Conversation about Africa’s Big Five centers on the 5 most iconic species of the continent: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. But did you know that the vast ocean surrounding the southern tip of Africa is home to its own flagship species?

The Marine Big Five are the whale, shark, seal, penguin and dolphin. South Africa offers exceptional oportunities to view these animals all across the Western Cape Province from the Garden Route to Cape Town itself. These are the most popular sea animals of Southern Africa and ticking all five off your list is a must-do for any holiday to this beautiful country.

The Marine Big 5

  1. The African Penguin
  2. The Cape Fur Seal
  3. Dolphins
  4. Southern Right Whales
  5. The Great White Shark

Atil

5. The African Penguin

This diminutive creature, dapper in black and white plumage, has recovered from the brink of extinction. There are a few well established colonies dotted around the Western Cape of South Africa; Dassen Island, St Croix Island, Robben Island, Bird Island, Dyer Island and Boulders beach.

While St. Croix Island in Algoa Bay boasts the largest population in the world, and Robben Island is perhaps the most famous habitat for these birds, Boulders Beach is undoubtably the most memorable.

Paul Mannix

The penguin colony at Boulders Beach boasts almost 3000 birds so, whether walking the board walk or heading down to the beach, you are guaranteed sightings year round. Located in Simon’s Town roughly 45 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, Boulders has been rated as one of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Unique Beaches.

In addition to the spectacular views across False Bay, visitors to this sheltered cove can not only get close to the penguins but actually swim with them! And if this kind of close encounter with the avian kind leaves you hankering after a more intimate experience, Sanccob, a penguin rehabilitation centre in Simon’s Town, offers private tours and voluntourism opportunities.

4. The Cape Fur Seal

John Mason

The Cape Fur Seal, famous for its soft brown fur, can be seen from Namibia, all the way down the west coast and past Cape Town as far as Port Elizabeth. In Cape Town they are a real tourist attraction at Hout Bay and Kalk Bay harbours and get a fair bit of attention at the V&A Waterfront too.

There is something comical about these lugubrious looking sea giants, sunning themselves and flumping about on their clown-shoe flippers. But its as they plop off dry-land and into the water that you get a sense of the playfulness, agility and speed of these aquatic mammals.

David Stanley

With this in mind I was thrilled to learn that you can actually go snorkelling with seals. Diving with Seals happens on the Atlantic side of Cape Town at Duiker Island in the Karbonkelberg marine protected area (part of Table Mountain National Park). The cooler waters of the Atlantic, shallow kelp forests and comparatively low number of seals (only 5000) mean that this is the perfect spot to interact with these wild animals.

While cautious on land, seals are famous for their curiosity under water.  They are known to approach humans and even swim alongside scuba divers. The trip from Hout bay is short and easy and the area, i am assured, is shark free! What better way to get to know these aquatic acrobats?

Tim Sheerman-Chase

If you’d rather not get into the water with the seals there are boat trips to many of the seal colonies dotted along the coast. Gansbaai is popular as a hub for all marine viewing and Geyser rock adjacent to shark alley is home to roughly 60,000 Cape fur seals. If that is a little small for you then you need to head for Kleinzee on the West Coast. Just north of Kleinzee is the largest on-land seal colony in South Africa boasting over 350 000 seals!

Jolene Thompson

3. Dolphins

Dolphins are synonymous with the ocean space and no trip is complete without at least one dolphin sighting. Luckily with the rich marine biodiversity along South Africa’s coastline you are sure to tick this one off your list fairly quickly! These aquatic mammals can be seen in both the Indian and Atlantic oceans, jumping in and out of the surf or on a specialist dolphin tour.

While South Africa is home to over ten dolphin species, the ones that you are likely to see swimming close to shore are the famous Bottlenose Dolphin, the Long-Beaked Common Dolphin and the shy Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin.

No other marine mamal inspires as much excitment and joy as they cavort through the water. The sardine run, which takes place between May and July, is a great time to see dolphins as they gather en mass to take advantage of the abundance of food. You can see pods of dolphins working together to herd the sardines into a “baitball”, which they push to surface and then feed on, a lot like sheep dogs herding sheep.

A less season specific option is to take a trip out to Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route. Plettenberg Bay has plenty of land-based viewing options but also opportunities to get really close by taking a boat cruise or, for those feeling a little more adventurous, a kayak tour into the big blue.

