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Area - 1,221,037 square kilometres
Capital - Pretoria (Tshwane)
Population - 47 million
South Africa vacations must surely be a dream for a good majority of people. South Africa went through the process of major changes from the old "Apartheid Regime" to democratically elected government and South Africa vacations has played it's part in helping to transform the country. The benefits of South Africa vacations is especially evident in the case of the tourism industry. South Africa has been incredibly popular as a travel destination and it is not surprising why.
Even though the whole of South Africa has lots to offer visitors, there remain a couple of very popular areas that draws people back time after time. The Cape of Good Hope is to the south and the city of Cape Town, a beautiful and vibrant city nestled around the slopes of the impressive landmark of Table Mountain. There are countless places to visit including interesting sights such as the Castle of Good Hope, Parade Ground, City Hall, Houses of Parliament & Tuinhuis, the Dutch East India Company Gardens, Hout Bay and the Cape Fur Seal colony on Duiker Island,Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve,Cape Point,Boulders - Penguins, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens,and that is weather permitting.
Take the cableway up Table Mountain, Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront and various wine routes, situated only a short drive from Cape Town. About two hours drive from Cape Town, extending almost 250km along the north east coast of the Western Cape Province, one will unearth the "Garden Route" of South Africa. This striking area of South Africa presents plenty of tour options, one can visit the Diaz museum and complex in Mossel Bay, travel via the Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo.
A 60km drive that reflects the great diversities of nature South Africa has to offer,here one can visit Cango Caves, Cango Wildlife Ranch and various ostrich farms. Knysna,the oyster hub of South Africa presents a variety of terrific restaurants, cruises on the lagoon and to Featherbed Nature Reserve, one could also take a ride on the Outeniqua Choe-Tjoe steam train. Not too far from Knysna is the Tsitsikamma National Park, a must for the adventurer. You will find activities such as bridge swinging, bungy jumping, tree top tours, abseiling, mountain biking, river rafting, tubing, hiking, scuba diving and snorkelling.
KwaZulu Natal is becoming the tourism hotspot of a fabulous South Africa vacation. You will find many great places to visit in this province, which all happen to be in close proximity of each other. Unfortunately, Durban is not the most tourist friendly city in South Africa, but within a three hour radius one could visit numerous attractions, such as the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve.
South Africa vacations Game Reserve In eras gone by,this particular reserve was the hunting grounds of Zulu Kings, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park(formerly the Greater St Lucia Wetlands)world heritage site. There are various Zulu cultural villages,battlefields such as the "Battle of Blood River", the Anglo-Zulu war battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke`s Drift, the Natal Drakensberg Mountainswhich is another one of South Africa's world heritage sites, also renowned as the "barrier of spears". This is a place where Bushmen left their life stories in the form of drawings and paintings on the rocks and in the caves. South Africa's largest attractions are the national parks,and the well known of all the parks is the famous Kruger National Park.
The Kruger National Park is home to the "Big 5" and a host of other animals. The Kruger National park was established in 1898 for the protection of the wildlife in the lower lowveld. It is the most contrasting park in the world with 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 336 trees, 507 bird, 55 amphibians, 49 fish, and 1980 plant species. A visit to the park should be combined with a tour of the "Panorama Route" of the majestic Transvaal Drakensberg Mountains. One can truly admire the outstanding natural beauty of the Bourke's Luck Potholes, God's Window and the Blyde River Canyon, the third deepest canyon on earth.
On this route there are quite a number of fascinating little towns, such as Sabie, Graskop and Pilgrim's Rest, these towns originally developed around the discovery of alluvial gold in the 1870`s. Staying in this area, two cultural villages namely Shangana and Matsumo are interesting places to visit. Johannesburg is a major entry point for visitors to South Africa. There are numerous attractions to visit, places that are relatively close to the city, such as the old "Boer" republic capital city of Pretoria with sites that include the Voortrekker Monument,Paul Kruger House, Church Square, Union Buildings and Cullinan Diamond mine.
It is also possible to visit the Sterkfontein Caves - "Cradle of Mankind" just west of Johannesburg or take a tour to Soweto, a tour that would include a visit to Hector Pieterson Museum, Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Vilakazi Street - the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace prize recipients lived - Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Sun city is also a must to be included in a tour of this area. A visit to Sun City the "place where the sun never sets" and the Pilanesberg National Park another "Big 5" game reserve, both places are about a two hour drive from Johannesburg. Also highly recommend areas to tour are the private game & nature reserves such as Sabi Sands, Timbavati, Madikwe, Korangwa and Bushmans kloof.Mapungubwe and Marekele National Parks, Soutpansberg and Waterberg Mountain regions, Magoebaskloof Valley and Venda, the "Land of Legends" in the province of Limpopo.
Kimberley, Orange River Valley,Augrabies Waterfall and the Kgadigadi National Park of the Northern Cape Province. Clarens and the Golden Gate National Parks of the Free State Province. Graaff-Reinet, the "Gem of the Karoo" and the Valley of Desolation in the province of the Eastern Cape. All in all, no matter where you choose to tour in South Africa, you will have an "Awesome African Experience".
South Africa Languages - Eleven national languages of which Zulu, Xhosa, English and Afrikaans are the majority.
Religion - 80 percent christian
Climate - It is mostly temperate, semi-arid in the north, wetter in the east.
Currency - South African Rand
Best Time To Go - May-October in the east;November-April in the west;May-Sept for wildlife and August-October for flowers and landscapes.