South Africa

The different tourist attractions in South Africa

The great South African outdoors is definitely the place to be in this beautiful country South Africa with its incomparable year-round climate. Not surprisingly, nine out of ten overseas visitors to South Africa come primarily to experience the country’s wildlife and the magnificent, unspoiled scenic areas. Sunshine all year round means that the outdoor lifestyle is always in style, and there are dozens of adventure orientated options to choose from. Intrepid, ultra-fit thrill-seekers opt for hair-raising stunts such as bungi-jumping and diving with great white sharks. Climbers scale mountain peaks, and anglers stand in freezing streams waiting for an elusive trout to snatch the fly. Specialist companies arrange activities such as golfing tours, horseback and camel safaris, big game fishing, hot air ballooning, helicopter rides and river rafting. The choice of activities is matched by superb facilities.

South African Beaches

South Africa’s beaches are not only very beautiful, but swimming is exceptionally safe from hygienic point of view. Tests conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Nov 1994 proved that the se water of South Africa’s beaches is amongst the cleanest is the world. Most  KwaZulu-Natal beaches are protected by shark nets.

Game reserves in South Africa

Reserves are set in habits ranging from desert dunelands to shady, subtropical forests, inhabited by an unparalleled variety  of animal and bird spices. South Africa’s terrestrial mammals are among the most spectacular on earth, numbering over 300 species which range in size from the tiny pygmy shrew to the imposing African elephant. This is one of only a few countries where the Big Five – elephant, rhino, leopard, and buffalo) are frequently seen.

The South African Parks administers 17 parks and one National Lake area. Among them, the Kruger national park – South Africa’s most famous sanctuary – supports more species of wildlife than any other on the continent.

Most of  KwaZulu-Natal’s game reserves are controlled by the KZN Nature Conservation Service. Among the more popular, Hluhluwe/Umfolozi, Mkuzi, St. Lucia and Itala offer peaceful surroundings, comfortable accommodation and excellent game-viewing. Set in the crater of an etinct volcano and known as The Jewel of the North-West, the 50 000 ha Pilansberg Game Reserve supports almost all of the species (including the big five) which formerly occurred in the region.

Up-market, privately owned game sanctuaries are found mainly in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. The provide luxury accommodation and a range of additional amenities. For visitors without transport, there are many safari coach tours and fly-in programmes to choose from.

Bird watching in South Africa

The country has over 900 bird species, of which more than half are found in the Kruger National Park. Nylsvley offers among the greatest bird-watching in the world. The Drakensberg provides a stunning backdrop to its bird life, and an impressive range of sunbird inhabits the nature reserves of the Western Cape. The Langebaan Lagoon is populated in summer by tens of thousands of birds. Every summer, more than a hundred species migrate from the northern hemisphere to the shores of South Africa. The most common are waders of the sandpiper family, but migrants also include birds such as herons and shrikes.

Whale Watching South Africa

South Africa’s Coast of whales stretches from Gansbaai in the south to St. Helena Bay on the west Coast, with Hermanus in the center. Courting, mating and calving whales frequent the waters between June and November every year. The species most commonly seen is the Southern Right Whale, but Humpback and Bryde’s whales have also been sighted in the area.

Fishing in South Africa

Angling is one of South Africa’s most popular sports. Many game and nature reserves have dams or rivers – or even a stretch of coastline – where fishing is enjoyed.  The 2 600 km coastline comprises five major marine habitats: rocky shores, sandy beaches, kelp forests, estuaries and the open sea. In the open sea, there are approximately 2 150 fish and 38 marine mammal species.

There are about 250 species of freshwater fish in South Africa. Trout fishing in South Africa is probably the least expensive in the world with major trout fishing areas to be found in Mpumalanga, the Northern Province, the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal and the southern mountain ranges of the Western Cape. The Eastern Cape also has exceptional fly fishing conditions in mountain streams and along its beautiful coastline.

Hiking in South Africa

From north to south, east to west, hiking trails criss-cross South Africa. They range from almost effortless to very strenuous, lasting from an hour or so to a week or more. Some are self-guided; others conducted. Some have basic overnight huts, caves or tents en route; others non at all. A few provide comfortable to luxurious accommodation. Some have been designed for physically disabled people.

Golf in South Africa

South Africa’s excellent climate makes golf a year round attraction. There are 400 registered courses and some are among the best in the world. Visitors are welcome at most courses, but it is advisable to call the club secretary and ask for a confirmed starting time and dress codes. Generally, jeans are not permitted on the courses. Brochures and books on South Africa’s courses are available in local book stores.

Museums in South Africa

The history of a country is reflected in the great number of museums which focus on local history.

These include:

Groot Constantia, in the Cape Peninsula, which is one of the finest examples of Cape Dutch architecture, exquisitely furnished with fine antiques and paintings.

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