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South Africa

South Africa is a country with vast natural beauty & adventure experiences. It produces some of the best wines in the world. Many are attracted to the unique beauty of the Garden Route, exhilarating adventure sports & attractive wildlife both on land & below the sea. The heritage & history of the country also draws a lot of attention ....

Why Travel with Namaste South Africa?

  • A local concierge service with a 24×7 emergency contact number assisting you with all facets of South Africa – restaurants, shopping and local experiences
  • We focus on local experiences as much as important sounds and sights that you must visit
  • Our tailor made touring looks into finer elements including pace of travel and off beat as well as insider experiences where possible

Shark Cage diving
Picture being lowered inside a cage, into shark infested waters for a terrifying close encounter with the killer of the seas- the great white shark. All that separates you and its saw toothed jaws are the few feet of water and the solid steel bar cage.

Knowing how to swim is not a necessary requirement. Step into a steel cage attached to the side of the boat & get lowered into shark territory. The crew members on the boat bait the shark by tossing chunks of meat into the ocean a few feet away from you. Cherish the sight of the great white gliding past just a few feet from you. A powerfully chilling, but also exhilarating experience. It’s not uncommon for a shark to stop and look at you like an animal in a cage by ramming its snout on the bars of your cage. No need to worry the cage is sturdy enough to withstand the pounding. This activity can be done as a day trip from Cape Town.

Bloukrans Bungee
Pay money to frighten yourself? Sounds silly right? But if it’s the Bloukrans bungee then a bit of madness for an experience of a lifetime is worth it. No pilot license or prior flying experience required. You will be fitted with a full body harness & your feet are strapped to an enormous elastic band. You are taken to the take-off platform after being weighed & here comes your moment of truth; to jump or not to jump that is the question. Many chicken out at this point looking at the drop but if you choose to jump you will first get into a free fall & at the end of the descent you are yanked up & then bounced around.

Crazy but thrilling. This activity can be done on the Garden Route.

White Water Rafting
Knowing how to swim is not a requirement but helpful. Most tours have a safety training programme. River rafting is a team sport & a raft can take 2-8 people along with a guide. The river run is done in a raft that hurdles over rapids graded from 1 to 5.

This activity can be done in Cape Town, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal etc.

Canopy / Zip Line
Zip line & canopy tours do not require any special skill or prior experience. For both activities you require to wear a harness that is attached to a pulley. Zip line requires you to step off a platform & glide suspended from the cable to another platform at the bottom. Canopy tours are a little more complex; they are done over a series of zip lines stretched out between giant trees. In this you have to use your gloved hands as a break.

This activity can be done in Eastern Cape, Garden Route, , KwaZulu-Natal etc.

Crocodile Cage Diving
You may have experienced the thrill of shark cage diving and it’s time for something new and different. What about Crocodile Cage Diving? Yes, you read correctly. Crocodile Cage Diving is a global first and is only offered in South Africa at the Cango Ranch in Oudtshoorn in theWestern Cape.

It is clearly not for the faint-hearted. What makes this so daring is that these crocodiles are 4m long Nile crocodiles and are man-eating predators. They view humans as their prey! The cages are specifically designed to withstand the crocodile’s incredible power as the crocs boast a bite pressure of over two tons per square inch which is 4 times the bite of a Great White Shark. You will carefully be lowered in the croc-proof cage into the crystal clear water that is home to 5 crocs. The experience gets more adrenaline pumping as the crocodiles spend their time surrounding the cage and considering you as a potential snack! You will also have a souvenir of your thrilling experience as an underwater photograph is taken of you surrounded by crocs! This activity can be done in Western Cape.

While you are in Zululand, enjoy the welcoming wide smiles extended to you by the local people. Enjoy the comfortable accommodation in major towns, game lodges, to seashore cottages, Zulu homes or floating lake chalets. The Zulu experience is something which is a must for any traveler: take an ox wagon to Zulu villages of bee-hive huts and experience traditional Zulu hospitality. You cannot leave without a visit to Ulundi, the site of the final battle fought in the Anglo-Zulu war. Nearby Zulu kings lie buried in the Emakhosini Valley. In total contrast are the township tours showcasing modern Zulu life including taverns, shebeens and traditional medicine shops.

