South Africa is a truly remarkable country and a wonderful holiday destination. It has a rich historical heritage, magnificent natural beauty, abundant wildlife all complimented by a range of accomodation from the simple to the luxurious with a huge spectrum of activities both on land or sea. Here we give just a few of the highlights of the country to help you to decide what you want to see and where you want to stay on your holiday.
From KwaZulu-Natal to the Wild Coast, from the Eastern Cape to the West Coast, South Africa boasts more than 3 000km of coastline. Pristine beaches, fishing communities, golf estates, luxury hotels and guest-houses dot the landscape as you explore the marine wonderland that is South Africa .
With nearly a thousand bird species, no wonder South Africa has become one of the Worlds bird hot spots.
Bloukrans River Bridge - IT IS OFFICIAL - You can now bungi-jump the highest commercial bungi jump in the world, usurping the position previously held by Vic Falls. The bridge is 216 m high but the jump is only about 160 m. You jump from the arch support of the bridge, not from the road and getting there and back is an experience in itself. After the jump you are winched back up to the bridge.
The Cango Caves lie in the Swartberg Mountain Range in a limestone belt measuring 1,5km in width and almost 16km in length. The present tourist route extends for 1,2km into the cave, with a further 4,1km being kept closed to the public for conservation reasons.
Cango Wildlife Ranch
The Cango Wildlife Ranch is situated just outside Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, and since its inception in 1977 it has grown to become one of the largest tourist attractions of the region. In 1988 the Ranch developed a facility known as Cheetahland, within its borders, in an effort to promote its goal of making the public aware of endangered species. This unique facility is home to a large variety of big cats, which can be viewed from an elevated "catwalk" providing an uninhibited view of these magnificent creatures.
Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
Located at the southern most tip of the peninsula is the nature reserve, with fantastic panoramic views of the Cape of Good Hope from the viewing area, reached by cable car. The area has a dry and desolate look but this is deceptive as more than half the flowering plants of the peninsula, like the protea grow here. The reserve is also home to zebra, baboon, ostrich and eland. En route from Cape Town, the penguin colony at Boulder's Bay is worth stopping for as is Simon's Town a naval town and the country's third oldest European settlement.
Cape Town is the most fabulously diverse and vibrant city, with great natural beauty, fascinating architecture, great restaurants, bars and nightlife.
Whether you hike to the top or take the cable car, the views from Table Mountain are astounding. See the famous 'dassies (rock rabbits) scampering aound the rocks and also the imposing Lion's Head and Devil's Peak which together with Table Mountain form the Cape Peninsula.
Take a ferry from the V & A Waterfront to Robben Island to see the tiny cell which held Nelson Mandela for almost three decades.
Just an hour's drive from Cape Town are the beautiful towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and Constancia in the heart of the wine producing area. Visit some of the beautiful wine estates and taste some of the best wines in the world.
Cradle of Humankind
Declared a World Heritage Site, the Cradle of Humankind west of Johannesburg includes, among its numerous sites, the Sterkfontein Caves, where anthropologist Dr Robert Broom discovered the skull of Mrs. Ples, a three-million year-old hominid, in 1936. At the time she was thought to be the closest evidence of the "missing link" to be found.
Recently proclaimed a World Heritage Site the mighty Drakensberg Mountains offer panoramic views of towering peaks, waterfalls and sparkling rock pools. Prime sites include Cathedral Peak, Monks Cowl, Champagne Castle, Giant's Castle, Cathkin Peak and the geological phenomenon of the Drakensberg Ampitheatre, all of which are scattered across this majestic range. One of the most breath taking sights is Tugela Falls where the river rushes for over a mile over sheer cliffs and cascades through a dramatic gorge to the valley floor.
Durban is a holiday makers paradise with a sub tropical climate and carnival atmosphere. The amusement area is known as the Golden Mile which actually stretches for 4 miles and offers endless attractions and entertainment. There is a rapidly expanding harbour-front area to explore as well as the vibrant Victoria Street Market at the centre of Durban's Indian community.
Whether approached from Cape Town or from Port Elizabeth, in the east, the Garden Route holds visitors spellbound with its abundance of rivers, spectacular mountain passes, lagoons, lakes, beaches and birdlife.The highlights of this amazing area are too numerous to mention but a few include Tsitskamma National Park- a area of ancient forest with hiking trails, and a long coastal plateau which stretches five kilometres out to sea. The park is alive with fynbos, wild orchids, otters, baboons small buck and over 280 bird species.
The Storms River area offers a host of activities from abseling, canopy walking, hiking and black water tubing.
With its sucession of bays, white sandy beaches, spectacular cliffs and tidal pools it is not suprising that some of the premier coastal resorts are along the Garden Route.
