South Africa

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South Africa

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South Africa with Greenlife Safaris offers outstanding Big Five safari lodges, beauiful coastal resorts and sophisticated city accommodation.

South Africa is the Rainbow Nation with some of the most vibrant landscapes teaming with wildlife and natural beauty.

People are a great asset on the country, expressing a diversity of cultures and traditions. This is one of the most exciting destinations in the world.

Description

South Africa needs no introduction, but just for the sake of it, allow us to boast about a remarkable country that cradles a world within its borders.

South Africa is nation characterized by the distinction of diversity and its locals are as warm and welcoming as the radiance of the African sun. This multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural country embraces the past, celebrates the present and blazes a trail as leaders towards a bright future. It is a country that challenges a nation, inspires a continent and invites the world to explore a land that roots mans existence. South Africa is a county that prides itself in the revolutionary unity of a people, marching to the rhythm of an African vision.

With no less than 8 World Heritage Sites, South Africa is etched with the uniqueness of an African culture and the unravelled beauty of its natural allure. The county is world renowned for conservation effort, most famed for iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Kruger National Park. Nestled within iSimangaliso Westland Park is St. Lucia estuarine system, which is the largest of its kind in Africa. Kruger National Park is South Africa’s conservation flagship, and with its untamed and unfenced landscape, the park is home to the largest concentration of free roaming mammals on the continent.

As the country is big on wildlife, nature and African safaris; so are South Africa’s cities big on magnificent and interesting tourist sites too. Kimberly is synonymous with the Big Hole, one of the largest, most astonishing manmade, hand-dug holes in the world; its magnitude runs 215 meters deep and cuts into Kimberley like a crater.

Once known as the ‘Gold Capital of the World,’ Johannesburg is visited by many and is still being referred to as Egoli, thriving as The Place of Gold. As the driving force behind South Africa’s growing economy, the city bursts with an ever busy atmosphere and buzzes with the fast paced lifestyles of its locals.

In stark contrast to Johannesburg, Cape Town glitters as South Africa’s laidback, relaxed cosmopolitan capital. Voted as the Best Travel Destination, Cape Town has everything to keep anyone entertained; from magnificent flashy beaches lined with the glamour of fine dining venues, to fabulous chic boutiques and even an array of sophisticated bars and sassy clubs to help awaken the night.

South Africa is all this and so much more! Visit the nation and explore its majestic landscape.

Access Details

South Africa has major airports located in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. International flights from Atlanta, New York, Sao Paulo, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Zurich, Dubai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Singapore and Sydney are all scheduled daily, mostly into Johannesburg.

Suggested Stay Details

A world in one country, you will need more than two weeks to see a small part of South Africa. The longer you stay the more you discover that you need to stay even longer.

Type of Experience

BUSH WALKS: Stroll into the African wilderness and learn about the efforts in place to re-establish ancient wildlife migration routes. A knowledgeable guide will teach you the skill of tracking animals and show you plants with various medicinal. Track down cheetah, antelope, elusive leopards and fleeting zebra. You may even gain an appreciation for the smaller critters that roam these landscapes.

GAME DRIVES: When on safari, you will get the exhilarating chance to experience the wildlife in the early hours of the morning or during the night when nocturnal predators come out to hunt. With lions, elephants, buffalo, rhino and leopards; the African Big Five may be viewed from close and safe distances.

BIRD PARADISE: ISimangaliso Wetland Park (St Lucia) is a sanctuary to more than 520 species of birds, some of which flock in the thousands to use these wetlands as a nursery. Vista’s of pink dot the landscape as flamingo prod in search of supper. Keep an eye out for the Fish Eagle when darting through the African sky, as he breaks the calm of the lakes surface and emerges with claws clenching the latest catch of the day. A paradise to all twitchers indeed, as white backed vultures and bateleurs may also be seen. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park welcomes migrant birds and acts as a haven to many flying friends, such as small waders, duck, geese, storks and pink-backed pelicans find sanctuary in times of drought. There is no doubt that twitchers will bask in the outstanding beauty that is attracted by iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Infrastructure

South Africa has a well established infrastructure. All major cities are equipped with first world facilities, banking and communications; from international conference centres to boutique hotels and luxury safari lodges. The country also has a good transport network, including railway and national road systems.

