South Africa                

Discover South Africa

Gold and the History of Johannesburg are intertwined. The discovery of gold in the late 1890's led to a gold rush by prospectors from all over the world to the area now known as Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng. Instead of just doing a Soweto tour - why not spend a day seeing Johannesburg and surrounds - as well as Soweto.

This is an essential trip for anyone interested in the Miracle of Transformation that is South Africa. Still, Soweto is by no means only an accumulation of tin shacks. There are also better suburbs and a number of more or less functioning social institutions like schools and hospitals. The main impression though is that of great crowding and poverty. Approximately 15 km away from the centre of Johannesburg, it comprises some 63 sq. km, where an estimated three million people live.

Cape Town has maintained a reputation for friendly hospitality. With its majestic Table Mountain backdrop, Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. An eclectic mix of architectural styles reflects the tastes and dictates of the past - and the more functional demands of the 20th century. The city's Edwardian and Victorian buildings have been meticulously preserved, and many outstanding examples of Cape Dutch architecture are found in the city and its environs. Cobblestoned streets, mosques and the flat-roofed pastel homes of the Malay Quarter entrance a cosmopolitan ambience, and in a recent development, the restoration of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront evokes images of the seafaring activities of the 19th century. For a closer look at life at the Cape in earlier times, interesting historical collections are on display in several museums. Cape Town 's shopping options invite you to endlessly browse - and buy. Elegant shopping malls, department stores, antique shops and galleries abound. Specialist boutiques in Long Street and the narrow little alleys intersecting it offer an enticing array of unusual articles not readily obtainable elsewhere. At the end of the day, gourmets and lovers of sophisticated entertainment have a treat in store.

Affectionately known as 'Kruger', the Park is a treasure chest of wonderment - and has something to offer everyone - child, first-timer, hardy adventurer and well-heeled traveler. The Kruger National Park is one of the most renowned wildlife reserves in the world, and the oldest in Africa - a 19,000 square kilometre park that spans 350 km from north to south, and 60 km from east to west. Nowhere else in the world will you encounter such diversity of animal and plant life. Ecosystems within the Kruger Park are highly varied. Six rivers feed the park - an area that encompasses an astonishing 16 vegetation zones including 1,980 plant species and 300 tree species. The best time to see game is during winter (April - September), as water is restricted to rivers and waterholes, where game congregates. Visibility is also good. Summer (October to March) is also lovely due to the rains - everything is lush and green, and lambs, calves and cubs abound.

As far from the dry chronicling of distant, long-forgotten events as any well-traveled voyager could hope to encounter, the history of our Kingdom offers a panorama of unforgettable experiences - a living Buzz that permeates every quarter of this spectacularly beautiful terrain where the mighty Zulu nation was forged - KWAZULU NATAL.

Preserved for future generations within our youngest World Heritage Site, vivid rock-paintings highlight the Berg mountain fastness of our western boundary, bringing to life the fascinating inner and outer worlds of the truly ancient San people who first enjoyed the bounties of this subtropical paradise. The endless golden Beach of our eastern shoreline, landmark for historic explorer Vasco da Gama and the pirates who once traversed warm Indian Ocean currents with impunity, offers shipwrecks and million-year-old fossil beds to explore, plus the opportunity to re-trace the footprints of marooned mariners who sought refuge here.

Our coastal World Heritage Site in Zululand, Lake St. Lucia, further presents the extraordinarily rare chance to encounter living fossils of the deep coelacanths. To the north lie our memory-filled and intensely atmospheric Battlefields, scenes of valor and supreme sacrifice where one can stand and reflect at the exact spots where Zulu warrior, Boer guerrilla and British redcoat fell during the epic three-way struggle of our formative epoch. Linking these compass points is the inimitable Bush, where history was made in wildlife conservation on the African continent - leading to our unsurpassable collection of game-parks and reserves and where the proud Zulu people rose in unity following migration of clans from the Great Lakes. Relive the campaigns of Africa 's Black Napoleon - King Shaka - and trace the lineage of monarchs from Colonial subjugation through the Apartheid Years to present-day democracy.

Welcome, then, to our Kingdom where East meets West in the palm of the proud Zulu people, and history speaks out at every turn.

