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.

Affordable South Africa – Cape Town & Wildlife Safari

Affordable South Africa - Cape Town & Wildlife Safari

Visiting the two most popular areas in South Africa, our Affordable South Africa – Cape Town & Wildlife Safari delivers both a cosmopolitan city experience in Cape Town and an exciting wildlife adventure in a private luxury game reserve. Tour Length: 8 days Land cost from $1695 per person Welcome to the ‘fairest Cape in
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African Elephant Safari & Cruise

Victoria Falls Botswana Cruise and Greater Kruger - The Zambezi Queen

Victoria Falls, Botswana Cruise and Greater Kruger Park African Elephant Safari & Cruise experience brings you Victoria Falls, a Botswana Cruise and a Kruger wildlife safari.  Spend three nights on a luxury African river safari and cruise on the Chobe River. Double your  pleasure with a stay at overwhelming Victoria Falls – the ‘Smoke That
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Authentic South Africa

Authenic South Africa - Cape Town & Greater Kruger Park lion

Cape Town & Greater Kruger Park The two most popular South African destinations at an incredible price.  Authentic South Africa – Cape Town & Greater Kruger Park offers the culture and luxury of Cape Town and the wilds of Greater Kruger Park. Tour Length: 9 days From $2895 per person Welcome to the ‘fairest Cape
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Beauty and the Beasts South Africa Safari

Cape Town, Winelands, North & South Kruger Park penguin close-up

Cape Town, Winelands, North & South Kruger Park Visit Cape Town, Winelands, North & South Kruger Park on our 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 Stellenbosch, the astonishing array of flora and fauna of
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Cape & Kruger – Cape Town and Kruger Park Safari

Cape Town and Kruger Park Safari

Cape Town, North & South Kruger Park Visiting Cape Town, North & South Kruger Park, the two most popular areas in South Africa, our Cape Town & Kruger Park Safari delivers both a cosmopolitan city experience and an exciting wildlife adventure including private game reserves and a walking safari. Tour Length: 8 days From $3,495 
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Diamond Safari – South Africa and Israel

Cape Town | Greater Kruger Park  | Haifa | Jerusalem Tour Length: 16 days Land from $7,595  per person Diamond Safari Cape Town,  Kruger Park, Haifa & Jerusalem: An adventure to the tip of South Africa followed by a thrilling safari in Kruger Park, visiting two different luxury lodges.   Then it is on to Israel
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Golden Triangle Safari featuring South Africa & Victoria Falls

Golden Triangle Safari Cape Town aerial view

South Africa & Victoria Falls Cape Town | Sun City | Johannesburg | Victoria Falls Tour Length: 10 days From $2,895 per person 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 crater, surrounded by
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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: 9 days From $3,795 per person Celebrate “The Long Walk To Freedom” Johannesburg | Cape Town | Greater Kruger Park 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
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Rail Journeys of Distinction through Southern Africa

the-blue-train

Ask any inveterate traveler: 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 romantic and relaxing as a train ride! South Africa boasts two special rail systems: The famous Blue Train (faster
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Safari In Style with Relais & Châteaux

Safari in Style cheetah-smirking

South Africa & Zambia (Victoria Falls) Tour Length: 12 days Cape Town | Greater Kruger Park | Johannesburg | Livingstone 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 safaris, game drives, and a mixture of
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The Great Southern Safari

Cape Town Kruger and Victoria Falls water buffalo up close

Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls The Great Southern Safari is an extraordinary journey to Cape Town, Kruger  Park and Victoria Falls, offering  cosmopolitan sights, luxury safaris and awe-inspiring splendor. Tour Length: 10 days From $3,595 per person The allure of Africa is undeniable. And what better way to fall under her spell than to
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The Great Wing Safari Botswana

The Great Wing Safari Botswana Okavango delta canoe

Botswana The Great Wing Safari Botswana takes you to “Old Africa’s Last Refuge” – Botswana, a truly wild destination. The Great Wing Safari Botswana highlights three unique destinations on a rotating circuit via bush plane jumpers and includes game drives, canoeing safaris, exciting game walks and more. Tour Length: 8 days Johannesburg | Chobe National
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The World’s Greatest Romantic Adventure – South Africa

cheetahs

South Africa Tour Length: 9 days  Cape Town | Greater Kruger Park Land from $3,195 per person Adventure. Wildlife. Romance. The World’s Greatest Romantic Adventure – South Africa offers four nights in romantic Cape Town, including a beautiful sunset cruise, tours of the Cape and more. Followed by four nights at Makalali Private Game Reserve
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