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Saturday, January 10, 2009

South Africa


South Africa is a treasure chest of unforgettable scenery, from lofty mountains to sun-baked deserts and dramatic coastlines washed by the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Its game viewing equals the best in Africa, and where else can you find both penguins and elephants?Overshadowed by dramatic Table Mountain and surrounded by the Atlantic, Cape Town is one of the world's most picturesque cities. You can sample fine wine under the grapes in the tranquil winelands, while the pretty Garden Route offers country towns, lagoons and forests to explore. The Wild Coast boasts isolated beaches, rocky coastline and traditional rural villages, and the resorts along the KwaZulu-Natal coast offer lots of family seaside fun.Inland are the intriguing and moving battlefield sites that lay testament to the Anglo-Boer war. Here too rise the Drakensberg Mountains where vultures ride on the thermals over deeply green valleys and jagged peaks. To the east is the Kruger National Park where the thorny bush harbours the ‘Big Five' animals to see (the lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino) as well as many other fascinating animals and birds.South Africa also has a vivid history. Apartheid was broken down in 1990 by President FW De Klerk, and jailed ANC leader Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years of imprisonment. In the first democratic elections to be held in South Africa, Mandela became president in 1994. The story is told in the excellent museums in Johannesburg, by far the most vibrant of the country's cities with a rich cultural heritage.

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