Further inland lie tea plantations, cattle ranches and pretty, historical towns such as Vryheid and Paulpietersburg where you can relax in the therapeutic sulphur springs. Zululand, the heart and pulse of the Zulu Kingdom.

South of Johannesburg is Soweto, a city developed as a township for black people under the apartheid system. Most of the struggle against apartheid was fought in and from Soweto. The name Soweto is an acronym, made up – in apartheid days – from the first letters of the words “south western township”. Soweto is inhabited by over two million people, with homes ranging from extravagant mansions to makeshift shacks.

It is a popular tourist destination with sites such as Kliptown (where the Freedom Charter was drawn up), the home of former President Nelson Mandela, the Hector Petersen Memorial site, restaurants and shopping malls.

Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon
Since humble beginnings in 1970, this marathon following a beautiful 56km scenic route around the Cape Peninsula now attracts over 12 000 entrants, including competitors from overseas.

Spectators line the course to cheer participants along and the race ends at the University of Cape Town with a carnival for the whole family. Takes place around the Easter weekend.

Knysna Oyster Festival
The Knysna Oyster Festival is probably one of the most popular annual events in the Western Cape. It is also something of a celebration of the good life and sport and has taken place every year since 1983, where it began as the Knysna Winter Festival – a combination of sport that drew people to Knysna during the quiet winter season.

Marketed as the ‘Best 10 Days of Your Winter’, the Knysna Oyster festival is spread across two weekends that promise constant fun and activities for the whole family. But of course the stars of the show are undoubtedly the oysters, served naked, cooked or garnished at over 30 local Tabasco Hotspots throughout the festival.

Cape Town International Jazz Festival
The annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival is the culmination of world-renowned musicians providing a cohesive star-studded line-up.

The musical and training workshops offered at the festival are yet another endorsement of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival’s commitment to developing not only the industry, but the community as well. Well attended and supported by local musicians and industry professionals, the participants in the various workshops benefit directly from experts in their respective fields. Collaboration between the Festival, musicians and the media has ensured that participants at all the workshops benefit generously from the contributions of these professionals.

V & A Waterfront Wine Affair
Showcases over 75 Western Cape wine estates all under one roof. Includes food and wine pairings and many special dinner offers at Waterfront restaurants. Takes place 6-9 May.

Cape Gourmet Festival
Two weeks of food and wine and more food and wine. The festival encompasses a host of events from the Good Food and Wine show to cookery demonstrations with top international and local chefs, restaurant promotions and the Table of Unity luncheon at the foot of Table Mountain.

Takes place in May.

Sardine Run
Every year, between the months of May and July, many millions of silvery sardines travel north from the cold southern oceans off South Africa’s Cape Point, hugging the shore as they make their way up along the coastlines of North Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in what is commonly known as the annual Sardine Run.

There are many predators waiting to eat the sardines which makes it the best time to see the oceanic animals.

Cape Carnival
Starting with street performer, a street party with a DJ will take place immediately after the parade until midnight. There are themes each year for the carnival according to which floats are made & people enjoy dance, music and special performances.The Carnival celebrates a truly South African expression of Music, Dance and Arts and educate and inform the world of the rich culture and history of South Africa.

The Cape Town Carnival promises to be a magical event & should not be missed if one is travelling over New Year.

Thulamela Hill
An archaeological research team revealed the first evidence of prehistoric habitation in the far northern part of the Kruger National Park in 1990. Further excavation at Thulamela in the Pafuri area revealed stone ruins which are remains of a Late Iron Age settlement as well as gold beads, charcoal, Ostrich-shell beads, perforated ornamental cowrie shells, clay spindle whorls, ivory and metal rings. Radiocarbon dating indicated the site to have been inhabited from the 15th to mid-17th century.

