If you’re planning to travel to South Africa in the future you’re very likely to be overwhelmed by the immense possibilities this beautiful country has to offer. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list so all you need to do is have fun!
Travel too: Kruger National Park
Kruger is arguably the world’s greatest national park. Its biodiversity is unparalleled, with all of Africa’s iconic species present here – elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, hippo and zebra – along with over 100 different species of mammals and over 500 varieties of bird.
With beautiful granite hills lining their southern side, the Lebombo Mountains rise from the savannah in the east, and tropical forests cut across the far north of the 20,000 square kilometre park. The vast network of roads allows you to explore on your own, although there are several guided wildlife tours which will help you make the most of your visit.
Travel Too: Table Mountain National Park
Table Mountain is the most iconic landmark of South Africa and the country’s most photographed attractions. However, in addition to being a prime spot to snap that scenic shot of Cape Town that’ll make everyone on your Facebook newsfeed hate you, it also claims an incredibly high level of biodiversity with about 2,200 species of plants and 1470 floral species found in this National Park. Its many valleys and streams make it an idyllic attraction of Cape Town.
The best views of Cape Town can be found on Table Mountain’s Cableway, a unique and 87-year-old method of seeing the wonders of the city. You can travel up to the summit of the majestic flat-topped mountain and be astounded by vistas of the Mother City, Robben Island and the Peninsula.
You will be 3,500ft above the city in this 5-minute gentle ride with a unique opportunity to spot rock hyrax, lizards, butterflies and a broad array of birdlife from eagles to sunbirds flying above the Cape’s indigenous flora.
Travel Too: Robben Island
Situated off the coast of Cape Town, this island was declared a World Heritage Site due to its long-standing tradition of being a place of suffering, most notably as a political prison where thousands of black political prisoners were locked up, none more famous than Nelson Mandela himself. The existing museum now acts as a reminder of the island’s sad history, but also as the testament to the power of the human spirit in its never-ending quest for freedom and the victory of democracy over oppression.
Travel Too: Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the centre of Cape Town’s working harbour, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is one of South Africa’s most visited destinations. Much of its appeal lies in the quaint setting this busy commercial harbour enjoys – set against a backdrop of magnificent sea and mountain views, the mix of quaint shops and modern offices is too much to pass on.
Travel Too: Cango Caves
A tour of these stunning cave formations is not for the faint-hearted, but if you’re reasonably fit and steady of nerves you’ll have a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore Africa’s largest cave. With an experienced guide to take you deep inside the Cango Caves in a two-hour excursion, you’re guaranteed to remember this stunning natural exhibition with bizarre rock formations, stunningly beautiful helictites and crystals, cave pools and peaceful grottos for the rest of your days.
Travel Too: Apartheid Museum
For anyone wanting to understand and experience the full extent of what apartheid in South Africa was all about, a visit to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg is absolutely crucial.
The museum is a beacon of hope, and a 20th-century historic landmark showing the world what South Africa is doing to come to terms with its oppressive past and working towards a future that all South Africans can call their own.
Cradle of Humankind
This cultural monument offers the opportunity to learn about the birthplace of humanity, discover a range of wonderful wildlife and fully experience the immersive cultural significance of what this place means to us as human beings. The Cradle of Humankind is one of eight World Heritage Sites in the country. It’s home to around 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils. The area is also home to a diversity of birds, animals and plants, some of which are rare or endangered.
Blyde River Canyon
The Motlatse Canyon Nature Reserve is located in Mpumalanga and it’s the world’s third largest canyon, offering some of the most spectacular views in South Africa with epic viewing points such as God’s Window or the water-eroded Bourke’s Luck Potholes. You can choose to explore the gorgeous landscape of this reserve through a myriad of activities such as hiking, swimming to scenic drives, in view of thousands of species of flora with several beautiful waterfalls. In addition, the abundance of wildlife will give you a chance to spot Verreaux’s eagle, the rare bald ibis which nests on the cliff ledges, and all five species of South African primates.
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