Let's face it, trips to Africa and thus South Africa are generally considered expensive in the Netherlands. Admittedly, a trip to South Africa will cost more than a week in an all-inclusive hotel in Turkey. It...
For many, South Africa equals Nelson Mandela. He will forever symbolize the history, present and future of this country. And what a country! South Africa is an impressive travel destination with a wealth of possibilities. You can visit the different cities or go into hiding in the national parks, with Kruger Park as the undisputed leader. In this southernmost country in Africa you can tour along scenic routes, hike for hours in the mountains or surf the waves off the coast of Durban. The choice is yours!
One country, three capitals
South Africa has three capitals, namely Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein. The most famous city is undoubtedly Cape Town. Rightly so! With the imposing Table Mountain in the background and the Atlantic Ocean in front of you, the location of this city is fantastic. The route to the Cape of Good Hope is one of the more scenic drives in the country. Other interesting cities are Johannesburg, Kimberley and the aforementioned Durban.
Kruger Park and the Big Five
South Africa especially impresses with its nature. The rocky coastlines provide a beautiful picture of more than 3.000 km long. But the Drakensberg also shows their muscles with beautiful mountain flanks and views. However, the real South Africa can be found in the national parks with their wild animals and enormous diversity of flora and fauna. Think of the Kruger Park, Agulhas Park, Karoo Park and Mpofu Nature Reserve. Who knows, you might spot the well-known Big Five here!
The Hottentots and the Bushmen were the original inhabitants of South Africa, but over time they mixed with other peoples. The main tribes are the Zulus, the Sotho, the Nguni and the Venda. The Portuguese Bartholomew Diaz discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 1488. Almost two centuries later, in 1652, the first Dutch colony was established under the leadership of Jan van Riebeek.
In the centuries that followed, many Dutchmen followed his example. During this period the foundations were laid for the current language, South African, which is very similar to Dutch. The many farms are also reminiscent of those in the Netherlands. Around the beginning of the nineteenth century, the British conquered South Africa. With the English rule many peasants left, who founded the new republics of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.
The Drakensberg is the mecca for hikers. Beautiful hiking trails have been set out here, of varying length and difficulty. As you climb the tops of these mountains, you have an impressive view of the hills of KwaZulu Natal. In addition to the inland reserves, the Cape Province is a much-visited place.
Along the coast you can follow the Garden Route, where you drive through South Africa's famous wine region and arrive at authentic villages and hamlets such as Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town are the largest and most important cities in South Africa. Pretoria is the capital and is home to many Dutch and English buildings.
Johannesburg is the country's trade center and has an important socio-cultural function. The botanical garden there is one of the largest in the southern hemisphere. Close to Johannesburg is Soweto (South Western Township), where the black slums of the city are located and are usually shunned by the tourists due to the high crime rate.
Cape Town is located in the south of the country and is known for the Cape of Good Hope and Table Mountain, where you can take a cable car to enjoy the magnificent view of the city and sea. Here you will also find Groot Constantia, a Cape Dutch style mansion with Dutch furniture and paintings by Dutch masters.