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South Africa - a world in one country - African Classic Encounters.com

      safari, beaches, animals, good food, great hospitality,wine and beer,train travel, wine tours - African Classic Encounters.com WELCOMES YOU TO SOUTH AFRICA - A WOLRD IN ONE CONTINENT           

A QUOTE FROM - NELSON MANDELA
"I believe that South Africa is the most beautiful place on earth. Admittedly, I am biased but when you combine the natural beauty of sunny South Africa with the friendliness and cultural diversity of our people, and the fact that the region is a haven for Africa's most splendid wildlife, then I think that we have been blessed with a truly wonderful land."


South Africa makes indelible impressions

and reawakens your sense of awe.

  • It offers affordable luxury, cosmopolitan sophistication, and untarnished natural beauty.

  • Its the heart-pounding thrill of surfing, hiking, or feeling the pulse of Africa in dazzling and chic Cape Town nightclubs.

  • Experience a wondrous profusion of animals, dazzling colors, and ancient art forms.

  • South Africa is the heart of soulunspoiled, but ready to spoil you.

  • From the cradle of humankind to the celebrated birthplace of a new democracy, South Africa embodies warmth and hospitality, creativity, and possibility.

Set your feelings free. Discover a new world. Its possible.

 


 

Surprising and Unusual Places

From phantom forests to seafood safaris, from diving with sharks in Gansbaai to running with wild horses in Kaapsche Hoop, one thing is for certain - South Africa is an extraordinary destination for those in search of something extra special.

 

Esoteric South Africa

Soul safaris are the new travel buzzword. As the world speeds up, so people slow down when it comes to holiday time. But rejuvenation is no longer only defined by lying in the sun on a tropical beach. Rather, holiday makers are seeking out more meaningful experiences that focus on personal growth and healing. So if it's esoteric adventure, pilgrimages and places of spiritual retreat that you're after, South Africa has a rich and unique offering. 

 

Lost Kingdom of Mapungubwe

Mapungubwe was southern Africa's first true kingdom. Now it's South Africa's newest cultural World Heritage site and lies at the heart of the majestic Mapungubwe National Park, in the Limpopo Valley.

 

Game Reserves

There are few better places to be at one with nature, than in South Africa. Home to the 'Big Five', a visit to any one of our many game lodges will ensure that you will see Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo.

Enjoy a game drive and see nature's beasts of the field in their natural habitat. The more adventurous can do a game viewing trip on horseback or elephant back.

 

A horseback game view enables you to get really close, sometimes within arms length, of natures most amazing animals.

 

Bird lovers, don't despair! South African Game Reserves are teeming with endless varieties of birds. From the lightning fast falcon, to the dainty double breasted roller, fans of our flying friends will not be disappointed.

 

Wild Horses

The little town of Kaapsche Hoop in Mpumalanga province is home to misty mountains and legendary wild horses. The horses are said to run free and there are many myths and legends about their presence in this rural town. If you're not out searching for these wild beasts then visit many of the local artists, hang out at the local pub or stay overnight at one of the quaint bed and breakfasts in the area.

 

Phantom Forest and other great attractions in the Garden Route

The town of Knysna, along the world-famous Garden Route has always been known for its forest landscapes and genteel atmosphere. Now guests can live in the height of luxury within Knysna's beautiful green lung.

Beautiful hotels and great guest houses with beautifully decorated accommodations to enhance the natural surroundings.

It offers great adventure activities as one of many fun activities the Canopy Tour (the same concept as that in Costa Rica) The up close and personal whale watching with nature researchers and the spectacular beauty of the area keeps one enthralled.  The only problem with a visit to the Garden Route is eventually prompting yourself to leave.

 

Sharkville, South Africa

They call it the Great White capital of Southern Africa, and for many the coastal town of Gansbaai is an extraordinary place. Situated in the Western Cape (in the shadow of the Duyenefontein mountains) Gansbaai is a veritable mecca for those who are keen on cage-diving with sharks. Only those with nerves of steel need apply.

