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Cape Town and Winelands - Information spotlight Cape Town South Africa
Breathtaking mountain and coastal scenery, fishing harbors, sandy beaches, winelands and restaurants.
Explore the 9 Provinces of this beautiful land, each offering unique and exciting attractions:
Eastern Cape | Free State | Gauteng
KwaZulu-Natal | Limpopo | Mpumalanga
North West | Northern Cape
Western Cape


           Travel and Tourism in South Africa

South African Travel and Tourism at a Glance

Skip to: Quick Start Guide to South Africa | Travel in South Africa

Rainbow Nation - South Africa provides the visitor with a kaleidoscope of options, a tantalizing blend of modern vibrant cities with historic architecture and modern infrastructure, unspoiled wilderness and safaris, countless sandy beaches and warm friendly people of varying cultures. 

Adventure and Family Vacations - South Africa’s geographic regions are as diverse as its people and offer a wide range of cultural, wildlife and adventure activities. In this country so rich in natural beauty, you will find the great outdoors irresistible, experience 4x4 and walking safaris, water sports, ocean safaris and eco adventures.

International Travel Destination - South Africa has been a political success story. Since the release of Nelson Mandela from political imprisonment in 1991 and the peaceful democratic elections in 1994, the country has grown into one of the hottest tourism attractions in Africa.

Calendar of events Link to event calendar
Tours to this country South Africa Tour Operators and Photo-Journals
Mpumalanga Province Info Link Mpumalanga Province - Wildlife, adventure, cultural exoeriences - link
Kruger National Park, private game reserves and safaris, adventure activities and cultural experiences
Honeymoon & safari destinations KwaZulu-Natal link
The Drakensberg mountains, beaches, scuba diving, surfing, game reserves and historic Anglo-Zulu-Boer Battlefields.
Western Cape Spotlight icon The Western Cape - Information Spotlight
The Cape Winelands, beaches and whale watching, history and culture, adventure and family attractions.

Map of of South Africa

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Food & Wine Tours
Golf Tours

Special Interest Tours and Activities







Quick Start Guide to South Africa

South Africa, at the southern tip of Africa, is the one of the most economically advanced countries on the continent, with large modern cities and world-class hotels, restaurants and shopping precincts. The country is famous for gold, diamonds and the stunning mountains, semi-desert, wilderness and coastal landscapes that make it an extremely popular international tourist destination.


Attractions and Activities

Explore the nine Provinces of South Africa, each with its own unique attarctions and adventure activities.

Read more about some of the unique attractions that South Africa has to offer:

Cape Point "Where 2 Oceans Meet"
Kruger National Park
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Namakwa (spring flowers of Namaqualand | Astronomy)
Route 62 and the Klein Karoo (a self-drive route)

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Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula

At the southern tip of South Africa is a Peninsula of indescribable splendor, described by early explorers as "the fairest Cape in the whole circumference of the earth". With its fishing harbors, sheer cliffs and wave-swept coves, the Peninsula separates two great oceans – the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Rugged forest clad mountain ranges form scenic backdrops to the many white sandy beaches, providing a popular vacation destination for honeymooners and families.

The gateway to the peninsula is South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town. This attractive city is cradled by majestic Table Mountain. A short cable car ride takes visitors to the top, providing panoramic views of the city and spectacular shoreline, weather permitting. The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is a haven of shops, restaurants and taverns, situated on the edge of Cape Town's historic harbor. The original buildings have been restored and new ones built in a Victorian style to keep the ambience of an old working harbor. The waterfront is South Africa's most visited tourist destination and provides entertainment for the whole family.

The Cape Floral Region
Over 8,000 plant species grow here of which 1,400 grow on Table Mountain. Unesco's World Heritage Committee declared the 553,000 hectare Cape Floral Region to be "outstanding universal significance to humanity", describing it as "one of the richest areas for plants in the world". The Cape Floral Region "represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa, but is home to nearly 20% of the continent's flora," Unesco said in a statement. "Its plant species diversity, density and endemism are among the highest worldwide, and it has been identified as one of the world's 18 biodiversity hot-spots.

