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The 9 provinces of South Africa are:

 

 

Each of these provinces has unique tourist attractions, things to do and places to see.

 

Accommodation ranges from B&B accommodation, self catering accommodation, chalets, hotels, lodges, game lodges, backpackers and game farms.

 

South Africa has an exciting and sometimes violent history, and it retains an undercurrent of vibrant rawness. Here you will find the legendary Big 5 - Lion : Elephant : Rhino : Buffalo and Leopard.

 

INTRODUCTION TO SOUTH AFRICA
The Republic of South Africa lies between the Limpopo River in the North, and Cape Aghulas in the south, which is also the southern most point of the African continent. The coastline stretches 2954kms, from the mouth of the Orange River, at Alexander Bay , on the west coast of South Africa , around the tip of Africa up to the Mozambique border at Ponta do Ouro on the South African east coast.

 

South Africa encompasses an area of 1 223 410 square kilometres (472 659 sq miles). The Atlantic Ocean lies off the west coast of South Africa , with the cold, north flowing, Benguela current providing a thriving fishing industry, with a rich harvest of shoal fish.

 

The Indian Ocean lies off the east coast of South Africa and the warm, south, to south west, flowing Agulhas or Mozambique current, provides warm waters which are enjoyed by scores of holiday makers at many holiday destinations.

 

These two currents meet off the area lying between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point at the end of the Cape Peninsula .

The Southern Ocean lies between South Africa and Antarctica . When Sir Francis Drake sailed around the Cape of Good Hope on his circumnavigation of the world in 1580, he recorded in his journal, “This Cape is the stateliest thing and the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth”

 

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (Afrikaans: Republiek van Suid-Afrika, Zulu: iRiphabliki yaseNingizimu Afrika, Xhosa: iRiphabliki yaseMzantsi Afrika), is a country located at the southern tip of the African continent. It borders the countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Swaziland. Lesotho is an independent enclave entirely surrounded by South African territory.

 

South Africa has experienced a significantly different evolution from other nations in Africa as a result of two facts. Firstly, immigration from Europe reached levels not experienced in other African communities. Secondly, the strategic importance of the Cape Sea Route, as emphasised by the closure of the Suez Canal during the Six Day War, and mineral wealth made the country extremely important to Western interests, particularly during the Cold War. As a result of immigration, South Africa is a very racially diverse nation. It has the largest population of people of Coloured (i.e. mixed racial background), whites, and Indian communities in Africa. Black South Africans account for slightly less than 80% of the population.

 

Racial strife between the white minority and the black majority has played a large part in the country's history and politics, culminating in apartheid, which was instituted in 1948 by the National Party (although segregation existed prior to that date). The laws that defined apartheid began to be repealed or abolished by the National Party in 1990 after a long and sometimes violent struggle (including economic sanctions from the international community) by the Black majority as well as many White, Coloured, and Indian South Africans.

 

Two philosophies originated in South Africa: ubuntu (the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity); and Gandhi's notion of “passive resistance” (satyagraha), developed while he lived in South Africa.

 

The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, and regular elections have been held for almost a century; however, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994.

 

The economy of South Africa is the largest and best developed on the continent, with modern infrastructure common throughout the country.

 

South Africa is often referred to as "The Rainbow Nation", a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and later adopted by then-President Nelson Mandela as a metaphor to describe the country's newly-developing multicultural diversity in the wake of segregationist apartheid ideology.

 

Neighbouring countries: South Africa 's neighbours lie to the north and are, going from west to east, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland. Lesotho is surrounded completely by South Africa , and is a mountain kingdom. It is the only country in the world with all its land lying above an altitude of 1000 metres. It is South Africa 's watershed and most of South Africa 's major rivers have their sources in Lesotho . The highest point of Southern Africa is Thabana Ntlenyana at 3841metres.

 

THE BOERS

The Boer pioneers or Voortekkers left the Cape Colony to escape British rule and dominance. A series of parties left the Cape in 1835 in what became known as the Great Trek.
They reached The hinterland of Delagoa Bay, above the Drakensberg Escarpment in what is now South Africa, in 1838, and established the Boer Republics of the Transvaal.

