We all know that South Africa has some wonderful holiday destinations to escape to – places like Cape Town and Krueger Park are two of the hottest destinations for holiday makers – but there are plenty of other hidden gems in South Africa that make for a great escape. This country’s diverse landscape and range of cultures means that there are plenty of relatively unheard of destinations which make for a great holiday experience.
Sitting on the West Coast this old fishing village has a rich history and a variety of activities in which you can participate. Situated just 90 minutes from Cape Town this picturesque location has acted as an escape for residents of the city for many years thanks to its huge mixture of wildlife. It is home to some 250 different species of bird and offers you the chance to view dolphins and whales in their natural habitat as you relax on the sandy beaches. You can indulge in sea kayaking, spear fishing excursions, strolls along its famously white beach, or try some diving all at your own leisurely pace. Just outside of Paternoster is the Columbine Nature Reserve which in spring time opens up a huge variety of spring flowers making for an opportunity to enjoy a stroll through its beautiful landscape.
Photo credit: Marylyn Jeans
Another seaside town, Wilderness is located on the Southern Cape of South Africa. This small town experiences a perfect climate all year round meaning that whether you’re looking to holiday in the winter months or during summer time, you’ll be able to experience it at its best. It is a little lesser known as a tourist destination, but this shouldn’t detract from it being a great place to visit. Much like Paternoster, Wilderness is home to beautiful expansive beaches that are a perfect place for visitors to unwind and enjoy its array of wildlife. There are a range of activities which you can participate in from paragliding, to canoeing up the Kaaimans or Touw River. If you’re feeling a little adventurous you can head up to Dolphin Point and take in the wonderful coastline views that make Wilderness such a dreamy place to visit.
This small farming town located in the Free State is quickly becoming a popular destination for tourists. At first glance it may not look like an idyllic getaway destination but it is home to some wonderful locations that will have you returning time and time again. With only around 60 people living in the town permanently you’ll find Rosendal to be a true escape holiday. It features art galleries, cafes and restaurants and a rustic charm that is unmatched by many holiday destinations of the area. If you’re looking for a short break then Rosendal’s remoteness might just be the perfect choice.
Said to be the Ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn is located on the Western Cape of South Africa and has one of the largest populations of ostriches on Earth. As you can guess, much of the tourism revolves around these big birds but it’s also home to some astounding natural beauty. Just outside of the town lies the Cango Caves, Africa’s largest cave system. These caves attract people from all over the world thanks to their wonderful limestone formations and huge halls. If caving and ostriches aren’t your thing, Oudtshoorn offers a variety of other activities which you can take part in. You’ll be able to head out hiking for the day, try heading for the skies in a hot air balloon, or meet its exciting wildlife. Oudtshoorn is a highly diverse place and can be enjoyed by anyone!
Photo credit: Gravitywave
This rugged town is situated in the Eastern Cape of South Africa in a mountainous area south of Lesotho. Its green valley’s are a sight to behold and during the winter months snow falls making it a picture postcard location. The town holds a 9 hole golf course, squash and tennis courts and is an ideal place to head out and fly fish. There are a number of caves in the area that feature art work which dates back hundreds of years that you can visit and take a trip back in time. If you’re looking to relax and enjoy South Africa’s wonderful country side then Barkly East is perfect. Its terrain makes it a hotspot for mountain bikers and hikers alike and is a fascinating place.