South Africa – Rainbow Nation
South Africa is fast becoming one of worlds most visited holiday destinations. Its easy to understand why, what with the diverse cultures, the architecture, the beaches, the beautiful people, the climate and so much more.
A visit to our beautiful country will reward you with landscapes you never thought possible, wines you never thought existed and a holiday worth a lifetime in memories. Enjoy the oceans, mountains, people and cultures of Cape Town. Join the vibrant, commercially intense population of Johannesburg. Take a break in the friendly city of Port Elizabeth. Soak in the sun and relax on the beaches of KwaZulu Natal. Whatever your preference, South Africa guarantees to cater for it.
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The Eastern Cape Province in South Africa is a diverse region, with varied landscapes, activities and attractions. The province is popular with tourists due to the selection of cities and luxury nature reserves that are located in the province. From dry Karoo areas to dense forests, breathtaking mountains and spectacular coastal destinations, the Eastern Cape can offer it all to visitors.
Port Elizabeth and East London are the two major cities in the province, and stretching out from them, across the region, is a world of adventure and excitement. Natural attractions such as the Addo Elephant Park, Shamwari Game Reserve, Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, Tsitsikamma National Park and the Amatola Mountains attract thousands of tourists each year. The chance to take a glimpse at the Big Five while still being close enough to internationally known beaches such as in Jeffreys Bay is a convincing lure to the province. Those looking for some major action can also try bungee jumping at Bloukrans Bridge, after which they can discover the magnificence of the Storms River area.
The Eastern Cape is a melting pot of activities that include fishing, bird watching, hiking, water sports, extreme adventures, historical landmarks and unforgettable landscapes. Discover a region that became home to the 1820 settlers and where prominent South African leaders such as, Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela and Charles Coglan grew up and lived. It is a province filled with entertainment, amazement and unmatched beauty.
Characterized by flat, wide open spaces, broken by majestic mountains, the fertile farming area of the Free State Province of South Africa is often referred to as the ‘bread-basket’ of the country. The Free State lies in the heart of the country, bordering the Kingdom of Lesotho to the south east – a landlocked independent country entirely surrounded by South Africa. The province is not only rich agriculturally, but in mineral deposits as well. However, many would agree that the Free State’s true wealth lies in its natural beauty and its hospitable people.
Bloemfontein, translated literally as “flower fountain” and referred to as the “City of Roses”, is the capital of the Free State as well as being the judicial capital of South Africa. Located in the middle of the province, this vibrant city offers the perfect base for exploring the surrounding area. The Golden Gate Highlands National Park, situated in the northeastern region of the province, is the Free State’s main tourist attraction. Taking its name from the dramatic golden, orange and ochre hued sandstone cliffs that are a dominant feature, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park incorporates superb examples of San rock paintings and hiking trails to suit all abilities. Other attractions that highlight the natural beauty of the Free State are the Willem Pretorius Game Reserve, Gariep Dam nature reserve and the Soetdoring Nature Reserve.
With the Free State lying in the middle of the country, many travel through the province on their way to other destinations, but an increasing number of holiday makers are taking the time to explore this stunning region of South Africa – why don’t you?
The Gauteng Province in South Africa is alive with opportunity. With major cities such as Johannesburg and Pretoria at the centre of this region, the province overflows with industries and businesses that contribute on a large scale to the economy of South Africa. Gauteng might be known as an economic and political center, but it has an endless supply of tourist attractions and historical landmarks. Gauteng is an exciting province to explore, as it has a wonderful combination of manmade marvels and natural wonders for visitors to enjoy.
Museums, nature reserves and monuments take visitors on a magnificent journey of discovery during the day, while top class restaurants, theaters and nightlife will ensure that tourists are entertained throughout the evenings. Visitors are recommended to visit attractions such as Monte Casino, Santarama Miniland, the Johannesburg Planetarium, the Transvaal Museum, Pioneer Museum, Union Buildings and the Pretoria Botanical Gardens. Sporting enthusiasts will also find Gauteng to be a province that is serious about sport, offering activities such as golf, hiking, biking, 4×4 trails, horse riding and water sports.
When Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama first set eyes on the verdant shores of KwaZulu Natal on 25 December 1497, he named his new discovery “Natal”, being the Portuguese word for Christmas. Since those early days of discovery, KwaZulu Natal has seen its fair share of historical triumphs and tragedies, but it has also seen tremendous growth and development.
KwaZulu Natal consists of three rather distinct geographical areas – the lowland Indian Ocean coastal region, the central Natal Midlands and the mountainous areas of the Drakensberg and Lebombo Mountains. These geographical regions, each with its own unique beauty, offer visitors a world of diversity in one province.
The long stretch of KwaZulu Natal coastline is split at Durban into the North Coast and South Coast, each of which is punctuated with a multitude of small towns and settlements offering a wide variety of tourism facilities and activities. The KZN coastline is a prime holiday destination with both domestic and international tourists who flock to the warm waters and sandy beaches of this beautiful province of South Africa. The city of Durban is vibrant and buzzing with activity all year round, but especially in holiday seasons when all the “up-country” South Africans migrate to “Durbs” for some fun in the sun.
The Natal Midlands is historically, culturally and geographically rich. Take time to explore the Midlands Meander and discover the true beauty of this region and the people who call it home. The majestic Drakensberg Mountains offer outdoor enthusiasts a number of challenging activities, while there are many drive-to lookout points that open up vistas of breath-taking beauty.
Nature lovers will appreciate the many parks and reserves in KwaZulu Natal, including the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, St Lucia, Mkuzi Game Reserve, Ndumo Elephant Park, Tembe Elephant Park and Itala Game Reserve. Certainly, KwaZulu Natal is a province to linger over and enjoy at leisure.
As South Africa‘s northernmost province, Limpopo Province has Polokwane as its capital city and shares its borders with neighboring countries Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, as well as neighboring South African provinces, North West, Gauteng and Mpumalanga. Much of the Limpopo Province remains essentially the same as it has for centuries, offering nature lovers the opportunity of experiencing the unblemished beauty of Africa. Visitors to Limpopo Province will find that its diverse terrain is very scenic, providing varied habitats that support abundant bird and animal life.
In addition to its natural beauty, Limpopo has a rich cultural and historical heritage. Archaeological discoveries in Limpopo Province reveal that the area was occupied by black Africans some time before 300 AD, long before the first white pioneers, or Voortrekkers, settled in the area in the early 1800s – a process that was marked with considerable conflict.
Today, Limpopo Province welcomes visitors from far and wide, with its main attractions undeniably being the fascinating wildlife and the breath-taking scenery. The northern section of the world-renowned Kruger National Park lies in Limpopo and the province has a number of its own nature reserves, including the Lapalala Wilderness, Mabalingwe, Nylsvlei Nature Reserve, Blouberg Nature Reserve, Ben Lavin Nature Reserve and the Hans Merensky Reserve, each showcasing the natural treasures of this lovely region of South Africa.
The land of the rising sun’ to its Siswati- and Zulu- speaking inhabitants, extends east from Gauteng to Mozambique and Swaziland. To many visitors the province is synonymous with the Kruger National Park, the real draw of South Africa’s east flank, and one of Africa’s best game parks.
Kruger occupies most of Mpumalanga’s and Northern Province’s borders with Mozambique, and covers over 20,000 square kilometers – an area the size of Wales or Massachusetts. Unashamedly populist, Kruger is the easiest African game park to drive around in on your own; staying at one of it’s many well-run rest camps. On its western border lie a number of private reserves, offering the chance to escape the Kruger crush at a price, with well-informed rangers conducting safaris in open vehicles.
Apart from the tempting magnet of big-game country, Mpumalanga also has some stunning scenery in the mountainous area known as the Escarpment, a couple of hours drive west of the Kruger and easily tacked onto a visit to the park. With the exception of Pilgrim’s Rest, none of the Escarpment towns merits exploration, but they make good night stops to and from Kruger, and there are some legendary stunning views as you drive around, where the mountains drop to the Lowveld. The most famous viewpoints – God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and Three Rondavels – are along the lip of the Escarpment, which can be seen on a one-day 156 km drive from Sabie.
