Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Best about South Africa

There are a host of benefits in coming to Africa, but none as importantas job creation that will close the gap between the haves and have nots. Every new tourist can create up to 8 direct and in-direct entry-level jobs. This is exactly what is needed to level the playing fields. Value for money, from a personal perspective, is the best reason to consider this beautiful ''world in one country''. Your dollar(US) buys you at least R7.20, euro buys R9.60, and UK Pound buys R14.30A 12-day five star safari package that includes Kruger National Park, Cape Town, Garden Route , internal flights & all road transport arrangements costs as little as 422 US$ per day per person. Top Restaurant meals are around 30 -50 US$ (including a nice bottle of wine)! Can you believe such good value while in paradise. The diverse scenery around South Africa coupled with the wild life element makes it a winning destination. Those football fans planning to visit in 2010 for the world cup will be well advised to do a test run and pre-book your favorite venue early.I have already mentioned 12 days as a package and there is a good reason for that! Getting value for money when you visit this long-haul destination is essential, as well as getting a good North and South perspective. South Africa is rather large with many great places to visit, so it is important to spend 50% of the time in Johannesburg, Sun City, Pilanesberg Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, or one of the many luxury reserves surrounding Kruger before heading to beautiful Cape Town. A well balanced itinerary can fit all of these, as well as a 2 day trip down the Garden Route. There are many different ways to do it, even for the person with 7 days only! Cape Town, Garden Route & Eastern Cape malaria free safaris can be done in 7 days.South Africa is virtually a year-round destination with a window of August - May as the best selection. The north has a summer rainfall period from October to January with mainly short but powerful afternoon thunder showers. Winter days are perfect for game viewing although a bit cooler during early morning and evenings. Safari venues are perfectly geared towards making your stay pleasant with roaring camp fires and ponchos/blankets for game drives. Southern hemisphere winters are the opposite to Northern hemisphere. May, June, July & August are the colder months. It is however mild in comparison with Northern hemisphere winters, and of course, quite hot in summer. The south-western and coastal areas have winter rainfall and certain sections in the center have a mixture.South Africa is a great outdoor destination with a host of adventure activities, safaris, great birding, overland off-road destinations, good wines and excellent star gazing areas. Long distance carriers fly direct to South Africa from the US and Europe, and around peak seasons there are great packages. March, April, August and September should provide you with good opportunties. Individual airlines have special deals all the time too! Dealing direct with the in-country operator, who will be handling the complete package, is the way to go in terms of optimal efficiency and cost effectiveness.