Travel Guide:

SA Driving Tips

Road Conditions:
South Africa has a well developed road infrastructure and a self-drive holiday is a convenient and affordable way of exploring the country.
South Africa's main national roads are generally well maintained and in a good condition, although roads in rural areas may not be as well kept and may occasionally be pot-holed. Many of the major main roads are toll roads. Information on Toll Plaza Locations and Toll Plaza Fees can be obtained from the Automobile Association of South Africa.

Drivers License:
Drivers must have a valid driving license from their country of residence.
A foreign driving license is valid if it meets the following requirements:
- If it has been issued in one of the official languages of South Africa (i.e. English), or
- if it is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity / validity issued in an official language of South Africa by a competent authority, or
- if it is accompanied by an official translation of the license in one of the official languages of South Africa.
- If the license contains or has attached to it a photograph and the signature of the license holder.

It is recommended to travel with an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to a foreign driving license, especially if you are a regular visitor to South Africa as it is easily identifiable and may prevent complications. An IDP can only be issued in the country the license was issued.

General Rules/Information:
- South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road, and South African vehicles are right-handed drive vehicles.
- Speedometers and speed limits are marked in kilometres per hour (km/h) and distances are indicated in kilometres (km).
- Signposts are generally pictorial in nature or indicated in English.
- Keep to the left and pass on the right.
- Four-way-stops: The first vehicle to arrive has priority. The same rule applies to traffic lights that are out of order.
- Roundabouts (traffic circles): Give way to the right.
- Common South African jargon: A 'robot' is the South African term for a traffic light, ‘garage’ is the term for a fuel/petrol station, ‘boot’ refers to the trunk of the vehicle, fuel (gas) is commonly called ‘petrol’ and pick-up trucks are called ‘bakkies’.
- It is compulsory to wear seat belts.
- It is against the law to drive whilst using a mobile phone, unless a hands-free kit is being used.

Speed Limits:
Speed limits are usually sign-posted and are generally as follows:
National highways, freeways and major routes: 120 km/h (75 mph).
Secondary roads: 100 km/h (60 mph).
Residential areas: 60 km/h.

Filling up:
Petrol/Fuel Stations are plentiful in the urban areas, but less so in the rural areas. Stations in urban areas are usually open 24 hours, but some stations, especially in rural areas keep shorter hours. Stations are manned by attendants who will fill up your tank, offer to clean your windscreen, and who may also offer to check your water, oil and tyre pressure. It is customary to tip your attendant around R5.
Fuel is sold per litre by various fuel suppliers. There are three octane grades (91, 93 and 95) of unleaded petrol (ULP), two octane grades (93 and 95) of lead replacement petrol (LRP) and two grades of diesel (a standard grade of 500 ppm maximum sulphur content and a niche grade lower sulphur diesel of 50 ppm maximum sulphur content) available in South Africa. The availability of all the octane grades of unleaded petrol is generally determined by market demand in different parts of the country. The 95 octane grade lead replacement petrol is available in the coastal regions and the 93 octane grade lead replacement petrol is available in the inland regions. If you are unsure of which fuel to use you may check the optimal fuel required for your vehicle on the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa's (NAAMSA) Fuel Compatibility Database System.
Foreign credit cards are normally accepted at the larger petrol stations, but it is wise to have some cash available as some smaller stations, especially in remote areas, may not have credit card facilities. Petrol prices are fixed and regulated by government.

Planning your trip & safety precautions:
Plan your journey carefully and familiarise yourself with the routing to avoid getting lost.
Visit the Automobile Association of South Africa’s website for valuable tools to plan your next trip. These tools include an online route planner, information on the conditions of the roads, route maps, atlases and guides, toll plazas and toll fees and a distance calculator.
Plan beforehand where you will stop along the route to take a break and to fill up. Sufficient breaks will ensure that you do not become fatigued. Petrol/Fuel Stations are good options as they are mostly open 24 hours and are usually equipped with a shop or restaurant(s), ATM and restroom facilities.
Ensure that your vehicle is in a good condition before you embark on your journey.
Ensure that your first aid kit is fully stocked.
Enjoy a good night’s rest the night before embarking on your journey with no or low alcohol consumption.
Ensure that you have your mobile phone, credit card(s) and sufficient cash with you.
Check oil, water and tyre pressure on a daily basis.
Maintain a safe following distance and travel at a safe and appropriate speed.
Ensure that you remain visible at all times. Switch on your headlights in dusty or rainy conditions.
Respect the warnings on road signs.
Refrain from consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. The maximum allowable blood alcohol content is 0.05%.
Exercise extra caution when driving at night, especially in remote areas where the roads may be in a poor condition or poorly lit, and where it is common for livestock not to be fenced in.
Drive with your doors locked and windows closed.
Always lock your vehicle and close your windows when you park or leave your vehicle unattended.
Do not leave valuables in sight, rather lock it in the boot (trunk) or glove compartment of the vehicle.
Do not pick up hitchhikers.

