occupies one percent of the world’s land
yet is home to 10% of the world’s bird
species. It is also the richest when it comes
to plant life, the tiny Cape Floral Kingdom
boasting 6 000 species that are not found anywhere
else. It is a country with 11 official languages,
over 20 ethnic groups, and a united vision of
its place in the world. Moreover, it has one
of the world’s most extraordinary coastlines.
Stretching from Lambert’s Bay
in the west to Plettenberg Bay
in the east, the Western Cape is a province
that flaunts a generous portion of South Africa’s
coastline. Apart from the sweeping beaches,
quaint villages, and resort towns for which
it is renowned, the province offers interior
diversity in the form of the breathtaking
Cedarburg Mountains and the
expansive Cape Winelands. The pristine portion
of coastline to the east of Cape Town is known
as the Garden Route.
Referred to as the Mother City, Cape Town was
the first European settlement in South Africa.
It is a city of great cultural diversity and
increasing international cosmopolitanism. The
city has world class hotels and restaurants
and is flanked by beaches, mountains, and countryside.
It is distinguished by dominating presence of
Table Mountain that soars above the
WINELANDS: Easily accessible from
Cape Town, the Cape Winelands are a wine lover’s
paradise. Wine estates with distinctive gabled
Cape Dutch manor houses offer wine tasting
and fine dining amid their carefully nurtured
vineyards. The towns of Franschhoek,
Stellenbosch, and Paarl are centres
of historic interest. Surrounded by haunting
mountains, they are also home to some of South
Africa’s finest restaurants.
South Africa’s Atlantic coastline has
a unique appeal. The rugged beaches and quiet
fishing villages of the coast are met by tracts
of wild flowers, fynbos, and Karoo succulents.
The area’s barren hills are transformed
by explosions of colour with the coming of
spring. A coastal wildflower reserve, the
West Coast National Park
embodies solitude and beauty. Seagulls, cormorants,
and other bird species also attract interest.
Dramatic mountain ranges form a backdrop to
this extraordinary stretch of land on South
Africa’s south coast. The coastal road
that brings travellers from the Cape and the
mountain passes that join the area to the interior
provide spectacular scenery. The Garden Route
is a place of beaches, bays, and immaculate
indigenous forests. Home to quiet fishing villages
and fashionable holiday resorts, it caters for
seaside indulgence as well as outdoors activities
in the form of whale watching and hiking. The
birdlife of the Tsitsikamma National
Park is worthy of attention.
One of the most beautiful yet least known
itineraries in South Africa takes travellers
through the rocky hills and fertile valleys
of the Klein Karoo on an interior coastal
road named Route 62. The
road passes through picturesque towns and
hamlets that offer great value in terms of
accommodation. Wine farms open their doors
to visitors and Calitzdorp
is a great place to sample South African port.
The charming town of De Rust
is set against the majestic Swartberg Mountains
while ostrich farms surround Oudshoorn.
The nearby Cango Caves are world renowned
limestone chambers while the Outeniqua Mountain
pass provides a way onto the Garden Route.
From the Tsitsikamma Forest
that forms its western boundary to the rugged
wilderness of Baviaanskloof,
from the southern Slopes of the Drakensberg
Mountains to the desolate Great
Karoo, the Eastern Cape is another
province of great scenic diversity. An area
of European settlement in the early 19th century,
the historical towns of the Eastern Cape feature
Cape Dutch homes and ornate Victorian buildings
that contrast the lime-washed homesteads of
the rural Xhosa people.
Grassy hills with cliffs that that fall onto
white beaches with effervescent waters, the
appeal of the Wild Coast requires no explanation.
Beaches here are remote and unexploited. The
Wild Coast also provides a glimpse of rural
South Africa in its traditional form. Thatched
Xhosa homes are perched on hills overlooking
fields and fruitful valleys.
A province of long sandy beaches, coastal
estuaries, lush forests, and the stunning
Drakensberg Mountains, Kwazulu
Natal has much to offer. It addition to its
natural beauty, it attracts history enthusiasts
to the famous 19th century battlefields
of Spioenkop, Isandlwana, and Rorke’s
Drift. The province offers spectacular wildlife
encounters at the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi
Game Reserve and the Greater
St Lucia Wetland Park.
of the Southern tip of Africa offers retreat
Relaxation for some and exploration for others.
A must for all!