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South Africa in Autumn

flower

South Africa, popular on almost every traveller’s bucket list, is a great place to visit at any time of the year but this September promises to be particularly special. Beyond iconic experiences like the Kruger National Park, Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, and the Durban beaches, there’s a whole lot more going on this time of the year.

Unique experiences are the wild flowers that pop up naturally all over the South-Western Cape at this time of the year and the whales that visit the shores of the country to calve during the August to October period. A visit to the West Coast National Park near Saldanha Bay is a treat.  You can take in the backdrop of the stunning wild flowers, enjoy a traditional barbecue (or braai, as it’s known locally), and you may even spot a Southern Right Whale in the bay.

Whale-watching has become an attraction all on its own and, while the most popular spots are on the Cape Coast, these giants of the deep can also be spotted along the Garden Route and Kwa-Zulu Natal. See the Southern Rights to the south, and the Humpbacked species in the sub-tropical regions further north and east. Hermanus, the most well-known of the whale-sightings spots, holds its annual Whale Festival from 29 September to 1 October, and you’re bound to spot whales and beautiful spring flowers at Cape Point too, which offers some of the most spectacular views of the ocean.

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A big focus for the month is Heritage Weekend – it’s a long weekend from Saturday, 23 September, to Monday, 25 September. Big on the 2017 calendar is the scheduled public opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (the Zeitz Mocca) from 22 to 25 September, the first significant museum in Africa to focus on contemporary art.

Another great cultural experience to stimulate your senses is food.  Learn how to prepare Cape Malay cuisine at one of the many cookery experiences on offer in the Bo Kaap area of Cape Town. And, if you’re passionate about meat, look out for a braai. Try tripe or traditional South African boerewors sausages.

Heritage Month is also the time for a focus on the country’s wonderfully diverse natural history.  Coastal attractions, an incredible animal and floral kingdom, and the beauty of the semi-desert regions can be enjoyed by all during the special weather of springtime in September.

 

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