Nelson Mandela

A tourist’s guide to paying tribute to Nelson Mandela

For both local and overseas visitors wanting to remember South Africa’s famous freedom fighter, there is a wealth of significant landmarks across the country linked to Nelson Mandela that has been made accessible.


Nelson Mandela spent a significant portion of his time in the city of Johannesburg before his imprisonment on Robben Island and after his release. Here you will find the numerous museums linked to his name.

1. Constitution Hill. A former fort that served as a prison for white male prisoners. Nelson Mandela was held in this ‘whites only’ prison while awaiting the Rivonia Trial. Another famous inmate of this prison was Mahatma Gandhi.

2. Lilliesleaf Farm – this property has been awarded Heritage status which has been linked significantly with the liberation struggle in South Africa. It was once the headquarters for the banned military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe and where Nelson Mandela posed as a caretaker, the facade behind which he and other leaders planned the activities and campaigns of the ANC.

3. Vilakazi Street- arguably the most famous street in Johannesburg and South Africa. Its claim to fame is having been home to two Nobel Peace Prize laureates: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Nelson Mandela lived here for 16 years; his former home has been turned into a museum – The Nelson Mandela National Museum which is also a National Heritage Site.

4. Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Houghton. The Centre was inaugurated by Madiba himself in 2004 and makes available to the public an impressive source of information of his life and times. Visits are made by appointment only.

5. Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton City has a 6 metre tall bronze statue of the most loved first democratic president.

6. Nelson Mandela the Shadow Boxer statue located in the city centre, between Chancellor House and the Magistrate’s Court.

7. Chancellor House. At one time the only black-owned law firm was housed in Chancellor house. This building served as the law offices for Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo.

8. Nelson Mandela Yard. A small single room house in Alexandra Township was once his home for a short period, between 1941 and 1942.

9. Peacemakers Museum – South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize Laureates are celebrated here including Nelson Mandela.

10. Apartheid Museum – For visitors wanting a glimpse into what South Africa was like under the devastating control of apartheid, this museum is a must stop. The Nelson Mandela exhibition forms one of 22 insightful displays.


11. The Union Buildings proudly boasts of a 9 metre bronze statue of Nelson Mandela. This is one of the latest tributes, unveiled on 16th December 2013.

Cape Town

12. Robben Island – now a museum was once the home of South Africa’s freedom fighters against the oppressive apartheid regime. Nelson Mandela called the former prison home for twenty seven years where he held the beacon of hope for a democratic South Africa. Situated off the coast of Cape Town, the island is now a world renowned Museum and Heritage site that reflects the triumph of the human spirit. A reconstruction of Nelson Mandela’s prison cell with pictures and objects is on display.


13. Nelson Mandela Capture Site – the unassuming KwaZulu Midlands landscape is home to a dramatic sculpture that was commissioned to mark a moment that altered the course of South Africa’s history – the capturing and arrest of Nelson Mandela in 1965 that led to him being imprisoned for 27 years. The impressive sculpture comprises of 50 linear vertical steel columns that depict visually shifting images of Nelson Mandela.

Pretoria Union Buildings

16 Free Things to do in South Africa

The best part of a visit to South Africa is the plenty of family-friendly free things to do both locals and visitors can enjoy. Every major city in South Africa boasts of free activities a visitor can do. Here are some of our top picks:


1. Visit the largest transport museum in the country – the James Hall Museum of Transport.
2. Johannesburg houses world class art galleries such as the Johannesburg Art Gallery and the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank where illustrious names such as William Kentridge, Picasso, Monet and Degas adorn the walls.
3. Spend a wonderful afternoon with the entire family at Museum Afrika in the Newtown precinct.
4. Slow down the pace at Zoo Lake. The serenity offers a welcome getaway from the energetic pulse of the city.
5. Johannesburg’s botanical gardens and nature reserves are a tribute to the glorious beauty of Mother Nature. They provide the perfect spot for a picnic or photo opportunities with loved ones.