In their determination to free of British influence they attempted to establish a route to the sea at Delagoa Bay.
One of the Voortrekker leaders Louis Trichardt,eventually reached the Bay after a strenuous and difficult journey, only to be stricken with fever where most of his party died. Further attempts by the Boers to build a road to Delagoa Bay, were blocked by the British and the Portuguese as the Portuguese were wary of doing anything that would lead to direct British involvement in Mozambique.
In 1869 however the Portuguese and the Boers signed a treaty which recognised Portuguese rights to Mozambique and agreed to the building of a road from the Transvaal Republic, through to Delagoa Bay.


Transport riders made the journey from Delagoa Bay to Barberton and Pilgrims Rest and later Pretoria by ox wagons, transporting vital supplies to the interior. They suffered many hardships, running the risks of malaria tsetse fly and lions.

The British contested this agreement on the grounds that in 1823 the British flag had been raised on the southern shores of the Bay and that Delagoa Bay had been an open port.


This land claim ended up in the lap of the French President, Marshal MacMahon, to rule on. MacMahon ruled in favour of the Portuguese in 1875 and one of Mozambique's beers, "2 M" or "Dos M" still bears his name.

 

There was a square named in honor of him, Pracas dos MacMahon, which was changed to Pracas dos Trabalhadores (Worker's Square) at Independence.

 

 
 

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A catalogue of information on THE NINE PROVINCES OF SOUTH AFRICA with regards to South African travel, accommodation, South African tourism and South African tourist destinations, South African businesses, Things to Do in South Africa, and Places to see in South Africa.

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Information on the History of South Africa, and its popularity as a tourist destination.

 

Why is South Africa such a popular holiday resort?

FACTS ON SOUTH AFRICA

The Republic of South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of the African continent. It borders the countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Swaziland. Lesotho is an enclave entirely surrounded by South African territory.


South Africa has experienced a significantly different evolution from other nations in Africa as a result of two facts.

 

Firstly, immigration from Europe reached levels not experienced in other African communities.

 

Secondly, the strategic importance of the Cape Sea Route, as emphasised by the closure of the Suez Canal during the Six Day War, and mineralogical wealth made the country extremely important to Western interests, particularly during the Cold War.

 

As a result of the former, South Africa is a very racially diverse nation. It has the largest population of people of Coloured (i.e., mixed racial background), White, and Indian communities in Africa. Black South Africans account for slightly less than 80% of the population.Racial strife between the white minority and the black majority has played a large part in the country's history and politics, culminating in apartheid, which was instituted in 1948 by the National Party, although segregation existed prior to that date.

The laws that defined apartheid began to be repealed or abolished by the National Party in 1990 after a long and sometimes violent struggle (including economic sanctions from the international community) by the Black majority as well as many White, Coloured, and Indian South Africans.

 

The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, and regular elections have been held for almost a century; however, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994.

 

The economy of South Africa is the largest and best developed on the continent, with modern infrastructure common throughout the country.

 

South Africa is often referred to as The Rainbow Nation - a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and later elaborated upon by then-President Nelson Mandela as a metaphor to describe the country's newly-developing multicultural diversity in the wake of segregationist apartheid ideology.

 

South Africa will be the host nation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It will be the first time the tournament is held in Africa.

Information on the history of South Africa and the Nine Provinces of South Africa

GAUTENG KWA-ZULU NATAL LIMPOPO MPUMALANGA CAPE TOWN MOZAMBIQUE

GAUTENG

KWA-ZULU NATAL

Gauteng Province stretches from Pretoria, in the North, to Vereeniging, in the South. Johannesburg is the capital of the Gauteng province in South Africa and is considered to be the unofficial commercial capital of South Africa Johannesburg was founded in 1886, when gold was discovered in the area, and since then there have been four main "phases" of development. The original tented camps, which sprang up almost overnight (giving it the nick-name of "Mushroom City") gave way to tin shantys. These were replaced in turn by large 4 story Edwarian types of brick buildings. Finally it became a modern city (one of the "youngest" cities in the world) with skyscrapers, of which the Carlton Centre is the tallest in South Africa - 50 stories high.

 

The Hillbrow Tower (formerly the Hertzog Tower) is the equalivant of 90 stories high.

 

Although Johannesburg only became officially a city in 1928, it was set up as a town as early as 1886. The town was previously a farm called Randjieslaagte. At that time the Government owned the property and auctioned off 980 stands which lead to the establishment of the town.

Johannesburg was named after two commissioners - Johannes Rissik and Christiaan Johannes Joubert who had confirmed the discovery of gold by George Harrison in the area. Street names such as Rissik, Harrison and Commissioner in Johannesburg are named after these individuals.

