South Africa Travel
The country of South Africa occupies the southern tip of the African continent and is bordered by five countries including Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana. Within South Africa lies the independent kingdom of Lesotho. South Africa is divided into nine regions or provinces. South Africa boasts 3 capital cities: Pretoria (executive), Cape Town (legislative) and Bloemfontein (judicial). The national currency is the South African Rand. South Africa is a popular destination for European and North American travelers. Tourists from most part of Europe and all from North America do not require visas.
There are three main airports in South Africa: OR Tambo International Airport (formerly Johannesburg International), Durban International and Cape Town International.
South Africa has many regional airports throughout the country that makes travel between cities affordable and easy. South African Airways is the national air carrier. South Africa is served by approximately 60 international air carriers with nonstop flights requiring between fifteen to eighteen hours flying time from London and about twelve hours from the east coast of the United States. For domestic flights within South Africa, travelers rely upon SAA and Nationwide with a few other smaller carriers offering service. Travelling to South Africa by cruise ships is another option with Princess Cruise Lines offer itineraries with stops at Cape Town and other ports of call. For more information about travel, see our flights and hotel finder.
South Africa offers visitors a wide choice of accommodations. In the larger cities such as Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, there are a number of internationally recognized hotels such as the Westin and Radisson. The Protea Hotel chain is located throughout South Africa. Throughout the country many local and family owned hotels offers excellent accommodations that are luxurious, and well appointed with the main difference being the local charm and less formal setting. Many travelers visit South Africa for a safari or adventure tour. Many tour operators offers exceptional hospitality at some of the finest well-appointed gaming lodges in the world.
South Africa offers many exceptional destinations to explore and which span a vast landscape from warm sunny oceans to impressive savannas to wilderness areas situated amongst impressive mountain ranges. Cape Town, often ranked amongst one of the world’s best holiday cities is known for its sophisticated life style as well as beautiful scenery, wonderfully charming waterfront location and stunning views from Signal Hill. Durban, also on the coast but approximately 1600km (1000 miles) northeast from Cape Town, is one of South Africa’s holiday playgrounds and the country’s busiest ports. Durban has a number of exceptional museums as well as the famous Durban Botanical Gardens. Situated about half-way between cape Town and Durban lies Port Elizabeth with its warn water beaches, famous Opera House, public aquarium, game reserves, and Feather Market Hall is a must see. As most international flights arrive in Johannesburg, visitors have a number of local sites to see in the capital such as the Johannesburg Zoo, Gold Reef City and the Planetarium.
South Africa is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise offering world class trekking, sightseeing, water sports and adventure tourism activities. There are many famed coastal, mountain and savannah hiking trails throughout the country from the Cape Point in the Western Cape to Messina in the Limpopo providence. The Otter Trail, Giant’s Cup and the Outeniqua Trails are also well known and a real treat. Camping is another popular activity as there are many enjoyable camping spots offering fishing, canoeing, rock climbing and swimming. Another option are campsites with built-in safari tents with common recreational amenities such as swimming pools, kitchen and laundry services at such stops as Baviaanskloof Uitspan Campsite and the Ngala Tented Safari Camp. Golfing is also a very popular activity in South Africa for tourists. Home to such world famous golfers as Gary Player, Ernie Els, and Retief Goosen, South Africa has many impressive golf courses such as the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, the Durban Country Club, and the Arabella Country Club- voted as one of the Top 5 golf courses in the Western Cape. We are proud to offer a full listing of activities.
Places of Interest
Throughout South Africa there are number of interesting places of interest in the cities as well as in the country side. The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, The Nelson Mandela Museum, as well as the South African War Museum are just three of many informative museums. For art lovers, there are a number of stunning art galleries with public and private exhibitions. The National Art Gallery is a must see as The Hout Bay Gallery which features works of photography, paintings, sculptures and drawings. Day trips are another way to enjoy other attractions and places of interest and with modest planning most of these places can be joined together in a single itinerary. One of the most notable stops is the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve where you can enjoy wild animals, a Bird of Prey Museum and fully equipped luxury chalets should you wish to extend your stay. Wine lovers would enjoy the Wineland Tour about an hour drive from Cape Town. Two of our staff’s favorites are the tour of the Premier Diamond Mine about 40 km outside of Pretoria and a day trip exploring Anglo Boer War Battlefields of Kwazulu Natal. A more detailed review of these and other parks can be found by reading our section on Day-Trips.
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We look forward to seeing you in South Africa!