Rich Habitats and Countless Contrasts
From fertile, rolling plains to bushveld savannas; from semi-arid deserts to sub-tropical forests; from rugged mountains to miles of coastland, South Africa boasts the most stunning geographical contrasts and the widest variety of habitats on the entire continent.
Such immensely varied terrain supports a rich diversity of mammals, reptiles, birds, marine and plant life, and offers an incomparable range of experiences. Comprising 1% of the planet's total land surface, South Africa has 5% of the world’s known mammal and reptile species, and 10% of the known bird, fish and plant species. It is no wonder that some people dream their whole lives of going on safari in South Africa—and her game list is reputed to be the most extensive on the entire continent!
In addition to possessing some of the world's most renowned wildlife reserves, including the Kruger and the Kalahari Gemsbok National Parks, South Africa boasts many smaller regional parks, and an estimated 9,000 registered private game ranches.
Although the country’s climate varies considerably across her various geographical regions, temperatures tend to remain comfortable throughout the seasons. The best time of year for safaris is generally from May through August, when it is drier and the vegetation is less dense. Bear in mind that this is the winter season in South Africa, so it will get chilly in the early mornings and evenings.
With her exceptional infrastructure, including world-class road, rail and air travel systems; and her abundance of top-rated accommodations, and tour operators, South Africa is able to offer safe, effortless travel, along with adventure and excitement. Her hunting facilities, alone, range from extremely comfortable to supremely luxurious.
Trophy hunting in Africa is not only the adventure of a lifetime; the money it generates is put to very good use, helping to conserve wildlife species and their natural habitats for generations to come. In fact, hunting is considered the single biggest saviour of wildlife in South Africa!
In addition to remote adventures, it is worthwhile exploring South Africa’s many other features, including Cape Town, one of the most beautiful and lively cities in the world. A drive outside the city will show you more naturally occurring species of flowers than are found in the whole of North America or Europe. A tour of the wine route is also a must-see.
If you are looking for some wet and wild adventures, South Africa’s vast coastline offers superb sandy beaches and exhilarating water sports. You can also indulge in some amazing marine life viewing–from southern right whale off the Cape to lively coral reefs off the KwaZulu-Natal coast. Sport fishing is also a fantastic way to enjoy South Africa’s bounty!
As the third most biologically diverse country on Earth, South Africa’s variety is also echoed in her peoples. The origin of man was discovered in South Africa, in the Cradle of Mankind, memorialized by 80,000-year-old human footprints, and the world's oldest rock paintings. With 11 official languages and a varied range of races, cultures, and creeds, it is no wonder that Nobel Peace Prize-winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu dubbed South Africa, the “rainbow nation.”
Whether you visit South Africa exclusively for her wilderness and game, or include a trip to her cities, beaches, vineyards, or cultural sites, you are guaranteed to bring back memories of a lifetime!
HUNTING ASSOCIATION: Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) www.phasa.co.za
AREA: Located at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa has a land mass of over 1.2 million square kms, and is bordered on three sides by nearly 3,000 kms of coastline.
CLIMATE: The wet summer season lasts from October until March, followed by the dry winter season. South Africa has a temperate climate, and is generally mild throughout the year. Snowfall is limited to the highest mountain peaks.
POPULATION: The South African population is over 49 million (2012). http://www.southafrica.net/za/en
PROVINCES: South Africa has 9 provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
LANGUAGES: There are 11 official languages, including English. Although South Africa is a multi-lingual country, wherever you travel, you can expect to find people who can speak and understand English. English is used in commerce, government and official documents. Road signs are also in English.
CAPITAL: South Africa has 3 capitals: Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Administrative), and Bloemfontein (Judicial).
CURRENCY: The currency is the South African Rand (ZAR). 1 Rand equals 0.10 USD (September, 2013). Foreign currency can be exchanged at local banks, hotels and Bureaux de Change.
COMMUNICATIONS: South Africa has an exceptionally well-developed communications infrastructure. There are a number of cell and data service providers from which to choose, plus well-established landline phone networks. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas and lodges. (Please check with your booking agent ahead of time).
TIME ZONE: South Africa is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) year round.