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South Africa Holiday Packages
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It has a coastline that stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. To the north lie the neighboring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland and within it lay Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South African territory.
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Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape, located on the shore of Table Bay.
This city is not only the most popular international tourist destination but also has a conducive climate and setting, and a well-developed infrastructure. It has several well-known natural features that attract tourists, most notably, the Table Mountain, which forms a large part of the Table Mountain National Park and is the back end of the City Bowl. Reaching the top of the mountain can be achieved either by hiking up or by taking the Table Mountain Cableway! Cape Point is recognized as the dramatic headland at the end of the Cape Peninsula. Many tourists also drive along Chapman’s Peak Point, a narrow road that links Noordhoek with Hout Bay, for the views of the Atlantic Ocean and the nearby mountains. It is possible to either drive or hike up Signal Hill for closer views of the City Bowl and Table Mountain, both of which are very significant and exquisite sights of Cape Town for the curious tourist!
Many travellers also visit Cape Town beaches, which are popular with local residents. Due to the city's unique geography, it is possible to visit different beaches in the same day, each with an individual ambience and atmosphere. The coasts are extremely popular, although the beaches in affluent Clifton and elsewhere on the Atlantic Coast are better developed with restaurants and cafés as well as a strip of eateries and bars accessible to the beach at Camps Bay. Boulders Beach near Simon's Town is known for its colony of African penguins, the most wondrous and rare view. Surfing is popular with the habitants and guests and the city hosts the Red Bull Big Wave Africa surfing competition every year.
The city has quite a few notable cultural attractions. The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (V&A) built on top of part of the docks of the Port of Cape Town, is the city's most sought-out tourist attraction. It is also one of the city's most popular shopping venues, with several hundred shops and the Two Oceans Aquarium. This Waterfront also hosts the Nelson Mandela Gateway, through which ferries, depart for Robben Island. It is possible to take a ferry from the V&A to Hout Bay, Simon’ s Town and the Cape Fur Seal colonies on Seal and Duiker Islands. Most companies offer tours of the Cape Flats, a vibrantly coloured township and Khayelitsha, a vivid black township. Cape Town is also noted for its architectural heritage, with the highest density of Cape Dutch style buildings in the world, which combine the architectural traditions of the Netherlands, Germany, France and Indonesia, and is most visible in Constantia, the old government buildings in the Central Business District, and along Long Street. The annual Cape Town Minstrel, also known by its Afrikaans name of Kaapse Klopse, is a large minstrel
Festival held annually and named as "Tweede Nuwe Jaar". Competing teams of minstrels parade in brightly coloured costumes with their performances of Cape Jazz, either carrying umbrellas in multi-hues or playing an array of musical instruments. The Artscape Theatre Centre is the main performing arts venue in this land. Revel in those outstanding performances on the South Africa Holiday Package!
Cape Town also encloses the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden that contains protected natural forest and fynbos along with a variety of animals and birds. There are species in cultivation at Kirstenbosch, including many rare and threatened species of the Cape Floristic Region. This entire Region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The transport system links it to the rest of South Africa, and serves as the gateway to other destinations within the province such as the Cape Winelands and in particular the towns of Stellenbosch. Paark and Franschhoek are popular day trips from the city for sightseeing and wine tasting. Whale watching is popular amongst tourists, and Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales are seen off the coast during the breeding season (August to November) and Bryde’s Whales and Killer Whale can be seen any time of the year. The nearby town of Hermanus is known for its Whale Festival, but whales can also be seen in False Bay. Heaviside Dolphins are endemic to the area and can be seen from the coast north of Cape Town; Dusky Dolphins live along the same coast and can occasionally be seen from the ferry to Robben Island. The only complete windmill in South Africa is Mostert’s Mill. Mowbray was built and restored again as a tourist spot.
The most popular areas for visitors to stay include Camps Bay, Sea Point the Waterfront, the City Bowl, Hout Bay, Constantia, Rondebosch, Newlands, Somerset, West Hermanus and Stellenbosch.
Johannesburg, also known as Jozi, Joburg, Joni, eGoli or Joeys, abbreviated as JHB is by population, the largest city in South Africa, and the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province, and also has the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa. Johannesburg is the seat of the Constitutional Court and is home to some of Africa's tallest structures, such as the Hillbrow Tower, the Carlton Estate and Ponte City Apartments. The Johannesburg city skyline has most of the tallest buildings on the continent and contains most international organizations such as IBM, Absa, BHP Billiton and Willis Groups. First National Bank, Nedbank and the Standard Bank. Many of the city's older buildings have been pulled down and more modern ones built in their place. North of the CBD (Central Business District) is Hillbrow, the most densely populated residential area in southern Africa. Northwest of the CBD is Braamfontein, a secondary building housing many offices and business premise though the CBD is predominated by four styles of architecture, such as, Victorian Colonial, Edwardian Baroque, Art Deco and Modernism.
