Top 10 Attractive Place To Visit In South Africa

Posted By vignesh on October 31, 2015 at 9:35am | Africa, Blog, South Africa

Top 10 Attractive Place To Visit In South Africa

South Africa is diverse and beautiful country, about the size of France and Spain combined or roughly twice the size of Texas. Its varied cultures, intriguing wildlife, stunning scenery, and remarkable beaches make it a haven for travelers from around the world. Visitors quickly discover that the rich history and colorful inhabitants ideally complement the top tourist attractions in South Africa, which creates an unforgettable experience.

1. Cape Town & Cape Peninsula

Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula up to Cape Point, are famous for scenic beauty; celebrity beaches; Table Mountain; whale-watching; world-class shopping, nightlife, food & wine; and a laid-back atmosphere.

Cape Town is Southern Africa’s most beautiful, most romantic and most visited city. Its physical setting is extraordinary, something its pre-colonial Khoikhoi inhabitants acknowledged when they referred to Table Mountain, the city’s most famous landmark, as Hoerikwaggo – the mountains in the sea. Even more extraordinary is that so close to the national park that extends over much of the peninsula, there’s a pumping metropolis with a nightlife that matches the city’s wildlife. You can hang out with baboons and zebras at Cape Point in the morning, dine at an Atlantic seaboard bistro for lunch, tipple at a Constantia wine estate in the afternoon and party the night away in a Long Street club. All in a Cape Town day.

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More than a scenic backdrop, Table Mountain is the solid core of Cape Town, dividing the city into distinct zones with public gardens, wilderness, forests, hiking routes, vineyards and desirable residential areas trailing down its lower slopes. Standing on the tabletop, you can look north for a giddy view of the city centre, its docks lined with matchbox ships. To the west, beyond the mountainous Twelve Apostles, the drop is sheer and your eye sweeps across Africa’s priciest real estate, clinging to the slopes along the chilly but spectacularly beautiful Atlantic seaboard. To the south, the mountainsides are forested and several historic vineyards and the marvellous Botanical Gardens creep up the lower slopes. Beyond the oak-lined suburbs of Newlands and Constantia lies the warmer False Bay seaboard, which curves around towards Cape Point. Finally, relegated to the grim industrial east, are the coloured townships and black ghettos, spluttering in winter under the smoky pall of coal fires – your stark introduction to Cape Town when driving in from the airport on the eastern outskirts of the city.

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HOTELS IN  CAPE TOWN

HOTELS IN  CAPE PENINSULA

2. The Winelands

Discover the joys of SA’s award-winning wines and cuisine along any of the beautiful Cape wine routes, taking you through green valleys and historic towns.
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The Cape Winelands, origin of some of the world’s most popular wines, is a premier Western Cape visitor attraction. Wine tasting, winemaking tours, excellent cuisine and magnificent scenery collectively create an irresistible attraction for international and local travellers alike. South Africa’s winelands stretch from the Cape Overberg in the south-western Cape, through the Little Karoo and the West Coast into the adjacent province of the the Northern Cape. There are also wine farms in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and even Gauteng. The Cape Winelands are the most well-known, and include the Route 62 wine route, said to be the world’s longest wine route.

Most Cape wine estates are characterised by classic Cape Dutch-style buildings and massive vineyards with picturesque mountains as a backdrop. There is also a distinct European influence in number of regions, thanks to the arrival of French Huguenot, Dutch and German settlers during the 18th century.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Winter is a lovely time to visit the Cape Winelands as everything goes green. Although it is the rainy season, there are many sunny days in the offing.

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HOTELS IN  CAPE WINLAND

3. Garden Route

Garden Route Known as South Africa’s Eden, the famous Garden Route traverses an area rich in natural beauty and charm, attracting adventure-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts.
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The Garden Route is a popular and scenic stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa. It stretches from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River which is crossed along the N2 coastal highway over the Paul Sauer Bridge in the extreme western reach of the neighbouring Eastern Cape. The name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast. It includes towns such as Mossel Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley; with George, the Garden Route’s largest city and main administrative centre.

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HOTELS IN  GARDEN ROUTE

4. Johannesburg

Johannesburg in South Africa is the second largest city in Africa, with more than 3 million people calling this bustling metropolis home. Joburg, or Jozi as some prefer to call it, offers visitors an experience as unique and diverse as the city itself. Whether you are on business, in search of a cultural encounter, an adrenaline rush or simply want to relax and unwind for a few days, the city of Johannesburg has everything you’re looking for and more!