South African Airports & Domestic Airlines

South Africa’s principal airports are owned and operated by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), the largest airports authority in Africa.

ACSA can be contacted on +27 (0)86 727 7888 for updated flight information.

Visit http://www.acsa.co.za for live flight information, information on airport facilities, parking tariffs, parking and terminal maps.



South Africa’s Principal Airports (Operated by ACSA)

Airport Airport Code Contact Number
O.R. Tambo International (ORTIA)
Johannesburg, Gauteng Province
JNB (011) 921 6262
Cape Town International
Cape Town, Western Cape Province
CPT (021) 937 1200
King Shaka International
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Province
DUR (031) 451 6758
Bram Fischer International
Bloemfontein, Free State Province
BFN (051) 407 2200 / 40
Port Elizabeth International
Eastern Cape Province
PLZ (041) 507 7319
Upington International
Northern Cape Province
UTN (054) 337 7900
East London Airport
Eastern Cape Province
ELS (043) 706 0306
George Airport
Western Cape Province
GRJ (044) 876 9310
Kimberley Airport
KIM (053) 851 1241
(053) 830 7101

Privately Owned Airport with International Status
Airport Airport Code Contact Number Website Link
Lanseria International Airport
Gauteng Province
HLA (011) 367 0300 www.lanseria.co.za

Domestic Airlines
Airline Central Reservations Online Reservations
South African Airways 0861 35 9722
(011) 978 1111
www.flysaa.com
South African Express (011) 978 5577
(011) 978 9900
www.flysax.com
www.flyexpress.aero
South African Airlink 0861 359 722
(011) 961 1700
www.saairlink.co.za
www.flyairlink.com
Kulula.com 0861 585 852 www.kulula.com
Mango Airlines 0861 16 2646
(011) 978 1111
www.flymango.com
www.flightsite.co.za/mango
British Airways (011) 441 8400
(011) 387 9000
www.britishairways.com


SA Border Posts
South Africa’s neighbouring countries are Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The Automobile Association of South Africa provides valuable information on border posts and crossing the borders.

Useful Information:

SA Emergency Numbers

24 Hour Nationwide Emergency Numbers
Police Emergency Services 10111 www.saps.gov.za
Ambulance/Fire Emergency Services 10177
GSM Mobile Phone Emergency Number 112

Private Emergency Medical Care Services
Netcare911 082 911 www.netcare911.co.za
ER24 084 124 www.er24.co.za

Other Essential Emergency Numbers
Poison Information Centre 021) 686 7860
(021) 689 5227
National Sea Rescue Institute www.nsri.org.za
Emergency Port Control Numbers:
Saldanha Bay (022) 714 1726
Cape Town (021) 449 3500
Mossel Bay (044) 604 6271
Port Elizabeth (041) 507 1911
East London (043) 700 2100
Durban (031) 361 8567
Richard’s Bay (035) 753 1991
(035) 905 3401

Hospitals and Health Practitioners
Major Private Health Companies www.netcare911.co.za www.mediclinic.co.za
Online directory of healthcare professionals and organisations www.medpages.co.za


Click here for a First Aid Kit Checklist


SA Public Holidays & School Terms

South African Public Holidays

South African School Calendar

Major SA Annual Events

J & B Met Race . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . January / February
Kenilworth Race Course, Cape Town
Cape Town’s biggest and best horse racing, fashion & entertainment event.

aQuellé Midmar Mile swim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .February
Midmar Dam, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands
Largest open water swimming event in the world.

Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . March
Cape Town
Largest individually timed cycling event in the world.

Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April
Cape Town
One of the world’s most scenic marathons.

Comrades’ Marathon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .May / June
Durban/Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
The world’s greatest ultra-marathon.