Cape Town:

6. The South African Astronomical Observatory hosts 45 minute presentations on Open Nights (held every second and fourth Saturday of the month in the evenings). Topics are announced before hand and the public are welcome to join the tour of the site and be amazed by star gazing opportunities.
7. A free tour that provides a fascinating and behind the scenes look into the creation of diamonds is the Diamond tours at Shimansky located at Clock Tower, V & A Waterfront.
8. A leisurely stroll along one of Cape Town’s many beautiful beaches offers wonderful scenic views.
9. Green Point Park is a stunning landscaped garden that features more than 300 indigenous plant species. Visitors of all ages will enjoy this cleverly designed greenway.


10. Durban flea markets are popular with both locals and visitors. Notable among the many markets in the city is the Essenwood Street Market which is open every Saturday morning.
11. Visit the most famous building in Durban designed in modern renaissance style – the Durban City Hall. Also on site are the eThekeini Art Gallery and the Natural Science Museum which features a unique range of stuffed animals, a dodo skeleton and the only ancient Egyptian mummy in the country.
12. The Durban Cultural and Documentation Centre has on show cultural artefacts, paintings, traditional clothing and jewellery of the Indian culture.
13. The Japanese Garden is a quaint landscaped garden characterized by oriental gardens, koi ponds and temples that provide unrivalled photographic opportunities.


14. Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary is a beautiful nature reserve with no entrance fee situated in central Pretoria where visitors can view fauna such as cranes and other birdlife, small sized deer and tortoises.
15. The terraced gardens, statues and monuments on the grounds of the Union Buildings are well worth a visit.
16. For architectural buffs, Church Square in the centre of the city displays a number of examples of 19th and 20th century designed buildings.

South Africa has a wide variety of entertainment activities that are free for international and local visitors to indulge in. The culturally inclined tourists and wildlife enthusiasts will find ample opportunities to take delight in and which showcase the extraordinary attractions the country has to offer.

Cape Town

10 reasons to visit South Africa

South Africa is a land of diverse beauty; bursting at the seams with cultural and historical treasures that do not fail to amaze holidaymakers. The breathtaking varied natural landscapes, ancient historical roots, incomparable opportunities to appreciate wildlife and a rainbow of colourful cultural traditions, all make for a memorable holiday experience.

Whether you’d like to soak up some history or encounter amazing wildlife or enjoy an adrenaline-packed adventure, this is a favourite destination of choice. Top ten reasons to put South Africa on your travel map are:

1. The thrill seekers paradise
South Africa has ample adrenaline-driven adventures to offer thrill seeking holidaymakers. The coastal city of Durban, situated along the Indian Ocean, is famed for its Shark Cage Diving expeditions. The Bloukrans River Bridge in the Western Cape is the world’s highest bridge for bungee jumping opportunities.

2. Sun, surf and sand
Blessed with holiday-friendly weather, South Africa’s beaches are highly sought after. The southern city of Cape Town is the country’s top holiday beach destination with plenty of Blue Flag labelled beaches for safe and clean fun.

3. Unrivalled places of interest
For a unique and exciting line up of attractions, South Africa is hard to beat. Johannesburg, Africa’s iconic city, has ample cultural and historical landmarks to satisfy any tourist. World renowned art galleries, tributes to Nobel Laureates, spectacular landscaped gardens and the Cradle of Humankind all vie for the attentions of the holidaymaker.

4. Natural wonders
A wealth of natural wonders throughout the country waits to be explored by the imaginative traveller. World Heritage sites, mountains, waterfalls, brunt crater, caves, canyons and beaches create an overwhelming number of activities for the visitor to choose from.

5. Wildlife
South Africa is home to one of the largest game reserves in the world. The iconic Kruger National Park is a firm favourite with both locals and international visitors. The Elephant Sanctuary in Hartbeestpoort Dam, easily accessible from Johannesburg, provide an unforgettable experience with their walk with the elephants tour.

6. The Rainbow Nation
The friendly locals form part of the attractions of a holiday to South Africa. Dubbed the Rainbow Nation by the legendary face of freedom and democracy, Nelson Mandela; the country is home to diverse vibrant colourful cultures.