 

Python Gods and other legend
 

Limpopo's Lake Fundudzi is sacred to the Venda people and for good reason. According to local legend, the lake is said to be protected by a Python God. However, that's not all - the Vondo Forest, closeby, is recognized as a "holy forest" because it is the resting place of the Venda forefathers. Certainly, visitors can't help but be mesmerized by the legendary domba (snake) dance performed during initiation by the young Venda womenfolk.

 

Owl House
 

Nieu Bethesda, a small Karoo town is something of a mecca for artistic souls from around the world. Once the home of famous local artist Helen Marten,s who devoted her life to the "search for light". During her lifetime she created many beautiful sculptures depicting otherworldly creatures, including her absolute favourite - the owl.
Nieu Bethesda's Owl House is a shrine to her work and her life.

 

Hot Air Adventures
 

South Africans are not shy to take to the skies and hot air ballooning safaris are a rather special way of seeing our world. Known as a "soft-adventure", there are numerous companies that provide ballooning services all around the country. For example one can take flight over the Magaliesberg mountain range; the Natal Midlands, the Pilanesberg Game Reserve and recently Soweto balloon safaris have been added to the mix.

 

Healing Safaris
 

With alternative therapies being all the rage, a few South African psychologists have decided to use the bushveld as the landscape for healing. In South Africa this is known as "wilderness therapy", whereby a therapist takes a small group of people into the bush for some serious self-reflection and contemplation. Although this is a very new concept in South Africa, those who have taken part insist that it's an experience not to be missed.  Or for those wanting to relax without any fuss the "Soul Safaris" is just the thing.

 

Buddhist Blessings
 

One certainly doesn't expect to find a mammoth Buddhist Temple en route to Pretoria (Gauteng Province), but as stated- South Africa is a rather extra-ordinary country. The Nan Hua Buddhist Temple in Bronkhorstspruit is open to visitors. This seminary is also responsible for training African Buddhist monks from all over the continent.

 

Matjiesfontein Magic
 

The small Karoo town of Matjiesfontein is definitely trapped in a time-warp of its own making. Perhaps this describes it the best: "Little more than two dusty streets beside a train track, the village resembles a film set rather than a Karoo dorp: every building, including the grand railway station is a classic period piece with tin roofs, pastel walls, well-tended gardens and Victorian frills.."

So if you wish to step back in time, then come along to Matjiesfontein, don't forget to bring your camera.  The best way to see Matjiesfontein is on board the legendary ROVOS RAIL, or the elegant BLUE TRAIN that makes a stop there for breakfast en-route to and from Cape Town.

 

The Real Deal
 

If you are making your way to the wonderful wildlands of Madikwe Game Reserve, then don't forget to stop over at the quaint town of Groot Marico along the way.

Made famous by legendary author, Herman Charles Bosman, Groot Marico is a one-street town with a literary heritage that you won't find any where else in the country. Here, people are incredibly hospitable and if you stay a while you will hear the great tales of Herman Charles Bosman and his wonderful characters.

 

No visit to South Africa is complete without a trip to one of the breathtaking and awe-inspiring game reserves. Make sure you include one of the parks below on your South African Game Reserve adventure.

The Kruger National park is the premier game viewing area in South Africa.  There are many choices in safari lodges but not all of them offer the best game viewing experience.  Make sure you discuss with your tour consultant for the best advice on how to maximize your safari experience.

Safari camps of note are Singita Boulders and Ebony, Mala Mala, Singita Lebombo, Sabi Sabi, Royal Malewane, Londolozi, Lion Sands, Leopard Hills, Singita Sweni, Camp Jabulani, Tintswalo, and others.

 

For something so unique and completely different - Tswalu Private Game Reserve situated in the edge of the mysterious desert wilderness in the Kalahari Desert

 

Malaria Free Safaris

Madikwe, Welgevonden, Tswalu and Eastern Cape offers malaria free safaris with superb game viewing and a great option of combining a safari with a few games of golf.

