The Historic Beauty of South Africa

I was contemplating going to South Africa this year for my holidays until I saw the price of flights and accommodation. I decided to leave a South Africa trip until I had more money to do the country justice. Here my friend Josh shows you some of South Africa’s beautiful and historic sites.

Table Mountain

Table Mountain

 South Africa offers the visitor many opportunities for viewing the wonders of nature. The wildlife and landforms are among the most scenic and picturesque in the world. The country is also rich in history and offers travellers great opportunities to enjoy these sights either as a principle focus of a trip or as a side excursion from wildlife and scenic travels. These are just a few of the historic wonders of South Africa.

Union Buildings

The Union Buildings, located in Pretoria, is the headquarters of the executive branch of South African government. The buildings are situated on top of a mountain with flowing public gardens and statuary surrounding the grounds. These buildings were constructed beginning in 1910 and are designed in two wings connected by a semicircular colonnade. The building originally was constructed to house the entire government but expansion has necessitated additional government buildings.

House of Parliament

While the capital of South Africa is Pretoria, the country’s parliament meets in Cape Town which is known as the legislative capital. The building housing parliament has a long history and previously housed the Parliament of the Cape of Good Hope. Since 1994 it has been the home of the South African Senate and the National Assembly.

Robben Island

Robben Island, located near Cape Town, has a long history as a military post and prison. It has most recently been designated as a museum. The island is accessible by ferry boat and tours are offered. Attractions include old churches and artillery defenses dating to World War II. The island is also a wildlife sanctuary featuring African penguins. The island has become known as a departure point for marathon swimmers endeavoring to swim to Cape Town.

Pilgrims Rest

The town of Pilgrims Rest, located in Mpumalanga Province, is dedicated to the prospectors and gold miners of the Transvaal Gold Rush of the 1870s. The entire small town is maintained as a museum. This town was the commercial and social center of those miners. Most of the big mines in the area have closed down although small scale mining operations and tourism remain as the areas chief industries. Visitors can tour many of the buildings or can view the area from the back of a horse.

Vredefort Dome

We can thank a meteorite for Vredefort Dome. The impact, probably several million years ago, created a crater and dome that can still be seen today. Vredefort Dome is the oldest meteorite impact site on earth and has become popular with adventure travelers. Activities at the site include camping, rock climbing and wildlife observation. White water rafting on nearby rivers as well as biking also offer visitors a chance for more varied adventures.

The Cradle of Humankind

The Cradle of Humankind is a number of sites tied to the early evolution of man. These areas and attractions have all produced fossil evidence of the early development of man. The area includes caves where bones, fossils and other evidence of early human development have been found. Most of these artefacts trace to about 3 million years ago. The area is classified as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.

Castle of Good Hope

For many years during its early history, the Cape of Good Hope was a contested part of the world’s shipping lanes. The Castle of Good Hope was one of the forts built by the Dutch East India Company. It is the oldest surviving structure in South Africa and is still utilized by the military as a headquarters. The Castle of Good Hope also houses military and art museums making it a must-see attraction for several reasons. Guided tours are available.

This article was supplied by Josh Hervall, a keen traveller and lover of historic and cultural beauty. He writes on behalf of, specialists in South African holiday rentals.

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