The Big Five Marathon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .June
Entabeni Game Reserve, Limpopo
One of the world’s most adventurous marathons, highlighted by Forbes Magazine
as one of the ‘Top 10 Marathons Worth Travelling For’.

National Arts Festival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .July
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
Africa’s largest and most colourful arts & culture festival.

Vodacom Durban July Classic Race . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .July
Grayville Racecourse, Durban, KwaZulu Natal
Africa’s greatest horse racing event.

Pick ‘n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .July
Knysna, Western Cape
One of South Africa’s most popular festivals & sporting events.

Sansui Summer Cup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .November
Turffontein Racecourse, Johannesburg, Gauteng
Johannesburg’s greatest horse racing event.

Top Destinations & Popular Tourist Attractions:

South Africa is based at the southern tip of Africa, and is divided into nine provinces. Pender Car Rental is based in the Gauteng Province and has a representative office in the Western Cape Province.

This section is dedicated to giving you a glimpse of what our diverse and beautiful country has to offer by offering brief information and links to selected South African tourist destinations and attractions, with the main focus on the Gauteng and Western Cape Provinces. We hope that you will find it useful in planning your next holiday or business trip. Kindly note that the information offered is concise in nature and further reading and research is encouraged.

Gauteng Province

The Cradle of Humankind - Fossil Hominid Sites
(UNESCO World Heritage Site/Cultural/1999)


The Cradle of Humankind is an area of 47 000 hectares to the northwest of Johannesburg and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 due to the rich concentration and diversity of fossils found in the area. It is home to approximately 40 % of the world’s human ancestor fossils and is of particular scientific value for its contribution in the understanding of human development and the environments our human ancestors inhabited.

The Maropeng Centre is the official visitor centre to the Cradle of Humankind and gives visitors a rare glimpse into our human ancestors’ humble beginnings. It features various exhibits, original fossil and stone tool displays and an underground boat ride taking visitors through the various stages of earth’s creation.

There are 15 major fossil sites in the Cradle of Humankind, including the world-renowned Sterkfontein Caves, the world’s richest hominid fossil site, which is situated only a short distance’s drive from the Maropeng Centre. The Sterkfontein Caves are best known for the discoveries of “Mrs. Ples”, a 2.3 million year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus and “Little foot”, a near complete hominid skeleton dating back 4.17 million years ago.

Another cave worth a visit is the single chamber Wonder Cave , located in the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve. The Wonder Cave is the third largest cave chamber in the country. It is 60 metres deep and is accessible to visitors by an escalator.

Cullinan Diamond Mine, Cullinan

The Cullinan Diamond mine is an underground diamond mine in the town of Cullinan, approximately 40 kilometers east of Pretoria. The mine is a carrot shaped volcanic pipe and has a surface area of 42 hectares. It is one of the world's most celebrated diamond mines and earned its place in history with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond - the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found, at 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g) - in 1905. The jewel was named after the mine's owner, Sir Thomas Major Cullinan, and sold to the South African government who presented it to King Edward VII on his 66th birthday. The largest diamond the world has ever known was cut into nine major stones and approximately 96 smaller brilliant cut pieces. The main piece of the polished gem, named Cullinan I, or The Great Star of Africa, weighs 530.2 carats and is displayed in the head of England’s royal Sceptre. Better known as the Lesser Star of Africa, the Cullinan II weighs a remarkable 317.4 carats and is considered the second largest top-quality polished stone in the world. The diamond forms part of the British crown jewels’ Imperial State Crown. Both South-African mined diamonds are exhibited at the Tower of London. The mine has produced over 700 stones of greater than 100 carats, and more than 25 % of the world's diamonds of greater than 400 carats. It is also the world's only significant source of blue diamonds. Premier Diamond Tours offers daily surface and underground tours.

South African Lipizzaners, Kyalami

The Lipizzaner horse breed dates back to the 16th century. These magnificent animals are known for their good nature, courage, strength, loyalty, ability to learn and graceful movements. The South African Lipizzaners are the only performing Lipizzaners outside Vienna recognised by and affiliated to the Spanish Riding School, the only institution in the world which has practiced for over 440 years and continues to cultivate classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition of the haute école. Performances are offered on Sunday mornings.