Jolene Thompson

South Africa has some of the best regulations controlling interactions with sealife and because human interactions adversely affect them, swimming with dolphins is strictly firbidden.

2. Southern Right Whales

Mazzali

At 16 meters in length, the shear size of these ocean giants is enough to drop anyones jaw. All along South Africa’s Western Cape coastline, between June and December,  whales can be seen as they move into the warmer  shallow waters to calve. The Whale Route includes various bays along the Garden Route and stretches from Cape Town to Cape Agulhas.

Sheltered bays like False bay and Hermanus are nurseries to the endangered Southern Right and Humpback Whales who can be seen playing, often a stones throw away from the shore.

Rolf Kleef

Southern Right whales, so named because they were considered to be the “right’ whales to hunt, migrate up from the cold waters of the antarctic to the warmer conditions of South Africa’s beautiful coastline. Here they can be seen playing just off shore, nurturing their young, waving their fins or bobbing their tails and, if you are lucky, you migt even get to see one of these 60 ton giants breaching out of the water to make a tremendous splash.

South African Tourism

Just over an hour and a half from Cape Town is the coastal town of Hermanus. It is one of the best places in the world for land based whale watching and boasts over 12km of cliff path walking where in places, whales can be seen from only a few meters away.

Hermanus is also host to the now famous Whale Crier, who announces the arrival of whales in the bay by blowing on his kelp horn. Considering that these gentle giants were once hunted to the brink of extinction it is a marvel to see them flourishing.

1. The Great White Shark

Isabel Sommerfeld

Top of the marine foodchain the Great White Shark unquestionably holds the number 1 spot. The largest fish species on earth, adult sharks reach between 4.5 and 6 meters in length, weigh about 2 and a half tons and can swim at almost 25km and hour … did I mention the several rows of ever regenerating serrated teeth?

The combination of speed, agility and raw power of the Great White make it a fearsome and feared predator AND a hot favourite for any sea safari.

Seeing the apex predator of the marine kingdom up close is without a doubt one of the most thrilling and humbling animal encounters on the planet. The Western Cape is one of the best places to see Great White Sharks at daringly close range, with hotspots including Seal Island in Mossel Bay, Dyer Island and Geyser Rock near Gansbaai, and the infamous Seal Island in False Bay, which is home to the “flying” Great White Sharks.

With impeccable ‘safety first’ regulations it is now more accesible than ever to get below the surface and into the sharks natural environment.

John Mason

Listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list very little is known about these predators. Public opinion towards sharks is changing and companies like Marine Dynamics, operating out of Gaansbaai, run eco-tourism oportunities where conservation is at the heart of all activities. This means that your adrenaline pumping experience with the Great White contributes directly to the science of keeping them sfae and protecting white shark populations.

 

Source credit: www.africanbudgetsafaris.com

Book your accommodation now for the annual Penguin Festival in Simon’s Town on Saturday, 10 November, to celebrate African Penguin Awareness Day!

Get 10% discount on Bed & Breakfast: give reference – “Penguin Festival” to claim.

From kids and foodies to birders and conservationists, there’s something for everyone.

General admission is FREE and entry into the Kids’ Zone is R50.

This special day is dedicated to raising worldwide awareness about the plight of the endangered African penguin, the only penguin endemic to the African continent. All proceeds go to SANCCOB’s year-round African penguin conservation work.

More information: www.sanccob.co.za

More about the African Penguin:

African Penguin

Spheniscus demersus

African penguinWhen you think of penguins, you may picture them surrounded by snow and ice. However, there is one species of penguins that is acclimated to warmer climates. African penguins live in colonies on the coast and islands of southern Africa.

Also called jackass penguins, they make donkey-like braying sounds to communicate. They can dive under water for up to 2.5 minutes while trying to catch small fish such as anchovies and sardines. They may also eat squid and crustaceans.

The African penguin averages about 60 cm (2 ft.) tall and weighs up to 3.6 kg (8 lb.). Their short tails and flipper-like wings that help them navigate in the water, while their webbed feet help propel them.

To keep dry and insulated in cold water, African penguins are covered in dense, water-proof feathers. These feathers are white on the belly and black on the back, which aids in camouflage. Their white belly will blend with the light when predators look up at them from below, and their black backs meld with the darker seas when predators look down on them from above.

