South Africa at a glance
Often promoted as a country alive with possibility, South Africa really does offer everything you could hope for, and more.
Strategically located at the tip of Africa, geographically and scenically diverse and home to more than fifty million people, it is the unique mix of languages and culture that make South Africa feel like a ‘world in one country’.
With the most advanced broad-based industrial sector on the continent, South Africa has a wide range of legislation promoting skills development and offers a large skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workforce across a range of sectors with a currency, the South Africa Rand, which compares favourably to investment internationally.
It is the ‘can do’ South African attitude that has helped ensure world-class facilities and infrastructure where you need it most, delivering a key advantage to this, the gateway to Africa.
- South Africa has 11 Official languages – English is widely spoken
- There are 9 Provinces of which 4 are ‘key’ marine hubs
- Capital cities: Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (administrative) and Bloemfontein (judicial)
South Africa’s climate is one of its biggest draw cards with comparatively low average rainfall annually and plenty of sunny weather in most areas.
The varied geographical landscape influences the scenery from one part of the country to the other ranging from the semi-arid Karoo to sub-tropical Durban and the mild Mediterranean climate of Cape Town.
Spring: September – November
Summer: December – February
Autumn: March – May
Winter: June – August
South Africa’s currency is the Rand (ZAR), which offers visitors great value for money.
The Rand comes in a range of coin (R1 = 100 cents) and note denominations (R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200).
The fourth largest of the nine provinces, the Western Cape accounts for 60% of South Africa’s boat building activity.
South Africa’s premier tourism destination offers some of the countries most spectacular scenery, finest wines, best restaurants and most challenging golf courses.
Where to be seen:
Perhaps the most obvious place to visit has to be Table Mountain National Park which incorporates Table Mountain, one of the Seven Wonders of Nature.
Other destinations of note include Cape Point and Boulders Beach where you can interact with the endangered African Penguin.
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The Cape Floral Region is one of South Africa’s eight World heritage Sites and supports some of the richest plant biodiversity in the world, representing 20% of the continents flora while comprising just 0.5% of its land area.
Well worth a visit is the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
The exclusive Erinvale Golf Club in Somerset West, Cape Town, offers a superb Gary Player designed golf course. The course hosted the World Cup of Golf in 1996 and the South African Airways Open Championships in 2003 and 2004.
If you consider yourself a bit of a food fundi you won’t want to miss out on Azure at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. Flanked by the Table Mountain National Park with superb views out to sea, the restaurant is a firm favourite with visitors. Other notable restaurants are The Test Kitchen at the Old Biscuit Mill and Aubergine restaurant in Gardens where Chef Harald Bresselschmidt has delighted diners for more than eighteen years.
For the more adventurous there’s False Bay, home to abundant marine diversity including the great white shark, humpback and southern right whales, dolphins and porpoises, seals and penguins, and occasionally orcas with local tourism activities including shark cage dives.
Other Adventure activities include diving, sand boarding, abseiling, scuba diving, fishing, kayaking, and zip slides.
And of course the Western Cape also boats a range of world-class shopping centres offering a range of international and local brands allowing you to ‘shop till you drop’.
A visit to the Western Cape wouldn’t be complete without a visit to any one of the fine wine farms to be found in this region. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, a social drinker or simply there for the scenery, you’ll find there’s something for everyone’s taste.
Cape Town is also a stepping stone to other must-see regions including the Cape West Coast and Little Karoo.
Situated on the eastern seaboard against the Indian Ocean, KwaZulu-Natal boast Africa’s busiest port, Durban Harbour.
With its warm sub-tropical climate, lush vegetation and rich cultural heritage, KwaZulu-Natal offers you everything from warm sun-drenched beaches to wild preserve escapes and stunning mountain retreats. The provinces mild winters make it a great choice all year-round.
Where to be seen:
The Natal Midlands – Situated in the lush farming belt between Pietermaritzburg and the Drakensberg, the Natal Midlands offers a variety of artisanal craft studios, galleries and fine country restaurants.
With Durban’s wide range of cultural influences, it’s perhaps not surprising that you’ll enjoy a wide range of fine dining options.
