Senior Travel to South Africa

Jan 4th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors, do you have a sense of adventure?  A taste of life?  South Africa (SA) delivers – and on a grand scale.  Want ten good reasons to visit SA?  Try theseCape Town and the Cape Peninsula up to Cape Point, are famous for scenic beauty; celebrity beaches; Table Mountain; whale-watching; world-class shopping, nightlife, food and wine; and a laid-back atmosphere.  

So seniors…why SA? It is one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world. Exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture offer the traveller a unique and inspiring experience. It is a heady mix of third and first world cultures – along with the best and least crowded beaches in the world. Throw in Eight World Heritage Sites (by now you know where I stand on WH sites…), beautiful natural scenery, a great infrastructure and a stable post-apartheid environment and so seniors, you have a great destination waiting to happen.

The top ten attractions are more reasons to head for SA. SA Tourism provides good tourist information and with many photos to enhance your exploring. South Africans are some of the most upbeat, welcoming and humorous folk you’ll encounter anywhere, from farmers in the rural north who tell you to drive safely on those dirt roads, to Khayelitsha kids who wish you molo (‘good morning’ in Xhosa).  Cape Town is the Mother City of Africa, and the Western Cape, an area which is regarded as one of the most beautiful regions in the world. The City is a rare cultural gem, resulting from the amalgamation of Indonesian, French, Dutch, British and German settlers, the local Bushman and Hottentot tribes and the Bantu tribes from the north and over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language. CT is a city of culture, built on a history that reflects in the architecture, cuisine, music and dance.

Every country in the world displays some diversity, but SA, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. It befits its position at the southern end of the world’s most epic continent, with more types of terrain than photographers can shake their zoom lens at. There’s the deserted Kalahari arid plateau region, c.100,000 sq mi, in Botswana, Namibia, and SA. The Kalahari, covered largely by reddish sand, lies between the Orange and Zambezi rivers and is studded with dry lake beds. Yearly rainfall varies from 5 in. (12.7 cm) in the southwest, where there are active sand dunes, to 20 in. (50.8 cm) in the northeast. Grass grows throughout the Kalahari in the rainy season, and some parts also support low thorn scrub and forest. Grazing and a little agriculture are possible in certain areas. Many game animals live in the Kalahari. Try to imagine a national park the size of Israel with huge tracts of acacia, sycamore figs and bush willow interrupted by open savannah, rushing rivers and the occasional rocky bluff. Now fill it with lions, leopards, elephants, Cape buffaloes and black rhinos (the Big Five), plus cheetahs, giraffes, hippos and many species of smaller animals, and you’ll start to have some notion of what it’s like to visit Kruger National Park.  So bring plenty of digital storage cards.

When to Go

Roughly speaking, the summer months are December to March, autumn is April to May, winter is June to August, and spring is September to November. Because southern Africa is such a large area, and each region’s offerings change with the seasons, when you go may determine where you go. SA’s southwestern coast (the province known as Western Cape) tends to attract the majority of international visitors during the summer months. Fortunately, the country is big enough to absorb these increased numbers without causing the discomfort most people associate with busy seasons, though parts of Cape Town become unbearably full for locals’ tastes. Be aware, however, that accommodation prices do increase in summer, some by as much as 70%; and if you dislike crowds, you should try to avoid SA’s coast during the busiest school holidays, which — like elsewhere — take place from around mid-December to mid-January. 

Have you been on a safari yet? Well, here is a good example of one to the Kruger Park that may just meet your needs. They offer holidays in the Park and in addition offer travel to the countries of Botswana, Namibia and Zambia.  This tour promotes an unforgettable African Travel experience to one of the worlds most remarkable areas, characterized by magnificent natural beauty and unrivaled cultural diversity.

Enjoy your trip to SA!    jeb



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