 

By the time gold was discovered in the Johannesburg area the diamond rush in Kimberley was already reaching its end. When these diamond prospectors heard of the discovery of gold in the north many left Kimberley for Johannesburg. They arrived in the area in their droves and new shops and houses made out of corrugated iron were erected almost overnight. It soon became a vibrant town with pubs, shops and canteens. Within three years Johannesburg became the largest town in South Africa with over 630 000 ounces of gold mined by the end of 1889. Because of the rapid growth of business, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange was founded.

The first strike by mine workers for less hours and more pay occured in September of 1889. Water was also a problem and the private company supplying water to the town was unable to keep with the demand.

The city is currently undergoing a transformation in an effort to attract business back into the city centre.

The city of Johannesburg is also known as "Egoli", meaning City of gold - appropriately - as 40% of the worlds gold has been produced by the gold mines in and around the city!

The population of Johannesburg is in the region of 3,2 million, and the city provides in excess of 800,000 employment oppurtunities. The JDA - city wide economic development - stimulates and supports economic development throughout the city.The City of Johannesburg has had numerous "firsts" in South Africa over the last 120 years, some of the earlier ones being:
First Chemist - the "Golden Mortar Dispensary", founded by Mr Heymann in 1886, and situated on Commissioner Street.
First Brewery
- The Wilshire Brewery - situated north of Booysens, in 1887.
First Concert - Staged in Thompsons Store on President Street ( the offices of the "Star" newspaper house is now situated there) to celebrate Queen Victorias' Golden Jubulee, on 21 June 1887.
First Roller Skating Rink - on Kerk Street, in 1891.
First Ice-Skating Rink - named "Niagra, neat Park Station, in 1910
First Cafe - Cafe Francoies, on thes corners of Market & Joubert Streets.

Cradle of Humankind - World Heritage site and surrounding areas, including:
Muldersdrift, Lanseria, Sterkfontein etc. where fossils over 4 million years old have been discovered. The "Crocodile Ramble" is a highly recommended tour.

Johannesburg has a vibrant day & night life with clubs, theatres and many other entertainment venues, with something for all tastes, making it a favourite tourist destination. Amongst the many advantages, it is safe to drink tap water, which makes South Africa one of 3 such places in the world!

Tours to Johannesburg and surrounding areas, such as Cradle of Mankind, full day tour to a working Gold Mine, Gold Reef City, Soweto and many other places are available.

 

KwaZulu-Natal’s great wealth of environmental beauty and resources is now firmly established as one of the world's most protected places. KwaZulu-Natal’s expertly managed Nature Conservations and Game Parks ensure not only the protection of our fauna and flora but also provide an incredible outdoor experience. Suggestive of majesty as KwaZulu-Natal surely is - conjuring up imagery of a noble culture, magnificent wildlife and fabulous surroundings - naught compares to personal experience of our Zulu Kingdom's heartland.

 

Included in KwaZulu-Natal’s invigorating establishment of unconfined nature are captivating possibilities of being wrapped up in a majestic, vigorous culture. KwaZulu-Natal's prevailing Zulu nation was formed in the midst of this grandeur. Remarkable military landmarks also bear testimony to the Anglo-Boer War throughout KwaZulu-Natal. The region got its name in 1816, when the reigning chief - King Shaka, named his Kingdom KwaZulu - the Place of the People of Heaven.

 

The history and folklore of KZN can be experienced through the many battlefields, cultural sites and tours, found in KZN.

Portugal's ship-borne explorer Vasco da Gama sighted KwaZulu-Natal’s coastline on Christmas Day, 1497, and duly named it Natal, the first clan to bear the title 'Zulu' would only recently have come into existence. The son of Malandela, and bearing a name that translates as 'Heaven', Zulu had followed the traditional path of marrying and leaving home to establish his own clan soon after coming of age. His settlement thus became the first kwaZulu - 'Place of Heaven' - and its inhabitants the amaZulu - 'People of Heaven'. Zulu's most famous descendant, Shaka, was destined to impact on this land as profoundly as the European and British adventurers who followed in Vasco da Gama's path-finding wake

 

