Feel the rhythm of life up close and dive into an unknown world South Africa reveals its fascinating facets in a thrilling and vibrant way. Metropolises bubbling over with joie de vivre are just as fascinating as the countless vineyards, the coasts shaped by the wind and sea and unspoilt landscapes with their indescribably diverse flora and fauna.
Experience unique natural landscapes
The country on the Cape, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, intoxicates with unique views like those from the heights of the mighty Table Mountain or "God's Window" north of Graskop in the province of Mpumalanga. At five times the size of Great Britain, South Africa particularly impresses with its very different landscapes and unforgettable outdoor experiences, which range from the endless expanses of the Karoo dry savannah to the Cape of Good Hope, washed by untamed waves. This also includes a view into the Blyde River Canyon, which is up to 800 metres deep and consists mainly of red sandstone. The impressive landscape, which is considered one of the great natural wonders of Africa, is located on the Panorama Route and extends for 26 kilometres not far from the Kruger National Park. The spectacular Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal, located in the south-east, impress with the highest peaks in southern Africa and are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Western Cape region is just one of six areas in the world to have has its own floral kingdom. This is a region that is characterised by its own and therefore unique flora. Anyone who wants to admire the unique natural landscapes can explore South Africa in a variety of ways. For example, the many different aspects of the country can be explored using the numerous themed routes. The landscape is like paradise, for example along the Garden Route, which leads from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape province to the Eastern Cape with unexpected highlights such as the Knysna Lagoon with its countless seahorses.
Elephants, giraffes & co. – up very close
Elephants and giraffes roam majestically through the savannah, zebras drink from the river, while leopards hunt antelopes. Anyone who wants to observe animals in the wild in South Africa can join a safari. Few countries have as many national parks as South Africa, which attract visitors on wild excursions. The first protected areas were already designated in the north of the country at the end of the 19th century. Today, twenty national parks and countless regional nature reserves protect South Africa's animals. At almost 20,000 square kilometres, the Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in the Cape. It is not only home to the "Big Five", lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalos and leopards, but also to several hundred species of mammals, reptiles and birds. It is considered to be the region with the greatest biodiversity worldwide. Even a night game drive is offered to observe nocturnal wild animals like the endangered African wild dogs in the "Kruger". Completely different animals can be experienced at Boulders Beach in Simon's Town on the Cape Peninsula. There is a colony of Jackass penguins that can be observed up close on the beach, which belongs to the Table Mountain National Park.
South Africa: the world's melting pot
The country's cultural and ethnic diversity gave the country at the Cape of Good Hope the nickname "rainbow nation" early on. As South Africa's population is one of the most complex in the world. The more than 50 million inhabitants speak eleven official languages. South Africa's eventful history has shaped the country's regions quite differently. So not only African, but also Indian, Dutch, English and French influences can be noticed in art, culture and culinary delights. Anyone wanting to experience the South Africa's culture up close should not only get to know Cape Town but also other major cities such as Pretoria and Johannesburg inland. Bloemfontein, the birthplace of "Lord of the Rings" author J.R.R. Tolkien is also worth seeing for a touch of magic in life.
Cape Town: South Africa's first city
Table Mountain rises monumentally and powerfully against a mostly bright blue sky. It defines the impressive silhouette of Cape Town, South Africa's capital. The port city between two oceans captivates with the flair of a metropolis and fascinates at the same time with its eventful history. Cape Town, which was founded by Jan van Rieebeck in 1652 as the first city of what would later become South Africa, developed into an important trading point and starting point and starting point for the settlers. Which is why Cape Town is also still called the "Mother City" today. The "Castle of Good Hope" fort, which is considered to be the oldest building in South Africa, dates from this time. Long Street is also part of its historical heritage. With its restored Victorian houses and unique wrought-iron balcony balustrades, it exudes a very special atmosphere. Numerous flea markets and antique shops invite you to browse there. Anyone who wants to learn more about the history, will not only find deeper insights at the South African National Gallery and the National Museum but also at "Iziko Slave Lodge", former slave accommodation, with its museum about the history of slavery in Cape Town. Light is also shed on another dark chapter on Robben Island, the former prison island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned and which has been a World Heritage Site since 1999. Back on the mainland, the brightly coloured houses in the Bo-Kaap district are just as much a contrast as the much-visited Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden at the southern foot of Table Mountain. Cecil Rhodes donated the present Botanical Garden to the city in 1902 to protect the unique flora. After all the cultural impressions, the redesigned historical shipyard and port facilities of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront entice you to shop, stroll and indulge with its incomparable maritime charm.
Sun-kissed: WINE from South Africa
The aromas indulge the palates of wine connoisseurs around the world with their freshness and finesse. Because the fine wines from the region around Cape Town have been on everyone's lips for a long time. Winegrowing began in South Africa in the 17th century. Back then, Jan van Riebeeck led an expedition and landed in South Africa in 1652 to set up a provisions station for the sea route to India. Given the mild climate, the Dutch ship's doctor and merchant decided to import some grape varieties from Europe. As he knew that wine was more durable than fresh water in barrels on long sea voyages. So the first wine was pressed in South Africa in 1659. Two decades later, when the French Huguenots settled in the Cape of Good Hope, viticulture experienced a real boost in quality. The Boschendal and Annandale wineries and their estates in historic architectural style date from this period. Nowadays, the cultivated areas, which cover some 100,000 hectares, mainly extend mainly in the south of the country, in particular in the Western Cape province. The wineries were always built close to the coast. This is where the Benguela stream develops its cooling effect. This cool ocean current, which comes from the Antarctic, creates a moderate maritime climate in the Western Cape, which is ideal for growing quality wines. As a result, the grapes ripen between February and April and attract lovers of fine wines to South Africa.