Going to South Africa? Well there is absolutely no reason not to! We would like to welcome you to the wonder that is South Africa. Magnificent weather, powerful, breathtaking scenery and warm culture make this country one of the best holiday destinations in the world.
Where is South Africa?
As the name states, South Africa is located on the southern tip of Africa where the warm Indian Ocean meets the cool South Atlantic. The country is bordered by Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
The cities of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban serve as the most popular tourist destinations in the country, each adding their own significant contribution to the motherland.
Cape Town is the sea-facing capital of South Africa that is known for its great beaches, robust culture and nightlife as well as the beautiful, ethereal calm that emanates from its Table Mountain that coats the horizon. The V&A Waterfront is probably the most popular destination in Cape Town, hugged by some of South Africa’s most ornate harbours.
The Western Cape region, in which Cape Town resides, is also known for its fantastic array of vineyards that produce some of the best, world-class wines. Because of the mass production of wine in South Africa, you are able to get great quality wines at a fraction of the cost you would pay overseas.
If you want warm, sunny beaches, great waves, hotels and fabulous cuisine, Durban should definitely be on your itinerary. The strong presence of the Indian diaspora in the region gives you access to authentic ‘Durban-style’ Indian cooking not available anywhere else in the world. If you are a fan of theatre and the Arts, this can also be found here.
The city of Johannesburg is the money-making capital of the country that arguably hosts the most lucrative strip of land in the whole of Africa, Rivonia Road. Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa, laden with multinational corporations and a high population density to run these machines. The presence of gold in the area that spurred a gold rush in 1884 and a subsequent mass settlement gave the city its nickname, “The Place of Gold”. It is only fitting for the city to have the largest Porsche dealership in the world, situated in Bryanston.
The Population of South Africa
South Africa has an estimated population size of 54,002,000 people. The countries national census lists 79.2% of the population as black African people (descendants of Bantu and Khoisan tribes), 8.9% White (descendants of English and Dutch settlers), 8.9% “Coloured” (an accepted term for ‘biracial’ in South Africa) and 2.5% Indian.
Foreign visitors are always delighted to experience the accommodating culture of the isiZulu, the aromatic spices and fanfare of the Indian population and the friendly, chilled composure of the surfers along the coast that really add to the look and feel of a beach holiday in South Africa.
There is barely a traveler that is not impressed with the beauty of South Africa’s people and the warmth and hospitality they offer. There is always a reason to smile in “Sunny South Africa” an apt term given to the country by both locals and international visitors.
The Climate of South Africa
Summer in South Africa
South Africa tends to have a varied climate, with warmer, more humid weather on the East Coast in cities like Durban. Summers are sunny and warm across the country that has 8-10 hours of sunlight a day on average. As you move into the more elevated areas of South Africa like Gauteng and the Free State that exist on a central plateau, the air is dryer and maximum temperatures in summer rarely exceed 30°C (86°F). The humidity of east coast of South Africa raises temperatures above 30°C providing the best beach weather for tourists looking to escape the winter of the Northern hemisphere.
Winter in South Africa
Sunny South Africa has varied minimum temperatures during winter. Higher altitude areas like Gauteng and the Free State can drop below freezing however, this is mainly during mornings and evenings as the maximum temperature for winters in these regions range from 17°C – 23°C (62.6°F – 73.4°F).
East coast regions like Durban and Richard’s Bay are blessed with fairly warm weather during the winter with minimums ranging from between 10 -12° C (50°F – 53.6°F) and maximums as high as 26°C (78.8 °F)!
South African Animals
South Africa is home to a large variety of birds, mammals and reptiles including the giraffe, kudu, hippopotamus, wildebeest, crocodile, yellow-billed duck, ostrich, albatross (migratory) and hyena. Believe us when we say that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The penguins and seals along the shoreline of Robben Island are also a marvelous sight; so are the mighty baboons and majestic eagles of the veld.
The Big 5
South Africa is home to the Big Five. The Big 5 is made up of five large, powerful mammals that are legendarily known as the hardest to hunt in Africa: The African Elephant, Lion, Rhinoceros, Cape Buffalo and Leopard. They are truly a majestic and beautiful group of animals that visitors come from far and wide to visit during safari adventures in South Africa.
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park spans across the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces of South Africa. It is one of the largest game parks in the world at 7,523 square miles! Every animal mentioned above can be seen at Kruger National Park as well as a variety of other species of mammals like the Zebra, Eland, Waterbuck, Impala and African Wild Dog.