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South Africa Guide

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South Africa is a country with a captivating history and ancient civilizations. The historical places of South Africa reflect the country's colonial past, its culture and traditions. The major cities of this country constitute a number of places with historical significance. Some of the popular historical places of South Africa are:

Castle of Good Hope

Western Cape, Cape Town

Built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a maritime replenishment station, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa.

The Castle of Good Hope was declared a National monument in the year 1936 and is the oldest extant building in the South Africa. It is one of the well preserved monuments and holds much historical significance.

Church Square

Gauteng, Pretoria

The sculptor Anton van Wouw's statue of Paul Kruger occupies the centre stage on Church Square. While the bronze figures of Kruger and the sentries were cast in Italy at the turn of the century


Northern Cape, Danielskuil

Part of a Griqua missionary and of historical importance, a geological phenomena in the form of deep cavity was formed in the dolomite limestone.

Durban City Hall

Kwazulu Natal, Durban

The Durban city hall displays a fine example of Edwardian Neo-baroque architecture. The current city hall is actually the second building in Durban made for this purpose

Dzata Ruins and Museum of the Drum

Limpopo, Thohoyandou

Site of the the Vhavenda royal dating back to 1400 AD. The history of the Vinda is depicted and the ruins with their dry- stone walls can be explored.

Emakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park

Kwazulu Natal, Ulundi

With its large range of habitats the park supports a variety of animals including black and white rhino, buffalo, leopard, hyaena, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, kudu

Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Gardens and Diggers Fountain

Northern Cape, Kimberley

The five diggers represent the five diamond mines of Kimberley and the statue honours the contribution that all diamond diggers made to the development of Kimberley.

Fort Mistake

Kwazulu Natal, Glencoe

A signaling post built during the war - one in the line that stretched north to Newcastle. Between Ladysmith and Newcastle on the N11 about 22km from Glencoe.

Fraserburg Peperbus

Northern Cape, Fraserburg

The six-sided Peperbus designed by the Reverend Bamberger and built by Adam Jacobs in 1861 as an office has housed the church, the magistrate and the municipality.

Kimberley Mine Museum

Northern Cape, Kimberley

Retrace the lives of the rough-and-ready diggers who made it all happen. Or experience life in Kimberley as it must have been during the diamond-rush days when races, lotteries, pubs and ballrooms made the town a very bright place indeed.

Magersfontein Battlefield

Northern Cape, Kimberley

The Highland Brigade fought valiantly but was driven back by Boer rifle fire and its own shellfire. By mid-morning the Brigade was pinned down and unable to move despite reinforcement by the Gordon Highlanders.

Majuba Hill

Mpumalanga, Volksrust

The battle at Majuba Hill on 27 February 1881 was the main battle of the First Boer War. It was a resounding victory for the Boers.

Malgas Pont

Western Cape, Witsand

Malgas is where that you will find the last hand-operated ‘pont’ (ferry) in the country; a vital link between the east and west bank communities of the Breede River.

Masebe Nature Reserve

Limpopo, Polokwane

The variety of rock formation, vegetation and rivers make this reserve exceptionally beautiful. wildlife species encountered regularly includes sable, tsessebe, giraffe, zebra, nyala, eland kudu, leopard and others.


Kwazulu Natal, Ulundi

Mgungundlovu established as capital by Zulu King Dingane. Visitor facilities include a site museum, shop and toilets.

Ndebele Cultural Village

Gauteng, Pretoria

The village is relatively un-commercialised and you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself and experience life from a unique perspective.

Robben Island

Western Cape, Cape Town

Indigenous African leaders, Muslim leaders from the East Indies, Dutch and British soldiers and civilians, women, and anti-apartheid activists, including Nelson Mandela and Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, were all imprisoned on the Island.

Located at a distance of about 12 km from Cape Town, Robben Island was the prison ground of Nelson Mandela and his comrades in the 17 th century. This Island was also known as the "Alcatraz of Africa" and since the year 1997, Robben Island has been a heritage museum. The Island symbolizes the country's progress and great transformation.

Shaka's Rock

Kwazulu Natal, Shakas Rock

Zulu warriors had to jump down the natural cliff to prove they have courage. It is also said that Shaka's enemies were thrown off Shaka's rock into the sea.

Spioenkop Nature Reserve

Kwazulu Natal, Ladysmith

Of the wildlife including white rhinoceros, giraffe and a variety of plains and bushveld antelope. The abundance and variety of species assures visitors a rewarding game experience.

Sterkfontein Caves

Gauteng, Krugersdorp

The tours at the Sterkfontein Caves, which start above ground and then take visitors deep into the caves, run every half hour, seven days a week.

Tandjesberg Rock Art Site

Free State, Ladybrand

Tandjesberg is one of South Africa’s 12 Rock Art National Monuments. Facilities include a stone floor and interpretative redrawings.

Taung Heritage Site

North West, Taung

The Taung Heritage Site is dedicated to the discovery of the skull belonging to an early hominid, named "Australopithecus africanus" meaning the "southern ape of Africa".

The Big Hole, Kimberley

Northern Cape, Kimberley

150 years ago, the site of the Big Hole was a featureless, flat-topped hill. Then word spread that diamonds had been discovered.

The Cornish Pump House

Northern Cape, Okiep

The Cornish Pump House is a National Monument at Okiep which was used to dewater the Okiep mine from 1882 until it closed in 1919. This is the only fully intact Cornish pump house in the Southern hemisphere and very popular with steam enthusiasts.

The Drostdy

Eastern Cape, Graaff Reinet

The Drostdy building was completed in 1806. A fascinating part of Graaff Reinet's heritage.

The Freedom Park

Gauteng, Pretoria

Freedom Park is a meeting place, a venue for the gathering of clans and nations; a place to listen to the voice of silence, a place to pray; a sacred place, a step to the heavens and to our humanity.

uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park

Kwazulu Natal, Winterton

The 243 000ha uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is one of South Africa`s prime ecotourist destinations. Here you can savour the ultimate freedom of great open spaces in a world of gigantic peaks and butresses.

Union Buildings

Gauteng , Pretoria 

The semicircular building has 2 wings at either end representing the 2 sides of the then Union of South Africa - the Afrikaners and the British who were housed on either side

Voortrekker Monument


Gauteng , Pretoria

Located in Pretoria, Gauteng, the Voortrekker Monument is huge granite structures which commemorates the "Great Trek" and remains one of the popular historical places of South Africa.


West Coast Fossil Park

Western Cape, Langebaan

The many thousands of fossil bones have attracted world-wide interest and a fascinating range of extinct animals are displayed. Learn about ancient environments; the animal life and the climatic changes that occurred in this region 5 million years ago.

Cradle of Human kind


The Cradle of Humankind is a fascinating historical site which continues to unearth interesting discoveries of the human origin. This region gained popularity with the discovery of a 2 ½ million-year old hominid skull in the year 1947 and continues to be one of the popular historical sites of South Africa. The Cradle of Humankind encloses the regions of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans and Kromdraai.

Apartheid Museum


Located in Gauteng, the Apartheid Museum has a collection of images, audio-visual presentations, and stories of human sufferings and an account of the country's journey from domination to democracy. The collections in this Museum reflect the horrifying past of South Africa.

Bo- Kaap


Located in Cape Town, this region is full of cobbled streets and strange historical homes. This Cape Malay region is one of the few areas to escape damage during the apartheid era inspite of being a non- white area.



The flower grounds of Namaqualand in the Northern Cape are a visual delight. During the spring season it is filled with daisies in a multitude of colors. Namaqualand is one of the naturally beautiful places in South Africa.

The Beaches


With a coastline that stretches for more than 3000 km, South Africa has plenty of beaches and is known to be the marine wonderland of the African continent. From KwaZulu-Natal, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape to the West Coast, the pristine beaches of South Africa are a major tourist attraction.

Kruger National Park


Located north of Johannesburg, Kruger National Park is one of the leading game sanctuaries and offers one of the finest safari experiences in South Africa. This National park possesses the largest variety of wildlife.