African penguins breed within their colonies; they do not travel to give birth. The penguins nest in burrows they dig out of their own excrement, called guano, or in areas under boulders or bushes. Recent removal of the guano for fertilizer has forced the penguins to change their habits and nest primarily under bushes and boulders. Their nests protect eggs and chicks from the sun and from predators like cats and seagulls. Eggs are laid in pairs and both parents help incubate them. Both parents also feed the newly-born chicks. After 2-4 years, the chicks will mature and lay their own eggs.

African penguins

Conservation Status

African penguins can live for an average of 10-15 years, however many do not reach their full life span, and populations have been steadily decreasing. The loss of nesting places due to guano removal has contributed to the population decline as well as a decrease of food due to overfishing and pollution. As such, African penguins are now considered endangered by IUCN’s Red List. This means there is a high risk they may become extinct.

What You Can Do to Help

If you would like to help the African penguin, you can volunteer, donate, or adopt a penguin through the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds.

African Penguin Distribution

African penguin distribution map

African penguins live in colonies on the coast and islands of southern Africa.

Source credit: animalfactguide.com

 

 

 

 

Muizenberg is a small town outside Cape Town and one of South Africa’s best kept secrets. A largely untapped tourist spot, it’s hard to believe Muizenberg is best known for being one of the most popular beaches with one of the most active surfing communities in South Africa. This beachside suburb supports crowded streets and a bustling beach during the holiday season as locals flock to enjoy this little shoreline town. Though the beach is the main attraction, there’s  more to Muizenberg than just sand and water, there’s plenty of surf shops, restaurants and coffee shops located just along the main beach. With a strong colonial history, Muizenberg has great  historical attractions along with local hotspots for the travelers who are looking to veer off the tourist map and get the most authentic experience. Here are 9 things to do while visiting Muizenberg Beach.

9. Karaoke at The Brass Bell

The Brass Bell is a nearby restaurant and pub located in the trendy harbor of Kalk Bay. Easily accessible by train and located right next to the Kalk Bay train station, it is a must-do for Muizenberg travelers. The Brass Bell has a unique setting as it sits right up along the water, nestled in the tidal pool walls. During the day, visitors should head to the outdoor terrace dining area for an enjoyable meal, take in the views of water and listen to the sounds waves crashing up along the shore. At night the bar below has large windows looking out onto the rolling waves creating an atmosphere unlike any other! For the best experience, go on a Wednesday night as the restaurant attracts a rowdy crowd for karaoke. Be sure to sign up early because on busy nights the wait to get up on stage can be long. It’s a great spot to meet locals and backpackers who stop in for the night while passing through to neighboring towns.

Photo by: Brass Bell Restaurant

8. Het Posthuys

Located on what is known as the ‘historical mile’ along Mainroad in Muizenberg, Het Posthuys is the oldest standing building on the False Bay coastline. It is a must-see for those who are interested in South Africa’s early colonial history. This place has a unique story you’ll want to hear. Built in 1962 by the Dutch after Jan van Riebeeck arrived in Cape Town, Het Posthuys means “post house” in Dutch and has served many purposes throughout the years. In the early days it was a lookout post to prevent illicit trading, then later a naval storage facility, ale and eating house and finally a personal residence. In the 1980’s the building was restored, but still retains many of its defining historical characteristics now operating as a museum. Decked out with old memorabilia from the Battle of Muizenberg and historic photos from the past, it’s a great place to go on a rainy day or even fulfill a morning venture. The museum operates from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 2 pm and here’s the bonus: admission is free! It is now run by volunteers so it’s best to call ahead before visiting.

Photo by: Debbielouise via Wikimedia Commons

7. Rhodes Cottage Museum

This building was built as a tribute to Cecil John Rhodes and is located just down the road from the Het Posthuys museum on the historical mile. As a British empire-builder, Rhodes was a prominent figure in South Africa’s early history, a jack of all trades involved in the mining industry and local politics. This cottage served as his private retreat where he spent his last days before he died in 1902, when he was one of the richest men in the world. This seaside cottage sits upon a hill overlooking False Bay with a beautiful English garden full of items commemorating his life, the house even still contains some of his old furnishings! The volunteers that run this museum are well versed in its history and happy to answer the questions of visiting tourists. You will even be greeted with a hot cup of tea. Hop from one museum to another and see both in one day. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm with admission by donation.

