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South Africa Travel Wiki
Travel to South Africa
With almost 3,000 miles of coastline to enjoy, South Africa gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy the Atlantic and Indian Oceans with just one visit. It’s a country that has 11 official languages, and since 1994, each group has had some level of representation within the government.
Some of the oldest artistic objects in the world today have come from this country, with multiple cave paintings available for viewing. You can go from a hot air balloon ride to horseback riding on the beach all on the same day. Have an intimate dinner in the Winelands or have an upbeat evening in Johannesburg at one of the many lively nightclubs.
No matter what your preferences may be, South Africa offers an opportunity for everyone to relax in their own way. One of the unique experiences you can find in South Africa is the opportunity to rent a motorcycle. Go off-roading along the Cederberg Mountains or cruise along Chapman’s Peak Drive to enjoy incredible views without the crush of the nation’s popular resorts.
If you prefer walking on two feet instead of riding on two wheels, then South Africa offers numerous safari options to enjoy as well. Guides can help you find native plants, animal tracks, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences with local wildlife. Most game reserves in South Africa offer at least one safari package for you to enjoy.
South Africa has open up its doors to provide warm and friendly hospitality to every visitor. Take the time to enjoy the vistas and culture and it will be one of the best experiences of your life.
Best of South Africa
More information about South Africa.
Visit South Africa and welcome, in 11 official languages, to the rainbow nation located at the southern tip of Africa. South Africa is bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho.
Travelling this vast country you will notice a very varying landscape populated by, probably one of the worlds most diverse populations.
Located at the top of the Cape Peninsula, Cape Town is probably the most popular destination in South Africa. Overlooking Cape Town is the prominent landmark of Table Mountain. Table Mountain is a level plateau with steep cliffs surrounding it which resembles a table. Frequently covered in clouds, these appear to hang over the edge of the mountain like a table cloth. There are some great beaches around Cape Town. Beaches on the Atlantic Coast have much cooler water than on the Indian Ocean Coast, with up to a 10 degree temperature difference. A short ferry ride away is Robben Island which served as a maximum security prison up until 1991, and is now a museam.
Close to Cape Town are The Winelands, popular with wine lovers and a great location for weddings. The Winelands are full of picturesque vineyards that produce some of the worlds best wines. There are six different wine regions, with the most famous being the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Hermanus wine regions. It is well worth going on one of the many wine tours in the regions.
The Cape Winelands is a beautiful region of picturesque mountains and fertile valleys – ideal for producing wine. Home to many world renowned South Africa wine estates, The Cape Winelands are located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, under and hours drive away from Cape Town. There are said to be over 200 wine cellars in the region, giving plenty of choice when it comes to sampling!
Stellenbosch Wine Region
The Stellenbosch Wine Region is probably the best known wine producing region in The Cape Winelands. It was the first region to set up a wine route back in the early 1970s. There are many great wine estates to visit in the region including: Spier, Zevenwacht, and Zorgvliet. The town of Stellenbosch was founded by Simon van Der Stel in 1679, and is the second oldest town in South Africa. The heritage of the town has been preserved well, with many of the original historical buildings still in existence along the oak lined avenues. If you are interested in the history of the region there are several museums and monuments in the town.
Franschhoek Wine Region
Founded over 300 years ago by French Calvinists, The Franschhoek Wine Region is surrounded by the Franchhoek, and the Drakenstein mountains. The Franschhoek Wine Region is home to some of South Africa’s best restaurants such as The Monneaux at Franschhoek Country House and Le Quartier Francais, which are well worth a visit. There are many wine farms in the region including: Rupert & de Rothschild Vignerons, La Petite Ferme, Grande Provence Wine Estate and Freedom Hill wines.
Hermanus Wine Region
The Hermanus Wine Region has 45 wine estates. The best place to try all the local wines (as well as cheese and olives) is the annual Hermanus Wine and Food Fair, where all the local producers showcase their wonderful wines and cuisine.
The Garden Route is a popular and scenic route along the south coast of South Africa, starting at Mossel Bay and finishing at Storms River in the Tsitsikamma National Park. The best way to enjoy the scenic route is to hire a car, to really open up the route to exploration in your own time. For those who would prefer not to drive, Africa’s last remaining passenger steam train runs between Mossel Bay and George.
