Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the first to refer to South Africa as the Rainbow Nation in 1994 after the country’s first post-apartheid democratic election. During his first month in office president Nelson Mandela elaborated on the term by stating “Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the Bushveld – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world”. Tourism in South Africa has really taken off in recent years, particularly since 2010 when South Africa held the FIFA World Cup. There are a great many reasons why people should visit South Africa, here are my top 5:
Holidaying in South Africa is much more affordable thank you may think. The South African Rand is weak compared to the Dollar, Pound and Euro which gives tourists better buying power. If you can book your accommodation and flights directly with South African companies then you’ll probably find that it’s much cheaper than paying for a full package with a UK travel agent. When you’re in South Africa you’ll find that things like entertainment, eating out and purchasing souvenirs is much more affordable than other holiday destinations.
South Africa’s infrastructure is constantly improving and evolving in response to the increase in tourism. Compared to other African countries, South Africa has a much more modern and dynamic infrastructure. Being the host country for the FIFA World Cup in 2010 encouraged South Africa to invest a great deal of money into the improvement of things like roads, buildings, services, entertainment and restaurants to the level that a tourist would expect.
VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES
Whatever your interests are, you’re sure to find something to do during your trip to South Africa. Daytimes can be spent horse riding, abseiling, rock climbing, hiking, caving, bird watching, or with a ride in a helicopter or hot-air balloon. And of course South Africa is known for its fantastic safaris in its many national parks and game reserves. Evenings in South Africa are best spent in the big cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town eating at one of the many affordable restaurants or taking in some of the music concerts or comedy events on offer.
South Africa is synonymous with safari. It is one of the driving factors behind the tourist industry in the country. Kruger National Park is one of the most highly recommended safari locations in South Africa. The park is close to Johannesburg and good routes into it minimise travelling time and distance. Many of the safaris in South Africa boast that they have the Big 5 – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo. However, you can also expect to see game such as zebras, springbok, and cheetahs as well as vast array of endemic bird species.
South Africa holds claim to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world. From deserts and savannahs to valleys and mountains, South Africa’s vast and varied landscape provides the perfect habitat for a plethora of flora and fauna. The awe-inspiring Drakensberg mountain range provides the opportunity for tourists to take part in many different activities like hiking, abseiling and caving. South Africa has more than 1500 miles of coastline fringed with white sandy beaches and clear blue sea, the ideal conditions for a variety of water sports and beach activities.