Images of the Cape floral "fynbos"

The Winelands of the Western Cape

The renowned and scenic Cape Winelands provide a further attraction to the region. There are over 13 major wine growing areas in the Cape with some being as close as 20 minutes drive from the city. Many estates are open for tours and wine tasting and the region offers world-class golf courses and spa resorts.

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The Garden Route of the Southern Cape

Adrenalin and tranquility are not usually words used in the same sentence but the Garden Route, a scenic half-day drive east of Cape Town, provides a good measure of both. It is sandwiched between glorious mountain ranges and the warm Indian Ocean. If hiking, biking, beaches and eco adventures are your passion then the Garden Route should not be missed. Forest mountain trails, rugged shores and countless sandy beaches host eco tours on foot, by wagon, on a bike, by sea or by air. The Garden Route is both a family vacation attraction and an adventure destination, offering forest canopy tours, the world’s highest commercial bungee jump, surfing, paragliding, black water tubing and canoeing, to mention a few. The region offers an outstanding selection of renowned golf courses and links, for which the Garden Route is well known internationally. Scenic courses intertwine with indigenous forest, shoreline and luxury estates.

Fancourt golf course and links

With four Gary Player-designed golf courses, Fancourt is set in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route. The Presidents Cup 2003 was held at The Links at Fancourt.

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Safaris and Wildlife

The Kruger National Park and adjacent private game reserves provide a vast and unspoiled wildlife paradise. Flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town link directly to the region. Self drive or guided game drives through the public-access National Park provide the opportunity to view a wide variety of wildlife, including Africa's Big Five - elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo.

To the west of the National Park, private game reserves including Sabi Sand and Timbavati Private Game Reserves provide visitors with a unique safari experience. Unfenced bounderies with Kruger National Park ensure free movement of all the wildlife, creating an extensive wilderness region with large populations of the Big 5. Safari lodges provide family comfort or luxury accommodations, with unequalled wildlife encounters in open 4x4 land rovers. Many lodges offer bush walks at the discretion of lodge management, led by expert rangers and trackers.

Mala Mala Safari - South Africa

Acknowledgements - above image: Mala Mala Game Reserve

South Africa also provides several malaria-free wildlife reserves - in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and the North West Province.

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KwaZulu-Natal and the Drakensberg

This historic Kingdom of the Zulus is flanked by warm Indian Ocean shores and the soaring mountain ranges of the Drakensberg. The sub-tropical shores of KwaZulu Natal are a magnet to vacationers with mile upon mile of sandy beaches. The modern city of Durban and the adjacent North and South Coast are popular with vacationers and surfers seeking sun, sand and surf, with ample hotel accommodation, fine restaurants and night life.

For nature lovers, the unspoiled protected reserves and wetlands of the Elephant Coast in the northern parts of the province are a special attraction. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is renowned for its variety of animal and birdlife, including a healthy population of Africa's endangered White Rhino. The Elephant Coast also provides a coastal eco-sanctuary where turtles can be seen seasonally waddling up the beach to lay their eggs. Night safaris to the beach may be added to a wildlife safari in the area.

Zululand also offers hiking, nature trails and cultural villages. The traditional lifestyle of the Zulu nation is shared with visitors at several cultural villages, with vibrant dances to hypnotic drum-beat and chanting. Local tribal arts and crafts are readily available.

Kwazulu - Waterfall and Traditional Zulu Dress

Acknowledgements - above left: Rattray's Historical Lodges

The Historic Battlefields of Kwazulu-Natal

The historic Kingdom of the Zulus, KwaZulu Natal, was the setting for numerous historic battles between the Zulu nation, first with the Voortrekkers and then with British colonial troops. Tours of the famous battlefields by knowledgeable guides are available. Periodic historic battlefield reenactments provide a special attraction.

Kwazulu, South Africa - British-Zulu battle re-enactment

Acknowledgements - above image: Kwazulu Natal Tourism Authority

The Drakensberg

A spectacular mountain range 120 miles (200 km) long stretches across this region of South Africa. Called the 'Barrier of Spears' by the Zulu and the 'Dragon Mountain' (Drakensberg) by the Dutch, this range of mountains is an adventure and hiking paradise. Soaring cliffs and peaks capped with winter snow tower over riverine and yellowwood forests.

Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa

Read more about the above destinations and attractions of KwaZulu-Natal Province.

Sustainable Tourism

South Africa is serious about nature conservation both in the ocean and on land. The country has grown in popularity as an international conference and tourist destination largely because of its wealth of natural resources and attractions, and its commitment to conservation. A vacation in this beautifully diverse land will provide memories treasured by the traveler for decades.

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Gauteng - Place of Gold - Gateway to South Africa

Gauteng Province is the economic heart of South Africa and is its wealthiest province - and is reputed to be the Powerhouse of Africa.

South Africa is one of the world's leading producers of gold. In 1970, it produced two thirds of the world's gold production, but is now no longer the dominating gold producer. Johannesburg and the cities along the West Rand and East Rand have their origins and history steeped in the mining of this precious metal. 

Johannesburg skyline

The two biggest cities in this smallest province are Johannesburg  and Pretoria. There are numerous other cities scattered across the province, making Gauteng the most urbanized of South Africa's provinces.

Pretoria is a city of government and of culture, with Jacaranda-lined avenues and parks, theaters, museums and monuments. Pretoria retains a more serene ambience in contrast to Johannesburg, brisk and commercial, with modern skyscrapers and 3.2 million people.

Gauteng's business and convention venues and facilities rank with the best in the world. The province is the prime choice for business tourism in Africa.

Many international leisure travellers to South Africa pass through OR Tambo International Airport en route to other destinations, perhaps staying overnight at one of the hotels in the vicinity of the airport. However, the province has much to offer tourists, with a wide selection of attractions, activities, world class hotels, casinos, shopping malls, restaurants, entertainment, theme and water parks, cultural villages - and Cullinan Diamond Mine.

The Gautrain

The Gautrain is a high speed rail service that effectively connects OR Tambo International Airport with Pretoria, Johannesburg and a number of intermediate stations via Sandton Hub.

Gautrain, Gauteng

Acknowledgements - above images: City of Johannesburg

Sandton Station (above right)  is the operational hub of the Gautrain system. It is the terminus for trains to and from OR Tambo International Airport and is also (in Phase Two) served by the North-South Line between central Johannesburg and Pretoria. Phase Two includes service between Pretoria, Sandton, Rosebank, Park Station (Johannesburg terminus) and a number of other stations along the north-south line.

OR Tambo International Airport (formerly Johannesburg International) is the busiest airport on the African continent and is the air transport hub of Southern Africa. 13 million passengers pass through the modern domestic and international terminals each year.

Conference venues in South Africa

Johannesburg hosted Africa's biggest conference to date, the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. An estimated 40 000 delegates, including about 190 heads of state, were spread across three of the city's premier venues: the Sandton Convention Centre, which boasts the most advanced conferencing and exhibition technologies available; the Expo Centre, the largest convention facility on the continent; and the Wanderers Stadium.

The Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban is one of the largest in the country. Along with its adjacent Durban Exhibition Centre, it can handle conferences of up to 15 000 delegates. This venue hosts the annual Indaba travel trade show, which showcases southern Africa's best tourism destinations and products. In 2001, it was the venue for the United Nations' World Conference Against Racism.

Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg has a capacity of 5,000 and the Coca-Cola Dome - also in Johannesburg - and Durban Exhibition Centre can host large trade shows.

The Cape Town International Convention Centre is able to cater for conventions of up to 10,000 delegates. Operators catering specifically to the corporate market are able to organize small conferences, team building experiences, incentives and executive breakaways.

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10 More Things to do
in South Africa

 1 Scuba dive the waters of Kwazulu-Natal
 2 Experience the ceremonies and battlefields of Zululand
 3 Surf the perfect wave at legendary Jeffreys Bay and St. Francis Bay.
 4 Hike the mountains and trails of the Drakensberg
 5 Enjoy theaters, clubs and great dining
 6 Swim and soak up the sun on the countless sandy beaches
 7 Indulge yourself and relax in spectacular resort casinos
 8 Take a Self-Drive Photographic Safari in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (Map)
 9 Take a gold mine tour or visit the famous Cullinan diamond mine
10 Find the courage to bungy off some of world's highest jumps

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