The Drakensberg Mountain

Kwazulu Natal

The Drakensberg Mountains (Dragon Mountains) is the ideal destination for tourists looking for adventure. It is a mountain range that covers the entire length of KwaZulu- Natal's eastern boundary. Game viewing, hiking trails, horse trails and safaris, guided tours, quad bikes, golfing, fishing, white water rafting and rock climbing are the various activities one can enjoy here.



South Africa is the largest and one of the most impressive countries of the African continent. There are many places to visit in South Africa ranging from game rich plains, rugged mountains, traditional villages, cosmopolitan cities and several unique architectural heritage sites. The country has a thriving tourist industry and offers an interesting and wide variety of activities to choose from. Wildlife safaris, hiking trails, fishing, scuba diving expeditions and gourmet extravaganzas, the country has it all. Some of the most exceptional and outstanding places to visit in South Africa are:

The Garden Route


Western Cape 

The Garden Route has been a tourist's delight for over a century and makes for one of the most beautiful places to visit in South Africa. It is a delightful stretch of small towns, wineries, green pastures, mountains, beaches and rocky shores that run 220 km between Mossel Bay and Storms River Mouth. The best way to enjoy the Garden Route is by following the hiking trails

Table Mountain

Western Cape,

It is one of the most spectacular sights of Cape Town and a visit to this city is incomplete without a trip atop the Table Mountain. Quite often the top of the Table Mountain is cloaked in clouds commonly referred to as the mountain's "table cloth". The view from the top of this mountain is breathtaking and offers the finest panoramas in all of South Africa. The Table Mountain top is accessible by cable cars when the weather is fine.

National Symbols of South Africa

The National symbols of South Africa represent the country's history, culture and traditions. The symbols exemplify the spirit and essence of the Republic of South Africa and everything relating to the nation. The various National symbols of South Africa are:

National Flag


The National Flag of the Republic of South Africa was designed by Mr. Fred Brownell, a former state herald of South Africa. The flag was adopted on 27 April, 1994, celebrated as the Freedom Day of South Africa. It is one of the youngest flags and symbolizes the unity and progress of the nation. The flag was first flown on 10 May, 1994, the day Nelson Mandela became the first Black president of South Africa.

National Anthem

Following a proclamation of the Government Gazette No. 18341 dated 10 October 1997, the official National Anthem of South Africa is a combined version of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika and Die Stem van Suid-Afrika or The Call of South Africa.

Nkosi Sekelel' iAfrika composed by Enoch Sontonga was regarded as the National anthem for decades by the indigenous people of South Africa and was usually sung as an act of defiance against the apartheid regime. The lyrics of Die Stem van Suid-Afrika were written by CJ Langenhoven and music composed by Reverend ML de Villiers.

National Coat of Arms


The National Coat of Arms is traditionally regarded as the highest emblem of the state. Every document with the impression of the state emblem seal is given absolute authority as it indicates that it has undergone government approval.

The National Coat of Arms of South Africa was inaugurated on 27 April 2000; the country's Freedom Day and is one of the leading National symbols of South Africa.

National Bird

The blue crane (Anthropoides paradisea) is the National bird of South Africa and is also known as Stanley crane and the Paradise crane. This species of bird is almost entirely restricted to South Africa alone. The bird is light grey in color and stands at a height of about one meter. The blue crane has a long neck which supports a bulbous head, long legs, and graceful wing plumes.

National Fish

Galjoen South Africa Fish
The National fish of South Africa is galjoen ( Coracinus capensis ). This species of marine fish can only be found along the coast of South Africa. The galjoen that are found near rocks are black in color while the ones near sandy areas are silver- bronze. This marine fish generally stay in shallow water and is frequently seen near rough surfs.

National Flower

The National flower of South Africa is The King Protea, (Protea cynaroides). This species of flower is the largest in the genus Protea and is extensively distributed in the south-western and southern areas of the Western Cape, from Cedarberg to just east of Grahamstown. This flower is also known as Giant Protea, Honeypot or King Sugar Bush.

