SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa is a very popular tourist destination.  Among the main attractions are the diverse and picturesque culture, the game reserves and the highly regarded wines. The tourism industry is well established with an exciting sector of emerging entrepreneurs. The country is strong on adventure, sport, nature and wildlife, and is a pioneer and global leader in responsible tourism.

Geography

Situated at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa is 1 233 404km² in size and is edged on three sides by nearly 3 000km of coastline, with the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The country is bordered in the north by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and also encloses two independent countries, the kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland.

Provinces

There are nine provinces in South Africa, namely: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape.

Travel by road and rail

South Africa has an extensive road infrastructure including national highways and secondary roads. Speed limits are set at 120km/h on highways; 100km/h on secondary roads; and 60km/h in urban areas. Most roads are in good condition, but there are a few exceptions. There are rail connections between the main centres, such as Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Languages

South Africa is a multilingual country and there are 11 official languages, namely: English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. Although only about 10% of the population has English as its mother tongue, English is the language most widely understood, and is the second language of the majority of South Africans.

Religions

About 80% of South Africa's population is Christian. Other major religious groups include Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists. A minority does not belong to any of the major religions. The Constitution guarantees freedom of worship.

 

  • Cape Town

    CAPE TOWN

    Mother City of Africa, Cape Town is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

    Cape Town is the quintessential melting pot: it is a city alive with creativity, colour, sounds and taste.

    While walking through the city's streets and meeting its people, you will fall in love with its natural beauty and incredible spirit. Cape Town is a city where the unexpected is always just around the corner and the beautiful province of the Western Cape lies ready to be explored across the city border.

    City Bowl

    Sitting between Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, the City Bowl is the city’s hub. Its backbone is Long Street, home to numerous shops and bars. Cafés, art galleries and nightclubs co-exist happily in the city centre, while the Company’s Gardens provides much-needed green space and is surrounded by many of the city’s museums. The neighbouring mountains oversee Cape Town in spectacular fashion.


    Atlantic Seaboard

    Stretching from the shopper’s haven of the V&A Waterfront all the way to secluded Llandudno – with Cape Town’s hottest beaches, such as Clifton and Camps Bay, in between – the Atlantic Seaboard happily mixes gritty Sea Point street life with glitzy Camps Bay partying. This is the place to don your designer shades and watch the sun set over the ocean.


    Southern Suburbs

    Further south on the Cape Peninsula lie the leafy, affluent suburbs of Constantia and Newlands, with the spectacular Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and the wine farms of Constantia the major attractions.


    Southern Peninsula

    Cape Town’s deep south boasts Cape Point and the charming seaside villages of Kalk Bay, Simon’s Town and Hout Bay. Warmer waters to the west make these beaches ideal for a day of swimming and enjoying local seafood.


    Northern Suburbs

    The views of Table Mountain from Milnerton and Table View are simply perfect. The beaches at both Table View and Blouberg Strand are notoriously windy, making them popular with windsurfers and kite flyers. Further inland lies the ’burb of Durbanville, with its wine farms, and beyond are the Winelands towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek.

     

     

    Selected Cape Town Accommodation

    (We work with ALL quality suppliers, not only the ones listed below)

     

  • Eastern Cape

    EASTERN CAPE

    Wild, untamed and beautiful!

    South Africa’s ‘wild’ province, the Eastern Cape features expanses of untouched beach, bush and forest.

    The Wild Coast
    The Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape remains one of the world’s most untouched scenic locations. Beaches don’t come more beautiful than those of the Wild Coast and thanks to the rugged nature of the coast, they remain undeveloped. This is Xhosa tribal country, birthplace of Mandela and home of the inspiring Nelson Mandela Museum, with a landscape dotted by tribal huts and gentle rolling hills. Cattle roam freely, even on the beaches. Romantic shipwrecks, spectacular rock formations, pristine white sands, dolphins flashing in the waves and charming family
    hotels make this area one of South Africa’s best kept secrets.

    National Parks & Private reserves

    National Parks in the Eastern Cape include the Mountain Zebra National Park (at Cradock), Camdeboo National Park (Graaff Reinet) and the Addo Elephant Park - which is in a Big Five and a malaria free environment. There are also a number of private reserves. For more information on our selected reserves, please look under the Safari - Eastern Cape - Tab.