Greater St Lucia Wetland Park
On the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal this massive park has recently been declared a World Heritage Site. Extending over 680 acres of wilderness there are at least five different ecosystems represented including a vast lake, coral reefs, a sub tropical wilderness, reed covered islands swamps and towering dunes. With such diverse ecology the park is home to all forms of wildlife including 6000 white pelicans, 800 hippos, 1200 crocodiles as well as turtles, flamingos, shark, whales and dolphins.
The Greater St Lucia Wetlands lie 136 miles north of Durban.
The local whale crier of Hermanus, rings his bell to alert people that the whales have arrived. From May/June through to November these massive and fascinating creatures come close to the shore offering an exhilarating sight.
Highgate Ostrich farm
Highgate, established almost 100 years ago by the Hooper family, is a large Ostrich Farming concern producing primarily feathers and ostrich by-products. Highgate opened to the public in 1938 and since then many thousands of visitors from all over the world have been entertained on the establishment.
The Hluhluwe and Umfolozi reserves were founded in 1895 and are the oldest such sanctuaries in Africa. It was here that the world- acclaimed Operation Rhino was introduced during the 1960s, successfully capturing and relocating white rhino to havens within South Africa and abroad. As a result, this country's white rhino population is now 12 times the 1960 count of 500. Today a single park, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi is focusing its efforts on saving the endangered black rhino, whose number in Africa has dwindled from 14 000 to a pitiful 2 550 in the past decade. You'll find at least a fifth of the world's black and white rhino population here.
Hout Bay is a charming fishing village overlooked by majestic mountains, it combines the sophistication of the Riviera with the rugged beauty of Africa. As well as being a tranquil haven to relax or swim there are numerous restaurants & cosy pubs.Visit THE WORLD OF BIRDS or hop on to a cruise boat out of the harbour to see Seal Island & the bird life on offer. The famous Fish on the Rocks, English Fish & Chips, at the end of the harbour boasts the best calamari, Snoek & chips in Cape Town.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to promote & conserve the indigenous flora of southern Africa. Situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, the estate covers 528 hectares and includes both a cultivated garden and nature reserve.
There are several trails through natural forests & access to Table Mountain is possible via marked routes up, Skeleton Gorge & Nursery ravine. The restaurant is open daily, as well as a book & curio shop to browse through. Every Sunday from December to March the Gardens host Summer Sunset Concerts, featuring a wide variety of music both local & classical. Take along a picnic as this is something no visitor to the Cape should miss.
Kruger National Park
Covering an area of nearly five million acres, the Kruger National Park is the largest reserve in South Africa and home to an amazing variety of animals including the 'big five'- lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. Whether staying in the park in a private reserve or just close by, the best way to explore is on a dawn or dusk game drive with an experienced ranger who impart their knowledge and experience. Safaris in an open topped jeep, or on foot can afford amazing close up views of the worlds greatest variety of wildlife. The park is approximately 220 miles from Johannesburg and can be reached by scheduled flights, chartered planes into the private reserves or by road.
Madikwe Game Reserve
As South Africa's fourth largest game reserve, Madikwe is home to 31 species of some 10,000 animals including the 'big five', wild dog, white and black rhino, hyena and cheetah. The area comprises rocky ravines, mountain plateaux, open grassland, savannas and riverine forests.
The malaria free reserve is just 4 miles south of the Botswana boarder and about a four hour drive north of Johannesburg.
Marakele National Park
The Marakele National Park lies in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains and has an impressive variety of wildlife due to its location in the zone between the dry western and moister eastern regions of South Africa. The park is characterised by contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass clad rolling hills and deep valleys. Rare finds of yellow wood and cedar trees, 16 foot high cycads and tree ferns, are some of the plant species found here. All the large game species from elephant and rhino to the big cats as well as an amazing variety of birds, including the endangered Cape vultures are to be found in the park. The malaria free reserve is 155 miles north of Johannesberg.
Only an hours drive west of Durban is the well sign posted arts and crafts route known as the Midlands Meander. With over 100 places to visit, ranging art studios to rustic pubs. Visit the Natal Railway Museum, a magnet for steam enthusiasts, Midmar Dam a centre for watersports or the area of Dargle, for super flyfishing.
Every Spring (August to September), the Northern Cape comes alive with vast fields of daisies in a natural splash of vivid colour. Fed by winter rains, the flower grounds of Namaqualand are a photographer's delight.
The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe is the last steam hauled scheduled passenger train operating in Southern Africa and runs daily between George and Knysna. The route of the Choo-Tjoe is from George, via Victoria Bay, Wilderness, Sedgefield and Goukamma to Knysna and encompasses some of the most spectacular scenery in South Africa in the heart of the Garden Route Lake District.
