the land of
The extremes in South Africa are caused by the topography and the two ocean currents along the coastline. The warm ocean current from the east and the cold ocean current from the south accounts for a significant difference in climate. The Great Escarpment, with its high peaks and valleys, creates many micro climates prevents the rain from reaching the entire country.
Because of this, South Africa has 9 different biomes, ranging from dry and arid (almost dessert like) conditions to subtropic forests, from savanna and grasslands to the vegetation richness of the Fynbos. This all creates some of the highest biodiversity in the world. Just 1% of the total land of the world, provides 10% of all the bird, fish and plant species and 6% of all the mammal and reptile species.
Surrounding the busy Mother City there is plenty of nature to explore. With miles of rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, lush forests, turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs. Take one of the many hikes into the mountains through Fynbos and discover plentiful endemic floral species or get your feet wet in rockpools, snorkel with seals in the kelp forests and relax with penguins on the beach.
The area around Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl are often referred to as the Cape Winelands. These wine valleys, with Cape Dutch architecture, lie between breathtaking mountains that provide high peaks, valleys, cliffs, rivers, pools, waterfalls, forests and other natural features. A hike through some of the nature reserves is an absolute must.
Western Cape / Eastern Cape
Between Mossel Bay and Storms River lies one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. World-class beaches, secluded coves, lagoons, indigenous forests, mountains, rugged coastlines, multi-day hikes, plenty of mountain passes and great flora and fauna diversity. This truly diverse region is combining the best marine and land attractions.
Limpopo / Mpumalanga
With the world-famous Kruger National Park and countless game reserves, this is a true Walhalla for the safari enthusiast. This is where you’ll find the highest animal diversity in South Africa. Find the big 5, observe great herds of Elephants or watch big cats chase their prey. From self-drive safari’s, guided game drives and bushwalks to luxury retreats. Go on safari the way you want.
The Little Karoo is less dry than the Great Karoo. It is flanked by mountain ranges and home to numerous mountain passes. This colorful region has high cliffs, deep gorges, crystal clear waters and a unique biome. From the Ostrich capitol Oudtshoorn in the east, to the vineyards in the west, Route 62 provides endless views and spectacular roads.
Limpopo / Mpumalanga
The major highlight here is the Blyde River Canyon, one of the larger canyons in the world. This region separates the Highveld from the Lowveld and does so with some spectacular views and rock formations. The many rivers, breathtaking waterfalls and subtropical vegetation provide spectacular wildlife and birdlife. Every primate species of South African can be seen here.
Kwazulu-Natal / Eastern Cape
Here you’ll find the highest mountain range in South Africa, rising well over 3000m. There are numerous valleys and rivers between the many impressive peaks, but the 5km wide, 1000m high Amphitheatre might be the most spectacular feature here. Not to mention the almost 1000m high waterfall Tugela Falls. The largest montane wilderness you’ll find.
Like the name suggests, this region is favored for its whale watching opportunities, and even the marine Big 5. The coastline boasts some beautiful sandy beaches, tucked-away coves, sand dunes and nature reserves. Inlands you’ll find Fynbos-covered mountains that offer dramatic sea vistas. A perfect region for coastal drives, mountain hikes and sandy bays.
Picture rolling green hills, deserted beaches, freshwater pools, cascading waterfalls and a rugged coastline. No major cities, no tourist hotspots, just you and the peaceful serenity of nature. Along the coastline lie many spectacular rock formations, estuaries, rocky cliffs and a couple of shipwrecks. The Wild Coast has a reputation of being South Africa’s most rugged place.