With the recent drop in exchange rate of the South African Rand visiting South Africa is becoming very affordable for international tourists. This vast country has so much to offer and would be an ideal December destination for those who wish to get a break from cold winter conditions.
South Africa is famous for its beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife, rich culture with warm people and and a wine industry producing world class wines.
Johannesburg might not particularly be known as a number one tourist destination but this city of gold or also known by the locals as “Jozi” has a lot to offer.
Johannesburg is home to the country’s largest township Soweto where there are a wide variety of tours to do.
In this township history was made and South Africa wouldn’t be where it is today without the heroic selfless acts of so many in defeating the Apartheid system which had South Africa in it’s grip for over 40 years.
There are several memorial sites in the township to visit or you could eat at a shebeen or township restaurant where you will experience the warmth of the local people.
There is no ocean in Johannesburg so if you would like to cool down from the heat then you can travel down to Cape Town, here you will find two oceans. The Atlantic Ocean which is as cold as ice while the Indian Ocean current comes straight from the tropics and is more comfortable to bath in.
Cape Town has plenty of beach bars and you can truly experience some fun in the sun.
Cape Town is famous for Table Mountain and Robben Island where our famous and first black president was in imprisoned. You can arrange for a boat trip visiting this interesting Island but make sure you book early online.
The V&A Waterfront has the best seafood and shopping experiences and is located right next to the ocean. If you are lucky you might spot some seal swimming or playing in the water.
There is also an Aquarium that is very entertaining for the children.
Port Elizabeth and Knysna
If you follow the N2 towards Port Elizabeth (PE) you will find beautiful and lush green vegetation. Stop in the small town of Knysna famous for its beauty. I was born in this town so I can recommend it as part of your South African experience. As small as it is, Knysna has been awarded as the number 2 tourist destination in the whole of Africa (Cape Town is the number 1).
Knysna is part of the Garden Route which stretches all the way from Mosselbay to Tsitsikamma and the plantation is made up of fynbos and indigenous forest. Knysna is also famous for its Knysna Elephants, Oysters and the Knysna Loerie bird.
The Garden Route has lots of outdoor activities you and the whole family can participate in.
Travel past Port Elizabeth also known as the “windy city” to Durban which is in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province, the heart of Zululand. You find the Zulu culture in the heart of Durban as well as Indian culture. The streets of Durban are full of colours and the aroma of spices. Popular food to eat is bunny chow, which is a South African version of Curry in a hollowed out piece of bread.
South Africa has a well established infrastructure which makes a self-drive holiday a very feasible option. All major tourist detinations have tour guides available and a number of airlines connect the major cities with each other. Public transport in the cities is improving rapidly.
I invite you to my beautiful country which will leave a life long impression.
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by Marea de Jager