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South Africa

South Africa is a country where the kaleidoscopic landscapes have drawn travellers to its stunning coasts for hundreds of years.

Known as the ‘rainbow nation’, South Africa is one the most varied and enthralling countries in the planet, boasting diverse combinations of landscapes, animals, history and culture, and supporting a great variety of birds and plant-life, which offer an incomparable range of experiences. Worldwide, tourists flock to this destination for its wildlife, safaris, nature and whale-watching. Whether you are here for the safaris, enjoying the sea coasts, or the unspoiled wilderness, the very best the country has to offer includes an unforgettable holiday in the sunshine.

South Africa is one of the world’s most spectacular destinations. It is a large country offering a variety of unspoilt landscapes, wildlife, UNESCO World Heritage sites and cosmopolitan cities. Dauntingly poised at the confluence of two oceans, the country enjoys a spectacular range of biodiversity and is home to arid deserts, wild swamps, numerous mountain ranges but also the best and least crowded beaches in the world.

‘A world in one country’ – as if a wide range of vibrant cosmopolitan cities, nature, a warm sunny climate year-round and 2000 miles of beautiful beaches weren’t enough, 90 percent of visitors come to South Africa for the wildlife and stunning landscape.

With some of the most buoyant, friendly and humorous people you will find anywhere in the world, and a cultural melting pot that is as wide-ranging as its exciting cities, this nation has to be one of the world’s most mesmerizing destinations. . It is a country of big contrasts and diversity that satisfy anyone, whether you are looking for a luxury honeymoon or an unforgettable family safari. Being a heady mix of third and first world cultures, along with the best and least crowded beaches in the world, the country is also boasts numerous wildlife parks, eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and beautiful natural scenery. This vast nation is renowned for its wines and is one of the world’s largest producers of gold. It also boasts the strongest economy in the continent, and is a strong player in African politics. In 2010, it welcomed the first Football World Cup to be held on the African continent. Its friendly people, spectacular wildlife, superb food and wonderful wines make ‘the rainbow nation’ an unforgettable and unique holiday destination.

Officially the Republic of South Africa, it is the southernmost country in the African continent and the 25th largest country in the world by land area. South Africa is a multiethnic society, encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages and religions, due to the country’s history marked by the settlements of the Portuguese, British and Dutch. Referred to as the ‘rainbow nation ‘, its title reflects the country’s cultural diversity. There are 11 officially recognised languages. Among the official languages, two are of European origin: Afrikaans, which developed from Dutch and serves as the first language; and English, which stems from the British colonialism and used as the language of the cities, of commerce, and government.

 

Geography

Located in the southern tip of Africa, this large country offers a variety of landscapes and a diverse population. Encompassing the independent mountain kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland, the nation is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the warm Indian Ocean on the east - giving the country its spectacular range of biodiversity.

Dauntingly poised at the confluence of two oceans, South Africa is a country of captivating contrasts, from sophisticated modern cities to enormous areas of untouched wilderness where some of the finest game-viewing on the continent is yours to explore. The fun-loving seaside ambience of Durban and the Euro-chic vibe of Cape Town contrast sharply with the magnificent game reserves, quaint towns and coastal resorts. And then there is the bustle of Johannesburg or the Garden Route, famed for its lovely towns, exquisite seafood and extraordinary whale-watching. You will also find unspoilt beaches, excellent roads, a pleasant year-round sunshine, making it an ideal choice for first-timers to the African continent.

South Africa is home to mountain ranges, arid deserts, wild swamps and vast savannah. You will find here a large variety of sceneries, from stunning sea coasts to wine lands, warm waters of the Indian Ocean, arid landscapes of the Karoo and Kalahari, and the sleepy towns of the Garden Route. Offering the most rewarding game viewing in the continent, South Africa is one of the most extraordinary and varied nations on the planet Indulge in the wildlife of the South African’s world-famous national parks: Kruger, Kalahari and Eastern Cape, offering superb safari opportunities alongside some of the most luxurious lodges in Africa. You can also discover the wonderful Zulu culture in KwaZulu Natal, watch whales and dolphins or hike through the Cedarberg mountains to ancient rock art sites. Or indulge in the superb food and wine on offer in Cape Town and nearby winelands.

 

Activities, adventures & leisures

Explore this destination that enjoys a pleasant and temperate climate most of the year. When visiting one of South Africa’s nine provinces, the nation’s ideal climate will enable you to enjoy a large range of activities, adventures and leisure pursuits year-round: deep sea diving with sharks, leaping from the skies with parachutes, bungee jumping, water rafting, abseiling, elephant-back safaris, fishing, hang gliding, whale watching… the list is endless. For the less energetic traveller to South Africa, popular options include snorkelling, bird-watching, snorkelling and the ever well-liked hot air ballooning. All you need to do is to climb aboard a basket, relax and enjoy fabulous birds-eye views of the countryside, while the wind, the pilot and the crew do all the work.

Visitors from worldwide come to South Africa for its Game Viewing, hear the roar of lions echoing across the savannah and the sound of crickets under a star studded sky. Indeed, South Africa’s wildlife paradise offer plenty of national parks and wildlife reserves enabling visitors to admire South Africa’s elephants, leopards, rhinos, lions and buffalos. Enjoy Game Viewing in closed vehicles (mostly in the National Parks), in open safari vehicles in the Private Game reserves and on foot – which is an option available in some parks and reserves.

For fervent horse riders, there are game reserves where 'Game-viewing on Horseback' is an option (such as the Ubizane Wildlife Reserve). Wildlife Safaris on horseback are an extraordinary experience as the game see you as part of the horse and don't frighten easily, hence allowing you to get closer to the animals. For anyone seeking an exceptional wildlife safari, the private game reserve of the Kruger National Park is the best destination, allowing the animals to roam freely between the private Game Reserves and the Kruger Park.
 

South Africa is one of the best places in the world for whale watching. Nothing prepares you for your first whale and the overwhelming feeling that seeing it has upon you. Definitely it is the whales' authenticity, enormous size and the absolute trust they show towards us. But mostly the whale's willingness to share themselves with us and to touch something so immense triggers an overwhelming sense of awe and joy that translates into 13 million people around the world enjoying organised whale watching annually.

Whilst the waters of South Africa shelter resident porpoises, dolphins and whales all year round, it the annual migration of the Humpback and Southern right whales in particular that offer exceptional land-based and boat-based whale watching between June and November. Collectively, the watching of whales, leopards, lions, buffalos, rhinos and elephants of South Africa constitute the very best of the country’s game viewing. Whilst the coves between Cape Hangklip and Witsand draw southern right whales in large numbers, their strongest presence is in Lamberts Bay on the West coast, Plettenberg Bay and Mossel Bay on the Garden Route, through the Alogoa Bay on the east coast.

Exploring the rainbow nation is like discovering a world in one country. You will find yourself mesmerised by such diversity, spectacular sceneries, wildlife and stunning landscapes.

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