East London, South Africa
East London – the largest river port in the country – East London (East London), located in the province of the Eastern Cape. It was founded by the British in 1835. In 1848, the new settlement was named London, and the port built soon became East London. In 1857, the British brought over 2,300 German mercenaries here, who fought on their side during the Crimean War. A few years later, 3,400 more German farmers from Hamburg joined them. Many of the villages around East London therefore have German names.
According to 800zipcodes.com, the East London Museum houses two real treasures: a stuffed coelacanth (or coelacanth) fish and a dodo bird egg. It was believed that the coelacanth disappeared from the face of the earth 60-70 million years ago. But suddenly, on December 22, 1938, the captain of a ship caught a strange fish in the sea near East London, which he brought to the museum for examination. Scientists were amazed to find that this coelacanth is 1.6 meters long and weighs 57 kg. It turned out that this prehistoric fish has survived to this day. The museum carefully preserves the world’s only egg of this dodo bird, which lived on the island of Mauritius, was last seen at the end of the 15th century.
If you make a stop in one of the largest cities in South Africa – Port Elizabeth (Port Elizabeth), you can admire the funny dolphins in the local aquarium, visit the Elephant Park and take sea baths. The first Europeans to visit here were Portuguese navigators. In 1799, the British built a small fort on the ocean for their advanced garrison. In 1820, English settlers founded a city near the fort, which the governor named after his wife, who had died a few years earlier in India. Giant automobile factories were built in its suburbs, and the city itself began to be called the South African Detroit.
The Port Elizabeth Museum features, among other exhibits, a 14-metre-long whale skeleton, and the Snake Park hosts various species of reptiles, birds, and reptiles.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
It is worth mentioning one more, though not a nature reserve, but the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, located in Cape Town on the eastern slope of Table Mountain. The 530 ha garden was established as early as 1913 with the aim of preserving the flora of the Western Cape. Here, under the protection of the state, there are unique specimens of plants growing in southern Africa. The employees of the Garden are engaged not only in protection, but also in breeding rare specimens of plants. In particular, there is a unique collection of various types of cacti. Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is one of the 7 best and most famous botanical gardens in the world. In summer, classical music concerts are regularly held here. Various hiking trails run through the entire garden. The duration of the routes is from 45 minutes (1.5 km) to 3 hours (7.8 km). The garden is open daily from 08:00 to 19:00 in summer and from 08:00 to 18:00 in winter.
The nature of the Central part of the Western Cape is replete with fruit and vine plantations, and its southernmost part – Overberg – up to Cape Agulas is covered with magnificent thickets of wild orchids and tangerine groves.
Rent a Car
Almost all major international car rental companies are represented in South Africa, with locations throughout the country and in the most convenient locations, including all major airports in the country. You can rent a car at one point and rent it at another, for an additional fee. Local rental companies offer lower rates, but a small selection of services. The rental car fleet is quite diverse, but it should be noted that car rental in South Africa is relatively expensive.
The driver must have a valid driving license, with photo and owner’s signature, and must be printed in English. If the license does not meet these requirements, then the driver must have an International License. South Africa has recently introduced rights in the form of a plastic card.
Authorized blood alcohol level for drivers is 0.05%. Violations are punished very severely, up to imprisonment.
The Automobile Association (AA), the largest automobile club in South Africa, provides assistance to tourists who have problems with vehicles. To do this, you need to have a membership card of an automobile club that is part of the International Travel Alliance or the Automobile Federation. AA Emergency Helpline: 0 800 01 01 01
Fasten seat belts!
Seat belts must be fastened, violations are severely punished.
In South Africa, drive on the left. The maximum speed in the city is 60 km/h, unless otherwise indicated by signs. The maximum speed limit on National Highways is 120 km/h unless otherwise indicated by signs and 100 km/h on suburban roads. The inscriptions on the road signs are in English, and the distances are indicated everywhere in meters and km.
Some roads in South Africa are toll roads. Fares vary from place to place, so it’s a good idea to bring enough cash with you.