The KwaZulu-Natal coastline is populated with many small towns, many of which serve as holiday and recreational destinations. North of Durban is generally referred to as "The North Coast", while south is "The South Coast". The Kwazulu-Natal Tourist board includes towns like Margate, Port Shepstone, Scottburgh and Port Edward in its definition of what constitutes the South Coast, while Ballito, Umhlanga and Salt Rock are North Coast resort towns. Superb beaches of world-class quality are to be found along South Africa's eastern seaboard, with some of the least developed gems like the beach at Marina Beach (and its adjoining resort San Lameer) that was recognized in 2002 as a Blue Flag beach. An incredible natural phenomenon that takes place annually on the KwaZulu-Natal coast during late autumn or early winter is the "sardine run". Also referred to as "the greatest shoal on earth", the sardine run occurs when millions of sardines migrate from their spawning grounds south of the southern tip of Africa northwards along the Eastern Cape coastline towards KwaZulu-Natal following a path close inshore, often resulting in many fish washing up on beaches along the coast. The huge shoal of fish are followed and preyed upon by thousands of predators, including gamefish, sharks, dolphins and sea birds. Many questions surrounding this extraordinary event remain unanswered.

There are few places in Africa that rival the diversity of experiences and adventures on offer in KwaZulu-Natal. A few of the tourist attractions in Zululand are:

KwaZulu-Natal has an estimated population of 8.9 million. In KwaZulu-Natal there are 11 official; languages, with English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa are the most spoken. KwaZulu-Natal’s climate is an idyllic subtropical, which prevails throughout the year. Inland areas are more temperate. The warm Indian Ocean sea water temperature is enjoyed by swimmers all year round. KwaZulu-Natal province has three different geographic areas: the lowland region along the Indian Ocean coast, plains in the central section, and two mountainous areas, the Drakensberg Mountains in the west and the Lebombo Mountains in the north. The Tugela River flows west to east across the center of the province. KwaZulu-Natal's average temperatures in the province ranges from 17° to 28° C from October to April and from 11° to 25° C in the colder months. Annual rainfall is about 690 mm, falling throughout the year

LIMPOPO

MPUMALANGA

South Africa's tourist friendly Limpopo Province was originally named Northern Transvaal.The name was changed to Northern Province and was thereafter changed to Limpopo Province at the turn of the century. Both of the first two names were chosen because this is the most northern province in South Africa. The new name was chosen because the Limpopo River is a prominent feature throughout the province. This vast area is jam-packed with many interesting things to do, places to see and is best known for the game farms and reserves that beautify this lovely bushveld-rich province.


The summers in Limpopo, South Africa have above average summer temperatures, and a very comfortable moderate temperature for the rest of the year. Limpopo Province is a highly sought after tourist destination, in particular because of the many exclusive and luxurious private Game Farms and Game reserves, where one is assured of seeing the "Big 5" - Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino.

 

Accommodation in Limpopo ranges from affordable B&B accommodation, more upmarket B&B's and Guest Houses, to Very exclusive Game lodges and Reserves. In fact, there is accommodation on offer to suit every pocket. Capmsites abound, as do backpacker's camps. There are many and varied activities and things to do in Limpopo. Hunting Safaris are particularly popular in Limpopo, as are game viewing safaris, fishing, including trout fishing, hiking, wilderness routes, and of course, the ever-popular golfing. One of tha main attractions in Hoedspruit in the Limpopo Province is undoubtably Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, along with the Hoedspruit Research and Breeding Centre for Endangered Species where more than 70 cheetahs and the "Painted Wolf" or Cape Hunting Dog, a Vulture Restaurant and other rare animals can be seen.

 

There is also the artists and wilderness routes. See Places to See for further information. All of these activities and places of interest make Limpopo the ideal tourist destination in South Africa.

 

The town of Phalaborwa in Limpopo, South Africa is situated within walking distance of the Phalaborwa entrance to the Kruger National Park, a great tourist destination. Phalaborwa forms an ideal base from which to explore this famous national game reserve, with the comfort of many accommodation options and a small shopping mall for convenience. Phalaborwa, South Africa, is often referred to as the town with two summers due to the fact that it never really gets cold there, even in winter. So for a tourist destination this is a "must see". Tourists can visit here all year round without having to pack their heavy coats! The Olifants river winds its way past Phalaborwa trough the Klasserie Nature Reserve (an area of 62 500ha) and into the Kruger National Park.

 

The small charming traditional 'boere' town of Louis Trichardt now called Makhado in Limpopo, South Africa is nestled close to the Soutpansberg (Salt Pan Mountain). This is South Africa's most northern mountain range and this rugged terrain is filled with a famous tourist attraction - the giant baobab trees. The Soutpansberg mountain range at Louis Trichardt, South Africa is 130km long and is so named because of the large salt pan situated on the western slopes. The highest point, called Lajuma is home to scores of eagles, falcons and other predatory bird species.