With the sponsorship by the Gold Fields Foundation, the Thulamela project was officially launched in July 1993 with the intended purpose of restoring the site and turning it into a museum. The reconstructed stonewalled settlement was officially opened as cultural heritage site museum on Heritage Day, 24 September 1996.

Robben Island
People lived on Robben Island many thousands of years ago, when the sea channel between the Island and the Cape mainland was not covered with water. Since the Dutch settled at the Cape in the mid-1600s, Robben Island has been used primarily as a prison. Indigenous African leaders, Muslim leaders from the East Indies, Dutch and British soldiers and civilians, women, and anti-apartheid activists, including South Africa’s first democratic President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and the founding leader of the Pan Africanist Congress, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, were all imprisoned on the Island. It was also used as a training and defence station in World War II (1939-1945) and a hospital for people with leprosy, and the mentally and chronically ill (1846-1931).

Since 1997 it has been a museum and a heritage site. It runs educational programmes for schools, youths and adults, facilitates tourism development & conducts ongoing research related to the Island.

The Eland In San Rock Art Paintings
In 1915 the site in KwaZulu-Natal was one of the best preserved in southern Africa. Africa’s largest antelope and the most powerful evocative of all San symbols.

The eland is the most frequently depicted animal in many regions of southern Africa. They were painted in a great variety of postures, from various perspectives, and embellished them with the finest details. In the Eastern Cape – Drakensberg, San art was much more than communication of knowledge & mere pictures. Many of the paintings were storehouses of the supernatural potency that shamans harnessed for their cosmological power. Moreover, the rock on which the images were placed was like a veil suspended between this world and the spirit world.

The Apartheid Museum
The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid. In 1995 the cost of the construction was paid for by Gold Reef City.

The museum is a superb example of design, space and landscape offering the international community a unique South African experience. The exhibits have been assembled and organized by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, film-makers, historians and designers. They include provocative film footage, photographs, text panels and artifacts illustrating the events and human stories that were a part of the apartheid.
A series of 22 individual exhibition areas takes one through a dramatic emotional journey that tells a story of a state-sanctioned system of racial discrimination towards the locals & their struggle for freedom. For anyone wanting to understand and experience what apartheid South Africa was really like, a visit to the Apartheid Museum is fundamental.

Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind Site (formed about 2.3 billion years ago)comprises a strip of a dozen dolomitic limestone caves containing the fossillised remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and most importantly, hominids. At least seven of the twelve sites have yielded hominid remains. In fact, together these cave sites have produced over 850 hominid fossil remains. It is the world’s richest concentrations of fossil hominid bearing sites. The scientific value of this area lies in the fact that these sites provide us with a window into the past, to a time when our earliest ancestors were evolving and changing. Scientists have long accepted that all humans had their origins in Africa.

Through the use of biochemical evidence scientists have argued that the split of the human lineage (Hominidae) from that of the African apes took place around 5-6 million years ago. The study of hominid fossils from sites in Africa enables scientists to understand how these hominids have changed and diversified since then.

Hotel Rwanda
In 2004, Johannesburg and the surrounding Gauteng countryside stood in for Rwanda in the harrowing true life story of hotel manager, Paul Rusesabagina, who protected over a thousand Tutsi refugees from the Hutu militia during the massacres.

Directed by Terry George, and starring Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo and Joaquin Phoenix, the film collected three Oscar nominations amidst many other awards.

Blood Diamond
South Africa stood in for Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war in gritty 2006 thriller, Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as South African mercenary turned smuggler, Danny Archer, and Jennifer Connelly. Directed by Edward Zwick and written by Charles Leavitt, not only was it a crackingly good thriller, but it did much to publicise the role that blood diamonds have played in conflicts across Africa.

It collected many awards including 5 Oscar nominations. With much of the filming in and around Cape Town, other African locations included Kwazulu Natal, Port Edward and Mozambique.

Racing Stripes
Very different in feel is this charming 2005 children’s tale about an abandoned zebra who is brought up amongst thoroughbreds and believes he is a racehorse. Helped by a teenage girl and the various farmyard animals he sets out to prove himself.

Directed by Frederik du Chau, with voices by Frankie Muniz, David Spade and Snoop Dogg, it is a lovely feel-good family movie, parts of which were filmed in Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu Natal.

Lord of War
A sweeping international thriller, this 2005 epic follows the chase as Interpol tracks down global arms dealer, Nicholas Cage. He reflects back over his life with Cape Town and its surrounds standing in as locations for everywhere that wasn’t the US or Europe – a staggering 57 different locations from Afghanistan to the Middle East, Sierra Leone and Bolivia.

Directed and written by Andrew Niccol, the film also stars Ethan Hawke and Jared Leto.

Tapping into South Africa’s varied experiences, Cocktail released in 2012 features three friends in the movie – Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty, visiting Cape Town for a holiday together, which also marks a turning point in the movie’s plot.

One of the main movie soundtrack songs, an upbeat dance number called ‘Tumhi ho Bandhu’, was shot at a specially created set at Maidens Cove, against spectacular views of Table Mountain, Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles mountain peaks.

A movie directed by Abbas Alibhai Burmawalla & Mastan Alibhai Burmawalla staring Saif Ali Khan, Bipsha Basu & other renowned co-stars was an excellent movie showing the hidden part of South Africa i.e. Durban & in Cape Town.

The movie has not only amazing scenes of the Race Courses but also of the night clubs in South Africa. The storyline revolves around the two brothers who own a huge farm in South Africa & the feud that follows over the family wealth.

Cheetah Petting
Imagine a Cheetah moving across the grassland so elegantly, you just want to reach out and touch it’s velvet Coat – It’s Possible.

20km from Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route experience a truly unique Wildcat Experience. Guests are taken on a guided tour to meet the captive-bred furry felines, living in semi-natural environments. You are so close to the animals you can almost hear them purr.

Ostrich Farm Visit
Want to see the largest bird in the world? Outdshoorn situated in the Klein Karoo is known as the ‘Feather Capital of the world’ hosting about 70% of the world’s Ostrich population.

The Oudtshoorn Ostrich Show Farm is a place where Ostrich races and Ostrich Omlettes made of 20 ostrich eggs compete for attention. Visitors are allowed to ride on an Ostrich, hug friendly ostriches, feed the giant birds & if lucky witness an ostrich being hatched, a once in a lifetime experience!

Safari- makes us think of untamed wildlife, magical scenery & beautiful sunsets. Kruger is the most famous of all National Parks. Fly from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit or Nelspruit at the edge of the Park & continue onwards to your lodge.

At Kruger you will be certain to see a good selection of animals. Game viewing is done typically on a Game Drive vehicle twice a day- one early in the morning where you set out before dawn to see the animals getting up & maybe even enjoy breakfast in the wild. The second game drive takes place in the evening close to sunset where you can witness nocturnal animals coming out of their hiding. See a cheetah run & kill its prey(deer) or a Lion from a distance of one feet. Your driver & guide will give you immense information about the animals & increase your chances of spotting the Big 5 & the more elusive species of animals. All this followed by a barbeque dinner will make for an unforgettable memory. Accommodation at lodges mostly includes all meals & game drives.

Shamwari Game Reserve is the Southernmost, Big Game, private reserve in Africa & most importantly it is a Malaria Free area. Shamwari Game Reserve has received an international awards- World’s Leading Conservation Company. It is situated 45 minutes driving distance from Port Elizabeth, a pleasant drive from Cape Town with some scenic overnights enroute, form a wonderful extension to your Garden Route.

The 25 000 hectare reserve boasts five eco-systems, thus enabling the support of many forms of plant, animal and bird life. Shamwari is home to the Big Five & the reserve’s antelope species are remarkably well habituated to vehicles, and the impala and springbok will move leisurely away from the vehicle as you get closer – this allows you to get a good look at these animals.

