Eleven official languages, numerous native tongues, dozens of tribes, and yet not one native word for stranger….
Was 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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What People Are Saying
Memories of crawling through thorn bushes, mud and laying on ant piles waiting for a huge horned animal to step out into the clearing. Taking numerous magnificent trophies and hanging out with the great members of John X Safaris and Gunwerks team will be memories that last. The nightly stories with the gang were awesome. Keep doing what you do... Trevor Krueger - Gunwerks~ Trevor Kruger '15 from USA
"We have had such a great time! The experience of a lifetime! Our guide Ed was fantastic, we loved him. He and Chris got along so well. Carl has taken very good care of both of us this trip. The food and lodging was so great. We were able to stay at Tree Tops and the staff there was wonderful to us.
Thanks for everything, we had a wonderful vacation!"
"So much more than what we expecting! Over the top service with a great team! Thanks again Carl and team!"~ Kelly & Suzanne Edwards '14 from
"Words cannot express the amazing, incredible, awesome experience I've had. My PH, Greg, and tracker, Bless, were brilliant. I learned so much from both of them. I thank them for sharing their knowledge. The animals were vast and stunning. So many! I almost learned how to spot them and know what they were! John X Safaris does such an excellent job with all aspects of the trip - From the hunting, the service, the accommodations, the food, and the game drives. I did not have one bad day or even one bad minute. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart."~ Cari Smith '14 from
"Our 1st Trip to John X Safaris and it will not be our last!"~ Randal Spence & Emily Belue '13 from
"Our 2014 reunion tour was much more than I dreamed of. The John X team members all went way above their positions to make me feel like family. From the quality of trophies harvested, the fantastic meals, and great accommodations to the camaraderie in the evenings, everything was perfect. A very special thank you to my PH, Stix, his patience and encouragement in helping me harvest extremely nice mature trophies will never be forgotten."~ Dave Moser '14 from