Looking for a different kind of vacation this year? Look no farther than beautiful South Africa where wildlife, museums, restaurants and more are ready for your next big trip. Located at the southern tip of Africa with a landscape historically rich in diamonds and gold, South Africa boasts a stunning coastline along both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Whether you’re looking for natural beauty, culture, luxury, adventure and exploration or all of the above, South Africa will not disappoint.
One of the most exciting reasons to visit South Africa right now is that it’s home turf for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which makes the country the first African nation to host this world-class sporting event. From June 11 to July 11, 2010, the World Cup games will stretch across eight provinces, nine host cities and six new stadiums and will also welcome half-a-million football (soccer) fans. And although you could be one of the millions of spectators watching from your home television, why not get in on the action for this historic event? Even if you can’t grab a ticket into a stadium, the experience of being in such an extraordinary host country during the World Cup is bound to be unforgettable.
A trip to South Africa is not complete without visiting the country’s oldest city and legislative capital, Cape Town. Known as the Mother City, this waterfront metropolis is truly a sight to behold. First, catch a priceless view of the city from atop Table Mountain, and then get lost in the vineyards of the Cape Winelands. When you’re done sampling some of the finest wines, cheeses and olives in the world, check out the area’s first-class golf courses and hiking routes. Against the mountainous backdrop, you’ll be enchanted by the Cape Dutch architecture that houses restaurants, art galleries, spas and more. Stop by the butterfly enclosure, lion park or cheetah outreach center for a glimpse of some of Africa’s most exotic residents.
Want to learn about South Africa’s diverse cultural heritage? Head to provinces like KwaZulu-Natal where the rugged scenery of mountains, midlands, bush and beaches will take your breath away, and friendly locals are more than happy to show you around their homeland. Explore Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg National Park’s 290 bird species, 48 mammal species and countless World Heritage Site attractions. You’ll get a lesson on the Zulu tribe, which is known for their beautifully colored beads and baskets.
To top off a truly luxurious visit, there’s no better place to relax than the City of Gold. Johannesburg will wine and dine you to the max with championship golf courses, irresistible shops and world-famous attractions like the Bensusan Museum of Photography, Market Theatre and Soweto’s upscale jazz clubs. Book a room at any of Johannesburg’s five-star hotels and you’re sure to sleep well: try a night in the Peech Hotel’s Garden Suite where an espresso machine, iPod docking station and plasma TV are just a few of the amenities. You’ll have a hanging pod chair with the perfect view of your private patio and garden, and you’ll rest well knowing that solar geysers, grey water recycling and low energy air conditioning are all part of Peech Hotel’s sustainability program.
In a country known for diamonds and gold, visitors can expect the royal treatment when they land in South Africa. With glorious outdoor attractions, as well as entertainment and cultural centers that challenge larger world capitals, South Africa pampers anyone looking for everything, from relaxation to adventure.
For more information, visit www.southafrica.net.