South Africa - The Rainbow Nation

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Discover a world in one country where rich and varied colours, cultures and traditions come together in this vibrant Rainbow Nation.  Stroll along sun-drenched beaches, explore rolling plains alive with varied wildlife, travel to the southernmost tip of Africa, where two oceans meet and the unmistakable shape of Table Mountain casts its level gaze over the city of Cape Town.

Highlights

SA landscape 2Cape Town City - venture through streets crowded with history. From the City Hall where Nelson Mandela gave his liberation speech to the multi-cultural Green Market Square, Cape Town has it all. Explore the colour, vibrancy and history of the Malay Quarter of Cape Town. Wander around the Castle of Good Hope, learn about the Cape Town Diamond Works and discover the true heart of the Mother City.

Cape Wine Lands - the rolling vineyards of South Africa's wine-producing heartland welcome visitors for summer picnics, wine tasting and gourmet food. Visit charming wine farms nestled on the outskirts of the historic towns of Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch, featuring exceptional wines indigenous to the country.

Garden Route - refresh your senses with a scenic drive down South Africa’s Garden Route. Stretching from Cape Town to the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, this route features incredible views passing through Du Toits Kloof, Oudtshoorn farmlands, Cango Caves and Knysna Lagoon. Stroll through the lush Tsitsikamma forest, bungee jump at Blaauwkrantz Bridge and stop over at Nature’s Valley, one of South Africa’s most beautiful coastal towns.

Robben Island - take a short ferry-ride to the historic site of Nelson Mandela’s prison, where ex-prisoners paint a vivid picture of what life on Robben Island was like.

Table Mountain - enjoy a scenic ride with the cableway up to the top of Cape Town’s renowned flat-topped mountain where afternoon clouds roll over like a pristine white tablecloth. View the city’s panoramic vistas from the restaurants and bars while the golden sun sets on the horizon.Cape town

Durban City - travel along the beachfront to see sari-clad Indian women walking on the sand besides traditional healers collecting bottles of seawater to use as muti (medicine). Continue past Durban City Hall and the Playhouse Theatre complex to the Indian Markets for a true taste of local culture. Enjoy the scents of spices and see the hawkers and herbalists ply their trades. Take a look inside the magnificent Emanuel Cathedral before departing the city via the informal settlement of Cato Manor. Pass the Indian Temples to the Botanic Gardens-an oasis of tranquillity amongst the bustling city of Durban.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park - a very special slice of Africa, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park St offers ecotourists some of the most diverse wildlife and outdoor experiences imaginable. Besides Lake St Lucia - a unique, 38 000 ha expanse of lake, islands and estuary - the park incorporates an astonishing variety of habitats ranging from the Ubombo mountains to grasslands, forests, wetlands, mangroves and vegetated dunes, with magnificent beaches and coral reefs.

Johannesburg City - tour the City of Gold, a bustling cosmopolitan hub with a dynamic urban nightlife. Visit the city’s many urban escapes, the vibrant township of Soweto along with insightful struggle monuments, informal taverns and lively music venues.

Pilansberg National Park - just northwest of Johannesburg, Pilansberg National Park and Game Reserve is one of the most topographically diverse reserves in South Africa spanning 135,900 acres and offering spectacular scenery and wonderful wildlife viewing.313633 4404292025211 1629678949 n

Apartheids Museum - the Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa, at the hart of which is the apartheid story. Experience the struggle for freedom up close at this engaging museum located between Johannesburg and Soweto.

Addo Elephant National Park - the park conserves one of the largest concentrations of Elephants and other game species in South Africa and is situated close to the city of Port Elizabeth. The private game reserves generally include a comprehensive safari package with full accommodation, game drives and bush walks.      

Tsitsikamma Forest - South Africa’s only significant indigenous forest reserve features some exceptional hiking trails and coastal scenery. The reserve straddles the N2 in the extreme west of the Western Cape Province. The reserve straddles the N2 and is approximately 615 km from Cape Town and 195 km from Port Elizabeth.          

Pretoria City - visit the Jacaranda City in full bloom, exploring its many historical sites including  Union Buildings designed by Sir Hubert Baker, the President's office, Church Square, Paul Kruger and Melrose Houses and the Voortrekker Monument.

Kruger National Park - explore one of South Africa’s oldest and largest game reserves boasting a tremendous variety of game and birdlife in its numerous habitats. See the “big five” up close and enjoy true safari-style adventuring at this exceptional reserve.

Panorama Route - the route is one of the most beautiful and popular travel destinations in South Africa. It leads through the rugged mountain range of the northern Drakensberg. Here, in the north-eastern part of the Great Escarpment, the inland plateau declines abruptly and steeply and opens up fantastic views of the plains of the Lowveld a thousand metres below.

ActivitiesPotholes

Golf - spend some time out on the fairways under the bright African sun at South Africa's most prestigious golf estates.

Game viewing - accompanied by experienced guides and trackers, an open safari vehicle game drive is one of the best ways to experience the African bush.

Scuba diving in the Indian Ocean - dive South Africa’s incredible reefs that are alive with a variety of marine creatures including loggerhead and green back turtles, sharks and dolphins to name a few.

Shark diving - experience the thrill of a close encounter with Bull sharks (Zambezis), Spotted Ragged tooth shark, Tiger sharks, Whale sharks, Copper sharks and the occasional Great White at Aliwal Shoal, Cape Town, Gansbaai, Kleinbaai and Protea Banks.

Whale watching - watch as Southern Right Whales sport along the shores of Hermanus, False Bay, Table Bay, Hout Bay, Betty’s Bay and Kelders. Abundant from July to December, these whales swim as close as 10m to the shore.  Best month for whale watching is normally in September.

Best time to visit?

South Africa has a very varied climate from one region to the other.  In general the best months to travel are the winter months when game viewing is an important part of your holiday - especially for the inland parks.  The Cape area experience winter rainfall and for parks in that area the opposite would be true with regards to game viewing.  The best time for a Cape beach holiday would be from November to March.

More or less all of the rest of the country, including popular destinations like the Kruger National Park, have heavy summer thundershowers from December to March.  The winter months, from May to October, tend to be dry.

Note that the months of June to August tend to have very cold mornings and evenings and it is better to change to accommodated options when in mountainous areas like the Drakensberg. 

Lesedi Cultural Village.4Fast Facts

Local       Language English is widely spoken, however major languages include, isiZulu, IsiXhosa, Sepedi, Setswana, Sesotho, Afrikaans and Xitsonga.
Capital Tswane (formerly known as Pretoria) 
Currency  Rand (R), subdivided into 100 cents. 

Try these local delicacies:

Biltong              
a salty dried meat 
Bobotie  a dish of Malay descent, similar to meatloaf served with yellow rice, sambals, coconut, banana slices, and chutney 
Boerewors  a sausage that is traditionally braaied (barbecued) 
Koeksisters  twisted pastries, deep fried and heavily sweetened