 

Another tourist attraction to these mountains is the fact that these mountains are home to the largest concentration of leopard that can be found - in the world! Musina, Limpopo is the most northerly town in South Africa and is close to the Great North road and the border post to Zimbabwe and thus, the rest of Africa! The rich copper fields in the North Country ultimately led to the founding and growth of Musina (then called Messina – the Afrikaans spelling). In Prehistoric times the Musina African tribe discovered the copper and called it Musina, in their language this word meant ‘spoiler'. The Musina tribe thought copper to be a poor substitute to Iron hence the name! It was rediscovered in the 20 th Century by prospectors. Today Musina, South Africa is the centre of a large iron ore, semi-precious stone, diamond, coal, graphite, magnetite and copper mining area.

 

Thabazimbi is situated in the North West corner of Limpopo, South Africa. Thabazimbi is named after the exceptionally lucrative iron ore that was found in the area in 1919. The word Thabazimbi literally means Mountain Of Iron in a local language.The area around Thabazimbi, Limpopo was predominantly used for cattle farming and had a high standing in South Africa's beef industry. Not far from Thabazimbi is the town of Lephalale (Ellisras), Limpopo where you will find the world largest dry cooled power station called Matimba. Other tourist attractions include the Art Weekend at Thandanani and some of the most fascinating San Artwork to be seen in South Africa. If you are looking for hunting safaris, big 5 professional hunters, bowhunting, hunting outfitters, hunting farms, game farms or game outfitters, Limpopo Province in South Africa is the place to see.

 

One of South Africas most tourist friendly towns is Tzaneen (Tzaneen is derived from the word 'tsaneng' which means 'come together' in an African Language) and is situated in the foothills of the impressive Wolkberg (Cloud Mountain). A must see for all Tourists as it is a gem of a tourist destination. Tzaneen, Limpopo, South Africa is a subtropical paradise with indigenous and exotic plants and forms the heart of the Valley of the Olifants region. Tzaneen is the second largest town in the Limpopo province of South Africa and Tzaneen is seen as the 'capital' of the lovely Letaba District which are more than 20 00 square kilometers of tropical and subtropical farming in the Letsitele River Valley - a real tourist destination with a great variety of accommodation. The Tzaneen, Limpopo, South Africa area is where the Shangaans and the Sotho people originated and their ethnic cultures and lifestyles are shown in a living Museum in Tzaneen, South Africa, on the Hans Merensky Nature Reserve. The Hans Merensky Nature Reserve is an ideal Tourist rendezvous point that offers accommodation and lots of information on Limpopo.
This is a destination that suites all tastes and pockets with an impressive range of accommodation, several that have brought particular honour to the region through their national awards for excellence.

 

Did you know that the name Modimolle means 'Place of the Spirits" and that the original name of this place in Limpopo was Nylstroom, called thus after some Voortrekkers came across the north-flowing river and mistook the river for the Nile River in Egypt. The fact that there is a pyramid shaped hill close by only served to strengthen this misconception. Modimolle, Limpopo, South Africa, was previously known as Nylstroom and is a charming town which serves as the commercial centre of the Waterberg. Modimolle's landmark is a solitary hill named Kranskop. This is the reason for the new name of this town in Limpopo, as this hill is revered to as Modimolle hill by the African people in the area. The Anglo-Boer war concentration camp was established in Nylstroom /Modimolle, South Africa in 1901.

 

Hoedspruit in Limpopo, South Africa borders on the Kruger National Park and is known as the 'Valley of the Olifants' Hoedspruit used to be a small and comparatively unspoiled tourism and agriculturally orientated town in the centre of the lowveld. The Hoedspruit area in South Africa encompasses the middle reaches of the Olifants River with its major tributaries, the Letaba, Shingwedzi, Blyde, Mohlapitse, Ga-Selati, Timbavati and Klasserie Rivers and makes a great tourist destination. Hoedspruit is an area offering most tourist attractions such as, rich wildlife, scenery, mountains, rivers, dams, archaeology, cultural and ethnic attractions and important sites associated with the history of the region.

