Discover South Africa!South Africa is often referred to as a 'world in one country', simply because it has such an extraordinary range of scenic splendor.
From snow-capped mountains to rugged, rocky coastline or endless beaches, coral reefs to desert dunes, open grasslands to meandering rivers, we really do have something of everything.
You may want to choose just one particular environment, or try to squeeze in a representative slice of each. At the end of the day, you may just realise that you need to come back again, and again.
South Africa is a world-class backpackers' destination, offering a unique and extraordinary experience within a diverse and beautiful land. The backpacker, whether student, youth or independent traveller, will find a sophisticated and established backpacker tourism industry, providing everything from backpacker accommodation and hop-on hop-off transport to adventure activities and day trips. Backpacking around a country is about interaction and participation and as you weave your way from one province to the next, the friendliness and expressiveness of South Africa's people will amaze you. So, whether you find yourself a guest at a traditional wedding in KwaZulu-Natal; horseback riding along wild open beaches in the Eastern Cape; tramping through snow in the majestic Drakensberg Mountains in the Freestate; hurtling through midair attached to the world's longest bungee on the Garden Route; wine-tasting with a rather jovial bunch of fellow backpackers in The Cape; the only surfer on one of the longest left rides in the world on the West Coast; participating in a drum-circle in Soweto, Gauteng; floating downstream past God's Thumb Print on the Orange River in the North West Province; or having a conversation with an elephant in Mpumalanga, South Africa will touch your soul.
The Rainbow Nation's many cultures - African, European, Oriental - are alive and well. They may be experienced in restaurants offering cuisine from around the world, but also South Africa's own cooking, a delicious blend of the colours of the Rainbow. The music and the dance may be found on the streets and in the clubs, but also at special shows for tourists. The arts and crafts range from homemade pottery to European fine art, available in rural villages or city galleries. Perhaps most importantly, however, is that the Rainbow Nation can be heard on the streets - which other country in the world has eleven official languages!
The Drakensberg is the country's most impressive mountain range and a very popular holiday destination. Nestled at the foot of these mountains are numerous fine hotels and holiday resorts. Fishing, hiking, mountain climbing and horse riding are just a few of the leisure options.
Durban Beachfront is also known as the "Golden Mile". This stretch of golden sand is Durban's main attraction. Indulge in swimming, sunbathing and other water sports. Luxury hotels, markets and amusement parks are found along the beachfront.
Eastern Cape coastal area [The Wild Coast]
Along the coastline you will find pristine beaches, subtropical vegetation, abundant birdlife, spectacular scenery and good fishing all year round. A landmark in this area is the "Hole-in-the-wall", a massive outcrop of rock rising from the sea.
Eastern Free State
The Golden Gate Resort and National Park is one of the Free State's premier attractions. In winter the picturesque Drakensberg and Maluti mountains are capped with snow providing endless adventures for the serious hiker and the casual traveller alike. This area is well known for its splendid scenery and unusual sandstone rock formations.
South Africa's only river port city is a popular coastal holiday destination, with sweeping white beaches stretching for miles along the unspoilt coastline. Swimming, sailing and boating are enjoyed all year round and at night the numerous theatres, cinema's, casinos and restaurants offer good entertainment.
A magnificent stretch of coast with breathtaking scenery which stretches from Heidelberg to the Tsitsikamma forest and the Storms River. This is a region of great natural beauty, creating a paradise graced with evergreen forests, lakes, golden beaches and exquisite fauna and flora. Other attractions include the Tsitsikamma National Park with its lush indigenous forests and the Addo Elephant Park, known for its elephants.
Greater St Lucia Wetland Park
The park offers eco-tourists some of the most diverse wildlife and outdoor experiences imaginable. Lakes, islands, estuaries, grasslands, forests, wetlands, mangroves, beaches and coral reefs all form part of this magnificent area. Wildlife include rhino, elephant, crocodile, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, waterbuck, kudu, nyala and a host of other species. st lucia wetlands park is one of South africa's three World heritage sites.