7. Value for money
South Africa makes for an affordable holiday destination. The weak Rand when compared to the stronger currencies such as the US dollar, Pound or Euro presents ideal opportunities to take advantage of world class attractions.

8. No language barriers
English is the dominant of the 11 official languages South Africa is blessed with. Engaging with the friendly locals, ordering at a restaurant or booking a city tour is hassle-free.

9. Excellent infrastructure
On a visit to South Africa a visitor may easily forget he or she is in Africa. The country boasts an excellent infrastructure that facilitates great self-drive adventures; and a developed telecommunication system to keep you in touch with your loved ones.

10. Food, Food, Food
South Africa’s local cuisine is influenced by its multicultural heritage. Traditional African, European and Asian influences mark the variety of dishes available. South African wine estates produce some of the world’s most favoured wines.

Robben Island

4 must-see museums in South Africa

It is a sad state of affairs when museums – the unsung keepers of a country’s history and heritage – are relegated to only being good enough for a school outing. Museums contribute a more important function to society. They can be seen as centres of learning, documenting the humble beginnings of an area to celebrating proud human achievements; and often showcase natural and geological treasures as well as man-made accomplishments.

South Africa has such a rich history with such a joyous conglomeration of cultures that it has been rightfully dubbed ‘the Rainbow Nation’. The choice of museums in South Africa is wide and varied from museums heralding history to those celebrating cultures to themed museums such as the Apartheid museum South African Breweries museum and the James Hall Transport Museum. Some notable museums that should be visited at least once include:

The National Cultural History Museum
Located in the city of Pretoria, the National Cultural History museum showcases the multicultural diversity of South Africa; housing both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Visitors can expect to see displays of San rock paintings and engravings, Iron Age figurines dated a thousand years old from Schroda in Limpopo. The in house Art gallery offers an overview of the cosmopolitan culture of South Africa through the exhibiting cultural objects, sculpture and paintings.

Museum Africa
Housed in the cosmopolitan soul of the Johannesburg CBD, Museum Africa is a highly popular attraction for local and foreign visitors. The vast array of exciting exhibitions held in this museum grabs the immediate attention of the visitor. One can expect to engage with the history of civilization in the area traversing the Stone Age through to modern day. Extensive collections highlighting geology, anthropology and archaeology contribute to the main attractions.

Robben Island Museum
The value of the Robben Island Museum to South Africa’s and world history is such that it has earned the status of being a World Heritage Site. This museum represents a reminder of what price South Africa paid for democracy and freedom. Once used as a place of banishment and imprisonment, it serves as a reminder of justice and human rights. The island is also famed for its flora and fauna and conservation efforts.

The Cradle of humankind
Gauteng’s only proffering South Africa’s eight dedicated World Heritage Sites and key international tourist attraction is the world renowned Cradle of Humankind. Experience the birthplace of humankind at Maropeng, the exhibition centre focusing on the development of human civilization over the past few million years. The Sterkfontein Caves also earns its reputation for the many fossil treasures discovered here and for its contribution to the global academic world of paleoanthropology.

Museums are a great resource to learning and appreciating the people and events that shape the course of history of a society.

Wale watching

Be enthralled by the whale-watching extravaganza along South Africa’s coastline

Whale-watching enthusiasts are in for a spectacular treat when choosing South Africa as their whale-watching destination for both land and sea based viewing. As many as 37 species of whales and dolphins can be clearly seen along South African waters.

South Africa can be regarded as the premier whale-watching destination in the world with plenty of opportunities to be enthralled by the elegant water acrobatics and mesmerising displays of raw power of the whales. The whale-watching route extends from Doringbaai, in the south of Cape Town right up to Durban on the east coast; presenting a staggering 1 200 miles of golden opportunities to see the magnificent mammals in action. This route incorporates the conservation areas of the Garden Route, Tsitsikamma National Park, and the Transkei.

Any high vantage point such as cliffs and the beaches in Cape Town presents excellent whale-watching opportunities. Many established licensed boat tour operators provide services to visitors wishing for that magical special close encounter. Boating expeditions can last up to three hours long and get to within the legal 300 metres (a permit is first required) of the whales. The southern right whale in particular display natural curiosity tendencies and are known to at times venture within close proximity to the boats.

