Africa is the world’s second-largest continent. At the very bottom lies aptly named South Africa, and an almost straight line from that country to the continent’s northeast tip takes you to Egypt, with several countries and almost 4,000 miles in between.
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Explore the charming city of Cape Town at the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa. This award-winning hotel is surrounded by majestic views and offers luxurious services.
Africa is home to more countries than any other continent on Earth, including the disparate countries of Egypt and South Africa which act as north-south bookends, the former located along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the latter possessing both Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean coastlines. Egypt is a transcontinental country whose Sinai Peninsula is on the Asian continent. It is an arid land of three deserts and home to the Nile, Africa’s longest river. South Africa, conversely, has both subtropical and temperate climates and some of the world’s most famous wine regions. However, both countries boast ancient civilizations, awe-inspiring landscapes, and unique African cultures.
What to Do
South Africa: Cape Town - To take in all of the city at a glance, head to the top of Table Mountain, located in Table Mountain National Park, a Natural New 7 Wonder of the World where you will also find the Cape of Good Hope. Robben Island once served as a maximum-security prison for political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned there for 18 years. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a museum and one of South Africa’s top destinations. Experience Cape Town’s best dining, shopping and entertainment at Victoria & Albert Waterfront, located at the foot of Signal Hill on Table Bay.
Johannesburg - Once home to anti-apartheid legends Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, visitors to Johannesburg can get a glimpse of how these luminaries lived at the Nelson Mandela National Museum, also known as Mandela House, and Tutu House. Both sites are located in Soweto, a sprawling township of Johannesburg, on Vilakazi Street, believed to be the only street in the world where two Nobel Laureates have lived. Johannesburg also boasts the Apartheid Museum, which is regarded as the world’s pre-eminent institution concerning 20th-century South Africa and the rise and fall of apartheid. For the center of all things cultured, creative, and caffeinated, head to Maboneng. Once a nondescript industrial district, today Maboneng (place of light) is known as one of the hippest neighborhoods in the country, and is overflowing with coffee shops, clothing boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. The Cradle of Humankind, located near Johannesburg, is a paleoanthropological site and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to an intricate system of limestone caves that have been a treasure trove of early hominin fossils.
Egypt: Cairo - The Giza Pyramid Complex contains the Great Pyramid, which is the largest pyramid in Egypt and the oldest and last remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; the Pyramid of Khafre, the second largest and the tomb of Pharaoh Khafre; and the Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the three main pyramids. The Giza Pyramid Complex is also home to the world-famous Great Sphinx. Take a trip back in time in Coptic Cairo. This section of Old Cairo contains some of the holiest and most historical sites in the city, including some of Egypt’s earliest churches. Some of its most venerated attractions include the Babylon Fortress, which was built by the Romans; and Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church (Abu Serga), one of the oldest Coptic churches in Egypt purportedly built on the site where Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus once rested. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo exhibits more than 100,000 unique artifacts and possesses the largest collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world, including the Golden Mask of King Tutankhamun.
City of Luxor – The Karnak Temple Complex consists of a plethora of pylons, temples, obelisks, chapels, and other structures and is dominated by the Temple of Amun-Ra, considered to be where the Egyptian god Amun lived on earth. Construction of Luxor Temple, which began around 1390 B.C., took hundreds of years during the reigns of Amenhotep III, Ramses II, and Tutankhamun. Here you will find the Court of Amenhotep III, the Court of Ramses II, the Chapel of Amun and much more.