South Africa

South Africa Travel: Yellow Fever Card Expires

You now have one less item to remember for any future South Africa travel! The South African Department of Health have removed the requirement to to produce proof of vaccination for Yellow Fever when crossing the South African border from Zambia and Tanzania.

Now in effect, the decision ensures nations classed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as “low risk yellow fever countries,” including Australia, do not require the documentation. This, in addition to the recent introduction of the new tourist visa, the Kaza Univisa, that permits entry into both Zambia and Zimbabwe, is fantastic news, making travel within Africa easier for Australians.

South Africa: The Amazing Garden Route

As anyone who has been there can tell you, South Africa’s Garden Route is one of the most beautiful regions on earth. Spending time along the Garden Route is easily worth an African holiday in itself. If you’re going to be in South Africa for an African safari or other adventure tour, it’s most certainly worth spending an extra few days exploring this verdant and breathtaking southeastern stretch of the coast.

Although the precise beginning and end of the Garden Route is often debated, it covers a roughly 200 km stretch of coastline ranging approximately from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River. It encompasses several towns, including George, Oudtshoorn, Calitzdorp, Sedgefield, Herolds Bay, Great Brak, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and more. The Garden Route is also home to many natural reserves, national parks and other natural wonders – as well as an astonishingly diverse wildlife population.

The Garden Route is has been referred to as a kind of ‘fairyland’ – a seemingly impossible study in lush natural beauty. Along the Garden Route, one can experience beautiful beaches and secluded lagoons, ancient forests and peaceful lakes. Not surprisingly, the Garden Route is a popular spot for ecotourism of all kinds. If you are hoping to view some wildlife, you will have opportunities at every point along the Garden Route.

You could probably spend weeks on end soaking up the sheer beauty of the Garden Route – but there are also a wide range of activities to experience and enjoy along the way. Cango Caves is one such attraction. This cave system is located about 30 km from the town of Outshoorn, and makes a perfect addition to any adventure tour – particularly if you enjoy spelunking!

The Cango Caves system features some of the globe’s largest known stalagmite formations. Adventure tours range from mild (guided hikes through wide open spaces) to wild (squeezing through crawlspaces and getting dirty). And, while you’re in the Oudtshoorn area at Cango Caves, why not experience the area’s other big attraction – ostrich riding!

If riding on the back of a giant bird isn’t quite enough excitement for you on your African safari holiday, there are activities along the Garden Route that take it one (or more) steps further! Along the route, you can experience the Bloukrans Bridge Bungy, the world’s highest bridge bungy jump – if you dare. And, for those of you with a serious adrenaline addiction, the Shark Africa Company offers cage diving for those who would like to come face-to-face with a Great White Shark.

Probably the greatest, and best known, natural attraction along the Garden Route is the Tsitsikamma National Park, which is dedicated to the preservation of marine life and those animals which live along the coast. The park is composed of beautiful trees, lush vegetation and peaceful, rocky coastlines with spectacular views. Bird watchers will find themselves in a veritable heaven with species that can be found almost nowhere else on earth, like the Emerald Cuckoo and Grey Cuckooshrike. Visitors to Tsitsikamma may also catch a glimpse of a Blainville’s beaked whale, Cape clawless otter, Egyptian fruit bat and much more.

No matter where you travel along the Garden Route, and what you choose to do, you’re sure to have the experience of a lifetime. At Pure Travel, we specialize in helping people just like you plan the adventure tours and African safari holidays of a lifetime.

South Africa: A Land of Contrasts

When one thinks of South Africa, a number of images may emerge in the forefront of your mind. Vast bushlands full of majestic wildlife. The towering skyline of Johannesburg. The traditional villages of local tribes. South Africa naturally evokes a feeling of contrast – new versus old, past versus present. But, unless you’ve visited the region extensively during your African travel, it’s hard to get a feeling for the true depth of South Africa’s natural diversity.