The Tswaing Meteorite Crater

The Tswaing Meteorite Crater is located 40 kilometres north of Pretoria. It was formed some 220 000 years ago when a meteorite hit the earth in the area causing a crater of 1.4 kilometre in diameter and 200 metres deep. The name Tswaing means 'Place of Salt' in the local Setswana language and refers to the salty water that fills the centre of the crater. It is one of the best preserved terrestrial meteorite craters in the world. Other features of Tswaing include a museum , a wetland area, a variety of ecosystems and the remains of a factory that produced soda ash and salt.

Game / Nature Reserves / Zoos

Are you visiting Gauteng and don’t have the time to travel to one of South Africa’s major game reserves? You do not need to miss out on the opportunity to have an African Safari experience or to get up close and personal with some of Africa’s greatest creatures. Here are some options for getting acquainted with Africa’s wildlife:

Krugersdorp Game Reserve

The Krugersdorp Game Reserve is a relatively small game reserve of 1,500-hectare towards the west of Johannesburg. The reserve is home to 30 mammal and 200 bird species, and has a special 100-hectare lion enclosure and a bird aviary. It is located approximately 45 minutes' drive from central Johannesburg.

Lion Park

The Lion Park is a lion wildlife conservation enclosure and serves as a breeding ground and sanctuary for species such as the endangered Wild Dog, the White Lion and Cheetah. It is located close to the Lanseria Airport north west of Johannesburg.

Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve

The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve is located approximately 40 kilometres north west of Johannesburg and 60 kilometres west of Pretoria, and covers an area of 1,200-hectares. The main focus of the reserve is on its breeding programmes of Rhinoceros', Lions, Bengal Tigers and Siberian Tigers, amongst others. Other features include an Animal Crèche where children can pat lion cubs, an on-site observatory and a vulture 'restaurant'. The Wonder Cave which is one of the Cradle of Humankind's sites, is situated in the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve.

Johannesburg Zoo

The Johannesburg Zoo is 81-hectares in size and is well worth a visit. The zoo houses over 320 species of animals, totalling about 2,000 animals. The zoo is internationally accredited and highly respected.

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa in Pretoria is 85-hectares in size and is the largest zoo in South Africa.

Historical Buildings, Museums, Monuments & Memorials

Gold Reef City

Golf Reef City is an entertainment complex located 8 kilometres away from the centre of Johannesburg and is the world's only theme park located on the site of a historic underground gold mine. The 'City' is a replica of Johannesburg during the gold rush era with quaint period buildings, hotels, shops and restaurants. One of the main attractions is 'Jozi's Story of Gold', an interactive experience that includes an underground mine tour, visits to mining museums and the opportunity to view gold panning and gold pouring in action.

Other attractions include Tribal Dancing Shows, the Theme Park offering a variety of exciting rides, the Gold Reef City Casino and two theatres.

Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum is situated next to Gold Reef City in Johannesburg and offers visitors an insight into the history of apartheid, the formalised system of racial segregation enforced by the National Party from 1948 to 1994, through film footages, photographs, text panels and artefacts.

Constitution Hill, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

The Constitution Hill precinct is the seat of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and was built on the site of an old prison complex. Constitution Hill tells the story of South Africa’s journey to freedom and democracy through exhibitions and a collection of South African artworks. Visitors can also visit three prison museums: Prison Number Four, the Women’s Gaol, and the Old Fort.

Mandela House Museum, Soweto

The Mandela House Museum is the house that former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and his family lived in from 1946 to the 1990’s and is now a National Monument.

Hector Pieterson Memorial & Museum, Soweto

The Hector Peterson Memorial & Museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of those who lost their lives in the uprisings around the country in 1976 following the death of Hector Pieterson and other students during a school student protest in Soweto against the mandatory use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in black secondary schools.

Union Buildings, Pretoria

The Union Buildings are the administrative headquarters of the South African Government and houses the Presidential offices. The buildings, designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1908 and completed in 1913, are located on Meintjieskop overlooking Pretoria, and are surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria

The Voortrekker Monument was erected to commemorate the bravery of white pioneers, also called Voortrekkers, who left the Cape Colony where they suffered under British rule, to travel inland from 1835 to 1854 in a movement that became known as the ‘Great Trek’. The Monument is a National Heritage Site.

North West

Hartbeespoort Dam

The village of Hartbeespoort is situated along the shores of the Hartbeespoort Dam and is a popular weekend destination offering a wide range of activities.
Many water sports including parasailing, windsurfing, water and jet skiing can be enjoyed. Other activities include paragliding, hand-gliding, hot-air ballooning and visits to the Harties Cableway, Hartbeespoort Dam Snake & Animal Park , the Van Gaalen Cheese Farm , Elephant Sanctuary and Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre.

