"A World in One Country"
South Africa's Rainbow Nation offers some of the most diverse experiences in the whole of Africa - ranging from great wildlife, thrilling adventure sports, stunning scenery, first world cuisine and abundant, first class shopping.
Cradled by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, this stunning country boasts an astounding variety of ecosystems; subtropical savannah, arid scrubland and deserts. Its mountain ranges consist of rugged peaks and of course, the world famous Table Mountain. Its landscapes stretch from tropical white-sand beaches to snow-capped mountains and include spectacular views and wildlife-filled national parks and reserves. This is truly "A World in One Country."
Highlights of a South African safari holiday may include visiting the vibrant city of Cape Town, nestled at the foot of the imposing Table Mountain; taking in the gastronomic delights of the famous surrounding Winelands area; enjoying a classic wildlife safari in any of the ‘Big Five’ private reserves that fringe the Kruger National Park; hiking in the wild landscapes of the Drakensberg Mountains or exploring the beaches and marine reserves of subtropical KwaZulu-Natal.
Highlights of South Africa
South Africa's Wildlife Areas
Reflecting its diverse and distinctive geographical, altitudinal and climatic zones, South Africa supports a great variety of flora and fauna. More than 10% of the world's plants and flowers occur in South Africa, along with virtually all of Africa's great land mammals, although the more spectacular wildlife is found predominantly in the eastern lowlands. Whales, dolphins sharks, penguins and a number of other marine species are found in the oceans that cradle the country's coastline. And, as a plus, a lot of land has been restored from commercial farmland to nature reserves where animals have been reintroduced that were formerly hunted to local extinction. The epic white rhinoceros probably constitutes the country's foremost conservation success.
Birdlife is outstanding throughout South Africa. The country hosts about 800 species, including 600 breeding species, Eurasian migrants and seabirds. A good number of bird species are endemic to South Africa, particularly in the Karoo, high veld grasslands and Cape fynbos regions, making this a highly popular destination among international birdwatchers.
Reptiles, frogs and other life forms are equally well represented. The Cape fynbos region is home to an astonishing 8,500 plant species and is considered to be one of the world.s eight Floristic regions. The plants in this winter rainfall area are characterised by relatively small leaves and include many varieties of Erica and protea. Although the Karoo region consists of semi-arid scrubland, it is a botanist's dream owing to its astonishing number of hardy and succulent plants.
The much-celebrated Namaqualand region is renowned for its springtime displays of colourful wildflowers from late August to early September. True forests are sparse in South Africa; only small patches occur along the southern coast near Knysna (which to this day contain a very small population of very elusive wild roaming elephants), the Transkeu, along the Northern KwaZulu-Natal coast and in the eastern escarpment. Acacia, combretum and mope dominate the sub-tropical lowlands, with taller evergreen trees along rivers and watercourses.
South Africa is home to about 90% of the endangered white rhinoceros population.
The King Protea - South Africa's National Flower