South Africa is a subtropical country with plenty of sunshine, hot summers and beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Its called the Rainbow Nation for a good reason. A multi-cultural melting pot of more than 55 million people from a diverse background of languages, religion and culture. Art, music, sport and a healthy sense of fun all contribute to a colourful nation.
Highlights for the traveller include the Cape wine route with over 500 wineries. Route 62 is the longest wine route in the world. The city of Johannesburg has10 million trees – one of the most significant urban forests in the world.
On the wild side, there are 1,600 miles of coastline. The oceans around South Africa host more than 100 species of shark including the Great White. King Protea is South Africa’s national flower and belongs to one of the oldest plant family’s in the world. In the Northern Cape from July to September is the spectacular sight of fields of Namaqualand flowers. There are 20 national parks with good populations of wildlife present, including the Kruger and the Kgalagadi National Parks. The big, black skies make for excellent stargazing!
Namibia is a country dominated by the Namib Desert, and with landscapes resembling the moon. The desert is one of the most ancient in the world at over 80 million years. Situated in the south-west of Africa, and bordered by Botswana and South Africa with whom it has a very close relationship. The two countries share the same value currency, albeit called by different names.
Namib means space, and it does have space. It is one of the least populated countries in the world. Only Greenland, the Falklands, the western Sahara and Mongolia are less populated.
The country has a significant cheetah population, and the well-known Etosha National Park salt pans draw rhino and giraffe and many other species. More than 40% of the country is under conservation management, hence the high numbers of animals. The Skeleton Coast is a harsh place on the northern coastline littered with shipwrecks. Its also home to significant populations of seals which in turn attract predators like brown hyena.