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The Lion Park

The Lion Park is a 600 hectare wildlife conservation enclosure located in the Gauteng province, just near Lanseria Airport within distance of Johannesburg and Pretoria for Transvaal lions. The park has a large variety of predators and large herbivores indigenous to Africa.

If you are pressed for time, or your trip does not include a journey to one of the major game reserves in South Africa, then it follows that you might still want to view lions 'up close and personal' in a wildlife conservation enclosure. In fact, if you've just come in the country via Lanseria Airport, you could make it one of the first things you do after stepping off the aeroplane, as the Lion Park lies between Lanseria Airport and Fourways, making it incredibly convenient and a wonderful first encounter with South Africa. 

Lion

The Lion Park is home to over 80 lions including the rare white lions and many other carnivores such as South African cheetah, Cape wild dog, hyena and spotted hyena, black-backed jackal, and a wide variety of antelope which roam freely in the antelope area. The antelope area, containing blesbok, gnu, impala, gemsbok, and zebra, is in a separate part away from the lions and other carnivores.

Our Travel2Africa tour experience will help you get an up-close look at all the animals in the place. The only downside is that the animals are in enclosures but the upside of that is that those who could never afford to see these animals in their natural surrounds can visit the Lion Park and experience first-hand these beautiful beasts.

Cape Town makes the Top 15 World Best Cities' list

South Africa’s Cape Town has once again been included in a list of the World's Top 15 Cities according to the latest Travel + Leisure survey 2017. The international travel magazine hosts the annual survey through a reader questionnaire. Readers vote on several categories, including the world's best hotels, airports, spas and islands.

Cape Town has featured below the top 10 spot for several consecutive years. According to the magazine Cape Town is ranked at number eight this year. The magazine described the city as "cutting-edge, artsy, and buzzing with energy", and applauded the variety of activities in Cape Town.

Cape Town

"There are few places in the world where you can exercise your shopping skills (head to Woodstock's Neighbourgoods Market on Saturday mornings for Afrikaans jerky and silk-and-leather sandals), take off on a safari, or indulge in world-famous cuisine and meet the South Africa's cuisine all in one weekend," the magazine explained.

Atlantic-facing Clifton Beaches are the South Beach of South Africa, known for enormous natural boulders tumbling into the sea, pristine sunbathing conditions, and the capoeira dancers that entertain crowds with fire and African drums on Monday nights.

Top of the list, however, Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende, with Charleston in the United States and Chiang Mai in Thailand in second and third place respectively this year. These were followed by Kyoto in Japan, Florence in Italy, Oaxaca in Mexico, Hoi An in Vietnam, just below Cape Town is Ubud in Indonesia, followed by Luang Prabang in Laosand, Santa Fe in New Mexico, Rome in Italy, Siem Reap in Cambodia, Udaipur in India, and taking the 15th spot is Barcelona in Spain. Readers rate the top cities based on sights, culture, arts, food, friendliness and shopping.

city

The Ellerman House, a Cape Town hotel, also made it on to the list of the World's Best 100 Hotels, ranked at number 73. Other South African hotels on the list includes; Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge, Phinda Private Game Reserve at number 44, Londolozi, Sabi Sand Game Reserve at 35, La Residence, Franschhoek at 18, Singita Sabi Sand, Sabi Sand Game Reserve at 14, and Tswalu Kalahari, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve at number 6.

Hotels were rated in terms of facilities, location and service. Based on the survey, the 2017 top hotel in the world is The Nihi Sumba Island (formerly Nihiwatu) in Indonesia
 

SA Dominates Top 10 Best Safari Parks in Africa

In a study of more than 3,000 reviews from safari adventurists and industry experts, four South African parks were declared amongst the top 10 best safari parks of Africa. SafariBookings.com, an online marketplace for African safaris, published a definitive ranking of the best safari parks in Africa. South Africa’s MalaMala, Sabi Sands, Phinda, and Kgalagadi all ranked within the Top 10. No other country had more parks ranked so highly, which is excellent for South Africa.

Game

A total of 2,234 reviews were contributed by safari tourists from 63 countries. The remaining 774 park reviews were written by renowned experts, including guidebook authors associated with Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint.

The study found MalaMala Game Reserve ranked second of all African parks, with an average rating of 4.81 out of 5, while the famous Kruger National Park was ranked 20th. This came as a surprise to the Safaribookings team as Kruger is South Africa's most popular park. It has less wilderness appeal because it's fenced, has a network of tarred roads, large scale accommodations and can get crowded with self-drive visitors, but the abundance and variety of wildlife should make up for that.  