For those that enjoy their wine, a visit to Abingdon Estate, KwaZulu-Natal’s only certified single-vineyard wine estate is a must.
The iSimangaliso (iSimangaliso meaning ‘Miracle’ in Zulu) Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated around the St. Lucia estuary boasts an unparalleled variety of habitats from the Ubombo Mountains to grassland, forests, wetlands, ancient dunes, stunning beaches and coral reefs.
Should you find yourself with time for a round of golf (and there’s always time for a round of golf!), Zimbali Country Club’s Tom Weiskopf designed golf course offers exceptional wetland and waterway features coupled with superb views.
With one of the continent’s largest harbours, Richard’s Bay has successfully managed to combine industry and economic growth. Situated on a 30 square kilometer lagoon and boasts the largest coal export facility in the world.
For the adventurous, activities include: SkyCar ride at Moses Mabhida Stadium, scuba diving, fishing, kayaking and hiking
Port Elizabeth, this major sea port and tourist destination is nestled in Algoa Bay on the south-eastern shore of Southern Africa and often referred to as the ‘Friendly City’.
Port Elizabeth is also the major centre for the South African motor manufacturing industry.
Often touted as the South African answer to ‘little Venice’, exclusive St. Francis Bay offers a series of little man-made canals and waterways. It also offers white sandy beaches, perfect waves for the surfers and stunning whale and dolphin watching opportunities.
Where to be seen:
Both Port Elizabeth and St. Francis Bay offer a wealth of activities including scuba diving, close proximity to superb animal preserves such as the Addo Elephant Park and an abundance of local history and cultural heritage.
The area provides a great stepping stone to the Wild Coast region with must-see features being Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall. A trip to this region is also the perfect opportunity to take in the Pondoland region, as well as the Garden Route, incorporating such holiday towns as Knysna, George and the Wilderness area.
For the golfers, St. Francis Bay Golf Club, situated on an incredible estate overlooking the ocean, is a must, while Port Elizabeth’s Humewood Golf Course, one of the world’s most challenging links courses consistently ranks as one of South Africa’s top courses.
Adventure activities include: bungie jumping, black water tubing, tree canopy tours, and much more
The second largest city in Africa, Johannesburg, Jo’burg, Jozi or ‘eGoli’ as it is known colloquially is the financial hub of the country and the provincial capital of Gauteng province, it’s also the worlds largest city not situated on a river, lake or coastline.
While the key reason for Johannesburg’s early growth was the discovery of gold, this ‘work hard, play hard’ city that would appear to seldom, if ever sleep, offers everything you could be looking for and more.
Where to be seen:
The wealthy suburb of Sandton offers world-class shopping experiences, fine dining and entertainment. Consistently voted the best restaurant in the Sandton area by international travel site Tripadvisor, Michelangelos Piccolo Mondo Restaurant, with its adventurous Italian influenced dishes will have you coming back for more.
For simple atmosphere and setting, Signature restaurant in Morningside, Sandton with its panoramic views is the perfect sunset and cocktail location and reminds you why some restaurants stand head and shoulders above others.
A trip to Johannesburg also offers the opportunity of playing on some of Southern Africa’s oldest golf courses, such as Glendower Golf Course, opened in 1937 and Observatory Golf Club, which dates back to 1914.
A construct of Apartheid town planning, Soweto is a vibrant township steeped in history and tales of hope and perseverance.
Home to the FNB Stadium/Soccer City which played host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final between Spain and the Netherlands.
The Cradle of Human Kind, this 53 000ha World Heritage Site is the world’s richest hominan site, home to some 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils as well as numerous endangered flora and fauna.
Johannesburg provides a convenient stepping stone to the Kruger National Park where you can take in the Big 5.
An hours drive from Johannesburg you’ll discover the Magaliesburg, a mountain range west and north from Pretoria. This mountain range with a very long geological history forms a natural barrier between the lower-lying Bushveld to the north and the cooler Highveld to the south.
Adventure activities include: hiking, fishing, and abseil, bunji or swing at the Orlando Towers