Africa is a vast country. Trying to choose the top 10 places to visit, is not a simple task. However, to make it easier, for people planning to visit Africa, a top 10 list has been created. Whoever, visits Africa should definitely explore these places.
1 ) Table Mountain
Since the first person laid eyes on Table Mountain, it has exerted its powerful and charismatic pull, enchanting and drawing any and all who fall under its spell. The way to the top has never been easy, and for many centuries only a handful of bold and enterprising people could say that they had climbed it. By the late 1870′s, several of Cape Towns more prominent (and possibly less fit) citizens had suggested the introduction of a railway line to the top.
Plans to implement a proposed rack railway got under way but the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer war put a halt to the plans. By 1912, with a strong desire to gain easy access to the top of Table Mountain, the Cape Town City Council commissioned an engineer to investigate the various options of transport to the top. The engineer, a Mr. H.M. Peter, suggested that a funicular railway running up from Oranjezicht through Platteklip gorge would be the most suitable option. A vote was held with the vast majority of Cape Town’s residents voting in favour. This in spite of its cost a staggering (in 1913) 100000 Pounds.
2 ) Masai Mara
With its rolling grasslands and wide-open savannahs, the Masai Mara is the kind of unfettered, sprawling wilderness you thought only existed on Hollywood film sets. But it’s real and out there: experience Kenya’s finest wildlife reserve on a Masai Mara safari holiday – where the land pulses with raw energy and a dazzling array of animals takes centre stage. The wildlife is simply fantastic. It is the only place, where one could, view the migration of more than a million wildebeest. One can view this delightful spectacle from a hot air balloon.
3 ) Garden Route
The Garden Route includes one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline, the starting point of which is constantly contested as towns such as Witsand, Stilbaai and Albertinia join the route that winds its way for some 200 km via George, Wilderness, Sedgefield and Knysna on to Plettenberg Bay culminating in the Tstisikamma Forest – a fairyland of giant trees, ferns and bird life. Mountains crowd close to a shoreline dotted with beaches and bays, and vividly coloured wild flowers delight the eye.
Between Heidelberg and Storms River, the Garden Route runs parallel to a coastline featuring lakes, mountains, tall indigenous forests, amber -coloured rivers and golden beaches. Meandering trails are followed by hikers, the forests invite long, leisurely drives, and the lakes and rivers lend themselves to swimming boating and fishing. A wide range of leisure options, spectacular scenery and a mild climate guarantee an unforgettable holiday experience when visiting the Garden Route in South Africa.
4 ) Kruger National Park
Lying in the heart of the Lowveld is a wildlife sanctuary like no other, its atmosphere so unique that it allows those who enter its vastness to immerse themselves in the unpredictability and endless wilderness that is the true quality of Africa.
The largest game reserve in South Africa, the Kruger National Park is larger than Israel. Nearly 2 million hectares of land that stretch for 352 kilometres (20 000 square kilometres) from north to south along the Mozambique border, is given over to an almost indescribable wildlife experience. Certainly it ranks with the best in Africa and is the flagship of the country’s national parks – rated as the ultimate safari experience.
The Kruger National Park lies across the provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo in the north of South Africa, just south of Zimbabwe and west of Mozambique. It now forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park – a peace park that links Kruger National Park with game parks in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and fences are already coming down to allow game to freely roam in much the way it would have in the time before man’s intervention.
When complete, the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park will extend across 35 000 square kilometres, 58% of it South African, 24% Mozambican and 18% Zimbabwean territory.
5 ) Knysna
Located in the Garden Route of South Africa , Knysna is beautifully surrounded by lush forests, clear lakes and beautiful beaches. It has been voted South Africa ‘s favorite holiday town thanks to its wide selection of restaurants, fun activities and welcoming accommodation. It truly represents the loveliness of continent with sweeping views of natural landscape that is absolutely breath taking. Knysna provides excellent roads, transport, medical services, shopping, schools and parks and plenty of holiday cottages, reflecting on the town’s pride.