- Gold Reef City A reconstruction of Johannesburg during the gold rush era, built around a gold mine. Visit the Victorian fun fair, miners' houses, a brewery, pubs, a hotel, restaurants and the stock exchange. You can watch molten gold being poured, take a trip down an old mine shaft or watch the ever entertaining traditional mine dancing.
- Tour of Soweto Visit this sprawling town outside Johannesburg and see how many South Africans live. Eat mealiepap, drink locally brewed beer and visit one of the township's night clubs.
Also known as "The City that Sparkles", this historic town was once buzzing with activity during the great diamond rush in the second half of the 1800's. The first diamond, a 21,25 carat yellow diamond was found in 1866 and later named "Eureka." A visit to the Big Hole Museum is a must as well as the following attractions: the Battlefields Route, Kimberley Tram, McGregor Museum, underground diamond mine tours, and, of course, a visit to the Big Hole.
Kruger National Park
Needs no introduction! This world-renowned game reserve offers a wilderness experience you will never forget! View the "Big Five" on foot in the company of a well-trained game ranger. The main camps have excellent tourist facilities. Visitors are strongly advised to take precautions against malaria.
KwaZulu-Natal Game Parks
There are private and national reserves throughout the region of the KwaZulu-Natal. National parks such as the Royal Natal, Mkuzi, Lake Sibaya, Itala, Hluhluwe/Umfolozi and Ndumu offer every variety of game viewing and accommodation. The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park with its rich birdlife has been declared a World Heritage Site.
KwaZulu-Natal Midlands / battlefields
The scenic hills and valleys of Kwa-Zulu Natal were once the scene of major military clashes. These battles, fought between Zulu, Brit and Boer, forged the history of South Africa and forever changed the course of the British Empire. The Natal Midlands has the greatest concentration of battlefields in the country.
This area is world renowned for its spectacular wild flowers, making this region unique amongst South Africa's natural attractions. Each spring this area is transformed into a wonderland of multi-coloured flowers.
The starkly beautiful desert plains of the Northern Cape. Quiver trees (so-called by the Bushmen, who make quivers from them for their poisoned arrows) dominate the heights.
There are private and national reserves throughout the Northern Province where you will see 'The Big Five'.
- Ostrich Farms Try your luck at riding one of these large birds, but be prepared for a few bruises! Go on a tour of the farm facilities or buy some of the beautiful ostrich leather goods, eggs or feathers. For a meal with a difference, try a juicy ostrich steak or chew on dried strips of ostrich meat called biltong.
- Cango Caves Situated in the Klein Karoo area of the Western Cape, these caves feature fascinating limestone formations. Daily guided tours are available.
This route a wealth of tourist attractions, including the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Mac-Mac Falls, God's Window and Pilgrim's Rest. Pilgrim's Rest is a living museum, a replica of the early gold mining town of days gone by. Visit the many fascinating places in the town and enjoy a meal at one of he cosy coffee shops, restaurants or the Royal Hotel.
It is South Africa's fifth largest city and is both known as the windy city and the friendly city. It is situated on the Eastern Cape coast, in Algoa Bay, and is thus an ideal place to start or end a trip down the Garden Route or explore the Eastern Cape.
Pretoria lies 50 km north of Johannesburg and is also known as the Jacaranda City, as many of its streets are lined with jacaranda trees, which in summer cover the city in hues of purple and pink. Pretoria has more than 100 parks, including bird sanctuaries and nature reserves. An era of history pervades the town particularly in Church Square where the first church was erected surrounded by open-air markets. Also worth a visit is the historic Union Buildings where Parliament sits for six months of the year.
Offers some of the best diving experiences in South Africa.
Sun City / Lost City
Situated in North West Province, Sun City is a fantasy world where ancient civilizations once reigned. Here visitors will find an indigenous rain forest, the Gary Player and Lost City golf courses and a big casino and entertainment complex. Sun City lies adjacent to the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve.