The Republic of South Africa is divided into 9 provinces:
- Eastern Cape
- Free State
- North West
- Northern Cape
- Western Cape
South Africa is the only country in the world which has three capital cities: Bloemfontein, Cape Town, and Pretoria.
Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of South Africa and the capital of Free State Province.
While visiting the city, don’t miss the Anglo Boer War Museum, the National Botanical Garden, the City Zoo or checking out the waterfront. If you like to play gold, Bloemfontein offers some great golf courses.
Did you know? J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings was born in Bloemfontein.
Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa and the capital of the Western Cape Province. The best time to visit the city is between October and May. While visiting the city, don’t miss checking out The Castle of Good Hope, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront –a huge shopping and entertainment area -, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens –one of the most stunning botanical gardens in the world-, the numerous museums and galleries and the cable car ride up to Table Mountain. Also, plan a day at the beach to swim or surf. Don’t forget to taste the local wines as well.
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Very popular among Africans, Durban has recently gained a good reputation with international travelers as well. While visiting the city, don’t miss checking out the Golden Mile –the very popular beachfront packed with beaches, hotels, restaurants and other entertainment spots-, the City Hall or Durban Botanical Gardens. You can swim, surf, dive, snorkel, gamble and enjoy the Indian food.
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The greenest city in the world, Johannesburg has an incredible history of gold mining and diamond trade. While visiting don’t miss a trip to Ferreira’s Mine –where you can visit a gold mine and the related museum- or petting the lion cubs located at Lion Park. Also, it’s worth a visit to the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site, located just 25 km / 16 miles outside the city.
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Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. The city has a lovely climate, with temperatures reaching 30 C / 86 F in the summer. While here, don’t miss checking out the Groenkloof Nature Reserve (the second oldest nature reserve in the world), Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary (free entrance), visiting the numerous museums and checking out the malls.
National Parks and Landmarks
Addo Elephant National Park
Close to Port Elisabeth, Addo offers visitors the possibility to walk, hike, horse ride or take a self-drive and watch the wildlife. Addo is the only place where you can see the flightless dung beetle.
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The most beautiful stretch of coastline in South Africa, Garden Route is the place to go if you want to see whales or dive. Also on the route there are five major towns, each worth spending time and sightseeing.
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Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Embark on a 4 x 4 route through the park and admire the lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, blue wildebeest, springbok, eland, red hartebeest, eagles and buzzards.
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Kruger National Park
Hike, walk and drive among wildlife. The most biodiverse game reserve on Earth, Kruger is one the best places to see the Big Five – Lion, African Elephant, African Buffalo, Black Rhinoceros, Leopard- in their natural environment.
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The Cape of Good Hope, feared by sailors and now home to over 400 shipwrecks attracts hikers and divers alike. The unspoiled beaches and the perfect conditions for surfers makes Shipwreck Coast one of the most popular travel destinations and South Africa.
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