South Africa: This is your country

November 6, 2015

Journeys we all should take

SouthAfricanCF

Ever wondered where the wettest place in South Africa is? How about the darkest? We are fascinated by our country and the diversity it brings by way of culture, people & ecosystems together at the tip of the wild African continent. We are fortunate to live here; the senses are nourished by variety. Here are some journeys that all South Africans should take. This is your South Africa, go experience it.

 

Darkest place in South Africa:
The Namib Desert: Not many tourist spots boast of being dark and difficult to get to, but the Namib Desert is one of a number of remote “Dark Sky Reserves” drawing in stargazers for a celestial safari. On a new moon with cloudy skies the night closes in like a blanket. Your hearing is heightened in the dark as your senses try to get to know the environment that surrounds you.

Of course without electric light interference, when the skies are clear you can only imagine the starry night sky glowing back at you from horizon to horizon. Is a camping trip on the cards? You bet!

 

Highest place in South Africa
Topping out at 3,451m above sea level, Mafadi Peak is officially the highest mountain in South Africa. Can you imagine the sound of the wind whistling though the clear mountain air at that height? Mafadi peak is located on the border of South Africa and Lesotho. Although it is the highest mountain in South Africa, it is still lower than Thabana Ntlenyana, the highest peak in Lesotho, which is, at 3,482 metres (11,424 ft), the highest point in Southern Africa.

At these altitudes the weather is always biting, so we recommend some insulation and be sure to still take care of both sunburn & windburn.

 

Wettest place in South Africa

The wettest place in South Africa is Matiwa, with an average annual rainfall of 2004 mm (calculated over a 60-year period). To be inside a rainstorm within the wettest region of South Africa should be an adventure we actively seek out. The dark billowing clouds combined with the thud of heavy raindrops on the windscreen.
We as South Africans are proud of our thunderstorms – nowhere else in the world do the storms play out in flashes of lightening & the hue of a thousand colours quite like they do here. Have you ever actively sought one out? Perhaps Matiwa is the place to do it.

 

Driest place in South Africa

The driest Place in South Africa is Alexander Bay in the Northern Cape with an average annual rainfall of only 46 mm. You can feel the dry heat and the resilience of the lives that live there; we challenge you to tell us what sound a tumbleweed makes… Alexander Bay is a town in the extreme north-west of South Africa, also known as the region of Little Namaqualand. It is located on the southern bank of the Orange River mouth, so it is not without water, just no rain. It also holds pride of place as the most northerly situated town along the west coastline of South Africa.

 

Coldest place in South Africa

This is title up for grabs, with there being a number of contenders.

Admittedly Sutherland is not on everyone’s travel list, but it should be. This semi-arid town is arguably the coldest town in South Africa, with an average yearly temperature of 11.3 °C and an average annual minimum temperature of 2.8 °C. The coldest temperature recorded in Sutherland was −16.4 °C on 12 July 2003.

Molteno, has also been named, by The South African Weather Service, as the coldest town in South Africa. How about you get on your bike and head to discover for yourself? Who knows you might just catch a snow storm.

 

Longest beach in South Africa

Crashing waves to bird cries, the beach offers a cacophony to the careful listener. With so many natural sounds it is amazing how quiet the world seems when staring down a long sandy stretch of coastline.

Struisbaai in the Overberg region of the Western Cape is home to the longest beach in South Africa. The town is in the Cape Agulhas region and is found approximately two hundred kilometres south east of Cape Town, and four kilometres from Cape Agulhas, which is the southernmost point of the African continent. At 14km long, some people believe that Struisbaai could be the longest beach in the entire southern hemisphere. The longest beach walk, now that sounds alluring!

 

Highest waterfall in South Africa

Tugela Falls offers the listener a thunderous rapture of splash and spray combined, and is easily the highest waterfall in South Africa. Tugela Falls is a combination of seasonal waterfalls located in the Drakensberg at the Royal Natal National Park. It is generally accepted as the world’s second-tallest waterfall. The combined total drop of its five distinct free-leaping falls is 948m.

It all starts with a trickle of water on the plateau but before the tributaries join to create a deep rumble of tumbling water. There is nothing like the sights and sounds of a waterfall!

 

Deepest cave in South Africa

Boesmansgat is the sixth-deepest submerged freshwater cave (or sinkhole) in the world, having been dived to 282.6 metres. It is located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, and could be one of the most inhospitable places on earth.

At those depths one would only be able to hear your own breathing. It is too deep to dive without sophisticated diving equipment, and no natural light penetrates to that depth.

Imagine how it could feel at those depths!

 

Longest road in South Africa

The N1 from Polokwane to Makhado is the longest national road in South Africa, 1,929 km. The N1 is a national route in South Africa that runs from Cape Town through Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Polokwane to Beit Bridge on the border with Zimbabwe. It forms the first section of the famed Cape to Cairo Road.

The wind in your hair, the rolling tyres as the road surface changes and maybe some magical music for the roadtrip. The climate would change numerous times on this stretch of road, from arid desert to Highveld grasslands offering a roadtrip of note.

Love South Africa, you live here, so enjoy exploring it beyond your route to & from work. It is a magnificent place with a variety of sights and sounds. Go discover it… and send us photos, record the sounds and soak it all in.

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