|Destination: South Africa|
|Viewing South Africa
Viewing South Africa
Peace & Quiet
Essence of South Africa
The essence of South Africa lies in the resolve and courage of its people, in its landscapes, flora and fauna, in the edgy vibrancy of its cities. The open plains, the hot bushveld, the mountains and beaches, the baobab trees, the elephants and the lions, have always been there. But because of the willingness of South Africans to talk and compromise - which brought about the democratic transformation of 1994 - far more people than in the past can enjoy these now. At the same time, South Africa's cities are expanding rapidly - shiny new office blocks contrast with sprawling, dusty, shanty towns.
The 10 Essentials
If you only have a short time to visit South Africa, or would like to get a really complete picture of the country, here are some of the essentials:
Take a trail through a national park. Walk with a seasoned ranger, camp in the bush and see South Africa's wildlife up close.
Swim at Plettenberg Bay from some of the most beautiful, golden beaches in the world.
Canoe or raft the Orange River and experience the ultimate in peace and quiet. At night you will see more stars than you've ever seen before.
Visit a township on an organised tour or with a resident you know. Created by apartheid for urban blacks, the townships are where the majority of South Africa's city-dwellers live.
Go down a gold mine. Experience first hand what hundreds of thousands of men have gone through to produce the country's premier export.
Travel long-distance by train. This is a wonderful way to take in the countryside while getting from one city to the next. You can ride in expensive luxury on the Blue Train or Rovos Rail, or cheaply on the ordinary trains.
Enjoy a braai (barbecue). South Africans love to cook out in the open air. Get to know the locals and you're almost certain to be invited to one.
Visit a wine farm in the Western Cape, taste the wines (and the cheeses that many farms also produce) and enjoy a leisurely lunch under the oak trees.
Listen to music at a jazz club. Some of the world's finest jazz musicians started out from the local clubs. Experience their vibrant atmosphere, and perhaps get a sneak preview of the next international star.
Buy local art. South African art is a fascinating hybrid of African and international styles. Buy from a gallery, or bargain with the hawkers on the street corners or at the many open-air markets.