Nature has been generous to South Africa. The country’s varied scenery includes the misty peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains, the lush subtropical coast of KwaZulu-Natal, the fertile temperate valleys of Western Cape, the sun-baked semi-desert of Karoo and the scenic coastlines washed by the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Wild-life viewing is spectacular in its diversity. Go south, and you can swim among the penguins. Go north, and you can watch the elephants and lions from the safety of your car.
Nature is the true jewel in the crown of South Africa, but the country has more in store for the locals and visitors alike. It has cosmopolitan cities with restaurants that offer an extraordinary wide range of cuisines. It has excellent wines. It has events and festivals all year round: open-air music concerts, sporting events, wine expos, flower, oyster and mushroom festivals, and much more.
Travel and entertainment fact and figures:
- South Africa attracts more visitors than any other country in sub-Saharan Africa.
- In 2007, over 9 million foreigners visited South Africa, about 8 percent more than in 2006.
- The contribution of tourism to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) increased from 4.6 percent in 1993 to 8.3 percent in 2006.
- Gambling is legal in South Africa and practically every centre and resort has a casino within easy driving distance. According to
- National Gaming Board, there are 32 permanent casinos in South Africa and four temporary ones.
- Cape Town won the award for Best Entertainment Destination at the International Luxury Travel Exhibition Awards held in Lugano, Switzerland in 2009.
- When eating out in South Africa, you may want to check whether the seafood item on the menu is endangered or not. Text your choice to South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) at 079-499-8795 and within minutes you will have your reply: green label means “feel free to order”; orange means “in trouble, but legal to eat”; and red signifies “kindly desist”.
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Africa are:
- Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs
- iSimangaliso Wetland Park
- Robben Island
- uKhahlamba/Drakensberg Park
- Cape Floral Region Protected Areas
- Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
- Vredefort Dome
- Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape