vacation, the wild images of roaring lions and other predators on a
humid, adrenaline-rushing African safari probably come to mind first.
If the African safari trip
is not right for you, consider painting a new mental picture that goes
far beyond the wide-open fields of the well-known gaming reserves.
South Africa travelmeans something different for everyone. Featuring attractions that are
topping the hottest destination lists — such as Patricia Schultz's
popular book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die —South Africais one of the world's most inspiring destinations.
South Africa traveladventure could veer off in any set of directions that you choose,
whether you're a foodie or spa dweller, novice or master trekker.
Perhaps you feel more like yourself as you observe new cultures and
surroundings from a distance, or when you take part in the experience
up close. The changing landscapes beneath your feet will take you by
surprise. Your time could be spent walking on golden sandy beaches;
watching the vast desert turn into the richest floral kingdom in early
spring; or skiing the continent's only snow slopes all in oneSouth African vacation.
Untamed South Africa at Its Best
|Lone Creek Falls, South Africa|
your way into South Africa through Limpopo, the northernmost province
containing ancient lands and prehistoric relics from the Stone and Iron
Ages. Drive through the dense rainforests of the Magoebaskloof
Mountains, where you'll take in the sounds of mountain streams and
roaring waterfalls. Retreat to the Soutpansberg Mountains, or Mountain
of Salt, which is brimming with yellowwood trees, giant cabbage trees,
ancient tree ferns and 500 plant species. Hikers and bird watchers are
drawn to the many unspoiled plateaus, ravines, valleys and gorges of
Blouberg Mountain and Nature Reserve.
Spend the day
surrounded by the upside-down trees of Mussina or exploring the Iron
Age kingdom of Mapungubwe. The Panorama Route will take you through
nearly 12 million acres of untamed surroundings including the
Drakensberg Mountains and Kruger National Park. Nearby is the Crocodile
River Ramble, where you'll find the Cradle of Humankind, and an array
of galleries, craft shops, health and beauty spas, tea gardens,
intimate bed and breakfasts and restaurants. Indulge in Sun City, the
internationally renowned holiday town filled with breathtaking
architecture, health resorts and luxurious hotels and conveniently
located next to many natural attractions including Johannesburg, South
|South Africa Safari|
known to the world for its rich mineral veins of gold, also contains an
abundance of green — the densely populated, verdant forest concealing
the burgeoning capital city. You can find a taste of the African safari
at the province's top-rated gaming reserve, Pilanesberg National Park.
Encounter a variety of wildlife along this rocky, volcanic terrain
through a walking, self-drive or balloon safari. However, if a safari
makes you skittish, the Johannesburg Zoo offers an alternative way to
get up close with more than 3,000 species of animals. In Lesedi,
delight your taste buds to an array of traditional cuisine and
experience the area's extraordinary melting pot of cultures.
An Unexpected Exotic Beach Paradise
|Exotic Beaches, South Africa|
You'll find all kinds of hidden treasures on the upper east coast of
KwaZulu-Natal, which is known as the Elephant Coast. Recently
emerging as a tourist hub, St. Lucia keeps on blooming with new
restaurants, hotels and shops. Also, around January or February, watch
dozens of gigantic turtles make their way from the warm Indian Ocean to
nest and hatch their young. At Sodwana Bay, you might also catch the
turtles gliding their way up to shore. Scuba divers will find great
delight in exploring hundreds of colorful coral reef and fish varieties
South Africa travel excursion in KwaZulu-Natal isn't complete without
seeing Cape Vidal, a firm favorite for many beach goers and fishing
enthusiasts. Head out to sea and spend the afternoon deep sea fishing
or humpback whale watching. At Kosi Bay, you'll be able to retreat even
further into tranquility. Here, you can stay in a guesthouse right on
the water and become a part of the locals' slow-paced life on the sea.
There are a number of activities to enjoy such as hiking, bird
watching, turtle tours and whale watching.
|Zulu culture, South Africa|
the traditions of the Zulu culture — have a beer at the nearest
shebeen or find the cure for any ailment at a witchdoctor's hut. Sip
South African tea and eat vetkoek (sweet, deep-fried bread) at a bed
and breakfast inn made of tin walls and plastic roofing.
off south to the stunning seaboard of the Dolphin Coast. Blessed with
copious beaches, green bush and wondrous wildlife, the coastline also
contains a richness of culture with its indigenous Zulu community and
historic European, Indian and French-Mauritian influences. Thompson's
Bay is one of the best-kept local secrets, where you'll find Charlie's
Pool, an Olympic-sized tidal pool built by one of the early settlers.
For a little bit of luxury and style, go to Ballito, the pearl of the
Dolphin Coast that is home to several modern shops and chic
A Kaleidoscope of Sceneries
You won't regret seeing the beautiful blooms of spring and autumn at
South Africa's ninth national botanical garden in Nieuwoudtville, which
opened up to the public in early 2008. The Northern Cape also contains
wide-ranging blankets of desert in the Kalahari and Namaqualand,
stretching all the way east to the Mpumalanga province. Although it's
mostly dry with waves of red sand dunes, the Kalahari is a birding
heaven of different colored birds, owls, hawks and falcons. You also
won't want to miss South Africa's most vibrant and beautiful floral
displays in the Namaqualand. With grand views of bright oranges and
yellows spread over the desert once every year, this place will steal
your breath away.
|God's Window, South Africa|
a change in scenery, the Eastern Cape is full of lively rivers and
rugged cliffs along the Wild Coast. There are numbers of timeless
sights you'll find along the drive, unobstructed and undisturbed by the
masses of visitors. Surrounded by deep gorges, tumbling waterfalls,
dense forests and rolling grasslands, the Wild Coast is home to
hundreds of fascinating creatures as well as the Xhosa tribes. As you
gaze out to the left and right, your eyes will be met with a variety of
world-class beaches, thatched huts and quiet villages. Learn about the
culture of the tribes by observing the local craftsmen produce beadwork
and wooden carvings.
|Wine Region, South Africa|
At Tsitsikamma, plunge into the
comforting ocean waters and follow a unique underwater trail to a coral
reef filled with fish of all sizes and personalities. Next, make your
ascent up the famous Table Mountain by cable car. Find sweeping views
of the mountain and the silent city resting 3,300 feet below before
spending the next several hours hiking the large network of trails. In
the nearby Cape Floral Region, witness the richest floral display on
the coast and travel around the spectacular valleys, bays and beaches
next to the Atlantic.
You won't go far before reaching the Wine Region of South Africa, which
offers the ever changing colors of the mountains, scenic passes and
rivers. This route includes the finest vineyards, where you'll be able
to enjoy your choice of guided wine tours in South Africa.
you ready to take on the 1,000 Places to See before You Die and
discover the world's greatest lifetime destinations? With surprises
around every corner, a South Africa travel experience has everything to
match any traveler's pace — from relaxation to Grade A action! Dare
to do more than just dream by contacting an ASTA travel agent.
You won't have to lift a finger to get the perfect accommodations,
South African tours, activities and all of the other vacation extras
that'll make this trip the most memorable of all.