South Africa

A World in One Country

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GUIDE TO SOUTH AFRICA

Johannesburg (The City of Gold): Gauteng Province

The gateway to wild Africa.  A bustling commercial centre, and a very good base with world-class hotels.  Excellent shopping malls and African markets.  Quick LinkGauteng

Mpumalanga: Mpumalanga Province

A wild area with glorious scenic mountains, valleys, rivers, waterfalls (Panorama route, including the praised Blyde River Canyon) and primeval forests.  A colorful profusion of flowers decorating the landscape.  Quick LinkMpumalanga

Kruger National Park: Limpopo & Mpumalanga Province

Abundance of wildlife.  A chance to hear the cries of the Fish eagle, the rorar of the Lion, the crackling sounds of camp fires.  The ”Big Five” from open safari vehicles at the Private Reserves.  Quick LinkMpumalanga / Limpopo

Cape Town & West Coast: Western Cape Province

Breath in the majestic views from Table Mountain.  Craggy coastlines with superb beaches that can stretch up to 40 km’s,  world-class conditions for kite-surfing, surfing and windsurfing.  Western Cape’s beautifully preserved Cape Dutch architecture.  Glorious colors from the cobbled streets of Bo-Kaap to the West Coast’s natural phenomenon reaching as far as the Northern Cape’s Namaqualand – transforming into fields of flowers, a flower wonderland, to vistas of sweeping Vineyards into the Winelands.  Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with markets, shops and restaurants.  Quick LinkWestern Cape

Durban: KwaZulu-Natal Province

A coastal paradise resort on the Indian ocean.  Cultural blends of east, west and ancient African traditions.  Visit the ”Golden Mile” beachfront area.  Indian Markets and shopping arcade.  The Zulu Kingdom, rich in culture and art, and vista’s into the Valley of a Thousand Hills.  Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Natoinal Park famous for its White Rhino conservation.   The famous iSimangaliso / Greater St Lucia Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal, the Phinda Private Game Reserve is known for its abundant wildlife (big five), diversity of habitats and wide range of safari activities, including Dolphins.  Quick LinkKwaZulu-Natal

The Garden Route: Western Cape to Eastern Cape Province

Breathtaking scenery from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth.  Experience a walk through the primeval forests of Tsitsikamma.  Otherwise, known as the ‘Garden of Eden’ with Knysna’s magnificent lagoon.  Take a steam-train trip across the Majestic Outeniqua Mountains.  Quick LinkRoute 62

Sun City: North West Province

A complete pleasure resort in it’s own right.  An oasis rising out of the Pilanesberg Mountain range, with it’s very own Pilanesberg Nature & Game Reserve.  A paradise for the International jet-setter.  Glittering casinos and bars to the Valley of Waves and glorious extravaganza shows and excellent culinary delights.  Quick LinkNorth-West

 

There are nine provinces in South Africa, with the Northern Province being the largest and Gauteng being the smallest, with the remaining provinces being the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and Western Cape.

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PROVINCES

EASTERN CAPE

Eastern Cape: has airports in Bhisho, East London, Mthatha and Port Elizabeth along with two major harbours in East London and Port Elizabeth respectively.

It is a region of great natural beauty, particularly the rugged cliffs, rough seas and dense green bush of the Wild Coast.  Moreover, enjoy the Malaria-Free Safari experience at Shamwari Private Game Reserve.  

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ORANGE FREE STATE

Orange Free State: has one main airport being the Bram Fischer International airport in Bloemfontein, also being South Africa’s judicial capital, the province  houses the Supreme Court of Appeal.

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GAUTENG

Gauteng: has the most International flights flying into South Africa via Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport (domestic & international), followed by Lanseria Airport being more popular with domestic and charter flights.

Some 50 km north of Johannesburg lies South Africa’s administrative capital,Pretoria (Tshwane). The magnificent Union Buildings, which overlook the city from Meintjieskop, represent the official seat of the South African Government and house the offices of the country’s President.

All major gold and diamond mining houses have their headquarters in Johannesburg, the biggest being Anglo American and De Beers.

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KWAZULU-NATAL

KwaZulu-Natal: has three airports, with Durban’s King Shaka International Airport being the most popular and Pietermaritzburg (being the captial) and Richard’s Bay. 

There are also two major harbours – the port of Durban, which is one the busiest in Africa, and Richards Bay, which is an important coal-export harbour.

There are several nature reserves including the Royal Natal National Park, Giant’s Castle and the Kamberg Nature Reserve.

