Recommend March 2014 - (Page 39)

africa onsitereview N O V E M B E R 2 0 13 SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM (2) This photo: The affluent Sandton area in Johannesburg is home to The DaVinci Hotel. Right: Seidelberg Wine Estate in the Cape Wine Route. Cosmopolitan South Africa phyllis steinberg Sthu Zungu, president of South African Tourism, North America, says that South Africa is currently experiencing a significant increase in its tourism industry. "We have had doubledigit increases and record-shattering arrival numbers of tourists for the past three consecutive years. "Specifically, a shift is taking place that is repositioning South Africa from a 'once-in-a-lifetime' destination to a place worth visiting now," continues Zungu. "Americans in particular are exploring the Rainbow Nation and its diverse experiences, beyond safari, as the U.S. remains our second biggest source market." In South Africa, wildlife viewing is a top priority, but travelers can also trace the history of humans with a trek to the caves at the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Cradle of Humankind, about an hour's drive from Johannesburg; be carried in a cable car to the crown of Cape Town; view whales in Hermanus; or soar above the lush countryside in a hot air balloon. Delving into South Africa begins with days exploring Johannesburg and Cape Town, so here we highlight both cities. johannesburg Most travelers begin their visit to South Africa in Johannesburg, the city with the most nonstop flights from the U.S., and with top-notch restaurants, five-star hotels, world-class shopping and numerous attractions, including the MuseumAfrika located in the old Bree Street fruit market. The museum contains exhibitions on the Treason Trials (1956-61) and the development of South African music as well as the history of the city. Adjacent to the MuseumAfrika is the Market Theatre, the scene of some of the country's finest productions and an interesting produce market. Constitution Hill, meanwhile, is one of the city's most popular attractions relating the story of the South African struggle for freedom and equality. The children will enjoy a visit to Gold Reef City, a popular theme park attraction revealing the city's early gold rush days. Pretoria, South Africa's executive capital, is an easy day trip from Johannesburg and features government buildings, Voor-trekker Monument and Nature Reserve with zebras, wildebeests and bucks. The Pretoria National Gardens is also worth a visit, housing a reptile park, aquarium and a cable car ride overlooking the city. Evenings in Johannesburg are lively and vibrant. The Melrose Arch area in Newtown has fine dining spots like Moyo restaurant, with mostly outside tables, an upbeat talented band of musicians as well as excellent cuisine at reasonable prices. STAY: The DaVinci Hotel, a member of the Legacy Hotel Group, in the sophisticated Sandton area of Johannesburg is a good hotel from which to explore the city. This five-star, 166-room property has direct access to Nelson Mandela Square, an upscale shopping mall with restaurants, gaming and art galleries. It features 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom suites, a gym, infinity-edge pool, luxurious spa and fine cuisine at the Maximillien restaurant. The hotel offers transfers to the airport. Rates, including breakfast, start at $185 (sgl) and $253 (dbl) per night. GETTING AROUND: JMT Tours offers a variety of well-planned itineraries that can be arranged for a few hours to five days, including safaris. Joe Motsogi, owner of JMT Tours, has been in the tour business since 1997 and is an expert at showing visitors the area. "We arrange cultural, heritage, historical and adventure tours, shuttles, shopping trips and transport in general," he says. "Our TAKE NOTE TRAVEL AGENTS clients cover a broad From November to May is low spectrum of ages with season, when prices at many the majority being older of the safari camps are cut visitors with disposable significantly. income." march 2014 39 39-41 AF SouthAfrica.indd 39 2/20/14 8:48 AM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend March 2014

Editor's Notes
Hotel Desk: ME by Melia
Tour Talk: MLT Vacations
The All-Inclusive Rundown
Iberostar's Rose Hall Resorts, Jamaica
RIU Palace Mexico
What's New in Cancun & Riviera Maya
Great Britain Travel Planner
Turkish Delights
Cosmopolitan South Africa
Riveting Rhode Island
Okinawa: To Visit is to Love It
Un-Cruise Adventures' S.S. Legacy

Recommend March 2014