The whale-watching industry is tightly regulated with only 16 permits been granted. This much needed precaution guarantees the least disturbance to the whales. Boat operators approach the whales in a quiet manner, with motors switched off and a ‘no wake speed’.

Between June and November is the optimal whale watching time in South Africa when the southern right whales are highly visible along the Cape south coast. Migrant humpback whales put in a brief appearance in May and June; and then again in November to January in the Plettenberg and Garden Route area. This area also attracts Bryde’s whales which can be seen all-year round.

During July and August is peak calving season when the whales are found in abundance, mating and rearing their calves. The southern right whale prefers the protected bays off the southern western coast as its breeding hub, spending up to five months of a year here engaging in courtship rituals as close to 50 metres from the shoreline.

Regarded as the whale-watching capital of the world, the town of Hermanus found on the Cape south coast, has the most opportune scenic land-based views for whale-watching. A leisurely cliff-top walk grants crystal clear sightings of the marine mammals. Southern right whales can appear as close to mere metres from the beach. The arrival of the whales in September is celebrated by the popular annual whale festival.

Clear and windless conditions promote the best whale spotting experiences. The whale’s blow is the first indication of its presence. Other typical whale behaviour is resting head down in the water with tails held out in the air, known as sailing or headstanding.
Pair of binoculars, a hat and adequate sunscreen is additional requirements for optimal land-based whale-watching expeditions.

Ratanga Junction

South Africa’s top five theme parks promises plenty of fun

Amusement or theme parks in South Africa go beyond offering just fantastical and frivolous fun; they incorporate educational and historical attractions to provide a more holistic experience the whole family can enjoy. South Africa’s top five theme parks can be found throughout the country and rank highly on the visitor’s list of must-dos.

Fun and learning go well together at South African styled theme parks. Carnival rides including looping rollercoaster rides, bumper cars and big wheels; exhilarating wildlife centred shows to historical attractions form the centrepiece around which these amusement parks revolve, catering for a wide variety of entertainment activities for all ages to enjoy.

1. Gold Reef City
Gold Reef City forms a comfortable combination of a multitude of exhilarating adrenaline-pumping gut-wrenching rides to a farmyard of animals, kiddie’s corner and an amphitheatre showcasing tribal dancing. Located in the heart of Johannesburg, this top rated theme park houses a museum offering a peak into 19th century life in Johannesburg that tells the golden tale of this metropolis’ beginnings, 30 thrilling adventure rides, underground tours of the still operational mine and gold-pouring demonstrations. Aptly named rides such as the Tower of Terror, the Anaconda, the Miner’s Revenge and the Golden Loop is just a sample of the breathtaking escapades available; although not for the faint-hearted.

2. Sun City theme park
This highly popular tourist attraction is situated in the North West province and is attached to the Sun City resort complex. The overwhelming number of family-oriented leisure and entertainment options is why this iconic theme park reserves its popular reputation with both local and foreign visitors. Entertainment options on offer are a variety of adventure sporting activities, safari tours, Valley of the Waves (a water park with a 6500m² wave pool, plunge pool) and Kamp Kwena (a children’s activity park with trampolines, mini-cars and adventure golf).

3. Ratanga Junction
Ratanga Junction is Cape Town’s offer to South Africa’s theme park contingent characterised by subtropical plants and winding waterways. Boasting over 30 attractions, 24 of which are scintillating heart stopping gravity-defying rides with names such as the Slingshot, The Cobra, The Diamond Devil Run, Congo Queen, Crocodile Gorge, Bushwhacker, and Monkey Falls; it comes as no surprise that this entertainment world ranks highly on the city’s list of tourist attractions. Shopping and leisure options presented by this theme park include snake and exotic bird exhibitions as well as live music shows.

4. uShaka Marine World
Located in the sun-kissed city of Durban is the world renowned uShaka Marine World. This visionary family-oriented entertainment complex is hard to beat for those wanting some fun in the sun. An underground aquarium, a water park complete with slides, splash and palm-lined swimming pools, recreation of a wreck of an old 1920 cargo ship, dolphin and seal stadium showcasing award-winning dolphin shows. For shopping enthusiasts there is Village Walk enclosed within the complex with over 11 250m2 of retail speciality stores, restaurants and other indigenous and tourist-focused goods and services.