    Ocean Encounters
    You can have an ecological adventure in Plettenberg Bay with miles of sparkling beaches set next to the green swathes of polo fields. Here you can encounter bottlenose and the rare Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins as well as some shark species. From Arch Rock you head into the middle of the Bay where pelagic seabirds are normally to be found some 7km from the shore. Out there our resident Bryde’s whales may be seen, as well as common dolphins, or southern right and humpback whales in their season.

     

    Selected Eastern Cape Accommodation

    For more information on our selected Game Reserves and Safari Lodges, please click here!

    (We work with ALL quality suppliers, not only the ones listed below)

     

  • Garden Route

    Garden Route

    The beautiful and dramatic Garden Route stretches from around Mossel-Bay to the Storms River Mouth. The name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast. It is an area dense with forests, beaches, lakes, rivers, kloofs and hardwood trees and is regarded as one of the most beautiful regions in the country. The area is jam-packed with things to do, and visitors are spoilt for choice. Simply driving the Garden Route is a joy, with countless picnic spots, viewpoints and attractions. From mountain biking through the Harkerville Forest, bird watching in the Wilderness National Park and abseiling into the Kaaimans River, to black water tubing down the Storms River, one is never at a loss for things to do.

    Selected Garden Route Accommodation

     (We work with ALL quality suppliers, not only the ones listed below)

  • Gauteng

    GAUTENG

    Geographically the smallest province, Gauteng is an urban playground of note, taking in the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. 

    Gauteng is a cosmopolitan, multicultural mix of people from all walks of life, from all corners of the world. Gauteng's main attraction is big business, but there is so much more ... museums, galleries, historical battlefields. Gauteng is also an entertainment playground offering world-class restaurants, shebeens, shopping malls and music venues.

    It is also South Africa’s fast-paced economic powerhouse. For visitors, there are many places of historical interest that tell the story of South Africa’s emerging democracy.

     

    Selected Gauteng Accommodation

    (We work with ALL quality suppliers, not only the ones listed below)

  • Kwazulu Natal

    KwaZulu-Natal

    Something for everyone. South Africa’s third-smallest province, KwaZulu-Natal has a wealth of scenic and cultural attractions that include the country’s most popular beaches lying to the south and north of Durban. Add to that its bushveld reserves to the north, historic battlefields and the dramatic Drakensberg mountains, and you can see why it’s popular with tourists.  Throughout the year, holiday-makers flock to their favourite KwaZula Natal coastal haunts to cultivate a tan, ride the waves, eat, drink and generally have fun. Besides the sweeping beaches and calm lagoons where surfing, snorkelling, fishing and swimming are enjoyed, you can play golf, bowls and tennis or just soak up the sun. From Durban to Amanzimtoti, Ballito to Umhlanga Rocks, to the rugged Wild Coast, the highway links popular seaside resorts in rapid succession. The road snakes through subtropical bush, cane fields and hills garlanded with hibiscus blooms. North of Durban, the coastline stretching from the Tugela Mouth to the Umdloti River is aptly known as the Dolphin Coast. Close inshore, shoals of bottle-nose dolphins gambol in the waves, providing endless entertainment with their engaging antics.  

    IN the north, KwaZulu Natal's game sanctuaries epitomise the best of the African wilderness. This is one of the few places where good game viewing can be enjoyed in close proximity to the pleasures of scuba diving and deep-sea fishing. Habitats from coastal dune forests to open bushveld support a wide diversity of wildlife, from the elephant to the tiny suni. Bird life is equally prolific. Most parks offer peaceful surroundings, comfortable accommodation, game drives, hiking and walking safaris.

    The Elephant Coast forms the north-east region of South Africa's unique KwaZulu Natal Province, stretching northward from Lake St Lucia (a world heritage site), to the borders of Swaziland and Mozambique. The region is so named because it is home to South Africa's largest herd of indigenous African Elephants.

    Between the coastal playgrounds and the majestic Drakensberg, there is an area of gentle pastoral beauty known as the Natal Midlands. The highway meanders through rolling wooded hills and grassy plains scattered with towns, villages and hospitable country inns. On lush farmlands, plump cattle and thoroughbred horses graze and game sanctuaries throughout the region support large numbers and varieties of wildlife.