 

Cities of South Africa

Absolutely no visit to South Africa is complete without a visit to Cape Town - Mother City of South Africa.  Cape Town is not just another city. It is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

 

Johannesburg once known as the city to be avoided. Not anymore, it has become a buzz with trendy hotspots and exciting happenings!  Not withstanding the interesting tours to Soweto, the apartheid museum, the gold and diamond mines to explore, Sterkfontein caves and great art galleries.

 

ATTRACTIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA

WHEN TO GO

SEASONS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Reversed weather patterns to Americas and Europe

Summer is Winter

Winter is Summer

THE WEATHER

 WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN ON SAFARI

JANUARY  - MARCH

SUMMER

Minimum: 68 F, 20C
Maximum: 88 F, 31C

Hot sunshine days with warm evenings. 

Scattered, spectacular thunderstorms lasting for up to an hour.

The bush is lush green with plentiful water game is scattered across the reserve.

APRIL & MAY

FALL / AUTUMN

Minimum: 66 F, 19C
Maximum: 88 F, 31C

Less frequent rain warm days with cooler evenings

The bush is stunning as the leaves turn from crimson to deep ochre.  The game congregates on the open plains.

JUNE - AUGUST

WINTER

Minimum:  48 F, 9C
Maximum:  77 F, 25C

Warm days with cool evenings. 

The bush is sparser you can see much deeper into the bush.  Water is not as plentiful and game congregates near waterholes.

SEPTEMBER

SPRING

Minimum:   57 F1, 4C
Maximum:  82 F, 28C

The bushveld is desperate for rains, September is often the driest of months.  The search for water and food is at its dramatic peak.

Good time to view game.

OCTOBER

SPRING

Minimum:   61 F, 16C
Maximum:  84 F, 29C

The promise of rain the bushveld shows signs of new growth.  The game still congregates around the waterholes.

NOVEMBER & JANUARY

SUMMER

Minimum:  64 F, 18C
Maximum: 86 F, 30C

The thunderstorms gather and the rains come.  The bush flushes with new grass and bushveld blooms. 

Many plains game give birth and predators are at their most active.

WEATHER IN OTHER PARTS OF SOUTH AFRICA

CLIMATE


The climate is generally sunny and temperate, with average number of sunshine hours each day among the highest in the world.

 

Winters are mild and clear, although occasional snowfalls occur on the higher mountain ranges of the Eastern and Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, causing brief cold spells in the surrounding areas.

 

More than 40% of South Africa lies nearly 4,000 feet above sea level, which exerts a significant influence on temperatures and rainfall in the interior of the country.

 

The Western Cape Province enjoys a Mediterranean-type climate (dry summer and winter rainfall, mostly

in the form of short afternoon thunderstorms).

 

As the country lies in the southern hemisphere, seasons are the reverse

of those in the northern hemisphere.

 

The average maximum temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit of four of south Africa's major cities are:
 

Cape Town

Summer 80

Winter 69 

Durban 

Summer 83 

Winter 77.2

Johannesburg

Summer 81.4

Winter 78

Pretoria

Summer 87

Winter 74

 

WAY TO GO

Direct Flying times to Johannesburg from World Gateways

 

Different airlines fly different routes, but these are typical flying times using the national carrier, South African Airways.

 

The times include refueling stops where appropriate.

  • New York (via Dakar for refueling) 17 hours 55 minutes

  • Washington DC, USA (with stopover for refueling) 18 hours 40 minutes

  • Atlanta 12 hours approx.

  • London 11 hours

  • Rio de Janeiro (no direct route) 11 hours

  • Sydney 11 hours 45 minutes

  • Hong Kong 13 hours 10 minutes

  • Paris 10 hours 30 minutes

  • Dubai 8 hours 10 minutes

 

Consider a twist to your African adventure

 

 

   
JOURNEYS OF DISTINCTION