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Lion´s head - Score:8.13187
Lion´s head
User:Bente
Spot:Cape Town
Lesotho - Score:8.08333
Lesotho
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Spot:Lesotho
Lesotho - Score:8.01754
Lesotho
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Spot:Lesotho
Comet McNaught (Januar 2007) - Score:7.98658
Comet McNaught (J...
User:Verena-Victoria
Spot:Cape Town
let´s dance - Score:7.77404
let´s dance
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Spot:Swaziland
Harbour Lights - Score:7.75000
Harbour Lights
User:pierrejacques
Spot:Cape Town

South Africa

Popular Attractions

www.mygreatworld.com - Table Mountain from St.George's Cathedra Of the must see attractions for the tourist on a short tour of South Africa, the Table Mountain in Cape Town can be called the star attraction. You can reach the top of this World Heritage Sight either on foot or by cable car. Once atop the Table Mountain (1051 meters above sea level), the beautiful peninsula unfolds before you that includes the city of Cape Town, the two mountains Lions Head and Devils Peak and the Robben Island on the Table Bay. Your view also stretches as far as Cape Point and the famous Camps Bay and Clifton Beaches. The Table Mountain looks glorious in floodlight at night. The ride on the Table Mountain Cableway gives you the full view of the breathtaking landscape.

www.mygreatworld.com - Jackass Pinguin Kolonie A Cape Town visit must include a cruise to Robben Island that lies 11 km north of the city. Used as a prison colony for over 400 years, this island is a memorial to the years of anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa led by Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned here. There are splendid Atlantic Beaches lying to the west of Cape Town. Clifton and Camps Bay are world famous beaches that you must not miss. The rocky seaside adds to the pristine view. A boat trip around V&A Waterfront Harbor takes you to the busiest commercial harbor of South Africa that has big markets and departmental shops as well as restaurants, theaters and movies. There you must also see the Maritime Museum and the Two Oceans Aquarium. When you visit the southernmost Cape Agulhas, you are at the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. If you are in mood for African safari, visit the three great wild game parks in South Africa- the northern Kruger Park and the southern Shamwari Game and Addo Elephant Parks.

Nature & Geology

www.mygreatworld.com - zebras 2 Miserliness is something that Nature put behind while creating the natural attractions of South Africa. Here the beauties of the countless beaches are awesome and the sparkling crystal waters of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. If you tour the eastern Mpumalanga, you come across some of the country’s finest waterfalls. Be at St. Lucia and see at midnight the nesting and hatching of the giant leatherback and loggerhead turtles during the period November to March. The virgin Wild Coast is spectacular and it is one of those rare places where the waterfalls come down directly on the sea. For getting a taste of wild adventure, go into the heartland of the Zulu Kingdom of the Elephant Coast, KwaZulu Natal.

www.mygreatworld.com - Swartberg Pass In Tsitsikamma, the forests meet the breaking waves of the blue sea to create a natural paradise. The spellbinding beauty of the Cango Caves makes them one of the most sought after geological attractions of South Africa. Enjoy there the marvelous cave formations of stalactites and stalagmites. The Sterkfontein Caves are famous as it was here that the fossils of the hominid Australopithecus were discovered in large numbers. The oldest human skull was found in Highveld near Johannesburg which is considered the place of origin of human beings. South Africa has been aptly called the “Cradle of Humankind”. If you visit the Makapans Caves in Limpopo Province of South Africa, you are in a place that has thrown up hominid and animal fossils dating back to millions of years. Mpumalanga is a place where fossils of the most ancient life forms were found. Here in the Sudwala Caves, you are treated with shellfish-like fossil ammonites. Nearby is a dinosaur park with dinosaur replicas. For a scuba diver, the well preserved stromatolite fossils at Wondergat are wonderful attractions. Karoo has the richest treasure of dinosaur fossils in South Africa. If you want to see specimens of current fossil excavations and fossils of extinct mammals, you have to visit the wonderful fossil park near Cape Town.

History

www.mygreatworld.com - Rhodes Memorial South Africa was first colonized in the 17th century by the Dutch East India Company and Cape of Good Hope was the first settlement of the European settlers. The settlers were known as Afrikaners or Boers and they spoke Afrikaans, a Dutch dialect. However, before that the area now known as South Africa was inhabited first by the San people and thereafter by Khoikhoi and Bantu tribes. The Boers tried to carve out an independent state in 1795. Britain after defeating Napoleon started to bring settlers to the Cape Colony after they took possession of the area in 1815. British colonization forced the Afrikaners to move to the north and east parts of the country where they founded the two republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State. The republics saw large influx of outsiders with the discovery of diamonds in 1867. War broke out between the Boers and the British Imperialists known in history as the Boer War that ended in 1902 with the defeat of the Boers.

www.mygreatworld.com - SA National Library The Union of South Africa was born in 1910 comprising the two already formed republics as mentioned above and the colonies of Old Cape and Natal. The first South African political party the African National Congress was established in 1912. The racial discrimination or the policy of apartheid was started by the National Party in South Africa after the end of the World War II when it declined to sign the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Restrictions were imposed on the non-white people including the Bantus and the Asians and in 1936 came the denial to the blacks of the voting rights. During the fifty years that followed, the policy of racial segregation intensified in South Africa with the non-whites driven out of the towns reserved for the whites and leading lives in rural areas in extreme poverty. Laws were framed by the white government to oppress the black community. In 1961, the country declared itself a republic and dissociated itself with the Commonwealth. The anti-apartheid outfit the African National Congress (ANC) led by Nelson Mandela was banned in 1960 and Mandela was imprisoned for life in 1964. The world community isolated South Africa for their apartheid policy and the U.N. imposed sanctions on the country. The country witnessed unrest and bloodshed as the blacks revolted against the white repression. The world opinion against apartheid and continuous rebellion within the country forced the white government to ultimately withdraw ban on ANC and release Mandela from jail. Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) was the first multiracial political forum formed in 1991 by the then President de Klerk and Mandela. The first interim Constitution of 1993 paved the way for the country’s transition to democracy from apartheid which was a great historic event.