Parks and gardens in Johannesburg are maintained by the Johannesburg City Park and Zoo. The City Park is also responsible for planting the city's many green trees, making the area one of the 'greenest' cities in the world. It has been estimated that there are six million trees in the city, on the pavements and sidewalks, and in private gardens, and the Park continues to invest in planting trees, particularly those previously disadvantaged areas of the city which were not positive beneficiaries of the apartheid urban planning.
The Johannesburg Botanical Garden located in the suburb of Emmarentia is a popular recreational park.
Johannesburg has a large church, known as, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) members, and had the first Latter Day Saints Temple and was dedicated and located in the historic suburb of Parktown.
Recent additions have centred on history museums, such as those related visits to the Constitution Hill and the Hector Pieterson Museum. There is also a large industry around visiting former townships, such as Soweto and Alexandra, and most visitors go to Soweto to see the Mandela Museum which is located in the former home of Nelson Mandela.
Visitors can get a feeling for the layout of the city by visiting the Carlton Centre, in the south-eastern area of the CBD, which has an observation deck on the 50th floor. It is the highest office building in Africa and affords sweeping vistas of the city besides the Museum Africa, which covers the history of the city of Johannesburg, as well as housing a large collection of rock art. Also a vast draw for tourists is the Gold Reef City, a theme park, which offers a depiction of mining life at the turn of the nineteenth century, including an underground mine tour, as other attractions include a large amusement park and a popular tribal dance show. Or" "Ezinyangeni", the place of healers, located on the eastern wing of the city centre, dedicated to traditional herbs and traditional healers.
The Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is to the northwest of the city. The Sterkfontein fossil site is famous for being the world's richest hominid site and produced the first adult Australopithecus africanus and the first near-complete skeleton of an early Australopithecine. Other attractions in this area include the Lesedi Cultural Village, while Magailiesburg and the Hartbeespoort are popular weekend and holiday destinations. The Origins Centre Museum, covers the origins of humankind in Africa, and houses an extensive collection of rock art. The city environs offer various options to visitors wishing to view wildlife. The Johannesburg Zoo is one of the largest in South Africa. The Lion Park nature reserve, near Lanseria is home to over 80 lions and various other game, while the Krugersdorp Nature Reserve and the Ha Game Reserve, is a forty-minute drive from the city centre. The De Wildt Cheetah Centre in the Magaliesburg runs a successful breeding program for the cheetah, wild dog and other endangered species. The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, situated in the "Cradle of Humankind" of "the typical highveld of Gauteng" also runs a breeding programme for the endangered species including the Bengal Tigers, Siberian Tigers and the extremely rare white lion. Behold these endangered species on the South Africa Holiday Package!
Johannesburg is also considered as a cultural hub in South Africa and has a wide variety of venues, making it a prominent area for many creative industries as it is home to the National School of Arts. The University of Witwatersrand's School of the Arts and the South African Ballet Theatre, as well as the Gallery are other prominent cultural landmarks,as well as the Mary Fitzgerald Square, and numerous other museums, theatres, galleries and libraries. The Johannesburg City Library is located in the Central Business District of Johannesburg.
Museums and galleries
Specialist museums cover subjects such as Africana, costume, design, fossils, geology, military, history, medical, pharmacy, photography and transportation networks such as railways. The Gold Reef City, a living museum, was originally part of the Crown Mines Complex, where gold was mined to a depth of 3,000 metres (9,800 ft). The Market Theatre stages plays, comedy shows, and musical performances.
The following is a list of some of the museums and galleries that can be found in Johannesburg. The Johannesburg Art Gallery is an art gallery located in Joubert Park, in its central district. The building was designed by Edward Lutyens and consists of exhibition halls and sculpture gardens and houses collections of 17th century Dutch paintings, 18th and 19th century British and European art. The Madiba Freedom Museum has been named after the former President Mandela, the Origins Centre Museum contains examples of southern African rock art and the origins of humankind, the Bernberg Fashion Museum, is primarily a museum collection, consisting of objects explaining the change in fashion trends, and the Zoology Museum is the only natural history museum as it has retained a unique character towards the display of specimens which are exhibited in finely crafted teak cabinets allowing the viewer to engage directly scores of objects at a close range. The city is also home to an extensive portfolio of public art, and takes pride in being a diverse and evolving city boasting of a vibrant art scene that ranges from sculptures to murals by internationally renowned artists.
The Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mupumalanga. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique. It is now part of the Great Limpopo. Transfrontier Park is a peace park that links Kruger National Park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. Famed for the stroll of the `Big Five’, that is, the lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo, topmost on the visitors’ game viewing wishlist, and ho! you might be fortunate to see each one of these magnificent animals. You could get breathless as a lioness comes into and then backs out of view in the tall, willowy brown grass, as she stalks a small herd of giraffe, or get a fleeting glance of an elusive leopard as it leaps with impossible grace from one rock to the other on the banks of the Sabie River, and a few hundred yards away in the other direction, hippopotamuses peeked out just above the water’s surface. Would you call this fantasy land or a real miracle!
Plants species in the park consist of marula trees, red bush-willow, acacias dominating the rivers and streams on the western boundaries, red grass, buffalo grass, knob-thorn and leadwood mopane trees and shrubs. There are a number of smaller areas in the park which carry distinctive vegetation such as Pretoriuskop where the sickle bush and the silver cluster-leaf are prominent. The sandveld communities near Punda Maria are equally definitive, with a wide variety of unique species.
There are plenty of bird’s species including the `Big Six Birds’, the lappet-faced vultures, martial eagle, saddle-billed stork, kori bustard, ground hornbill and pel’s fishing owl. Play around with the `Big Five’ and the `Big Six’ on the South Africa Holiday Package!
Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of an awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’, or ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. Sounds like a tornado, doesn’t it? In more modern terms the `Victoria Falls’ is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world? Columns of spray can be seen from miles away as, at the height of the rainy season, more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute plummet over the edge, over a width of nearly two kilometers, into a gorge over one hundred meters below. Countless measures! The wide, basalt cliff over
Which the falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a placid river into a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges.
Facing the fall is another sheer wall of basalt, rising to the same height, and capped by mist-soaked rain forest. A path along the edge of the forest provides the visitor prepared to brave the tremendous spray, with an unparalleled series of views of the Falls.
One special vantage point is across the Knife-edge Bridge, where visitors can have the ecstatic view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls as well as the Boiling Pot, where the river turns and heads down the Batoka Gorge. Other prominent points include the Falls Bridge, Devil’s Pool and the Lookout Tree, both of which command panoramic views across the Main Falls.
The two national parks at the Falls are relatively small, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park,and Victoria Falls National Park. However, next to the latter on the southern bank is the Zambezi National Park. Animals can move between the two Zimbabwean parks and can also reach Matetsi Safari Area, Kazuma Pan National Park and Hwange National Park.
The national parks contain abundant wildlife including sizable populations of elephants, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, and a variety of antelopes. Lions and leopards are only occasionally seen. Vervet monkeys and baboons are common. The river above the falls contains large populations of hippopotami and crocodiles. Elephants cross the river in the dry season at particular crossing points. Klipspringers, honey badgers, lizards, and clawless otters can be glimpsed in the gorges, but they are mainly known for 35 species of raptors.. TheTaita falcon, black eagle, peregrine falcon and auqur buzzard breed here. Above the falls, herons, fish eagles, numerous eagles and waterfowls prowl around.
For shopping, the busy, popular markets offer souvenirs which include beaded jewellery, gourds, baskets and other crafts, besides plenty of stalls which are open every day, selling woodcarvings, drums, spears, shields, soapstone, jewellery and clothing in terms of fabrics and western wear! There is some classy stuff in their shopping centers which have a huge variety including carpets, wall hangings, wall carpets, ceramics, wooden bowls, designed masks, baskets, clothing, gold as ornaments and coins, and diamonds as stones and jewellery. Ofourse, there is lots to buy in terms of chocolates, candies, cheese, syrups and beverages!
South African culture is diverse as foods from many cultures are enjoyed by all and especially marketed to tourists who wish to sample the large variety of South African cuisine. In addition to food, music and dance featuring prominently in South African cuisine is heavily meat-based and has spawned the distinctively social gathering known as a braai or barbecue. It has also developed into a major wine producer, with some of the best vineyards lying in valleys around Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and Barrydale. There are fast food corners all around, besides an excellent spread of International blend of European, Mediterranean, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Oriental and Indian cuisine as well!
South Africa has a generally temperate climate, due in part to being surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Ocean on three sides, by its location in the climatically milder southern hemisphere and due to the average elevation rising steadily towards the north (towards the equator) and further inland. Due to this varied topography and oceanic influence, a great variety of climatic zones exist. The climatic zones range from the extreme desert of the southern Namibia in the farthest northwest to the lush subtropical climate in the east along the Mozambique border and the Indian Ocean. Winters in South Africa occur between June and August. The extreme southwest has a climate remarkably similar to Cape Town which has a warm summer Mediterranean climate, with mild, moderately wet winters and dry, warm summers. Winter, which lasts from the beginning of June to the end of August, may see large cold fronts entering for limited periods.
Return back from this journey with some intoxicating memories on the South Africa Holiday Package!