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Africa >>Johannesburg>>Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is South Africa's oldest, largest and best-known wildlife conservation area, home to a huge variety of wildlife and most famous for its 'Big Five' viewing opportunities. Visitors have an excellent chance of seeing lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino among the enormous variety of wildlife, including over 140 species of mammals, 500 species of birds, reptiles and amphibians. Situated on South Africa's north eastern border, Kruger is a primary destination for international tourists, and is visited by more than half a million local and international people every year who are attracted by the different safari options as well as the park's excellent range of visitor facilities and choice of accommodation, from luxurious game lodges to cottages and camping.
Africa>> Cape Town>>Table Mountain
Cape Town's most popular tourist attraction is also its most famous physical feature, the flat-topped mountain that stands sentinel over the city. Table Mountain has been proclaimed a nature reserve, protecting its diverse floral species, some unique to its slopes. The views from the top of the mountain are quite spectacular. A Swiss-built rotating cable car carries visitors smoothly up the mountain and back. The mountain-top is equipped with a restaurant and small gift shop, as well as numerous pathways and vantage points. It is possible to climb the mountain via different routes, but care should be taken by inexperienced hikers because Cape Town is prone to sudden weather changes.
Africa>>Cape Town>>Castle of Good Hope
South Africa's oldest building, the Castle was completed in 1679 (replacing an earlier mud and timber fort built by the first Dutch Governor, Jan van Riebeeck). Situated adjacent to a parking lot and bus station in Buitenkant Street, its walls mark the original boundary of the seashore where the waves washed up against the fortifications. Its outside aspect is somewhat foreboding, but inside are some interesting features and collections that have been restored, offering a good insight into the early days of the Cape when it was the center of social and economic life. The castle is a pentagonal fortification with a moat and five bastions, each named for one of the titles of the Prince of Orange.
Africa>>Cape Town>>Houses of Parliament
East of the tree-lined pedestrian Government Avenue, which runs through the Company Gardens at the top of Adderley Street, lies the complex of Parliamentary buildings, containing numerous chambers, offices and corridors. It was here that the racial segregation policy of Apartheid rose and fell along with the ascendancy of the National Party which made South Africa the political pariah of the world. Visitors can now book a tour of the legislative complex, the original section of which dates back to 1885, a magnificent Victorian Neoclassical building. Worth exploring, too, are the neighboring Company Gardens that house a range of plants and trees from around the world.
Africa>> Cape Town>>South African Museum and Planetarium
The imposing South African Museum, dedicated to natural history and the human sciences, contains a huge variety of fascinating exhibits from entire chunks of caves bearing rock art, to traditional arts and crafts from several African tribes. The natural history galleries are full of mounted mammals, dioramas of prehistoric reptiles and a collection of whale skeletons, which can be viewed with the eerie sound of whalesong echoing in the background. Alongside the museum is the Planetarium, which has a changing program of thematic shows involving the southern constellations.
Africa>> Cape Town>>Greenmarket Square
Situated in the Central Business District, near the main station, is Greenmarket Square, the perfect spot to observe South Africa's 'rainbow nation' in all its hues. Once the scene of slave markets, this is the site of one of the city's most vibrant flea markets, where clothing, jewelry, knick-knacks and souvenirs are on sale every day, and tourists and business people rub shoulders in the many sidewalk cafes that surround this busy cobbled square, which is a wonderful example of Cape Dutch architecture and houses the Michaelis collection of Dutch and Flemish landscape paintings. Evening classical concerts are held regularly on the veranda.
Africa>>Cape Town>>St George's Cathedral
Cape Town's Victorian Gothic style Anglican Cathedral, founded in 1901, is situated in Wale Street and is historically significant for it is where the enthronement of South Africa's first black archbishop, Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, took place. The Cathedral is unique in that it became a political powerhouse in the struggle against Apartheid, known as 'the people's cathedral', stating openly from the 1950s onwards that it was open to all people of all races at all times. This was a brave stand in the racially segregated society of the time. In subsequent years the cathedral became the venue for many protest gatherings and vigils and on occasions the building was surrounded by police, water cannons and barbed wire. Victims of forced removals were even accommodated in the cathedral at times.
Africa>> Cape Town>>Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Five miles (eight km) south of the city center lies the magnificent Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, covering a huge expanse of the rugged south-western slopes of the Table Mountain range. Kirstenbosch was bequeathed to the nation by mining magnate Cecil Rhodes in 1895, and today contains more than 22,000 plants, a research unit, botanical library and nursery. Numerous paths meander through the gardens, including a Braille route for the blind, which are full of lush shrubs and 'fynbos', the Cape's indigenous floral heritage. A tearoom, restaurant and coffee bar are on site.
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