South Africa 2009/10 Destination Information
and Sightseeing Options
Destination and sightseeing information
Affectionately known as the Jacaranda City for all the purple blossom-bedecked trees, which line its thoroughfares in summer, Pretoria is an elegant, quiet city that's a perfect contrast with its more frenetic neighbour, Johannesburg, just half an hour away.
Durban's sweeping golden beaches entirely justify the city's status as one of Africa's major resorts. For the visitor, South Africa's second most populous city offers a colourful range of cultural experiences to complement its balmy Indian Ocean climate and attractive seafront. The greater metropolitan area is known as eThekwini, but the true meaning of this word is not known.
With its stunning location, tucked into the arms of a broad bay, surrounded by wild, white-sand beaches and set against the canvas of Table Mountain, Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Affectionately nicknamed the Mother City, it is the capital of South Africa's Western Cape Province and the seat of South Africa's parliament.
Reserve your place on these great sightseeing excursions upon booking your tour*
Robben Island & Table Mountain
1 day tour = £50 per person
Robben Island only
Half day tour = £30 per person
Table Mountain only
Half day tour = £30 per person
Full day tour = £30 per person
Situated 11km (7 miles) north of Cape Town harbour, Robben Island is the notorious island prison where thousands of political prisoners were incarcerated between 1961 and 1991 for campaigning against apartheid. Its most famous resident was Nelson Mandela, who referred to it as a ‘harsh, iron-fisted outpost’. Used as a prison as far back as 1525, it has also housed the mentally ill and lepers; its long history as a place of cruelty and isolation has turned it into a worldwide symbol of the triumph of the human spirit over oppression. Since 1996, there has been a National Museum and cultural centre on Robben Island, where visitors can see, among other things, the cell where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Some of the tour guides are former political prisoners, able to provide a personal testimony of the terrible conditions suffered by the inmates.
Table Mountain is part of the strip of land forming Cape Peninsula National Park. Table Mountain, however, stands in the middle of Cape Town and defines the downtown area, with the forested ravines of its eastern buttresses flanking the southern suburbs. So named for its flat top, the mountain rises to a height of 1086m (3562ft). Since 1929, a cable car has carried visitors up to the summit, which offers spectacular views of the city and its beaches. The mountain is also home to an indigenous rodent-like creature called the Rock Hyrax or ‘dassie’, the closest living relative to modern elephant.
Part of the Cape Peninsula National Park, Cape Point is an 8000-hectare (19,770-acre) narrow promontory of land jutting into a stretch of open sea popularly believed to be the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. The peninsula, situated 60km (37 miles) southwest of Cape Town, is characterised by towering sea cliffs, the highest in South Africa, which reach a height of 249m (817ft). Criss-crossed by spectacular walks and trails, the area also features whale and penguin watching, tidal pools, over a thousand species of indigenous plants and a variety of mammals, such as baboon and buck. Popular activities around Cape Point also include abseiling, parasailing, horse riding and surfing.
Johannesburg is the capital of South Africa's province of Gauteng, which means ‘place of gold' in Sesotho, while in the isiZulu language Johannesburg is known as Egoli, which simply means ‘gold'. The city today has progressed far beyond the status of a mere gold rush settlement, and has grown quickly into a vibrant, pulsating city that is now the economic powerhouse of sub-Saharan Africa and the largest urban space in South Africa.
Surrounded by the rugged African bushveld, in the heart of an ancient volcano, Sun City is an internationally acclaimed resort, with a unique heartbeat of its own. Sun City has been likened to Las Vegas by many people. Although a somewhat scaled-down version, it is easy to see where the comparison came from ... it is a mini Vegas in South Africa!
Kruger National Park
At 20,000 sq kilometres (7722 sq miles), Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa and boasts the world’s highest concentration of species. Created in 1898 to protect the flora and fauna of the South African Lowveld, the park is named after its original proponent, President Paul Kruger. Today, it is home to a wealth of wildlife, including cheetahs, leopards, lions, rhinos, wildebeest, buffalo, elephants, giraffes, antelope and impala. The park is also renowned for its cultural heritage sites, including many native rock art sites.
Mpumalanga, which means "land of the rising sun" in the local SiSwati language, has it all -- from exhilarating wildlife, to secluded mountain retreats, ancient ruined cities, wild water sports, and some of South Africa's most diverse and vibrant African cultures. The province's year-round sunny weather, soaring peaks, steamy jungles and expansive waterways have also made it home to a bewildering array of adventure sport, from expeditions down the world's oldest caves, to taking flight at the continent's largest paragliding festival.
Kariega Game Reserve
Born from the vision of one man, and growing out of the passion and energy of two families, the history of Kariega Game Reserve is an inspiring one. In 1989 Colin Rushmere, who had always displayed an innate love and appreciation for nature, was presented with the opportunity of purchasing 660 hectares of pristine land bordering the upper reaches of the Kariega River. When he signed on the dotted line he had no inkling that 20 years later this beautiful piece of land would be a very small portion of the expansive 9000 hectare reserve, which Kariega is today. Morning and evening game drives with experienced rangers give guests the opportunity of game viewing from open vehicles. Guests can expect to be enthralled with the sightings of lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard, hippo, hyena, giraffe, zebra, eland, kudu, wildebeest, waterbuck and a variety of antelope, as well as a myriad of bird species, including nesting fish, martial and crowned eagles.
Oudtshoorn (The 'Garden Route')
This small, safe town is the commercial hub of the greater Klein Karoo region (encompassing Prince Albert, De Rust and Calitzdorp) and is situated in a beautiful valley between the Outeniqua- and Swartberg Mountains. This unique position (being surrounded by mountains) means that every road into Oudtshoorn follows a dramatically picturesque pass or “poort” (portal) and all these present travellers – whether they’re entering the region from Port Elizabeth, the Garden Route, Cape Town or the hinterland – with magnificent scenic drives through unspoilt areas of great natural beauty.
One of the worlds great natural wonders, sculptured by nature through the ages. It is situated close to the Klein Karoo Town of Oudtshoorn. Mysterious and breathtaking limestone formations in a wide variety of natural colours, a subterranean wonderland.
Cango Ostrich Farm
Amidst the 400 ostrich farms surrounding the town, 3 have distinguished themselves worthy to be named ‘show farms’. Become exposed to this exotic bird species, the largest in the world.
Knysna (The 'Garden Route')
Knysna is one of the Southern Cape coast's best known holiday destinations, situated between lush forests and the shores of the peaceful lagoon - it offers many activities and attractions of a wide variety. The most well known attraction being the heads - two great sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon which connects the estuary with the sea.
Port Elizabeth (The 'Garden Route')
The city is situated 260 km from Knysna and 800km from Cape Town. It is known for its sunshine and safe sandy beaches . For the tourist wanting a total South African experience, Port Elizabeth is the perfect complement to the Garden Route, Settler Hinterland, Sunshine Coast and Cape. Located on the South Eastern coast of Africa, this major sea port and tourist destination is set along the beautiful shores of Algoa Bay, and is fondly referred to as the Friendly Eco-City. The city is the second largest city in terms of area and the fifth largest in terms of population in South Africa (1.1 million).
*Sightseeing excursions are subject to obtaining minimum numbers, refunds will be provided if a sightseeing tour does not go ahead.
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