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South Africa’s pulsating African heartbeat is felt in the ‘City of Gold’ with its endless opportunities for shopping, entertainment, freedom tours and eating out. Johannesburg is a city with so much to offer: there are wonderful restaurants, relaxed sidewalk cafes, laughter-filled shebeens, glitzy shopping malls, tranquil parks, unique emotive museums and monuments, thrilling casinos, busy townships, stunning galleries, funky nightclubs, and more…

There are approximately 10 million trees in Johannesburg − the world’s biggest urban forest, Johannesburg’s entertainment and leisure options are vast and varied, so make sure your energy levels are high. This dynamic city has a range of restaurants – from pub ‘n grub bars, pizza take-outs and African-inspired eateries to delightful delis serving everything from a great cup of coffee to healthy meals. There are restaurants for virtually every type of cuisine, cocktail bars, cigar bars, and fine dining. You’ve simply got to hang out at one of the many eateries in Soweto (along the famous Vilakazi Street), or soak up the sun in the Soho-type villages of Norwood, Parkhurst and Greenside.

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Johannesburg is known for its incredible nightlife. From the funky clubs and pubs of Soweto to the laid-back jazzy groove of Newtown and the stylish venues of the northern suburbs, Jozi (as locals refer to the city) caters for all tastes.Johannesburg’s Central Business District continues to evolve, with an ongoing urban renewal and cultural regeneration programme breathing new life into the city. Must-do activities include the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill to find out more about South Africa’s turbulent past; sundowners at The Westcliff hotel overlooking the green belt of Johannesburg while listening to the lions roar from the nearby Johannesburg Zoo; shopping up a storm at any of the many designer malls such as Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, Rosebank Mall and Soweto’s Maponya Mall; and, as a fitting end to all the fun, a visit to one of many health and beauty spas, or a walk in one of the many parks.

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HOTELS IN JOHANNESBURG

5. Kruger National Park

This world-renowned park of nearly 2 million hectares features 16 ecosystems. Spot the Big Five on a 4×4 game drive or walking safari.
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Kruger Park is South Africa’s most exciting African safari destination. Steeped in legend and history, the iconic Kruger National Park in South Africa is waiting for you to explore its vast landscapes and spectacular African wildlife.Plan your Kruger Park safari trip from our recommended safari tour options, which range from exclusive private safaris to affordable group safaris. Take a journey of exploration to find Africa’s Big Five : Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo, you will discover unique wildlife on a real safari in Africa. Relax and rely on the skills of your expert game rangers, who will take you on an adventure of game viewing and bush walking safaris, tracking wildlife.

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HOTELS IN  KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

6. Durban beachfront

For those with fun and sun on their minds, SA’s sunshine city has something for the whole family – golden beaches, surfing and a marine park. Walkers, cyclists and joggers make daily use of the Durban beachfront promenade, a paved walkway linking Blue Lagoon in the north with Addington in the south. Park anywhere along the route and take a leisurely stroll with many like-minded individuals who’re out to enjoy the sea breeze and sunshine. 
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The first South African Surfing Championships took place in Durban in 1966. Durban (eThekwini) is justifiably proud of its Golden Mile – a stretch of some of the safest swimming beaches in South Africa. Durban’s beachfront promenade is well patronised by early morning joggers, cyclists, pram-pushing mums, dog-walking seniors and a host of walkers who love taking in the fresh, salt-laden morning breeze. From Addington Beach, just north of Durban harbour, the promenade passes a laidback African-style restaurant overlooking the beach with a quaint pub on the pier that gives patrons a bird’s eye view of surfers and bathers. To the south is Vetch’s Pier, with its great snorkelling opportunities, and a sheltered region popular among kayakers, windsurfers and jetski enthusiasts. Next stop is uShaka Marine World, an impressive shipwreck-themed aquarium incorporating a Wet ‘n’ Wild water park. The aquarium is home to a diversity of Indian Ocean marine species and includes two excellent restaurants, one of which forms part of a shark tank. A number of curio and clothing shops, along with daily dolphin and penguin shows, complete this premier tourist attraction. Both southern and northern beaches attract thousands throughout the year with waves ideal for swimming, surfing and body-boarding.

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HOTELS IN  DURBAN

7. Robben Island

The island’s most famous prisoner, Nelson Mandela, has turned this institute of brutality into a symbol of the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship.

Robben Island needs no introduction with regards to the significance of its place in South Africa’s and indeed the world’s history. As “home” to one of the world’s most famous prisoners, statesmen and leader’s in Nelson Mandela, Robben Island is quite possibly most well known island-prison on the planet. Not just a prison-island. The island, a World Heritage Site some 9km (5.5mi) offshore from Cape Town, was dubbed “Robben” (the Dutch word for seal) Island by early settlers in reference to the seal population at the time. Over the centuries, the island has housed a prison, hospital, mental institution, leper colony and a military base. The afore mentioned Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of the 27 years of his incarceration imprisoned on the island.

Robben Island and Cape Town

A tour of the island :

The tour of the Robben Island Museum begins at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront with a multimedia exhibition, a museum shop and restaurant to entertain you whilst you wait for the ferry to depart for the island. Please be sure to be there 30 minutes prior to the departure time, with the gates closing 10 minutes prior to departure.

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HOTELS IN  ROBBEN ISLAND

8. Soweto

South Africa’s largest and most famous township was a hotbed of anti-apartheid activity. Visit Freedom Struggle sites and eat at a shebeen or township restaurant.

Soweto, heartbeat of the nation.
 
