South Africa Information - Great Safaris

South Africa Information

Where in the world can so much variety be expected? South Africa offers you magnificent natural beauty in so many different forms.

Throughout its History, South Africa has been a geographic designation rather than a reflection of a national reality. The result is that today the Republic of South Africa has one of the most complex and diversified population mixes in the world, a rich mosaic of distinctive minorities. This is underscored by the fact that not one of South Africa’s major languages is spoken by a majority of all The People.

The four major ethnic divisions among black people are the Nguni, Sotho, Shangaan-Tsonga and Venda. Together the Nguni and Sotho account for the largest percentage of the total black population.
White people trace their origins to the Dutch East India Company settlement at the Cape in 1652 and the British settlements of the 1700’s. The main language groups are English and Afrikaans. English speakers are descendants of English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Australian, American and Canadian. They have contributed to the establishment of exclusive clubs, African paintings by artists such as Baines and Bowler, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, Scottish music and Welsh song. The Afrikaans language was developed locally from Dutch roots and its speakers are known for their pioneering spirit, desire for independence, adaptability and hospitality. The Afrikaaner community is unity-conscious, strongly bound to its culture, nation, country, language, religion, institutions and organizations.

The Griquas, largely of Hottentot (Khoi-Khoi) ancestry, have developed a culture of their own, characterized linguistically by a broken form of Dutch-Afrikaans with a peculiar yet dignified power of expression. Their religion, love of sacred song and choirs are their chief cultural features.

The Cape Malays are descendants of the early Muslim people brought to the Cape by the Dutch East India Company. Despite bondage and isolation, they have remained faithful to Islam, still manifest in all their traditional ceremonies, feasts, weddings, funerals and pilgrimages to Mecca.

The first Indians came to South Africa in l860 as indentured laborers of the Natal colonial government for Natal’s sugar plantations. For many decades, it was assumed that the Indians should eventually be repatriated. It was only in 1961, after South Africa became a republic, that this notion was abandoned and the Indian community was allowed to stay as a permanent part of the South African population.

Location:
The Republic of South Africa lies at the southern tip of the African continent between latitudes 22 and 35 south, flanked by the Indian Ocean on the east coast and the Atlantic on the west, and bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. Washed by the cold Benguala current on the west coast and the warm Mozambique Agulhas current on the east, the country has a coastline of 1,832 miles.

Size:
The nine provinces – Gauteng (Capital – Johannesburg), KwaZulu-Natal (Capital – Pietersburg), North West (Capital – Mmbatho), Mpumalanga (Capital – Nelspruit), Free State (Capital – Bloemfontein), Northern Cape (Capital- Kimberley), Western Cape (Capital – Cape Town), Eastern Cape (Capital – Bisho), cover a total of 1,227,200 km (472, 359 square miles). Comparatively, South Africa is slightly less than twice the size of Texas.

Population:
About 49 million people – Blacks 79.6%, Whites 9.1%, Asians/Indian 2.5%. This heterogeneous composition embodies a unique diversity of cultures, religions, languages and lifestyles.

Time:
Two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, one hour ahead of Central European Time and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, USA.

Climate:
The climate is generally sunny and temperate, with average number of sunshine hours each day among the highest in the world. Winters are mild and clear, although occasional snowfalls occur on the higher mountain ranges of the Eastern and Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, causing brief cold spells in the surrounding areas.

More than 40% of South Africa lies nearly 4,000 feet above sea level, which exerts a significant influence on temperatures and rainfall in the interior of the country. The Western Cape Province enjoys a Mediterranean-type climate (dry summer and winter rainfall, mostly in the form of short afternoon thunderstorms). As the country lies in the southern hemisphere, seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere.