Lesedi Cultural Village

Lesedi Cultural Village is a tourist village featuring reproduced traditional dwellings and demonstrations of dances and other cultural activities of some of the well known African tribes. Visitors to the Village are offered the opportunity to learn more about the fascinating cultural traditions of several different peoples of Southern Africa and may also enjoy a variety of African dishes from the on-site restaurants. Five local families live permanently in five traditional homesteads (Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele) and for those eager to observe the traditional African way of life up close and personal, there is the option of actually living among the local families in guest accommodation.

Magalies Meander

Escape city life for the weekend and rejuvenate in the Magalies Meander in the Magaliesberg Mountains, only a short distance's drive away from Pretoria and Johannesburg on the outskirts of the Gauteng and North West Provinces. The Magalies Meander is known for its rich cultural history, natural beauty, art galleries, craft centres and a variety of fun activities for the whole family including horse riding, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, golfing, balloon safaris, and many more.

Sun City

Sun City is a popular luxury resort in the North West Province for international tourists and local holidaymakers alike. It is situated approximately a two hours' drive away from Johannesburg in close proximity to the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve which makes it an ideal get-away for those who wish to combine a safari or game drive experience with a luxury holiday filled with world-class entertainment and activities. The resort has four hotels as well as time-share facilities, two golf courses of international standard, a theatre, two cinemas, a nightclub, and a large auditorium - the Sun City Superbowl. The Sun City Superbowl is regarded as one of South Africa's top venues for concerts, beauty pageants, sporting events and exhibitions and is regularly used by many famous performers and artists.

Pilanesberg National Park & Game Reserve

The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is the fourth largest park in South Africa and is situated approximately a two hours' drive from Johannesburg, making it one of the most accessible game reserves close to Gauteng. The park is situated in an extinct volcanic crater and one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world. It falls within the transition zone between the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation - referred to as "Bushveld" - causing a unique overlap of vegetation, mammals and birds. The presence of Stone and Iron Age sites throughout the park indicates the early presence of man.

The malaria-free park is home to Africa's Big Five and a large variety of other wildlife and bird species. The roads in the park are well maintained and visitors have the option of exploring the park on a self-guided tour in a standard road vehicle or to enjoy a guided drive. There are various lodges situated in the park.

Limpopo

Bela-Bela (Warmbaths) Hot Mineral Springs

Bela-Bela is a small town situated in the Waterberg District of the Limpopo Province, approximately one hour's drive from Pretoria. The name Bela-Bela means 'boiling boiling' or 'water that boils on its own', and is derived from the geothermic hot springs in the area. It is still often referred to by its former name, Warmbaths. The area is known for its family resorts filled with child-friendly water activities.

Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is a world-renowned park of nearly two million hectares in size, making it the second-largest game reserve in Africa and the largest in South Africa. The park covers an area of the Limpopo Province to the west and an area of the Mpumalanga Province to the south, and has nine entrances. The park now forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park - a peace park than links Kruger National Park with game parks in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. When complete, the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park will extend across 35,000 square kilometres.

The Kruger National Park is home to Africa's Big Five, the Little Five, the Birding Big Six and an impressive variety of other species. The reserve comprises six ecosystems and is divided into numerous zones, each providing a variety of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. The Kruger Park is primarily a self-drive destination with an excellent infrastructure, but there are also many guided tours available.

Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
(UNESCO World Heritage Site/Cultural/2003)

Mapungubwe is the story of a flourishing Iron Age metropolis ruled by an African king almost a thousand years ago. The remains of the ancient society, now known as the Kingdom of Mapungubwe, lay forgotten for more than seven centuries until a local resident revealed their existence to the University of Pretoria in the early 1930's. The Mapugubwe Cultural Landscape was declared a World Heritage site in 2003.

Machemma Ruins

The Machemma Ruins is an ancient archaeological site located approximately 20 kilometres north west of the Waterpoort station near Oporto on a private farm off the Mopane road. These old ruins are believed to have belonged to the Thsi-Venda people, and show unmistakable affinity with the Great Zimbabwean ruins.

