South Africa is often referred as
the Rainbow Nation, a term coined by Archbishop
Desmond Tutu to describe post-apartheid South
Africa, after South Africa's first fully democratic
election in 1994.
The phrase was soon eleborated
upon by President and world icon, Nelson Mandela, in
his first month of office, when he proclaimed "Each
of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this
beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees
of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld - a
rainbow nation at peace with itself and the
The term 'Rainbow Nation'
certainly reflects also the cultural variety in the
country as well as the huge difference in
landscapes, fauna and flora...from the smallest of 6
floral kingdoms in the world in the Cape to the
bushveld in the northeast and the Kalahari Desert in
The cherry on the cake is the
'Mother City', also known as Cape Town.
And...besides the world famous Kruger National Park,
there is much more to offer such as malaria free
game reserves in the Eastern Cape, North West
Province and some other parts of the country!
On your way to Sossusvlei - in the heart of the
Namib Desert there is a place where time does not
The hand of God paused on these vast plains,
touching your senses as never before.
A world of colour, awe inspiring plains, surrounded
by magnificent mountains, you can experience
tranquillity, silence and solitude.
“Leave nothing but your
footprints”, is the most important rule when
exploring Namibia. The “nothing” does not only
include rubbish of any kind, but also refers to tyre
tracks! All Nature parks in Namibia are only
accessible with a permit, mostly purchased at the
entrance gate. The aim is to control the number of
visitors to the conservation area, and to ensure
that those who do visit take note of the rules
stipulated in the park. Namibia was the ﬁrst country
in the world to include the protection of the
environment into its constitution.
Through the Caprivi
area in the northeast one can reach the Chobe
National Park in Botswana and the Victoria Falls in
Zambia and Zimbabwe!
Botswana has diverse areas of
wildlife habitat. In addition to the delta and
desert areas, there are grasslands and savannas,
where Blue Wildebeest, antelopes, and other mammals
and birds are found. Northern Botswana has one of
the few remaining large populations of the
endangered African Wild Dog. Chobe National Park,
found in the Chobe District, has the world's largest
concentration of African Elephants. The park covers
about 11,000 km2 (4,247 sq mi) and
supports about 350 species of birds.
The Chobe National Park and
Moremi Game Reserve (in the Okavango Delta) are
major tourist destinations. Other reserves include
the Central Kalahari Game Reserve located in the
Kalahari desert in Ghanzi District; Makgadigadi Pans
National Park and Nxai Pan National Park are in the
Central District in the Makgadigadi Pan. Mashatu
Game Reserve is privately owned: located where the
Shashe River and Limpopo River meet in eastern
Botswana. There are also specialised sanctuaries
like the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (for Rhinoceros) and
Makgadikgadi Sanctuary (for Flamingos).
Zambia is a landlocked Southern African country,
just a little larger than Spain and Italy combined.
Zambia is unspoiled by mass tourism, and is rich in
wildlife, superb forests and meandering rivers.
Of course it's also where you can see the world's
biggest waterfall, the Victoria Falls, or as we call
it Mosi-oa-Tunya - the smoke that thunders, which
spans the border to our neighbour, Zimbabwe. It is
one of the seven natural wonders of the world!
To the broader
public, little is known about the treasures in store
in Zambia as it boasts some of the best game
parks in Africa, providing an unmatched safari
experience. South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi, Liuwa and
Kafue are just some of the National Parks one can
visit in Zambia, along with more specialist areas
like Kasanka and Bangwelu Swamps.
And what's more, one can easily drive or fly with a
short inland flight from the Victoria Falls to the
prestine Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe or even
for a half or full day excursion to Chobe National
Zimbabwe, a landlocked country in south-central
Africa, is slightly smaller than California. It is
bordered by Botswana on the west, Zambia on the
north, Mozambique on the east, and South Africa on
The remains of early humans, dating back 500,000
years, have been discovered in present-day Zimbabwe.
The land's earliest settlers, the Khoisan, date back
to 200 B.C. After a period of Bantu domination, the
Shona people ruled, followed by the Nguni and Zulu
peoples. By the mid-19th century the descendants of
the Nguni and Zulu, the Ndebele, had established a
powerful warrior kingdom.
The first British explorers, colonists, and
missionaries arrived in the 1850s, and the massive
influx of foreigners led to the establishment of the
territory Rhodesia, named after Cecil Rhodes of the
British South Africa Company. In 1923, European
settlers voted to become the self-governing British
colony of Southern Rhodesia. After a brief
federation with Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and
Nyasaland (now Malawi) in the post–World War II
period, Southern Rhodesia (also known as Rhodesia)
chose to remain a colony when its two partners voted
for independence in 1963.
