South Africa

- THE WORLD IN ONE COUNTRY -

South Africa boasts an astounding diversity of African, European and Oriental influences. Blessed with elegant wine lands, pristine beaches, imposing mountains, cosmopolitan cities, wonderful Big Five game parks and bustling township streets. South Africa is often referred to as “The World in One Country.” This beautiful country is home to a wonderfully diverse population and geography, some 50 million people from at least 20 ethnic groups.


JOHANNESBURG & SURROUNDS
Johannesburg, known as ‘Jo’burg’ or ‘Jozi’ by the locals, lies in a province called Gauteng. The name Gauteng is a Sesotho word meaning “place of gold” after rich deposits of gold were found here. It is the economic heart of the country and home to the infamous South Western Townships (SOWETO) which were at the heart of the struggle against Apartheid.

A huge investment has been made into reviving the city centre which is slowly coming back to life. It is one of the most developed cities in Africa and has the most sophisticated infrastructure on the continent.

Pretoria, 40 km north of Johannesburg, is known as Jacaranda City due to its legendary purple Jacaranda tree-lined streets that bloom in October-November. The city is the administrative capital of South Africa and it is steeped in Afrikaner history.

Tour options include visits to:

  • The Apartheid Museum – unbeatably South Africa’s best museum
  • Cradle of Humankind caves – World Heritage Site where nearly half of the worlds’ humanoid fossils hail from
  • Historical landmarks in SOWETO, including Nelson Mandela’s old home
  • Lesedi Cultural Village gives insights to the different cultures of South Africa.
  • Gold Reef City – go underground and relive the gold rush days of South Africa
  • Sun City - a casino and theme park with 2 great golf courses, only 2 hours drive from Johannesburg
  • Johannesburg Art Gallery - largest art collection in Africa
  • Union Buildings – Pretoria
  • Voortrekker Monument – Pretoria
  • Paul Kruger House - Pretoria

Weather: This region experiences warm summers with convectional thundershowers in summer. Winters are mild to warm during the day but very cold at night time, with temperatures as low as 0°C.


KWAZULU NATAL & DURBAN
KwaZulu Natal is South Africa’s most populous province and home of the Zulu people. Durban is the main city in this region and the second biggest city in the country after Johannesburg. It has the largest Indian population outside of India, descendants of those brought by the British in the 19th century. It is the melting pot of African, Indian and European.

The architecture in the city is a mixture of Victorian and art-deco which merges with mosques, temples and modern buildings. Durban feels like a real African city, it is alive and laid back.

Heading in a northerly direction from Durban the sugar cane fields have disappeared and is now where you find semi-luxurious coastal suburbs such as Umhlanga, Ballito and Zimbali. This region enjoys eternal summers with its tropical climate, and the sea waters are warm. The coast is lined with a number of blue-flag beaches for you to enjoy.

Greater St Lucia National Park / Isimangaliso National Park is a World Heritage Site. This is an eco-tourism wonderland with beautiful lakes, swamps, forests, sand dunes and the estuary of Lake St Lucia. It is one of the most beautiful wetlands in the world. It offers a myriad of water-based activities from kayaking to fishing and whale-watching.

The Kwazulu Natal Midlands area, found further inland from the coast, boasts undulating green hills and quaint Zulu villages. The countryside is wild, majestic and under-populated. It is home to the magnificent Drakensberg Mountains which have been declared a World Heritage area; Ukamhlaba Drakensberg Park; with Khoisan (Bushman) rock art having been recorded in over 600 sites across the mountain range. For the wild at heart there is a plethora of adventure activities to chose from.

There are many wonderful Big Five game parks offering unforgettable safari experiences in this malaria-free area.

Highlights include:

  • Isimangaliso/ Greater St Lucia Wetland Park
  • Ukamhlaba Drakensberg Mountains
  • Anglo-Boer Battlefields
  • u-Shaka Marine World
  • Beautiful Beaches
  • Zulu cultural villages
  • Big Five Game Parks - safari
  • Valley of 1000 Hills
  • Surfing, snorkeling and other seaside activities
  • World class golf courses

Weather: This region enjoys tropical weather conditions and the coastline is warm to hot throughout the year. The hottest months are December-February, where temperatures can exceed 30°C, with high humidity and thundershowers. In winter, June-July, average daytime temperatures are above 25°C along the coast and humidity levels low.

In the more mountainous parts of this region humidity is less of a problem and daytime temperatures are fairly warm. Night-time temperatures in winter can be as low as 0°C in the mountains.

 

EASTERN CAPE - HOME OF THE XHOSA PEOPLE

This is the birth-place of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela who is regarded by the locals as the Father of a Democratic South Africa.

If you want to go off-the-beaten-track this is the area for you. It offers wonderful nature excursions and unforgettable cultural experiences along its rugged coastline. You will find many sandy secluded beaches. It is the best place to sample traditional life in rural parts of South Africa.

The landscape ranges from desolate Great Karoo desert areas to lush forest. This is a wonderful year-round holiday destination. The temperatures do vary depending on the area but for the most part it offers hot summers and very mild winters.

Port Elizabeth is the main city in this province and has been re-named Nelson Mandela Bay. It is known at the Friendly City and this is not just a testament to the people but also its friendly weather conditions.

There are excellent malaria-free game parks in this area and a number of them offer children safaris. It is worth starting or ending your Garden Route trip in this region. The famed Addo Elephant Park is found here.