 

Bela Bela / Warmbaths, South Africa was originally named Warmbad, but has now been renamed. This town in Limpopo derived the name Bela Bela from the Tswana language and can be loosely translated as ‘boiling-boiling'. A natural spring providing 22 000 liters of therapeutic water at 50°C is obvious fact to the name Bela Bela as it was named in the early 19 th Century by the Tswana tribes that encountered this phenomenon. It was only in the 1870's that the Transvaal Government decided to buy the land to build a resort and support the township in the area. Bela Bela now offers many types of accommodation, recreation and extreme sports.

 

Last but definitely not least is the City of Polokwane in Limpopo, South Africa which serves as the capital of Limpopo, South Africa and is a definite must see for the tourist as it boasts numerous attractions and activities as well as serving as the economic center for the total area of South Africa, north of Gauteng. In 1884 this land (Polokwane, South Africa) was made available for settlement by the ZAR (Zuid Afrikaanshe Republiek) and was named Pietersburg in honor of the revered Voortrekker leader General Pieter Jacobus Joubert and was proclaimed in 1886. This city has enjoyed a hundred and twenty years of prosperity and has grown rapidly due to its geographical location. The city of Pietersburg was one of the first places in South Africa to change its name after the fall of ‘Apartheid' to Polokwane, which in the local language translates to ‘Place of Safety'.

One of South Africa's major tourist destinations is found in the South African Province of Mpumalanga, which means 'Place where the sun rises', and is bordered by Mozambique and Swaziland in the east, and Gauteng in the west. Mpumalanga in South Africa is a sought after tourist destination, abounding in accommodation establishments, places to see, and things to do. Its many tourist attractions and places to see include the Kruger National Park, the Sudwala Caves, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Pilgrim's Rest and the Panorama Route - a place of great scenic beauty.

 

This website provides information on Mpumalanga accommodation and tourist destinations within the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. There are many, many things to do in Mpumalanga, including adventure activities, hiking, camping, white water rafting, bungi jumping, the Big Swing - all offered within the Panorama route of Mpumalanga.

 

Each of the towns listed above have their own unique tourist destinations and tourist activities.

 

Nelspruit houses the Sudwala caves, is close to the Kruger National Park and has an abundance of curio shops and business sector.

 

Scenic Sabie and Graskop are the gateway to the Long Tom Pass, with its fascinating history of the Anglo/Boer wars and surrounding battlefields.

 

Dullstroom offers the Dullstroom Bird of Prey & Rehabilitation Centre, Malelane is the gateway to Mozambique.

 

Barberton and Pilgrim's Rest offer the history of the gold rush in South Africa, while each of the towns in this site cater for all tourist requirements with regards to accommodation in Mpumalanga - be it a bed and breakfast accommodation, a Game Farm experience, Hotel accommodation, Guest Lodge or self-catering accommodation.

 

They cater for tourists, locals, businessmen, backpackers, holiday makers and family groups: ranging from budget accommodation to ultra-luxury accommodation. There is something for everyone!

 

Mpumalanga South Africa falls mainly within the Grassland Biome. The Escarprnent and the Lowveld form a transitional zone between this grassland area and the Savannah Biome. Long sweeps of undulating grasslands abruptly change to the thickly forested ravines and cascading waterfalls of the escarpment, only to change again to present the subtropical wildlife splendour of the Lowveld. The escarpment and the Lowveld have always been popular tourist attractions. Now that new borders have been drawn for this province, only the southern, albeit most popular, part of the Kruger National Park is within this province.

 

The area is crisscrossed by a network of excellent roads and railway connections, making it highly accessible to the tourist. Because of its popularity as a tourist destination, Mpumalanga is also well served by a number of small airports.

 

The Kruger National Park will, however, remain an untouched unit, a province for wildlife on its own. This is a huge tourist attraction for overseas tourists. Kruger National Park in South Africa's province of Mpumalanga occupies most of Mpumalanga's and Northern Province's borders with Mozambique, and covers over 20 000 square kilometers - an area the size of Whales or Massachusetts. Kruger National Park is the easiest African game park to drive around in on your own; staying at one of Kruger NationalPark's many well-run rest camps. On its western border lie a number of private reserves, offering alternate accommodation to the Kruger National Park, with well-informed rangers conducting safaris in open vehicles.