Mpumalanga

Echo Caves

The Echo Caves are situated in the northernmost range of the Drakensberg in Mpumalanga Province. The Echo Caves are so named due to the distinctive echoing sound produced when a certain stalactite formation is tapped on. The local people used the stalactite formation as a drum to warn of any approaching Swazi. The caves extend for approximately 40 kilometres and the sound travelled for surprisingly long distances, warning the locals well in advance to seek refuge. The caves are some of the oldest in the world and were declared a Historical Monument.

Blyde River Canyon

The Blyde River Canyon is one of the largest canyons on Earth and is the second largest canyon in Africa after the Fish River Canyon. The canyon is situated on the Panorama route which include popular view points on God’s Window, the Pinnacle and Bourke’s Luck Potholes.

God’s Window

God’s Window on the Panorama route offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Lowveld for as far as the eye can see and more than 900 metres down into lush indigenous forest clad ravine.

Free State

Vredefort Dome, Vredefort
(UNESCO World Heritage Site/Natural/2005)

The Vredefort crater is approximately 300 km wide and was caused by a meteorite impact estimated to have occurred around 2,023 billion years ago. It is the largest verified meteorite impact and the second-oldest known impact crater that have been found on Earth.

KwaZulu-Natal

Drakensberg Mountains and Drakensberg Park
(UNESCO World Heritage Site/Mixed/2000)

The Drakensberg Mountains or UKhahlamba, meaning 'barrier of spears' is a 200 kilometre long mountain range, with its largest portion located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, and is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa. Its highest peak is Thabana Ntlenyana at 3,842 metres in height. Other notable peaks include Mafadi, Makoaneng, Njesuthi, Champagne Castle, Giant's Castle, BenMacdhui, Popple Peak and Cathedral Peak.

The area has a high rainfall and subsequently generates many mountain streams, rivers and waterfalls. It is home to the sources of the Orange River, southern Africa's longest river, the Tugela River, and the world's second-highest waterfall, the Tugela Falls with a total drop of 947 metres. Many of the highest parts of the Drakensberg mountain range have been designated as game reserves or wilderness areas, and the uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park was listed by UNESCO in 2000 as a World Heritage site. The area is rich in rare fauna and flora and contains many caves and rock shelters with the largest and most concentrated group of Bushmen rock paintings in Africa south of the Sahara. The area is popular amongst nature lovers, bird watchers, hikers and adventure seekers.

The KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg area can be divided into Bergville and the Northern Drakensberg; Winterton and the Central Drakensberg; Himeville, Underberg and the Southern Drakensberg and the East Griqualand and Umzimkhulu.

Valley of a Thousand Hills

The Valley of a 1000 Hills offers breathtaking views over literally thousands of hills. It is located between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, and has been home to the Zulu people for centuries. The area offers warm country hospitality, guest lodges, friendly pubs and tea gardens, outdoor adventures, and local arts and crafts. Other activities include tribal tours, steam train trips from Kloof station to Cato Ridge, microlight flips, boat cruises, fishing trips and many more.

Shakaland

Shakaland is a unique resort that was built on the set of the movies, Shaka Zulu and John Ross. Shaka was a mighty King of the Zulus and Shakaland is a re-creation of his Kraal. Daily programmes are offered which include amongst other a traditional beer drinking ceremony, a demonstration of traditional Zulu dancing, an explanation of Zulu social systems, customs and lifestyle, layout and building of a typical homestead, warfare and fighting formations, traditional dress, beadwork, pottery and spear throwing.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park
(UNESCO World Heritage Site/Natural/1999)

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park, situated approximately 275 km north of Durban, is an area of 332,000 hectares, consisting of 8 inter-locking ecosystems and 3 major lakes. It hosts the country’s largest estuarine system and the greatest congregation of hippopotamus and crocodile, and is also home to a large number of bird, animal and plant species. It is considered the only place in the world where the oldest land mammal, the rhinoceros, and the world’s biggest terrestrial mammal, the elephant, share the same ecosystem with the world’s biggest marine mammal, the whale and the world’s oldest fish, the Coelacanth. Covering 220 km (137 miles) of coastline, the area is also popular for scuba diving and snorkelling and supports a significant breeding ground for Leatherback and Loggerhead Turtles.

