reply to post by BS_Slayer
I can't really say what it's like to live in SA in a short reply.
We have high unemployment, a high crime rate and political problems based on race that seem to be increasingly exploited by politicians who are often
corrupt and incompetent.
On the other hand, we threw a very successful Football World Cup (2010) with no major disasters, and we remain a popular tourist destination.
We have a variety of ecosystems, so a tourist looking for specific critters to observe can really choose from deserts along the western coast, to
sub-tropical forests in the east.
We're best known for the big five (elephant, rhino, leopards, lion and buffalo) in national parks like the Kruger Park, and numerous private game
These reserves tend to be more exclusive, and some also cater to trophy hunting.
I suppose a lot of snakes and insects here would be the same as in the neighboring countries (and some of the parks now cut across borders), like dung
beetles, scorpions and huge millipedes.
I'm not very familiar with snakes or insects, but there's lots of sites and Youtube clips to learn more, and we do see people getting caught trying to
smuggle out endangered reptiles and insects, so we probably have a few special species.
In fact, I was bitten by a spider last year (which is still bruised). www.abovetopsecret.com...
In some provinces and black cultures Mopane worms and locusts are a popular food.
However, we also have unique areas, like the Fynbos vegetation around Table Mountain (a world heritage site), the dense indigenous forests in
Tsitsikama and Knysna, and the arid areas of the Karoo and Namaqualand (which turns into floral wonderland every year after the seasonal rains).
These are often home to very unique sub-species of butterflies and insects.
They all have popular trails, and there's fantastic and scenic hiking in the Western and Northern Cape.
I actually find the "arid" areas from Cape Town up to Namibia very fascinating, because a lot of the insects and reptiles are uniquely adapted to live
in the sand.
They're also the least populated and well run areas, but that's a matter of choice.
Considering the exchange rate, SA is a cheaper option and simply being based around Cape Town, for example, will provide a range of tours and hiking
opportunities, from just outside the city to trips into the interior, or along the scenic Garden Route.
There's good lodges and guesthouses everywhere, and connecting flights between the provinces.
Some hikes I'd recommend (although for a more stereotypical African bush experience, I'd recommend the game parks):
Table Mountain, virtually just outside the city:
The Cederberg Wilderness Area (has both day and overnight hiking trails). Known for the armadillo lizard and an array of historic rock art:
For a more tropical climate:
(PS. Hope you get a nice sling carrying bag with the didge, because that really helps to enjoy the instrument outdoors!)
edit on 26-6-2012 by
halfoldman because: (no reason given)