Highlights of South Africa

South Africa is such a diverse country and has so much to offer that the countries generic marketing logo is “A world in one country”. There is just so much to offer that we at Bushveld Safaris, Tours & Transfers or Self Drive Southern Africa would recommend that you don’t try cover the country in one holiday / vacation. Once the Africa bug catches you, you will anyway want to return to South Africa. We have an interesting history unfortunately full of conflict, 13 ethnic groups all with varying cultures, stunningly beautiful countryside, from deserts to tropical jungles, beaches washed by warm waters, nature and wildlife found nowhere else on earth.

Just to give you an idea of the major attractions that South Africa has to offer tourist or holiday makers:

The beautiful mother city of Cape Town with close by the Cape Peninsula, Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Hout Bay, Cape fur seals on Duiker Island,  Boulders – Penguins, Table Mountain, Robben Island which is all part of the Table Mountain National Park and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. V & A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, beautiful beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton. One can do other interesting tours or activities such as “Long walk to freedom” tour, hiking up Table Mountain or shark cage diving at Gans Bay (Gansbaai).

You could also visit from Cape Town the following world renowned wine routes – Stellenbosch Wine Routes  now have 148 members producing wines of origin Stellenbosch. The Stellenbosch Wine Routes has thus been divided into 5 sub routes to make travelling along the route even more user friendly. These sub routes orginate from physical location and has no relation to the Wine of Origin system or any wards within the Stellenbosch region. These sub route with some of the famous estates are:

Greater Simonsberg with Delheim wine estate, Kanonkop wines, Morgenhof wines and Simonsig wines.

Stellenbosch Berg with Blaauwklippen wine estate, Graceland wines, Lanzerac wines and Le Riche wines.

Helderberg with Alto wine estate, Ernie Els wines, Guardian Peak wines, Rust en Vrede wine estate and Vergelegen wines.

Stellenbosch Valley with Asara wine estate, DeWaal wines, Louisvale wines, J.C. Le Roux, Meerlust wines, Neetlingshof, Spier and Oude Libertas wines.

Bottelary Hills with Goede Hoop estate, Koelenhof wines, Stellenrust wines, Vrede wines and Beyerskloof wines.

Paarl Valley Wine Route whose winemakers produce a wide range of wines and styles so whether you are looking for fresh and fruity or dark and brooding they will have a wine for you. Some of the famous estates found on this route are Laborie wines, Boland wine cellar, Drakensig wines, Fairview wines, KWV, Landskroon wines, Nederburg wines and Nelson wine estate.

Franschhoek Wine Route with the Franschhoek Valley – first settled by French Huguenot refugees in 1688.

When it comes to accommodation in Franschhoek the options are endless, with accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. Decide between classic auberges, boutique hotels, lavish country lodges, cosy B&Bs, pleasant guesthouses or comfortable self-catering cottages.

Franschhoek is the gourmet capital of South Africa. Franschhoek restaurants will treat you to cuisine that is delectably indulgent, ranging from gourmet to rustic with something to please every palate.

Franschhoek’s wine estates encircle the village. On these award-winning wine estates acclaimed winemakers create glorious wines. Tantalise your taste buds with wine tastings overlooking the vineyards where the grapes were harvested … each one an exceptional experience heightened by the beauty of its setting in this the most beautiful wine valley in the world. So beautiful in fact that getting married in Franschhoek is extremely popular with couples from all over the world. Some of these wine estates are Backsberg Estate, Bellingham wines, Boschendal wines, Chamonix wines, Eikehof wines, Franschhoek Cellar, Graham Beck wines, Grande Provence wines, La Bri wines, La Motte wines, La Roche wines and Vrede en Lust wine estate.

You can then travel up the Cape’s south east coast to Hermanus the whale capital of South Africa and also known as the best land based whale watching in the world. The Southern Right whale graces our shores each year however one can also see Pilot whale, Humpback whale, Orcas or Killer whale and Bryde’s whale as well as other amazing marine creatures such as Common dolphins, Bottle-nosed dolphins and Humpback dolphins.

Cape Agulhas is the southern “Tip of Africa” and is surrounded by the Cape Agulhas National Park with the beginning of the Garden Route close by. Here you have Mossel Bay with its beautiful beaches, the Post Office Tree and Diaz Museum. Other towns and places of interest on the Garden Route are George, Wilderness and the Wilderness National Park, Sedgefield, Knysna, which is known as the best little town in South Africa with attractions like the Featherbed Nature Reserve, Knysna heads, Knysna lagoon / estuary, Knysna forest and the nearly extinct Knysna elephant, Knysna seahorse, Knysna Waterfront with numerous good restaurants serving oysters cultivated in the Knysna estuary. Continue up the coast to Plettenberg Bay and then Bloukranz with the highest bungee in the world, Tsitsikamma National Park with its Otter Trail and impressive suspension bridge over the Storms River mouth. Although this 200 km stretch of land along the Cape coast is the Garden Route one could drive up for a visit to Port Elizabeth, which is know as the friendly city or windy city or The Baai with great (moderate) weather all year round, beautiful beaches (including the Blue Flag beaches St Georges Beach and Humewood beach), low crime rate, strong economic growth, major university (NMMU) and schools, the Boardwalk Casino, shopping centers and very little traffic conjestion. Other than a city tour that includes Donkin Square, Donkin Terrace Houses the Light House, Donkin Memorial, Campanile, Horse Memorial and Fort Frederick you could visit the nearby Addo Elephant National Park which is the only national park in the world that hosts the “BIG 7” namely lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo, southern right whale and great white shark.

Not too far from the Garden Route, you could visit the Klein Karoo, either by driving up “Route 62” from Cape Town or crossing over the Robinson’s Pass or the Outeniqua Pass. Oudtshoorn is known as the capital of the Klein Karoo as well as the ostrich capital and the beautiful little town of Graaff-Reinet is known as the “gem of the Karoo” with its impressive Karoo National Park, Valley of Desolation and Mountain Zebra National Park with invigorating crystal clear air, beautiful scenery, tranquil ambience and an abundance of wildlife offer you a special and personal African wilderness experience. It is found in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, this national park was originally proclaimed in 1937 to save the dwindling Cape mountain zebra population. Now, at over 28 000 hectares, the park boasts a conservation success story, protecting over 600 Cape mountain zebra as well as wildlife such as endangered black rhino and cheetah, as well as rare birds such as the blue crane and Denham’s bustard.

Traveling through the Eastern Cape is not always the first option for travelers / tourists. But, it is the shortest route to link up the Garden Route and Western Cape Province to the province of KwaZulu Natal. Towns that you would drive through on the route would be Grahamstown where the “Great Trek” started in 1835, East London, Umtata near where Mr. Nelson Mandela was born. Other places to visit are Coffee Bay and Port St Johns.

KwaZulu Natal, previously known as Natal. KwaZulu meaning the place of heaven. This provinces has a lot to offer the travelers / tourist from beautiful sub-trpoical beaches washed by the warm Indian Ocean to 4 x 4 route through Sani Pass, hiking in the Drakensburg mountains such as Giants Castle, Cathedral Peak, Campaign Castle, Mont-aux-sources the source of the Tugela River, which was the south western border of the old Zululand and the Colony of Natal. Eastern Buttress, Sentinel, Royal Natal National Park with a magnificent view of the Amphitheatre and so much more.

Here at Self Drive Southern Africa or Bushveld Safaris, Tours & Transfers, we’ll send you on a trip of a lifetime, through some of the most fantastic sites of South Africa. Spend a few days exploring the massive Kruger National Park, playing golf at a championship golf course and driving through the mountains, which offer panoramic views of the surrounding country.

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