Nelson Mandela once described South Africa as the most beautiful place on earth, with its breathtaking scenery, wildlife safaris, active adventures, vibrant culture and friendly people. I’m thrilled to announce that, starting today, you can explore what makes the country so spectacular through our new online exhibition -- South Africa: an explorer’s paradise. Through over 500 high-resolution photographs and videos, 20 expertly-curated stories and 60 Street Views, you can join a safari to meet lions and elephants, or feel the rhythm of the cities and visit ancient geological sites. Step inside the oldest caves in the world and zoom into vast savannas, lush forests and sparkling oceans.
Here are four places to start:
Caption: A lioness photographed on a night drive at the Kruger National Park, from the collection of South African Tourism
1. Meet the Big Five in the South African bush
South Africa is famous for its awe-inspiring safaris, which allow visitors to experience the raw wonder of nature. Part of what makes the experience so special is the opportunity to see the Big Five: lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinos and elephants. Get to know these remarkable animals through exhibitions like Superstars of the South African Bush, or explore breathtaking views of the South African bushveld in Game Drives: A South African Experience.
Caption: Aerial view of Hole in the Wall in the Eastern Cape, from the collection of South African Tourism
2. Explore the country’s hidden gems
Do you know the myth of Hole in the Wall, about a young woman who falls in love with a sea deity? Or that Table Mountain is home to species that can’t be found anywhere else on earth, like the Table Mountain Ghost Frog? Get to know some of our country’s best kept secrets.
Caption: White River Rafting in Free State, South Africa, from the collection of South African Tourism
3. Take a virtual active adventure
If you’re the outdoorsy sort, South Africa has a lot to offer, from multi-day hikes and panoramic mountain views to rock climbing and rafting down roaring waters. Be sure to Head over to the Place of Great Noise where the raging waters of the Augrabies Falls meet the Orange River, South Africa’s longest river.
Caption: View of the Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga, from the collection of the South African Tourism Board
4. Travel to 55 locations with Google Street View
Use Street View to explore South Africa’s most breathtakingly beautiful sites: Visit Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain; experience the rocky plains of the Cederberg, where you can view the five-meter-high Maltese Cross; or amble through the lush Big Forest Tree Walk, taking in the ancient foliage around you.
Curious to see more? Check out g.co/sharesouthafrica or download the Google Arts & Culture app.
Posted by Sisa Ntshona, Chief Executive Officer, South African Tourism