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South Africa

The Kruger National Park; amazing flora of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden; whales migration in Hermanus; waterfalls of Blyde River Canyon; Garden Route; kelp forests of Cape Town;

All Dive Centers in South Africa (2)

South Africa, officially named the Republic of South Africa, is a state in the southern part of the African continent, which has borders with Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe to the north and with Mozambique and Swaziland to the north-east. Within the territory of the Republic of South Africa there is an enclave state Lesotho. The territory comprises 1.2 million square kilometers; the population is 54 million people. South Africa has three capitals: Pretoria (the administrative capital), Cape Town (the legislative capital) and Bloemfontein (the judicial capital). There are 11 official languages, including English.

The climate varies from desert in the north-west to sub-tropical on the eastern coast. Most of the terrain is a plateau.

The national currency is the South African rand. You can exchange money at banks which work from 9am to 3pm on workdays or at exchange offices. ATMs are widely spread. In major cities you can also use your credit card, but in smaller towns it is better to have enough cash. About a million of tourists come to South Africa every year. And this big, diverse and amazingly beautiful country has a lot to suggest them: paradise beaches, majestic mountains, abundant wildlife and incredible 2,500 km of coastline. South Africa is also well-known for gold and diamonds.

Nature enthusiasts are attracted by the Kruger National Park – the largest and most famous nature reserve in South Africa, where you can see elephants, buffalos, lions and leopards and even track a rhino on foot. In Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden you can admire beautiful local plants and flowers; from June to September in Hermanus you can see migrating whales coming close to the shore; in Blyde River Canyon you will find breathtaking waterfalls, Pilgrim's Rest, a gold-mining town founded in 1873, the impressive Bourke's Luck Potholes; elephants can be easily met in Addo Elephant National Park. Have you ever heard of African penguins? You have a chance to see them on Boulders Beach, near Cape Town.

Those who are fond of outdoor activities will be glad to drive the famous Garden Route, winding from Mossel Bay to Storms River by plentiful lakes and picturesque coastal towns. Jeffrey's Bay, located near Port Elizabeth, is said to be a perfect place for surfing. Mountain-climbers and hikers will like Table Mountain from the top of which you can see really stunning panoramas, and the Drakensberg, featuring the highest peaks in South Africa and gorgeous waterfalls.

Connoisseurs of history should not miss the chance to visit Anglo-Boer War Battlefields, the Apartheid Museum, situated in Johannesburg and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned during 18 years.

Another good way to get acquainted with South Africa is exploring its Winelands, where you can enjoy wine tastings, perfect cuisine and splendid views.

Airports

Bram Fischer International Airport (BFN), Bloemfontein

Cape Town International Airport (CPT), Cape Town

King Shaka International Airport (DUR), Durban

O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) the main international airport of South Africa, located near Johannesburg.

Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ), Port Elizabeth

Diving in South Africa

South Africa is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world. It offers the underwater treasures of two oceans - the Atlantic and the Indian. Here you will find colorful tropical reefs, interesting shipwrecks, rare marine critters and excellent diving conditions - warm climate, crystal clear water and well-developed infrastructure.

Close to Cape Town you can enjoy colourful reef walls, caves and massive kelp forests. From April to September there is a chance to dive with white sharks.

On the way to Cape Point Nature Reserve there is the False Bay, the largest bay in South Africa. Its underwater rocky terrain features the steep cliffs in the western part and sandy bottoms in the eastern. Among the marine inhabitants you can meet pyjama sharks, puffadder shysharks and leopard catsharks. Those who like wreck diving will be glad to explore the SS Lusitania, a 5-thousand-ton twin-screw liner, built in 1906 and sunk 1911; and the HMS Thames, a river-class cruiser sunk in 1947 and lying at a depth of 47-54 meters.

In Mabibi, located in the north-eastern part of KwaZulu-Natal, you will find lots of of soft and hard corals, interesting underwater sceneries, and various fish species. From October to February you can meet here migrating whale sharks and whales.

Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area features ragged-tooth sharks, tiger sharks and black-tip sharks.

All Dive Centers in South Africa (2)

Aquamania
Vereeniging, South Africa

Coral Divers PADI 5 Star IDC Centre and Resort
Sodwana Bay, South Africa
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