from Mozambique to the mouth of the Orange River. Great contrasts from the Karoo's Valley of desolation to Namaqualand transformed in the spring by a blaze of brilliant blooms, from the craggy Drakensberg Mountains to the imposing golden cliffs of the north-eastern highlands.

The countries friendly hospitality is legendary and accommodation standards are high. Wherever you go be assured of a warm welcome, comfort, good service, excellent food and fine wines. Gracious Cape Dutch buildings recall the leisurely charm of vanished eras and the origins of the earliest settlers. In far flung areas tribal people inhabit beehive huts, tilling the soil and herding cattle, ever mindful of the ancestral spirits. The country's rich multicultural mix is strikingly reflected on its restaurant menus: Traditional Cape Malay dishes, Natal's spicy Indian heritage, pizza/pasta parlours, and French, Portuguese, Greek, German, Chinese and Japanese eateries.

In habitats from desert dunelands to savannah lands and shady subtropical forests, South Africa's game reserves are inhabited by an unparalleled variety of animal and bird species. Major scene-stealers are probably the elephant, lion, leopard buffalo and rhino ( The Big Five ). However, you don't want to miss the Kudu peaking from the forest at dusk and the golden orb spiders large web glistening as dawn breaks and casts it light. Experienced rangers familiar with the foibles of the innumerable inhabitants of the bush are only too happy to share their anecdotes with you. Provincial and National Parks, Luxurious privately owned game lodges, offer a variety of accommodation so you can rough it or live it up. An incomparable experience awaits you in the South African wilderness.

Western Cape ~ the fairest cape
Situated on the south-western tip of Africa, the Western Cape is the meeting point of the cold Atlantic and the warm Indian Oceans. The Western Cape is home to Cape Town dominated by the flat-topped bulk of Table Mountain, vast winelands, magnificent beaches, world-class restaurants and cosmopolitan entertainment haunts. The Cape boasts exquisite scenery and a myriad of cultures and tourist treasures that are just waiting to be discovered. Every Season in the fairest Cape has its own enchantment; the flowers of spring, the ripening orchards of summer, the reds and golds of autumn, the cool freshness of winter. Some of the major sites not to miss: Table Mountain, The V&A Waterfront, Robben Island, the winelands, Cape Agulhas, Cape Point, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and the West Coast. Take the coastal drive east along the Garden Route a land of lakes, bays, mountains and forests languishing on the southern coast from Heidelberg to the Eastern Capes Tsitsikamma Forest and Storms River. The Klein Karoo and central Karoo host towering mountains, sheer gorges and semi-arid starkness filled with rock art, ostrich farms and interesting geological formations.

Eastern Cape ~ on the wild side
The diverse Eastern Cape landscape ranges from the dry desolate Great Karoo to the steamy forest of the Wild Coast and the Keiskamma Valley. Widespread hills are juxtaposed with sandy beaches where small town South Africa will greet you offering hospitality and friendship. Major attractions in this area include: Addo Elephant Park, The Nelson Mandela Museum, Valley of Desolation, Hole in the Wall, The Tsitsikamma National Park, Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, The Owl House, Snow Skiing at Tiffindell (the only ski resort in South Africa) and the fabulous beaches. The untouched and pristine coastline offers 800 km of the worlds best beaches. You'll also be able to go game viewing in the private reserves and National parks which are malaria free and very family friendly. The Wild Coast draws fisherman to its unspoiled and mild seas offering a pleasant climate.

Northern Cape~ Flower carpets and great noices
Home to the ancient San people, the Northern Cape is about wide-open spaces, an utterly beautiful coastline and a number of unique national parks offering a very different experience of the South African landscape. "Aukoerebis" – Place of Great noice is here where the Orange River pushed through a narrow cleft and down a series of cataracts into the worlds largest prodigious gorge. This province boasts a colorful history and a variety of cultural tourist attractions and is particularly well known for its incredible annual floral display that takes place in the magic carpet of Namaqualand.

