South Africa

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South Africa is not just safari! It’s spectacular beaches, incredible and diverse landscapes, flavourful food, inspiring modern cities, heart-pounding action, soul-stirring adventures, luxurious escapes and stirring journeys into rich culture and heritage.

South Africa is 100 holidays in one, an experience for every budget with all the entertainment, food, accommodation, convenience and accessibility to turn your trip into precious stories you can tell over and over again.

South Africa is one of the most geographically diverse countries on the African continent. It ranges from the rolling, fertile plains of the Highveld and the vast savannah of Mpumalanga to the Kalahari Desert and the peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains.

Quick facts about South Africa

  • Official name: Republic of South Africa
  • Area: South Africa covers 1.22 million km².
  • Location: South Africa is located at the southern tip of Africa and borders Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini and Lesotho.
  • Population: just over 58 million
  • Capital: Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial)
  • Date of independence: 31 May 1961
  • System of government: Republic
  • Head of state: Cyril Ramaphosa
  • Languages: Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Venda, Southern Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Swati, Northern Sotho, Ndebele.
  • Literacy: The overall literacy rate is 94.37 percent
  • Religion: : 80% of South Africans belong to the Christian faith. Other religious groups are Hindus, Muslims and Jews.
  • Currency: South African Rand (ZAR).
  • Time zones: CTA+2
  • Electricity: Sockets are of the round, three-pin type.
Tour Consultant
Justin Swart
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Important information on South Africa

Climate

South Africa stretches from 22° to 34° south latitude and is largely covered by a plateau, which causes the summer heat to rise but the winter nights to cool down. Being in the southern hemisphere, it has seasons that are opposite to those in Europe. Apart from the southern coastline, the country is mostly drier in the west than in the east.

Culture

South Africa is made up of many different people, each with their own language and history. The country has 11 official languages and even more unofficial languages. This colourful mix of cultures gives South Africa the nickname “Rainbow Nation”.

South Africans are passionate musicians, they often use songs and dances to express social and political ideas. They are also known worldwide for their sporting prowess, including rugby, cricket, golf and football. In 2010, South Africa became the first African nation to host the World Cup.

Geography

Most of South Africa’s landscape consists of high, flat areas called plateaus. These areas are covered with grasslands called highveld and tree-covered plains called bushveld.

To the east, south and west of the plateaus is a hilly region called the Great Escarpment. The eastern mountain range, the Drakensberg, is full of jagged peaks, some of which are even more than 3,475 metres high.

In South Africa, another small country lies within its borders. Nestled in the Drakensberg Mountains lies the hilly kingdom of Lesotho. Much of South Africa’s water comes from the snow-capped peaks of this tiny landlocked country.

Nature conservation

Our multi-layered approach to conservation builds regional capacity at all levels to increase environmental and social resilience to climate change and set the course for development that sustains communities and the ecosystems they support into the future.

South Africa’s main goal is to work towards a future where people live in harmony with nature. We make this future a reality by focusing on projects that have an impact on policy, markets, knowledge and funding, as well as on implementation by showing tangible results on the ground.

“Conservation South Africa is a member of the Conservation International network, which has offices in more than 30 countries, more than 1,000 partner organisations and thousands of projects worldwide.

Nature/Basics

South Africa has a wide range of wildlife. The country occupies only about one per cent of the earth’s land area, but is home to nearly 10 per cent of the world’s known bird, fish and plant species and about 6 per cent of mammal and reptile species.

There is also a variety of marine life in the seas around South Africa. Approximately 2,000 marine species visit South African waters at some point during the year. Every year in June, the world-famous sardine hunt attracts thousands of hungry sharks, dolphins and birds to the east coast.

South Africa seeks to preserve its wildlife with protected land and marine areas, including the famous Kruger National Park in the north, as well as nearly 9,000 privately owned game reserves across the country.

Yet many of South Africa’s animals are killed through illegal poaching and habitat loss. More and more species are threatened with extinction, including the black rhino, the cheetah and the African wild dog.

Wildlife

South Africa is one of the natural jewels of the world, some say a treasure, located at the southern tip of Africa. Visitors from all over the world travel to the country to take advantage of the stunning climate, accommodation, hotels, game reserves, natural attractions and, of course, the great variety of wildlife.

South Africa’s landscapes provide a habitat for all types of animals (from dense green forests to arid deserts), making it ideal for thousands of species. These include predators, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and a wide variety of fascinating insects. These different species can be found in the country’s game reserves and national parks, as well as in the wild and natural landscape where they live freely.

The Big 5 are one of South Africa’s main attractions in terms of wildlife. This group includes the African elephant, Cape buffalo, lion, black rhino and leopard. This combination of predator and powerful mammals makes it a unique sighting of some of the world’s most impressive wildlife.

South Africa - what makes it so unique?

Bungi jumping

South Africa is home to the world’s highest commercial bungi jumping bridge at 216 metres (710 feet).

Drinking water

South Africa’s drinking water is rated the third best in the world because it is “safe and ready to drink”.

Human remains

The oldest remains of modern humans have been found in South Africa and are well over 160,000 years old.

Robben Island

A visit to Cape Town would not be complete without a boat trip to Robben Island. On the island, you can almost feel the spirit of the legendary Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned here for 27 years. Take a tour of his former prison cell and learn about the years he spent on the island with other fighters.

Shipwrecks

There are more than 2000 shipwrecks off the South African coast, most of them at least 500 years old.

Table Mountain

Table Mountain in Cape Town is considered one of the oldest mountains in the world and one of the 12 main energy centres on the planet, emitting magnetic, electrical or spiritual energy.

The Cape Winelands

Who doesn’t like to taste and enjoy delicious and award-winning wines? Even if you are not a wine lover, everyone here can appreciate a good glass of wine. There is no doubt that South Africa, especially the Western Cape, is a gateway to incredible wines made on old vineyards across the province. Drive from Stellenbosch to Franschoek along the Wine Route and enjoy a wine tasting along with matching food to tickle your palate.

The Drakensberg

There is more than enough rock art to confirm that the San have been in this land for more than 6,000 years.

The Drakensberg Mountains reach an astonishing height of 3482 metres above sea level and stretch for over 1000 kilometres. The highest point, Thabana Ntlenyana, is near the border with Lesotho.

The Kruger National Park

Would you like to see the “King of the Jungle” in his natural kingdom, ruling over nature… and the streets? The Kruger National Park in its prime time, is the gateway to the wilderness where visitors can experience the ‘Big Five’, including lions and other wild cats.

Three capitals

South Africa has three capitals: Pretoria is the executive capital, Cape Town the legislative capital and Bloemfontein the judicial capital.

World Championships

South Africa is now the only country in the world to have hosted the Football, Cricket and Rugby World Cups!

All places of interest with the destination South Africa

12 Places of interest

Addo Elephant National Park

Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Drakensberg

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Kruger National Park

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Most visited national parks in South Africa

5 National Parks

Addo Elephant park

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Wildpark

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Krüger Nationalpark

Mapungubwe National Park

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