Geography

As diverse as its people, South Africa consists of a myriad of topographies and is often referred to as “A World within One Country”. The Indian and Atlantic Ocean stretches along South Africa’s coast for more than 2500km. The highest mountain range is the Drakensberg.

History

South Africa is believed to have a history of San inhabitants ranging back as far as 500BC. As the San became orientated with regards to herding of livestock, they became known as KhoiKhoi, those who did not, remained known as the San or Bushmen. As time passed, the KhoiKhoi moved towards the coastal regions of South Africa, while the San remained inland. When both the San people and the KhoiKhoi mixed and intermarried, their offspring gave rise to the term Khoisan.

With the arrival of Bantu-speakers in 10000BC, their lifestyle introduced agricultural activity and situated themselves in villages around present-day KwaZulu-Natal Province. The country contains many archaeological sites which gave modern day historians a glimpse into prehistoric living. The Cradle of Humankind in Sterkfontein, Swartkrans and the Drakensberg Mountain range is drenched in the history of cave paintings and excavated human fossils. Today, the majority of South Africa’s diverse population belong to the Xhosa and Zulu tribes.

First mentioning South Africa in 1486, Bartolomeu Dias is believed to be the first European to reach the southern African region, with subsequent Portuguese describing Cape Town areas as the “Bay of Storms” and the “fairest Cape in the whole circumference of the earth.” The first European to land on the shores of Table Bay was in 1503, who named it Saldanah, but after 1601 a Dutchman renamed it to what is now.

In 1652, a young and adventurous Jan Antony van Riebeek set sail to establish Dutch rule, which gave birth to the Cape Town’s first erected building but this was replaced by the existing Castle of Good Hope. Since 1679, Simon van der Stel Governed the Dutch Colony and expanded the city. During this time, the Huguenots from Holland arrived on the shores of the Cape. Thereafter, the French arrived to aid the Dutch Colony during the war between Britain and Holland (1780-1783). Great Britain claimed control over Cape of Good Hope in 1795, preventing it from being controlled by the French.

The first Anglo-Boer War took place between 1880 to1881, fighting for control of South African land. In 1806, Cape Town became a British colony. As Boers left the Cape Colony in the 1830’s they became known as the Voortrekkers and moved toward the east inland, forming the South African Republic. The Blood River Battle in 1838 took place in Dundee and resulted in the death of about 3000 Zulus by the hands of the Voortrekkers. Most notable battles are the iSandiwana and Rorke’s Drift battles which took place in 1879 at Nquta. The Zulus ambushed the British resulting in the largest defeat of colonial warfare outside Europe, but the display of defence against the Zulus and heroism at Rorke’s Drift resulted in the highest decorated battle in British history.

After the Second Anglo-Boer War, the Union of South Africa was formed under the rule of the British Empire. As a result, racial restrictions in 1913 kicked into play. In 1931, the Union of South Africa was granted independence from the United Kingdom. The first National Party, under the leadership of D. F. Malan, won its first election in 1948, and as such, Afrikaners lead the country and adopted the apartheid policy. For 46 years, South Africa was segregated by racial law, which ended in 1994 with the country’s first democratic election and inauguration of a black State President, Nelson Mandela. Today, the country has one of the most liberal constitutions in the world.


South Africa Travel Destinations

Addo and Port Elizabeth

Addo Park with Greenlife Safaris offers mid to top end safari lodges, while nearby Port Elizabeth has good value hotels and guest houses.

Port Elizabeth is the starting point for exploring the malaria free Big 5 Addo Park, or drive westward to explore the temperate Garden Route.