6 ) Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls constitutes one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. The Local people call it “Mosi-oa-Tunya” — the smoke that thunders and the Victoria Falls are remarkable. There is a magic about them manifested in the towering column of spray known as the Victoria falls when the river is high, the thunder of the falling water, the terrifying abyss and tranquil lagoons upstream in which hippo and deadly crocodiles lurk.
The Victoria falls is 1 708 meters wide, making it the largest curtain of water in the world. The Victoria falls drops between 90m and 107m into the Zambezi Gorge and an average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plummet over the edge every minute. Remarkably preserved in its natural state, Victoria falls inspires visitors as much today as it did David Livingstone in the 1860′s.
The Victoria falls and the surrounding area have been declared National Parks and a World Heritage Site, thus preserving the area from excessive commercialisation. The Victoria Falls are spectacular throughout the year, but February onwards, after the rain season, has the heaviest flow and volume of spray.
7 ) Cape Town
Cape Town provides a setting for many scenic wonders, magnificent seascapes and panoramic vistas. The beautiful coastal areas of Camps Bay, Clifton, Llandudno, Bantry Bay, Hout Bay and Blouberg surround the breathtaking tranquility of the winelands, Constantia, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. Cape Town is a city of culture, built on a history that reflects in the architecture, cuisine, music and dance. Together with a warm summer and temperate winter climate and a friendly community, the Western Cape and the Mother City are an ideal holiday destination throughout the year.
8 ) Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch is South Africa’s second oldest town having been established in 1679. The town’s highlight is the incredible wine route which boasts 44 cellars. A vast range of wines are produced in the area and whilst it is classed as ’Cabernet country’ my personal favourite is Pinotage (but each to their own!) As you travel from cellar to cellar you will find the area very visitor friendly. Each cellar’s entrance is clearly signposted and many of the cellars offer tours as well as fantastic lunches in beautiful gardens or restaurants. Naturally you will have the chance to enjoy one or two bottles of locally produced wine.
9 ) Durban
High up on the east coast, Durban is South Africa’s sub-tropical beach getaway. The city centre overlooks a long, golden beach that is probably the single most culturally diverse spot in Africa. Here you will find frolicking families of every hue, busy executives out for a quick lunchtime jog, teenagers in full breeding plumage, elegant sari-clad matrons strolling the sand, buff surfers running into the waves, and bead-bedecked sangomas collecting therapeutic sea water in bottles.
Durban is actually all about the beach. It is home to South Africa’s only surfing museum, and is one of the most surf-friendly cities in the world. Frustrated wage slaves can look out of their office windows onto awesome breaks – and then shed the tie and jacket or the high heels and paddle out straight after work. Durban is the closest seaport to Johannesburg and is also an integral part of the city.
As well as all the usual container docks it has not one, but two yacht clubs and a great little cultural spot right in the middle of the harbour – the BAT centre. Short for the Bartle Arts Trust, the BAT Centre is a hotbed of local visual art and musical creativity mixed in with some good restaurants, coffee shops and pubs. All overlooking the small boat harbour so you can sip cappuccino while watching stubby-nosed tugs coming in to rest after a hard day pushing supertankers around.
10 ) The Drakensberg Mountains
The Drakensberg Mountains stretch south from the northwestern border of Kwazulu Natal for a lenght of 400km. The Drakensberg mountains are a spectacular scene, originally referred to as the “Dragon Mountains” by early settlers to the Drakensberg Mountains are considered to be a pemier tourist attaction in South Africa. The mountains is affectionately known to locals as the ‘Berg’. The Drakensberg Mountains rise as high as 3000m, and host some of the most popular South African Nature Reserves. Well-known names, such as Mount-aux-Sources and the Natal Royal National Park, recently renamed the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, draw the attention of local as well as overseas tourists to enjoy the unique, majestic and breathtaking views.