A Taste of South Africa

A Taste of South Africa Cape Town

Come along on A Taste of South Africa! Spend 4 nights in cosmopolitan Cape Town, voted one of the top destinations in the world, with the opportunity for self-exploration or optional full and half day tours. Continue on an exciting 3 day wildlife adventure at a private luxury Big 5 game reserve with the style
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Affordable Southern Safari – Cape Town & Wildlife Safari

Affordable South Africa Table Mountain

Visiting the two most popular areas in South Africa, our Affordable Southern Safari delivers both a cosmopolitan city experience in Cape Town and an exciting wildlife adventure in private luxury game reserve. Affordable Southern Safari  – South Africa Tour Length: 10 days Cape Town | Kruger Park 10 Days – South Africa Land cost from
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African Elephant Safari & Cruise

African Elephant Safari & Cruise Zambezi Queen

South Africa, Victoria Falls and Botswana Tour Length: 12 days Victoria Falls | Cruise: Zambezi Queen or Zambezi Princess | Johannesburg | Greater Kruger Park 12 Days – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Departures Weekly This special tour, African Elephant Safari & Cruise, spends three nights on a luxury African river safari and cruise on the
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Beauty and the Beasts South Africa Safari

Beauty and the Beasts South Africa Safari penguin close-up

South Africa Tour Length: 13 days Cape Town | Winelands | North Kruger Park | South Kruger Park | Victoria Falls optional extension 13 Days – South Africa Beauty and the Beasts South Africa Safari: Wildlife, Winelands and Waterfront. An extended exploration of Southern Africa, including the romance of Cape Town, the wine tastings in
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Cape & Kruger – Cape Town and Kruger Park Safari

Cape Town and Kruger Park Safari

South Africa Tour Length: 10 days Cape Town | North Kruger Park | South Kruger Park 10 Days – South Africa Visiting the two most popular areas in South Africa, our Cape Town & Kruger Park Safari delivers both a cosmopolitan city experience and exciting wildlife adventure including private game reserves and a walking safari.
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Cape & Safari

Cape & Safari Cape Town aerial view

Our Cape & Safari delivers both a cosmopolitan Cape Town city experience and exciting wildlife adventure in Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, Kruger National Park. Cape & Safari Tour Length: 10 days Cape Town | Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, Kruger National Park 10 Days – South Africa Land cost from $5,795 per person, sharing
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Cape to Cairo Ultimate Journey of a Lifetime

Rovos Rail Steam Train class 19D-I

South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Egypt Tour Length: 32 days Cape to Cairo Ultimate Journey of a Lifetime. This epic 32-day journey of a lifetime takes in an Africa that people only dream of. It includes life-changing “bucket-list” experiences, stays at iconic hotels, and some of the most spectacular scenery on the
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Cape Town & The Magical Mystery Safari

cape-point

South Africa Tour Length: 9 days Cape Town | Entabeni Safari Conservancy 9 Days – South Africa Come join us on the Cape Town & The Magical Mystery Safari! Three nights is cosmopolitan Cape Town, followed by three nights of wildlife at Entabeni, featuring grassy plains, sandy wetlands and majestic craggy rock formations. From $1,995
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Diamond Safari Cape Town – Kruger, Tel Aviv & Jerusalem

South Africa & Israel Tour Length: 17 days Cape Town | Greater Kruger Park | Tel Aviv | Haifa | Tiberias | Jerusalem 17 Days – South Africa & Israel Diamond Safari Cape Town – Kruger, Tel Aviv & Jerusalem: An adventure to the tip of Africa, Cape Town to Israel to view ancient sites.
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Go See Southern Africa – Cape Town & Kruger Park

go-see-southern-africa-logo-355x124

South Africa Tour Length: 10 days Cape Town | North Kruger Park | South Kruger Park 10 Days – South Africa Go See Southern Africa – Cape Town & Kruger Park AIR AND LAND INCLUSIVE TOUR! Delivering both a cosmopolitan city experience and exciting wildlife adventure, this tour visits the most exciting locales in South
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Golden Triangle Safari featuring South Africa & Victoria Falls