National Tree

The real yellowwood ( Podocarpus latifolius ) is the National tree of South Africa and has been growing in this country for over 100 million years. This species extends from Table Mountain along the eastern and southern Cape coast, in the ravines of the Drakensberg up to the Soutpansberg and Blouberg mountains in Limpopo.

National Animal

The Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) is the National animal of South Africa. This animal is a small brown and white colored gazelle which stands at a height of about 75 cm and weighs around 40 kg. Both the sexes of the Springbok have horns. A characteristic feature of this National animal is the pronk (jumping display).

Cities of South Africa

South Africa is a vast country situated on the southern tip of the African continent having two capital cities-Cape Town, the legislative capital and Pretoria, the executive capital. This beautiful country is distinguished for its diversity and unique charm which attracts visitors from all over the globe. The major cities of South Africa offer all the conveniences of a modern metropolitan city. World class five star hotels, great dining, shopping and exotic cuisines combined with an intoxicating ambiance make the cities of South Africa a visitor's delight. The leading cities of South Africa are:

Cape Town

Cape Town is the oldest city and the legislative capital of South Africa with a cultural heritage spanning over 300 years. The city is positioned along the coastline, with the Table Mountain forming a spectacular backdrop. Lying in the heart of the city is the National park

The city has a blend of historical and cosmopolitan charm. Alongside the graceful Georgian town houses and Cape Dutch homesteads, there are state of the art restaurants, shopping malls, smart hotels and surrounding winelands. The sights, sounds and tastes that the city offers can only leave the visitors asking for more. Main Cape Town attractions include:

•  Table Mountain.

•  V&A Waterfront. Waterfront panorama.jpg Nobel Square - Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.jpg

•  Cape Point.  

There is a host of activities one can enjoy in Cape Town. From climbing the Table Mountain to surfing, diving, mountain biking and sandboarding, the fun is endless.


Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa and is known as the city of Jacarandas-the purple blossom-bedecked trees lining the city thoroughfares. The city has an interesting history along with several old buildings. Some of the significant old architectural splendors include:

•  The Transvaal Museum. Transvaal Museum.jpg

•  Cultural History Museum.  

•  Smuts Museum.

•  Voortrekker Monument. 

Some of the interesting activities besides visiting the historical monuments in Pretoria are skydiving, horse trailing or mountain biking among others.


Johannesburg is the commercial metropolis and a major international gateway to South Africa. The city possesses all the characteristics of a typical metropolitan city bursting with energy. Its a fast paced city where people are super busy doing business, dining out, partying, going to the gym, attending exhibitions or catching up on the latest movie.

A sense of affluence is exuded in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg with its shopping malls, restaurants, coffee shops and an assortment of delectable cuisines. Majority of businesses and the head offices of big corporations have shifted base to the northern suburbs and to Midrand, the commercial hub.

Some of the historical splendors of this city are:

•  Museum Africa

•  City Art Gallery

Tourist activities in Johannesburg include an escorted tour of Soweto, a visit to Gold Reef City or even golfing.


Durban is the beach city of South Africa and the busiest port of the African continent. High rise offices overlook the Indian Ocean. Busy executives discard their business suits and get into beach gear during lunch hour to take a quick jog along the beach. Beach activities in Durban include surfing, diving and sea kayaking.

The Durban beachfront offers a cultural experience with a difference. Holidaying families, sari clad Indian ladies, young girls in beachwear and surfer brats, together form a picture of a heterogeneous whole. Due to the huge Indian population, there is a distinct eastern influence in Durban. The Indian market on Warwick Street is particularly a great place to shop.

Durban has some beautiful parks like the Durban Botanical Gardens, a Japanese Garden and the Jamieson Rose Gardens.

Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth is known for its amazing weather and picturesque beaches. The King Beach in particular is vibrant and beautiful. Several ancient buildings represent the city's historical past. Port Elizabeth is also an important industrial center.

The Boardwalk offers the best shopping experience along with great restaurants, coffee shops and a casino as well.




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