South Africa is a land of adventure where Lions roam freely in vast game reserves; vineyards stretch across the Cape wine lands and mountains cascade into the sea. Then there’s the dramatic, sweeping terrain and safaris, along with modern cities, complete with exciting cultural and gastronomic scenes.
If you’re going to South Africa soon, don’t miss our top five must-sees in South Africa.
For the drama of plunging cliffs, dramatic crags and peaks rising over 3,350 metres above sea level, don’t miss this 1,126 kilometre-long mountain range, ideal for climbers and walkers. Most people head for the northern and central Drakensberg area, famed for its particularly beautiful scenery.
This stunning, UNESCO-listed area consists of four valleys, commencing at the Champagne Valley in the Central Berg and continuing on through to the Cathedral Peak and Didima Valley. It progresses to the Royal Natal National Park and Amphitheatre Valley, ending up at the Middledale Pass Valley in the Northern Berg. All four valleys boast jaw-dropping mountain views while each maintains its own beauty and character – seeing really is believing!
Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park
Thanks to over 40 natural parks and game reserves, South Africa is not short of outstanding terrain and wildlife. Kgalagadi is just one case in point. Herds of springbok, gemsbok, eland and blue wildebeest along with cheetahs, leopards and lions all roam amid the striking red sand dunes and thorny vegetation of this 3.6 million hectare conservation area – one of the biggest of its kind in the world.
Stay at the wilderness lodges or bush camps for a nature-loving holiday you won’t forget. Whether you’re viewing the game from safari jeeps or on the ground on guided walks with the park rangers, there’s so much to explore and admire – have your camera at the ready.
The Garden Route
At just over 300 kilometres long, this road trip between Mossel Bay in the west and Storms River in the east will have you marvelling at the incredibly diverse landscape and wildlife along the way.
Enrich your memories with glorious golden beaches, the stunning Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountain ranges and ancient forests rich with walking trails and exotic animals. Witness the daily lives of elephants and the rare Knysa Lourie bird along with killer and humpback whales out at sea. This route is ideal for seeing the sights, stopping off to explore on foot or from the comfort of your car seat.
The Golden Mile
For a dose of glitz, head for Durban’s Golden Mile, popular among surfers as much as the fashionable crowds. Experience the high-class restaurants and amusement arcades or visit uShaka Marine World which boasts the biggest aquarium in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Golden Mile runs alongside Durban’s stunning sandy beach where swimming is great all year round thanks to its warm, sub-tropical climate and well monitored beaches.
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve
Yet another of South Africa’s awe-inspiring sites the Blyde River Canyon is the third largest in the world. Carved out of 2.4 kilometres of red sandstone rising from a wooded valley, its huge and strange cylindrical rock structures are a sight to behold, as are its mysteriously intricate Bourke’s Luck potholes.
This monumental nature reserve also boasts and abundance of animal life, including samango and vervet monkeys and chacma baboons.