You will probably be tempted to visit South Africa during your trip to Botswana, and we don’t blame you. Botswana is perhaps the sub-Saharan extension of South Africa. Tourists are often torn between the two countries on their travels but you’re best going to both in order to pick your favourite. South Africa is a friendly multi-cultural nation- an image boosted massively from hosting the football World Cup in 2010. South Africa is certainly diverse. There are eleven languages, five racial groups and the country is so steeped in cultural importance it has three capital cities. But where do you go and what you hope to see when visiting?
In Cape Town
The Table Mountain and Table Mountain national park sits on top of the peninsula. You can’t miss it. Many tourists abseil or zip-wire off the mountain top. The less adventurous might choose to have a picnic on The Cape of Good Hope. Boat trips are available to the islands just off the coast. Nelson Mandela was famously an inmate at the prison on Robben Island. The prison is now a museum open to the public. Cape Town’s nature trails, water sports, fine dining and vineyards make it the best city in South Africa for holidaymakers of all ages to visit.
Nelson Mandela’s inauguration was held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The national natural history museum, Transvaal Museum, in central Pretoria is another wonderous architectural delight with grandiose gardens surrounding it. Aside from government buildings, the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is a stunning, must-see area with all the wildlife the country has to offer, including area dedicated to the preservation of endangered species. You can also go hiking or cycling at Groenkloof Nature Reserve while you observe the wildebeest, zebra and other native animals.
The ‘City of the Roses’ is known as such due to the Mangaug Rose Festival every October. You won’t miss it if you go to the city during the festival, as thousands of roses are paraded around the city. If flowers are your thing, the Free State National Botanical Gardens show off some of the finest scenic views. South African history is celebrated in the National Museum, where you can plot the progression of racial equality and the collapse of Apartheid in the early 1990’s. Nelson Mandela features heavily as legend who contributed towards the freedom of the Black community. Colours combine in the Oliewenhuis Art Museum.
You’ll see a combination of old and new South Africa. Soccer City Stadium was renovated to become the main venue for the 2010 World Cup. At 94,736 seats, it’s the largest sports stadium in South Africa. Also here, is the Apartheid Museum which pays tribute to the struggles of Black men and women in the country’s past. The Cradle of Humankind are World Heritage listed caves containing primate fossils and rich wildlife. Younger travellers may prefer the shopping and nightlife of the Inner City, or Gold Reef theme park.