Africa is a masterful seductress. Her beauty, adventure and calming effect are second to none in the world. Today, she is a popular destination for world travelers seeking solace from the world’s problems and a good value for their money. South Africa has both.

My first view of the “dark continent” is from the window of a 747 gliding into Cape Town Airport. A picture-postcard view of Table Mountain and the harbor is resplendent in the early morning light. My mind is a bit foggy from the long night. It is dawn on the ground, but my biological clock is at midnight.

Even though I have never been here before, I am home. My first trip to South Africa will not be my last. I will be back 5 more times in the next three years. I will even celebrate my 60th birthday down here.

South Africa offers the traveler a chance to view historic colonial sites as well as the cosmopolitan atmosphere of cities like Cape Town. A few kilometers outside the city, one can travel back in time through the wine country and out in the open farm lands teeming with wild game.

It is estimated that the wildlife of the country is now at the same level as was the case when the first white settlers arrived.

In the 1960’s, people realized that game can be a source of income. Once a value is placed on wildlife, it becomes important to preserve it. The variety of species utilized the land in different ways. This allows several species to use the same area and not deplete the land. Cattle, sheep and goats deplete the land and result in some areas becoming useless.

Today wild game animals provide food for locals, and venison for the European, Asian and South Pacific markets. The tourist trade in the form of photographers and hunters compose a significant part the country’s Gross National Product. Guest houses (Bed and Breakfast) and resort provide first-class accommodations and game drives for those wishing to just view the animals.

Threatened species such as: white-tailed gnu, bontebok, rhino and elephant are making significant recoveries in this country. All have gone from endangered species status to appoint where limited hunting is possible. Revenue from the hunting is put back into breeding programs and habitat development for the species and the landowners who promote the programs. The country’s diversity makes people feel welcome regardless of their race, religion or language. There are 11 official languages with English being the most popular.

Americans find inexpensive, first-class hotels and restaurants, luxurious game reserves and the country’s warm welcome to strangers. In the early 1990’s, South Africa was the 52nd most popular destination. As I touch foot on the ground it is the 25th.

Taking pictures is a must for the traveler in this country of animals, history, mountains and wide sand beaches. It is possible to hire a car and driver though a tourism company and visit these places for a nominal sum.

The infrastructure is some of the best in the third world. Medical services are available in close proximity to most areas of the country. The world’s first heart transplant took place in this country. Most of the country is malaria-free. The only shot needed is a tetanus booster within the past seven years. Telephone service is readily available and cell phone service can be found in most areas. Bottled water and soft drinks are everywhere, but it is possible to drink the tap water in most areas.

The “rainbow country” of South Africa is beckoning.



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  1. Pingback: SOUTH AFRICA – A TRAVELERS DREAM | Survival Fishing

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this post, I really enjoyed reading this article.

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