It includes South Africa’s lush subtropical east coast, stretching from Port Edward in the south to Mozambique in the north.  The Drakensberg mountain range stretches the entire length of KwaZulu-Natal’s western boundary.

The Drakensberg forms the boundary between South Africa and the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, and offers some of the country’s most awe-inspiring landscapes.

Accommodation:

Leopard Mountain Game Lodge

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LIMPOPO

Limpopo: is South Africa’s northernmost province with the capital being Polokwane, and is strategically located in the centre of the province, as the Gateway International Airport. There are several smaller airports serving the many private game reserves, along with Phalaborwa, Musina, Tzaneen and Hoedspruit.  The Limpopo valley is rich in wildlife and natural beauty, with the Limpopo River bordering the territory with Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Polokwane

MPUMALANGA

Mpumalanga: which means “Place Where the Sun Rises” holds spectacular scenic beauty, an abundance of wildlife and therefore making it one of South Africa’s major tourist destinations. 

Mpumalanga is also served by a number of small airports, including the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Hazyview and Skukuza.

Mbombela (previously Nelspruit) is the capital of the province and the administrative and business centre of the Lowveld.  Other important towns are eMalahleni (previously Witbank), Standerton, Piet Retief, Malalane, Ermelo, Barberton and Sabie, which lies in the centre of one of the largest man-made forests in the world.

ACCOMMODATION:

Inyati Private Game Reserve

Mpumalanga

NORTHERN PROVINCE

Northern Province: still hold the  last  remaining true  San (Bushman) people in the Kalahari area, mainly along the Orange and Vaal rivers.  Many fossils and San rock engravings have been found here, some of which are displayed at the McGregor Museum in Kimberley.

The province lies to the south of its most important asset, the mighty Orange River, which provides the basis for a healthy agricultural industry.

The Northern Cape borders the Atlantic Ocean in the west with Namibia and Botswana to the north and north-west, respectively. It is fringed by the Swartberg mountain range on its southern border.

With two major airports at Kimberley and Upington.  

The province has several national parks and conservation areas, including the:

  • Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
  • Ai-Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Conservation Park
  • Augrabies Falls National Park.

The largest part of the province lies in the dry Nama-Karoo Biome, which contains a number of fascinating plants, including the elephant’s trunk (“halfmens” or half-man) tree, aloe (“kokerboom” or quiver tree) and a variety of succulents.  The area is well known for its spectacular annual spring flowers, which attract thousands of tourists.

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NORTH-WEST

North-West:  is bordered by Botswana in the north and fringed by the Kalahari desert in the west, Gauteng to the east, and the Free State to the south. It is known as the “Platinum Province”, owing to its wealth of this precious metal.  It’s main airport is Pilanesberg International Airport.

Mahikeng is the capital city and well known for the Mafikeng Siege, which took place in October 1899 during the Anglo-Boer/South African War.

The province boasts various tourist attractions including Sun City, the Pilanesberg National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve, and the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust. A portion of one of South Africa’s seven Unesco world heritage sites also falls within the borders of North West namely the Taung hominid fossil site, which has been incorporated into South Africa’s Cradle of Humankind.

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WESTERN CAPE

Western Cape:  is situated on the south-western tip of the African continent.  The Cape is renowned for it’s wide, long-stretched beaches and breathtaking scenery, complemented by a rich variety of cultures, historical landmarks, world-class restaurants and entertainment and most certainly is a world-famous tourist destination.

Cape Town, often referred to as the “Mother City”, houses Parliament and is South Africa’s legislative capital. The province has a strong network of higher education institutions including the universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and the Western Cape, and has the highest adult education level in the country.

Visitors to the province can arrive at one of the province’s two main airports, Cape Town International or George Airport (Garden Route) or at the seaports of Cape Town, Mossel Bay and Saldanha.

Table Mountain, the Cape winelands, Robben Island and the Kirstenbsch Botanical Gardens, The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront are among the province’s most popular tourist attractions.

The Western Cape is also known for its floral diversity. The Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site, comprising eight separate protected areas, covers an area of more than 553 000 ha stretching from the Cape Peninsula to the Eastern Cape.  The  Knysna-Tsitsikamma  region  has  the country’s biggest indigenous forests.

Route 62 – Longest Wine Tasting Route in the World: Accommodation:

The cold Atlantic Ocean along the West Coast is a rich fishing area, while the warmer Indian Ocean skirts the province’s southern beaches.  Quick LinkWestern Cape

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