South Africa is a favorite destination for tourists. The country offers multiple attractions and the changing seasons, natural scenery and breathtaking beaches just serve to fascinate visitors even more so. Have an adventurous soul? You’ll find many opportunities for off-road traveling and swimming with fish in the sea during your stay in South Africa.
Tourists call Bloemfontein the “City of Roses” due to the number of beautiful places in this most visited city in South Africa. Bloemfontein is just one of South Africa’s three capitals. You’ll find Oliewenhuis Art Museum and the National Museum at the epicenter of the city where the annual rose festival is held to celebrate the abundance of these beautiful flowers. You definitely should also visit the historical and cultural places that will appeal to your aesthetic sense.
Johannesburg (also known as Joburg) is host to a number of historical and well-known travel destinations, such as The Apartheid Museum, The Cradle of Humankind, Lion Park, and Gold Reef City to name a few. There are diamond and gold mines throughout, which is why Johannesburg is called “the city of gold.” Once known only as a crime-tainted safari stopover, Johannesburg has taken great strides to revive the city centre and drastic measures were taken to reduce crime in the city. There are closed-circuit cameras on every street corner, and every vehicle license plate traveling through the city is scanned to detect stolen or hijacked vehicles. The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department reports their average response time for a crime committed in the city is 60 seconds. It has become a comfortable place to visit the town, its cafeterias, restaurants, and studios without any apprehension.
The Apartheid Museum
The Apartheid Museum is located in Johannesburg and illustrates the history of apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa. The museum, which is part of the Gold Reef City complex, was opened in November 2001 and allows visitors to experience the racial segregation that occurred during apartheid by separating residents by racial appearance classified by the width of the nose, the kinks in hair, skin pigmentation, and size of lips.
There are many pictures, film footage, items and artifacts which help in understanding the history during this time realistically. It depicts the freedom movements and the tale of suffering of black people in South Africa during this time period.
Another popular tourist attraction is Constitution Hill, which is a former prison where political prisoners such as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were held captive.
After you finish enjoying your historical visit to Johannesburg, you’ll want to visit Boulders Beach in False Bay near Simon’s Town. The cool breeze, crystal-clear coloring, therapeutic sunrays, and nature-filled scenery make this a perfect place to vacation.
In 1982, a colony of African penguins settled on Boulders Beach and made it their home. These African penguins are only found on the coastlines of Southern Africa and are on the verge of extinction. They have been placed under the protection of the Cape Nature Conservation program. The penguins are best viewed from Foxy Beach, where newly constructed board walks take visitors to within a few meters of the birds, although people are restricted to beaches adjacent to the penguin colony.
Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain that forms a prominent landmark overlooking Cape Town in South Africa. The Table Mountain Cableway takes passengers from the lower cable station on Tafelberg Road to the plateau at the top of the mountain, about 1067 meters above sea level. The upper cable station offers views overlooking Cape Town, Table Bay and Robben Island to the north, as well as the Atlantic seaboard to the west and south. The top cable station also offers curio shops, a restaurant and various walking trails of various lengths for those that love to set out on their own.
Hiking on Table Mountain is popular amongst locals and tourists with a number of trails of varying difficulty. Because of the steep cliffs around the summit, direct climbs from the city side are limited. In addition to hiking, Table Mountain offers rock climbing, mountain biking, and caving.
The Market Theater is Johannesburg’s cultural heritage. Opened in 1976, it operated as an independent, non-racial theater during the country’s apartheid regime. It is named after the site on which it stands – which was originally a produce market known as Old Indian Market or Newtown Market – which closed after 60 years and relocated to another part of the city.
The Market Theater complex houses three theaters: the Barney Simon Theater which opened in June 1976, the Main Theater which opened in October 1976, and the Laager Theater which was named in 1979. The Market Theater complex also houses two art galleries, a jazz club, a cabaret venue, a bookshop, two restaurants, a coffee bar, theater bar, shopping mall, and a flea market every Saturday.
Be sure to plan the maximum days of your vacation visiting the beauty of South Africa so you don’t miss any of the attractions and sights we’ve mentioned. In a city so rich with culture and history, we’re sure you’ll have no trouble at all packing your itinerary each day!
Peace and Blessings til the next post,
Kim @ Life in a House
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