5. Plett Puzzle Park
Fun-infused entertainment activities at the Plet Puzzle Park in Plettenberg Bay are a work out for both the mind and body. Attractions include the life-size 3D maze, the first of its kind in South Africa; a Rope Maze, jungle gym, coffee and gift shop. Navigate your way through the Forest Puzzle Walk with word, shape and general knowledge challenges.

Top 10 National Parks of South Africa

Top 10 national parks of South Africa

South Africa is the ultimate in wildlife viewing destinations. Two of the world’s most widely acclaimed wildlife reservation areas and more than 20 National Parks dedicated to the protection of its precious natural assets, South Africa is unrivalled in its ability to provide spectacular opportunities to experience the majestic beauty of the natural world in this part of Africa.
The incredible range of protected wildlife regions encompasses diverse landscapes. Deserts, forests, open savannahs, mountains and coastal areas showcase both animal and plant worlds to their advantage.

1. The Kruger National Park
The flagstone and forerunner of national parks in South Africa, the Kruger National Park draws in millions of international tourists and local visitors annually. Representing the largest of all parks in South Africa, there are a multitude of activities to enjoy in almost two million hectares of diverse terrain. Impressive statistics speak of 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Walking safaris and game drives provide an unforgettable personal experience of life in the bush.

2. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (Northern Cape)
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is the second world renowned of South African parks. Its unique characteristic is being a sizable ecosystem without man-made barriers and comprises two adjoining national parks straddling the South African and Botswana borders. An abundance of wildlife including 200 species of birds can be observed in habitat of red sand dunes, dry river beds and occasional trees.

3. Mapungubwe National Park (Limpopo)
A World Heritage Site, the great ruins at Mapungubwe talk of human civilization in existence around 850 AD. Rich fossil deposits, Bushman rock art, giant baobab trees and riverine forests are just some of the secrets this transfrontier National Park wishes to share.

4. Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park (Kwazulu Natal)
The third largest park in South Africa and a World Heritage Site, Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park has 328 000 hectares of scintillating scenery. The coastline boundary consists of 280km of coral reefs and pristine beaches. Other habitats contained within the park are coastal forests, lush coastal plains and woodland areas.

5. Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Park (Kwazulu Natal)
The oldest game reserve, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Park prides itself in being home to Africa’s ‘Big Five’. The park has facilitated optimal viewing pleasure of lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinos which remain the prime attractions.

6. Addo Elephant Park (Eastern Cape)
This magnificently diverse national park showcases a wide variety of wildlife including the Black Rhino, species of antelope and Cape Buffalo. The park’s name takes its cue from the main attraction – the African Elephants that call the park home, numbering over 350. Apart from game viewing, visitors can also expect outdoor adventure and cultural experiences.

7. Table Mountain National Park (Cape Town and Cape Peninsula, Western Cape)
Table Mountain takes on a legendary status around the world. This natural wonder of picturesque mountains, crystal seas and bleached white sands has taken on the latest mantle of New 7 Wonders of Nature. Included in the park’s protected areas is an indigenous forest and The Cape Floristic Region which is the world’s smallest diverse floral kingdom.

8. De Hoop Nature Reserve (Whale Coast, Western Cape)
This wetland reserve located on the western Cape coastline boasts over 200 bird species, deserted beaches, rock pools and beautiful unique shrub lands (fynbos). It is also highly rated as providing the world’s best land-based whale-watching opportunities.

9. Pilanesberg Game Reserve (North West Province)
Sitting on the remnants of an alkaline volcanic crater, this national park offers a unique mosaic of mammals, birds and vegetation across 55 000 hectares which is attributed to the reserve’s location traversing the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation.

10. Garden Route National Park
A jewel in South Africa’s crown of wildlife conservation areas, Garden Route National Park, situated on the southern coastline, harmoniously blends a diversity of landscapes, seascapes, forests and mountains into a picture perfect natural and cultural heritage.

