"South Africa" South Africa by mad4travel
South Africa Travel Guide: 12,156 reviews and 29,197 photos
My views of South Africa were shaped mainly from what I saw of it on the news as a child- apartheid, townships, riots, supression and the freeing of Nelson Mandela. Of course as a child you are not really remotely interested in any ofthese things so I was quite ambivalent towards the country when I had the chance to visit.
So it was a pleasant surprise to find out what a beautiful country it is and how amazing that they have got to where they are without the terrible consequences of the collapse of the old regime that are seen in neighbouring Zimbabwe. So you have to have a lot of respect for Nelson Mandela and his supporters to have engineered such a feat.
South Africa still has problems but you can see that they are making headway making it a lovely place to visit and probably a much much nicer place to live.
Although my travels were confined to Capetown and the surrounding area I was very suprised just how big South Africa was and how much wild area there is.
I travelled around the cape, along the Garden Route, through the Little Karoo and through the winelands.
I was suprised how mountainous and rugged it was, how magnificent and windswept the coast was and how lovely blue and sparkling the sea was.
It was spring and the Little Karoo was ablaze with a carpet of pink orange and yellow flowers.
We went to the top of Table mountain for outstanding views, went whale watching for southern right whales and had a thoughtful moment on Robben Island looking at where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for all those years. See my tips for more detail on all ofthese.
The good thing is, there is lots more of South Africa to explore so I'm sure I'll be back!
Boy is it cheap!
Weather is great
Flowers in the Little Karoo were stunning
Good Food - try Bobotie
Underlying threat of violence, we were warned everywhere not to go out alone (even during the day!) and not to take out lots of money. There were lots of reports in the papers in Capetown of robberies and muggings.
The townships - its easy to distinguish the "wrong side of town" as locals put it. The contrast between how the whites and blacks live is enormous. The townships are hardly more than wooden sheds, some have electricity if they are lucky and most people have to go to outside toilet blocks. Things are improving but the government does not have the resources to do everything overnight.
- Pros:Fab scenery and sparkling weather
- Cons:The undercurrent of criminality
Plettenberg bay is a rather well to do little spot along the garden route. There is a lovely long sweeping beach and its... more travel advice
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is near near Stellenbosch There are several hiking trails ranging from an easy 5,3 km... more travel advice
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