Cape_town_aerial

South Africa & Victoria Falls Tour Length: 12 days Cape Town | Sun City | Johannesburg | Victoria Falls 12 Days – South Africa & Zambia Our Golden Triangle Safari featuring South Africa & Victoria Falls links Cape Town’s waterfront beauty with Sun City’s The Palace of the Lost City, nestled in an extinct volcanic
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Good Earth South Africa Safari

Good Earth South Africa Safari

South Africa Tour Length: 12 days Cape Town | Winelands | Grootbos Nature Reserve | Johannesburg | Kruger Park 12 Days – South Africa The Good Earth philosophy is to get the best safari experience possible, while participating in unique activities that aid in keeping your ‘carbon footprint’ as small as possible. Opportunities for giving
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Great Safaris Rail / Train Journeys

Great Safaris Rail / Train Journeys

Great Safaris Rail / Train Journeys: Rail Journeys of Distinction through Southern Africa Ask any inveterate traveler and they will tell you that an exotic sojourn by rail is one of the most memorable aspects of a journey. Whether it is a short over-nighter or a two week epic adventure, there is nothing quite so
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In Nelson Mandela’s Footsteps

In Nelson Mandela

South Africa Tour Length: 11 days Johannesburg | Cape Town | Greater Kruger Park 11 Days – South Africa An extraordinary journey, celebrating an extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela. In Nelson Mandela’s Footsteps is a tour heavy in the cultural highlights of South Africa, while still giving you opportunity to see some of the best
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Romancing Africa

romancing-africa

Honeymoon For Adventurers – South Africa & Victoria Falls Tour Length: 13 days Cape Town | Victoria Falls | Johannesburg | Greater Kruger Park 13 Days – South Africa, Zimbabwe This exclusive Romancing Africa safari through South Africa and Victoria Falls will get any traveler’s heart racing with exhilarating activities, exciting game drives, and romantic
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Royal Botswana Safari with Victoria Falls

Royal Botswana Safari with Victoria Falls hippo

The Royal Botswana Safari with Victoria Falls visits exclusive African destinations at the ‘Smoke That Thunders’ and ‘The Last Refuge’ and features incredible accommodations. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Tour Length: 12 days Johannesburg | Victoria Falls | Chobe National Park | Moremi Game Reserve 12 Days – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana From $5,295 per person Commence
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Safari In Style with Relais & Châteaux

cheetah-smirking

South Africa & Victoria Falls Tour Length: 12 days Cape Town | Greater Kruger Park | Johannesburg | Victoria Falls 12 Days – South Africa & Zambia The best of Southern Africa in accommodations by Relais & Châteaux, the world’s finest hoteliers. Experience upgraded accommodations, special added excursions, selected private tours, elephant back and walking
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Safari with Mozambique Mystique

Safari with Mozambique Mystique giraffes

South Africa and Mozambique Tour Length: 11 days Johannesburg | Kruger Park | Bazaruto Archipelago 11 Days – South Africa, Mozambique Our Safari with Mozambique Mystique safari combines the romance of the South Africa bush and the Mozambique beach. Spend three nights in the bush in the wilds of South Africa, followed by a romantic
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South Africa Adventure

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South Africa Tour Length: 11 days Cape Town | Greater Kruger Park The two most popular South African destinations at an incredible price. Our South Africa Adventure offers the culture and luxury of Cape Town, with the wilds of Moditlo Private Game Reserve. From $3,595 per person Special Offer: Welcome to the ‘fairest Cape in
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The Great Southern Safari

buffalo

South Africa & Victoria Falls Tour Length: 12 days Cape Town | Kruger Park | Johannesburg | Victoria Falls 12 Days – South Africa, Zimbabwe/Zambia The Great Southern Safari is an extraordinary, well-rounded journey featuring the luxury of Cape Town, the safaris of Kruger, and the awe-inspiring splendor of Victoria Falls. From $4,695 to $9,995
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