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Walking Safari

Safari walking tours: the ultimate bush adventure

Safari walking tours not only provides the ultimate bush adventure activity for the discerning tourist, but allows for an invaluable intimate experience with nature that can be enjoyed by all ages. Take delight in discovering diverse landscapes and terrains, ancient secrets of Mother Nature in the wilderness and get up close and personal with the fascinating flora and flora of the African bush.

Superb guided walking safaris excursions are offered throughout South Africa’s comprehensive network of abundant National Parks and game reserves. Numerous options of walking safaris are available to choose from. The choices range from guided night walks, single day tours to multi-day walking trails. More in depth information on types, duration and accommodation is available from individual safari walking tour companies, National Parks or safari lodges.

The unique features of walking safari tours are what make this type of adventure highly popular with international visitors. On a walking safari through a game reserve or national park, you get to identify animal tracks, track game and bird watch while at the same time learning about the habitats and natural balance of nature. Of the multitude of animals to be spotted, the popular are lions, elephant herds, rhinos, giraffe, antelope, zebra, wild pigs, crocodiles, hippos and a diverse variety of birds.

In the interests of safety and in experiencing the ultimate bush experience, it is strongly suggested that tourists opt for guided walking safari tours. This segment of the tourist industry has been revolutionized of late and rangers and field guides have undergone extensive training to provide superior service. Take advantage of experienced and expert field guides and their intimate knowledge of the area, indigenous vegetation, wildlife that can be observed and the accompanying history and legends that came before. Guides instruct visitors on the appropriate etiquette to observe whilst in the bush, and what to do upon sighting animals in the wild. Rule number one is never to approach any of the animals you encounter and to keep a safe distance away.

Perfect for the adventurous tourist, walking safaris bring you within feet of Africa’s great wildlife.
The sights and sounds of the African bushveld are open to any able bodied tourist with a moderate fitness level. Depending on the length and duration of your guided walking safari tour, trails can either provide leisurely walks at a relaxed pace or exhilarating walks through the bushveld that gets the adrenaline pumping. Walking safaris can be complemented perfectly with game drives or horseback riding safaris for comprehensive game viewing pleasure.

Essential items to pack for a walking safari should include comfortable, long socks with a good quality pair of walking or hiking shoes, a hat that protects the head and neck, sunscreen lotion, sunglasses, pair of binoculars, powerful torch and a camera is highly recommended too. Light coloured clothing with long sleeved shirts and trousers are more favourable while trekking through the bush under the hot African sun. Digitally record your authentic bush experience, and relive the magic again and again when sharing with family and friends.

While South Africa is fortunate to be blessed with wonderful welcoming weather all year round, the most opportune wildlife watching season is during the winter months (April to December) when animals tend to populate rivers and waterholes, and when foliage is sparse. Officials advise international visitors to plan walking safari tours well in advance to be able to select from the best camps and tours available.

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Durban South Africa

Durban’s top six tourist delights for the international visitor

The tropical coastal city of Durban, nestled comfortably on the Indian Ocean, has many world class attractions to offer the international visitor. Lovingly labelled by the locals as ‘South Africa’s playground’, Durban is famed for its fantastic warm weather that is enjoyed all year round.
This melting pot of cultures from African, European to Indian showcases a wide variety of tantalising delights to attract, amuse and amaze international and local visitors alike. A list of the top six must-sees:

1. uShaka Marine World
uShaka Marine World constitutes Africa’s largest marine theme park. This must-see attraction provides plenty of fun for all ages. Daring rides, aquatic pools, spectacular dolphin shows and a variety of fast food establishments serving great food promise an invitation to non-stop unrivalled entertainment. The extensive collection of ocean life on display attribute to uShaka being the fifth largest aquarium in the world.

2. Moses Mabida Stadium
Head out to the Moses Mabida Stadium for daring adventure activities. This world class sports stadium is one of the latest additions to iconic buildings in Durban. What can be more fun than the gravity challenging SkyCar ride to the Arch of Triumph summit (over 100 metres high) or opt for the Adventure Walk and walk 500 steps to the sky platform for awesome aerial views of the city and coastline.