     

    Selected KwaZulu-Natal Accommodation

    (For selected SAFARI LODGES in KwaZulu-Natal, please click here)

    (We work with ALL quality suppliers, not only the ones listed below)

     

  • Kruger Park Surroundings

    Kruger Park Surroundings 

    THE PLACE WHERE THE SUN RISES! Formally known as Eastern Transvaal, Mpumalanga - also referred to as The Greater Kruger Are/ Kruger Surroundings is considered to be one of the most geographically diverse and unbelievably beautiful places in South Africa.

    Mpumalanga lies in the east of South Africa, north of KwaZulu-Natal and bordering Swaziland and Mozambique. In the northeast, the land rises towards mountain peaks and then terminates in an immense escarpment. In some places, this escarpment plunges hundreds of metres down to the low-lying area known as the Lowveld.

    People are drawn to Mpumalanga by the magnificent scenery, by the fauna and flora and by the saga of the 1870s gold rush era and a wealth of fascinating tribal legends. Mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, rivers, waterfalls and forests characterise the landscape. This is also Big Game Country, the setting for dozens of sanctuaries teeming with wildlife and birds. Visit the world’s most famous game reserve, climb the world's third-highest canyon, explore the world's oldest cave and spend the night in the world's best private game lodges. 

    The entire Mpumalanga area offers exceptional opportunities for bird-watching, hiking, horse-riding and fishing. Streams once panned for gold have become the haunts of eager anglers and lazy trout. Steeped in the history of pioneers, hunters and fortune seekers, fascinating gold rush towns abound. Mpumalanga offers something for everyone.

    One of the famous routes in the Kruger Surroundings is The Panorama Route. Graskop is the highlight of the Panorama Route with: God`s Window, Lisbon Falls, Berlin Falls, the Pinnacle, Bourke`s Luck Potholes and Blyde River Canyon on the list of attraction.

     

    Selected accommodation in the Kruger Surroundings

    (For selected Safari Lodges and more information about The Kruger National Park click here!)

    (We work with ALL quality suppliers, not only the ones listed below)

  • Overberg

    Overberg

    Within driving distance from Cape Town, lies a region of contrasts and wonder.  the Overberg has rugged mountain ranges, fynbos, rolling wheat and canola fields and splendid coastal vistas.  it is for you to reflect, doscover and maybe even have the adventure of a lifetime.

    Driving southeast on the N2 from Cape Town, visitors will climb the Hottentots Holland Mountains via Sir Lowry’s Pass just after Somerset West. Fortunately, modern travellers have the luxury of a well-built highway, not like the early settlers who struggled over the mountain with ox and wagon.

    Once on the other side of the mountain, the traveller will find a myriad of roads into the Overberg where the land, mountains, sea and people tell their own story. The Overberg is a region that stretches along coasts with beautiful beaches, and over mountain ranges with interesting geological formations, abundant birdlife and fynbos. The roads will take you on a journey through valleys with picturesque vineyards, orchards and beautiful landscapes of green, gold and brown.  Memories from the past – as illustrated by the Overberg’s rich collection of mission stations, ship wrecks and old architectural treasures – exist harmoniously with new developments in our towns, ensuring visitors find all they need.

    The Overberg caters for sport enthusiasts and eco-adventurers alike, with its diverse activities on offer: tackle a 4x4 trail, dust off the old golf clubs, ride a horse, go on a sunset cruise, learn to fly fish, spot the whales or dare to go shark cage diving. For those who wish to spend their holiday at a more leisurely pace, enjoy our fragrant wines, sit back in our country gardens with a good book or relax in our natural hot springs.

    Selected Accommodation in Overberg

    (We work with ALL quality suppliers, not only the ones listed below)

  • Route 62 / Klein Karoo

    Route 62 / Klein Karoo

    Cape Route 62 is the tourist route in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, South Africa, that meanders between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn, the Langkloof and Port Elizabeth, offering a scenic alternative to the N2 highway.

    It's an area of magnificent landscapes and towering cliffs, crystal clear streams and an abundance of trees and indigenous flora - all contribute to make Paarl, Wellington, the Breede River Valley, Klein Karoo and Langkloof some of South Africa's most diverse regions.