 

Accommodation in Mpumalanga, South Africa, is mostly of a very high standard. If you are looking for B and B accommodation, or self-cateringaccommodation, especially for longer stays, this is the place to be, while you explore some of the many and varied tourist destinations.There is an abundance of tourist attractions in South Africa, many of which are situated in Mpumalanga South Africa. Adventure holidays and entertainment abound in Mpumalang's towns surrounding the magnificent Panorama Route. Scenic tours, day trips and overnight stays in the Kruger National Park are easily arraged through tour operators in the Mpumalanga Province. Each town on Mpumalanga Happenings website has a fascinating history, whether it is about the Gold Rush in Barberton and Pilgrim's Rest, or about the Anglo/British wars, or the amazing hardships and obstacles that beset the leaders of the Great Trek.

 

Mpumalanga Province of South Africa is situated mainly on the high plateau grasslands of the Middleveld, which roll eastwards for hundreds of kilometres. In the north-east it rises towards mountain peaks and then terminates in an immense and breathtaking escarpment. In places this escarpment plunges hundreds of metres down to the low-lying area known as the Lowveld. Mpumalanga is located on the South of Northern Province, East of Gauteng, North West of KwaZulu Natal, West of Swaziland and Mozambique.

 

  • Nelspruit is the legislative capital of the province. This town is the administrative and business centre of the Lowveld and provides a perfect base from which to explore the province.
  • Witbank is the centre of the local coal-mining industry;
  • Standerton, in the south, is renowned for its large dairy industry;
  • Piet Retief in the south-east is a production area for tropical fruit and sugar
  • Malelane - a large sugar industry is also found at Malelane in the east.
  • Ermelo is the district in South Africa which produces the most wool;
  • Barberton is one of the oldest gold-mining towns in South Africa;
  • Sabie is situated in the forestry heartland of the country.
  • Dullstroom Dullstroom dates back to the early 1880's when Dutch Settlers made their way to the place of "eternal mist". The town is situated at 2100 m above sea level, making this one of the highest towns in the country.

    "Long Toms", the cannons, which the Boers used to try and dislodge the British from Lydenburg in the battle between the Boers and the British in the Anglo-Boer War (1899 -1902) in the Lydenburg area,were more easily moved as they were fitted with 4 wheels, whilst the 5 inch British guns guns had only 2 wheels.

    Dullstroom Bird of Prey & Rehabilitation Centre recently moved to a new site just one kilometre out side Dullstroom on the Belfast side. There are two presentations daily where they fly eagles, owls, falcons, hawks etc. It is fun for all the family, great chances for close up photos of all the birds and one even gets a chance to handle some of them. A really great wild experience.
  • Graskop - "Jock of the Bushveld" belongs to the late 1880's and the early 1890's. Two chapters of this classic African tale - namely "Paradise Camp" and "Baboons and Tiger" - took place a stone's throw away from where the town of GRASKOP now stands.

 

The green gold of Sabie and Graskop provides a large part of the country's total requirement for forestry products. These forestry plantations are also an ideal backdrop for ecotourism opportunities, with a variety of popular hiking trails, myriad water-falls, patches of indigenous forest and a variety of nature reserves. The biggest of these is the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, where God's Window provides unforgettable vistas of the Lowveld. An oasis is provided by the mineral springs at Badplaas. Chrissiesmeer is the largest natural freshwater lake in South Africa. It is famous for its large variety of aquatic birds, especially flamingos. The Sudwala Caves, deep in the dolomite rocks of the surrounding mountains, is a worth- while tourist stop. This evergreen comer of the country has enormous tourism potential.

 

The Panorama Route, one of the scenic highlights of any tour through South Africa, proceeds along the escarpment. In the expanse of the Lowveld lies the Kruger National Park, the world's biggest game reserve.

 

The Panorama Route in Mpumalanga includes some magnificent tourist destinations, such as: The Bourke's Luck Potholes, The Sudwala Caves, God's Window, The Three Sisters, Pilgrim's Rest (with its historical restored buildings filled with curios of the highest quality, as well as the history of the Gold Rush in South Africa), The Lydenburg Heads as well as a variety of Trout Farms and Trout Fishing venues.

 

The Panorama Route is a must for all tourists to Mpumalanga Province.

CAPE TOWN

MOZAMBIQUE

The Cape Colony of the future South Africa was established by the Dutch East India Company (not by the Netherlands, as is often mistakenly presumed) in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied in 1795, and finally just taken in 1806 by the British - the period immediately before and during the Napoleonic Wars.

 

It was coextensive with the later Cape Province, stretching from the Atlantic coast inland and eastward along the southern coast, constituting about half of modern South Africa: the final eastern boundary, after several wars against the Xhosa, stood at the Fish River. In the north, the Orange River, also known as the Gariep River, served for a long time as the boundary, although some land between the river and the southern boundary of Botswana was later added to it.

