Monday, April 4, 2011

South Africa as a Tourist Destination

South Africa is a beautiful country: spectacular coast lines on eastern and western part of the country that funnel down to the famous Cape of Good Hope; Drakensberg mountain range with peaks higher than 10,000 feet that runs north-south and divides that the country into a wet eastern region and a dry western region; wild game preserves, waterfalls, beaches, breathtaking mountain passes and Cape Town, the crown jewel of South Africa.

The surface area of South Africa is about 10% larger than the combined territory of California and Texas. Officially the population of South Africa at 50 million is about 10 million less than the two states but there could be as much as 10 million unregistered immigrants from other parts of Africa living in South Africa. Even though California and Texas have illegal immigrants residing within their state borders as well, the number is believed to be vastly less than those in South Africa. My observations of the challenges facing South Africa have been discussed in my earlier blog.

On our tour of South Africa, I find Kruger National Park, Mkaya Preserve in the Kingdom of Swaziland, Sani Pass of the Drakensberg Mountain and Cape Town especially memorable and selected photos are presented in this blog. We were in South Africa early March, which was the beginning of autumn, and we experienced ideal weather. The one thundershower that met us as we arrived at the hotel in Drakensberg was impressive by the massiveness of the quick downpour and made us appreciate the clear blue skies that preceded and followed that shower.

Just as I am glad to have visited Tunisia and Egypt when we did, I am appreciative of the natural beauty of South Africa and a bit fearful of its future as a tourist destination. My advice to anyone thinking of visiting South Africa is to do so sooner rather than later.

Rock formations caused by swirling waters on Blyde River.

The three rondavels on the Blyde River Canyon.

The morning mist that envelops the lowveld and Kruger National Park.

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