There are stunning things you can do, see and learn in South Africa when on the ground. There is so much colour and so much diversity, you truly don’t know where to start or what to start with. Maybe you can start off by learning a bit about the cultural diversity in South Africa and work your way through the botanical gardens and off the beaten track. Once you’ve done all of that and all that’s in between, kick off your shoes and enjoy some stylish yet traditional African cuisine and wine.
South Africa is overflowing with fascinating geological facts. There are mountains enclosed in almost every spot which forms a visible chain. This chain of mountains is known as The Great Escarpment with the highest peak reaching 4000 meters. Besides landscapes South Africa is renowned for producing scores of minerals such as gold, chromium, iron, nickel, diamonds and so much more. Currently South Africa ranks as the world’s leading producer of gold. To see some magnificent geological splendours, visit places such as the Shifting Sands in Namibia, or visit the Big Hole in Kimberly to experience for yourself the thrill of discovering one of the earth’s precious commodities – diamonds.
Wildlife relocation and tracking
This activity takes you straight into the jungle to explore and observe the lifestyle of some amazing animals in their native environment. Rhino and endangered mountain gorilla tracking are two of the more popular types.
Your trained and qualified guide will lead you through customized walking trails where you’ll be able to witness actual gorilla and rhino tracks. No need to read up about anything in advance as your guide will talk you through everything you see and hear. This is certainly one of Africa’s most breath-taking and poignant experiences.
Meat and maize (or as the locals call it, “mielies” – pronounced “mealeys”) is the staple food for many parts of South Africa. Other than that you can find almost any type of food here, from Chinese, Indian , French and Moroccan to Italian and the list goes on. What you can eat in South Africa that you probably won’t find anywhere in the world is South African biltong (the Americans have beef jerky which is similar but not quite the same); mielies; boerewors; bobotie and biryani (a special kind of home-cooked meal) and pot bredies which is a certain type of stew made from meat and vegetables where the vegetable flavour combines with the meat’s fluid to create a distinctive taste of it’s own. Very tasty!
Come and taste some of the best in the world. Constantia in Cape Town is where the wine farming industry in South Africa started. There are five vineyards in Constantia that are all worth a visit. Experience first-rate class and entertainment in what is described as one of the world’s most beautiful wine routes. There are so many wine routes in South Africa that you definitely won’t be able to see them all in one visit. But we won’t stop you from trying. Be sure to make The Stellenbosch Wine Route as priority number one on your list as the world’s finest wine is produced there. Some of the wine estates offer some exquisite accommodation.
Let Road Travel assist you in creating a winelands tour for your South African holiday.
A train experience like no other! After you’ve been on the Rovos Rail you’ll never want to get on any other train again. The Rovos Rail is the epitome of luxury. Step into old world charm as the refurbished antique original locomotive takes you through the most scenic routes of southern Africa. Step into a world of relaxation with none of the usual let-down’s of a conventional vacation. Rovos Rail is safe, comfortable and remarkably spacious and offers privacy to each guest. Rovos Rail is the perfect excuse to set out and have a true adventure, and definitely something everyone should try at least once.
Off the beaten track
Off the beaten track could be anything from a 4x4 off-road adventure in the desert to mountain biking to a full blown overland tour.
4x4 adventures have become a very popular past-time for many South Africans and tourists alike. Off-road driving skills, recovery and navigation are put to the test over a vast range of challenging countryside....from the jagged heights of the Drakensberg, to the primeval beauty of the Wild Coast. Experience the shining dunes of Alexandria, the rock-choked Baviaanskloof, the vibrancy of Knysna to the bitter Karoo and the ethereal Cedarberg and wet your feet in the cold Atlantic.
With mountain biking, it does not necessarily have to be the extreme, adrenalin variety. The idea is to get you on your mountain bike and cycling well off the usual tarmac into the mountains, forests and nature reserves, giving you the freedom to discover new paths and scenery. It can be less tiring than hiking and you could cover a lot more ground on your bike than you would if walking. But be prepared, because once the fresh mountain air hits you you’ll keep coming back for more.
One of the best ways to get the most of southern Africa, should you wish to experience the less traveled routes, but still want to see South Africa’s gems and experience the culture. Overlanding is most popular with young students that want to get together with other like-minded individuals traveling in a group, enjoy backpacker accommodation and don’t mind sleeping in tented accommodation once in a while.
The cultural diversity in this country comes from a history of immigrants, slave imports and descendants from original inhabitants. English is the primary language in South Africa but the people here can speak countless other languages as well, but only eleven of them have been made official. The population is multi-coloured with each one owning different languages, races and religious beliefs. It is not surprising that South Africa is often referred to as being a world in one country.
South Africa is lush in greenery, and in almost every town, you will find a botanical garden. If you’re an avid botanist, ‘flower season’ along the West Coast is a must see! Sea and land connect in a carpet of colourful flowers as far as the eye can see. Cape Town’s most famous botanical garden, Kirstenbosch, offers its visitors the opportunity to come and relax in summer on the lush green lawns beside the flowerbeds and listen to live performances by local musicians as the sun sets.
South Africa has dedicated a sizeable amount of its land space to preserving and conserving its natural environment. The most established national park to visit is the Kruger National Park. It is the oldest and largest in South Africa, it is so big it is divided into three sections: Northern; Southern and Central Kruger. There are no fences in the Kruger and the game roams freely throughout. Expect to see game and birdlife surrounded with impressive flora and fauna. The best period to see game is in the winter months as shrubbery is sparse making it easier to see the animals. It is different for birdlife though; most of the birds are only visible in summer when everything is bloomy and green.