South Africa has gained more and more recognition as being one of the top tourist destinations in Africa. It's not difficult to see why; South Africa is stunning! The country of South Africa has beauty in all forms, ranging from natural beauty, manufactured beauty, cultural beauty and much more! We've put our heads together with our loyal Facebook followers and came up with some of the most beautiful spots in South Africa. Here's a list of 9 places in South Africa that we think are the most beautiful. If you haven't ticked these places off your bucket list yet, here's even more motivation for you!
Table Mountain is an iconic landmark of South Africa's mother city, Cape Town. This flat-topped table-shaped mountain, standing at an impressive 1085 m, offers visitors a panoramic view of paradise over the city, surrounding areas, nearby mountain ranges and the Atlantic Ocean. Table Mountain has an array of hiking trails (some quite challenging while others are suitable for kids), a scenic cable car ride to the top, mountain climbing trails and abseiling. Table Mountain is home to around 2 200 species of fynbos - more than the amount found throughout the entire United Kingdom! Your visit to Cape Town is nowhere complete without a trip up Table Mountain.
The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) is the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere and among the largest in the world. Situated at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) near the small town of Sutherland in the Northern Cape province, the remote surroundings provide you with exquisite star-gazing opportunities with practically zero light pollution. Astronomers from all across the globe have travelled to SALT just to gaze up into the southern hemisphere's crystal clear, dark skies.
The impressive 70m high Elands River Falls is located in Waterval Boven, situated on the famous Panorama Route in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. The gushing waters of the Elands River stream in 3 separate ribbons over a sheer cliff, splash onto rocky boulders and into a deep, clear pool. A wooden observation platform offers a great view of the pools and the cliffs offer some of the best abseiling and rock climbing opportunities in South Africa.
The Tsitsikamma National Park is situated along South Africa's famous Garden Route and makes for a superb stop whilst travelling this route. 'Tsitsikamma' is a Khoisan word meaning, 'place of much water', given to this area suitably as it incorporates 80 km of scenic coastline and vibrant river gorges running through and out towards the ocean. Other contributing factors to Tsitsikamma making it onto our list are the ever-green forests, rocky cliffs, magical valleys and mystical mountains. What a great place for kayaking, quad biking or scuba dives!
Chapmans Peak Drive is situated in Cape Town, running directly along the Atlantic Ocean between Noordhoek and Hout Bay. It's the end result of outstanding road engineering which took place during World War 2, combined with Cape Town's natural beauty. It runs for 9 km and has a total of 114 curves that at times can get a little bit hairy due to steep and rocky turns. The view from the drive is breath taking and surreal, with quaint picnic spots and lookout point littered along the way.
The Cederberg mountain range and nature reserve is located near the town of Clanwilliam, about 270 km outside of Cape Town. The mountains are admired for their dramatic rock formations, ancient San rock art as well as the beautiful orange shade of stone. The Cederberg offers some of the best rock climbing trails and bouldering in the world, notably on the Krakadouw and Tafelberg peaks. Spending a weekend in the Cederberg is a must if you're into camping, hiking or mountain climbing.
The Blyde River Canyon is easily one of the most beautiful spots in South Africa, boasting impressive views over edges dropping 800m into the riverbed, waterfalls, and teeming wildlife of hippos, crocodiles, birds and more. The 'Three Rondavels' (or Three Sisters) are 3 huge dolomite rock spirals rising out of the far wall of the Blyde River canyon and are notable landmarks. The Blyde River Canyon is also home to one of most phenomenal geological phenomenon in South Africa, the ‘Bourke’s Luck Potholes’ which have taken thousands of years to form. This outstanding natural feature of South Africa is a must when in the Mpumalanaga Province.
The Hole In The Wall is an iconic landmark off the shores in Coffee Bay located in the Eastern Cape province. It's categorised by a huge detached cliff that has a giant opening through its centre carved by the waves. Native mythology tells a tale that the river running through the Hole-in-the-Wall (Mpako River) once formed a landlocked lagoon as its access to the sea was blocked by a cliff. It is said that a beautiful local girl living in a village near the lagoon was seen by one of the 'sea people' - semi deities who look like humans but have supple wrists and ankles and flipperlike hands and feet - who became overwhelmed by her beauty and tried to woo her. Her father learned of the love relationship she had with one of the sea people and forbade her to see him so at high tide one night, the sea people came to the cliff and, with the help of a huge fish, rammed a hole through the centre of the cliff. As they swam into the lagoon they shouted and sang, causing the villagers to hide in fear. In the commotion, the girl and her lover were reunited and disappeared into the sea. Other native legend says that this is the gateway to the world of ancestors.
The Edge Mountain Retreat is an accommodation establishment located in a town in the Eastern Cape province called Hogsback. It's surrounded by cliffs, a deep gorge, dramatic views and unspoilt indigenous forests. Guests can explore the establishment's picturesque gardens, filled with a rose garden, azaleas, rhododendrons, beeches, birches, dogwoods, camellias and enormous oaks, chestnuts and liquid ambers. Don't forget about wandering through their whimsical labyrinth! Looking upwards, you're sure to catch a glimpse of eagles, jackal buzzards, Cape Parrots and other bird species soaring across the sky.
A shoutout goes to Melissa Govender (who has been following us on Facebook since the beginning days of Tours Africa), Blaine Smith and Inja Ya Mancwaba Ntlathi-Kalamore for your valued contributions. We'd love to hear your opinion on which spot in South Africa YOU think is the most beautiful.. don't be afraid to leave comments below!
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