With an area of just over 17,000 square kilometres,
The Kingdom of Swaziland is the smallest country in
the southern hemisphere (comparable to the size of
Wales in the United Kingdom, and the state of New
Jersey in America). Swaziland covers an area of
approximately 193 km from north to south, and 145 km
from east to west. Small as it may be, Swaziland is
an exciting tourist destination with its art and
craft outlets and traditional markets and wildlife
reserves. Swaziland is famous for it’s vibrant art
and culture. Colourful arts and crafts are available
at a wide variety of local markets.
The area which is now Swaziland
has been inhabited by various groups for a very long
time – in eastern Swaziland archaeologists have
discovered human remains dating back as far as 110
000 years – but the Swazi people themselves arrived
In the great Bantu migration into
southern Africa, one group – the Nguni – moved down
the East Coast. One clan settled in the area around
modern Maputo in Mozambique, and eventually the
Dlamini family founded a dynasty. By the middle of
the 18th century, King Ngwane III led his
people south to lands around the Pongola River.
Lesotho is a
world without fences. Breathtaking scenery abounds
and every season has unique attractions and colour
palets. Visiting Lesotho is a chance to experience
traditional Basotho life.
Lesotho is a small
independent country, also known as the Mountain
Kingdom, is completely surrounded by its big
neighbor South Africa.
(3482m) is the highest peak in Southern Africa,
situated in north Lesotho, and geographically most
of the country consists of high mountain ranges,
which have been carved out by rivers. All these
rivers flow into the well known Orange River and
then into the Atlantic Ocean.
The summer is the wet season with regular
thunderstorms in the afternoons. The winter is the
dry season, the temperature often dropping below
zero. When a frontal weather system moves through,
the mountains are often covered in snow.
Driving in Lesotho is with a 4x4
vehicle and refueling happens at each possible
opportunity. Distances in Lesotho must be judged by
time and not kilometers for the simple reason that
the terrain is quite rough.
Mozambique – A country of many sights and sounds,
from pristine white beaches to beautiful colonial
Mozambique beckons, with unspoilt, palm-lined
beaches, world-class diving and fishing. Take on a
Mozambique beach holiday and experience for yourself
a coastline fringed by extensive coral reefs,
offering natural splendour and an underwater
spectacle that is hard to match.
The best time to visit Mozambique is during the
winter months from April to September. The southern
parts of the country are generally dryer and less
tropical than the north. The best months for game
viewing are August and September, towards the end of
the dry season. The best time for bird-watching is
usually November and December, which is the hot,
rainy season. A wide variety of fish are attracted
to the warm waters of Mozambique, with larger fish
populating the waters in summer, and small to medium
sized fish in winter, making the coast a good
fishing and diving destination.
Domestic air services operate between Beira, Maputo,
Nampula, Pemba, Quelimane, Tete and Vilanculos.
Self-drive is not a problem, however it is advisable
not to drive beyond Gorongosa National Park as most
rental companies do not allow this.
Famous to the
islands is the Black Parrot, the national bird of
the country and protected bird. The granitic islands
of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant
species, with a further 25 or so species in the
Aldabra group. Particularly well-known is the Coco
de Mer, a species of palm that grows only on the
islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse.
Sometimes nicknamed the "love nut" because of the
shape of its fruit which, with the husk removed,
presents a "double" coconut resembling buttocks, the
coco-de-mer produces the world's heaviest seed pods.
The jellyfish tree is to be found in only a few
locations on Mahé.
and ancient plant in a genus of its own (Medusagynaceae)
has resisted all efforts to propagate it. Other
unique plant species include the Wright's Gardenia
Rothmannia annae found only on Aride Island Special
Reserve.The freshwater crab genus is endemic to the
granitic Seychelles, and a further 26 species of
crabs and 5 species of hermit crabs live on the
hosts some of the largest seabird colonies in the
world. In the outer islands Aldabra and Cosmoledo
are home to the largest numbers. The marine
life around the islands, especially the more remote
coral islands, can be spectacular. More than 1,000
species of fish have been recorded.
Since the use
of spear guns and dynamite for fishing was banned
through efforts of local conservationists in the
1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers and
The island of
Mauritius is relatively young geologically, having
been created by volcanic activity some 8 million
years ago. Together with Saint Brandon, Réunion and
Rodrigues, the island is part of the Mascarene
have emerged from the abysses as a result of
gigantic underwater volcanic eruptions that happened
thousands of kilometres to the east of the
continental block made up by Africa and Madagascar.
