A place that gives you life
CAPITAL, CURRENCY, AND LANGUAGE OF SOUTH AFRICA
CAPITITAL: Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), and Cape Town (legislative)
CURRENCY: South African Rand
LANGUAGE: IsiZulu (official) 23.8%, IsiXhosa (official) 17.6%, Afrikaans (official) 13.3%, Sepedi (official) 9.4%, English (official) 8.2%, Setswana (official) 8.2%, Sesotho (official) 7.9%, Xitsonga (official) 4.4%, other 7.2%,
PLACES TO VISIT
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.
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.
3. 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.
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.
5. Kruger National Park
This world-renowned park of nearly 2 million hectares features 16 ecosystems. Spot the Big Five on a 4x4 game drive or walking safari.
6. 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.
7. Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve
Most famous for God’s Window, the panoramic splendor of the Blyde River Canyon makes it ideal for scenic drives and hiking trails.
HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
- 21 March: Human Rights Day
- 27 April: Freedom Day
- 1 May: Worker's Day
- 16 June: Youth Day
- 18 July: Mandela Day
- 9 August: National Women's Day
- 24 September: Heritage Day
- 16 December: Day of Reconciliation
- Cape Town Festival of Beer: November 27
- Toy Run: November 29
- Cap Classique & Champagne Festival: December 01
- Stanford Street Festival: December 13
- Festival of Chariots: December 27
- Cape Town Minstrel Carnival: January 02
- Cape Town Jazz Festival: April 01
- Franschhoek Literary Festival: May 13
THINGS TO DO!
1. Go on safari in the the Hluhluwe & Imfolozi National Park the oldest Game Reserve in South Africa.
2. Take a River Cruise - check out the hippos and crocodiles from the safety of your platoon boat.
3. Kayak with Crocodiles - If you are feeling adventurous, skip the platoon boat and kayak in the river instead.
4. Horse Safari in the iSimangaliso Wetlands
5. Microlight Flight near Durban. Feel the wind whip your face as you watch dolphins and sea turtles swim below.
6. Ride an Ostrich. To ride an ostrich you have to weigh less than 65 kilos.
7. See Johannesburg city sights in the morning and then pedal your way around Soweto the city’s vibrant township from where Nelson Mandela hails.
IMPORTANT CULTURAL ASPECTS
South African art includes the oldest art objects in the world, which were discovered in a South African cave, and dated from 75,000 years ago. The scattered tribes of Khoisan peoples moving into South Africa from around 10000 BC had their own fluent art styles seen today in a multitude of cave paintings.
There is great diversity in South African music. Black musicians have developed a unique style called Kwaito. Kwaito is said to have taken over radio, television, and magazines.
South African cuisine is heavily meat-based and has spawned the distinctively South African social gathering known as a braai, or barbecue.
Beadwork in NelspruitAmong native black South Africans, there are many different ethnic groups and nine officially-recognized local languages. The various tribal cultures have rich oral traditions. Stories, poems and epics were learnt by heart and recited out loud. Slowly, these stories are working their way into written literature.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Table Mountain in Cape Town is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world.
- South Africa is the second largest exporter of fruit in the world.
- South Africa has the longest wine route in the world.
- South Africa is rated 3rd in the world in supplying safe, drinkable tap water.
- South Africa has the cheapest electricity in the world.
- The Tugela Falls is the second highest waterfall in the world, where the water tumbles down 2,789 feet. First place goes to the Angel Falls in Venezuela at 3,212 feet.
- The only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace prizewinners is in Soweto. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both have houses on Vilakazi Street in Soweto.
- Three of the five fastest land animals live in South Africa - the cheetah (63 miles per hour), the wildebeest, and the lion.
- South Africa has the most luxurious train in the world, The Rovos Rail.
- South Africa has the highest commercial bungi jump in the world (710 feet).