South Africa is fast becoming one of the more popular tourist destinations in the world. The country has advanced a lot after the end of the oppressive Apartheid era. Visitors will find lots of things to do in this adventure capital of the world. From exciting river cruises, to hiking trails, canopy tours, and safari adventures, South Africa has it all and more.
South African tourism
The Republic of South Africa…. The tip of the spear that is the continent of Africa. From her powerful ‘Dondorstorms’ (Thunderstorms) to the fierce carnivores of the Krueger national park to her colorful past as the last official outpost of racial segregation in the world. Whether you are a history buff or an outdoor enthusiast, South Africa is the place to see.
While most countries the world over have an element of diversity, South Africa’s enchanting medlay of both cultures and ecosystems is startling to say the least. From watching the crocs and hippos slug it out on the Krokodilrivie (Crocodile river) to taking snaps of the endangered ‘Jackass’ penguins waddling around at historical Boulder’s Beach near the ‘Cape-Of-Good-Hope’ (Widely perceived for centuries as the southernmost tip of the world.) Then there is the Vast Kalahari desert inhabited by Stone Age Bushmen and to top it off, for the intrepid hiker, an alpine region of craggy mountains, replete with horse riding locals. Or if it’s another kind of wildlife that you prefer, than another one of the things to do in South Africa is that you might want to hit the sizzling nightclubs and “Shabeens” (Bars) of Cape Town.
One of the things to do in South Africa is to visit ‘Kruger National Park’ one of the largest game reserves not just in Africa but all over the world. It spans a vast area of 19,485 square kilometers (7,523 sq mi) stretching from the province of Limpopo all the way to Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa. The best and safest way to explore this rugged natural wonderland is though a group safari where you will be able to discover Africa’s big five: The Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo in their natural habitat. And if you are really lucky, you just might be able to observe up close, a pride of magnificent lions, stalking and taking down their prey.
Another one of the things to do in South Africa is to visit the city of Durban. After its makeover in 2010 as one of the cities that hosted the FIFA Soccer world Cup tournament, it truly became one of the jewels in SA’s crown. Only in Durban can a perspective tourist put on a tethered breathing helmet and walk slowly across the bottom of the Open Ocean or drop straight into a shark tank! (At Ushaka Sea world, one of the largest aquariums in the world) While the more adventurous sight seers can also surf on its magnificent surfing and bathing beaches, or bike the ‘Golden Mile’ from the Blue Lagoon to the Durban Harbor.
If Paleontology is your thing then another one of the things to do in South Africa is that you can walk Among “Living Fossils” in a throwback straight into the Jurassic park era at the city’s famed Botanical Gardens. Founded way back in 1849, these are amongst the world’s oldest surviving botanical gardens and they play host to “living fossil” plants dating back nearly 250 million years!
Places to visit in South Africa
The City of Cape Town is a mix plate of sorts, with the old vying with the new. Its architecture reflects old but well preserved Dutch and Victorian buildings sitting amongst their more modern counterparts. Cape Town’s ability to take the visitor from a modern road to a narrow cobblestone street makes it all the more endearing to tourists.
Another one of the things to do in South Africa is to visit its well stocked malls and antique shops. C Town (as it’s fondly known by its inhabitants) offers a an enthralling verity of products to the discerning shopaholic.
If you are an architecture buff then another one of the things to do in South Africa is to visit Cape Town’s historical district. It has some of the most glorious architecture in all the country. In fact no visit to Cape Town is complete without a visit to its city hall. Built in 1905 in classical Victorian-style, this sandstone structure is where recent history was made. Indeed it was from the balcony of this very same City Hall that Nelson Mandela addressed his fellow countrymen after spending almost three decades in Jail. On that eventful day in 1990, 250 000 individuals gathered outside the city hall effectively signaling the beginning of the end of apartheid.
A beautiful ground floor heavily decorated with mosaic tiles gives way to a staircase constructed of solid marble that in turn leads to a 165-pipe organ. The music connoisseur would be happy to note that the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, renowned the world over, also regularly performs concerts here.
Another one of the things to do in South Africa is to visit Table Mountain, which has been named as one of the seven new wonders of the natural world. And is arguably the most photographed site in all of South Africa. It also has the distinction of being the only natural site in the world that has an entire constellation named after it (Mensa: Latin for “The Table”). This flat-topped mountain has remained relatively unchanged over a staggering 500 million years and therefore plays host to a mind boggling array of flora and fauna not otherwise found anywhere else on earth. Its main feature is a level plateau because of which it gets its peculiar name. The plateau tapers off into steep cliffs that help, form a striking backdrop to Cape Town. The site can be reached easily by cable car or though a hiking trail.
Whether its pristine beaches you crave or a safari in a wildlife park or simply want to shop around and sample its diverse cuisine, South Africa has a lot to offer.