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South Africa

South Africa

About Authentic Travel Africa

Authentic Travel Africa is the leisure brand of well respected Walthers DMC. Their multi-award winning business has been a part of the Southern African tourism landscape for almost 40 years. They offer FIT/Leisure travel as well as Special Interest tours, Incentives and Conferences covering many regions of the vast African continent. Their focus is on Authentic Responsible travel ensuring that all guests enjoy the highlights of their destination whilst experiencing the real behind the scenes Africa.

Heidi Kenwood

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Did you know this fact?

South Africa’s Richtersveld region is home to the remarkable Halfmens tree (Pachypodium namaquanum), named for its peculiar appearance resembling a half-human figure. This rare succulent, found only in this arid landscape, has a slender trunk crowned with a cluster of narrow, spiny leaves. Revered by indigenous peoples for its medicinal properties and cultural significance, the Halfmens tree stands as a symbol of resilience in South Africa’s harsh environment.

About South Africa

A world in one country, South Africa offers something for everyone from adventure seekers to food and culture fans. Cape Town and Safari top the visitor charts especially for first timers but there is so much to see and do that many return and plan longer visits. Few destinations offer the variety, quality and value that you will experience in South Africa. It is also the hub from which to explore neighbouring countries and attractions including The Victoria Falls and Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

South Africa attracts millions of travellers to its shores with its unique blend of old and modern Africa. It has an abundance of wildlife and scenery – from the sandy beaches, forest-covered cliffs, and amazing marine life of its coastline to arid deserts, peak-filled mountain ranges and open bushveld savannah. Historical landmarks and interaction with local cultures and communities provide an insight into the “Rainbow Nation”. Train journeys, award-winning wine estates and a large variety of shopping opportunities are just some of the other facets to be experienced.

The weather in South Africa is generally pleasant throughout the year – warm to hot days, and cool to warm nights. During the winter months however (May to September), it can be cold at night and in the early morning, particularly when on safari. There is no place like South Africa that is known for various safaris. “A life changing experience” is how guests often refer to their first safari. Whether in one of the many National Parks or Private Reserves, in a tent or luxury safari villa – there is somewhere for you to enjoy Africa’s wildlife.
Excellent shopping is available, from large modern malls in the main centres to local handicraft markets and roadside stalls. Quality gold and diamond jewellery is high on the list of the most popular purchases. Leather goods, wooden carvings, sculptures, paintings, bead work and woven articles are also available for purchase. Most major shopping centres and malls operate 7 days a week, however, in smaller towns and rural areas one will find that shops are closed on Saturday afternoons and on Sunday. A blend of African cultures including Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho Venda and many others South Africa also has a strong European influence from the Dutch and British colonial times.

Slaves from Indonesia and Malaysia had a major impact on food especially around Cape Town where they settled. Durban has a large Indian population which has also influenced local cuisine. Although there are 11 official languages, English is the most widely spoken. Most South Africans are Christian, although African interpretation of Christianity sometimes means that services are held under trees. In Cape Town and Durban you will notice several Mosques built by the descendants of slaves and Indian labourers.

Cape Town

The “Mother City” regularly features in the most beautiful or best place to visit rankings. Scenery, food and wine, and unique experiences such as cage diving with great white sharks ensure that there is something for everyone. Located at the foot of Table Mountain with the adjoining mountains Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head, Cape Town is simply called “the Cape” by South Africans, in recognition of its uniqueness and its status as a mother city.

The Garden Route

Following the coast between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth awaits an Eden for those with a little more time to explore. Knysna with its annual Oyster Festival is one of many jewels waiting to be discovered. Detours to Cape Aghulas, the Southern Tip of Africa and beach holiday town of Plettenberg Bay are worthwhile diversions on this most picturesque journey.


“Egoli” or Place of Gold in Zulu is the major gateway into Southern Africa. A popular overnight stop before or after Safari “Joburg” also connects visitors to Cape Town, The Victoria Falls, Botswana, East Africa and more. The Sandton precinct with its modern shopping mall, hotels and restaurants is a popular base from which to explore SOWETO, The Cradle of Humankind and South Africa’s Capital City Pretoria lies just 30km away.

The Kruger National Park

At two million hectares (the size of Israel) The Kruger National Park is home to 30% of the worlds endangered Rhino’s as well as large herds of Elephant, Buffalo, 2500 Lions and the elusive Leopard. Accessible to self drive day visitors, as well overnight accommodation in National Parks Board lodges and luxury accommodation in private concessions. Approximately 5 hours drive from Johannesburg or a short one hour flight Kruger is a definite to include in an itinerary.

Wine: The Pinotage story

One of the worlds top 10 producers, the wine regions surrounding Cape Town offer excellent quality and value. The Dutch started but French Huguenot immigrants helped to perfect the Cape wine industry. “Pinotage” is unique to South Africa and its history is just one of the many things you’ll experience on a wine tour.

The Northwest

Boasting Pilanesberg National Park and Madikwe Game Reserve as well as the Sun City Resort the Northwest Province of South Africa is easily accessible for safari lovers. Located in the bowl of an extinct volcano, Pilanesberg is located only two hours drive from Johannesburg. One can easily book a day safari and it is also one of the few reserves where one can view animals from a hot air balloon.

Whale capital Hermanus

Famous worldwide as the best place to view whales from the shore, Hermanus lies just 90 minutes drive from Cape Town. This picturesque seaside town is not only famous for whale watching, but its proximity to the “Hemel en Aarde Valley” offering some of the Cape’s best wines. Boasting “Blue Flag” beaches, picturesque hotels and excellent restaurants Hermanus is a must do for a day trip or longer stay whilst in Cape Town.

Durban and the Zulu Kingdom

On the warm Indian Ocean east coast of South Africa lies the harbour city of Durban, with its endless beaches and warm water a surfers paradise. Formerly the capital of the British colony (Kwa Zulu) Natal, the area also has an interesting cultural history. Home to South Africa’s Zulu people the area is full of battlefields and interesting historical sites. Natal and especially Durban’s large Indian population ensures spicy food and interesting culture. Mahatma Gandhi spent 21 years in South Africa before returning to India, and much of that time as a lawyer in Durban.

Maputaland and the North East coast

The Isimangaliso Wetland Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of South Africa’s best kept secrets. Much of the coastline is a marine protected area including 50km of coral reef and over 200km of unspoilt white beaches on which turtles nest. The area also includes the excellent safari reserves Mkuze, Ndumo and Tembe as well as many private lodges. Sodwana Bay is renowned as a Scuba diving paradise with the discovery of a colony of “living Fossil” Coelacanth fish in 2000.

The Drakensberg Mountains

Rising up to almost 3500m The Drakensberg Mountains form a barrier between the province of Kwa Zulu Natal, the mountain kingdom of Lesotho and the interior. Hikers can overnight in caves many of which feature San/Bushman paintings. The area is also popular for Mountain biking, trout fishing and canoeing on the many rivers and lakes. In only a few places can one cross the Drakensberg. The most famous is Sani Pass an impressive Four Wheel drive only route linking Lesotho with Kwa Zulu Natal. Worthwhile stops on the drive from Johannesburg to this region include Golden Gate National Park and the towns of Clarens and Ficksberg.

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