South Africa is a country home to incredible diversity of landscapes, wildlife and culture that makes South Africa an unforgettable holiday destination. From the Cape with iconic Table Mountain and its far-reaching views across to Robben Island to the mesmerizing Garden Route that hosts the most beautiful coastline on the continent. Just as diverse as the history and landscape, is South African wildlife. The abundance of animals that roam largely wild and unfettered through the many reserves and national parks that crisscross the country is world renowned.
The Big Five, whales, penguins, meerkats, wild dogs, birds, dung beetles and so much more inhabit this beautiful country. South Africa’s legendary scenic wonders makes South Africa a destination to rival any in the world. Populated by 57.7 million people, this triangle-shaped country moderated by oceans on two sides and the altitude of the interior plateau, account for the warm temperate conditions so typical of South Africa. The warm Mozambique-Agulhas Current skirts the east and south coasts as far as Cape Agulhas, while the cold Benguela Current flows northwards along the west coast as far as southern Angola. The contrast in temperature between these two currents partly accounts for significant differences in climate and vegetation, as well as differences in marine life.
Lesotho is officially known as the Kingdom of Lesotho, but lovingly referred to as the ‘Kingdom in the Sky’. Lesotho offers stunning mountain scenery, hiking opportunities and wildlife spotting. Lesotho is just 30,000 square kilometres in space and has an estimated population of 2.26 million. Due to its altitude, Lesotho remains cool throughout the year, with snow covering many of its peaks and mountain passes. Lesotho offers a wealth of different experiences, mountains, valleys and rivers present unforgettable panoramas. With its crystal-clear water, green pastures for livestock, and friendly villagers on horseback in multi-coloured balaclavas and blankets makes Lesotho an unforgettable African destination.
Swaziland is the home to one of the last absolute monarchies in the world and is one of the smallest countries in Africa. The country is divided into four agro-ecological zones, based on elevation, landforms, geology, soils and vegetation. The Highveld, Middleveld and Lowveld. Swaziland has a subtropical climate with summer rains. About 75 percent of the precipitation falls from October to March. The climatic conditions range from sub-humid and temperate in the Highveld to semi-arid in the Lowveld. The national long-term average rainfall is 788 mm/year.
The country’s population was about 1.1 million of which 76 percent are rural. It is also one of the friendliest countries you will find anywhere. In addition to Swaziland’s stunning landscape of mountains and valleys, forests and plains, there are also wildlife reserves across the country that are home to The Big Five. Swaziland more than makes up for its lack of size with a hugely diverse range of attractions and activities. You will find Swaziland is a welcoming Kingdom with wonderfully stunning landscapes, friendly people and up close and personal wildlife sightings.
Zimbabwe, officially Republic of Zimbabwe, formerly (1911–64) Southern Rhodesia, (1964–79) Rhodesia, or (1979–80) Zimbabwe Rhodesia, is home to the iconic Victoria Falls and delightful wilderness which makes Zimbabwe an unmissable destination in Africa. The preferred destination in Zimbabwe is the mighty Victoria Falls. This curtain of water cascades into a deep gorge cut by the raging Zambezi River. The constant rainbow formed by sunlight and spray even occurs by moonlight. Victoria Falls is also the adventure capital of Africa, with such adrenaline activities as white-water rafting, bungee jumping, microlight ‘Flight of Angels’, skydiving and elephant back riding.
Zimbabwe’s climate is semiarid with warm winters and hot summers. Toward the end of the hot, dry months, which last from August to October, monsoon winds result in intense orographic rainfall when they meet the rampart formed by the eastern highlands. The eastern regions consequently receive the country’s heaviest rainfall and have a more prolonged rainy season (lasting from October into April) than the rest of Zimbabwe. The high altitude of the broad plateau of western Zimbabwe helps to guarantee fine weather there during the cool, dry winter months from May to August.
Zambia is situated on a high plateau in south-central Africa and takes its name from the Zambezi River. Large parts of the country are thinly populated. With a population of 13 million people, the highest concentration of locals lives in and around capital city Lusaka, with a population of approximately 1 million people. Thus, its extraordinary natural beauty and wildlife remains pristine and unspoiled. Zambia’s weather remains generally dry and temperate, with the rainy season occurring during October to April.
Zambia boasts one of the largest areas of land under protection as a national park in Africa. The thundering splendour of the Victoria Falls draws most visitors to this gentle and peaceful country. Many travellers prefer to see the falls from the Zambian side and some claim the views are even more spectacular.
Located in the heart of Southern Africa is another sparsely populated African country. with an approximate population of 2 million people, Botswana is a true untamed wilderness. In a country that is 80% arid, it is hot and dry for much of the year, there is a rainy season, which runs through the summer months. Rainfall tends to be erratic, unpredictable and highly regional. Botswana’s Okavango Delta and Chobe River provide an unparalleled haven for African wildlife. South of the delta lie the far-flung stretches of the Makgadikgadi saltpans and the semi-desert grasslands of the Kalahari. The Chobe is home to Africa’s largest elephant population as well as huge herds of buffalo, zebra and many antelope species, and with such abundant plains game, Botswana has plenty of Africa’s top predators – lion, leopard, hyenas and rare wild dogs.
Deserts, rock, open plains and a bleak and eerie coastline that for much of the year is bathed in thick fog. Namibia’s landscapes are not what you expect to find in Africa. The country is dominated by the brooding Namib Desert, a vast expanse of unspoilt wilderness. Despite its hostile environment, Namibia is home to a wealth of African animals and birds – best seen at the shimmering white Etosha Pan. This is one of the last places on earth that black rhino roam free, and it’s the only home of the desert elephant. There are also an impressive number of Cheetahs that roam the deserts. When it comes to climate and weather, Namibia is a country of extremes. Although overall classified as having an arid climate, the actual weather conditions, temperatures and amount of rainfall vary considerably. Namibia has the least amount of rainfall in sub-Saharan Africa and usually has over 300 sunny days per year. The coastal areas have a smaller temperature range. Temperatures here are kept mild by the cold Atlantic winds. The temperatures increase as one moves farther inland.