South Africa has acquired the moniker of the ‘Rainbow Nation’ – and with good reason. It’s scenic beauty, coastlines, cultural diversity, plethora of activities and wonderful wildlife blend together to create a captivating country that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Here are seven reasons why South Africa should be on your bucket list.
Diversity of flora and fauna
The lifeblood of the country, without a doubt, is the sensational safari destinations. Private concessions in the Greater Kruger area of South Africa, boast luxury game lodges that provide unparalleled, exclusive wildlife viewing experiences – of which Pondoro Game Lodge leads the pack.
Located in the pristine Balule Nature Reserve, the award-winning lodge offers guests the opportunity to see the iconic Big 5 – lion; leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo – living in their natural habitat.
Flower fundi’s will find their bliss in the Cape Floral Kingdom (home to 9600 plant species) that stretches from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape.
South Africa’s geographical position sees it flanked by two different oceans – the Atlantic in the west and the Indian in the east.
The west coast is surrounded by the cold Benguela Current. It begins at Cape Point (the southern-most tip of Africa) and flows northwards. In contrast, the warm Agulhas current flows south from the equator down the eastern side of the country.
‘Spirit’ of (South) Africa
The ‘spirit’ lives throughout the continent, but it has a strong presence in South Africa. The diversity of the country allows it to manifest in different ways: watching the sun set over the ocean or seeing the raw purity of a regal lion are indicative of the diversity of Africa’s spirit.
Sport and adrenaline-surging activities
South Africa is home to some of the greatest golf courses in the world. If you’re looking for a great round, tee off at Fancourt links golf course in George. For those in need of an adrenalin fix, bungy jumping off Bloukrans Bridge (Africa’s highest bridge) will definitely do the trick.
The cultural diversity that exists in the country has resulted in 11 national languages. The mix of ethnicities contributes to a unique fusion of cultural influences found in the food and music. Tourists have the privilege to experience the multiculturalism by visiting the many Cultural Heritage Sites such as Robben Island – where former president, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng and the famed wine routes in the Western Cape.
South Africa has a turbulent history that has shaped it into the bastion of unrelenting strength of the human spirit to fight injustice and belief that freedom is not just an ideal, but a reality.
Towns and cities
South Africa has an array of wonderful cities and towns, each with a distinctive ambiance. Cape Town’s cosmopolitan culture and the iconic Table Mountain are a massive draw for tourists. However, small towns such as Hermanus (the best place for whale watching), Jeffery’s Bay (a surfing paradise) will provide you with unforgettable experiences.