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The Rainbow Nation

 
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the first person to call South Africa the "Rainbow Nation”. It’s a reflection on the fascinating diversity of this country, not only in the identities of its people but in the landscapes, wildlife, cultures, and activities it offers. South Africa is a country which, because of its variety, can be all things to all people, truly a rainbow of varied opportunities and experiences.
The rainbow is a fitting metaphor for contemporary South Africa. Post-apartheid, people of incredibly diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions share the country, living side by side. It is hard to imagine cities more cosmopolitan than the likes of Cape Town and Johannesburg. Cape Town in particular is a place of rich history, shaped over the centuries by the Dutch East India Company, British rule, and then, since 1910, by the South African people themselves. We love this city because of the way the manmade urban landscape nestles between the cliffs of Table Mountain and the waters and beaches of Table Bay. It also has a diverse architectural heritage found in the Cape Dutch buildings, V&A Waterfront, and around the Grand Parade.

South Africa doesn’t just have major contrasts within its cities: there is also fantastic variation between the provinces. It is hard to believe that the peaks and canyons of the Drakensberg Mountains, the wild Indian Ocean coastline of KwaZulu Natal, the malaria-free reserves of the Waterberg, and the historic vineyards and towns around Stellenbosch are all within a single country. And you can combine them easily in a single trip! Whatever your interests, whatever your tastes, it is a destination which will exceed every expectation.
Leopard in a tree.
Leopard in a tree.
 
Without a shadow of a doubt, South Africa is one of the very best places to watch wildlife in the world. The Kruger National Park — a protected area the size of Wales — is certainly the most famous and popular safari destination, but with Africa Exclusive you’ll escape the crowds to explore vast, wildlife-filled private reserves, in the company of the best guides.
 
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Aerial view of Table Mountain and Cape Town at dusk
Aerial view of Table Mountain and Cape Town at dusk
 
Cape Town is one of the world’s great cities with a unique setting beneath Table Mountain. It’s a place to enjoy the good things of life: fabulous food, a vibrant culture, sports and exciting adventures. It’s an easily accessible, relaxed destination which captivates the hearts of those who visit and makes them want to come back for more.
 
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Two women walking along private stretch of beach in Grootbos Nature Reserve
Two women walking along private stretch of beach in Grootbos Nature Reserve
 
To experience a little bit of everything that South Africa has to offer, you can hardly do better than to drive along the coastal road of the Garden Route between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. It’s an extraordinary journey, and there’s wildlife on both land and shore, endless beaches, historic battlefields, and the vineyards are never far away.

One day you might be whale spotting at Hermanus — renowned as one of the best whale watching locations in the world — and the next you could be learning about the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, handling antique weapons and scrambling over the British and Zulu positions.
 
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Formerly the Zulu Kingdom, the province of KwaZulu Natal runs along South Africa’s dramatic Indian Ocean coastline. The Drakensberg Mountains create a natural border between Lesotho and the Eastern Cape, and offer some excellent hiking routes.
 
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