South Africa Travel Guide
South Africa is diverse country in every perspective those whole fascination you can not conclude shortly. There are eleven official languages spoken which mirrors the cultural and ethnic diversity of the country. There is also no country type culture because the many population groups nurse their own culture. This is why this country is called the rainbow nation. From a tourist side the country offers something for everyone: The national parks for people that love animals, the exotic plants of the botanics and the large cities are not behind western metropolises anymore. To get to know south Africans one has to travel through the whole country. There are places of interest everywhere, there are no real cities for tourists. The diverse landscape which it got from the large amount of climatic zones gives the area a special note: From white sand beaches in the southeast of the country, to the botanic diversity in the west to the Tafelberg in the north, there is a climate for every taste.
South Africa is a land of ethnic diversity, this is why there is a difference between conventions and interests depending on the region and skin color. The south Africans are sport fanatics: The black population especially likes soccer as a means of enjoying their free time while the white population is interested in Rugby and Cricket. But the country does not only offer sports, it also offers musically and literary. There is also a diverse music scene from which a new music style developed: In Kwaito there are rhythms from rock n’ Roll combined with Swing and texts from traditional African language. In the literal area south Africa got a Nobel price for literature with Nadine Gordimer (1991). The ethnic diversity of the population is expressed in the national anthem “Nkosi sikelel Iafrika” (Lord, bless Africa). The strophes of this anthem are made of the four most spoken languages and they contain the fight for freedom and against apartheid.
Provinces and territories
Signs of Interest
South Africa is a country of cultural diversity and attractive landscape. We only list the most popular showplaces here. The most popular travel destination is the “Kruger National Park”.
The world of the animals and the nature of south Africa can be gazed at by tourists. A great overview of the land on clear days can be made on the high plateau of the “Tafelberg”. This mountain can be hiked through paths of different difficulty or with a rope way. The “Garden Route” is also popular: Along the Atlantic ocean where you will pass small cities and nature parks. Historically interesting is the island called “Robben Island“. The high security prison in which Nelson Mandela was detained in is now since 1999 part of the UNESCO-List of world cultural heritage. Luxurious and therefore a contradicting point to the poverty is in the land is the Game Reserve “Sun City” which is located west of Johannesburg. With amusement arcades, sport facilities and entertainment shows it is the Las Vegas of South Africa.
South Africa has a lot of national parks from which some reached international popularity. The worldwide most known park is the “Kruger National Park“. It is close of the metropolis Johannesburg and it can be comfortably reached from there and it is the most popular wildlife preserve of the world. Other national parks are not less impressive, but more outside. For the observation of the wild life you can name parks like the “Tembe Elephant Park” (Elephants and other large animals), the “Table Mountain National Opark” (Antelopes and many kinds of birds) and the “Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park” (Lion observation). Known for nature events is the high mountain “Royal Natal National Park” (Waterfalls and wild creeks), the “Golden Gate National Park” (Sandstone formations) and the “Augrabies Falls National park” (Waterfalls, Desert vegetation with quiver trees). Depending on the size of the park you get different amounts of comfort and shelter. From camping in your tent or Caravans up to your own housing in luxury lodges you get a lot of diverse housings in the large reservations. The parks can be explored by yourself or with an expert guide which is recommended because of the size of the parks. You can even book sightseeing flights in old propelled machines in some parks.
The nature of South Africa is very diverse and full of opposites. Dessert face green landscapes with sprinkling waterfalls. The Atlantic and Indian ocean meet each other at the south tip of the country. At the dessert there are more beaches and in the north is the large Tafelberg. The whole diversity of the country can be explored best in an excursion across the country. Along the “Garden Route” you find the maritime atmosphere of the south cap. The “Wine Route” at Stellenbosch at the south cap of the land goes along the most important wine goods of South Africa. The wildlife is best explored in a Safari through the National parks. The “Big Five” (Elephants, Rhinos, Buffalos, Lions, Leopards) can be observed in their national habitat at close range. A sightseeing flight over the landscapes of South Africa shows the opposition of the landscapes in an overview.
South Africa is a land that offers something for every interest. The metropolis Johannesburg, Cape Town and Tshwane are attractive for people who like the big city life with it’s shopping opportunities and night life. Nature lovers can explore the many national parks and diverse wild and plant life. Athletes find their paradise at the south cap where the beaches invite to water sports. Besides that Rugby and Soccer are national sports in South Africa that can be practiced or observed everywhere. Cultural lovers find many galleries, theaters and museums. The big cities here are not always the first point of interest. You also find attractive points of interest in less popular cities.
Eating and drinking
South Africa is a land of ethnic diversity, which is also mirrored in it’s cuisine. There is no national dish and there is no national typical cuisine. But it offers a huge range of known dishes of the world. Chinese, Indian, European, American and African food can be found everywhere in restaurants of the country. Traditional African dishes in the past were made on a three legged pot over an open fire. Carrots, Potatoes, Roots and Corn were made to a kind of stew. You still find this traditional cooking in traditional restaurants. Also of central important for the African cuisine are meat dishes of all kinds that are made over an open charcoal barbecue. Furthermore South Africa develops to a large wine producer. Some of the best wine goods of the world are around the Kap area.
You have a large amount of climatic zones in South Africa. The general climate is rather dry and sunny. Rainfall decreases from South East to Northwest, while the temperature rises. Because of the size of the country and because of many height factors, the climate between the different parts of the country varies greatly: At the west coast the climate is cool and dry. On the east coast there is a moist and warm climate. Given that South Africa is located on the south hemisphere the seasons are opposed to the European seasons. In Winter (July to August) you can find snow in Johannesburg. It is very cold there at nights and the temperatures rise up to 23 °C, in the summer up to 30°C. In the region around Ronstadt rules a cool climate with drizzle in the winter. From November to march it is very warm to hot and dry. In the northern coast area and along the east coast the air moisture is very high, but there still is a cooling wind. The temperatures there are through the whole year between 25 and 35 °C.
The simplest and quickest way to South Africa is via Plane. The most important airports of the country are in Kapstadt, Durban and Tambo. The most flights that start from Europe are night flights which can last from 8-10 hours. At the airport are “Porters” available which help with the luggage. One must pay attention to only choose an official Porter. These can be identified through their orange uniform and they wear the seal of the “Airports Company of South Africa” (ACSA). Inside the country there is a deep flight connection network. Every large airport will be flown too from large companies at least once per day.