We visited South Africa for the first time during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. We were very impressed not only by the way it was organized and the atmosphere inside and outside the stadiums, but also the natural beauty and the hospitality in South Africa. We were also amazed by strong cultural communities, impressive diversity and the image of the great hero, Nelson Mandela and his struggle. It was important for us to know South Africa‘s been well-known worldwide for its tough history, tenacity, resilience and its choice of reconciliation above racial hatred.
Since this first travel, we consider South Africa as a Great Superpower for Adventure Travels in Africa. We recommend also adventure travelers to discover this marvelous country. Like us, they’ll find an impressive wildlife with the Big Five animals (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and black rhinoceros) in national parks, whose reputations are not exagerated. South Africa will also offer the beauty and big variety of its nature to visitors. Finaly, adventure travellers will not lack of outdoor activities in South Africa thanks to the variety of its landscapes.
South Africa is located at the southern tip of Africa. It is bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho. It is a vast country with widely varying landscapes and has 11 official languages, as well as an equally diverse population. South Africa is renowned for its wines and is one of the world’s largest producers of gold. In 2010, South Africa hosted the first Football World Cup to be held on the African continent.
The climate in South Africa ranges from desert and semi-desert in the north west of the country to sub-tropical on the eastern coastline. The rainy season for most of the country is in the summer, except in the Western Cape where the rains come in the winter. Rainfall in the Eastern Cape is distributed evenly throughout the year. Winter temperatures hover around zero; summers can be very hot, in excess of 35° Celsius in some places.
Why visit South Africa ?
South Africa is one among the most varied and yet very captivating countries on the entire earth, with its interesting blend of people, culture history and landscapes. This is why this country offers to adventure travelers an exceptional and exciting experience. It has several game parks like the Kruger National park, outstanding sceneries, very secure past-apartheid setting and eight UNESCO international Heritage sites all in just one destination.
There’s also no trip consider complete in South Africa without visiting any of the tea estates in South Africa. The WineLands of Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch which is an International Cultural terrain, has several wonderful coffee shops alongside enjoyable restaurants plus luxurious accommodation facilities for you to stay.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Africa
- The Cradle of Humankind near Johannesburg is a must see for anyone interested in where it all started.
- Robben Island just off the coast from Cape Town, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years.
- The Cape Floral Region in the Western Cape
- ISimangaliso Wetland Park
- Mapungubwe Kingdom, in Limpopo
- Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, for its landscape, biodiversity and rock art.
- Vredefort Dome, remnants of the largest and oldest meteorite impact crater.
South Africa museums
South Africa prides in over 300 museums in different parts that reflect its rich heritage that dates back to ancient days. It has some eighteenth century homes, caves in the high mountains, ordinary cultural homesteads in the rural regions and modernized buildings in the main cities. Some of the most popular museums in the country include: South Africa Museum in Cape Town, Robben Island Museum in Cape Town, National Cultural History Museum in Pretoria and National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg.
Relaxing in South Africa
South African love having fun, spending time out and relaxing after a day’s work! They enjoy comedy nights and laughter with some of the finest performers in the world that live them chuckling with courtesy. There are theatres, the Sun City, Café drums, bars and clubs just to give you a very pleasant evening.
South Africa’s National Parks
South Africa is a paradise for anyone interested in natural history. Twenty National Parks scattered over the country, nature reserves as well as botanical gardens give visitors a great opportunity not only to enjoy the rich diversity of game but also the flora and the mountainous terrain. A wide range of species (some potentially dangerous) may be encountered in parks, farms, private reserves and even on the roads. The Kruger National Park is exceptionally well managed and a favorite tourist destination. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, in the heart of the Kalahari Desert with wide open spaces and hordes of games, includes the majestic ‘Gemsbok’. There are also a large number of smaller parks, like the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, Addo Elephant National Park, Pilanesberg National Park and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Beaches in South Africa
From the warm eastern coast through Durban’s North, eastern London, towards Cape Town, adventure travelers will find a diversity of beautiful, immaculate, exotic and lonely beaches in the west and warm crowded beaches on the northern coast. Some of the favorite beaches include: the Overberg beaches, Durban’s beaches and the Plett.
Important cities in South Africa
- Cape Town
- Port Elizabeth
Main attractions in South Africa
Visit the Table Mountain
Table Mountain is one of South Africa’s most amazing places to visit. It overlooks Cape Town and is one of South Africa’s most visited sights. Incredibly, the mountain is several million years old and is rich in diversity of the cape floral landscape.
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is also known as the cape point and is a 77.5km section of the Table Mountain National Park. It is at the tip of the Cape Peninsula and was the place where ships from Europe used to turn east. The Cape of Good Hope was named so by the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias who was searching for the southern limits of the African continent. The Cape was also the entry point for European into South Africa who soon started doing barter trade with the Khoi Khoi for water and supplies.
The Apartheid Museum is located in Johannesburg and is a place dedicated by the South African government as a place to tell the country’s tumultuous battle with Apartheid. The story is told through film, text, audio and live accounts. The Apartheid Museum was built in 2001 by the Gold Reef City Company which won a bid offered by the government to come up with ideas that would increase tourism flow into the country.
The Big Hole in Kimberley is argued to be the biggest manmade hand dug hole in the world. The whole was dug by nearly 50,000 miners using pick axes and shovels as the DeBeers Brothers Company set off on an endeavor to mine diamonds which had been discovered in the place. The mine went on to yield 13,600,000 carats of diamonds in the time it was mined.
Robben Island is an island in southern South Africa where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years from 1962 after being accused for crimes against the government. He was thrown into an small cell with only a mat o sleep on and a bucket. He was made a level D prisoner, the lowest if all and he is denied many rights like sunglasses while working in the lime mine and this damaged his eyesight. He is also allowed one visitor every six months and is constantly thrown into solitary confinement for smuggling newspapers into the prison.
Boulder Penguin Colony
The Boulder Penguin Colony is located 3 kilometres south west of Simon’s town and is a beautiful area with huge boulders which divide small sandy areas which are home to about 2,100 penguins called the Jackass Penguins. They are called the Jackass Penguins because of the way they bray like donkeys especially in the mating season. You can experience their beautiful mating ritual and their magnificence.