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Spanning nine provinces and eight UNESCO heritage sites, South Africa is a haven for adventure seekers, history buffs, naturalists, wine connoisseurs, and hikers, among many others.
The smallest province, Gauteng, is the most densely populated and hosts a powerhouse of attractions, including Johannesburg (the largest city) and the township of Soweto, site of the anti-apartheid 1976 uprisings. Johannesburg, which was built on the discovery of gold in 1886, hosts the Apartheid Museum, which documents South Africa’s freedom struggle. Just outside the city, the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site contains some of the most important paleo-anthropological discoveries in the world, with 14 excavated fossil sites and 200 unexplored caves.
Cape Town, in the Western Cape province and dubbed South Africa’s “Mother City,” is sandwiched between towering Table Mountain and bustling Table Bay harbor. Part of the extensive Table Mountain National Park mountain chain, Table Mountain can be accessed on foot or via the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway – a must on any itinerary. Another “don’t miss” stop in Cape Town, Robben Island, is where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in incarceration.
Cape Town is also known for its beaches, nightlife, art galleries and a wealth of vineyards. Many travel providers include the trip to Cape Winelands on their tours, with wine tastings and gourmet meals on the docket. Cape Town also marks the starting point for tours to the penguin colony at Boulders Beach. Some 3,000 African penguins call the beach home, and you can get close-up views of their daily activities. In spring, southern right whales visit the coastline.
Many tours take in the Western Cape’s natural attractions, including Cape Point, home to scenic bays, beaches, rolling hills and valleys. Cape Point falls within the Cape Floral region, which harbors nearly 20 percent of Africa’s flora. Along the province's eastern coastline lies the picturesque Garden Route, which stretches from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The perfect end to a Garden Route tour is a visit to the Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth.
South Africa’s main beach scene runs north and south of Durban on the east coast. To the west sprawls the Cultural and Natural World Heritage Site uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, home to Drakensberg, South Africa's largest mountain range and more than 600 rock-art sites, with paintings by the San people who once roamed here. The province is the heart of the Zulu Kingdom.
For wildlife spotting, including the Big Five, Kruger National Park (Africa’s oldest) is the place. Tours typically include morning and evening game drives and bush walks -- and often add on scenic drives along the waterfall-and-mountain-laden Panorama Route as well as deep Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest canyons on earth.
With so much to consider, Stride can help take the stress out of proceeding on your South Africa journey. Simply compare what our travel providers have to offer, make your choices, and you’ll soon be on your way to the splendid southern tip of Africa.
|Kruger National Park; Table Mountain, Amphitheatre, Cape Winelands, Durban beaches, Blyde River Canyon and Many More|
|Wildlife viewing, Exploring Culture & Safari|
|Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia & Uganda|