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HISTORY OF SOUTH AFRICA

Eleven official languages, numerous native tongues, dozens of tribes, and yet not one native word for stranger….

South Africa FlagWas it the lure of the Dark Continent that first sent adventurers to Africa? Or was it the need of the Dutch East India Trading Company to secure a stable port and watering station in Africa on its all-important East India Trading Route before someone else did? It was probably both reasons that brought the Dutch to the Cape of Good Hope in the mid-1600s. Whatever the reason, Africa has always attracted adventurers seeking fame and fortune in a land so often unforgiving. Some of the first explorers and hunters included the famous Dr David Livingstone, Cornwallis Harris, Thomas Baines and later Courtney Selous.

With exploration, soon came the first discoveries of diamonds and gold in the late 1800s, attracting men like Cecil John Rhodes to these shores. South Africa found itself in a rush for wealth of such magnitude that the resulting greed eventually escalated into war, a war that would stretch the British Empire and cause segregation between the Dutch and the English for years to come. This segregation not only affected the European settlers of South Africa but also started the oppression of the Black People, leading to the turbulent years of Apartheid in South Africa. The twentieth century brought the rise of strong young black leaders to South Africa such as; Nelson Mandela. Since independence in 1994, things have started to change for the better. Today, South Africa is a country of tremendous opportunity.

South Africa is a country of wide-open spaces, breathtaking coastlines, abundant with wildlife and is inhabited by such a diverse group of people that often it is referred to as the Rainbow Nation. It is situated on the Southern most tip of Africa and spans an area of 471,443 square miles. Stretching from our majestic Table Mountain and the Cape Winelands in the Southwest to the subtropical Kwazulu-Natal coast in the East, touched by the warm Mozambique Current and the Indian Ocean. From the coast, the land rises over a mountainous escarpment towards the drier semi-arid interior, which ultimately rises to the highest point in South Africa, the Drakensburg at 3,408 meters above sea level. It then drops down to the West until it comes to rest against the cold Benguela Current and Atlantic Ocean. To the North, South Africa is bordered by Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.

The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand. There are 100 cents to 1 rand. There are exchange bureaus in all towns and airports and in most hotels. We suggest you carry some US dollars in either cash or travelers checks with you to exchange for Rands, once in South Africa. Note that all leading credit cards such as American Express, Master Card, Visa and Diners Club are widely accepted.

South Africa boasts a harsh climate with the Southwest experiencing a moderate Mediterranean climate and winter rainfall (May through August). The further North you travel, the more extreme the temperatures become, with daytime summer temperatures reaching well above 30° Celsius, while in winter the evenings drop down to freezing. The big rains in the North occur in our summer months November through March, but occasional winter rainfall can be expected.

With such a Rainbow Nation, South Africa has 11 official languages: English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Swati, Sesotho, Sepedi, Tswana, Tsonga and Venda. English is the predominant language and is spoken as either a first or second language by most South Africans.

South Africa is truly a different destination, you will experience great hospitality from a friendly nation and enjoy some of the best wildlife in Africa. Nevertheless, this is Africa and at times it moves along at its own pace. Take in every minute ~ it's what makes it so special.

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Endorsed Outfitter

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Craig Boddington chose to endorse John X Safaris and recognize us as one of the top outfits in the world.
Craig Boddington Endorsed Outfitter

What People Are Saying

Three generations of hunters, who had their 1st safari and 1st kill with John X Safaris.

~ Paul Adams Jr. '15 from

"My June 2014 hunt with your group should be considered a once in a lifetime event, a dream come true. I cannot thank you and your entire team for the hospitality, friendship, professionalism - the comments could go on and on. Your team took care of every detail. This is too awesome of a trip not to share with my family. I will be bringing my daughter out next June to allow her this incredible experience. Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you soon."

~ Mike Jarvis '14 from

"Juan did an excellent job as PH and Steven worked hard as tracker and skinner. Top quality accommodations, friendly atmosphere and Willem was a great host. John X showed me again that they are a 1st class operation. Many thanks to Carl, Gary and all the staff for a job well done!"

~ Jim Haselberger '12 from USA

"I wanted to express my deep appreciation to you and your staff for making my first African Safari a HUGE success! Your staff, the accommodations, food and hunts were first class! My PH, Louwrens Lombard, was fantastic and I enjoyed our time together. His experience and skill allowed me to take the trophies I desired. This was my first trip to South Africa, it will not be my last and I will one day soon visit old friends at John X again."

~ Jay Pippin '14 from

"Thomas brought me to South Africa. Juan MacDonald our PH and guide made me a hunter. Thanks to all of you for making my stay in SA an outstanding experience, I have received many wonderful memories from this time."

~ Ingalill Haglund '13 from

"The total safari was all above any expectations! The staff and lodging was professional and very kind, always willing to please. The hunting was very good, conducted in a professional, safe, and fun environment. Our PH T-bone was the best!"

~ Wade Fairchild '14 from