Gauteng ~ treasure chest of South Africa
The commercial and industrial center of southern Africa, incorporating Johannesburg, Pretoria and Soweto, Gauteng is a cosmopolitan, multicultural mix of people from all walks of life, from all corners of the world. There is a wealth of culture to be mined in the museums, galleries, art routes and historical battlefields. The Witwatersrand also famous for the Sterkfontein caves in the dolomite hills north of Krugersdorp, are among the richest early hominid fossil sites in the world. Gauteng is also an entertainment playground, offering a plethora of world-class restaurants, shebeens, shopping malls and music venue.

KwaZulu-Natal ~ towering peaks and a barrier of spears
Washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean with its subtropical coastline, sweeping savannah and magnificent Drakensberg mountain range KwaZulu-Natal, known as the Kingdom of the Zulu, is a melting pot of African, European and Indian cultures catering to every taste imaginable. This province boasts two World Heritage Sites – the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park and the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park. KZN offers fantastic beaches, sunny weather, game parks, rolling green hills, sugar cane plantations and relics of great battles. Major points of interest include: Durban's Grey Street home to the Indian district and best place to enjoy spicy local food, The Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park World Heritage Site, The Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. This is also the Kingdom of the Zulus and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game reserves. Enjoy scuba diving along the coast of Sodwana and Rocktail Bay, or take a safari at the spectacular reserves boasting a fantastic cross section of wildlife. History buffs will enjoy The Battlefield, and Inanda Heritage Route or simply meander through the picture postcard country of the Midland, through the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

Limpopo ~ land of cycads and healing waters
The great Limpopo River flows along the northern border of this province rich in wildlife and spectacular scenery with a wealth of historical and cultural treasures. Known as the Great North, home to Modjadji, the fabled Rain Queen; The Stone Age and Iron age relics of Makapansgat Valley and the treasures of Mapungubwe this is a land of ancient and pre-historic secrets. This land of wide open bushveld, big sky country straddles the northern Kruger Park, boasting wildlife safaris, nature trails the ever-present thorn tree and the mystical baobab tree. The Limpopo province also offers up Africa's wild Edens – from highveld grassland savannahs to subtropical forests to formidable mountain ranges.

Mpumalanga ~ intimations of paradise
Here is still a hint of wildness, a glorious visual scope with mountains, valleys, rivers, cascading waterfalls, lush vegetation, pockets of primal forest and a colorful profusion of flowers and birds to decorate the countryside. Mpumalanga means "place where the sun rises and is loved by all for its beauty and diversity". Home to the Kruger National, the savannah lowlands team with wildlife as you track the spoor of kudu and giraffe, listen to the haunting cry of the fish eagle, roar of lion, crackle of campfire and chatter of cicada ... all timeless sounds of Africa. The major sites in this province include; The Kruger National Park, some of the best game lodges in the world, Big Catch Country for fly fishing enthusiasts, Pilgrims Rest for a return to the gold rush days, the Blyde River Canyon and God's Window ledge. Bourkes Luck Potholes, Mac-Mac Falls all offer breathtaking panoramas. Explore the local Shangaan culture or a traditional Ndebele Village for impressive Arts and culture.

Free State ~wide open spaces and sandstone cliffs
The province of the Free State has a rich and interesting history, from its earliest inhabitants to the arrival of European settlers and the clashes that followed. It is centered around traditional African cultures, but built on the influences of the early European settlers. Out of this has come a uniquely South African culture, which not only reflects this province's historical past, but also the great diversity of its people. Offering some o the best off-the-beaten track scenic drives in the country through attractive farm land and dotted with farm houses among tall trees. See the Golden Gate highlands National park, Vredefot Dome, Gariep Dam Nature Reserve and of course the Maluti Mountains.

North-West – the playground of the north
The Magaliesberg range forms a natural boundary between the highveld and the bushveld sustaining a wide variety of plant and animal life. With game viewing in malaria-free nature reserves, adrenaline junkies will enjoy hiking and mountain biking trails which meander across a unique rugged terrain, white water rafting, canoeing and fly-fishing opportunities along the Vaal River. Then there's the Mafikeng Game Reserve with an important White Rhino breeding centre. The Botsalano Game Reserve teems with game roaming through Kahalari thornveld growing in an ancient volcanic crater and Madikwe Game Reserve, 70 000 ha of bush hosting cheetah, wild dog, hyena, lion, elephant, black and white rhino, buffalo, zebra, and giraffe, to name only its largest denizens.