    The ever changing colours of the majestic mountains, scenic passes, rivers, vineyards and orchards, as well as the multitude of attractions, will offer you an unforgettable adventure - whether this is in the physical sense or simply a kaleidoscope of scenic tranquility.

    Cape Route 62 will take you along the longest wine route in the Western Cape and most likely the whole world. Innovation and pride, combined with a terrain and mild climate that are harmoniously balanced, results in the prominence of the outstanding wines on Cape Route 62.

    The easily accesible towns, nestled along the valleys, all offer ample opportunity for discovery. From visits to wineries and game reserves, tribal art, cultural tours, museums and for the more adventurous: hiking trails and mountain climbing, 4x4 routes, canoeing, horse riding, even ostrich riding, fishing and caving...

    Cape Route 62 is an exciting experience, even for the well-travelled. And when you are tired after a long day's travel, you can even unwind in one of the region's invigorating hot-springs, revel in luxury or relax in rustic tranquility.

    This scenic route passes through farming towns such as Calitzdorp, Ladismith, historic Amalienstein, Zoar and the fruit growing and wine producing towns of Barrydale, Montagu, Ashton, Bonnievale, Robertson, McGregor, Worcester,Rawsonville, Ceres, Wolseley, Tulbagh, Wellington and Paarl. It includes the Langkloof with the following towns; Misgund, Louterwater, Krakeel, Joubertina and Kareedouw.

    Selected Accommodation along Route 62

    (We work with ALL quality suppliers, not only the ones listed below)

  • West Coast

    Cape West Coast

    The Cape West Coast stretches from Cape Town as far as the border with the Northern Cape at Touws River. What is still an almost undiscovered treasure trove of unspoilt beaches, incredible mountain ranges, rich geographical diversity, and the most astounding carpet of wild flowers in spring, is evolving into a major holiday route out of Cape Town. Within its parameters the indescribably beautiful Cederberg Mountains, famous for centuries-old rock art. All along the coastline is a series of quaint historic towns and fishing villages with names like Lambert's Bay, Paternoster, Saldanha and Langebaan.

    The Regions

    Swartland

    This is the gateway to the West Coast and the most southerly of the sub-regions, with Malmesbury being a mere 64km from Cape Town. It is best known for its undulating yellow wheat fields, interspersed by vivid green vineyards.

    The Olive festival (Riebeek Valley) as well as outdoor activities on the Berg River and Misverstand Dam (Moorreesburg and Koringberg) attract many tourists to the Swartland region. The wineries of the Swartland produce top quality wines and most offer tasting centres that are open to the general public. Wild flowers are prolific in the areas closer to the coast during spring, while Southern Right and Humpback whales often visit the sheltered bay of  Yzerfontein from June to November.

    Peninsula

    For many the Cape West Coast Peninsula (Saldanha Bay Municipal Region) typifies the West Coast with its quaint fishing villages, sea-side resorts and ever popular lagoon. It lies south of the Berg River mouth and includes the West Coast National Park, stretching inland to Hopefield.

    Fishing and watersports are popular attractions throughout the region. The coastal towns in the region boast rocky and sandy bays, beaches and an abundance of seafood. Boardsailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, diving and angling, as well as whale watching in season are very popular.

    Bergrivier

    Bergrivier region starts in the mountains of Stellenbosch and eventually reaches the Atlantic Ocean at Velddrif.

    The river is the main water source for the numerous wine farms along its banks. It is heaven to bird-watchers, fishermen and sailing enthusiasts. Birdwatchers can spot 183 species, of which at least 70 are water birds in Velddrif itself, or at nearby Rocherpan Nature Reserve. But its not just about the river and the coast. The inland town of Piketberg stands at the foot of the towering Piketberg mountain in the middle of undulating fields of wheat, green vineyards, fallow land and flowering yellow canola. Poretville is a picturesque, country town on the slopes of the Olifants River Mountains and is well known for its nearby mountain waterfalls.

    Cederberg

    The region offers a rich natural heritage, fruit-filled valleys and towering mountains. The beautiful Olifants River Valley, with its snaking irrigation canals, sustains a large citrus industry which is a hive of activity during the winter harvest time. This is also Rooibos tea country, being the only place in the world where the bush, producing this healthy beverage, is grown.

