South Africa Introduction

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An Introduction to South Africa

If there was only one word to summarise South Africa it would be ‘diverse’. Diversity seeps throughout the whole country, from the rich to the poor, from the flora to the fauna, and from the dense forests to the dry deserts. There are even stark changes in the climate, to the hot and humid north, to the sometimes wet and windy south.

It doesn’t matter whether you are going to South Africa for a holiday or as a backpacking destination; it caters for both.

Table Mountain automatically takes you to South Africa and is one of the world’s most iconic landmarks; the Drakensberg mountains delight hikers from all over the world and is a beautiful place to explore; the ‘Elephant Coast’ provides pristine, golden beaches that would make any Australian jealous. And if you want national parks, well, South Africa has a few of those too. Test your eye-sight on a safari in Kgalagadi National Park or Kruger National Park and see if you can spot cheetahs, elephants, lions, and a whole host of other animals.

It is the people that make South Africa so vibrant. The nightlife in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg is a real highlight, and the café culture is booming. There is a big emphasis on healthy living - South Africans work hard and play hard.

Despite a lot of the hardships that South Africans face they are still incredibly up-beat, with a fantastic sense of humour and a smile upon their face. It’s hard to hide the fact that large parts of the country lives in poverty, and the rising problem of HIV/AIDS still hasn’t be solved, and there is still racial inequality and past prejudices, but these aren’t reasons to overlook South Africa.

South Africa is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world, and it is really starting to open up to backpackers.

Like many countries the South Africans love their sport. The most popular sports are cricket, rugby and soccer. They currently have the best one-day cricket team in the world and are the Rugby World Champions, well, at least until September anyway.

The 2010 Football World Cup was hosted by South Africa and it really opened up the country to the world. What better way to advertise what your country has to offer than showing-off all of the beautiful sights to millions of viewers? No-one will forget the party atmospheres that the stadiums created, even if jabulani’s and vuvuzela’s were the hot topic for debate.

Millions, if not billions of people watched the world’s biggest sporting event, and at one point or another they all said the same thing, "I want to go to South Africa."