Culture

The South African society has a multiracial culture with the people descending from both the British and the Afrikaner. There are further groupings within the black people. While the urban areas have imbibed modern culture with British influence, the rural areas still have traditional black cultures. These traditional cultures base their beliefs in masculine deity and the powers of their ancestors and the supernatural. South African society still practices polygamy and dowry is paid in marriage. There are different taboos and customs for different groups of people. Some cultures regard cattle as symbols of wealth. The traditional art of South Africa is reflected in ancient San paintings in caves and rocks which are still continued in the artworks of the indigenous people.

www.mygreatworld.com - let´s dance The Zulu traditional art of coded beadwork has survived to this day. The Xhosa culture is distinguished by its adults wearing clothes dyed red. In Mpumalanga, the Ndebele group lives in brightly painted houses. The Afrikaners mostly belong to the conservative Dutch Reformed Churches. The urbanized people of British descent dominate the finance and business of the country. Besides the Afrikaners and the British people, there is also significant Jewish and Indian population. As for cuisine, you will not get traditional African dishes in any of the restaurants which mostly serve steaks, veggies and chips. You can however get traditional African foods like rice and stew in the roadside eateries of most South African towns. The fine wines of South Africa are gaining in popularity over the traditional brandy and beer. “Ladysmith Black Mambazo”, the famous music group of South Africa also known to the Western World has survived the scars of apartheid. The black artists are reinventing the new South African culture that is gradually emerging.

Political

South Africa was ruled by the National Party run by the white racist people who marginalized the black people by an oppressive policy of apartheid or racial discrimination. The country’s economic and political life was shaped by this racist rule from 1948 to 1994. The historic election of 1994 saw for the first time the participation of people from all races ending the rule of apartheid by the National Party. In that election, the African National Congress (ANC) led by Nelson Mandela won a landslide victory in the National Assembly to establish in the country a multiracial democracy. ANC is still ruling South Africa although Mandela has since retired from political life. The major opposition parties are the Democratic Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party that represent mainly the Zulus.

www.mygreatworld.com - Long Street South Africa is a federal republic with considerable powers delegated to the nine provincial governments. The National Assembly elects the President for a term of five years with maximum two terms. The President has powers in the matter of legislation, appointments of the Deputy President and the Cabinet, running the government and delegating powers to other Cabinet colleagues. If the National Assembly brings no confidence motion against the President, he has to resign with his government for formation of a new government by the National Assembly. Besides the National Assembly, the South African government is made up of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) comprising representatives from provincial parties. A proportional representation system elects the National Assembly. The National Assembly has the power to enact laws, amend the Constitution and ensure functioning of the provinces in terms of the Constitution. Legislation relating to the provinces only is passed by the NCOP.

Infrastructure

www.mygreatworld.com - kwazulu natal The transport infrastructure of South Africa with world-class air, road and rail network is capable of handling international tourist traffic. The country has the largest air and rail networks and the seaports provide shipping links with all the continents. An efficient transport system has boosted tourism in South Africa and promoted her economic and social development. Hosting of the 2010 FIFA World cup by the country has prompted the government to upgrade the infrastructure and an estimated R 9 billion is being spent by the government on infrastructural improvements. Shipping in South Africa is facilitated by her vast coastline on the Indian Oceans and the south Atlantic.

The seven commercial ports of the country handle traffic from Asia, America, Europe and the African east and west coasts. Durban Port in KwaZulu-Natal is the busiest port of Africa. Richard’s Bay in the same province has the distinction of being the largest bulk coal terminal in the world. The under construction Nqura port in the Eastern Cape will be the deepest container terminal in Africa which will accommodate larger vessels compared to any other African port. South Africa has paved national highways of 9,600 km out of a total road area of about 754,000 km. There is a stretch of 2,000 km of well-maintained road between the northern part of Messina and Cape Town in the south. You can travel on the world famous luxury Blue Train to catch a good glimpse of the country. The three major international airports of South Africa are Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. More than 50 airlines operate their flights in the country making its cities easily accessible by air.

Dos & Don’ts

Dos

i) Take only a certified guide for a South African Safari. This is necessary for ensuring safety and not venturing into dangerous areas.

ii) Be sure to be insured before undertaking a safari.

iii) Take help of authentic travel guides while touring South Africa.

iv) Get yourself vaccinated to prevent affliction from malaria from traveling in South African forests.

v) Carry a camera that can stand in diverse climatic conditions.

Don’ts

i) Travel without getting yourself medically examined if suffering from cardiac or arthritic problems.

ii) Choose a South Africa tour package simply because it is cheap. Verify the credentials of the tour operator.



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