Agulhas and Route 62

Route 62 with Greenlife Safaris offers good value country guest houses and farn-style accommodation along famous route to Agulhas.

Cape Agulhas, the official southern tip of Africa with traditional fishing village and remote beaches. Route 62 well known for port (muscadel) and wine routes; interesting villages and quirky shops.

Bushveld and Makalali

Makalali and the Bushveld with Greenlife Safaris offers mid to top end safari lodges and romantic camps in a premier wildlife region.

An area that includes an assortment of Private reserves to the North West of Kruger, offering luxury and private safari encounters.

Cape Town

Experience Cape Town with Greenlife Safaris - Beaches, mountains, wine, top hotels, friendly guest houses, unbeatable experience.

Cape Town - Known as the Mother City, Cape Town is a unique metropolis filled with a vibrantly modern city atmosphere, surrounded by magnificently alluring beaches, and overlooked by a mystical guardian; the gigantic Table Mountain.

Cape Winelands

Award winning wines, world class restaurants, country guest houses and top hotels make Cape Winelands a must-see with Greenlife Safaris.

Cape Winelands in the wonderful mountain setting with vineyards and historic buildings. Indulge in this gentle way of life and forget about everything else.

Cedarberg and West Coast

Premier country hotels and hospitality in the beautiful Cedarberg mountains and wild flowers in spring with Greenlife Safaris.

Cedarberg and West Coast is the land of wide open spaces; diverse landscape with sea, sand and rocks. Bushman carvings, unique vegetation, beautiful open beaches; lagoon and wild flowers.

Drakensberg and Midlands

The Drakensberg and Natal Midlands with Greenlife Safaris offers good value country lodges and world-class guest houses in this beautiful region.

The Towering Drakensberg Mountain Ranges and foothills are a great recreational destination with a wonderful climate offering excellent hiking opportunities, interesting vegetation and a great deal of history.

Durban and Coastal Resorts

Durban, Umhlanga Rocks and Ballito with Greenlife Safaris offers outstanding selection of hotels, guest houses and golf estates.

Durban and Coastal Resorts with its golden beaches, unique history and cultural diversity. Tropical climate, dense vegetation makes it a tropical paradise.

Eastern Cape and Transkei

The Wild Coast of Eastern Cape with Greenlife Safaris offers good value beach lodges and family accommodation along warm Indian Ocean coast.

Eastern Cape and Transkei is also referred to as the Wild Coast, and remains one of South Africa's most pristine coastlines, with glorious beaches, warm water and an abundance of marine life.

Hermanus and Overberg

Trendy whale watching town, Hermanus offers mid to top end hotels and guest houses with Greenlife Safaris, a must-see between July to October.

Hermanus is the Whale capital of South Africa, a festival is held every year and the small village comes alive. Popular with local Capetonians as a weekend getaway destination. The Overberg area is an interesting emerging wine area.

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi

Hluhluwe Imfolozi, home to endangered White and Black Rhino, offers mid to top end safari lodges and camps with Greenlife Safaris.

Hluhluwe and KwaZulu Battlefields is a low risk malaria safari destination, known for rhino conservation. The Battlefields is best known for the Zulu vs British wars.

Johannesburg and Surrounds

Johannesburg and Sandton with Greenlife Safaris offer good value to top end holiday and business hotels in dynamic financial city.

Johannesburg is the gold capital of South Africa, business centre with great modern hotels; world class shopping and fine restaurants. Johannesburg is a busy metropolis always on the go.

Kimberley and Tswalu

Experience desert safari at Tswalu or overnight in comfort in historic diamond city of Kimberley with Greenlife Safaris.

Shimmering with the history of the world?s greatest diamond-rush, Kimberley is synonymous with the Big Hole, one of the largest, hand-dug holes in the world. The Northen Cape is also home to unique desert eco-systems such as Tswalu.