    San rock art can be viewed. Hike amongst the spectacular rock formations or cool off in the clear mountain rock pools of the spectacular Cederberg Wilderness Reserve. Wupperthal is a picturesque Moravian Mission Station in the heart of these mountains. A feeling of calm peacefulness envelopes one on arrival in this serene valley.

    Down on the coast you can relax on the unspoilt sandy beaches of Lamberts and Elands Bay where whales and dolphins can be spotted from August to November. Not to be missed is the famous Bird Island at Lamberts Bay, with its thousands of cormorants and gannets. These coastal towns are also renowned for angling and crayfish diving. During August and September the spectacular spring wild flowers are a sight to behold. There are also numerous good birding sites along the beautiful wetland area of Verlorenvlei.

    Namaqua West Coast

    The Namaqua West Coast region borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west and includes the Sandveld, Knersvlakte and the Matzikamma Mountain range. The region takes pride in their mountain peaks such as the Gifberg, Maskam and Koebee, while the coastal region is a haven to migrating whales from July.

    The Olifants River winds its way through the region, supporting the vineyards on its banks and beckoning visitors to its wine route. The region is a stark contrast of vast unspoilt beaches, rugged mountains and a fertile emerald green valley. The first rains in early winter ensures that the seemingly arid expanse is transformed into a kaleidoscope of brilliant colours in spring.

     

    Selected West Coast Accommodation

    (We work with ALL quality suppliers, not only the ones listed below)

  • Winelands

    WINELANDS Copyright Mikael Porsklint

    With its magnificent natural beauty, its rich cultural heritage and its world-renowned wines - the Winelands Region in the Western Cape is synonymous with all the best that the Cape has to offer.

    A 45-minute drive from Cape Town take you to the Winelands where splendid mountains form a dramatic backdrop to lush vineyards and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads steeped in history. The grand heritage and sumptuous restaurants have earned the Cape Winelands the right to call itself South Africa’s culinary capital.

    Experience the hospitality and beauty, visit some of the many wine farms, or stroll down a beautifully restored street in one of the historical town centres and visit the museums and monuments that pay homage to our proud history.

    The Cape Winelands region is the source of many legendary Cape wines, the produce of row upon row of grapevines, many of which were first planted hundreds of years ago. Join the winemaker on a tour of his cellar where the harvest is lovingly transformed into every wine lover's delight.

    Copyright Mikael PorsklintFranschhoek‘s excellent restaurants are renowned at home and abroad. Add stunning mountains, galleries and antique stores to paint a picture of the hospitality that characterises this small town.

    With its historical charm, culture, architectural heritage, wine and one of the largest solid rocks in the world, Paarl Mountain, Paarl is bursting with breathtaking scenery and offers the fitter tourist a choice of cycling and nature trails.

    Wellington is famous for its dried fruit, wine estates, olive tasting and leather factories. Don’t miss out on a scenic drive up Bain’s Kloof Pass.

    Robertson – the “Garden Town of the Boland” – is the largest wine-producing area under irrigation in South Africa. Robertson is famed for its superior wines and some of the country’s top racehorse studs have been raised and trained here.

    Apart from a wide choice of wine estate cellars lined with top-class wines, visitors will discover a variety of locally produced cheeses, olives, export-quality fruit and organic produce to sample and buy.

     

     

    Selected Winelands Accommodation

    (We work with ALL quality suppliers, not only the ones listed below)

  • Vic Falls

    Victoria Falls

    This remarkable place is filled with so much history and fascination. Victoria Falls also known as "Mosi oa-Tunya" ("the smoke that thunders") is positioned almost exactly half way along the mighty Zambezi River's 2700 km journey from it's source to the sea.Here the river plunges headlong into a 100m vertical chasm spanning the full one-and-a-half kilometre width of the river. Creating the biggest curtain of falling water in the world and also one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

    This constant pounding by the currents of the mighty Zambezi has, over the millennium, cut through the rock faults and fissures and carved out not one but eight successive precipices (and now the ninth has begun). When our early ancestors inhabited this area some 1.5 million years ago , they would have seen a different Victoria falls to he one we see today.

    Being one of the greatest physical spectacles in Africa it stands to reason that it has attracted so much much interest from us humans over time and therefore the area is steeped in history and mystery.

     Contact us for a customized itinerary and quality accommodation