3. Wilson’s Wharf
Whether during the day or at night, Wilson’s Wharf showcases Durban’s trendiest fusion of fun, food and craft markets on the edge of a boating marina. Situated on the Victoria Embankment, comfortably cushioned between the Yacht Mole and Sugar Terminal, Wilson’s Wharf is the perfect place to enjoy a musical and theatrical festival, spend quality time with loved ones, bask in glorious sunshine or admire the splendor of city lights glimmering on the harbor waters at night time.

4. The Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens feature over 475 species of trees as well as the largest cycad and palm exhibits. Also housed within the stunning gardens is the herbarium, a tea garden and the Braille trail. South Africa’s oldest Jacaranda tree calls the Botanical Gardens home. Another claim to fame is the Encephalartos Woodii cycad which is showcased here. Its history began almost a hundred years ago when it was transported from the Ngoye forest. This particular cycad is regarded as the rarest plant in the world.

5. The Umgeni River Bird Park
The Umgeni River Bird Park, enclosed within 4 hectares is home to more than 3 000 indigenous and exotic birds, in addition to a multitude of endangered species. Abundant tropical plant life, waterfalls and palm trees contribute to the aesthetics of this whole family attraction.

6. Umhlanga Rocks Beachfront
KwaZulu Natal’s very own ‘Beverly Hills’ by the sea, Umhlanga Rocks is a popular top tourist destination. This up market and sophisticated holiday resort sports first world accommodation and shopping centres. Over 200 km of glorious golden beaches, surfing, deep sea fishing, whale watching, scuba diving, microlight flips, kite boarding as well as a game of golf at a nearby top golf course are just some of the activities that international visitors may delight in.

Stay safe in South Africa

Tips to staying safe whilst travelling in South Africa

South Africa showcases a treasure trove of tourist attractions not to be missed. With its world of wildlife, majestic mountains, breathtaking beaches and diverse cultures, it is easy to see why South Africa has become a favourite holiday destination. Like in any other country whilst on travel, one has to heed certain precautionary steps whilst on travel in South Africa to ensure a happy and safe trip.

What can a tourist expect from a visit to this country located at the southern most tip of Africa? South Africans lovingly refer to their country as the ‘Rainbow Nation’ and an international visitor quickly identifies with the magic and charm held in abundance here. Warm pleasant all-year round weather, a diverse variety of flora and fauna, many exquisite natural wonders including World Heritage sites, colourful cultures, sumptuous cuisine and an array of delightful activities to thrill both young and old.

By following a few basic rules holidaymakers whilst on travel to South Africa can ensure a memorable pleasant stay and a yearning to come back again.

Avoid hotspots of crime.
In certain major cities, like Johannesburg, there are higher risk areas which would be very wise for any tourist to avoid. If the township experience is of interest, a safer option would be to opt for one of many guided tours available with reputable tour companies. Another safety tip is to not venture out at night in dodgy areas.

Be vigilant
Whilst it is important to be vigilant about your person and your possessions during the day, it is even more critical that at night you pay closer attention to being safe. Do not leave your belongings unattended, not even in the hotel foyer. Ensure that doors are locked whether in your hotel room or when driving about in your rented car.

Standard travel precautions
A basic safety tip is to not have your valuables visible. It is not a good idea to carry around expensive jewellery or have wallets and purses lying around. Expensive valuable items should be locked away for safekeeping. Wear pouches well concealed under clothing that holds cash, cards, keys or important documents. It is also safer to not carry wads of cash. Modern conveniences of credit cards and debit cards have the added incentive of being a safer option for travellers. Highly prized digital cameras should rather be enclosed in bags than displayed around the neck.

Be forearmed by being informed
Familiarise yourself with the city or cities you will be visiting. Contact local information bureaus, hotels or people who have visited the areas for more information. Local people too are more than happy to help.

Guarantee your safety by using the services of reputable companies
Use only reputable companies when hiring taxis, rental cars or when opting to take a tour. It is good to know that road infrastructure is well maintained in South Africa and driving on national roads is a pleasure.