Hotspots of South Africa
There’s almost too much to see in South Africa – you’d need a lifetime to investigate the beauty of the country and to absorb the diversity of its people. However, our regularly updated list of Top Spots will hopefully offer you at least a starting point from which to enjoy some of the more well known or scenically beautiful places in South Africa. Also take advantage of our rich cultural history by visiting the museums and cultural villages that are mentioned in our Top Spots list.
The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s biggest game reserve covering an area of roughly 2,000,000
hectares. Its best known for the Big 5 – lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino although there is a myriad of other species to spot too. Accommodation ranges from camping to luxury cottages and bush lodges. Choose to explore this beautiful park from the comfort of your car or arrange to join one of the many guided tours.
V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Shop, eat, drink. Work, play or stay at one of South Africa’s most visited destinations. Relax while sipping a drink at any one of the restaurants, cocktail bars, taverns or coffee shops. Savour the absorbing beauty of spectacular sea views and the world famous table mountain. Or take a stroll along the Waterfront and tempt yourself with purchases from over 400 stores catering from budget to super-luxury items. Hotels from sumptious 5-star luxuy to budget accommodation will meet your every need and are centrally located to access the CBD, airport and other major attractions all within a few minutes.
Gold Reef City
A theme park with a decidedley unique flavour. Vist Gold Reef City and get to know the workings of an authentic 19th century gold mine. Watch gold being poured and dream
Come back to reality with a wild ride on one of the many amusement attractions. Enjoy the Victorian Hotel and chance your luck at the casino which boasts 1600 machines and 60 tables.
Africa Museum, Johannesburg
A museum which encapsulates the history of a land that has so much to tell. Gain a better understanding of the complex geological, social, economic and political issues that form part of the uniqueness of South Africa. The musem is situated in what used to be Johannesburgs main fruit and vegetable market.
Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
Visit SAs first apartheid museum and immediately get thrown into the turmoil of racial intolerance by passing through separate entrances for whites and blacks. See the giant images of passbooks which confined blacks to squalid ghettos. Step eventually into the rooms of hope. They show the triumph over apartheid with Nelson Mandelas release in 1990 from 27 years of imprisonment by the white minority regime.
Table Mountain & Cable Car
Take a ride in the newly renovated cable car system which smoothly climbs up the well known Table Mountain. Check out the spectacular views of the Cape peninsula while the cable car slowly rotates to enable you a perfect 360 degree view of the stunning scenery Once at the top refresh yourself at the bistro or restaurant with a selection of fine local wines and hot or cold buffets. Once you’ve eaten your fill check out the area’s unique ecology with a walk along the top of the mountain.
Visit the island where Nelson Mandela (Madiba) was imprisoned for 27 years for his beliefs. The island, 12 kilometres from Cape Town was a place of banishment and exile and became well known for its institutional brutality especially against the opponents of apartheid.
Out of the depths of the bushveld rises Sun City. A vast entertainment complex with four world class hotels including the world famous Lost City. Surrounding the Lost City hotel is 25 hectares of botanical jungle meandering down to the Valley of the Waves – a pleasure paradise for thrill seekers. You’ll be hard-pressed not to find something here that appeals, whether its pampering yourself at the health spa, strolling in the botanical gardens, taking your chance in the casino’s or taking advantage of the many bars and restaurants.
Lesedi Cultural Centre
Lesedi is a multicultural village set amongst the bushveld and rocky hills less than an hour’s drive north of Johannesburg. There are four homesteads where you can stay overnight and experience traditional Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi or Basotho hospitality. Or just visit for the day and see the many crafts and murals on display, experience African dining at its finest and absorb the warmth of rural african culture.
Tiffindell Ski Resort
Tiffindell Resort is situated in the Southern Drakensberg on the slopes of the 3001m Ben Mc Dhui mountain. The resort can be enjoyed all year round – during summer ski down the grassy slopes or just take a stroll amongst the breath-taking scenery. In winter snow falls, covering the slopes and giving delight to many as they race down the mountain. A state-of-the-art snow making machine supplements the snow so you’re guaranteed of plenty of ski and snowboard action for three months of the year.
The majestic heights of the Drakensberg mountains rise 3000m from the foothills of KwaZulu Natal.The sheer size of these quite giants brings life into perspective as you hike amongst them. The scenery is magnificent and you can easily while away the time staring in wonder over the ancient peaks and valleys. Horse-riding, hiking, bird-spotting or relaxing at one of the many fabulous hotels, b&b’s or guest houses will make this a holiday to remember.
Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind, the worlds richest Hominid site, is suprisingly close to the tall skyscrapers of Johannesburg city. It takes you only 45 minutes to drive out to the country-side where our ancestors roamed millions of years ago. Check out your long distant cousins Mrs Ples and Little Foot – dated at around 3 millions years old. Visit the shimmering underground lake, 40m down into the Sterkfontein caves. The lake is believed to hold mystical properties and is believed by the locals to cure a myriad of diseases.
Castle Lager Shebeen Tour
Shebeens are informal drinking halls, where cheap beer, loud laughter and good friends meet to escape an otherwise harsh existence. Situated in townships throughout Gauteng, these informal pubs are guaranteed to give you a taste of true township life while you listen to the stories of its people. Visit the Castle Lager website for more info on tours to various shebeens.
Stand looking out over the fields and valleys of Shaka’s Kingdom, stretching from the Drakensburg Mountains down to the golden coastline. Visit actual battlegrounds and imagine the bloodthirsty cries of Shaka’s Impis, the rain of their spears onto the British Redcoats and how they met against the superior artillery of the British military and the guerilla tactics of the Boers.
The Garden Route is an area of unparalleled natural beauty. Stretching from the Slang River near Heidelberg eastwards to the Tsitsikamma Forest and Storms River, this area is renowned for its diversity of fauna and flora. Ranging from fynbos and proteas to tropical forests, golden beaches, lagoons and rivers. These give way to towering clifftops and scenic mountain passes. Accommodation choice is plentiful: of out-of-the-way cottages, B&B’s and 5* hotels and all provide easy access to explore the area.
The Cango Caves lie in the Swartberg Mountain Range in a limestone belt measuring 1,5km in width and almost 16km in length. Dating back around 20-million years, these caves were unknown except to the animals who lived there. More recently (10000 years ago), the Khoisan tribe used the entrance of the cave as shelter and to paint their daily experiences on the cave walls. Unfortunately much of the bushman art has now been damaged by the passing of time. In 1780 the caves were rediscovered by a herder looking for lost cows and in 1972 more chambers were found. The caves are open to the public everyday of the year except Christmas.
Oudtshoorn Ostrich Farms
Stand on an ostrich egg, watch chicks hatch, lay bets on ostrich races, learn more about these beautiful, although strange looking birds who roamed the earth up to 7- million years ago. Dare to ride one
.you might like it and exchange your car for this mode of transport!