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Infused with the history of the struggle against apartheid and abuzz with the energy of the city of gold, Soweto is a must-see for tourists who are looking for more than sun, sea and the big five. With heritage sites, restaurants, shebeens and budget accommodation options aplenty, Soweto is well worth visiting, whether on a day tour or for a longer period to experience the real Soweto – a place of friendship, vibrancy and contrasts. Soweto is the most populous black urban residential area in the country, with Census 2001 putting its population at close to a million. Thanks to its proximity to Johannesburg, the economic hub of the country, it is also the most metropolitan township in the country – setting trends in politics, fashion, music, dance and language.

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HOTELS IN  SOWETO

9. Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Most famous for God’s Window, the panoramic splendour of the Blyde River Canyon makes it ideal for scenic drives and hiking trails.

The Blyde River (also known as the Motlatse) Canyon Nature Reserve is situated in Mpumalanga and, with legendary viewing points such as God’s Window, offers some of the most spectacular views in South Africa. Activities range from hiking and swimming to scenic drives. Seek out the water-eroded Bourke’s Luck Potholes where prospectors searched for gold. 

The 29 000ha Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is carved out of nearly 2,5km of red sandstone and is one of South Africa’s most remarkable geological features. Also known as the Motlatse Canyon, it is the third largest canyon on Earth and is situated below the confluence of the Blyde (‘joy’) and Treur (‘sorrow’) rivers. This Mpumalanga nature reserve stretches for 60km from just north of the little town of Graskop, up to the Abel Erasmus pass. You’ll get stunning views of the Escarpment from legendary viewpoints such as God’s Window, where on a clear day, you can see as far as Kruger Park and Mozambique.

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Other natural attractions include Bourke’s Luck Potholes, where Tom Bourke, a 19th-century gold rush prospector, is said to have made his fortune. Water erosion over millennia has carved cylindrical sculptures from the canyon’s red and yellow rocks which are interspersed with rock pools. From the canyon look out eastwards to the Three Rondavels or Three Sisters, three massive spirals of dolomite that rise from the far wall of the canyon. A single quartzite column, aptly named the Pinnacle, rises from the wooded canyon, offering more spectacular vistas. The environment varies from high mistlands to the drier and warmer lowveld around the Blyde River Dam. You’ll find more than 1 000 species of flora in the reserve, including several species of endangered cycads, and, in spring, carpets of wild flowers. Try to visit at least one of the nearby several beautiful waterfalls. Bird and animal life is abundant. Spot Verreaux’s eagle, the rare bald ibis which nests on the cliff ledges, and all five species of South African primates, including vervet and samango monkeys, chacma baboons and both species of bushbaby.

Activities: Hiking, horse riding, white water rafting, kloofing, hot-air ballooning, fly-fishing, biking, tours and boat trips on the Blyde Dam.

Highlights: Beautiful panoramic views and scenic waterfalls

HOW TO GET HERE

Blyde River Canyon is situated along the Panorama Route and easily accessible from the west of the Kruger National Park and the towns of Sabie and Nelspruit.

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HOTELS IN BLYDE RIVER

10. Wild Coast

Rugged and untamed, the Wild Coast offers deserted beaches, dolphins, horseback and hiking trails, cosy hotels, golf, gambling, mystical history, Xhosa heritage and the Hole-in-the-Wall.

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In the modern world, ‘wild’ as far as nature is concerned is a relative concept. It is enough, perhaps, that an area of natural beauty is not utterly trampled by urban development, or destroyed by irresponsible land use, for it to deserve the term ‘wild’. Certainly this is the case in the developing world, and most particularly along the earth’s tropical coastlines. The Wild Coast of South Africa’s Eastern Cape, although hardly wild, is by comparison to the KZN (Kwa-Zulu Natal) South Coast in a different world altogether.

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HOTELS IN WILD COAST

HOW TO REACH SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa is located at the southern tip of Africa. It is bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho (which is completely surrounded by South Africa). It is a vast country with widely varying landscapes and has 11 official languages, as well as an equally diverse population. South Africa is renowned for its wines and is one of the world’s largest producers of gold. South Africa has the strongest economy in Africa, and is an influential player in African politics.

Airports Company South Africa operates South Africa’s 10 principal airports – including three major international airports – which together handle over 200 000 aircraft landings and 23-million passengers annually.

BY AIR

For Indian tourists, the solution to how to reach South Africa is by air. The only two airlines that offer direct flights to South Africa are South African Airways and Jet Airways. These carriers operate flights between O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Besides direct flights, there is a plethora of indirect flights operating from major cities of India, such as Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Varanasi. The South Africa bound flights from India land either at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg or Cape Town International Airport. Some of the carriers offering indirect flights include British Airways, Emirates, KLM, Swiss Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. Besides these, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Air France, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific also links South Africa to India. The usual stops for these flights en route are Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Nairobi, to name a few. There are domestic flights, trains and buses available from Johannesburg and Cape Town to different destinations in the country.

Have A Nice Trip In South Africa….

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