To say I love to explore and adventure around South Africa is an understatement. It should be a country on everyone’s bucket list as a destination one has to visit at least once in their lifetime just as it was on mine. This country is special and no amount of words can begin to describe the sheer beauty and abundance of amazing attractions one can expect to experience. South Africa has the perfect mix of affordable holidays, natural beauty, good weather, abundant wildlife and can rightly claim the title of being the adventure capital of the world.
Some of my favourite South African destinations that have made my bucket list include…
Growing up as a child I was active and loved to climb and explore rocky areas. Then I discovered the Cango Caves and instantly added it to my bucket list! A series of caves located in the Swartberg Mountain range in the Klein Karoo. They are a definitely a popular experience for travellers on a South African safari through the Garden Route.
These caves are made up of a succession of underground holes and enclosures and offer plenty of adventurous expeditions and discoveries which boast spectacular trails amongst magnificent limestone formations and are located 29-kilometres outside of Oudtshoorn, an area well-known for its ostrich farming. There are 2 types of ways to explore these caves: adventure tours and standard tours. The adventure tour is for the more daring traveller who wishes to delve into the deeper and darker parts of the Caves, including some of its small and narrow tunnel areas. The standard tour is a more relaxed way of the exploring the underground caves.
For nature lovers this is the perfect destination along the Garden Route you will not want to miss. Named after the Khoisan phrase that means ‘place of abundant water’, people believed it to be a place that sustains life and you’ll certainly feel the spiritual significance as you travel through it. Located roughly 615km East of Cape Town along the Garden Route Tsitsikamma has a stunning coastline, dramatic rivers and indigenous forest with plenty of activities one can look forward to partaking in.
For those who love walking and hiking the Tsitsikamma Mountains offer hiking trails of various levels, and the world-renowned Otter Trail. It is also home to the Bloukrans Bridge – the world’s highest bungee jump – for those with a daredevil side to them. For a unique adventure, why not go zip lining across the Kruis River, a new exciting experience available within the Tsitsikamma region, 8km from the Storms River Bridge. If you prefer a different type of activity, there are also quad biking tours, wall climbing and abseiling and plenty more to look forward to.
Addo Elephant National Park
I guess as an African living in Zimbabwe I’ve always known about elephants and in many ways lost my fascination for them. It was not until I spent some time with a former colleague and friend of mine from Switzerland, that I re-gained my love for elephants. She practically adored these majestic giants of the African landscapes. They are the largest Mammals yet are as gentle as can be, even allowing you to feed them and get close to them.
The perfect place to see these giants is Addo Elephant National Park located in Port Elizabeth; South Africa’s 3rd largest National Park. The park offers a wide range of game viewing and outdoor activities, which include horse-back tours, guided walking, hiking and 4×4 trails and a picnic area for day visitors. Nothing could be better if you are a bush lover.
Blyde River Canyon (Mpumalanga)
When you talk to many people and ask them which places they dream to see within South Africa they will rightly say places like Kruger National Park, Cape Town, Knysna and so on… but there is one area that can rival all these destination and is located on the scenic Panorama Route, the famous Blyde River Canyon – the largest green canyon in the world.
Home to some of the most jaw-dropping and breath-taking panoramic and scenic views within South Africa. You can expect to visit well known viewpoints such as Wonder View, Gods Window and more along the route.
The canyon has a distance of almost 60km from Graskop all the way up the Abel Erasmus Pass and is one of the largest canyons in the world. The best way to enjoy and explore this area is by taking a game drive in the Nature Reserve.