The views of Blyde River Canyon are most famous of all and, while you can’t drive into the canyon, there are some fabulous hiking and river-rafting opportunities in this area.
North West Province
With Mafikeng as its capital city, the North West Province of South Africa is located to the west of the densely populated Gauteng Province with Limpopo Province to the northeast, Free State to the southeast, Northern Cape to the southwest, and neighboring Botswana to the north. The majestic Magaliesberg mountain range extends from Pretoria through to Rustenburg and the Vaal River winds its way along the southern border of the province. The terrain of the North West Province is primarily flat, consisting of grasslands dotted with trees and shrubs providing ideal game spotting conditions.
The mining of gold, uranium, platinum, and diamonds form the backbone of North West Province’s economy, providing jobs for around twenty-five percent of the workforce. Farming and tourism are also important sources of income, with Sun City, an upscale entertainment and casino complex, providing jobs and bringing revenue into the province, while the “Big 5” Pilanesberg Game Reserve and a number of privately owned game farms offer an authentic South African bushveld experience. Many North West Province towns, such as Hartebeespoort, Rustenburg and Groot Marico offer city dwellers from Pretoria and Johannesburg easy access to some peace and tranquility without having to travel too far.
Is a province that holds beauty in the form of desert landscapes and dry arid land, that is also renowned for the remarkable transformation that takes place in spring when the desert blossoms in a mass of colorful flowers. Cities scattered throughout this province stand out as oases amid the warm weather and unique animals which have adapted to this harsh expanse have many spectacular survival techniques to be discovered by visitors. For a holiday filled with adventure and surprise, the Northern Cape is the province to be in.
There are a few large cities and fascinating towns in the Northern Cape, such as Kuruman, Upington and Kimberly. Each destination has its own attractions and activities to offer visitors, but as a whole, the province is best known for its natural attractions such as the Kimberly Big Hole, the blooming of the Namaqualand and sand dunes. There are a number of reserves for visitors to visit, including the Augrabies Falls National Park, The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Richtersveld National Park. The Northern Cape is a province in South Africa that mesmerizes and offers an exclusive adventure into one of the most inhospitable landscapes in South Africa.
With the warm Indian Ocean lapping its southern shores and the icy Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Western Cape Province of South Africa offers visitors a world of diversity. The coastline to the west with its small fishing villages and pounding surf has a rugged charm, while to the south lies the picturesque seaside towns of Hermanus and Gansbaai, as well as Cape Agulhas – where the two oceans collide tumultously – and De Hoop Nature Reserve, along what is known as the Cape Whale Coast. Heading along the southern coast toward the Eastern Cape is the Wilderness National Park, incorporating the breath-taking scenery of Mossel Bay, George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
Cape Town, affectionately known as the “Mother City”, is the cultural, business and political hub of the province. Having served as a replenishment station for seafaring vessels for centuries, welcoming settlers from France, Holland, Britain, Germany and other diverse countries, Cape Town is rich in history and a melting pot of cultural diversity which is most appealing. With the iconic Table Mountain as its backdrop, Cape Town is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The Cape Winelands, with its vast stretches of vineyards changing colors with the seasons, whitewashed Cape Dutch manor homes and majestic mountains, is a popular holiday destination. The many wine routes winding their way through this region make it possible for visitors to enjoy the local award-winning “fruit of the vine”, world class cuisine and warm hospitality, all in a setting of great beauty and tranquility. Stroll down the oak-lined avenues of Stellenbosch, home to the oldest university in South Africa and the heart of the wine industry, or incorporate the beautiful towns of Franschhoek, Wellington and Paarl into your travels.
More fascinating facets of the Western Cape are revealed in the orchards, grain fields, forests and sweeping vistas of the Overberg, the craggy wilderness of the Cederberg, the wide open spaces of the Groot Karoo, the amazing Cango Caves at Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo and much, much more. There are certainly a multitude of reasons why you should consider the Western Cape Province of South Africa as your next vacation destination.