Wildlife safaris South Africas wildlife sanctuaries generally fall into three categories:
Nature parks More for their scenic beauty and hiking trails than for wildlife. Private game reserves Private game reserves offer a personalised game-viewing programme. National game reserves. National game reserves are generally explored by tourists in their own vehicles.
Walking and Hiking Nature parks offer marked self-guided trails or guided off-the-beaten-track trails. Some operators also offer themed walks with a focus on, for instance, flowers (of which South Africa has nearly 24,000 species). Spectacular flower displays can be seen during August/September in the semi-desert area of Namaqualand.
Stellenbosch Wine Route - All wineries around Stellenbosch. Olifants Wine Route - 200km passing through the Cederberg Mountains. Klein Karoo Wine Trust - 300km through the Eastern Cape Winelands. Swartland Wine Route - 40-minute drive away from Cape Town. Orange River Wine Trust - Comprising the northern wine-making regions. Robertson Valley - 2 hour drive from Cape Town.
Whale watching and shark-cage diving on the Cape Sharks migrate through the Capes False Bay from June to August and move into the Durban area (KwaZulu-Natal) from October to January. For whale watching fans, the Western Cape Tourism Board has established a Cape Whale Route to observe southern right whales, which usually swim very close to the shore. The best time to spot them is from June to September, especially in Walker Bay, where a Whale Festival is held annually during the last week of September. Watersports South Africas diving infrastructure and facilities are well developed. Reef diving is popular in Sodwana Bay (on the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal), while wreck diving is widespread around the Cape. The Tsitsikamma Coastal Park offers excellent opportunities for underwater photography. Diving certificates are required.
Fishing One of the countrys most popular sports, fishing can be practised along the coast or on the lakes and rivers in the game and nature reserves. One of the worlds richest fishing grounds lies around the Cape of Good Hope. Trout fishing areas are the southern mountain ranges of the Western Cape and the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains. Fly fishing areas are in the mountain streams and along the coastline of the Eastern Cape.
Golf South Africa has around 500 courses, often situated in spectacular locations. The best time to play is from May to September. Visitors are welcome on weekdays.
Steam trains South Africa is one of the few remaining countries where steam locomotives are still widely used. They range from the luxury Pride of Africa to small engines on narrow gauge railways like the Midmar Steam Railway near Pietermaritzburg. The famous Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe runs along the Garden Route on a day-trip from George and Knysna and The Union Limited crosses the famous Kaaimans River Bridge, one of the most photographed railway bridges in the world.
Adventure sports A changing range of adventure sports is available, the most famous of which probably remains bungee jumping, for which South Africa has one of the worlds highest drops - the bridge over the Blaukrans River, Western Cape (216m).
Spectator sports South Africans are sports enthusiasts and the success of national teams has been a source of pride and reconciliation for all sections of the community. The South African rugby team are world class, the football team is one of the best in Africa while the cricket team has proved it is the equal of any in the world. Visitors are made welcome at all these fixtures.