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Planning Your Trip to South Africa - From Cape Town to Pretoria

Jun 14, 2008
South Africa is known as the "Rainbow Nation" and with a tainted past, it has emerged as one of the fastest growing and most popular vacation destinations in the world. A trip to South Africa is like no other vacation. This is mainly due to the fine weather, the diversity of the areas and the appeal of the New South Africa. There are hundreds of amazing places to visit when you come to South Africa, but there are some that stand out above the rest and must be mentioned as places you need to put on your to do list for when you travel the country.

The first place, which is on the list as one of the top cities in the world, is Cape Town. There is a lot to do here and a vast range of activities and styles to suit just about everyone. You will find the best hotels in the country in Cape Town, the top three accommodation venues being the Cape Grace Hotel (1st), the Arabella Sheraton Grand Hotel (2nd) and the Table Bay Hotel (3rd). Cape Town is a great place for relaxing or partying and from the hub of city life you can travel a mere 45 minutes to reach the peaceful seaside towns and oldest wine estates in the country at Constantia. Everything you can imagine is found in Cape Town like the stylish V&A Waterfront, Two Oceans Aquarium, Planetarium, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, museums, art galleries, theatres, night clubs, sports stadiums, zoos, farms, adventure sports, marine activities, beach activities, Cape Point, Stellenbosch, Hermanus, and much, much more. With stunning weather all year round, it is the number one choice when you decide to make trip to South Africa.

The second best place when you want an exotic African escape is the Kruger National Park. This is a world renowned park that houses all of the Big Five (Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Buffalo, and Elephant), hundreds of interesting and unique bird and insect life as well as amazing resorts and luxury lodges. Most the best accommodation resorts in South Africa are located in this area just outside the park boundaries. The top 7 resorts are Singita Game Reserve for Ebony and Boulders Lodges (1st), MalaMala Game Reserve (2nd), Singita Game Reserve for the Lebombo and Sweni Lodges (3rd), Sabi Sabi Private Game Lodge (5th), Londolozi Private Game Reserve (6th), and Phinda Forest Lodge (7th).

The next place that is a must for every visitor to South Africa is Sun City and The Lost City entertainment complexes. You can relax and do everything in these complexes that are situated in the North West Province. They are close to a game reserve called Pilansburg, so you basically get the best of both worlds - luxury urban style and the African bush experience. The culmination is perhaps most evident in the top quality Gary Player Championship golf course that has live crocodiles roaming around on it. At Sun City there is a world class theater called the Super Bowl where tons of international artists perform. There is a massive casino, luxury accommodation, restaurants, shopping, fun for the kids, adventure activities, and sports. The Lost City is a Skull Island, King Kong inspired theme park and water world which is great fun for the whole family. There are interesting places to go and things to see as well as top class eateries and accommodation.

For sun, sand and amazing surf there is no better place than Durban and the other resort towns along the Sunshine Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. You can enjoy many things in this part of the country, mostly in the water sports category, but also fishing, hiking, bird watching and more. These towns are reminiscent of seaside resort towns in perhaps Spain or Italy and with a fresh and fun vibrancy; you will really have a blast when you come here. In Durban itself, there are lots of interesting places to visit and see and one of the highlights of your trip will be the regular Zulu dancers that welcome you to the city. Durban is also famous for its Marine conservation and the recently built uShaka Marine World. Here you can have fun in the water based adventure theme park and even swim up close to real Great White Sharks! This place is something you cannot miss when traveling to this part of the country.

Gauteng is the hub of South African business and considered to the best place to earn money. The gold rush in the 1800s proclaimed this area to be "Egoli" the place of gold and since then the dusty gold mines and shafts have cleared away to a large extent to reveal a mega-city. There are plenty of interesting things to see when visiting the leading city in South Africa, like the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, Gold Reef City, Soweto and the nearby capital city of Pretoria.

All of these places stand out as top destinations within South Africa and will show you the diversity and unique cultures of this land.
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