Pilanesberg National Park
The park offers a malaria free game experience with over 8000 large animals, including the 'big five' and over 350 species of birds. The game sanctuary is covered with grasslands and granite outcrops fashioned from a desolate volcanic crater in the late seventies when long vanished wildlife was re introduced.
Just 123 miles from Johannesburg close to the Sun City Resort, Pilansberg can be reached by road or flights into Sun City.
The gateway to the Garden Route, is the 'Friendly City' of Port Elizabeth. Founded in 1820 when some 4000 British families settled here to start a new life, the city is replete with their graceful period houses. With miles of wide sandy beaches it is a magnet for swimmers, surfers and sailors.
A short cruise from Cape Town 's V&A Waterfront by ferry, this legendary island is a must-see on any newcomer's itinerary. This is where Nelson Mandela and his comrades were imprisoned for decades during the Apartheid era. Former inmates will take you on an insightful tour of the prison grounds. This historical island is now a World Heritage Site and a proclaimed nature conservation area.
South Africa was one of the first Countries Worldwide to make the Great White a protected species. We can offer you the chance to get extremely close to these awesome animals. You can go on a Shark dive or alternatively just view them from the safety of the boat.
Just South of Johannesburg lies Soweto - the largest of South Africa 's "townships". This vibrant city is home to some 2 million people and a number of historical sights. A typical visit to Soweto includes a stop at a traditional shebeen (drinking hall), where you can savor local beer, food and hospitality, as well as a visit to the homes where Nobel laureates Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu once lived
Over the centuries it has become one of South Africa's most famous landmarks. The steep cliffs and rocky outcrops of the mountain play home to a number of plants and animals. The mountain is home to approximately 1470 species of plants. Take a guided walk on one of the many routes or simply ride the cable car to the top - it will be one of your lasting memories of SA.
The Addo Elephant National Park
Deep within the shadows of the dense valley of the Sundays River Region, lies the Addo Elephant Park. It is a sanctuary for over 200 elephants who belong to an isolated gene pool, and are therefore smaller than other African elephant, with a reddish hue. The area is home to the unique flightless dung beatle found almost exclusively in Addo, and given right of way on the roads in the park.
The Baxter Theatre
The Baxter is a World Class South African theatre situated in Rondebosch at the foot of Devil’s Peak. The exciting and diverse artistic programme ranges from celebrated South African works to international productions. Every year more than 350,000 people watch more than 1000 performances at this popular theatre.
Two Oceans Aquarium
What makes the Two Oceans Aquarium so diverse is the location. It is here that the cold water of the Atlantic meets the warmer Indian Ocean. Few places in the world are in a more favourable position to feature the flora and fauna of oceans so different in temperature and the life they support. The construction and outstanding success of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront was the catalyst in reawakening this dream of an Aquarium.
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
The Waterfront Company was formed in 1988 with a mandate to develop the historic harbour as a mixed use area, focusing on tourism and commerce with the continuing operation of the working harbour.
Besides banks, shops, restaurants & cinemas the waterfront provides a variety of entertainment for the whole family. Visit the Two Oceans aquarium, Cyber world & the S.A. Maritime Museum, Scratch Patch & craft markets.
If that is not enough you can stroll & enjoy the spectacle of buskers, street entertainers & musicians or enjoy the lively music & acts at the Amphitheatre. Helicopter trips, leisure boat trips as well as trips to Robben Island run from here.
White Water Rafting
The Breede River (Western Cape) offers a weekend breakaway that is as good as a holiday. Surrounded by its tranquil beauty, this river is an exciting, yet safe rafting adventure.
The trip requires no experience and the whole family is welcome to participate.
Relive the horror of some of the most bloody battles fought between the British and Zulu warriors. Isandlwana, where British troops were massacred by the Zulu army and Rorke's Drift where a handful of British soldiers held a mighty Zulu regiment at bay. The battles are brought vividly to life by historians and expert guides. Close to the town of Dundee and about 175 miles from Durban.
AND IN CLOSING...
Each province has its own attractions and varies from each other. From weather conditions, to its own individual beauty and scenery. Gauteng area and regions offer most of the luxury game reserves and an abundance of world-class casinos, including Montecasino, Gold Reef City, Emperors Palace, Carnival City and the Lost City at Sun City. Kwazulu Natal offers incredible history on the Zulu wars, enjoy a journey through the battlefields and Oceanside golf courses. All our provinces have world class golf courses, some designed by world famous golf pro's. Beauty, health and wellness spa's are found in all our provinces. South Africa is acknowledged as an international conference destination. We offer a variety of types of accommodation from the back packers lodges to the 5* hotels. Our infrastructure and technology makes it possible for any businessman or leisure traveler to have all the amenities on hand for an unforgettable holiday or business trip. Come and enjoy our country with us!