Language: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu
Size: 471,443 square miles (1,221,037 square kilometers) - about 2/3 the size of Texas
Border countries: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho
National tourist office: www.southafrica.net
At a glance
The 2010 FIFA World Cup showcased South Africa as an emerging cultural center for the continent. It’s also become a major African destination for travelers due to its stable economy, relative safety, awesome beaches and resorts, and incredible natural wonders. Safaris through its many protected wildlife parks and preserves are a popular tourist activity. Visitors also flock to South Africa for mountain climbing and sunbathing on the gorgeous beaches. The urban landscapes of South Africa, from Johannesburg to the popular destination of Cape Town, can be as intriguing as the country’s natural wonders. For those wanting to escape the hustle of the city or the heat of the inland preserves, the coastal beaches are a huge draw.
Why cyclists love it
A South African bike tour is a great way to explore the various appeals of this fascinating country. Many tourists are drawn to African vacations to see the "Big 5" game on safaris. South African cycle safaris are an appealing alternative to traditional van- or truck-based safaris because you get inside of the animals' habitat, rather than just passing through it. Bike tours through game preserves are also the most "green" way to view the amazing wildlife because noise and emissions won't disturb the animals or their ecosystem. It’s also safe – while bicycle tourists don’t have the protection of being in a vehicle, an armed guide rides along for reassurance.
Bicycle tours along the coastal roads of South Africa allow you the time to take in the breathtaking views while watching for whales and penguins. For wine enthusiasts enamored with Bordeaux, Chianti, and Napa Valley, cycling holidays in the estates of the South African winelands is a luxurious treat.
With opposite seasons to North America and Europe, it's a great destination for cyclists looking to escape winter weather at home. The climate is comfortable most of the year and has some of the longest days in the world – more hours of daylight for discovering this rich landscape!
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Discover the most beautiful places along the Indian Ocean and the Karoo Savannah on this 12-day cycling tour of South Africa. Starting in Port Elizabeth, pedal along the white beaches of the Indian Ocean, through evergreen forests and the desolate Karoo, under the wild solitude of the Swartberg Mountains, into the Wine lands of the Cape, and further on to Cape Town -one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
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