In fact, South Africa is one of the most ecologically-diverse regions on the planet! Below are just a few of the often surprising natural habitats that beckon to adventurous souls on South African holiday.

Scenic Grasslands

This is probably the most common scene that we expect to encounter whilst on African holiday – vast, serene plains with long, golden grasses rustling in an arid breeze. Maybe a Thomson’s gazelle or zebra grazing in the distance, and – if we’re on an African safari game drive – maybe a pride of lions!

There are plenty of sprawling savanna regions in South Africa to satisfy our curiosity, and countless parks dedicated to preserving these historic lands and the animals that call them home. Exciting game drives are offered at several parks across South Africa to help you make the most of those gorgeous grasslands, from world-famous destinations like Kruger National Park to lesser-known locales like the Hluhluwi-Umfolozi Game Reserve.

Sandy Beaches

It’s true! An African holiday needn’t be all dusty and arid – though that can certainly be fun! For those of us who enjoy strolling on white, sandy beaches, or taking a dip in warm ocean waters, your South African adventure tours can offer all of this and more. In fact, South Africa’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world!

Many of these breathtaking beaches can be found along South Africa’s Garden Route, a scenic and diverse stretch of land along the coast. The beaches at Port Elizabeth are world famous, and for good reason! Those on African holiday to Port Elizabeth can indulge themselves as they sunbathe, splash in the surf or enjoy optional water sports!

Towering Mountains

It’s no secret that African is home to some of the world’s grandest mountains – but, for some reason, people tend to forget this when they’re planning their African safari holiday. They focus almost single-mindedly on the traditional safari experience (which is completely understandable), and only get hit by the full force of the mountains’ beauty once they’ve arrived.

If you enjoy mountain climbing – or even if you’ve never hiked in a mountainous region before – South Africa is an ideal destination to enjoy all of the awe-inspiring majesty of the mountains. Table Mountain is one that is famous in South Africa for its unique overall shape, and tours of the area are available. The Southern Drakensberg Mountain Range is a definite don’t-miss spot on your itinerary, boasting the highest snow-capped peaks in South Africa!

Hot, Dry Deserts

You needn’t head to all the way to Egypt or the Middle East to experience the powerful natural beauty of expansive deserts and drifting dunes. It’s all right here – easily accessible during your South African adventure tours!

In fact, the world-famous Kalahari Desert is located in South Africa, supporting a wide range of exotic desert flora and fauna. The incredible Sossusvlei Dunes are also located nearby in the southern portion of the Namib desert. This area is known for its colorful dunes, which range from orange to pink due to oxidizing iron in the sands.

Lush Wetlands

If you think that swamps and lagoons aren’t synonymous with South Africa, you’re in for a pleasant surprise! The iSimiangaliso Wetland Park, formerly known as The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, is one of the highlights of the South African coastline. When you’re on an African holiday in the south, it’s certainly something you won’t want to miss.

The many lagoons, lakes and freshwater swamps are home to myriad animals – both those who live in the watery ecosystems and those drawn by the abundance of drinking water. Large leatherback turtles, leopards, black rhinos and a wide range of bird species inhabit the area in droves. In fact, some of Africa’s most formidable aquatic predators share these waters, including crocodiles, sharks and hippopotamus.

Subtropical Forests

The unexpected, lush forests of South Africa are a welcome and unexpected surprise for many African holiday travellers. Almost as unexpected as the white, sandy beaches are these verdant areas of greenery and towering, ancient trees.

One of the most breathtaking forests in South Africa can be found in Tsitsikamma National Park – the Storms River Forest. A wide range of guided hiking adventure tours are available. For the more adventuresome traveller, camping and self-guided hiking trails are available, too!

At Pure Travel, we help our clients enjoy all of the beauty that South Africa has to offer, from sandy beaches to sandy deserts! We offer a wide range of great travel packages to that end – from those that focus on the traditional African safari experience, to those that offer up a wide range of South African experiences.