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South Africa - Holidays, Flights and Hotels

South Africa

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South Africa is located at the extreme south of Africa, with a long coastline that stretches more than 2,500 kilometres (1,550 mi) and across two oceans (the Atlantic and the Indian). South Africa has a great variety of climate zones, from the extreme desert of the Kalahari near Namibia to lush subtropical climate along the border with Mozambique. It quickly rises over a mountainous escarpment towards the interior plateau known as the Highveld. Even though South Africa is classified as semi-arid, there is considerable variation in climate as well as topography.

The interior of South Africa is a giant, mountainous, and sparsely populated scrubland Karoo plateau, which is drier towards the north-west along the Kalahari desert. In contrast, the eastern coastline is lush and well-watered which produces a climate similar to the tropics. The extreme south west has a climate remarkably similar to that of the Mediterranean with wet winters and hot, dry summers. This area also produces much of South Africa's wine. This region is also particularly known for its wind, which blows intermittently almost all year. The severity of this wind made passing around the Cape of Good Hope particularly treacherous for sailors, causing many shipwrecks. Further east on the country's south coast rainfall is distributed more evenly throughout the year, producing a green landscape. This area is popularly known as the Garden Route.

The Free State is particularly flat due to the fact that the eastern region of the Highveld does not extend as far north as the western region. North the Vaal River, the Highveld becomes better watered and does not experience subtropical extremes of heat. Johannesburg, in the centre of the Highveld, is at 1,740 metres (5,709 ft) and receives an annual rainfall of 760 millimetres (30 in). Winters in this region are cold, although snow is rare.

To the north and east of Johannesburg, the altitude drops beyond the Highveld's escarpment, and turns into the Lowveld. The Lowveld has particularly high temperatures, and is also the location of traditional South African Bushveld. The high Drakensberg mountains, which form the eastern escarpment of the Highveld, offer limited skiing opportunities in winter. The coldest place in South Africa is Sutherland in the western Roggeveld Mountains, where midwinter temperatures can reach as low as -15 degrees Celsius (5 F). The deep interior has the hottest temperatures: A temperature of 51.7 C (125 F) was recorded in 1948 in the Northern Cape Kalahari near Upington.

Brief History of South Africa

South Africa contains some of the oldest archaeological sites in Africa. Extensive fossil remains at the Sterkfontein, Kromdraai and Makapansgat caves suggest that various australopithecines existed in South Africa from about three million years ago. These were succeeded by various species of Homo, including Homo habilis, Homo erectus and modern man, Homo sapiens. Bantu iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen moved south of the Limpopo River into modern-day South Africa by the 4th or 5th century (the Bantu expansion). They slowly moved south and the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050. The southermost group was the Xhosa people, reaching the Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province. These Iron Age populations displaced earlier hunter-gatherer peoples as they migrated.

Information provided by Wikipedia

Flights to South Africa | Car Rental | Resorts and Hotels

Book Your Holiday To South Africa From:

Kuoni Travel - Award winning tailormade holidays and luxury travel worldwide - Travel to South Africa for last minute prices.
Virgin Holidays - For travel offers and package holidays in South Africa.
Hayes and Jarvis - Hayes & Jarvis has been creating award-winning specialist long haul holidays for travellers for more than 50 years. It now operates to more than 50 worldwide destinations ATOL (No 1275), ABTA (No V1464)
Expedia - Book cheap flights, travel, hotels & package holidays
Thomas Cook - Cheap Family holidays and last minute deals to South Africa
eBookers - Cheap Flights, Hotels, Airline Tickets, Car Hire and Holiday Packages
Netflights - For flight offers to Africa
British Airways Holidays - Book affordable hotels and car rental with BA Holidays

Below are some travel agent offers for holidays to South Africa.

Public Holidays in South Africa
New Year's Day - January 1
Human Rights Day - March 21
Good Friday - April 14
Family Day - April 17
Freedom Day - April 27
Int. Workers' Day - May 1
Youth Day - June 16
National Women's Day - August 9
Heritage Day - September 24
Day of Reconciliation - December 16
Christmas Day - December 25
Day of Goodwill - December 26