Free State Botanical Gardens

The Free State Botanical Gardens pay homage to the abundant indigenous flora found not only in this province, but also in its neighbours, the Northern Cape and Lesotho. Botanical enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the six distinctive gardens as well as its wilderness hiking trails.

The Free State Botanical Gardens there’s a petrified tree trunk, estimated between 150 and 300 milion years old.

The Free State Botanical Gardens, located in Bloemfontein, also known as the City of Roses, are dedicated to cultivating and displaying the varied flora of this region. Roses, of course, feature prominently.

These botanical gardens first opened in 1969, and while much of their appeal lies in their floral beauty, these gardens are also of interest to history buffs: the curator’s house was built by World War II Italian prisoners of war; the old stone walls were built by British troops during the South African War; and prehistoric pottery relics found in the area are on show in the Education Centre.

But if it’s the flora you’ve come to see, you won’t be disappointed. The Free State Botanical Gardens houses over 400 species of plants from the region,

Adventures in and around Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein is fairly flat and boasts excellent weather, so it’s no wonder thrill-seekers make the most of its adventure activities. Whether you’re into hiking, skydiving, watersports or 4×4 trails, there’s an itinerary for you.

White river rafting on the Ash River near Clarens is a popular adventure option. The level 3 and 4 rapids are not dependent on rainfall and are available 365 days a year.

Bloemfontein residents love their sport. Rugby is as popular as football, and hockey enjoys good support, while cricket lures the crowds during the summer months. However, there are many more adventurous activities to be enjoyed outside of conventional sporting disciplines.

Locals say that the Free State province is so flat you can see right into next week! Flat terrain in the south of the province and around Bloemfontein gives way to highlands on the Lesotho border to the east. Such ideal terrain, combined with South Africa’s beautiful weather, opens up myriad opportunities for those adventurous at heart.

Bloemfontein-based aerial adventures include plane flips, skydiving, hot air ballooning, paragliding and gliding.

Kayaking on the Gariep Dam is popular, while the Vaal River is suitable for more

Port Elizabeth Museum, Eastern Cape

From huge whale skeletons that float in the air, an eccentric pipe collection, all manner of snakes and a cannon recovered from a famous shipwreck to an exciting outdoor dinosaur display where the exhibits ‘come alive’, the Port Elizabeth Museum at Bayworld caters for a whole family’s tastes and preferences.

The Port Elizabeth Museum provided snake serum for World War II Allied Forces serving in North Africa.

The Port Elizabeth Museum at Bayworld had decidedly lacklustre beginnings back in 1856 when few of the town’s 7000 residents could be bothered with historical collections. However, 50 years later, a firecracker museum director called Mr FW Fitzsimons turned it into a dynamic space.

Suddenly, the formerly fast-asleep and run-down museum was offering intriguing exhibitions of live snakes and something called a ‘magic lantern show’ – silent movies in their early stage, complete with a piano player providing the sound track from the side of the room.

In fact, the snakes were so popular that a dedicated Snake Park was built on the new museum grounds and the first handler became a bit of a legend. Snakes bit him at least once a

Kimberley, Northern Cape

Kimberley, thanks to the fevered diamond rush of the 1870s, has a glittering past. Take a guided tour of a once-operational diamond mine, which descends a staggering 840m below the earth. For those who prefer being above ground, visit the city’s glittering choice of jewellery stores.

There were actually five ‘big holes’ in Kimberley – diamond mines that mined volcanic kimberlite pipes. Other than the Big Hole, they’ve now mostly been filled in.

Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape province, is known as the Diamond City.

Start your exploration of the city at its main attraction: the Big Hole. Imagine a hand-dug hole the size of eight football fields and you have some idea of the labour that went into creating the Big Hole.

Adjacent to the Big Hole is the Kimberley Mine Museum, which brings to life the way the city was during the frenetic days of the diamond rush. Many of the buildings here are originals that have been moved over the years to this spot. If you are not claustrophobic, take the guided tour of a once-operational diamond mine which descends a staggering 840m below the

Tanzania Wildlife Adventure

Highlights

  • wildlife viewing in Ngorongoro Crater
  • Tarangire National Park
  • Lake Manyara National Park

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

After a climb on Kilimanjaro or Meru, there are few better ways to glimpse the highlights of northern Tanzanian wildlife than to join this superb safari. The world famous Ngorongoro Crater is considered the “Garden of Eden” of Tanzania in terms of game viewing and we spend a day doing just that . Other highlights while on safari include huge herds of elephants in Tarangire National Park and abundant birdlife at Lake Manyara.

What’s included

  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Private safari vehicle
  • Services of english speaking driver-guide
  • National park entrance fees and conservation fees valued at us$220
  • Accommodation in comfortable safari camp with permanent tents and private bathroom (2 nights)
  • Comfortable 3 star hotel in arusha (1 night)

Itinerary

Day 1 Transfer from Arusha, afternoon safari
Early this morning, your guide will pick you up from your hotel to depart for Tarangire National Park. Lunch will be provided on arrival followed