Northern Cape

Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape
(UNESCO World Heritage Site/Cultural/2007)

The Richtersveld is a mountainous desert landscape in the north-western corner of the Northern Cape Province bordering Namibia. The harsh area is characterised by water scarcity and is rich in unique desert lifeforms specially adapted for survival. It is regarded as the only Arid Biodiversity Hotspot on earth, with an astonishing variety of plant, bird and animal life.

The northern part of the area was proclaimed a National Park in 1991, and in 2007 the area south of the park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The UNESCO site sustains the semi-nomadic livelihood of the Nama people, of whom the Khoi-Khoi is their ancestors, and is recognised for its cultural value.

Kimberley

Kimberley, also known as the Diamond City, is the capital of the Northern Cape Province and is home to the ‘Big Hole’. The Big Hole came into existence after the discovery of diamonds in the area led to the ‘Kimberley Diamond Rush’. Diamond digging commenced in 1871 with thousands of people from over the world descending on the site. Over time the digging hollowed out the ground to form a crater of 214 metres deep with a surface area of 17 hectares and a perimeter of 1.6 km - the largest hand-dug excavation in the world. Mining ended in 1914, but the Big Hole has since been developed into a world-class tourist facility where visitors can gain unique insights into diamonds and diamond mining. The Eureka, the first recorded diamond discovered in South Africa is also on display at the Kimberley Mine Museum.

Boesmansgat (Bushman’s Hole)

Boesmansgat (Bushman’s Hole) is a natural sinkhole on the farm Mount Carmel, located approximately 55 km south of Kuruman, and is believed to be the one of the deepest submerged freshwater caves in the world. It is approximately 270 meters deep and has been explored by numerous divers, claiming the lives of several expert divers.

Eastern Cape

Addo Elephant National Park

The Addo Elephant National Park was established in 1931 to save 11 elephants on the brink of extinction. Today this sanctuary is home to over 550 elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species, as well as the unique Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. The Park is the third largest national park in South Africa.

Valley of Desolation

The Valley of Desolation is a national monument and the major tourist attraction in the Camdeboo National Park. The Valley’s rock formations consist of dolerites which have formed jointed pillars. Erosion of the softer sedimentary beds has left dolerite pillars which rise to heights of 90 to 120 metres. The unusual feature is the product of volcanic and erosive forces that have taken 100 million years to form.

Western Cape

Table Mountain

Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain with a height of 1,086 metres above sea level. The flat top of the mountain is often covered by orographic clouds, formed when a south-easterly wind is directed up the mountain's slopes into colder air, where the moisture condenses to form a 'tablecloth' of clouds. The mountain is the most recognised site in Cape Town and is one of the official New Seven Wonders of Nature. The mountain is also known for its rich biodiversity and is home to over 1,470 floral species.

The Table Mountain Cableway operates from the western end of Table Mountain and takes visitors to the top of the mountain in one of two cable cars, each with rotating floors and windows to ensure optimal viewing. Operation is weather permitting. From the top of the mountain there are breathtaking views on the Cape Town city centre, the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island. There are a number of short walks as well as longer walks taking hikers to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden or to the Silvermine Nature Reserve. Visitors can also enjoy some refreshments at the self-service restaurant at the top.

Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a maritime replenishment station, and today is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. From 1678 it was the centre of civilian, administrative and military life at the Cape, until the settlement grew and some functions and activities moved away from the Castle. Today the Castle houses the regional headquarters of the South African Army, the William Fehr Collection of historic works, the Castle Military Museum and ceremonial facilities for traditional Cape Regiments.

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is located in the heart of Cape Town's working harbour and offers an abundance of shopping and entertainment experiences. It has a vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere and has the highest rate of foreign tourist than any other destination in South Africa. The Nelson Mandela Gateway from which visitors can take a ferry to Robben Island is operated from the V&A Alfred and it is also home to the popular Two Oceans Aquarium.

Robben Island

(UNESCO World Heritage Site/1999)

Robben Island is located 6.9 kilometres west of coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town and roughly covers an area of 5.07 square kilometres. After the Dutch settled at Cape Town in the mid-1600's, Robben Island was primarily used as a prison. It is here where former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of the 27 years he spent behind bars before the fall of apartheid.

Robben Island was also used as a training and defence station in World War II and a hospital for people with leprosy, and the mentally ill and chronically ill. Since 1997 it has been a museum and a heritage site and is now a symbol of freedom. The museum is a dynamic institution, which acts as a focal point of South African heritage. It runs educational programmes for schools, youths and adults, facilitates tourism development, conducts ongoing research related to the Island and fulfils an archiving function.