Big 5 of the Ocean
Whale, Dolphin, Penguin, Seal and Shark are the big 5 of the ocean. From Cape Town you can opt for a Full Day Cape Peninsular Tour which takes you to Seal Island, Boulders Beach – Penguin Colony, Cape Point etc.

Visit Boulders Beach, just outside Simon’s Town- the best beach experience you have ever had. The black and white African penguins stroll along the sand as well as the streets around the beach. A once in a life time experience to walk besides penguins if you cannot withstand the Antarctic cold. Take a boat trip to nearby Seal Island, which approximately 3000 Cape Fur seals call home. Seal Island is also ideal for dolphin viewing and whale watching (from June to October). Southern Right Whales visit South Africa’s shores to calve, and towns such as Hermanus offer great land based whale watching.

Nelson Mandela Square
A towering sculpture of South Africa’s favourite son holds court over Nelson Mandela Square. One of the largest open public spaces in the country, this European styled piazza commemorates heritage and celebrates international style with the warmth of African hospitality. It draws a cosmopolitan society to its sidewalk cafes, some of the finest restaurants in South Africa and over 88 exclusive stores.

Exclusive Shopping- When it comes to desirable designer labels and covetable objects, patrons at Nelson Mandela Square are spoilt for choice. An average of over one million local and international visitors per month delight in a heady blend of shopping that offers everything from curios to culture, art, books, jewellery and couture. Fine Dining- Some of the finest restaurants in South Africa attract diners from across the globe at Nelson Mandela Square. Whether it’s French wine, Greek platters, real African cooking, or a leisurely cup of creamy Italian coffee, you can find it all and so much more. At Nelson Mandela Square it is not simply a meal, it is an experience.

A wine tasting tour is more than just tasting wine; it’s also a scenic tour of the wine land & sitting in wine cellars to taste the produce fresh from the barrel. You don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate the world class wines found in South Africa. There are 13 major wine producing regions & 19 different wine routes in the country. Most of the wine routes are sign posted which makes self-drive an attractive option. Some of the famous wine regions are :-
a) Stellenbosch located 35 mins drive from Cape Town. It is the second oldest city & the first wine route in South Africa showcasing wines from the Pinotage to Merlot & from Chenin Blanc to Cabernet Sauvignon. Home to over 200 wine & grape producers.
b) Franschhoek located 60 mins from Cape Town. It is also known as the gourmet capital of South Africa & home to over 40 wineries.
c) Paarl located about one & a half hours from Cape Town. It is the second oldest wine route in the country & home to over 40 wine cellars.
d) Constantia is located in the suburbs of Cape Town. It is home to five wineries.
e) Spier Wine Estate is well known for its award winning wines. You can also visit the wine cellars & indulge in wine tastings with the wine experts. Tasting sessions are usually between 10:00 to 16:00.

Authentic African Food
For an authentic African Dining Experience visit MOYO restaurants all over the country.

African food is colourful, interesting and alien to most visitors. A well-prepared local meal can be a highlight of your trip to South Africa. Many restaurants specialise in the cuisine of the continent and serve a good variety of traditional African dishes. The indigenous delicacies include foods such as biltong (dried, salted meat), bobotie (a more exciting version of Shepherd’s pie), ‘mieliepap’ (a maize and meal porridge), boerewors (hand-made spicy farm sausages) & ‘braai’ (meaning barbecue). Vegetables usually accompany meat cooked in a ‘potjie pot’. Chakalaka is a favourite dish of the foreign tourist, a vegetable stir-fry which is served with roasted meat. Seafood is legendary, and is best sampled at one of the West Coast’s open air restaurants. As well as mussels, fish stew, grilled fish and lobster, you may be offered pickled fish – a well-loved dish which you’ll also find in some traditional Cape Malay restaurants.

Canal Walk
Canal Walk Shopping Centre is Africa’s leading super-regional retail mall. Canal Walk has over 400 shops offering the most comprehensive and compelling lifestyle shopping experience in South Africa, including the widest selection of speciality shops in the Southern Hemisphere. Canal Walk’s restaurants, cafés and coffee shops, serve a wide range of delicacies. La Piazza provides destination dining, accentuating the magnificent views.