They are no longer volcanically active and the
hotspot now rests under Réunion island. There has
been no active volcano on Mauritius island for more
than 100,000 years. Mauritius is encircled by a
broken ring of mountain ranges, varying in height
from 300 meters to 800 meters above sea level. The
land rises from coastal plains to a central plateau
where it reaches a height of 670 meters, the highest
peak is in the southwest, Piton de la Petite Riviére
Noire at 828 metres (2,717 ft). Streams and rivers
speckle the island, a lot of them are formed in the
cracks created by lava flows. The island of
Mauritius is situated some 2,000 kilometers (1242
miles) off the south east coast of the African
continent, it is 65 km long and 45 km wide, its land
area is 1,864.8 km. Mauritius is surrounded by more
than 150 kilometres (93 miles) of white sandy
beaches and the lagoons are protected from the open
sea by the world's third largest coral reef, which
surrounds the island.
Just off the
Mauritian coast lie some 49 uninhabited islands and
islets, some of them are used as natural reserves
for the protection of endangered species.
Malawi may be one of Africa’s smallest countries but
when it comes to exploration and adventure, it has
tremendous amounts to offer; from grasslands and
forests, mountaintops, unspoilt wildlife parks to
Africa’s third largest and most beautiful Lake!
Situated on the Great Rift Valley, Malawi is
dominated by Lake Malawi, a magnificent body of
water, 365 miles long and 52 miles wide (hence
sometimes referred to as the calendar lake!). It’s
teaming with life including over 400 species of
cichlid fish, a lot of which are endemic to it.
Most of Lake Malawi’s astounding underwater
diversity is protected within the Lake Malawi
National Park which is a World Heritage site and
also one of the first in the world set aside for the
protection of freshwater fish.
The wildlife parks in Malawi are picturesque as well
as diverse in game. Also unlike other African parks
these have a very exclusive feel to them with only a
few lodges operating in each. Reserves such as
Majete Wildlife Reserve, are virtually undiscovered
by tourists thus visiting it feels more like an
expedition; making for unique and exciting safaris.
Majete is also the only official Big 5 Park in
Malawi. Malawi is not a wealthy country, but there
are great riches in the people.
Malawians are never short on smiles and hospitality;
making you feel welcome in the ‘Warm Heart of
Africa’ right from the start of your unforgettable
A country with epic topography, Tanzania is a
wilderness and wildlife extravaganza. This vast and
sparseley-populated country hosts some of the
greastest wildlife experiences on Earth.
From the snow-capped summit of Mount Kilimanjaro the
the game-rich Ngorogoro Crater from the endless
plains of the Serengti to the baobabs of the
tarangire, Tanzania is the safari insider's hot tip.
Boasting 14 national parks and numerous game
reserves, this is home to the largest wildlife herds
on the African Continent, as well as the
palm-fringed island of Zanzibar, ideal for
Approximately 38% of Tanzania's land area is set
aside in protected areas for conservation.Tanzania
has 16 national parks, plus
a variety of game and forest reserves, including the Ngorongoro
Conservation Area. In western Tanzania,
Gombe Stream National Park is the site of Jane
Goodall's ongoing study of
chimpanzee behaviour, which started in 1960.
Tanzania is highly biodiverse and contains a wide
variety of animal habitats.
Serengeti plain, white-bearded wildebeest (Connochaetes
taurinus mearnsi) and other bovids participate
in a large-scale annual migration. Tanzania is also
home to about 130 amphibian and over 275 reptile
species, many of them strictly endemic and included
International Union of Nature's Red Lists of
different countries. Tanzania
has developed a Biodiversity
Action Plan to
address species conservation.
Get up close and personal with the
elusive and highly endangered mountain gorillas of
Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This truly is
the wildlife adventure of a lifetime.
Walk on the wild side and visit
Africa for a once-in-a lifetime encounter with one
of the rarest animals on the planet. Half of the
world's remaining mountain gorillas are found in the
Bwindi Forest. This dense rainforest is a World
Heritage Site with awe-inspiring biodiversity that
lies in the southwest of Uganda. Dotted by forest
and lakes and dominated by the dramatic world famous
Virunga Mountain Range, just under 350 mountain
gorillas live and play amongst the mossy undergrowth
of the forest floor.
With its incredible diversity of
landscapes and some of the highest concentrations of
wildlife in the world - it's no surprise that Kenya
is where the concept of safari was born.
Kenya is home to some of the best
national parks and game reserves on African soil
with diverse ecosystems, including Amboseli, Tsavo,
Samburu and Meru.
The jewel in its crown is the
Masai Mara, the stage for the anual wildebeest
migration when over two million wildebeest and zebra
move between the Masai Mara and the Serengeti in
Tanzania in search of greener pastures.