Photo by: Lennon Fletcher via Wikimedia Commons

6. Hangout at Knead Bakery & Cafe

Knead is a chic cafe located on ‘surfer’s corner’ along Muizenberg beach. This cafe and bakery stands out from the surrounding rural surf town, but is a great spot to stop for lunch while hanging out at the beach. It’s also one of the best spots to grab a cup of coffee. With a luxurious interior, there’s a glass enclosed patio offering direct views of the beach and surrounding mountains. It’s a popular spot to stop in for a quick meal, or pick up some tasty freshly baked goods, either way you’re sure to be satisfied. The food is well presented and carefully prepared, here visitors can feast on cheap, but fancy artisan food. You can’t find a meal like this anywhere else in Muizenberg!

Photo by: Knead Bakery & Cafe

5. Mzoli’s Place

Mzoli’s place is one of the biggest and best secrets on this list of things to see and do in Muizenberg. You won’t find a high dollar meal here, this open air restaurant serves various grilled meat options to visitors at plastic tables and chairs. This place is actually a butchery, but has become somewhat of an entertainment venue supporting vibrant parties and live music for locals and international visitors. You’ll want to go on a Sunday because that is when this place comes alive attracting an average of 250 people by mid afternoon. This is the place to come for a true local experience. Known for its meat which is braaied (barbecued) right on the spot with signature spices and herbs. Patrons must bring their own cutlery and beverages. It is not recommended to travel here alone, Mzoli’s is located in a township in Guguletu where poverty is rampant and there is potential for crime, so travel safely and with others.

Photo by: Cape Town

4. Visit the Blue Bird Garage Market

The Blue Bird Garage Market is the cornerstone of the community. Known as the ‘Friday market’ because it kicks off each weekend, open only on Friday evenings from 4 pm till 10 pm. This old postal plane hanger comes alive with vendors from nearby towns and their locally made goods. It offers a collection of fresh food from various cultures that is cooked right in front of you! Talk about great service. There is live music, an array of decadent homemade desserts and pastries for sale, along with handcrafted jewellery and clothing. You’ll get a real local experience at this market and a chance to take home some truly one of a kind gifts and goods. You’ll find great gifts and memorabilia for yourself or loved ones back home that can’t be found in any tourist gift shop. There’s no entry fee to this market, so make sure to check it out!

Photo by: Blue Bird Garage Food and Goods Market

3. Go to Muizenberg Beach

There’s more than one reason Muizenberg beach was deemed one of the best swimming spots in Cape Town. For beginners, its turquoise waters are surrounded by a towering mountain creating the most majestic scenery. Also, because of its location within a secluded bay, the waters here are much warmer, ideal for swimmers and surfers. Muizenberg beach is located on False Bay, a curved coastline that is so large that sailors used to mistake it for Table Bay, the harbor front on the Atlantic seaboard in Cape Town. The beach is lined with brightly colored Victorian change houses which act as a reminder of Muizenberg’s long history as one of Cape Town’s best beach spots. It should be noted that False Bay is a popular spot for Great White sharks, although few incidents have occurred, there is a shark spotter program in place to protect swimmers and surfers who flock to the beach in the summer months. The program is supported by color coded flags that are changed based on the ever-changing water conditions to inform swimmers about their safety. With generally calm waters, and a flat open beach this is the ideal spot for families with children.Muizenberg Beach

2. Hike Up Muizenberg Mountain

There are a few different hikes to choose from when climbing Muizenberg mountain, each offering something different, from forest walks to gentle inclines, steep slopes with beautiful views and even rocky walls for experienced climbers. Muizenberg mountain is not as challenging or well known as Table Mountain in Cape Town, but still offers hikers a breathtaking view all the way up to the peak. The shortest climb takes about one to 1.5 hours with the longest taking up to five hours, but this all depends on the amount of breaks needed along the way and how many times you want to stop and gaze, taking in the beautiful scenery below. At the top, hikers are privy to a bird’s eye view of False Bay and views of the longest beach in Cape Town. This hike requires some physical exertion, so dress accordingly and always bring plenty of water and sunscreen. There are some steep climbs, but the gentler routes are kid friendly, so pack a lunch and have a picnic at the top with the best view in town!Muizenberg Mountain