It attracts thousands of international visitors every year with its spectacular architecture, spacious malls and unparalleled array of local and international retail brands as well as the unique Afri-Bizarre, which showcases the work of local retailers and craftsmen.

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Situated at the foot of Table Mountain, within a stone’s throw from the Cape Town Stadium and in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour, the V&A Waterfront offers the visitor an abundance of unforgettable experiences. Indoor shopping and entertainment venues seamlessly merge with ocean vistas and mountain views and the fresh sea breeze and warm African sun add zest to a cosmopolitan, vibrant atmosphere. More than 80 restaurants bring a fusion of international food, from rustic al fresco fish and chips to starched table-cloth cuisine.

There is just so much to do, so much to discover- from speed boats to craft markets to the Two Oceans Aquarium (walking distance) which showcases the incredible diversity of marine life found in the two oceans. The Aquarium is one of the top tourist attractions in Cape Town and over 3000 living sea animals, including sharks, fishes, turtles and penguins can be seen in this spectacular underwater nature reserve. This is where the two oceans meet!

Things to do in South Africa

Come and discover South Africa’s theme parks, mountain peaks, salt mines, national parks, automobile museums – they are as varied as the country itself.


South Africa In One Go
Visit the major icons of South Africa in one go. Gems of South Africa takes you through the “World’s best city” Cape Town, the Kruger National Park where you could see the big 5 of wildlife, as well other attractions that should be in your “must-see” list whilst planning a holiday.


Go Beyond the Popular Icons
Heading to Cape Town, explore the hidden treasure of places close by where you could experience whale watching or go wine tasting in the countryside. There are many such hidden treasures to explore and our South Africa Specialists will be more than happy to assist you to visit places beyond the popular icons – must for your second visit to South Africa.


Choose Your Own Experience
You like the Las Vegas of Africa, let’s add it! You want a siesta at Cape Town’s beach, done. You want to have a lazy time wine tasting? Added. We’ll show you what all South Africa has and you can add what you want.


Spice Up Your Short City Stays
Travelling to Southern Africa on business or visiting friends and want to extend your stay in one of the big cities ? Why not plan day trips to nearby attractions? Whether you wish to visit Jo’burg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Capetown or Durban, City Magic adds Spice to your trip in terms of shopping, food and more during your short stay in South Africa.


Indulge Without Boundaries
Travel on the most luxurious train in the whole world – Rovos Rail. Or stay in a castle and bask in the sun at a private beach. Plan a tour without strings – full of one of the most royal experiences on the planet. South Africa, has it all.


Pursue A Hobby When On Vacation
Whether it’s playing Golf, swimming with sharks or capturing images, this segment gives you choices from adventure to photography to sports. No matter what your passion, South Africa is the place to pursue it.


Winners Do Things Differently
Have you had enough of the stereotype holidays? Are you looking for something totally different and are willing to take back some interesting memories such as watching a 16 metre high pineapple in Bathurst or visiting a bar right in the middle of a Baobab tree or trying out horse therapy at Magaliesberg!


Explore Stunning Sceneries On Your Own
Whether it’s the Garden Route along the Cape with breathtaking sceneries and landscapes or the National Park of Hhluhuwe in KwaZulu-Natal or even the various game reserves near Jo’burg, explore it all on your own by getting behind the wheel.


A Great Mix of Budget & International Friends
Are you on a budget or do you enjoy back packing? Do you want to save on transport and stay and instead spend on activities and attractions? Do all this and and here’s a bonus – you get to travel with people from across the world! You may even make some friends for life.


Elongate the Fun
South Africa is a fascinating place where even 20 days is not good enough to explore the country. However, if you do have time in hand, enquire with Namaste South Africa team who will be glad to put you in touch with our destination experts and offer extensions to Victoria Falls, Namibia, Botswana, and Mozambique or even one of the countries en route to break your journey in Mauritius, Seychelles or Dubai whilst heading back home.

South Africa Packages

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