Oudtshoorn is surrounded by the Outeniqua Mountains to the south and the Swartberg Mountains to the north, and situated in the centre of the Klein Karoo plains. Oudtshoorn is known as the ostrich capital, with vast numbers of the birds in the region. Four farms offer daily tours: Highgate, Safari, Oudtshoorn and Congo. The Cango Caves are one of the most spectacular attractions in the area. The Cango Caves are 3 limestone caverns covering a great distance, and filled with fascinating stalactites, stalagmites and helictites. It is also a great wine producing region, and forms part of the world’s largest wine route!
The town of Knysna is situated between lush indigenous forests and the peaceful shores of the Knysna lagoon, and has some of the most impressive scenery in Africa. You can enjoy the scenery up close by riding on horse back, or cycling through the forests. As well as the impressive scenery, there is an abundance of things to do whilst you are there, from cruising out to the Knysna heads, or playing a round of golf down by the estuary.
Plettenbery Bay is one of the most beautiful resort areas in South Africa, with mile upon mile of white sandy beaches. The climate stays warm throughout the year, making it a great location to relax and unwind. The Plettenberg Bay is teaming with all kinds of marine life. Of particular note are the large schools of dolphins and whales that are a common site during breeding season. These can be seen on one of the regular whale watching tours that are run from the bay.
KwaZulu Natal was formed from the provinces of Kwazulu and Natal and is set against the Indian Ocean with a sub tropical climate, is a great all year round holiday destination. The Drakensberg Mountains (which translated means Dragon Mountains) are highest in the KwaZulu Natal region. With spectacular scenery, they are great for hiking or for biking. Zululand is home to the largest concentration of battle sites in South Africa, between the British, Boers and Zulus, and there are tours available of the historic sites. A visit to the region isn’t complete unless you take in the culture and traditions of the hospitable Zulus.
The Drakensberg Mountains
The Drakensberg Mountains (a World Heritage Site) are South Africa’s highest mountains. The Drakensberg Mountains were referred to as the Dragon Mountains by early settlers. The mountains are home to many nature reserves, including Mount-aux-Sources, and uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park. One of the most spectacular sites in the Drakensberg Mountains is that of Tugela Falls. Tugela Falls is the second highest waterfall in the world and is a magnificent sight to behold! On the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains are a series of caves with primitive paintings on the walls, for those interested in ancient history and art. The Drakensberg Mountains offer beautiful walking trails, cascading waterfalls and great fishing, ideal for the outdoor enthusiast.
Zululand contains some of the most famous battle sites from the Anglo-Zulu and Boer wars. Some of the most well known Anglo-Zulu battle sites are at Isandlwana, Rorke`s Drift and Fugitives Drift. Boer war sites include Talana Hill (the site of the first battle of the Anglo-Boer War), and Spioenkop (where both Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi were present).
Kwazulu Natal Game Reserves
Kwazulu Natal features some of the oldest game reserves in South Africa, and is a great way place to experience the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino! Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park (established in 1895) is the oldest game reserve. Set in the heart of Zululand, it is a large and incredibly scenic park with rippling hills covered in low acacia bush. The park is particularly famous for its conservation of endangered black rhino and the largest population of white rhino in the world. Other game reserves in the area include Ithala Game Reserve Area, and Tembe Elephant Park.
South Africa Safari
South Africa is home to some great malaria free safaris. Sabi Sands Game Reserve situated on the western border of the Kruger National Park has excellent guides, luxury accommodation and fine cuisine. The Madikwe Game Reserve situated on the Botswana border, is one of the largest game reserves in South Africa, with many superb lodges to stay in. The Shamwari Game Reserve is located on the Garden Route with many great lodges to stay in. Safari’s in Waterberg have some of the most exceptional scenery as a back drop to your wildlife experience.
Below you can find usefull travel resources for your visit to the country
When are holidays and no working days in the country ?
|1 January||New Year's Day|
|21 March||Human Rights Day|
|27 April||Freedom Day|
|1 May||Workers' Day|
|16 June||Youth Day|
|9 August||National Women's Day|
|24 September||Heritage Day|
|16 December||Day of Reconciliation|
|25 December||Christmas Day|
|26 December||Boxing Day|
Which are the largest cities ?
Listing of the most important and largest cities in the country