Tours to Robben Island are run from Nelson Mandela Gateway at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden , nestled at the foot of the Table Mountain, is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to promote, conserve and display the rich and diverse flora of southern Africa, and was the first botanical garden in the world to be devoted to a country's indigenous flora. Kirstenbosch displays a wide variety of the unique plant life of the Cape Flora, also known as fynbos, as well as plants from all the diverse regions of southern Africa. Those that cannot survive outdoors, such as plants from the arid regions, are grown in the Botanical Society Conservatory. There are over 7,000 species in cultivation at Kirstenbosch, including many rare and threatened species.

District Six Museum

District Six was named the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867. Originally established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants, District Six was a vibrant centre with close links to the city and the port. By the beginning of the twentieth century, however, the process of removals and marginalisation had begun. The first to be 'resettled' were black South Africans, forcibly displaced from the District in 1901. As the more prosperous moved away to the suburbs, the area became a neglected ward of Cape Town. In 1966 it was declared white area and 60,000 people were forcibly removed to the Cape Flats, and their houses in District Six were flattened by bulldozers. The District Six Museum Foundation was established in 1989 and launched as a museum in 1994 to keep alive the memories of District Six and displaced people everywhere.

Seal Island

Seal Island is located 5.7 kilometres off the shore of False Bay, and is home to roughly 75,000 Cape Fur Seals, 24 species of birds and a small population of African Penguins. The dense population of seals at certain times of the year attracts the seal's main predator, the Great White Shark. Seal Island and the adjacent waters provide rare opportunities to witness attacks by White Sharks on the Cape Fur Seal and to observe social interactions amongst creatures of both species. Boat trips and Great White Shark cage diving are offered in the area. The main breeding season for the Cape Fur Seal is November and December, and the Great White Shark activity is usually at its peak during winter months.

Rhodes Memorial

The memorial to Cecil John Rhodes was built in 1912 and stands on the slopes of Devil's Peak, on the northern flank of Table Mountain. The dynamic statue was a tribute to the restless drive and determination of Rhodes who is one of the most prominent personalities of southern African history. The Rhodes Memorial is a national landmark, providing a magnificent view of Cape Town. A few hikes can be done from the memorial and visitors can also enjoy a lunch at the restaurant and tea garden.

Cape Whale Route

The Cape Whale Route stretches for 900 kilometres from Doringbaai on the West Coast to Storms River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park. At least 37 species of whales and dolphins can be found in the waters off South Africa. The Southern Right whales migrates from Antarctica to calve in the sheltered bays of the east coast of southern Africa. The best time of the year to spot these beautiful creatures are from June to November.

Cape Wine Routes

Cape Town boasts several excellent wine routes where guest have to opportunity to taste a variety of wines, dine in picturesque settings, enjoy cellar tours and purchase wines. Some popular routes include the Constantia Valley Wine Route, Stellenbosch American Express Wine Routes, Helderberg Wine Route, Durbanville Valley Wine Route and Franschhoek Wine Route.

Cape Floral Region
(UNESCO World Heritage Site/Natural/2004)

The Cape Foral Region is located in the south-west corner of South Africa and consists of eight protected areas covering an area of 553,000 hectare. Is the smallest of only six floral kingdoms in the world and the only floral kingdom found entirely within a single country. It is one of the richest areas for plants than for any similar sized area in the world and even though it represents less than 0.5 % of the African continent it is home to nearly 20 % of the continent’s flora. Much of its diversity is associated with the fynbos biome, the unique and beautiful floral species endemic to a small part of South Africa’s Western Cape Province.

Bloukrans Bridge, Near Nature's Valley

The Bloukrans arch bridge is the highest bridge on the African continent with a deck 708 feet (216 metres) above the bottom of the gorge (Bloukrans River). It is located on the N2 Highway between the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape in the Tsitsikamma area of the Garden Route. The world’s highest commercial bungy jump is operated from the bridge.

Garden Route

The Garden Route is a popular and scenic stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa and stretches from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. It includes towns such as Mossel Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley. George is the Garden Route’s largest city and main administrative centre. The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests in the area offer hiking trails and eco-tourism activities and the various bays in along the Garden Route are popular viewing points for the Southern Right Whale. The Garden Route offers plentiful golf courses, shopping experiences and craft centres.