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South Africa

Experience South Africa

For us in the Northern Hemisphere, South Africa represents the ideal place to escape to when wintertime blues set in. No surprise, really, considering that it’s just an hour ahead of Central European Time, with direct flights departing daily throughout Europe. Its high density of NephroCare clinics makes it an enjoyable holiday destination for dialysis patients as well. Let’s delve into its wealth of spectacular landscapes, rich culture and diverse history.  

The country is known for its amazing land­scapes, wine and food as well as its tumultu­ous past, most recently during apartheid, which ended in 1994. Today visitors to South Africa are met with an amazing country that has so much to offer.

Captivating Cape Town

Visitors looking for hints of old European charm in this corner of the globe will be delighted by Cape Town, South Africa’s sec­ond largest city, after Johannesburg, with 3.74 million inhabitants. Set against the back­drop of mesmerizing Table Mountain and opening up onto the Atlantic Ocean, the city wins big points for visual appeal.  

Take time to explore what remains of Cape Town’s 350-year-old old town, strikingly juxta­posed next to a modern skyline teeming with high rises. Today, Cape Town’s streets are lined with world-class boutiques and shops from famous brands. The city is equally known for its nightlife and laid-back attitude. If the city seems noticeably calm on a sunny day, chanc­es are locals and tourists alike, quite possibly including celebrities, can be found lounging and playing on nearby beaches.

Off to the cape

When you’ve gotten your fill, escape the city to take in the scenery in the vicinity. One must see: the stunning views from the scenic road along the Atlantic seaboard as you head south along the Cape Peninsula. Consider booking a guided tour that will ferry you to the region’s most famous sights, including Cape Point on the Cape of Good Hope.

The heart of South Africa

Though it’s easy to fall under Cape Town’s charm, vibrant Johannesburg, beating with fer­vour and diversity, would be a real pity to miss. With a population hovering just under 10 million in the greater Johannesburg area, it’s shooting towards megacity status. And its appeal is obvi­ous to anyone who has set foot on the streets of the ‘City of Gold’. Here, you can enjoy top-shopping, take in the ultimate in entertainment and nightlife and savour a breadth and depth of flavours in a metropolis known for its excellent multi-culturalcuisine. Museums paying homage to South Africa’s turbulent past, such as the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, are also worth a visit if you’d like to scratch below the surface of this lively, modern city with a turbulent past and a bright future.

Welcome to Eden

Possibilities abound in South Africa and if an adventure-filled tour rich in natural beauty is what you are after, the Garden Route is a dream come true. Known as South Africa’s Eden, the popular Garden Route primarily runs along the N2 national road, beginning in the inland town of Heidelberg in the Southern Cape and continuing east to Storms River Vil­lage, located along the border of the Eastern Cape. Though no longer a secret, this amaz­ing part of the country comprises ancient woodlands, opulent retirement communities, secluded hideaways in the mountains and breath-taking beaches.

Hire a car or book a tour to witness and ex­plore this outstanding corner of the Earth with your own eyes. And when it’s time for your next dialysis session, you’ll be pleased to learn there’s a NephroCare centre in the town of George, west of the Garden Route and in Jeffreys Bay to the east.

See the Big Five

For those who equate South Africa with sa­fari, Kruger National Park should be at the top of your agenda. Situated on an impressive plot of land encompassing nearly two million hectares with 16 different ecosystems, the park offers endless chances to witness a sea of wild animals in their natural habitat. Lions, buffalos, leopards, rhinos and elephants make up the so-called ‘Big Five’ – just a handful of the 147 different mammals who roam the territory. And don’t forget the nu­merous varieties of trees, fish, reptiles, birds and amphibians that also call the park home. A great way to explore the park is by hopping in a 4x4.

After you’ve enjoyed this experience of a life­time, our staff at the Phalaborwa Centre just outside the park will be happy to welcome you.

Beach bound

South Africa’s sun is calling? Then head to the beach in Durban, known locally as 'South Africa's Playground'. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing sun-drenched beach holiday, espe­cially when temperatures in Europe are at their lowest. Here, there’s something for young and old to enjoy, so why not ask the whole family to come along?  

Spend your days beach combing along the Golden Mile (the long stretch of beach at the foot of the city), relaxing with a good book whilst overlooking the warm waters of the In­dian Ocean or watching your grandchildren splash in the water. Who knows – maybe you’ll even join in! Those seeking an adrena­line rush are invited to paddle out on a surf­board and catch the next wave. Just remem­ber to practice good self care and stay in shady areas during the hottest times of the day. Alternatively, consider travelling during a season when temperatures are lower.

Off the beaten path

If you can’t get enough of South Africa’s nat­ural beauty, head to Blyde River Canyon Na­ture Reserve. Enjoy a lovely scenic drive while taking in the awe-inspiring panorama of the pristine river that’s cut through jagged rocks. Another place that’s not to be missed is the Wild Coast. Located in the northern part of the eastern coast, the section of coastline is considered by many to be one of the wildest – and most beautiful – places on earth.

Beyond South Africa

Those looking to check out neighbouring countries should consider Swaziland, a small land-locked country to the northeast of South Africa, or Namibia, a big country to the north­west of South Africa. Swaziland is worth a stop to take in its variety of landscapes and abundance of cultural treasures. Head to Na­mibia for its long, wild coastline, around half of which is known as the Skeleton Coast; the Namib desert, the oldest desert in the world, and Etosha National Park where, with a little luck, you can see elephants, rhinos and other wildlife.

Can’t wait to set foot on South African soil? We understand the feeling! Start planning your trip today by exploring our network of Nephro­Care centres in the region at NephroCare.com.

We wish you safe and happy travels!

Fun facts about South Africa

Multilingual

11 official national lan­guages are spoken in South Africa, and most South Africans are multilingual.

Graveyard of ships

An estimated 3,000 shipwrecks, including a few fa­mous ones, can be found off the South African coastline.

Capitalising

South Africa has three capital cities, each with their own func­tion: Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative), Bloemfontein (judicial).