The rainbow nation and one of the greatest examples of unity in diversity in the world, South Africa is a country with great pride, natural beauty, cultural diversification and a resilient past. Located in the southern tip of Africa, the country was among the first regions to be colonized by the Europeans in the late 16th century a time when European Kingdoms were becoming commercial, seafaring super powers bent on conquering the world through Imperialism. South Africa today stands with its head tall as a symbol of tenacity and unity among different races becoming a major attraction of tourists in its years as a democratic country post the Apartheid. A country so rich in its representation of the original African culture, South Africa is a developing country which is battling to bring its people out of extreme poverty and help them lead a life full of prosperity and opportunity.
Though much of South Africa’s history may appear as a conflict between two races of mankind, it has today move beyond all that in its interpretation and representation. South Africa’s history can be seen as a long struggle which has finally bore fruits resulting in this wonderful nation of racial unity. The land which is today known as South Africa was occupied by indigenous African tribes known as ‘San ‘and ‘Khoekhoe’ or collectively as ‘Khosan’ who were basically hunter gatherers some 2,500 years ago. Modern Humanity was already strolling these parts of Africa some 100,000 thousand years before the first modern human was spotted in Europe. Out of the two tribes located towards the southern part of the country, the Khoekhoe people were primarily settled near the coastal regions. In the interior of the country many Bantu-speaking tribes had settled around the northern and north-eastern region.
Fast forward into the mid-17th century and South Africa began to see its first European settlers coming into the land and forming settlement colonies. In 1652, a group of Dutch citizens had sailed into the Cape of Good Hope with the intention of settling in and starting farming in the region they were sponsored to do so by the Dutch East India Company. The Cape of Good Hope the southernmost tip of Africa was discovered a few decades earlier by the Portuguese Vasco De Gama who was looking for sea route into India. Colonization resulted in successive clashes between the new settlers and the indigenous tribes leading to the famous battle of Blood River. In the 20th century, the region was unified under the nation state of South Africa by this time South Africa had already experienced the Gold Rush which saw many European travel to the country in search of the elusive treasure which has today made the country one of the leading exporters of Gold and Diamond to the world.
Modern Republic of South Africa was born out of a three decade long fight against Apartheid by various Black as well as White leaders most notably among them being Nelson Mandela who eventually won and led to establishment of the democratic rainbow nation in 1994. Since then the country hasn’t looked back, it has prospered through the past decades and established itself as one of the greatest destination to visit in the African continent. South Africa has a lot to offer to the millions of visitors that come to its shores every year, the rich cultural, geographical and natural diversity of the country is one of the major attraction points. South Africa is a treasure trove for lovers of nature, adventure, sports, beaches and a laid back life.
Traveling in South Africa can be made far easier if you go region by region in your explorations. The Western Cape with Cape Town as its crown is a great coastal region. The Mother City of Cape Town with its major attractions of the Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, the white sand beaches and the luxurious vineyards that stretch into acres are amazing. The Eastern Cape is known to be the Mecca of beach lovers and surfers alike with the beautiful coastal cities of East London, Port Elizabeth as well as home to two great National Parks of Addo Elephant and Tsitsikamma. The Northern Cape famous for being the biggest of provinces, for its diamond mines and being home to the Kalahari and Karoo deserts.
Today South Africa has also established itself as the adventure capital of the world with many world class adventure events happening in the country, adventure sports such as flying fox, sky diving, climbing, surfing, diving, hiking and many other extreme sports are just fabulous to experience here. The country has also announced itself on the global stage by hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup which lead to millions of people flooding the country and discovering its beauty besides the football. The great landscapes of the country along with dedicated tour operators make it one of the preferred destinations for adventure junkies. South Africa is slowly establishing itself as a great nation which can offer its visitors great adventure, culture, heritage, history and hospitality. It is a mesmerizing example of what Africa holds in its womb, the beauty that lies within it and the ability to enchant for many centuries to come.