 

The history of Cape Colony started in 1652 with the founding of Cape Town by Dutch commander Jan van Riebeeck, working for the Dutch East India Company, known in Dutch as the "Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie" (VOC).

 

Napoléon occupied the Seven Provinces of the Netherlands in 1795, or the mother country of the Dutch East India Company. This prompted Great Britain to occupy the territory in 1795 as a tactic in the Napoleonic Wars. The Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie transferred its territories and claims to the Batavian Republic in 1798 and ceased to exist in 1799.

 

Improving relations between Great Britain and Napoleonic France, and its vassal state the Batavian Republic, led the British to hand Cape Colony over to the Batavian Republic in 1803 (under the terms of the Treaty of Amiens).

 

In 1806, the Cape, now nominally controlled by the Batavian Republic, was occupied again by the British in the Battle of Blaauwberg. The temporary peace between Britain and Napoleonic France had crumbled into open hostilities, whilst Napoleon had been strengthening his influence on the Batavian Republic (which Napoleon would subsequently abolish later the same year). The British hoped to keep Napoleon out of the Cape, and to control the Far East trade routes.

 

They set up a British colony on 8 January, 1806. Cape Colony remained under British rule until the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, when it became the Cape of Good Hope Province, better known as the Cape Province

 

HISTORY; see also Maputo Bay and Surrounds

The first inhabitants of Mozambique were of the Khoisani people, viz. San hunter gatherers. The Nguni (Bantu) people migrated southwards, from the north of Africa,crossing the Zambezi River valley, which was a major barrier, and down the coastal plain during the first millennium of the Christian era viz. the first to the fourth centuries AD. They then gradually spread into the plateau and coastal areas of South Eastern Africa.
This migration was mainly confined to the east of the 600mm rainfall line and they were farmers and herders as well being of the iron age, using metal tools and implements.
Today most of Mozambique's indigenous peoples are of this Nguni origin. Mozambique had an established Arab presence by the 10th century.
Coastal trade was at first dominated by Arabs and Persians, who had established settlements as far south as Mozambique Island. Mozambique was in fact named after the Arab sheik on Mozambique Island called "Musa Bin Biki" when Vasco de Gama first landed there in 1498. de Gama was the first European to reach Mozambique.
The Arabs traded with these Bantu-speaking people, mainly in ivory, gold and slaves, (Black Gold) supplied by kingdoms in the interior hinterland. In time intermarriage between these two groups gave rise to the Swahili culture which is still dominant in the Eastern African coastal areas down to northern Mozambique.
One of the oldest and most southerly of these trading groups, was the Kingdom of Mwene Mutapa (Monomatapo) with it's capital at Great Zimbabwe. These are the ancestors of the Shona people. This empire extended south from the Zambesi River incorporating the Save River down to the Limpopo River, and then eastwards to the coast. The main outlets to the sea were at Sofala, south of Beira and at Mozambique Island further north.The first European to reach Mozambique was Vasco da Gama after he had rounded the Southern tip of Africa in 1498. He had thus opened up the trade route from Europe to India. Portugal became the dominant trading power of the East Coast of Africa, by conquering the Arab trading settlements and it monopolised the Indian Ocean trading routes for two centuries until they were defeated by the Omani Arabs at the end of the 17th century.
The Portuguese made Mozambique Island their headquarters until they changed it to Delagoa Bay, which became Lourenco Marques and now Maputo in 1897. For further history of Delagoa Bay, Lourenco Marques and now Maputo, refer to "Maputo Bay and Surrounds".

The first Portuguese fort built in Mozambique was at Sofala to protect their gold trade route. A settlement was also built at Quelimane north of the Zambesi River. The Zambesi River became the main trade route with forts and trading posts at Tete and Sena on the banks of the river, trading for gold ivory and slaves in exchange for European trade goods, like beads and tools and cloths.
In the 1600s Portuguese traders and retired soldiers seized large areas of land in the Zambesi Valley and established what was known as Prazos or agricultural estates, using slave labour or forced local communities to supply workers. These "Prazeros" as they were known became very wealthy and dominated the area as independant powers for 300 years. The Prazos were stopped in the early 1900s.

Mozambique, formally also known as Portuguese East Africa, became a Portuguese colony in 1505, becoming an overseas province of Portugal in 1951.

 

 

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