A Week in . . . South Africa

LOCATION: South Africa is located in the continent of Africa. It is the Southernmost country in Africa. It is South of the equator. It is moderately big for a country, covering 471,400 square miles.

CULTURE: Many people live on the outskirts of South African cities. Conditions in these townships are poor. Christianity is their most common religion with 86.8% of people, followed up by Islam (a mere 1.5%), and then Hinduism (1.2%). African culture is widely known for its music and dances. Many times people in villages gather to sing and dance for holidays and festivals.

GEOGRAPHY: South Africa is mainly a Savannah, but also has grassland and a little bit of forest. It is a mountainous country with many of its mountains climbing over 3,000 feet. Its two main cities are Cape Town, in the bottom left of South Africa, with a peninsula jutting out, and Johannesburg, a city near central South Africa.

HISTORY: The first settlers in South Africa were the dutch; establishing a colony at Cape Town in 1652. Eventually they took the natives there and forced them into slave labor. The British took control over the country at the turn of the nineteenth century. After many civil wars and gruesome violence, South Africa gained independence from Britain in 1961.

DEMOGRAPHICS: South Africa is a poor country with a high crime rate. The average family income is $11,500 dollars, compared to an average of $69,000 dollars in Connecticut. 7% of the people are illiterate.

TRIP BREAKDOWN: Fly in on Sunday via South African Airways-$1,300.71 non-stop flight to Johannesburg. Drive to Protea Hotel ($186 a night), next to Kruger National Park. Stay there 2 nights. On Tuesday, go canoeing and hiking along the garden route. Visit uShaka Marine World on Wednesday, stay at Three Cities Waterfront Hotel and Spa ($80 a night). Drive to the Cango Caves on Thursday, and go to the Bay Hotel in Cape Town ($109 a night.) Visit all landmarks in Cape Town, then take plane back to America at Cape Town National Airport.

There are many things to do on a trip to South Africa. These are some:

Monday- Kruger National Park
The Yellowstone of Africa, this park is great for hiking and getting connected with nature. There are many safari trips and places for you to explore, dine, and enjoy yourself

Tuesday-Garden Route
The garden route is a stretch of road roughly 300km that goes through south Africa. Along the way are great hikes, adventure trails, and canoeing. The Cango Caves are also right off of this, which makes it easy for us to travel.

Wednesday-Ushaka marine world
A water park and an aquarium, this is the biggest aquarium in South Africa, and is a great way for you to get involved and observe the wildlife in another continent. This is also a great place to cool off from the heat, and just have fun at this great place.

Thursday- The Cango caves
The Cango caves is a limestone ridge parallel to the Swartberg mountains, these caves are a great place to explore beauty. The caves are considered a great landmark to foreign visitors of South Africa, and are a natural wonder.

Friday- Robben Island is located in Table Bay, some 6km west of Bloubergstrand, and stands some 30m above sea level. Robben Island has been used as prison and a place where people were isolated, banished and exiled to for nearly 400 years. It was also used as a post office, a grazing ground, a mental hospital and an outpost. It was also the place where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in prison.

Saturday -Boulders beach
Boulders beach is a big beach off the coast of Cape Town Peninsula. Not only is it beautiful with white sand and stunning waves, but the beach is covered with a penguin colony which you are free to pet or play with.

Sunday-Table Mountain National Park

This is “the most iconic landmark of all South Africa”. A must-see for travelers, this park contains plenty of things to occupy your day, such as visiting Table Mountain, exploring the Cape of Good Hope, and going to Silver Mine, along other things that will keep you busy.

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