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South Africa

– A Fabled Mountain Graces a Gathering of Beauty-

There was a time when the cathedral beauty of Table Mountain and rock twists of the Cape Fold Mountains lay under the sea. The same elemental forces that fracture continents sculpted these extraordinary mountain ranges. This primal beauty extends to the southern reaches where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans merge. A floral kingdom of unrivalled diversity thrives.

A Bountiful Table Awaits

A spread of beaches…

The soft white sands, chill-blue waters and sunset beauty of the Atlantic seaboard;

Warm waters, tidal pools and protected bays on the east, including Boulders Beach, a sanctuary for the engaging, threatened African Penguin.

A waterfront feast…

Framed by a panorama of Cape beauty, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is an extravaganza of retail, specialist stores, dining, entertainment, accommodation, and tour experiences, complete with the absorbing dynamic of a working harbour.

Cape Winelands’ harvests

Set against the backdrop of mountains, valleys and white gabled homesteads, the vineyards of the Cape bring world-class new age wine offerings to the table. One highlight of this innovative viticulture is the internationally recognized Pinotage varietal.

Fresh from the sea

Seasonal whale offerings of southern right breeding pods and migrating humpbacks: when the Whale Crier of Hermanus blows his kelp horn, you are guaranteed yet another course of breaching, sailing, spouting, lobtailing displays which can be viewed by land, by boat or by air. Conservation-driven Shark Cage Diving excursions are an exciting option.

“Flight of the Fish Eagle” Beckons

Wing your way on this scenic flight over the protected north-eastern Kwa-Zulu Natal paradise of estuaries, wetland and diverse habitats. On landing, you will journey through a forest like no other: sparse undergrowth and a towering of trees sporting streamers of lichen, monkey ropes and bouquets of tree orchids. This Sand Forest, once a coastal dune forest, has been separated from the ocean for over a million years.

The Kruger Roars

The private game reserves within and bordering the world famous Kruger National Park share international acclaim. This is a collection of champagne accommodation, Big Five wealth and leopard viewings extraordinaire. The combined bush skills and local knowledge of trackers and guides ensure safari excursions of unsurpassed excellence.

Quick Facts

Population: 52.98 million

Area: 1,221,037 km²

Preferred Properties: 10

South Africa’s Nobel Prize laureates are commemorated at ‘Noble Square’, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront:

Albert Lithuli (1952); Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (1984); Klerk and Nelson Mandela (1993).

Their collective vision and courage were instrumental to the watershed changes that birthed South Africa’s landmark constitution and new democracy in 1994.

Traveller’s Note: Other keystone sites marking this inspirational journey are to be found in Johannesburg, South Africa’s Egoli (city of gold), and Pretoria, the administrative capital.

Take your pick. South Africa’s arts and crafts are a celebration, and in many instances, elevation of traditional skills.

Beadwork holds symbolic and ceremonial significance for many local cultures, while intricate bead ‘paintings’ are now prized art pieces. Other traditional materials are deftly shaped into singular ceramic pieces and handmade collectible baskets. Ingenious contemporary items make use of recycled wire, plastic and tin.

Bon Appétit! The cosmopolitan nature of South Africa’s society is mirrored in a broad selection of spiced traditional dishes, Asian specialties, European classics, and the east-west taste sensations of fusion foods.

The ‘Top 100 Restaurants in the World’ annual survey regularly includes members of our cuisine constellation. It seems entirely appropriate that this culinary excellence culminates in the French-settler domain of the Franchhoek Valley.

The views from the top of Table Mountain – one of the world’s ‘New 7 Wonders’ – are food for the soul.

As you look down onto the City Bowl, notice how the outcrops of Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill shape a rocky amphitheatre. At Maclear’s Beacon, you will find evidence of glacier deposits. It was the weight of these ancient ice sheets that shaped the table-top of rock that you stand on. The rock composition of this range places it as 6x older than the Himalayas, and 5x older than the Rocky Mountains.

To the north, touching the arid reaches of the Kalahari, discover a reserve of rarities.

Within this malaria-free region, you will have treasured and exclusive viewings of black-maned Kalahari lions, desert black rhino, cheetah and significant herds of the drought-adapted roan, sable and tsessebe antelope.

Traveller’s Note: South Africa’s Eastern Cape is another malaria-free region offering excellent game viewing.