South Africa does not only serve as the official gateway to Southern Africa, but is also rich with cultural heritage. The Ndebele people are known for the rich colors their women bring to both mural art and their dress, accessorized by brass rings worn around their necks, arms and legs. Learn more about the mythology of the Xhosa tradition while discovering areas in the Transkei or travel up the Garden Route, a mix of artist communities, retirement estates, magnificent golf courses, ancient forest and a stunning stretch of coastline.
The largest Baobab tree can also be found in South Africa. The Bushman believed that the Baobab tree had offended God and was therefore planted upside down. The bare branches of a Baobab during the winter months make it look like a mass of roots pointing skyward, instead of being under ground. Birds nest in its branches; baboons devour the fruit; bush babies and fruit bats drink the nectar and pollinate the flowers, and elephants have been known to chop down and consume a whole tree. Fiber from the bark is used to make rope, baskets, cloth, musical instrument strings, and waterproof hats. While stripping the bark from the lower trunk of most trees usually leads to their death, baobabs not only survive this common practice, but they regenerate new bark.
Fresh baobab leaves provide an edible vegetable similar to spinach, which is also used medicinally to treat kidney and bladder disease, asthma, insect bites, and several other maladies.
Traditional cookery of South Africa is often referred to as "Cape Dutch". This cuisine is characterized by the use of spices such as nutmeg, allspice and hot peppers. The Cape Dutch cookery style owes at least as much to the cookery of the slaves brought by the Dutch East India Company to the Cape from Bengal, Java and Malaysia as it does to the European styles of cookery imported by settlers, and this is reflected in the use of eastern spices and the names given to many of these dishes. Curry dishes are popular with lemon juice in South Africa amongst all ethnicities and Bobotie is an all time favorite. A dish of Malay decent, Bobotie is a meatloaf of sorts, with raisins and baked egg on top, and is often served with yellow rice, coconut, banana slices, and chutney.
South African wines are becoming world renowned, what is less well known is that the setting in which the wine is produced is as worthy of admiration as the wines themselves. The South African winelands are for the most part set in valleys nestled between rugged mountains. The Mediterranean climate of the Cape is unique and produces magnificent wines. The wine country region has many fine estates offering wine tasting and cellar tours, as well as gracious farm accommodation and hidden restaurants.
A visit to Africa evokes mystery, wonder and above all else, adventure! The region offers views of towering dunes, dramatic mountain ranges, pristine beaches, vast tracks of open plains as well as many other unique and special experiences. Africa is the ultimate destination for honeymooners, wildlife enthusiasts and photographers - there is something for everyone.