South Africa

South Africa

South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park is populated by big game. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.

Pretoria

Pretoria, the administrative capital, houses the executive branch of government. It is also frequently considered the de facto national capital. Pretoria was the capital of Apartheid South Africa. The name Pretoria is somewhat controversial, however, and there is a push to change the name back to the city’s indigenous name, “Tshwane.” Pretoria is home to the world’s biggest soccer ball, the longest urban street in South Africa, and one of the oldest intact skulls of a distant ancestor of humans.

Cape Town

As the legislative capital, the parliament of South Africa is located in Cape Town. But Cape Town has other unusual features. Cape Town is home to the only tobogganing track on the African continent. It is called “Cool Running’s”, after the film of the same name. Cape Town also houses the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is a floral area which contains almost 7,000 plants found nowhere else on the planet.

Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein, referred to as the judicial capital, is the home of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa. It also doubles as the capital of its province, the Free State. Bloemfontein was the birthplace of author J. R. R. Tolkien and athlete Zola Budd. Bloemfontein also houses the largest fire service museum in South Africa.

Provinces of South Africa "Limpopo"

Limpopo

Limpopo is the northernmost province of South Africa. It is named after the Limpopo River, which forms the province’s western and northern borders. The name “Limpopo” has its etymological origin in the Sepedi language, meaning “strong gushing waterfalls”. The capital is Polokwane, a Sepedi word meaning “place of safety”

Limpopo shares borders with Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It’s known for bushveld and wildlife reserves, including part of Kruger National Park. West of the Kruger are the craggy Blouberg mountains and Makgabeng Plateau with ancient rock art. Near the provincial capital Polokwane.

Bushveld

The bushveld is plains game country, where extensive ranching operations are often supplemented by controlled hunting. About 80% of South Africa’s game hunting industry is found in Limpopo. One of South Africa’s poorest provinces, it is rich in wildlife, which gives it an edge in attracting tourists. Both the private and public sectors are investing in tourism development. 

Big 5 Territory, Elephant and buffalo are regularly seen in the Dry season and hippos and crocodiles can usually be spotted in the rivers. Roan, Sable, Black Impala, Eland, Golden Wildebeest, Nyala can also be found.

 

 

Provinces of South Africa "North West"

North West

North West is an inland South African province that borders Botswana. Its landscape is defined by mountains in the northeast and bushveld scattered with trees and shrubs. The province is home to Sun City, an upscale resort with hotels, a casino, and a water park with a massive wave pool. Nearby is Pilanesberg National Park, with an extinct volcano and more than 7,000 animals, including lions and elephants.

Provinces of South Africa "Free State"

Orange Free State

Free State, province, east-central Republic of South Africa. Under the name Orange Free State, it was originally a Boer state and then (from 1910) one of the traditional provinces of South Africa; it was renamed Free State in 1995. A wonderful, natural attraction in the region is the Soetdoring Nature Reserve near Bloemfontein, where visitors can see the African wildcat, black wildebeest, zebra, eland, white rhino and wild dog. The grassy plains in the south of the reserve provide ideal conditions for large herds of plain game such as black wildebeest and springbok. The northern section is home to kudu, red hartebeest, white rhino and buffalo.

Orange River

The province is located on the Highveld, a plateau rising to elevations of 6,000 feet (1,800 m) in the east and sloping to about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) in the west. Two streams drain the province: the upper Orange River, which forms the province’s southern boundary, and the Vaal River, part of its northern boundary. The climate varies from warm and temperate with an annual rainfall of 40 inches (1,020 mm) in the east to semiarid with rainfall of only 15 inches (380 mm) in the far west. Mean annual surface temperatures gradually increase from about 58° F (14° C) in the east to 62° F (17° C) in the west. Frost is common over the entire province from May to September, and, because rainfall is unreliable, long periods of drought are frequent.

Provinces of South Africa "Northern Cape"

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

In 2000, South Africa’s Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park merged, creating one of the largest wilderness areas in the world-more than 3.6 million hectares. Cornflower blue skies, russet red dunes, and golden grasslands provide a striking canvas for photographic safaris in this harsh, arid region.

Wildlife is abundant and easily viewed thanks to the scant vegetation here. Beautiful black-maned Kalahari lions are the most iconic animal in this region, and the park also protects leopards; cheetahs; gemsbok; meerkats; and many species of birds, including sociable weavers, with their giant nests, and birds of prey..

Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is South Africa’s largest province, with desert landscapes, wildlife and gemstones. With Botswana, it shares Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, whose red sand dunes shelter lions and falcons. Wild daisies and other springtime flowers carpet the typically arid plains of Namaqualand, a region stretching into Namibia. In Kimberley, the provincial capital, The Big Hole mine recalls the 1870s diamond rush. The Augrabies Falls is a waterfall on the Orange River, South Africa, within the Augrabies Falls National Park. The falls are around 183 feet in height.  

 

Provinces of South Africa "Eastern Cape"

Eastern Cape

Eastern Cape, province, south-central South Africa. It is bordered by Western Cape province to the west, Northern Cape province to the northwest, Free State province and Lesotho to the north, KwaZulu-Natal province to the northeast, and the Indian Ocean to the southeast and south. The eastern portion of the former Griqualand East (surrounding Umzimkulu) is now an exclave of Eastern Cape located in southern KwaZulu-Natal. Eastern Cape was part of former Cape of Good Hope province until 1994. Bisho is the provincial capital.

Eastern Cape  Province, 

Is predominantly mountainous country. It includes the southern spur of the Drakensberg, rising to more than 9,000 feet (2,700 m) in the northeast, and descends southward from the great interior plateau (Highveld) of southern Africa to form a relatively narrow coastal plain along the Indian Ocean. Southwest of the Highveld and the Great Fish River, the topography is characterized by east-west-trending mountain ranges and valleys. East of the Great Fish River, including the lower valley of the Great Kei River, perennial streams have carved deep valleys on their way to the ocean. The province’s natural vegetation is largely grassveld, with some forest on the coast west of Humansdorp. Mountain Zebra National Park is located west of Cradock, and Addo Elephant National Park is located north of Port Elizabeth.

Provinces of South Africa "Western Cape"

Western Cape

The Karoo National Park this rugged mountainous terrain covering 71 000 hectares, The Cederberg Wilderness Area is renowned for the spectacular landscapes and rocky outcrops. The local mammal population includes leopard, baboon, grey rehbok, dassie, duiker and honey badger.

This nature reserve is situated across 14 kilometres of coastline, covering 2 500 hectares in total. View Southern right whales and dolphins and sight land creatures such as grysbok, bushbuck, bushpig. Goukamma has more than 220 species of birds.

Cape Town

Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island, the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a living museum.

Cape Town Activities

Hikers’ paths crisscross the slopes and also climb the mountain, via forests and manicured lawns at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, the lush wine-producing suburb of Constantia, and steep Platteklip Gorge. In town, the V&A Waterfront is a chic shopping and entertainment district that includes the Two Oceans Aquarium. Historic sites include the Dutch-built, 17th century Castle of Good Hope. City beaches range from ritzy Clifton to Boulders, where there’s a penguin colony. Popular out-of-town trips take in Chapman’s Peak Drive, with coastal views, and the Cape of Good Hope, where craggy cliffs meet the ocean.