Kruger Park

Kruger National Park - jewel of South Africa's wildlife parks - offers mid to top end camps and lodges with Greenlife Safaris.

Kruger National Park, well known for its excellent game viewing and Big 5.

Madikwe

Madikwe Game Reserve with Greenlife Safaris offers mid to top end safari lodges and camps in malaria free Big Five destination.

Madikwe is a Malaria free reserve bordering Botswana, North West of Johannesburg. This Park offers some fine private lodges with great game viewing safari experiences.

Maputaland and Northern Natal

Maputland and Northen Natal with Greenlife Safaris offers good value beach lodges and family friendly wildlife safari camps.

Maputaland and North Comprises the Greater St lucia Wetland Park and surrounding area. A region that offers excellent birding. Kosi Reserve and Rocktail marine park are a great destination for scuba diving and turtle tracking

Mpumalanga Escarpment

Scenic Escarpment and Blydepoort offers country hotels and guest houses from which to explore the Panorama Route with Greenlife Safaris.

Mpumalanga Escarpment is the Gateway to the Lowveld, Kruger Park and wildlife reserves, also known as the Panorama route. It has awe inspiring scenery including Gods Window; Bourkes Luck Pot Holes and Blyde River Canyon.

Nelspruit and Malelane

Nelspruit and Malelane have country hotels, guest houses and private safari camps as a base to explore Southern Kruger with Greenlife Safaris.

Nelspruit and Malelane region incorporates the Southern area of the Kruger with International Airport access for the Kruger National Park and links to Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg & Victoria Falls.

Pilanesberg

Pilanesberg with Greenlife Safaris offers family friendly safari lodges and camps in malaria free wildlife region.

Pilanesburg National Park is a Malaria free big 5 park approximately 2 hours drive North of Johannesburg. This destination offers family friendly accommodation.

Sabi Sands and Manyeleti

Sabi-Sand Game Reserve with Greenlife Safaris is the top Big 5 safari park in South Africa, luxury lodges and camps, unbeatable experience.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve and Manyeleti Reserve are a group of unfenced Private Reserves bordering the great Kruger Park. These properties offer you luxury lodging with excellent facilities and intimate Big 5 game viewing safaris.

South Peninsula

South Peninsula, close to Cape Town, offers hotels and guest houses near beaches and natural habitats. Book with Greenlife Safaris.

South Cape Peninsula, Home to Cape Point Nature Reserve with dramatic Mountains, Seascape and quaint seaside villages offering wonderful photographic opportunities.

St Lucia

St Lucia - a World Heritage site - offers country lodges and guest houses in beautiful natural surroundings with Greenlife Safaris.

The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, excellent birding and wetland wildlife on the subtropical Indian Ocean coastline.

This is a great family holiday destination.

Sun City

Sun City, renowned gambling and entertainment destination, offers mid to top end hotels and resorts with Greenlife Safaris.

Sun City, A restort where the "sun never sets", entertainment, shows, casinos; water park; golfing and many adventure activities and gameviewing into the nearby Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Within an easy 90 minute drive from Johannesburg

The Garden Route

The Garden Route with Greenlife Safaris offers mid to top end beach hotels, guest houses and country lodges as base to explore region.

The Garden route is a temperate climatic region with coastal forests around Knysna & Plettenberg Bay and Ttsitsikamma Coastal National Park. It has a spectacular rugged coastline with occasional inland lagoons and towering mountains to the interior.

The Little Karoo

The Little Karoo with Greenlife Safaris offers lovely country hotels and guest houses in this Olive growing and Port Wine region.

The Little Karoo is an arid and fertile area with a rugged beauty. It is famous for Ostrich farms, Cango Caves, port, dried fruit and olives.

Timbavati and Thornybush

Timbavati with Greenlife Safaris offers top end wildlife safari lodges and luxury tented camps in Big Five destination.

