Published On: Fri, Oct 4th, 2013

The Country Of Wine & Gold South Africa

south africaSouth Africa  is located at the southern tip of Africa. It is bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho (which is completely surrounded by South Africa). It is a vast country with widely varying landscapes and has 11 official languages, as well as an equally diverse population. South Africa is renowned for its wines and is one of the world’s largest producers of gold. South Africa has the strongest economy in Africa, and is an influential player in African politics. In 2010, South Africa hosted the first Football World Cup to be held on the African continent. If you want to travel in southern Africa then South Africa is a good place to start. While you can fly into any country in southern Africa, most flights will route through South Africa anyway. South Africa is also a good place to get used to travelling in the. South Africa is not only a jumping off point; it is itself a superb destination rich in culture, fauna & flora and history.

Contrary to popular belief, South Africa is not devastatingly poor with an unstable government. South Africa is to a large extent two countries within one. On the one hand it is a first world state, especially the major cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, and on the other hand it is under-developed and has large scale poverty. South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world where opulence and severe poverty can often be observed together. The rural part of South Africa remains among the poorest and the least developed parts of the world and poverty in the townships can be appalling, progress is being made. The process of recovering from apartheid, which lasted almost 46 years, is quite slow. In fact, South Africa’s United Nations Human Development Index which was slowly improving in the final years of apartheid has declined dramatically since 1996, largely due to the AIDS pandemic, and poverty levels appear to be on the increase. South Africa boasts a well-developed infrastructure and has all the modern amenities and technologies, much of it developed during the years of white minority rule. The government is stable, although corruption is common. The government and the primary political parties generally have a high level of respect for democratic institutions and human rights.

Climate
The climate in South Africa ranges from desert and semi-desert in the north west of the country to sub-tropical on the eastern coastline. The rainy season for most of the country is in the summer, except in the Western Cape where the rains come in the winter. Rainfall in the Eastern Cape is distributed evenly throughout the year. Winter temperatures hover around zero; summers can be very hot, in excess of 35°Celsius (95°F) in some places. The South African Weather Service provides up to date weather information, forecasts and radar imaging.

National Parks
The Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park (KNP)   lies in the north-east of South Africa and runs along the border of Mozambique in the east, Zimbabwe in the north, and the southern border is the Crocodile River. The park covers 20,000 square kilometres and is divided in 14 different eco-zones, each supporting different wildlife. It is one of the main attractions of South Africa and it is considered the flagship of South African National Parks (SANParks).

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the heart of the Kalahari desert with wide open spaces and hordes of games including the majestic ‘Gemsbok’. This is the first park in Africa to cross political borders.

There are also a large number of smaller parks, like the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, Addo Elephant National Park, Pilanesberg National Park or the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The Cradle of Humankind, near Johannesburg is a must see for anyone interested in where it all started. A large collection of caves rich in hominid and advanced ape fossils.

Robin Island just off the coast from Cape Town where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years.

The Cape Floral Region in the Western Cape Simangaliso Wetland Park, Mapungubwe Kingdom, in Limpopo Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, for its landscape, biodiversity and rock art.

Vredefort Dome, remnants of the largest and oldest meteorite impact crater.

Travelling to South Africa
Citizens of India have to apply for tourist visas but this visa is issued gratis. The same applies to South Africans visiting India. This is because of the reciprocity that India shares with a lot of countries like Argentina, Uruguay and Mongolia.

South Africa has 10 international airports, the two major ones being Cape Town International and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Durban International Airport is the third biggest airport. Regular Flights from and to: Blantyre, Cairo, Gaborone, Dar es Salaam, Harare, Lilongwe, Livingstone, Luanda, Lusaka, Kinshasa, Maputo, Manzini, Maun, Mauritius, Nairobi, Victoria Falls and Windhoek.

Direct flights also arrive from major European centres, including: Amsterdam, Athens, Madrid, London, Paris, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Lisbon. There are also direct flights from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, New York, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Buenos Aires, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sydney and Perth. You may also want to have a look at Discount airlines in Africa.

See Air travel in South Africa for detailed information. Note: Baggage theft at airports is common especially at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg so avoid putting valuables such as jewellery and expensive devices in your main luggage if you can and place them in your hand luggage.

Comments

comments

About the Author

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
Pegasus

The Country Of Wine & Gold South Africa