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Travel Guide South Africa

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South Africa - Travel Guide

The rainbow-country South Africa is one of the most diverse, enchanting countries on earth.  It is home to the most beautiful and remote beaches in the world along with well-known wildlife refuges. 

The Kruger Park in the North East of South Africa is the best known and by area the largest national park of the country.  Safaris are the number one attraction here, and during their tours, tourists don’t just get to see the “Big Five”.

The animal life is the main attraction of South Africa.  No other country has such a rich diversity in its Fauna.  Particularly the “Big Five”, namely lion, rhinoceros, buffalo, elephant, and leopard rank at the top of the “sights to see”.  The four legged creatures are accompanied by those in the air, who represent a fascinating aviary world along with those in the water, meaning whales and sharks on the West coast and colorful fish living in the reefs off the shore of the KwaZulu Natal. 

Table Mountain near Cape Town is, without a doubt, one of South Africa’s most impressive attractions.  It is also registered as a world cultural heritage site.

Cape Town ranks high among the most beautiful cities in the world.  Local residents here have always had liberal attitudes and today, the city has become a happy and cosmopolitan metropolis with a view of life by local “Capetownians” saying:  “the sun is shining and the beach is calling…” 

The Waterfront of Cape Town is one of the most popular tourist attractions there.  Its biggest appeal is that the busy, commercial harbor is built within a huge entertainment center, offering pubs, restaurants, specialty stores, craft shops, theaters, and cinemas.  Visitors of the Two-Oceans-Aquarium will enjoy its fascinating under water world.

A special experience is the so-called Garden Route.  It runs between Heidelberg and the Storms River along the coastline and is edged by lakes, mountains, forests, amber colored rivers, and golden beaches. 

Robben Island is near Cape Town and was associated with the fight against Apartheid in South Africa for years.  Critics of the regime, such as Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu were incarcerated here for their resistance against Apartheid.

Sun City is considered one of the most exciting resorts in the world.  This theme park, consisting of four hotels and the amusement park “The Lost City” is located 187 km’s from Johannesburg and offers non-stop action.  An imitated rain forest delivers that tropical feeling, 6 hotel pools, along with a lake and generated Atlantic waves ensure a swimming paradise. 

Another must-see during a journey through South Africa are the different cultural villages such as Lesedi.  Visitors can actively take part in the daily life and celebrations of the different African Peoples of South Africa.

Soweto offers everything from expensive residences to improvised huts.  The extensive settlement, whose name is an abbreviation for “South Western Towns” as an estimated 2 Million residents, 9 tribal groups have commuted here, while the Zulus and the Xhosas dominate. 

South Africa is one of the most important centers of archaeology.  Some of the most important palaeoanthropological findings were made here, which contributed significantly to the knowledge and understanding about human ancestry and early evolution.

North West of Johannesburg is a series of archaeological excavation sites which were, due to their importance as finding sites of hominid fossils, names the “Cradle of Mankind” and were inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage Registry.  As such the Wonder Cave, which is an estimated 2 Billion years old, is one of South Africa’s most impressive natural treasures.

Of course, South Africa is a haven for leisure activities.  The ultimate thrill here is bungee jumping, wild water rafting, or diving with Great White sharks.

Mountain climbers can scale the highest peaks and fishermen can wade into the water to their hips while awaiting a bite by a hard to catch trout. 

Africa’s largest Jazz Festival, the five-day long Cape Town Annual International Jazz Festival, spoils visitors with a one of a kind diversity in selection.

Visitors also should not miss the impressive Augrabies Falls.  The falls are approximately 3 km’s wide and 190 meters deep, 146 meters of which is free falling water.

Travel Tips

Changing money in SA, Lesotho and Swaziland

I can´t recommend bringing travellercheques and cash into these countries to change it into the local currency. Why? You get it changed but the procedure to change it takes a lot of time. In Lesotho the bank clerk copied every bill and my passport as well. After that I had to sign every copy. Not to mention the 10% comission. You will have the same problem with travellercheques. There are numerous ATMs that work with the maestro system and Visa. But look out for ATMs that are guarded because of the security. [more ]

South Africa: re "Coloured"

In the intro to South Africa mention is made of the term “coloured” and its... [more ]

Buying African Art in South Africa

When touring South Africa, one will find they have the great urge to splurge... [more ]

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