South Africa is unique in every way, with a number of attractions you won't find anywhere else in the world….

1/ TABLE MOUNTAIN

No visit to Cape Town is complete without a trip up Table Mountain, from where you will see some of South Africa's most breathtaking views. Take a guided walk on one of the many routes or simply ride the cable car to the top - it will be one of your lasting memories of SA.  Read more....

 2/ ROBBEN ISLAND

A short cruise from Cape Town's V&A Waterfront by ferry, this legendary island is a standard must-see on any newcomer's itinerary. This is where Nelson Mandela and his comrades were imprisoned for decades during the Apartheid era. Former inmates take you on an insightful tour of the prison grounds. This historical island is now a world heritage site and also a proclaimed nature conservation area.

3/ THE GARDEN ROUTE

From Cape Town along the coast to the Tsitsikamma Forest, this 600-kilometre stretch of small towns, wineries, farms and sea villages has been a traveller's joy for more than a century. Take your time, soak in the scenery, stay over in a guest-house, enjoy the cuisine and let South African hospitality take over.

4/ BEACHES

From KwaZulu-Natal to the Wild Coast, from the Eastern Cape to the West Coast, South Africa boasts more than 3 000km of coastline. Pristine beaches, fishing communities, golf estates, luxury hotels and guest houses dot the landscape as you explore the marine side of South Africa. Read more....

 

5/ NAMAQUALAND DAISIES

Every Spring (August to September), the Northern Cape comes alive with vast fields of daisies in a natural splash of vivid colour. Fed by winter rains, the flower grounds of Namaqualand are a photographer's delight. When Summer takes hold, the land becomes a desert once again - as if the flower fantasia was just a brief dream…  Read more.....

6/ THE GOLD

In the late 19th Century, gold was discovered at various places in the northern reaches of South Africa, leading to a gold rush from all points of the globe. A tussle for the goldfields was one of the contributing factors leading to the Anglo Boer War and the industry - which claims the deepest underground mines in the world - is still one of the pillars of the South African economy.

7/ CRADLE OF HUMANKIND

Declared a World Heritage Site, the Cradle of Humankind west of Johannesburg includes, among its numerous sites, the Sterkfontein Caves, where anthropologist Dr Robert Broom discovered the skull of Mrs Ples, a three-million year-old hominid, in 1936. At the time she was thought to be the closest evidence the "missing link" to be found. Read more....

8/ KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

About the size of Israel, the Kruger Park is the greatest of South Africa's many national parks which attract a great number of visitors intent on drinking in the wilderness. On guided walks, drives or self-drive, visitors have the best chance of spotting the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo) in this park.

9/ THE DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS

A thousand kilometres of mountain majesty, the Drakensberg (Dragon Mountains) range is the adventure tourist's playground. It is also perfect for nature photography, easy walking and simple relaxation. Full of game sanctuaries, Bushman rock art sites, challenging peaks and cascading waterfalls, the views in the Drakensberg will compete with anything the rest of the world has to offer.

10/ SOWETO

Just south of Johannesburg lies Soweto - the largest of South Africa's 'townships' (designated residential areas for blacks during the Apartheid years). This vibrant city is home to some 2 million people and a number of historical sights. A typical visit to Soweto includes a stop at a traditional shebeen (drinking hall), where you can savour local beer, food and hospitality, as well as a visit to the homes where Nobel laureates Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu once lived.

 

Among the more famous sons and daughters of South Africa are …

NELSON MANDELA

South Africa's most famous son, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, is also a world icon of statesmanship and national reconciliation. Nelson Mandela is best known for his long struggle against the Apartheid government - a system of white domination and racial segregation. A co-founder of the African National Congress Youth League, he also founded the Defiance Campaign of 1952, based on Ghandi's principles of non-violence. In 1964 he was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Apartheid government and sent to Robben Island.

Released in 1990, Nelson Mandela was central to the multi-party negotiations which led to democratic elections in 1994. On May 10 of that year, he was inaugurated as South Africa's first black president. To this day, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate continues to work for the children and the poverty-stricken masses of South Africa.

CHARLIZE THERON

The latest South African sensation, Charlize Theron won the 2004 Best Actress Oscar for her powerful role in 'Monster', and has been acclaimed as one of the world's most beautiful women. Raised in South Africa, and currently living in Los Angeles, she is still an avid ambassador for South Africa.

ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU

Another Nobel laureate, Desmond Tutu is more recently famous for his chairing of the ground-breaking Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the late 1990s. Known throughout his long career as a vocal, charismatic anti-Apartheid spokesman and former head of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, Archbishop Tutu is one of South Africa's most-loved citizens.

PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI

In the post-Mandela era, President Thabo Mbeki has been a champion of the concept of African Renaissance - a far-reaching vision for the continent at large. After the initial process of reconciliation, his government was tasked with the job of implementing much needed reforms like poverty alleviation and nation-building in the new South Africa.

FW DE KLERK

South Africa's last white president, Frederick Willem de Klerk took over an Apartheid government in its dying throes and helped Nelson Mandela see South Africa peacefully through the negotiation phases and into the elections. For his efforts, he was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Nelson Mandela.

NADINE GORDIMER

Described by her peers as a "colossus of South African literature", Nadine Gordimer was the first South African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. A prolific writer of novels, short stories, essays and journalistic articles, Gordimer was one of the voices of protest during the Apartheid years - and continues to practise her elegant craft in the modern era.

JM COETZEE

Winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature, JM Coetzee is the author of a vital body of South African writing, including such works as 'The Life and Times of Michael K', 'Disgrace', 'Youth', 'Waiting for the Barbarians' and 'Elizabeth Costello'.

ATHOL FUGARD

One of the few local playwrights of international renown, Athol Fugard has produced a substantial body of work that gives an insight into the daily lives of ordinary South Africans - especially those who suffered in the era of Apartheid.

HUGH MASEKELA

Self-exiled in the 1960s, the wonderful jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela has returned to South Africa and is still a major player on the local concert circuit. He is also an inspiration to young jazz players and actively promotes their careers. Read more...

ERNIE ELS

Affectionately nicknamed "The Big Easy" due to his calm demeanor, Ernie Els took the international golfing world by storm when, as a 24 year old, he won the 1994 U.S. Open. He has since evolved into  one of the world's top-ranking golfers, boasting a total of 35 international crowns, including two US Open titles and the 2002 British Open.  Read more on golf.....

 

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JOURNEYS OF DISTINCTION

   

ROMANCING THE WILD