1. Surf in False Bay

False Bay is one of the best spots to surf in the world, so it’s no wonder Muizenberg beach is home to one of the most thriving surfing communities in South Africa. This beach offers the perfect launching point for surfers into the bay. Warm waters is one of the reasons this beach is so popular, but you’ll still want to wear a wetsuit when heading out to surf away from shore as the water temperature can still be quite chilly, especially for beginners. If you’ve never surfed before, but always wanted to learn, Muizenberg is the perfect spot to do so. The waves here are big enough to surf, but small enough for beginners. Before getting into the water be sure to educate yourself of the shark safety regulations posted on the beach. If you don’t have your own equipment, don’t worry, there are plenty of shops to purchase lessons and rent equipment so it’s easy to get started.Surfing in Muizenberg

Source credit: www.escapehere.com

South Africa’s government will overhaul its visa rules by the end of next month to promote tourism and make it easier to do business, as part of a package of measures aimed at reviving an economy that’s mired in recession.

Minors who are foreign nationals will no longer require a copy of their birth certificate and consent from both parents to enter the country, Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba told reporters in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Visitors from India and China will also not have to apply for visas in person at a South African embassy, while business travelers from those nations will be issued with 10-year multiple-entry visas within five days of application, he said.

More than 10 million people visit South Africa each year, a number President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration wants to increase exponentially as it seeks to create jobs for the 27% of the workforce that’s unemployed.

The tourism industry has complained that stringent new visa laws introduced in 2015 — which the government said were necessary to combat child trafficking and terrorism — had prompted many travelers to consider alternate destinations.

“It is a challenge inherent in immigration management to detect, prevent and act against risks without unduly inconveniencing law-abiding travelers,” Gigaba said.

“Changes to our visa architecture have potential to boost tourism and to make business travel more conducive.”

Ramaphosa, who took office in February, first outlined plans last week to change the visa regime in his “stimulus and recovery plan,” which aims at reviving an economy that entered a recession in the second quarter, but never provided details.

Visitors from a number of countries, including the UK, U.S., Germany, France, the Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia and Angola, don’t need visas to come to South Africa.

The government is in talks about extending the exemption to other nationals, including those from Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Sao Tome & Principe, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iran, Lebanon, Kuwait and Cuba, Gigaba said.

Other concessions include allowing frequent visitors to South Africa to apply for three-year multiple entry visas, and business people and academics from Africa to seek 10-year multiple-entry visas.

South African minors will still require the consent of both parents to leave the country and must be in possession of their birth certificate, Gigaba said. The latter requirement will be dropped when the government implements plans to issue minors with passports.

The government plans to smooth the clearance of travellers through the busiest border posts, by installing a biometric movement-control system. The new system is nearing completion, with several pilot sites already up and running.

 

source: businesstech.co.za

South Africa has many historical, cultural and natural destinations that merit preservation for future generations. First Car Rental has put together a list of South African heritage sites, some of which have been declared World Heritage Sites for their cultural significance or natural beauty. These destinations are certainly places that every South African must visit at least once in their lifetime.

1. Robben Island, Western Cape

The solitary island of Robben Island situated some 9km offshore from Cape Town has a deep connection with the history of South Africa. It is where South African President Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison and where he formulated the notion of forgiveness and dreamed of a nation free of oppression. Visitors can go on a guided tour to the Robben Island Museum and get first-hand accounts of Nelson Mandela’s life in prison. You can also visit Mandela’s cell, which has been left in its original state. Dubbed “Robben” (the place of seals) by Dutch settlers, the island was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999.

2. Vredefort Dome, Free State

Over 2 million years ago an asteroid with a diameter of between 5 and 10 km hit the earth at this very spot leaving behind the largest and oldest verified impact crater on Earth, giving it the status of World Heritage Site. The Vredefort Dome stretches over 300 km across and bears witness to the world’s greatest known single energy release event, which had devastating global effects including, according to some scientists, major evolutionary changes.

3. uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, KwaZulu-Natal

This World Heritage Site in KwaZulu-Natal is an open-air mountain museum where more than 30 000 examples of Bushman rock art can be viewed on the walls of caves. The park is a combination of sheer natural beauty and a wealth of biological diversity. It is also one of South Africa’s prime eco-tourist destinations. Covering 242,813 hectares of area, the park spans parts of both South Africa, in KwaZulu-Natal province , and Lesotho. The site’s diversity of habitats protects a high level of endemic and globally threatened species, especially birds and plants.

4. Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng

The Cradle of Humankind is where the origins of the human race can be traced back to and holds great scientific importance. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The world-renowned Sterkfontein Caves is home to the oldest and most continuous paleontological dig in the world. It is also the site of discovery of the famous pre-human skull affectionately known as “Mrs Ples”, and an almost complete hominid skeleton called “Little Foot”, dated 2.3 and 4.17 million years old respectively. So, if you want to know the history of our origins, take a trip to this amazing destination. The Maropeng Visitor Centre is open to the public from 09h00 to 17h00 every day. The last boat ride departs at 16h00.

5. Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Limpopo

 

South Africa’s fifth World Heritage Site and fifth on our list of must-see heritage destinations is Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape. Mapungubwe is set hard against the northern border of South Africa, joining Zimbabwe and Botswana. The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape demonstrates the rise and fall of the first indigenous kingdom in Southern Africa between 900 and 1,300 AD. Mapungubwe developed into the largest kingdom in the sub-continent before it was abandoned in the 14th century. What survived are untouched remains of the palace sites and the entire settlement area around them. This landscape presents an amazing picture of the development of social and political structures over some 400 years.

6. iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Kwa-Zulu Natal

Covering about 240,000ha, with a further 84,000ha in, on or under the sea, thissub-tropical paradise stretches 220km along the East Coast from St Lucia to the Mozambique border. iSimangaliso is teeming with life and has a mind-blowing variety of natural eco-systems ranging from dune, swamp and coastal forests to rocky and sandy shores, coral reefs and submarine canyons, mangroves, savannah grassland, thickets, woodlands, and the largest protected wetland in Southern Africa. The activities you can enjoy here include game drives, snorkelling, diving, bird-watching and hiking.

7. The Castle of Good Hope, Western Cape

This unique historical site is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. It has been a centre of life at the Cape since its inception in 1666. The Castle of Good Hope was established as a maritime replenishment station at the Cape of Good Hopefor the Dutch East India Company, better known as the VOC (VerenigdeOos-IndischeCompagnie). The Castle of Good Hope was a welcome sight for sailors travelling up to six months at sea and they referred to Cape Town as the “Tavern of the Seas”. In 1936, the Castle was declared a National Monument. As a result of an extensive, ongoing restoration and conservation programme launched in the 1980’s, the Castle of Good Hope remains the best preserved monument of its kind.

8. Pilgrim’s Rest, Mpumalanga

A small town in Mpumalanga, Pilgrim’s Rest is protected as a provincial heritage site. Pilgrim’s Rest is situated on the magnificent Panorama Route in the Kruger Lowveld region of the Mpumalanga. This living museum takes visitors to the day of the Transvaal Gold Rush;the spirit of a bygone era and its people in their quest for gold. Pilgrim’s Rest was declared a gold field in 1873, soon after digger Alec “Wheelbarrow” Patterson had found gold deposits in Pilgrim’s Creek.The Valley proved to be rich in gold and by the end of the year, there were about 1500 diggers working in the area. Today, mining still continues in the hills surrounding Pilgrim’s Rest.

9. Nelson Mandela Museum, Mthatha, Eastern Cape

Take an inspirational journey through the life of former President and world icon Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha. The Museum officially opened in 2 000, ten years after his release from prison in 1990 and incorporates three sites – Mvezo, near Coffee Bay, where Mandela was born; Qunu, his childhood village; and the Bhunga Building in Mthathawhere the story of the life and times of one of South Africa’s greatest leaders is depicted. The Museum is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4pm.

10. Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, Northern Cape

The Richtersveld is one of the few places where one can still see a harmonious interaction between man and nature. The Richtersveld is the pastoral grazing ground for the Nama, the indigenous community who live the transhumance lifestyle – migrating seasonally with their livestock from mountains to the river and, as such, make sustainable use of the fragile succulent ecosystem. Their seasonal pastoral grazing regimes help sustain the extensive biodiversity of the area and demonstrate a way of life that persisted for many millennia over a considerable part of Southern Africa.

Source: firstcarrental.co.za

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