Highlights include:

  • Authentic cultural activities
  • Malaria-free Big Five safari
  • Unexplored beaches
  • Fishing, hiking and other nature activities

Weather: This very large area has varied temperatures.
Along the coast, summers are hot and winters mild with winter daytime temperatures often exceeding 20°C.
Further inland, summers are hot and winters are very cold with temperatures as low as 0°C.


WESTERN CAPE & CAPE TOWN
Cape Town is home to some of South Africa’s top tourist attractions. Founded in 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck and his band of Dutch settlers, Cape Town is rated as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Iconic Table Mountain dominates the city’s skyline.

Top attractions include catching the cable-car up Table Mountain to enjoy a panorama of the city and peninsula; taking a ferry to historic Robben Island; drinking tea at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and visiting the Castle of Good Hope.

There are numerous hikes and trails all around Cape Town for energetic visitors. For outdoor lovers, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, adorned in delicate indigenous fynbos, affords spectacular views. The region is an adventure traveller’s paradise offering a number of outdoor activities.

It is also a golfer’s paradise. From Cape Town all the way along the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth there are many world class golf courses to be played.

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront offers wonderful restaurants and prestigious shops. The Two Oceans Aquarium at The Waterfront are also well worth a visit.

Outdoor activities include:

  • Abseiling
  • Board surfing
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Kite surfing
  • Paragliding
  • Shark-diving with great white sharks
  • Swimming
  • Whale Watching

Weather: This region has a Mediterranean-like climate with dry, hot summers and mild, wet winters. Spring and summer last from late September to April.
Mid-summer is December-February with temperatures between 25 and 30°C, but temperatures can exceed 30°C as a result of south-easterly winds.
Mid-winter is during June and July and can be very wet with varied warm/hot and cold days.


THE GARDEN ROUTE
Known as South Africa’s Eden, the Garden Route meanders from the Western to the Eastern Cape between spectacular mountain ranges and the warm Indian Ocean. With vistas as varied as indigenous forests, Blue Flag beaches and the semi-desert of the Klein Karoo, the Garden Route offers visitors a multitude of leisure and adventure tour options.

Highlights along the Garden Route include:

The Wilderness: Picturesque beaches tailor-made for lounging in the sun. The beaches are long and exquisite but the ocean currents are extremely strong and swimming is not allowed. Activities include – hiking, abseiling, kloofing & canoeing.

Bungee Jumping: The highest commercially operating bungee jump in the world – 216 meters! Bloukrans uses pendulum bungee technology, ensuring you the smoothest and most comfortable bungee jump possible.

Tsitsikamma National Park and Storms River Mouth: Tsitsikamma, which means “the place of abundant waters’” in the Khoikhoi language, is a 2,561 hectare coastal park which includes forested valleys of the Groot River and the Salt River. This is a leisure seekers heaven, with lovely beaches and many hiking trails to choose from. There is also a restaurant in the park where one can stay and enjoy lunch.

World class golf courses: This includes the multi-award winning Pezula and Simola signature golf courses in Knysna, as well as three top courses at Fancourt and one at Oubaai in Herolds Bay

Exquisite beaches for you to enjoy the sun and water sports.

Activities are grouped around a series of towns along the Garden Route. These include Oudsthoorn, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay , St Francis and Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth).

The Garden Route is a long, coastal belt. The best time to visit is September to May. Mid day temperatures are warm but seldom exceed 30°C because of cool sea-breezes. The average summer high is 28°C. In winter time, June-July, the maximum is around 19°C and the minimum is 6°C. Rainfall occurs mainly in wintertime.


WEST COAST & CEDERBERG REGION
Along the West Coast of South Africa you will find quaint little towns littered throughout the countryside. Visit lovely little fishing towns like Paternoster where you can buy fresh rock lobster / crayfish for next to nothing and prepare them at your own self-catering seaside cottage.

The Cederberg semi-desert area lies 3 ½ hours outside Cape Town. It has wonderful rock formations and hiking trails. Be warned - some parts of the Cederberg have no mobile-phone reception.

Activities include:

  • Learn about Khoisan (Bushman) rock art and experience desert solitude
  • Amazing orange rock formations that will leave you awestruck
  • Great hiking in this area
  • Clanwilliam has the only Rooibos tea farming area in the world. Well worth a visit given Rooibos’ unique health properties.

Weather: This region gets progressively hotter and drier as you head north from Cape Town. Along the coast moderate winds can occur. Further inland, in the Cederberg region, temperatures can exceed 40°C in the summer months. In wintertime, this Cederberg region gets very cold and often experiences snow.


SAFARI
An African safari is often the culmination of a life-long dream, so when it comes to planning and booking your African safari, let us do the work for you. We’re passionate about Southern Africa, its wildlife, its people and its huge potential. We can tailor safari experiences to match your style and budget. From adventure bushwalks to horse riding in the wild - let us make your dreams come true!

The Kruger National Park: With its world renowned Big Five game viewing. This is the second biggest game reserve in the world after the Serengeti. It spills into Mozambique and animals roam freely across the unfenced border. This newly created extension makes it larger than Belgium in size. Accommodation is varied and ranges from exclusive boutique lodges to camping facilities. There is something for everyone. You can always find lodges that are well hidden away from the crowds.

In the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal regions you will find malaria-free Big Five safari lodges. You can also find many luxurious 5-star game lodges here, as well as lodges that are child friendly and have special game drives for the children. Let us know what you are looking for and we will create the dream-of-a-lifetime safari experience for you!

Lodges generally offer a package where all is included, two game drives and three meals per day. Local drinks are often, but not always, included. Afternoon tea is served before going out on your afternoon game drive.

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