South Africa Attractions
The plateau’s treeless grasslands stretch for hundreds of kilometers to the Drakensberg chain. Here the landscape changes into a subtropical forest area ( Lowveld ).
In the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve on the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula there are countless plant and animal species. Along the bay are fishing villages and the resort towns of Llandudno, Hout Bay, Kommetjie and Fish Hoek. Chapman’s Peak is accessed by a scenic road from Hout Bay.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in South Africa, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
The Eastern Cape region offers an extraordinary variety of landscapes, ranging from the Great Karoo barrens to the Knysna Forest and the fertile farmland between the Little Karoo and Long Kloof plains.
Pretoria (Tshwane) is the administrative capital of South Africa with numerous parks and gardens where aloe, acacia and fig trees grow.
THE COAST AND INLAND: In the north of the province of KwaZulu/Natal there are the most beautiful wildlife and nature parks with rich flora and fauna: the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve, the Mkuzi Game Reserve, the Ndumu Game Reserve, Sodwana Bay National Park and Itala Game Reserve. The coastline offers gorgeous white sandy beaches such as Tongaat Beach, Marina Beach and Ifafa Beach. Many of the most famous holiday resorts are located on the south coast.
One of South Africa’s main tourist destinations, the world-renowned Kruger National Park (website: www.kruger.co.za ), roughly the size of Belgium, is home to elephant, lion, leopard, hippo, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and many more other animal species. Excellent accommodation and even a mountain bike route for visitors are available.
On the western boundary of the Kruger National Park there are a number of private wildlife parks protecting the flora and fauna of the Lowveld ( Klaserie, Timbavati, Sabi-Sand Reserve and Umbata Nature Reserve ). The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park ( GLTP ) (web:www.greatlimpopopark.com ) with a future size of 100,000 square kilometers – which corresponds to the size of Portugal – connects the Kruger Park with the adjacent national parks of the neighboring countries, the Gaza Game Park in Mozambique and with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe. In addition, the Manjinji Pan Sanctuary, the Malipati Safari Area and the Sengwe Communal Land in Zimbabwe as well as two areas between the Kruger National Park and the Gonarezhou National Park and the Makuleke region in South Africa are to be added. Once all areas are integrated, the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park be the largest wildlife park in the world. In the GLTP, people and animals can move freely between the three countries South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
The Blyde River Canyon is South Africa’s 21st national park. With a length of 26 kilometers and a depth of up to 800 meters, the Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world. The new national park covers a total area of 50,000 hectares.
There are several good sightseeing routes through the region, but the most popular is the Summit Route, which climbs the 7,500ft Long Tom Pass, via Sabie with the magnificent backdrop of Mauchsberg and Mount Anderson. Continue via Graskop, a woodland village nestled in the foothills of the Drakensberg; about Pilgrim’s Rest, a gold-rush town; the sanctuary at Mount Sheba with numerous gorges and waterfalls; Pinnacle Rock, a freestanding granite column, and the 1000m high God’s Window with magnificent views across the Lowveld. Here you can admire the Lisbon and Berlin falls. The Bourke’s Luck Potholes are deep holes in the rock that have been carved out by pebbles in flood waters over the years. The Summit Route continues through the Blyde River Canyon and the Blyderivierspoort Nature Reserve, a huge gorge; via the FH Odendaal Camp with good viewpoints and accommodation; Sybrand Van Niekerk ( Swadini Camp ), which is overlooked by the Mariepskop and features a reptile park outside the nature reserve; the Museum of Man with archaeological excavations; the Echo Caves in the Molopong Valley, home to Stone and Iron Age tools; and via the Abel Erasmus Pass and through the JG Strijdom Tunnel, which is 335 m above the Ohrigstad River. On the final leg, the road descends 700m to the Olifant River.
East London is on the east coast, which is part of the Romantic Coast. Here there are excellent beaches such as Eastern Beach, Nahoon Beach and Orient Beach. The city offers good leisure and entertainment facilities. The City Museum has a natural history collection.
The KAROO is a large highland known for breathtaking sunsets. A detour to the Mount – Zebra National Park on the northern slopes of the Blankenbergkette is worthwhile. In the heart of the Karoo Nature Reserve, at the foot of the Sneeu Mountains, lies the town of Graaff-Reinet with numerous buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries as well as parks and museums. From here you can take trips to the surrounding area.
The Garden Route passes through the inland Outeniqua Mountains, the barren plains of the Little Karoo, the Garden Route National Park with Camp Wilderness and Camp Tsitsikamma, and the Swart Mountains with the underground Cango Caves. The route got its name from the extraordinary variety of plants. Jeffrey’s Bay is particularly popular with surfers. St Francis Bay offers wide beaches for swimming and shelling. The Lagoon at Paradise Beach is a bird sanctuary with flamingos and swans. Knysna is nestled in a secluded forest and is a popular tourist destination. Knysna Lagoon is part of a national park that stretches from Buffels Bay to Noetzie. In both places there are beautiful sandy beaches. Between Knysna and George lies a beautiful lake district. George owes its nickname Garden City to the impressive stock of trees that adorns the town. There are several ostrich farms near Oudtshoorn.
Addo Elephant National Park is 45 miles north of Port Elizabeth and was established in 1931 to protect the region’s elephants. Black rhino, buffalo, antelope and over 170 different bird species can also be found here.
The Zuurberg National Park in the Winterhoek Mountains is home to a wide variety of animal and plant species; in the Alexandria Forest the rare black eagles breed.