The beautiful country of South Africa offers just about any outdoor activity you can think of! From golden savannah, hauntingly beautiful deserts, beautiful beaches, and stunning mountain ranges to diverse wildlife and adventure and game parks, SA has it all!
So, if you want to escape the busy city life and become one with nature for a little while, here are some of the best destinations in South Africa you definitely need to visit!
Dubbed as the “Jewel of the Eastern Free State”, Clarens is a small town situated in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains. It is famous for its wonderful climate, 5-star Clarens accommodation surrounded by stunning sandstone mountains and is probably one of the most charming and scenic spots in all of SA.
Gifted with more trees than any other Free State towns, it features fresh to light green willows and colorful blossoms of fruit trees, offering unforgettable sights during the spring and heart fluttering shades of autumn attracting photographers, nature lovers, and artists from around the world.
But not only that, if you are looking for some nature adventures, the town also offers quad biking, river rafting, abseiling, rappelling, horse riding and white water rafting.
2. Cape Town
If there is one place you absolutely need to see in SA, it is Cape Town. This is referred to as the Mother City and is, by population, the 2nd largest settlement in all of SA. Nature surrounds this multicultural city, nestled between the sea and rugged range of mountains. For the most spectacular overview, you can glide up via the cableway or hike your way to the peak of the flat-topped Table Mountain.
See the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens or hike up Lion’s Head to heighten up every sense in your body with the stunning panoramic city vistas. Take a trip along the waterfront boardwalk and you’ll see whales waving from the harbor while penguins waddle along False Bay. At sunset, nature lovers will love the dusk ritual called “sundowners” at Chapman’s Peak Drive to watch the sun and sea become one.
3. The Garden Route
Another absolutely amazing region on the SA map, the Garden Route is definitely one of those places you need to visit. This 200km stretch between Storm River and Mossel Bay is one of the most scenic routes in the whole wide world! It passes through coastal cliffs, lagoons, rolling green hills, lakes, and pretty coastal towns.
You could drive the Garden Route in just half a day, but you will not see much by sitting in your car. So, take a few days and explore the area. The highlights of this route include the Garden Route National Park with its thick, lush forests, gorges and tidal pools. Visit the charming town of Knysna snuggled between a beautiful lagoon and thick forests. Don’t forget to see the Ostrich Capital of SA, Oudtshoorn as well as the magnificent Cango Caves. Take time to say hello to the seal colony at Robberg Nature Reserve and try out adventures such as whale watching trips, elephant back rides as well as tree canopy trips and bungee jumping ventures.
4. Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve
Also known as the Motlatse River Canyon, the stunning Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is a favorite stop between Kruger National Park and Johannesburg. This is home to the 2nd largest canyon of Africa. Rich diversity of plants and wildlife, waterfalls, lush and thick tropical foliage, rock formations and glistening rivers all create a prominent canvas of texture and hue.
The best way to explore this park is by hiking the extensive trail or via scenic driving routes. Make sure to check out the panoramic viewpoints such as God's Window and Three Rondavels. White water rafting, boat trips, and game viewing are also available.
5. Kruger National Park
A trip to SA isn’t complete without visiting a game reserve. And being a popular safari park across the world, the Kruger National Park is the best one of all. This park offers you the opportunity to meet the famous Big Five— leopard, rhino, buffalo, lion and elephant as well as other astounding wildlife.
It’s also home to archaeological sites and Bushman rock paintings. It can be explored by organizing a walking safari, drive on the large network of sealed roads, or soar over the river systems, gallery forests, and vast grasslands in a hot air balloon.
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