South Africa
In South Africa students can enjoy nature reserves, visit untouched areas of wilderness and learn in museums that chart the revolution against apartheid. Clarissa Waldron explores the Rainbow Nation.

With coastlines facing both the Atlantic and Indian oceans, South Africa's geography is varied, from the scorched Kalahari Desert in the north to the blooming vineyards of Walker Bay, Cape Point and Stellenbosch in the south.

Not only does South Africa enjoy a lovely temperate climate with plenty of sunny, dry days, it also offers numerous spectacular beaches and opportunities to try outdoor activities such as surfing, hiking, bungee jumping, paragliding and mountain biking. The country is also home to the oldest meteor crater in the world, the Vredefort crater, near Parys, which is estimated to be 2.023 billion years old.


Students who choose schools in Cape Town will revel in its beautiful nature and easy-going lifestyle. The city is known for the iconic Table Mountain and its vibrant music scene at venues like The Piano Bar or Mama Afrika, informs Kelly Dent at EC English

Sterkfontein lies in the country's capital Johannesburg,  a series of limestone caves and a World Heritage Site. The caves are an ongoing excavation site and a great place to see four-million-year-old hominid and animal fossils.


Animal lovers may also be able to spot some of the 'Big Five' game animals - lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard - in South Africa's many national parks.


The cost of living in South Africa is very affordable as Johannes Kraus at Kurus English says, "At the moment the South African rand is quite weak compared to the euro and US dollar, this decreases costs for students significantly."


Things to do and see

"The Lion Park is home to more than 80 lions," says Vivi van Ketel at Avenue English, "including rare white lions, and other carnivores such as cheetahs, hyenas and jackals. Cub World gives you the opportunity to hold some of the cubs and to learn more about these big cats."


"Visit Addo Elephant Park in Port Elizabeth," recommends Nadia Chalkley at AFDA "It's a diverse wildlife conservation park with cabin accommodation options in picturesque forest areas offering student volunteering opportunities."

In the Cape area, renowned for its wine festivals, Melissa Dietrich at Good Hope Studies advises students to visit "lush wine farms offering an assortment of tours and tastings".

"The Peninsula Tour offers a scenic coastal drive via Chapman's Peak and Simon's Town, make a stop at Boulders' beach to see the penguins and visit the fairest cape in all the world at Cape of Good Hope," advises Annaëlle More at Cape Studies


5 Places to Eat/Drink:

 Gavin Eyre at IH Cape Town highlights local produce markets such as Blaauwklippen, Oranjezicht City Market, Hout Bay Harbour Market and the Biscuit Mill. Meanwhile, Annaëlle recommends the chilli chocolate steak at Bombay Bicycle Club in Cape Town.


Get your face painted in African style at Moyo, "a truly African restaurant", says Vivi, "and chose from a menu that includes springbok, crocodile and ostrich meat".

"If a South African braai is what you are after, try heading out to the township for a traditional beer drinking, meat eating afternoon at Mzolis with loud music and jovial locals," says Chene van Rensburg UCT English Language Centre



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