Kruger

When examining why the four best South African parks hold such high positions, it’s apparent each have their own special features. MalaMala, Sabi Sands and Phinda are top-grade private game reserves offering luxury accommodation and almost guaranteed sightings of the Big Five, in addition to other wildlife. MalaMala and Sabi Sands share an unfenced border with Kruger National Park and thus both have access to this enormous ecosystem. Kgalagadi is one of the most rewarding parks for adventurous self-drives, as it is off-the-beaten-track, has a real wilderness vibe and great wildlife viewing.

The Lesedi Cultural Village

Lesedi, which is in seSotho means 'light', was initiated as a tourist attraction and today features five traditional dwellings, each representing a South African culture: Pedi, Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho and Ndebele. 

Situated within the Cradle of Humankind, any visit to South Africa would certainly be incomplete without a visit to Lesedi, the cradle of living African culture. Lesedi Cultural Village was established in 1993 to display the full diversity of the South African rainbow nation. In an informative and entertaining way, Lesedi provides the visitor with a better understanding of the rich cultural background of the traditional peoples of South Africa. 

Classic

The opportunity to be immersed in the traditional richness of African Culture is enhanced with 38 beautifully themed guest rooms to accommodate guests in first class comfort. Lesedi has offered the pre-eminent African cultural experience in South Africa for many years now.

Representatives of the various tribes facilitated the design of the cultural villages to ensure a historically representative portrayal of the cultures, highlighting aspects of the traditional way of life. Members of these historic communities live at Lesedi and continue to breathe life into their fascinating cultures. If you want to get an idea of traditional South African culture, then the Lesedi cultural village, less than an hour’s drive north of Johannesburg and set amongst rocky hills and bushveld, is a perfect outing.

Lesedi

Each of five featured families lives here permanently, looking after cows, chickens and tourists, and tours through their homes offer interesting cross-cultural comparisons of the customs and social organisation of the different cultures. The idea is quite fresh and refreshing. If you're staying overnight, you are welcomed by the family of the homestead in which you will be staying, and the head of the house then becomes your personal guide for the duration of your stay. 

Day visitors also get to experience the origins of today’s colourful South African nation and receive a guided tour of the Zulu, Basotho, Xhosa and Pedi homesteads, after a multi-visual presentation. There are two 3-hour tours, one in the morning and one late afternoon, which is definitely the more preferable because of the atmosphere the traditional singing and dancing session, held in the boma right at the end of the tour, creates at night. 

cultural Village

The Nyama Choma restaurant offers a Pan African Buffet in true African style, after which visitors are invited to gather around a fire to share in some ‘mamba juice’, a unique Lesedi drink, before the story telling and singing and dancing begin. Entertainment at Lesedi Cultural Village includes but not limited to; Daily Cultural Show, Dance Show, School Groups, Ketti shooting competition (slingshot), Cultural Quiz, Amazing Race and Interactive Drumming. Trust Travel2Africa to help ensure that you enjoy this experience to the fullest.

The Robben Island Museum

For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, which is 12 kilometres from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It is flat and only a few metres above sea level, as a result of an ancient erosion event. It was here at Robben Island that rulers sent those regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. It was also used as a post office, a grazing ground, a mental hospital and an outpost.

Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. To date, three former inmates of Robben Island have gone on to become President of South Africa: Nelson Mandela, Kgalema Motlanthe, and former president Jacob Zuma.

Robben

Robben Island is an island in Table Bay, Western Cape. Since the end of the 17th century, Robben Island has been used for the isolation of mainly political prisoners. The Dutch settlers were the first to use Robben Island as a prison. Its first prisoner was probably Autshumato in the mid-17th century.

After a failed uprising at Grahamstown in 1819, the fifth of the Xhosa Wars, the British colonial government sentenced African leader Makanda Nxele to life imprisonment on the island. He drowned on the shores of Table Bay after escaping the prison.

During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran Robben Island and the Robben Island prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison on Robben Island for their beliefs.

Today, however, Robben Island also tells us about victory over Apartheid and other human rights abuses: 'the indestructibility of the spirit of resistance against colonialism, injustice and oppression'. The image we have of Robben Island today is as a place of oppression, as well as a place of triumph. Robben Island has not only been used as a prison. It was a training and defence station in World War II (1939-1945) and a hospital for leprosy patients, and the mentally and chronically ill (1846-1931).

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Since 1997 Robben Island has been a museum. The museum on the Island is a dynamic institution, which acts as a focal point of South African heritage. The Robben Island Museum runs educational programmes for schools, youths and adults, facilitates tourism development, conducts ongoing research related to Robben Island and fulfils an archiving function.