Timbavati Game Reserve consists of a number of Private concession with luxury lodges offering excellent facilities and Big 5 game viewing. There is easy access from Hoedspruit (Eastgate) Airport which receives daily flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Waterberg and Welgevonden

Waterberg and Welgevonden with Greenlife Safaris offers family friendly lodges and luxury camps in malaria free safari region.

The Waterberg and Welgevonden Private Game Reserve, Malaria free reserves North of Johannesburg - approximately 2 hour drive. Offering a selection of lodges, not all with big 5.

Zululand and Battlefields

Beautiful Zululand and historic battlefields with Greenlife Safaris offers country lodges and guest houses near wildlife parks.

Zululand, A diverse mix of wildlife and culture, safaris in the Hluhluwe and St Lucia regions with Battlefields and historty of Zulu/British wars.

Activities & Highlights

CANGO CAVE: Hidden in the Klein Karoo you will find one of South Africa’s natural wonders, the 4500 million year old limestone Cango Caves which is the longest series of underground cave in the world. With some of the biggest stalagmite formations, the vast dripstone halls capture the imagination and offers majestic views to marvel over.

TABLE MOUNTAIN: Recognised as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Table Mountain is firmly planted in the Table Mountain National Park. The mountain stands 1086 meters above sea level and is rich is biodiversity. Most remarkable about the Guardian of the Cape, as it is known, is the level plateau which is nearly 3 kilometres wide. To reach the top plateau, the mountain is equipped with a cableway. For the adventurous amongst us, choose between numerous hiking trails, traditional rock-climbing and abseiling, depending on your level of fitness.

FLORAL KINGDOM: The Western Cape Province is home to one of the world’s most diverse areas of plant life. The area is so prolific that it has been dubbed as the hottest-hot spot in the world in terms of plant diversity. The colourful Cape Floral Kingdom consists of more than 9500 plant species, of which 70% are found nowhere else in the world. There is certainly no wonder why UNESCO added the floral kingdom as one of its Natural World Heritage sites.

WHALE WATCHING: Between the months of May and November, you are guaranteed to see whales from the shores of the south-west Cape Coast. Most frequent sightings of these giant sea mammals are the Southern Right Whale. Whether they are breaching, lobtailing, spyhopping, blowing, grunting or mating; these endangered fish are a remarkable sight to see. Among other whale species, seen in the False Bay area, are Humpback Whales, Bryde’s Whales and killer whales, dolphins also tend to frequent these shores so grab your binocular and do not forget to blink.

WINE ROUTE: With eight different wine routes to explore along Route 62, the quality of these wine producing regions are sure to interest your taste buds. The Klein Karoo may be a semi-desert land but its Wine Route produces some of South Africa’s best historic wines. Visit the town of Calitzdorp, known for exquisite port wines in South Africa or Graham Beck Cellar near Robertson and try their yeasty sparkling wines. Along with award winning wine, South African brandies have won many international awards for their fine quality. Not only does Route 62 produce some of the finest wines, it is also regarded as the longest wine route in the world.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY: The vibrant city of Durban is filled with a bustling atmosphere and friendly locals. The city is a predominant amalgamation of Indian and Zulu communities. Annual Indian festivals occur in various areas in and around Durban which are characterised by jovial markets, firecrackers and even religious body piercing during trans-like states. Zulu influences can be seen in the streets of Durban, from the market selling traditional Zulu crafts, to the vigorous tribal dancing and the dramatically dressed men dragging rickshaws throughout the pathways of Durban.



Season Travel Details

The south-western regions of South Africa has a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters between May and September and warm, dry summers during November to February.

The south-western regions are known to have a subtropical or oceanic climate. Light rain is consistent throughout the year with mildly cool winters and summers are moderately warm. Spring blooms into colour round about the end of August into September, with temperatures rising in October.

South Africa’s north western areas transition from subtropical into tropical climates with hot humid rainy summers and moderately warm temperatures in winter. The tropical climate causes rain year round. Heavy rain is expected during summer months from October to March with temperatures reaching up to 35º C (95ºF). Winter is between April and September with pleasant warm days reaching temperatures of up to 23º C (73ºF).

