What we love about South Africa

As our little hire car bounced on the gravel road down the Swartberg Pass, navigating the zig-zag road like its suspension had given up long ago, something struck me about South Africa.  At first, I thought the temperature gauge in our car had been compromised by the layer of dust acquired by much faster cars – with supposedly better suspension – speeding past us on this windy gravel road with effortless swiftness.  But no, the gauge was correct.  As we made our way down from the lush mountains of the Garden Route the temperature had risen 15 degrees in the last 10 minutes. The colours had transformed themselves from blues and greens of the mountains and oceans to the dusty reds and greys of this semi-desert interior known as the Karoo.

But it wasn’t just the heat and colour that had changed, the people had changed from sight-seeing, trail-walking, kayak-faring tourists, to arty bohemian locals of many different nationalities. The ferns from the mountains had been replaced with dusty succulents of the desert and we were, it was clear, in another place.

This is the story of South Africa, a land of immense diversity.  From the beaches to the mountains, from the wineries to the desert.  Even the animals cover a broad spectrum rarely found anywhere else. From the tiny termites building the impressively large mounds to the super-sized prey of Kruger National Park, this is a place where you can experience a mish-mash of people, cultures, sceneries, tastes, and sounds.