Sample Itinerary

DAY 1:

  • Arrival at Durban airport, transfer to Umkomaas
  • Accommodations at one of the various comfortable guest houses - availability depending
  • Bed and Breakfast basis
  • Rest of the day free

DAY 2,3,4:

  • You will be served breakfast at the guest house, bed and breakfast basis.
  • Are you ready for some of the most exiting dives off your life!!!
  • The semi rigid Zodiacs are fully equipped with everything, from a GPS, first aid kit, oxygen... your gear will be packed, ready and waiting aboard.
  • After 2 very "energetic" dives you'll be ready for a nice afternoon siesta, maybe a bite to eat at Sebastian's, the local coffee shop, or some sightseeing.
  • You are in Africa! Why not visit the Crocodile Farm nearby, or the local Game Reserve, you cannot miss a visit to the Natal Shark Board, or some shopping in Durban, please inquire at the dive center, they will gladly assist you.
  • After your dives we transfer you to Protea Banks and book you into Nolangeni Lodge. Bed and breakfast basis.

DAY 5,6:

  • Shark diving!!! Your local dive operator will pick you up from the lodge for two adrenaline dives!!
  • Nolangeni Lodge Bed and Breakfast basis

DAY 7:

  • After breakfast transfer to to Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Big Five area, home to many game reserves and lodges. Book into lodge - depending on availability
  • Full board

DAY 8:

  • Before breakfast we head off in an open vehicle game vehicle to see if we can find the BIG 5!
  • You head back to camp for a hearty breakfast and spend the remainder of the morning relaxing at camp
  • Late afternoon you head of for an exciting night game drive!!
  • Full board

DAY 9:

  • After breakfast you transfer to Sodwana Bay, well known for excellent diving
  • Book into Mseni Lodge, dinner, bed and breakfast basis

DAY 10,11,12:

  • Two dives per day including cylinders and weightbelts
  • Mseni Lodge, dinner, bed and breakfast basis

DAY 13,14,15:

  • Breakfast and transfer to Durban airport for your flight to Cape Town.
  • You will be met at Cape Town Airport by Andre Rutman, one of the most experienced guides in the area. Andre is a SA Navy Reserve Admiral, who will be your guide for the next 2 days and knows absolutely everything about the Cape with some good stories to tell too!!!
  • Transfer to The Albatross House in the historic town of Simon 's Town, where you will be accommodated for the next 2 nights.
  • Cruise in the "Spirit of Just Nuisance" into Simons Bay
  • Tour of the naval dockyard
  • Free evening, but can be driven to a restaurant in town of your choice, reservations will be made for you at request.

DAY 16:

  • After breakfast you transfer to Gansbaai.
  • Book into De Kelders bed and breakfast, a lovely B&B from where you can see Wales on your doorstep in season. Your host is the chef who serves a mouth-watering breakfast. Weather permitting, breakfast will be served on the deck, with a panoramic view over Walker Bay and the Hermanus mountains. A small Seal colony, visible beyond the kelp, is always present to entertain.

DAY 17:

  • Your local dive center will pick you up from De Kelders and transfer you to the boat.
  • The diving is subject to weather conditions.
  • Your day at sea - The island has a bird sanctuary and is a breeding site for the Jackass penguin. Adjoining it is a second smaller rocky island called Geyser rock which supports a large seal population. Separating Geyser and Dyer Islands is a channel aptly named "Shark Alley", arguably THE prime spot in the world for encountering the Great White Shark. Now can you imagine dropping into a cage and diving into the cool waters of the Atlantic to be faced by the most amazing of animals, the Great White Shark? Lunch, snacks and drinks served aboard
  • The boat is usually launched around 9:00 am in the morning and reaches the anchoring spot in 20 to 25 minutes. The anchor is put down and a scent trial begins. The boats usually distribute themselves well in the low season, so to capture a greater area and thus standing more of a chance of drawing in a Great White Shark.

You then wait for sightings which could be immediately, or a few hours. Once the final preparations for the diving are made, you settle down to spend the rest of the time watching, diving and enjoying your day with the Great White Shark. Return to land approximately 3:30pm - 4:00 pm, depending on the day you have had.

DAY 18:

  • Free day
  • De Kelders BB

DAY 19:

  • After breakfast you transfer to Cape Town, book into Welgelegen Boutique Hotel, bed and breakfast basis.
  • Free day

DAY 20:

  • After Breakfast Transfers to Cape Town Airport
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