Best of South Africa

Explore the world within one country; South Africa boasts some of the most magnificent landscapes, unrivaled biodiversity with great wilderness areas and wildlife. Experience the true hospitality of this land of many cultures ranging from modest rural communities to flamboyant cosmopolitan city scapes. These journeys are designed to give first time travelers a great blend of experiences combining a wildlife safari to encounter the big five, some historical and cultural opportunities to give you an insight into the diverse society and a chance to immerse yourself into the wonderful South African lifestyle. Enjoy fine cuisine and excellent wine, soak up the sun on the pristine Cape beaches or shop to your heart content. South Africa has so much to offer. It is a destination for many visits and it is our recommendation to rather experience quality than quantity and avoid lengthy time consuming travel between multiple areas but to rather focus on a few special places and get the most from your stay.

Family Safari

Due to the risk of malaria in the Lowveld and the sub-tropical areas in southern Africa, it is a concern traveling with young children and mothers to be. There are however some excellent malaria free alternatives that offer a great safari opportunity without any health treats to the family. An African bush holiday is one of the greatest journeys to share with young impressionable children. Exploring and encountering the wildlife together is an important part of each person’s development and provides for a lifelong bonding experience for a family. They become aware of the environment and break away from the world of wifi and multimedia entertainment, developing their skills to observe and hone their senses. We offer a variety of family safari options which combine various wildlife rich habitats with excellent chances to encounter the big 5, (Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Leopard and Lion) plus the rest of the animals synonymous with Africa. Our selections of establishments are geared for family hospitality, ensuring safety with children friendly facilities and services. Our family orientated vacations combine safaris with exploring other exciting destinations in South Africa. It is a superb self-drive country allowing total flexibility for sightseeing and travelling at your own pace. Adding a stay at one of our beach locations is a great finale to the African holiday.

Highlights of Southern Africa

The southern sub region of Africa is one of the richest places on earth. It is packed with spectacular scenery, unrivalled biodiversity, amazing year-round weather and vibrant cultural multiplicity. There is a great regional travel network with both scheduled and charter flights conveniently linking destinations. From the arid western shores to the tropical eastern coast and Indian Ocean Islands, here lies an endless world of adventure, wilderness and nature. If time is a factor and you want to focus your holiday on a combination of top destinations which afford you a good perspective of southern Africa, we have blended journeys that take in the very best into a selection of highlight packages. These itineraries include the best wildlife location, natural spectacles like Victoria Falls, the Okavango Delta and the Namib Desert including visits to Cape Town. No matter what your interest is, it is our speciality to tailor journeys in the region that fits your pace and budget. Let us inspire you!

Malaria Free Safaris

There is always a health risk when travelling in a known malaria area. Children and pregnant mothers are more vulnerable than others and selecting destinations in temperate areas and on higher altitude is the best way to avoid the problematic mosquitoes. In South Africa we offer some fantastic malaria-free safari options. The Garden Route and Eastern Cape have become well established wildlife areas with picturesque habitats and managed big game reserves including the big five. To the north of Johannesburg there are options to see wildlife in Pilanesburg, The Waterberg, Welgevonden and Madikwe Game Reserve.

Multiple Countries

For the hardened traveler you can explore great destinations in multiple countries. An example for this is at Kazungula where Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia meet. To the east of South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe are in close proximity of each other. Each country has a unique character and they are all very different from each other in landscape and culture. Regional travel is relatively okay if you remain on the main routes, however distances are vast and the conditions can at times be challenging due to some badly maintained roads and poor local driving etiquette. The best way to travel regionally is by air charter which is not only convenient scheduled but it gets you directly to your destinations without extra stops and wasted time. Let us plan your itinerary to most efficiently use the best travel options available to make your journey more comfortable and cost efficient.

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